Matt didn't know the scarp of parchment was a trap. So he read the runes - and found himself on a world where reciting verses worked magic.
His first effort got him locked in a dungeon by the evil sorcerer Malingo.
Trying for light, he brought forth a fire-breathing, drunken dragon who told him Princess Alisande, rightful ruler, was also held in the dungeon.
Naturally, he had to free her, himself, and the dragon, using poetry lifted from Shakespeare. And because she was young and beautiful, he swore to serve as her wizard. Then he learned that his job as wizard was to fix it so the htree of them could overcome all the dark magic and armies of Malingo!
The addition to the party of a lust witch and a priest who became a werewolf now and then didn't seem much help. Mat figured he had got himself into quite a predicament.
For once, he was right!
What this dungeon needed, Matt decided, was light. He took a deep breath, extemporizing a spell, then began to recite.
There was a shattering roar, and light seared Matt's eyes. He fell back against the wall, while something huge and scaly rasped and grated against the wall.
"Who hath done zhish to me" Light came again, a five-foot gout of flame, showing a mail-scaled snout with pointed teeth. "Thou!
Dost thing no hide from Shteo - from Shtegoman, worm of a man!"
Flame seared out again, and Matt leaped. The fire missed him as the dragon lurched to the side. the great eyes were bleary.
The fool beast was drunk!
And apparently he was the sort who grew mean in his cups. Now he was taking another blast-furnace breath, preparing to incinerate Matt to a cinder!