Ok, normally when I hit level 5 I start searching around for a fountain to dip for Excalibur.
One common issue I have been noticing is that sometimes I will either unleash a water demon or an endless supply of water moccasins...both of which make short work of me.
I try reading all my scrolls, zapping any wands I haven't identified in the hopes one is a teleportation, and quaffing potions if I have time.
Is there a good way of surviving this sort of event? It seems like the odds are stacked against me once this happens, and can quickly turn a promising character into a dead one.