Chapter #85

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                                +
                              +   +
                            +       +
                          +           +
                        +               +
                      +                   +
                    +                       +
                  +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                    +                       +
                      +                   +
                        +               +
                          +           +
                            +       +
                              +   +
                                +



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+    The various characters contained in these writings are   +
+  copyright 1993 by 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...                                     +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   THE PARTY:                                                +
+                                                             +
+   Alindyar      11th level drow elf mage              (N)   +
+      Lyra        7th level female drow elf mage       (N)   +
+   Belphanior     8th/8th/9th level high elf w/m/t    (CN)   +
+   Ged            9th/9th level grey elf priest/mage  (NG)   +
+      Arnold      7th level human warrior             (NG)   +
+   Mongo          9th level dwarf warrior             (CG)   +
+   Peldor        12th level human thief                (N)   +
+   Rillen         9th level human warrior              (N)   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   Date:   7/17/571 C.Y. (Common Year)                       +
+   Time:   morning                                           +
+   Place:  the Underdark                                     +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                    LXXXV.  Beaten!





  The party has camped overnight in the Underdark, and
in doing so gained much-needed rest, despite numerous
strange noises and wails heard throughout the night.
Several of the adventurers also had bad dreams last
night.

Rillen:  Spooky night.
Mongo:  Geez.  I hardly got any sleep at all!
Ged:  It's a good thing that nothing came to attack
  us during the night.  Like those things we heard
  moaning.
Belphanior:  Yeah.  (wondering what those things were)
Alindyar:  I honestly suspect that being in this side
  passage helped us greatly.  Had we been in the main
  tunnel...(shudders)  Let us just say that wise ones
  do not make camp in the main tunnels...
Ged:  Point taken.
Rillen:  Maybe the other things were afraid of the
  things that we killed yesterday.
Alindyar:  I believe you have hit upon it, friend.
Rillen:  Yes.  And so, if they were afraid of the
  things we killed...they should be afraid of _us_,
  too.
Arnold:  Yah!  Afraaaaaid of us, too!  (flexes his
  muscles)
Lyra:  Would that it were that simple.
Belphanior:  (prepares to cast Stoneskin on himself,
  a daily ritual for the elf)
Peldor:  (wakes up at last, feeling quite well this
  morning, neither tired, sore, nor ill)  Ah!  It's
  a fine day for adventure!  (strolls around the
  area, whistling)  Yes, a _fine_ day.
Ged:  (looks at Mongo questioningly)
Mongo:  Hey, don't look at me.  How should I know?!?

  The party broke camp after eating breakfast, and
returned to the main tunnel and its eerie bluish
light.  It occurred to them that, after a few more
days down here, they would lose track of whether
it was "really" day or night on the surface world.
Mongo also noted that the party's rations and water
were just about gone.  It was fortunate indeed that
the dwarf had his cornucopia, for starting tonight
it would be the party's sole source of food. Ged
tried to commune with Boccob, to no avail.  Either
the deity was not listening (as Peldor suspected)
or something was blocking Ged's communications (as
Alindyar suspected).  The elf realized that he was
fortunate indeed to have received the spells he
had prayed for, and ceased attempts to contact his
god directly.  The group set out once more in the
direction that Rob had been taken.
  After about a half-mile of the tunnel had been
traversed, the adventurers began to find remains.
Smashed skeletons in beaten armor, rotting corpses
smashed to a pulp, shattered items - a variety of
such things littered this area.  Most had quite
obviously been smashed by some incredible force,
judging by the damage and the numerous indentations
in the hard floor.

Ged:  What could have caused such crushing damage?
Peldor:  Only one way to find out...

  Soon, they had their answer.  In the distance
ahead, a huge, dark form was barely discernible.
As the party moved closer (very slowly, mind you)
they could make out more details.  The thing was
some sort of golem, but larger even than an iron
golem, standing some thirty feet tall.  Its skin
was metallic, and of a dull coppery hue.  The
construct had very little detail worked into its
carven form, and carried no gigantic weapon to do
battle with.  The former fact suggested that the
thing had been built for action, not useless
decoration; the latter fact suggested that the
golem probably had no need for weapons.
  Behind the creature, there was a cave-in of
massive proportions.  Rubble and boulders had
fallen here at some point, and the huge passage
was blocked to a height of about ninety feet.
That is, only a narrow gap at the top of the heap
allowed any continued movement in this particular
direction - and the golem looked ready to prevent
that.  Quite ready, and quite capable.
  Naturally, the party attacked.

Mongo:  At last, a truly great opponent.  For
  the dwarves!  (hurls his hammer at the golem
  with a powerful throw)
golem:  <CLANG>  (ignores the hammer as it hits,
  bounces off, and returns to Mongo)
Ged:  It ignored you!
Mongo:  (catches his hammer)  This is _not_ good.
Belphanior:  (produces his wand)  We'll see how
  he likes some lightning...
Ged:  Or a fireball.  (begins spellcasting)  It
  shall be the perfect one-two punch.
Peldor:  (feeling perky today, he prepares to
  charge in invisibly, once the magi launch
  their magic)  Hurry it up, guys!.
Ged:  Quiet, fool.
Belphanior:  (sends a bolt of lightning from
  his wand, right at the golem, which is an
  awfully big target)  Ha ha!  Zap!
golem:  (takes the lightning bolt full in the
  chest; the ground under its feet bubbles and
  melts, but it continues to march slowly onward)
Mongo:  It didn't even slow down!
Ged:  (sends his ball of fire at the golem)
golem:  (hit squarely by the spell, instantly
  surrounded in the resulting explosion)
Peldor:  (recoils from the heat wave)

  As the flames raged on, about fifty feet away
from the party, a massive form stepped out and
marched purposefully toward the adventurers.
The ground (floor) shook terribly with each of
the golem's steps.  It was glowing somewhat, but
did not appear to have been wounded in the least
by the fireball.

Ged:  By Boccob!
Peldor:  (moves toward the golem, invisible,
  and swings his shortsword in a well-aimed
  blow at the thing's leg)
golem:  (ignores the puny blow)
Peldor:  (the recoil of the impact drives
  needles of pain through his arms)  Argh.
golem:  (swats Peldor)
Mongo:  Whoaaaaah.  (watches Peldor sail by
  about twenty feet overhead)
Peldor:  Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!  (lands on the
  floor behind the party, bruised and stunned)
Lyra:  That _always_ happens to him.  Poor
  thief.
Rillen:  (dashes forth and belts the thing
  with his quarterstaff, but to no avail)
golem:  (ignores the blow, swats Rillen, who
  fortunately is able to roll somewhat with
  the punch)
Rillen:  (lands in a heap nearby, several ribs
  broken)  Ugh.  I do not think I have EVER
  been hit that hard.  (spits out blood)
Arnold:  (heaves a powerful blow, but the
  golem ignores it)  Aaaaaa.
Lyra:  Let us see what another spell will do.
  (casts Web upon the golem)
Mongo:  (hurls his hammer again, and hits for
  the second time)
golem:  (ignores the blow, and then rips Lyra's
  web apart like it was tissue paper)
Alindyar:  My turn.  (casts a Suggestion at the
  golem)  Why do you not desist in this march,
  and stand aside?
golem:  (not hearing the drow)
Alindyar:  Argh.  I guess not.
Peldor:  Score it:  golem 1, adventurers 0.

Belphanior:  (charges the golem, Blackrazor
  swinging in a deadly arc...that bounces off
  of the golem's impenetrable skin)  Damn!
golem:  (bashes the elf)
Belphanior:  (staggers back, all five of his
  Stoneskins cancelled at once)  Gagh.
Mongo:  (runs up and hits the golem with his
  hammer)  Take _that_!
golem:  (ignores this blow as well, and gives
  Mongo a fist)
Mongo:  Yargh!  (rolls head over heels for
  about twenty feet, backwards)  Fuck, that
  hurt!
Rillen:  I could have told you that.  (hefts
  his magical javelin, and hurls it at the
  golem)  Maybe I can make a point here.
golem:  (hit in the neck by the weapon, but
  there is no penetration, and the javelin
  snaps in two)
Rillen:  Grr...
Peldor:  (digging through his pack)
Arnold:  (hits the golem, again, uselessly)
  I am starding to think that we can'd stob
  this guy.
Ged:  (near the golem, but not in its range,
  has decided not to cast any more spells,
  and instead uses his wand of conjuration
  to put up a shimmering red hemisphere
  around himself)
Alindyar:  What is he doing?  (casting his
  next spell)
Lyra: Looks like a prismatic sphere from
  here.  (also casting)  Or at least one of
  the early stages thereof.
golem:  (looking around)
Alindyar:  (casts Domination upon the golem)
golem:  (unaffected)
Lyra:  Nice try.  (casts Shocking Grasp and
  moves to touch the golem - a risky idea at
  best)
Belphanior:  (hits the golem again, but to
  no avail)  Fuck, fuck, fuck!
Mongo:  (likewise)  Damn it!
Arnold:  (swings but misses)  Aaaaar.
Peldor:  (uses his ring to telekinese his
  indestructible meteorite into the golem's
  head)  Maybe this'll work.
golem:  <CLANG>  (actually recoils from the
  impact - slightly)
Peldor:  Hmm.
Lyra:  (moves in, taps the golem, delivering
  a shock)
golem:  (ignores it and turns toward Lyra)

Mongo:  Keep away from her!  (hits the golem
  with his hammer, more to distract it than
  in an attempt to injure it)
Lyra:  (retreats)
Alindyar:  My thanks, dwarf.
Ged:  (puts up his second sphere, an orange
  one)
Rillen:  (moves in, his staff's blade out,
  and stabs the golem, but only dents his
  blade)  Uh-oh.
golem:  (punches Rillen, stunning him and
  wounding him severely)
Rillen:  Argh...(crawls away)
Arnold:  (moves in to slash the golem again)
golem:  (hits Arnold first, knocking him out
  and sending him sprawling)
Mongo:  (hits the golem yet again, with no
  effect)  Shit!  We're losing!
Lyra:  (casts Dig under one of the golem's
  feet)
golem:  (no master of dexterity, falls, one
  foot caught in the sudden hole)
Alindyar:  That got him.  Nice job.
Lyra:  Thanks.  (she moves to help Rillen)
Peldor:  (telekineses Arnold's body away
  from the golem)
Ged:  (from within his sphere)  Thanks!
Peldor:  No problem.
Belphanior:  (holding his magical bowl, pours
  some water into it, chanting)
Alindyar:  Whatever are you doing?  (casts a
  Fly on himself)
Belphanior:  (ignores the drow)
Peldor:  (sets his meteorite orbiting the head
  of the golem)

Belphanior:  (conjures a huge water elemental
  from his bowl)  Attack that golem!
water elemental:  (moves toward the golem)
Ged:  (hastily begins spellcasting from behind
  his formidable defenses, temporarily halting
  the building of his prismatic sphere)
golem:  (trying to climb out of the hole, and
  slowly getting there)
Mongo:  (backs up, dragging Arnold with him)
Rillen:  (stands up shakily, and joins Mongo
  as they retreat toward the heap of rubble
  and possible escape)
Belphanior:  (joins the other warriors as his
  elemental moves in)  Good idea.
Peldor:  (backs up with the others, still
  causing his meteorite to hover near the
  golem's head)  What about Ged?
Ged:  What about me?  (conjures a large earth
  elemental, which appears outside his walls
  of color)  Attack the golem!  Work with
  the water elemental!  Defeat that golem!
earth elemental:  (vaguely understands what
  the elf is talking about, and moves toward
  the golem)
water elemental:  (watches the earth elemental
  approach)
Lyra:  (continues her Dig spell, excavating
  more earth from beneath the golem's other
  foot)
golem:  (gets stuck again)
Alindyar:  (to Ged)  Come along!  Retreat with
  us!
Ged:  Never!  My magic will defeat this golem
  in the end!  Flee if you must!  I shall win!
Alindyar:  Very well.  (flies up to the opening
  at the top of the cave-in, and ties two strong
  ropes together handily, then secures one to a
  large, entrenched boulder, and tosses the rope
  down to the others)  Feel free to join me up
  here.  (he flies down to pick up Lyra)
Peldor:  (while waiting to climb up the rope,
  he telekineses the meteorite into the golem's
  head, distracting it)  Hah.
golem:  <CLANG>
water elemental:  (attacks the golem)
earth elemental:  (attacks the golem)
golem:  (counter-attacks the elementals)
Ged:  (begins cackling triumphantly as things
  start to get very muddy)

golem:  (pounding away at the two elementals,
  and vice versa)
Ged:  (puts up his third sphere, a yellow one)
others:  (climbing to safety)

  Things were a real mess, and to make it worse,
Ged's next spell was one to turn rock into mud.
He centered the effect right where the golem
was standing.  Meanwhile, Lyra dropped a wall
of ice onto the golem's head (even sunken into
a muddy hole, the golem was still taller than
the elementals).  Much commotion ensued, and
mud splattered everywhere.  Meanwhile, all of
the adventurers except Ged reached safety atop
the rubble pile.

Peldor:  (looking through the opening at the
  continuation of the main tunnel beyond)  I
  see no enemies lurking in ambush for us.
Lyra:  That is good.
Belphanior:  (pointing wildly)  Look!

  Below, nearby Ged, the flurry of activity had
ceased.  Momentarily, the golem pulled itself
from the muck, victorious.  Nothing else moved
except Ged, who valiantly taunted the golem from
behind his mighty defenses.

Ged:  Hey!  Hey, you!
golem:  (marches right for the grey elf)
Belphanior:  He's in for it now...
Ged:  (yelling at the golem)  Stupid golem!
golem:  (pounds at the elf's 3/7 of a prismatic
  sphere, taking 20+40+80=140 points of mystical
  damage, but saving for half; still, this is more
  damage than the golem has taken so far from all
  of the adventurers' other attacks put together)
Ged:  (leaps aside, out of the sphere, as the
  golem's huge fists smash into the ground where
  he was standing)  Hey!  No fair!
Alindyar:  If the golem can withstand the magical
  damage, then it can penetrate the sphere...so
  it would appear.  (begins casting a spell)
Ged:  (runs for the pile of rubble)  Boccob damn
  it!
golem:  (turns, to give chase)
Alindyar:  (casts an Advanced Illusion near the
  golem, creating images of a large mob of loud
  warriors)  That may distract the construct...
golem:  (charges the illusionary people)
Ged:  (climbing the rope that the others used)
golem:  (smashing illusions efficiently)

Mongo:  (grabs the rope and starts reeling it
  in, to hasten Ged's ascent)  Come on up.
Ged:  (reaches the top and joins the others)
  That thing was a puny foe.  Surely my magic
  would have proven mightier in the end.
Peldor:  It looked otherwise from up here...
Ged:  Quiet, fool.  (fumes)

  The golem wandered about for a while, but no
longer seemed to notice the adventurers.  Ged
wanted to stay and taunt the thing, but the rest
of the party felt that it was time to move on.
Shortly, they descended the slope on the other
side, and much healing magic was used before they
felt ready to move further in the huge tunnel.





next time :  Brain suckers

ftp site  :  ccosun.caltech.edu, in pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers

notes     :  The golem was made of adamantite.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++






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