Chapter #30

previous chapter (#29)                                                                  next chapter (#31)






*****
*  The 8 player characters contained in these writings are copyright
*  1992 by Thomas Miller...copying and distribution of these stories
*  is permissible only under the condition that no part of them will
*  be used or sold for profit.  In that case, I hope you enjoy them.
*    The dungeons and non-player characters contained herein are from
*  TSR's module, A3, and are copyright 1980 by TSR, Inc.  Specific
*  text and maps from them have been avoided, and I encourage anyone
*  who enjoys reading about them to buy and play the whole "A" series.
*****

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
THE PARTY:

Alindyar, 6th level drow elf mage (N)
Belphanior, 5th/4rd/5th level high elf fighter/mage/thief (CN)
Ged, 5th/5th level grey elf priest/mage of Boccob (NG)
Halbarad, 6th level human ranger (NG)
Mongo Thunderhead, 6th level dwarf fighter (CG)
Peldor, 7th level human thief (N)
Peyote, 5th/6th level half-elf fighter/druid of Obad-Hai (N)
Rob, 6th level human priest of Trithereon (LG)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


                  XXX.  Ghouls, Gnolls, and Rust



  The party ran into a statue of a roper, which somehow attacked
them.  Ah, the wonders of adventuring.  Halbarad and Belphanior
were petrified by the monster's stony touch as the others gaped
in mute horror...

Mongo:  Holy shit!  That freakin' thing TURNED THEM TO STONE !!!
Ged:  Uh-oh.
Peyote:  Rude deal.
Alindyar:  Take the offensive!  Yon creature will surely petrify
  more of us soon...  (starts digging through his backpack)
Peldor:  (pondering the chances of a backstab)
Rob:  (examining the stony forms of his companions)  Neat!

Alindyar:  (finds his wand and uses it to launch three magical
  missiles at the thing)
storoper:  Rrr!  Glk!  (tiny pits are burned in its rocky hide)
Peldor:  (hurls a dagger at the thing, but the weapon just bounces
  off of its hide)  Damn!
Mongo:  Good try...
Rob:  (chanting as he casts a spell)
Peyote:  Get it!  (charges the thing, waving his bastard sword)
storoper:  Blk!  (lashes out with its tentacles)
Peyote:  (hit by several of them)  Aie!  (being slowly pulled to
  the monster's tooth-filled maw)  Help!
storoper:  (its other tentacles fail to snare Mongo)  Rrk!
Mongo:  AAAARG!!!  (hurls his hammer at the monster with mighty
  force)  Die, crudsucker!
storoper:  (hit hard by the enchanted weapon)  Urg!  Hss!
Ged:  Die, foul abomination!  (strides forth and blasts the beast
  with some burning hands)  Burn!  Boccob's bright abd holy flames
  will CONSUME you!  (the monster is seared badly, and flagellates
  wildly as it shrieks)
Mongo:  (catches his hammer)  That's the spirit!  Fry the fuckin'
  thing!
Rob:  (smashes the monster with a spiritual hammer)  Take that, you
  stoner!
Peyote:  Huh?
Mongo:  (throws his hammer again, hitting again)  Hah!  Had enough?
storoper:  (shrieks)
Mongo:  Guess not...(catches his weapon)

Ged:  Look!  Halbarad and Belphanior are coming back to life!
Rob:  Wow!
Mongo:  (notices that the pair are ignoring the monster)  Hey...
Halbarad:  (shambles forth and chops at Mongo, injuring him)
Mongo:  Agh!  What gives?!
Belphanior:  (attacks Peldor, but misses)
Peldor:  Keep away from me!
Alindyar:  They are vexed!  The creature must be responsible...slay
  it!  (blasts the storoper again with three magic missiles)
storoper:  Hlk!  (badly injured now)
Mongo:  (wastes his attack parrying Halbarad's dagger thrust)  Shit!
Peyote:  (very close to the monster's mouth now, and weakened by its
  secretions)  Ugh...I will not be your lunch, turd-with-arms!  I
  will NOT!!  (slashes the monster, and narrowly hits it)
storoper:  Rgg...!  (topples onto its side, dead)
Rob:  Hooray!
Halbarad:  (begins to wander about listlessly)
Belphanior:  (likewise)
Ged:  Thank Boccob.
Peldor:  Don't thank him, thank Peyote...
Peyote:  (cutting himself free of the tentacles around his legs)  Yeah.
Rob:  What about those guys?
Ged:  (examining the pair)  They seem braindead.  For Belphanior,
  that's nothing new, but still...
Mongo:  Well, they're not attacking us anymore, at least.
Rob:  Yeah.  They're all better now!
Alindyar:  Mayhap we should rest and camp.
Mongo:  For a while, at least.  My magic ring needs time to do its work.
Rob:  Yeah!  And I need to heal some wounded...
Peldor:  (searching the monster's carcass for pockets, unsuccessfully)
  Hmm.  I wonder where that hole goes?
Ged:  Jump in and find out.
Mongo:  Maybe you should wait until we're all ready to go.
Peyote:  Hey, I'll scout with you.
Peldor:  Let's go, then.
Peyote:  Right on!  (they go down the hole in the floor and into a tunnel)

  The other four (six) waited, and waited.  The two "enchanted" ones
finally returned to normal after two hours.  The thief and the half-elf
had long since returned by this time, reporting a maze of dead-end passages
and a door concealing a deadly spike trap.  Peldor found and triggered the
latter item harmlessly and had the door beyond opened within ten minutes of
his and Peyote's departure.  The two had scouted somewhat beyond that, and
found a locked door.  They deemed it prudent to wait for the others before
opening this second door, and then returned to the others.  Halbarad and
Belphanior both seemed quite irritated by recent events, and neither one
was talking much.
  It was noted that the party was low on magic and health; they would
have to camp before too much longer.  The eight adventurers made their
way to the locked door, and Peldor went to work on it immediately.

Mongo:  (hefting his hammer)  That turd-shaped thing really pissed me
  off!  Somebody's gonna pay for putting it there!
Rob:  Why would they want to pay YOU ?
Ged:  Quiet, fool.
Peldor:  Got it!  Get ready...(opens the door)

  Beyond this door was a large pillared hall, with a throne at the far
end.  Between this throne and the party was a big dinosaur-like monster,
with an armored shell and a stubby tail ending in an armored ball.  Six
gnolls were standing to one side of the throne; six ghouls were on the
other side.  The seat itself was occupied by a giant skinny gnoll.  This
fellow carried a large flail with three heads.  Everything but the giant
gnoll advanced on the party.

Rob:  Hey!  A dinosaur!
Ged:  Quiet, idiot savant.  This is no time for your prattle.
Peldor:  (he honestly forgot to back up to the rear of the party and is
  now in the way)  Uh...
Belphanior:  Go on!  Attack something!
Mongo:  Yeah!  Get the hell out of the way so the rest of us can get in!
Peldor:  Uh...(charges the dinosaur, with the intention of leaping over
  its low-riding head and landing on its back)
DM:  Oh yeah?  Let's see a DEX check, then.
Peldor:  No problem...(rolls a 20, FAILING the check)  Uh-oh.  (trips
  over the beast's head and falls on top of it, hacking wildly)  Haste
  makes one sloppy...
Ged:  Haste?
Belphanior:  Yah!  (uses his ring of spell storing to JUMP over the
  dinosaur - and Peldor - and lands behind them, facing the horde of
  gnolls and ghouls)  Ha!  Who dies first?
Peyote:  (saunters toward Peldor and his foe)
Mongo:  Aha!  So many targets!  (looking around because he didn't get a
  good initiative roll)
Peldor:  (trying to stab his opponent)  Huh?
dinosaur:  (shimmers and fades, becoming a much smaller creature)
Alindyar:  Eh?
Peldor:  (watching his magical shortsword dissolve)  ...!
Ged:  Rust monster!  It's a rust monster, not a dinosaur!
Alindyar:  Beware, thief!
Mongo:  Rust...monster...?...!  AGH!  KEEP AWAY FROM ME, YOU TINY LITTLE
  ARMOR EATER!!!  (breaks for one side of the room)
Peldor:  My sword...you ate my sword...
rust monster:  Rrr.  Rrr!
Rob:  (thinking quickly for once, casts a light spell directly on the
  rust monster's eyes)  There!  Maybe that'll help.
rust monster:  (scurries about the room as people get out of its way)
Alindyar:  (advances, ignoring the rust monster)  Belphanior!  Move aside!
Belphanior:  Aside?
Alindyar:  Quickly!
Belphanior:  (uses his jump spell from the ring, since it's still in
  effect, and leaps far to one side)
Alindyar:  (casts a web across the entire width of the room, getting most
  of the oncoming attackers)  That should hold them.
Belphanior:  (stabs a gnoll that didn't get webbed)
gnoll:  (vanishes upon being hit)
Belphanior:  Huh?
Ged:  (preparing a spell)
Halbarad:  (trying to find an opponent not in the webs)
Peyote:  (slips on his ring and goes invisible)
Alindyar:  (noticing that there are no bodies inside his web)  What is
  this?
Belphanior:  Illusions!  They are illusions!
Ged:  (casts Haste on those nearest him - Halbarad, Mongo, Rob, Peldor,
  and of course himself)  Illusions?!  Agh!  I have wasted my spell for
  the sake of a mob of illusions!
Peldor:  No you haven't.  After all, _I_ get to use it...
Mongo:  (tosses his hammer at a ghoul, hitting and dispelling the thing)
  Damn!  I want to hit something REAL!
Belphanior:  I know what you mean.  I for one want to see some blood and
  guts!
Halbarad:  (sheathes his sword and starts rummaging through his backpack)
rust monster:  (ambling about, in the general direction of Mongo since it
  doesn't need eyes to smell his metal possessions)
Mongo:  Agh!  Stay back!
Belphanior:  I've got an idea.  (starts to cast a spell)
Mongo:  Well, whatever it is, hurry it up!  That thing can run faster
  than me!
giant gnoll on throne:  (unnoticed by all, understandably, he waves his
  hand)

  The adventurers suddenly felt themselves gripped with terror...the urge
to flee took hold over some...

Rob:  Aaaaaa!  (breaks for the entrance)
Alindyar:  (ignores the wave of terror and begins spellcasting)
Halbarad:  (holds his ground; he is now peering at the party's opponents
  through his blue gem)
Mongo:  I'm not afraid!  I'm not leaving!  ...just keep that damned rust
  monster away...
Belphanior:  (makes his save as well; casts a Grease spell on the rust
  monster and then runs toward it)
Ged:  (with his great mental faculties, the grey elf easily resists the
  fear spell)  Boccob's ears!  What IS that thing in the chair?
Peyote:  (out of the fear range anyway; notices some gnolls hiding
  behind pillars, their backs turned to him as they draw bows on the
  others; he casts a spell)
Peldor:  (somehow out of the spell's area of effect; draws his magical
  knife)
Ged:  (runs after Rob to try and catch him.  Actually, this won't be
  hard, since Rob is ridiculously overloaded in relation to his measly
  strength)  Come back here, you idiot!  (then again, Rob _is_ hasted)
Halbarad:  (yelling)  All of these foes are illusions, except those
  gnolls behind the pillars!  The thing on the throne is an old man!
Alindyar:  What revelations.
Peyote:  (becomes visible as his Warp Wood spell turns all five gnolls'
  arrows into useless junk)  Righteous!
gnolls:  (cursing, they draw swords)
Mongo:  Geezer on the throne, huh?  (hurls his hammer in that direction
  with great force...but it hits something and bounces back)  Fuck!
Halbarad:  What was that?
Mongo:  I don't know, but my hammer didn't break it!  (catches the hammer
  as it comes back)  Dammit.
Alindyar:  (creates a wall of fog around the throne)
big gnoll/old man:  (cursing audibly)
Belphanior:  (kicks the rust monster toward the entrance door)  Ow.
rust monster:  (greased by the spell, it slides rapidly and totally out of
  control along the floor)  rrr?
Ged:  (looking back as he exits, chasing Rob)  What the...?
Belphanior:  Incoming!
Ged:  (runs around the corner before the rust monster can slide into him)
Peldor:  (moving Haste-ily along one wall toward the rear of the room)
Mongo:  (throws his hammer three times more, since he got hasted; the
  gnoll who was his target gets hit twice and is badly wounded)

Belphanior:  (quick to react to current events, he runs along the opposite
  wall from Peldor)
Peldor:  (reaches the point of whatever barrier stopped Mongo's hammer;
  notices that it is a semi-circular glass wall and goes around it with
  caution)
Halbarad:  (lays into a gnoll with full hasted force...)
gnoll:  agh...
Peyote:  (chops another gnoll)
gnoll:  agh...
old man on throne:  (emerges from the fog, headed for one far corner of
  the room)
Belphanior:  Hold it!
old man:  (leering at the elf)
Belphanior:  Uh-oh...(charges the man, screaming...)
old man:  (points at Belphanior, and a green beam of energy lances him)
Belphanior:  (falls to the ground)
old man:  (laughing)
Alindyar:  (casts a spider climb on himself and takes to a wall)
Mongo:  (smashes a gnoll twice, hurting it badly)  Take that, fur-head!
Halbarad:  Look yonder!  That sorcerer has felled the elf!
old man:  (fiddling with a section of wall)
Peldor:  (sprints forth and stabs the old man in the back with his knife)
old man:  Agh!
Peldor:  You're not going anywhere...
old man:  We'll see about that, assassin!  (begins another spell)

Halbarad:  (finishes his opponent)
Peyote:  (takes a hit, then slays his as well)
Peldor:  (hasted, he acts just moments before the old man, stabbing him
  and ruining his spell)  Surrender, and I will be merciful - and quick!
old man:  Gurk...
Mongo:  (takes a hit on purpose while aiming his hammer at the old man)
gnoll:  Die, dwarf!  The master will live on!
Mongo:  Ugh!  Not for much longer!  (throws the hammer, hitting the
  man in the chest and knocking the wind out of him as well as breaking
  several ribs)  And then it's YOUR turn, gnoll!
old man:  Agh!
Peldor:  (attacks again, slaying the spellcaster)  That's for Belphanior,
  you fiend.
old man:  ...go to hellllll....(dies)
Peldor:  Possibly.
Mongo:  Good riddance.  Now what's wrong with that damned elf?!

  After this, the remaining gnolls were mopped up in no time.  Ged used
a spell to get rid of Rob's fear, and brought the priest back shortly.
Belphanior lay on the floor, unmoving but alive; Alindyar and Ged both
figured that he was magically paralyzed.  Peldor propped him against a
wall and put a helmet over his head.  The old man had some bracers and
a dagger, which were confiscated.  Peldor asked, and was allowed to use
the sword he had found earlier (in the goo) since his other sword was
rusted away.  Speaking of rust, the rust monster was scrabbling in the
corner, too slippery to get any traction for long.  Nobody had any real
burning desire to kill the thing, so they left it out in the hallway
and locked the door.  Peldor found a secret door after a while, which
led to a long tunnel - obviously some means of escape for the late
sorcerer.
  Peldor noticed with awe that his (temporary at least) new sword had
an invisible blade.  Rob tried to touch it and cut his finger.
  The party camped for the night, studying spellbooks, healing, and
eating a fabulous dinner (Mongo had procured a lot of foodstuffs the
last time they were in a city) despite Mongo's insinuations that the
storoper might have found its way into the stew...





next time:  The Slavers' hidden city

ANONYMOUS FTP SITE: tybalt.caltech.edu (in pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers)
************************************************************************
NOTES:  A clarification on the previous episode:  Peldor slipped the
golden ring into his sleeve - this was the ring of free action.  The
object that he bumped into under the goo was a shortsword.  Though I
didn't mention it, he was unable to conceal this sword and thus it
went into the party's loot sack (to be divided later).

  I would like to dedicate this episode to the Georgia State Patrol,
who after years of not catching me speeding were finally able to get
me today.  What fine, fine civil servants.  I hope they use my (hefty)
fine for something remotely useful.
************************************************************************




previous chapter (#29)                                                                  next chapter (#31)