Chapter #92

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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...                                     +
+                                                             +
+                            Thomas Miller                    +
+                            tmiller@cimmeria.gatech.edu      +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   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)   +
*   Flint Firelips (guest)   dwarven warrior                  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   Date:    7/26/571 C.Y. (Common Year)                      +
+   Time:    the middle of the night                          +
+   Place:   some plains somewhere northeast of the Yatils    +
+   Climate: quite chilly; clear skies                        +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   "There are more dead people than living, and their        +
+    numbers are increasing."                                 +
+                                      Eugene Ionesco         +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                    XCII.  The Evil Dead





  The party has fled from an old mansion full of bloodthirsty
monsters and undead.  Having no horses, due to the recent
escapades in the Underdark, they are travelling on foot, as
rapidly as possible.

Mongo:  <huff puff>  Geez, I'm beat!  (slows down)  Running
  while wearing plate mail isn't something to do for long.
Peldor:  (looks around)  I wonder which way we're headed?
Belphanior:  (looks into the night sky)  North, by the stars.
Ged:  Yea, by Boccob.  Maybe northeast, but we're definitely
  headed "up".  I wonder what land we're in now?
Rillen:  (looking around for a good defensible place to stop
  and make camp)  Me too.

  As they marched through the plains, the distant howling
and wailing noises grew less and less distant...

Peldor:  I hear wolves...(draws his sword)  They're coming
  closer.
Alindyar:  Perhaps we should search for a place to camp.
Lyra:  Camp?!?  You meant fight, didn't you?
Alindyar:  Err...
Rillen:  Yes.  A good defensible area, where we can make a
  stand like men.
Lyra:  Pardon?
Belphanior:  Yeah.  I say we stop running and fight those
  who are howling.
Mongo:  Shit, yeah.  No more running like dogs!
Ged:  By Boccob, you're right!  We should fight!
Arnold:  And we shaaaaaal!  Aaa!  (swings his sword around)

  The party stopped, and sat upon a short hilly area as
they prepared for battle.  Those who could fight best -
Mongo, Rillen, Arnold, and Flint Firelips - formed a ring
around the others.  Peldor and Belphanior filled the gaps
in this circle, the latter casting a few spells upon himself
while there was still time.  Ged and the two drow prepared
their magic hastily.  The howls and other weird noises drew
nearer.

Belphanior:  (sheathes his sword)  Hmph.  (to Peldor)  I
  will of course enjoy meleeing, but I have a nasty magical
  surprise for our foes first.  Heh heh.
Rillen:  This is no time for snickering.  Look!

  From all directions, forms approached in the darkness.
Red eyes glowed and toothed jaws gnashed, as a pack of very
large wolves closed their circle of death.

Belphanior:  Fuck 'em.  (casts Melf's Minute Meteors, and
  five blazing projectiles whiz toward some of the wolves)
wolves:  (those hit by the meteors howl in pain and begin
  to burn)  Hoooowwwwwl!
Belphanior:  Heh heh.
Ged:  For Boccob!  (casts a Flame Strike upon a dense part
  of the wolfpack, igniting several wolves but also, more
  importantly, providing much-needed illumination for the
  party)  Take that, wolfen!
wolves:  (many are burned)  Hoooowwwwl!!!
Alindyar:  (casts a Web upon some wolves, near the burning
  members of the pack)  With luck, this will soon ignite
  as well.

  There was no more time for spells, as the wolves tore
into the party.  Even the magi had to draw their weapons
and fight, to avoid being torn apart.

Mongo:  Shit!  (bashes a wolf, breaking its neck)  The
  damn ring isn't holding!  (watches as a wolf leaps over
  his head and bowls over Ged)  Look out!
Rillen:  Hold fast!  (he skillfully swats two wolves at
  once, knocking both back)  If we fall, they will be all
  over us!
Belphanior:  Like they're not already?!?  (slashes off a
  clawed paw after it digs shallow grooves in his leg)
Flint Firelips:  Damned furballs!  (chops a wolf in half
  with a mighty axe stroke)
Arnold:  Wulfies die!  (hacks at several of the animals)
wolf:  (snaps at Ged)  Snarl!
Ged:  (bashes his assailant with his silver morningstar)
  Take that, you!  Wha-  (he watches in amazement as the
  weapon's head begins to glow, and the wolf reels back,
  its face ablaze with white light)  Boccob!  This is a
  holy weapon!
morningstar:  Of course, what did you expect?
Ged:  Hey!
Peldor:  Back, foul furred ones!  Peldor commands you!
  (slices a wolf in the side)  I'm warning you!
Rillen:  I do not think they will listen.
Mongo:  Especially to him.
Peldor:  Bah.  (blocks a bite with his sword blade)
  Eat sharp steel, dog-breath!
Belphanior:  (fighting three wolves at once now)  Die,
  you sons of bitches!
Alindyar:  An accurate analogy...
Lyra:  Look out!
Alindyar:  Eh?  (uses his staff to block the gaping jaws
  of a big wolf)  These creatures are quite ferocious.
Lyra:  (stabs at the wolf carefully, but misses)  Yes.
  Not that there are wolves in the Underdark...
Ged:  (to his weapon)  You can TALK?!?!?
morningstar:  Indeed.
Ged:  Who - what - are you?!?  (regards the brightly
  glowing weapon in wonder)
morningstar:  I am called Lightbringer.  For obvious
  reasons.  But, enough talk.  There is battle to be
  done!
Ged:  Battle?  Oh, yea.  (bashes an onrushing wolf with
  the weapon, and the animal howls in pain)  Boccob!
Mongo:  (grimly smashing wolves with his hammer)
Belphanior:  (notes that some of the wolves are much
  larger and more aggressive than others)  Come on!!
  Come forth and DIE!  (throws two wolves from himself
  and punches the third)  Fuck you!  Fuck you!

  And so the battle raged for several minutes.  Though
short, the conflict was savage and bloody.  One moment
there were wolves and weapons moving all around, and
the next, all was still.  More than two dozen wolves
lay scattered about, gutted or broken.  In addition,
there were numerous charred wolfen corpses in the area
where Ged used the flame strike.  The adventurers stood
triumphant, but not without injury.  Mongo and Rillen
were bleeding from numerous gashes and bites.  Arnold,
Flint Firelips, and Belphanior lay unconscious, bloody
and battered.  The elf was the worst of these, for his
skin was paler than usual due to blood loss.  Peldor
had somehow survived the assault, though he bled from
several wounds; he wandered around in a daze.  Even
Ged, Alindyar, and Lyra were seriously wounded.  All
healing spells and items were employed immediately.

Peldor:  (stops Ged, who is about to heal Rillen)  Uh,
  hold on a sec.  (produces a small silver bell and
  begins ringing it)
Ged:  What, am I supposed to be impressed?
Peldor:  Now cast your spell.
Ged:  Stop playing the fool.  (casts the spell upon
  Rillen)
Rillen:  (healed for quite a bit more than expected)
  Aaaaah.
Peldor:  See?  The bell enhances your puny magic!
Ged:  Where'd you get that?!?
Peldor:  Treasure share.  Of course.  You didn't think
  I'd steal it, did you?
Ged:  The thought _did_ come to mind...
Lightbringer:  (pipes up)  Hey, who's this thief?  Why
  haven't you introduced me to him yet?
Ged:  He's nobody.  Just a foolish pickpocket.
Peldor:  Hey, Ged, now you have someone to talk to!
Ged:  Quiet, fool.
Peldor:  Someone who has no choice but to listen...
Lightbringer:  Who are you, rogue?
Peldor:  I?  I am Peldor, king of thieves!  (sticks
  his chest out)  Master of dimensions!  Lord of men!
  Paragon of nobility!  Sultan of-
Lightbringer:  (to Ged)  You were right.  He _is_ a
  fool.
Peldor:  Bah.  I listen to no talking weapons.
Lightbringer:  Don't even think of stealing me.
Peldor:  Why would I want to do that?
Ged:  Enough.  We have more important things to do than
  argue with fools.
Lightbringer:  Yea!
Peldor:  (still ringing the tiny bell)  Okay, well,
  where's the next victim to be healed?  Hey, what about
  me?  (notices that he doesn't feel as faint as he did
  a few moments ago)  Hmm.  Hmmmmmmm.
Mongo:  (meanwhile, using his strange healing rod on
  Belphanior)  I think he's gonna live!  Ged, where are
  you?
Lyra:  The grey elf attends to one of the others.
Mongo:  Belphanior really got fucked up this time.  Look
  at these wounds!
Alindyar:  Methinks he relied upon stoneskin overmuch.
Belphanior:  (half-conscious, mumbling)  Lycanthropy...
  wolves...get the herbs...
Rillen:  He is addled from his wounds.
Mongo:  Frankly, I'm surprised he's still awake.
Alindyar:  A bit daft, but yet, we should worry.  The
  wolfpack may have contained werewolves.
Mongo:  (healing the elf's cuts with his magical rod)
  We'll just have to wait and see.

  Soon, all the healing that could be done was done.  The
party was in decent, if sore, shape.  Belphanior was yet
unable to walk on his own, so a makeshift gurney was put
together by Rillen and Ged.  Needless to say, the party's
travel rate was slowed significantly by this, but they
forged onward.  It was still dark, and several hours yet
until the coming of dawn.  The adventurers moved slowly
through the plains, chilled by the cold wind blowing from
the north.
  Perhaps an hour later, Peldor sighted a small stone tower
ahead.  The structure, resting upon a short hillock, was
perhaps a half mile away.

Ged:  How in the hells can _you_, a mere human, see that
  far - in the dark?!?
Peldor:  My innate mightiness...well, actually, my sword
  provides me with night vision of surpassing excellence.
Ged:  Night vision?  Sword?
Lightbringer:  What foolery does he speak of?  Where is
  this sword?  Is it intelligent?
Ged:  Who can know?  But, if he says he sees a tower in
  the area ahead, we must believe him.
Peldor:  Hmph.

  As they trudged slowly toward the tower, strange wails
began to rise from the ground (!) nearby.  Then, rotted
hands clawed their way out of the hard earth, and grimy,
half-decayed heads poked up and regarded the party!  The
dead rose from every direction.

Flint Firelips:  Holy shit.
Rillen:  The dead are alive.  And they do not look happy.
Mongo:  We're cut off!  They've completely surrounded us!





next time :  Will the adventurers suffer from the lack of
           Belphanior's sword in the battle?  Can the mob
           of living dead be defeated?  Will the party ever
           find out what's in the stone tower?

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

notes     :  As you can see, the horror continues!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++




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