After a few false starts, I decided to try something new, and went with a new kind of character.
>Hello Terin, welcome to NetHack! You are a chaotic male orcish Ranger.
I must say that I liked infravision, auto-search, and cloak of displacement for a Ranger character. Maybe this is a winning pick. All my elvish Rangers started with an elvish cloak, instead of displacement, and I like displacement better than invisibility. Plus I lucked out and got a +2 cloak of displacement. At first, I was using my +0 arrows instead of my +2 arrows in order to keep them from breaking when used, but after a few close calls, I realized that I needed to focus on staying alive for the first part of the game, and I could always make more enchanted arrows if I manage to use them all up. Fortunately, the enchantment seemed to keep them from mulching as fast as the +0 arrows, and I'm betting that blessing them will make them even better. Still, I focused on using my dagger as much as possible, since it was better to throw daggers than arrows, and I could poison arrows without my god being mad at me for using such an underhanded tactic. Chaotic alignments have their perks, I suppose.
Sadly, the first few levels were not as fruitful as those of my recently departed previous characters. How I managed to mess up that Valk with the two general stores on the second and third level, I'll never know. But that didn't matter now. What mattered was Terin the Orcish Ranger.
I found a storage box on the first level, and began filling it up with everything I found lying around to keep it from being used against me, and for later perusal once I had an altar to help identify their cursed status. Since the pile was small, I used my dog Sirius to check for cursed items, and tried on the armor that was not cursed. I lucked out and found a +2 orcish helm, which I think gives me a +1 class bonus for being an orc and wearing an orcish item of armor.
We found the mines, and I realized the box was more useful there, so I laboriously moved the heavy box down two levels, and placed it next to the stairs to the mines. I found a ring, lucky for so soon into the game, and after it met Sirius' approval, I tried it on. Nothing. Normally I'd leave it on to see if any effects come up during play, but one of my recently failed characters' death by starvation hung in my memory, and I took it off. Rings increase your caloric usage to use their magic, and I was too fragile at the moment to risk starvation. My dog grew rather quickly, and was kicking butt and saving mine when I needed it for those first few levels, but once I was strong enough, we entered the mines to make our way to the town, and start working on my gem collection.
The going was rather easy, but a bit slow since the mines are dark. I quickly found a dwarvish mithril-coat, which dropped my armor class considerably, but while greedily chasing a pair of fleeing gnomes, I fell through a trap door, and two levels down into unexplored darkness. This was particularly bad because I hadn't found the down stairs on the level I was on, which meant I'd have to find the up stairs on this level, and the next, in the dark, unaided by my pet, and make it back in time to reunite with Sirius.
I passed on some good equipment in my search for the stairs, and was afraid I'd pay for it by facing weak gnomes with good armor and weapons upon my return, but I couldn't afford to be burdened, and I didn't dare take the chance of trying on cursed items. I wasn't that desperate yet. I needed Sirius to help me identify cursed items so I could use safe items, and get my armor class as low as possible, as quickly as possible, so I had to get back before he forgets about me, and goes feral.
After a lot of wandering in the dark, I made it back to Sirius, who still remembered me, and we fought our way down to gather up the items I had left lying around on my ascent. After gathering everything into piles on each level, we proceeded further, and found the next level was the mine town. Lying on the ground next to the stairs on the town level was an amulet. After a quick sniff by Sirius, I tried it on to no effect. I didn't think amulets made me as hungry as rings did (plus amulets usually have better effects), so I decided to keep wearing it in the hopes that some dungeon experience would reveal it's function to me. The town temple was a great place to identify things and try out new armor safely, but all the items were spread out. I needed to get everything down to the mine town. I wanted to run a clean dungeon, and the more items I checked, the more likely I was to find good stuff.
So, I started a campaign of tedium. Moving back up to the entrance of the mines, and slowly moving everything down level after level, unable to carry much, for fear of being trounced while lugging too much weight around. I ran into a kitten, who, after a tripe ration, was happy to call me master. This was particularly helpful, because as I was weighed down with items, I was quite slow, and monsters were able to pop around corners and get a few hits in before my next turn, but with two pets guarding me, I felt much more confident.
Still, this took a long time. A lot of moving back and forth, this pile to that pile, and on and on and on. But it was all going to be worth it, when everything was in the temple, tested for cursed/blessed status, and tried on by me.
On one of the last runs, I left the temple, and saw an ampersand down the hall from me. Ampersands are demons, and I figured this one would just be a succubus, or other minor-level demon. I checked the status and was startled to find it was a major demon called Nalfeshnee! What the shit!? There was no way I was ready to take on a major demon, but there was also no way I should run into one at this level either! I checked more information to see if I could get some other kind of hint.
>Not only do these demons do physical damage with their claws and bite, but they are capable of using magic as well.
That's not good. But it's also not what I was looking for. I need more information. I did a quick google image search to see what I was up against. OH FUCK! This is very not good.
Before considering my moves, I dumbly make a run for it. I take two turns, and he begins closing the the gap quickly. I go around the corner, switch to my bow, and make sure my +2 arrows are quivered. If only I'd had a way to bless them sooner. Sirius and my large cat are already rushing toward the corner, and I'm feel sorry that they likely won't survive this attack (nor, likely, will I), when around the corner comes... a blue jelly. wtf?
Blue jellies are very slow, so there's no way one was in that hallway ahead of that demon, which means... Its a chameleon! I unleash a salvo of +2 arrows at the blue jelly, and Sirius begins biting it as it changes form again into a rothe (a weak bison-like animal). Knowing I need to kill it before it turns into something even more nasty, I don't hold back, and hit it again with another salvo of +2 arrows. It falls, and leaves no corpse. Whew! Well, I guess a corpse might have been ok. Maybe one of my pets would have eaten it, and transformed into something powerful. Or maybe something weak. It's probably for the best it didn't leave a corpse.
That excitement aside, I finally finish moving everything to the temple, and gleefully begin processing all the equipment.
I'm so preoccupied with trying on new armor that I don't realize I've become hungry, and am startled by the message of hunger. Whoops! No problem, I've got plenty of rations! I tap 'e' to bring up the eating menu
>You don't have anything to eat.
What? I had tons of rations. I check my piles of stuff, and find no rations among them. Oh shit, I forgot how much food I ate while I was doing all that heavy lifting! I wrap my towel around my head, blinding me, and focus on my the telekinesis I picked up after eating a floating eye corpse. I spot a few edible monsters in the corner, but they are quite far away. I'm pretty sure I can make it to them. I'm sure I'll be fine. I step out of the temple, and spot a dingo in the opposite direction of the other monsters, and make a bee-line for it. I slash at the dingo with my dagger, and kill it, but it leaves no corpse. Damn! I make my way back toward the monsters in the corner, and faint from lack of food. Shit! I'm further along than I thought! Oh well, time to ask for some help. I pray to my god for his help.
>The voice of Mars booms: "Thou art arrogant, mortal!
He knocks knocks me down one experience level. Shit! I forgot I prayed to him for help when I got surrounded earlier! I asked for help again too soon! What am I going to do?! I hit 'e' again, and get the same message. I open my inventory, and double check for something that can get me out of this. I remove my unidentified amulet, to slow my hunger, but there's nothing to help. I turn my sights to the monsters in the corner of the map, and realize they're my closest source of food. I can do it. I can make it. I take a step... and faint from lack of food.
The next few turns consist mostly of me taking a few steps, and fainting. Fortunately, my large cat keeps me save while I'm helpless, but it also eats the corpses of anything that dies. I regain consciousness and take another step just as a tengu teleports between me and my large cat. What luck! It's like food delivery! I don't care if I get teleportitis when I eat him, I'm dying here! I make sure I have my bow ready, and my +2 arrows quivered. I'll have to risk missing and hitting my large cat, I need to drop this tengu! I fire, and miss the tengu, and my large cat, and promptly faint... My large cat fights with the tengu, and kills him! He leaves a corpse that I hope won't be rotten by the time I wake, and... my large cat eats the corpse! I'm so fucked! I regain consciousness, a few more steps toward my goal, and faint. I try to recall how many times I've fainted, and as near as I can figure, I'm not going to make it to the corner before starving to death.
I jab 'e' again.
>You don't have anything to eat.
I check my inventory again... Nothing! I think about digging through the floor in the hopes to land on a level near some monsters I can kill, and eat, but unless my pets are right next to me when I finish the hole, they won't follow me down, and I'll probably faint anyways once I'm down there, AND digging is hard work, and likely to make me even more hungry! Damnit! There's GOT to be a way out of this! I wrack my brain and decide to take another look around with telekinesis to see if any new monsters appeared nearby. I wrap my head in the towel, and focus on the location of monsters... Damnit! Nothing new! There's GOT to be something. I look at the nearby monsters, and see nothing. Just the priestess, who could kick my ass on my best day, a few soldiers I locked in a room on the far side of the map, and the two gnomes in the corner I'm trying to get to... Well... Technically, that's not ALL of them... My large cat is four spaces away...
I immediately cast the idea out of my head. I can't eat one of my pets! ... Wait... Can't I? I'm a chaotic character, so my god won't be pissed if I do, and I've got two pets... It just seems wrong... I think about it a bit longer. There's nothing else to do. If I don't eat, I'm going to die, and all that work will be for nothing. I start to eye my large cat. I might not even be able to kill it. It's faster than me, and easily tougher than me, especially in my state. I check my inventory, and spot a potion of sleep. Of course, if it was asleep... I hurl the potion of sleep at my poor large cat, it shatters, and leaves a cloud that puts my large cat to sleep.
Wait. What am I doing? Am I really going to eat my pet large cat? Just stop. Wait. Sleep on it... Ok.
I save the game, and try to think of a way out of my predicament.
Over the next few days I manage to generate exactly zero ideas to save Terin. Slowly, I come to terms with the extremely likely death of my Orcish Ranger, and actually allow myself to get excited about the prospect of starting a new Orcish Ranger.
When I think I'm ready to deal with it, I return to the game.
>You are lucky! Full moon tonight.
I don't think that luck is going to help Terin find food... I take one more look at my inventory with fresh eyes, and knowing death is imminent, I put on the unidentified amulet for a very remote possibility. I make sure I'm equipped properly and do the only thing I can do. I fire on my large cat. I loose two +2 arrows and faint. My large cat dances around, trying to get out of the way of my apparently accidental fired arrows. I regain consciousness, and fire off a few more arrows. My large cat moves around a corner, and I approach a few more steps, and faint. I regain consciousness, and take another step toward the corner when my large cat appears to see if I'm done accidentally hitting him. I'm not. I loose three more arrows, and my large cat retreats behind the corner. I faint again, sooner than last time, and regain consciousness. I round the corner, and see my large cat 5 spaces away. Even if I get him, I'm not sure I can make it over there to eat him (IF he leaves a corpse!) before dying of starvation. I quickly imagine my Orcish Ranger, inches from death, and feet from the object of his salvation, dragging himself forward only to die just before getting there. C'mon, you can get it! I fire a single arrow at my large cat, which misses my confused pet harmlessly.
I take another step, and faint for the last time.
>You die from starvation. But wait... Your medallion begins to glow!--More--
>You survived that attempt on your life.--More--
>You feel much better! The medallion crumbles to dust!
HOLY SHIT! It was an amulet of life saving! The chance of that was extremely slim! Good thing I put it on just in case!
I stand up; healed, and no longer hungry. I survived.
My large cat cautiously approaches me. I reassure him, and he purrs.
I hit 'C' and move the cursor to my large cat.
>What do you want to call your large cat?
Ok, I think I may have used up all my luck for today. I save and exit the game.