Chapter #1

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                                +
                              +   +
                            +       +
                          +           +
                        +               +
                      +                   +
                    +                       +
                  +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                    +                       +
                      +       Epic I      +
                        +               +
                          +           +
                            +       +
                              +   +
                                +

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+    Many of the locations, non-player characters, spells,    +
+  and other terms used in these stories are the property of  +
+  TSR, Inc.  However, this does not mean that TSR in any     +
+  way endorses or authorizes their use, and any such items   +
+  contained within these stories should not be considered    +
+  representative of TSR in any way, shape, or form.          +
+    Due to the nature of the Internet, these stories have    +
+  been widely available since 1991.  I have given them to    +
+  the world freely, and have never intended to market them   +
+  or in any way make money.  However, due to TSR, Inc.'s     +
+  copyright restrictions, old episodes of the Adventurers    +
+  are no longer being archived on any ftp site anywhere.     +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+    The various characters contained in these writings are   +
+  copyright 1991-4, Thomas Miller.  Any resemblance to any   +
+  persons or characters either real or fictional is utterly  +
+  coincidental.  Copying and/or distribution of these tales  +
+  is permissible only under the sole condition that no part  +
+  of them will be used or sold for profit.  In that case, I  +
+  hope you enjoy them...                                     +
+                                                             +
+                            Thomas Miller                    +
+                            tmiller@cimmeria.oit.gatech.edu  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   Date:    11/4/569 C.Y. (Common Year)                      +
+   Time:    evening                                          +
+   Place:   the Green Dragon Inn, in Fax, on the Wild Coast  +
+   Climate: cold                                             +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                      I.  Introductions





  Winter was fast approaching.  The place was Fax, on the Wild
Coast far to the south and east of the city of Greyhawk.  Cold
winds blew a chill throughout the town, but within closed
doors people were gathered in warm homes and taverns.  Inside
one such place, much of importance was taking place...

  In a dim, candlelit corner of the Green Dragon Inn, a rather
unusual assortment of individuals was gathered, in response to
a mysterious summons.  They had all been waiting for a while
at a large wooden table, and some were certainly getting anxious.
The summons had come in different ways for different members of
this group - some of them had received letters, while others had
been told to meet here by strange, hooded messengers.  A couple
of the people at the table had heard rumors and showed up here
tonight on a whim, to find that their advice had been correct.
Something was indeed brewing at the Green Dragon Inn.  Some of
those gathered had already started talking amongst themselves.

(golden-haired elf in purple robe):  Greetings!  I am Ged, a
  priest of Boccob.  And who might _you_ be?
(stocky dwarf in chain mail):  I am Mongo Thunderhead, youngest
  of the Clan Thunderhead and a great warrior!
(very tall, rough-looking elf):  You may call me...Belphanior.
(powerfully built half-elf, in hides):  Well met, sir!  I am
  Peyote, he of the forests.  This fellow to my right is Sir
  Halbarad, also a traveler of the woodlands.
(Halbarad, a woodsman in greenish-brown leather):  Pleased to
  make your aquaintances.
(gigantic human warrior, in hides, unshaven):  Hmph.  I am Krug.
Mongo:  Boy, are you ever.  What do you do for a living?
Krug:  Kill things.
Mongo:  Oh.

  Also seated at the table were a figure in a shadowed black
cloak, who had not said a word yet, and a nondescript human in
old leather armor, who every so often ordered another mug of ale
for himself.  Suddenly, a portly human, dressed in priestly
robes, tripped near the table and fell on his face.

(priest):  Ouch!  (getting up)  Hey!  Are you guys here for the
  mission that I've heard about?
Belphanior:  Maybe.
Ged:  Who are you to ask us this?
Priest:  I am Rob, wandering healer and inventor.  Pleased to
  make your acquaintance, yes I am.  (dusts himself off and
  starts shaking hands with some of the others)

  As the group made small talk, an elderly man approached slowly.
He surveyed the group, with a slight nod of approval, then pulled
up a chair for himself.  He was thin and looked quite bedraggled.

(old man):  Greetings, noble adventurers.  I am Cassius, he who
  took steps to gather you all here.
Belphanior:  Why have you done this?  I trust that you have some
  reason?
Ged:  Quiet, fool.  Pray continue, friend Cassius.
Cassius:  I have need of a capable and multi-talented group of
  individuals to transport something to another place for me.  As
  I have business here every day, I cannot do it myself; thus,
  the need for all of you.
Krug:  Cashus, huh?  I hope you have lot of money, Cashus, if I
  am to work with fools such as this (gesturing to Rob the priest).
Ged:  The everpresent element of greed manifests itself...
Halbarad:  Truly.
Cassius:  You will have to travel west and south, to Courwood, in
  the southern reach of Celene.  There will be a hazardous patch
  of forest, as well as some light hills and plains.  You must
  allow nothing to hinder you, for a close friend of mine in
  Courwood has need of that which you will be carrying.
Belphanior:  Which is...?
Cassius:  (pulls a dull metal tube from his cloak; it is about a
  foot long and three inches in diameter)  This is your cargo.  It
  has no intrinsic value but is very important to my associate in
  Courwood.  Upon completion of this mission you will each receive
  two hundred coins of gold for your trouble.
(nondescript human, unidentified as yet):  We'll take half of that
  in advance.
Ged:  Have you a name, greedy one?
(human):  I am Peldor, swashbuckler supreme.  I'm sure that you'll
  be thankful that I'm along on this trip.
Belphanior:  Two hundred gold?  Is that ALL?!?
Krug:  Two hundred gold fine with _me_.
Cassius:  As an advance payment, I will provide horses for you all
  to use on your trip...which will be returned to me when you are
  done, of course.
Peldor:  Of course.
Ged:  (eyeing Peldor with a wary look)
Cassius:  Who will be the carrier of this cargo?
Peldor:  I'll take it!
Halbarad, Ged, Mongo, Peyote:  NO!
Mongo:  I'll carry it, thank you.
Cassius:  Very well.  (hands the tube to Mongo)  Here it is...

  The tavern was silent, for four mean-looking ruffians were making
their way toward the table.  They were dressed in dirty clothes and
carried swords and crossbows.  Arriving at the table, they drew
their swords, and one raised a crossbow.

Peldor:  (to DM)  I unsheath one of my daggers and prepare to throw
  it.
Mongo:  Uh-oh.
Ged:  What is the meaning of this nonsense?  Who are you people?
Ruffian#1:  Nobody move!
Ruffian#2:  (shoots Cassius in the chest)
Mongo:  Hey!  (stands up)  What'd they do that for?  (draws sword)
Peyote:  (to DM)  I loosen my sword in its sheath.
Halbarad:  (to DM)  Ditto.
Krug:  (also stands up)  Grunt.  (downs last of his mug of ale)
(unidentified shadowy figure):  (whispering to itself)

  Suddenly, the room began to fill with fog, especially in the
immediate area of the ruffians.  Some of the adventurers present
didn't waste any time taking advantage of this opportunity...

Peldor:  (missing from table)
Halbarad, Krug, and Mongo:  (draw weapons and move to engage
  opponents)
Krug:  Good!  A fray!
Ruffian#1:  (swings at Halbarad, misses)
Krug:  (hits one, ruffian#2)  Die scum!  (rolling very high damage
  for his two-handed sword, he slays his opponent)  Hah!  First
  blood to me!  Cashus is avenged!
Belphanior:  (scores a minor cut on ruffian#3)  Tell us who sent
  you and we might let you live!
Ruffian#3:  Never, dolt!  (hits Belphanior)  Surrender or die,
  that's what you can do!
Belphanior:  Ouch!  Fuck!
Ged:  (off to the side, preparing a spell)
Peyote:  (trying to decide which spell to use)
Rob:  I cower in the corner.
DM:  Ok.
Halbarad:  (swings and hits ruffian#1, who collapses, dying)
Peldor:  (hits with his backstab attempt, finishing Belphanior's
  opponent)  That's the first of many victories you'll owe to the
  might of Peldor!
Ruffian#4:  Aaa!  (swings a mighty blow at Mongo, but it bounces
  harmlessly off of his chain mail)
Mongo:  Oof!  Bastard!  Let me show you how it's done!  (Mongo
  got the worst initiative roll and goes last, but nails his
  opponent with a critical hit, slaying him instantly)
DM:  Mongo, that's...a head critical.  His head flies off to the
  left.
Belphanior:  (to DM)  Can I catch it?
DM:  Why?  Oh, why not?  Make a Dex check.
Belphanior:  (makes it easily)  I've got the head!
Ged:  That's sick.  (to DM)  Forget the spell.  I think things are
  well in hand now.
Rob:  Hey guys!  Cassius is dying!
Ged:  (takes a look at the wound)  Hmm.  Poison most foul!
Cassius:  (with his dying breath)  Belegard!  Seek Belegard...in
  Courwood!  Ack!  (expires.  His skin is covered in oozing sores,
  an effect of the poison on the bolt.)
Ged:  Is he beyond healing?
DM:  Dead as a doornail.
Mongo:  (surveying the tavern)  Awfully quiet in here all of a
  sudden...
Rob:  Shouldn't we contact the authorities?
Ged:  It _would_ be the right thing to do...
Belphanior:  I think we had best leave, now, before things get any
  worse.
Halbarad:  Much as I hate to agree, that would be the best option
  at this point.
Peldor:  I search his pockets.
DM:  Whose pockets?
Peldor:  All of them.  All the dead people.
Peyote:  (to shadowed person, who is still sitting in the corner
  as if nothing had happened)  Our thanks, stranger.  I, for one,
  noticed you create that fog, which methinks aided us to defeat
  those slayers.
(shadowed one):  You are most welcome, priest of the forest.  I
  would like to join this quest, if I may.
Peyote:  Certainly, my fine fellow!
Ged:  (to DM)  I cast detect evil.  Does the shadowed one radiate
  any aura?  For that matter, do _any_ of them give off such an
  aura?
DM:  No...not quite.
(shadowed one):  Have a care whom you accuse of wrongdoing, elf...
Halbarad:  We have dallied here long enough.
Mongo:  Yeah!  Let's split!

  The party exited the Green Dragon Inn, and found, conveniently
enough, a number of light horses saddled outside the tavern.
Fortunately, they had all of their possessions with them, and were
able to leave the city fairly quickly.  In a place such as Fax,
though, the city guard (if it could be called that) was always
slow to respond and slower still to ask any questions.  It was
getting late as the group rode out of the city at a quick pace;
they headed southwest, toward the city called Courwood.





THE PARTY THUS FAR:

Belphanior, a high elven warrior
Ged, a grey elven priest/mage
Halbarad, a human ranger
Krug, a human warrior
Mongo, a dwarven warrior
Peldor, a human thief
Peyote, a half-elven warrior/druid
Rob, a human priest
(unnamed), a mage



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+    I originally re-worked this episode back when I thought  +
+  I'd be using the mpgn (TSR) ftp site for archival...since  +
+  I haven't done this, I decided to subtly re-work the old   +
+  stories, correcting tense, grammar and spelling errors,    +
+  and whatever else needed correcting.  The next logical     +
+  step, of course, was to re-post the episode.               +
+    It took a while to do this, so I can't guarantee right   +
+  now that I'll be able to re-work and re-post all 200+ of   +
+  the old episodes.  But we'll see.                          +
+    By the way, about the time this gets re-posted, it'll    +
+  have been just about three years since it was originally   +
+  posted, way back on 4 November 1991.                       +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++




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