My adventure took place over a decade ago. We were playing a freestyle campaign; there were no rulebooks or real setting. Our group included my human illusionist, a dwarf berserker, and an elven fighter. This was after I had lost my pet spider monkey, Bongo. It was a tragic, but stupid mistake on my part, but I had to move on.
This session started with just the elven fighter and me, as our dwarf was running late. As usual, we had been in search of treasure, as this seemed to be what our DM enjoyed doing. After all, we never fought anything exciting. Little did we know that our DM was leading us along a path that would take us up against some very powerful foes, and we were gathering artifacts to fight these foes. This day we were to meet the first of these foes.
Far beneath the tree town of Anknar was a deep swamp fortress called the Circling Muse. This underground lair was not something we were searching for, but in our trek through the swamp, I had fallen into a pit which ended up being a hidden entrance to the Muse. My fighter friend came down to check and see if I was fine, which thankfully, I was. Much like a video game RPG where you venture into an area that you are not quite high enough level to fight in, we could tell right away that we were outclassed. I was able to conjure a shadow of myself that would allow me to explore a place without actually being in danger and I sent the shadow in to look around. I was able to see bats, skeletons, ghosts, and a mummy. Normally, any monsters would attack my shadow upon sight, but for some reason these were leaving it alone. It was almost too easy. My shadow finally rounded a corner into a large chamber filled with books and I caught sight of a withered old man reading at a desk. The bats and skeletons were in this room as well and seemed to be ignoring him completely as he read intently by the light of a small lamp. He was not facing my direction and since my shadow made no noise, I continued to scan the room. I spied some old maps, a couple of fragile chests, and some dried staffs, all of which seemed to be uninteresting at the time. I looked back to where the old man was only to see that he was no longer in sight, but the lamp was still at the desk. I figured I had been looking around long enough and recalled the shadow, returning to my normal body. The second I returned to myself, the old man was there and he powerfully grabbed me by the throat. The fighter was paralyzed with fear and could not move.