Chapter #104

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                              +   +
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                          +           +
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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                    +
+                        +
+   THE PARTY (or a part of it; they have split for now):     +
+                                                             +
+   Alindyar      12th level drow elf mage              (N)   +
+      Lyra       10th level female drow elf mage       (N)   +
+   Date:    9/571 C.Y. (Common Year)                         +
+   Time:    afternoon                                        +
+   Place:   the Free City of Greyhawk                        +
+   Climate: moderate to cold                                 +
+   "You are meddling with powers that you cannot possibly    +
+    comprehend"                                              +
+                                   - Marcus Brody            +

                        CIV.  Sanctuary?

  The party has split into sub-groups to pursue individual
ambitions and missions.  The two drow, Alindyar and Lyra,
have already spent several days in Greyhawk's Guild of
Wizardry, and in the library, studying spells and copying
all kinds of arcane notes out of tomes and librams.

Alindyar:  Hmm, what could this be?  (holds up a thick and
  dusty book, which he has opened to a particular chapter)
Lyra:  What's that?  (peers over Alindyar's shoulder)
Alindyar:  (reading intently)  Fascinating.
Lyra:  What?  What?!?  This makes no sense to me.  What in
  the world have you been smoking?
Alindyar:  Hmm...(flips some pages) THIS might
  be worth checking out.
Lyra:  Do you mind explaining to me just what you're
  talking about?
Alindyar:  Eh?  Oh, yes.  (closes the book, using a finger
  to keep his page)  Of course.  This tome tells of a lost
  archmage and his...hideaway.  So to speak.
Lyra:  So?  So what?
Alindyar:  Oh, come now.  Picture this, if you will:  many
  centuries ago, a mighty wizard builds a retreat in the
  midst of nowhere.  He stores all of his magic, all of
  his items, all of his secrets - everything, in this
  place.  Nothing is heard from him after that.
Lyra:  Hmm.  Could be interesting...
Alindyar:  Could?  COULD?  Why, the magical lore alone is
  worth a hundred trips!  We simply must find this place,
  wherever it may lie, and see what we can see there.
Lyra:  But how will you - we - find it?
Alindyar:  (holds up the book he has been reading)  'Tis
  elementary, my dear.  We have the map already.  There
  is one more matter, that of the _key_ to this place we
Lyra:  Key?
Alindyar:  ...but that is the thing!  I already _know_
  where the key is!  'Tis the very remembrance of it as
  I saw it recently, that struck a chord within my mind
  as I read this old tome!
Lyra:  Do go on...

  Later that day, Alindyar returned to the antique shoppe
near the Guild, after copying arcane notes for hours...

proprietor:  So you're back.
Alindyar:  I am flattered, for you remember me.
proprietor:  Let's just say that you're not an easy one
  to forget.
Alindyar:  Hm, I suppose not.  In any case, I stand ready
  to make a purchase, of an item that I noticed earlier.
proprietor:  Oh, yeah.  What was it, the cube...nah...uh,
  the globe...?  No...hmm...
Alindyar:  (picks up a ring)  'Twas this.

  The drow was holding an unusual ring, a band of silver
engraved with tiny runes.  This, in and of itself, wasn't
unusual, but the stone set into the ring made it unique.
A bright green emerald, it was, with a tiny black dragon
embedded in its center.  Whether this was a bit of metal,
a smaller and more intricate stone inside the emerald, or
something else entirely (some manner of magical image,
Alindyar suspected) was unknown.  Lyra looked on with no
small wonder.

Alindyar:  Ah, this is truly a prize among valuable and
  rare jewelry.  (to proprietor)  As I collect such odd
  gems and jewelry, I should like to own this one.
proprietor:  Yep.  Lessee...that'll cost you...uh...ten
  thousand in gold.  Yep.
Alindyar:  Ten thousands of gold?!?  The stated price
  was three thousand!
proprietor:  Yeah, well, it just went up.  Ten thousand.
Alindyar:  Why are you doing this?
proprietor:  Oh, a whim.  (looks away casually)  I can't
  just have _anyone_ walking in here and buying things.
Alindyar:  (flustered)  That had _better_ not mean what
  I think it means.  (a glowing red nimbus springs from
  his left hand)  Or I shall be extremely displeased.
proprietor:  (trembles)  Uh...
Alindyar:  A whim?  A WHIM?!?  Do you have any idea what
  _I_ could do on a WHIM?!?
proprietor:  Err...eight thousand?
Alindyar:  (looks up at the ceiling)  Any establishments
  who do business like you do deserve to be reported to
  the Guild of Wizardry and DESTROYED!!
proprietor:  Agh, not that...five thousand?
Alindyar:  You are getting closer...hmm, a _blue_ dragon
  or a _red_, now THAT is the question.
Lyra:  I'd say red, definitely.  Their fiery breath knows
  no equal.
Alindyar:  (a small red egg appears from the mists in
  his hands)  Heh heh.
proprietor:  Egads!  You win!!!  Three thousand it is!
  Take the damned ring!  And get out of my store!
Alindyar:  (hands the man a sack of gems)  The gems in
  this pouch are worth at least four thousand in gold,
  if you take them to a reputable gemcutter.  (his egg-
  illusion vanishes)
proprietor:  (greedily reaches into the leather pouch,
  his worries forgotten)
Alindyar:  (he and Lyra depart)
Lyra:  What a fool.
Alindyar:  I think I might actually have destroyed his
  entire establishment.
Lyra:  Really?
Alindyar:  Of course.  We are not obligated to deal with
  bigoted dolts such as him.  (examines the ring)  Soon,
  soon...we shall see where this item leads...
Lyra:  Is it magical?
Alindyar:  Extremely.

  They returned to their quarters, and proceeded to set
up the arcane rituals described in the book Alindyar had
found in the library.  As night fell, the two drow were
ready to unlock the secrets of the ring.  They gathered
their spellbooks and other equipment, and followed the
mystical instructions and incantations necessary to show
them the way to the wizard's sanctuary.

Alindyar:  Stand you ready?
Lyra:  Yes...
Alindyar:  Very well.  (holds up the magical ring, and
  begins chanting, as weird candles blaze with colorful
  smoke)  Klaatu barada nikto.
Lyra:  (wondering where she has heard these magical words
  of power before)
Alindyar:  Shazagran ti'en grak sovik ryleh!

  There was a bright flash, and a puff of thick green smoke
filled the room.  When the stuff finally dispersed, the
room was empty, except for a lot of extinguished candles...

  Somewhere else, neither here nor there, total darkness
and silence reigned supreme.  Until, that is, two figures
from elsewhere appeared, their least movements echoing in
the place and raising small clouds of dust, clouds that
they could not see.

Alindyar:  Whither did the light go?
Lyra:  Uh...
Alindyar:  (snaps his fingers, and a simple spell of light
  is cast upon the tip of his staff, illuminating the room
that the drow now find themselves in)  Eh?
Lyra:  I don't think we're in the same place that we used
  to be...

  They stood in some kind of arched hallway, their voices
echoing loudly in the high, vaulted ceiling.  The hall was
long, wide, and high, perhaps twenty feet at the start of
the upward-sloping ceiling, and forty at its highest tip.
The stone of the place (if it was stone) was smooth and
green, a pale green very much like the stone of the ring
Alindyar was holding...or had been holding.

Alindyar:  (looks in his hand, astonished)  The ring!  It
  had vanished!
Lyra:  Let me see.  (grabs Alindyar's hand)  Where could it
  be?  Perhaps it became invisible...
Alindyar:  Not a chance.  'Twas here one moment, and gone
  the next.  Right as we were, err, teleported.
Lyra:  Hmm.  It looks like we'll have to find another way
  back from this place.
Alindyar:  Actually, anticipating such difficulties, I took
  the liberty of memorizing the spell of teleportation ere
  we...left.  But, perhaps we should first explore this
  place, and find its secrets.
Lyra:  And find out if it really is the old wizard's lair.
Alindyar:  Yes, that too.

  The slopes of the walls and ceiling - indeed, the whole
architecture of the place - was nothing short of unearthly.

Alindyar:  'Tis beautiful!

  The hall was about fifty feet long, and thirty feet wide.
A large double door, of the same green stone, dominated one
end of the large room, while the other end was nothing but
a blank wall.

Alindyar:  (points to the double door)  Methinks we must go
  that way.
Lyra:  Brilliant.  (they walk slowly toward the odd door)

  The double doors were massive, being ten feet high and
five feet wide each.  One was slightly ajar, perhaps three
inches, and it took all of both drows' strength to pull it
open another foot.  That was enough, though, and they slid
through the narrow gap and entered another room.

Alindyar:  (wondering why neither of them have the Knock

  The next chamber was divided into two halves by an empty
area in the center.  To the right was a series of shelves
and drawers, some of them open, all of them empty.  To the
left was an exit, a passage that veered away into darkness.
The pair searched the room, briefly, and then followed the
winding passage as it slowly sloped upward and rightward.
A few minutes later, they entered another hallway, this one
smaller than the one they had appeared in.  This hall was
long and narrow, with several doors on both sides.  Also,
the main passage continued, rather than ending with this
hall; it led onward a short way and then ended in a large,
faintly glowing blue stone door.  The drow walked over to
this portal, as it looked more interesting than the other
doors within the hall.  The greenish tint of the walls and
floor looked really strange next to the glowing blue door.

                     ___________               W ? E
                   / ___________ \               S
                 /  /           \ \________
                /  /             \   ______*
    __________ _|  |_            |  |
   |          |      |           /  /
   |    x     /      |           |  |      /   door
   |__________|      |           |  |      *   blue door
              |______|           /  /      x   entry point
                                 |  |
                                 |  |

Alindyar:  (examines the blue door)  Hmm.  Most novel.
Lyra:  How's that?
Alindyar:  The portal-
magic mouth:  (appears on the door)  WHO DARES INTRUDE
Alindyar:  Err...
Alindyar:  What is this?
magic mouth:  NAME THE MASTER.
Lyra:  Maybe it wants to hear the name of he who made
  his lair here.
Alindyar:  Hmm, I gathered that bit of information in
  my readings.  (to the mouth)  'Twas (whispers a dread
  name to the mouth)
Alindyar:  (speaks the name of a land known only to a
  handful of learned ones)
Alindyar:  (quickly gets out his scribblings and notes)
Lyra:  (to Alindyar)  Keep in mind the different date
  systems of the various nationalities...
Alindyar:  (does some timetable conversions in his head)
  Aha!  (to the mouth)  'Twas in the latter part of the
  second century, Common Year, which was the mid-eighth
  century, Flan year, and the early-

  The blue door opened, revealing a large spherical room
whose entrance was set at mid-height.

Alindyar:  Never before have I seen a magical mouth that
  asked trivia questions.
Lyra:  At least all the studying you did on this topic
  paid off.
Alindyar:  Indeed.  (he steps into the room, prepared to
  slide down the curved wall/floor, but instead floats
  toward the center of the chamber)  Fascinating!  An
  utter lack of gravity!
Lyra:  Hmm.  (floats out after Alindyar)

  Suddenly, three blazing objects appeared in the center
of the spherical room.  Keys they were, floating side by
side in the air, before the two drow.  Each of the items
was aflame with rich orange fires, and the heat could be
felt from a distance, as the drow found out.

Lyra:  Aaa.  That's fairly hot.
Alindyar:  Now whyever would someone leave three such
  keys here?  Unless...only a single one was real, and
  the others were illusions.  Yes, that could be...
Lyra:  But which?
Alindyar:  (his abnormal intelligence enables him to
  see through many illusions)  Hmm.  (he concentrates
  upon the three fiery keys)  My formidable experience
  with illusions will help here as well.
Lyra:  (looks on, floating)  I'll take your work for it.
Alindyar:  Aha!  (all of the keys fail to escape his keen
  notice, and the flames on one key vanish)  Methinks the
  _keys_ are real, but the flames upon the genuine key
  are not.  (grabs the key from the air)  Indeed.
Lyra:  (spots an exit across the way)  I bet the key is
  sized to fit in that door's lock.
Alindyar:  (notices some holes in the ceiling, and thus
  wonders what would have happened had he chosen a "bad"

  The key did indeed open the locked door, and the pair
moved into another chamber, this one hemispherical with
a flat floor and rounded ceiling.  As they entered the
chamber, the corridor behind them vanished (!), leaving
only a bare stone wall.  No exits presented themselves,
and only a greenish-black stone pedestal in the exact
center of this area provided distraction from the smooth
walls and ceiling.

Alindyar:  (trots over to the pedestal)  Hmm.
Lyra:  Wow.

  The thing was covered with levers, switches, slides,
buttons, knobs - a seemingly endless assortment of weird,
alien devices.  Already, Alindyar began trying to figure
out their purposes and meanings...and before he knew it,
one hand strayed to a random lever...

Alindyar:  YIE!  (he is jolted by a crackling nimbus of
  green energy, which flows from the pedestal and engulfs
  his body)
Lyra:  What?!?
Alindyar:  (falls, comatose, covered in the green field)
Lyra:  (hesitant to touch him due to the field)

  While Alindyar's body was engulfed by the strange green
energy, his mind wandered freely, as if in a dream.  At
first, he was floating through a void, but then various
things began to manifest themselves.  Spheres, rays, and
other semi-tangible shapes sailed by the drow's spirit-
body.  The very void around him bubbled and rippled, at
times collapsing upon itself, at other times folding and
twisting.  He found that, simply by concentrating on the
things he saw, he could change their form and motion.

back on this plane...

Lyra:  (notices that the room is shrinking rapidly)  By
  the gods!  (realizes that she has no time to cast any
  spell, even if one would get her out of this)

back in Alindyar's mind...

  The drow struggled to make sense of what he was seeing
(hearing, touching?).  Patterns and trends began to make
sense to him, and he strove to weld them together into a
cohesive whole, sensing that somehow, somewhere, time was
running out.

Lyra:  (grabs Alindyar)  What the hell is going on?!?!

  Just as the room was about to blink out of existence in
this dimension, just as their physical bodies and items
were about to be lost forever...Alindyar gained control.

Alindyar:  (sits up)
Lyra:  What?!  (looks around - the room is back to normal
  now, though still exit-less)  What did you DO?!?
Alindyar:  Me?
Lyra:  What happened?!?
Alindyar:  (shrugs)  I passed some sort of test...I think.
  Having mastered the mystical patterns of this place, I
  am now its master.
Lyra:  What the hell are you talking about?!?  That's the
  craziest thing I ever heard!
Alindyar:  (shrugs again)  Nevertheless, it is true.  (he
  grabs a lever on the pedestal and pulls it)
Lyra:  No-
Alindyar:  Observe.

  The stone of the room changed hue, taking on a deep blue

Lyra:  Eh?
Alindyar:  There is more.  (turns a knob)

  The room itself then changed shape, becoming squarish in

Lyra:  Wow!  You really _do_ control it!
Alindyar:  (slightly offended)  Of course.  'Tis a simple
  matter, really.  (slides a slide, and an exit appears in
  one wall)  Hmm.  (concentrates for a moment)  Actually...
  the room we stand in is now the _only_ chamber in this
  whole place.
Lyra:  It is?
Alindyar:  Yes.  Via this device (gestures to the stone
  pedestal) we can construct whatever rooms we wish.  Or
  destroy them.
Lyra:  How did-
Alindyar:  How did I gain mastery of this device?  I know
  not...but I do know that the former tenant of this odd
  place - also the former master of this control pedestal,
  by the way - left some time ago, and was careful to set
  up certain precautions.  As if to keep out any who would
  not know how to use it.
Lyra:  So we passed some kind of test, and are now the new
  "masters" of this place?
Alindyar:  For the time being.  However, given the magics
  at work here...nothing is certain.  However, I think we
  are quite safe.  (his head is still buzzing from his
  vision/dream/coma experience)  'Twill take some serious
  studying, to be sure.
Lyra:  (still wondering about this whole business)

  Alindyar found something else, too, some kind of magical
extra-planar pocket tuned to the pedestal's general area.
He was able to open this space, and recover several items
that were cached there.  They decided to deal with these
later, and examined the pedestal for now.
  After more experimentation, they came up with several
hypotheses about the general nature of this place.  It did
not appear to lie on an outer plane, but then again, there
was no evidence that it wasn't situated somewhere on the
Prime Material plane, either.  Without windows, it was kind
of hard to tell...and no control on the "central pedestal"
was able to open a gateway or tunnel to the outside.  Thus,
they deduced that the only way in or out of this place was
by teleportation.  This was actually ideal, since only one
who had been here before, and could cast that spell, would
be able to get in.  Then again, who knew what beings had
previously been here?  They (Alindyar, mainly) also figured
out how to lock in settings on the pedestal, such that only
Alindyar could cause rooms to change, appear, or disappear.
Quickly, a basic floorplan was implemented, with an entry
hall, a dining hall, a kitchen, a laboratory, a study, and
a bedroom.  Furniture appeared in these areas (apparently
Alindyar had no control over this, but the place was still
devoid of books, food, drink, clothes, etc. - all furniture
was empty, basically.  Lyra would not be able to use the
pedestal to change things, since it apparently tuned its
magicks to a single user, and Alindyar was more powerful.

  The items Alindyar had found were interesting.  There was
a book, obviously a spellbook; Alindyar found several very
useful spells within.  There was also a ring (a protective
device, given to Lyra), a deck of illusion-bearing cards,
a gnarled old staff of jet-black wood, and some high boots
(which bestowed the power of flight; given to Lyra).  The
cards were more Alindyar's forte, and the staff seemed to
be a powerful magical item in its own right.  More testing
would be necessary.

  After a few days more, they had the place under control.
Alindyar copied the spells from the new book into one of
his own spellbooks, learning several new and useful ones
in the process (Teleport Without Error, Veil, and Non-
Detection, among others).
  This research took longer than expected, and they were
only too happy when lack of food and drink, as well as the
general emptiness of the place, necessitated a return to
Greyhawk.  Their hunches were correct, for the teleport
spell worked flawlessly, taking them from wherever they
were back to the Free City's gates.  It was so simple that
it was scary.  Of course, at this juncture, Alindyar needed
some time for more research, within the Guild of Wizardry's
hallowed halls.  Days became weeks and weeks became months.

+   THE PARTY (or a part of it; they have split for now):     +
+                                                             +
+   Alindyar      13th level drow elf mage              (N)   +
+      Lyra       10th level female drow elf mage       (N)   +
+   Date:    12/29/571 C.Y. (Common Year)                     +
+   Time:    early evening                                    +
+   Place:   the Free City of Greyhawk                        +
+   Climate: cold                                             +

Alindyar:  'Tis only a short time until our scheduled party
  reunion.  What say you to a week of fine dining and other
Lyra:  Why...yes!  (they get dressed up)

  Meanwhile, in a haunted and desolate tomb deep beneath
the Cairn Hills, things were coming to a head.

female drow mage:  (leading the others, she stands in front
  of a huge slab of metallic-ore that serves as a door)  At
  last!  Beyond this enchanted portal lies that which we
  seek!  (begins casting a series of spells upon the door)
two ogres:  (bearing torches and pickaxes)  Hmph.
huge ogre-type with ten-foot pike:  (chuckles)  This oughtta
  be fun...
big red-armored priest:  Indeed.  (fingers his mace)
wraithlike one:  (floating a foot above the ground, he/it
  whispers in a hissing tone)  there were no guards in this
big red-armored priest:  Maybe they all died a long time
tall warrior with skull-helm:  Maybe someone killed them.
female drow mage:  Actually, there are no guards because
  none were necessary.  Without knowledge of the one who
  lies buried here, control is impossible.  But _I_ have
  cast all the right spells, and as the one who frees the
  dreaded warrior, I will be able to control it.  (casts
  a final spell, and the metallic door slides open slowly,
  sending small clouds of dust into the air)
white-robed man:  (looks on curiously, yet silently, from
  his pale white horse)
pale white horse:  (looks half-dead, as always)
female drow mage:  (to the pair of ogres)  Go in there and
  light the way.
ogres:  (obey, not too worried that anything within might
  be able to hurt them)

  There was only a small chamber beyond the door, and one
thing dominated the room - an adamantine coffin.  It rested
on a raised dais, and was covered in strange sigils and

female drow mage:  (casts another spell, on the coffin)
  Ha!  (points to the coffin)
ogres:  (obeying the silent command, they proceed to the
  coffin and prepare to open it)
tall warrior with skull-helm:  (grasps his sword anxiously
  and watches)  Hmm.
wraithlike one:  (to white-robed and hooded man)  why is
  the coffin so short?  what manner of great warrior is
  less than five feet tall?
white-robed man:  (doesn't answer, but just looks at the
  floating wraith-lord from beyond his hood's eye holes)
huge ogre-type with pike:  Hmmm.

  The two ogres opened the coffin's lid, grunting in their
exertion, for the thing looked heavy.  A most unusual body
rested within the metal coffin.  It was only four feet in
height, but thick-limbed and quite stocky.  The thing was
armored from head to toe, and sharp spikes covered every
inch of the armored form.  The helm appeared to be welded
onto the torso armor, and had two longer, wicked-looking
spikes jutting out from its top.  A short, double-headed
battleaxe was grasped in the gauntleted right hand, and
this, too, appeared to be one with the armor that covered
the small body.

ogre#1:  Bah.  All this work to find a stupid _dwarf_!
ogre#2:  Yeah.
female drow mage:  (cracks a smile)  Heh heh.  (to the
  others)  Watch this.
ogre#1:  (leans over the armored body)  Hrmph.

  Suddenly and without warning, one gauntleted hand shot
upward and locked on the ogre's throat, crushing with
incredible force!  The ogre tried to regain some semblance
of balance, but his efforts were cut short (literally) by
the axe that decapitated him in the next moment.  As the
second ogre backed up, the armored warrior leaped out of
its coffin with startling speed, and head-butted the ogre
in the belly, goring bloody holes in the humanoid's gut.
The ogre fell to the ground, but the iron dwarf charged,
and like a merciless machine of destruction, hacked the
ogre into bits with its axe.  After the corpse stopped
twitching, the armored warrior-thing turned to face the

tall warrior with skull-helm:  Wow.
iron dwarf:  (glares at the group, its helmeted eye slits
  glowing bright red)  Rrrrrr...
female drow mage:  STOP!  It is I who have freed you, and
  it is I who now have the power to command you!
iron dwarf:  (takes a step toward the drow, but is held at
  bay by the intangible power of an ancient curse)  Rrr!
  Raaaargh!  (it stamps and fumes angrily, and smoke seeps
  from its armored joints)  RAAAARGH!
tall warrior with skull-helm:  He's a ferocious one, isn't
red-armored priest:  Yes.  I trust that we can control his
female drow mage:  Of course.  (to the iron dwarf)  As of
  now, you shall not attack me or these others.  We have
  a simple task to perform, and then you are free to go
  forth and loot and pillage.  Or whatever it is that you
iron dwarf:  (appears to be contemplating)
wraithlike one:  ...not that there is a choice...
iron dwarf:  (finally calms down)  Rrrrrg.
huge ogre-type with pike:  Yeah, I know what you mean.

  Shortly, they left the cairn, and saddled up.  Except
the iron warrior, that is - it appeared ready to run on
foot, alongside those on horseback.

female drow mage:  Fortunately, I planned for this, since
  I knew that no horse would bear you.  (she gestures to
  a stout wagon nearby, drawn by two horses)  You ride in
  the supply wagon, and we shall ride our horses.
wraithlike one:  not i.  (he floats along)
iron dwarf:  (jumps in the supply wagon, breaks open a box
  of dried meat, and proceeds to eat the whole thing with
  much messiness)  Grmph!  Glg!
huge ogre-type with pike:  Heh heh.  Party time!

  With that, the motley crew rode for the Greyhawk region
and their "appointment" with the adventurers.

next time :  the party reunites, and a new quest is found

ftp site  :, in pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers

notes     :  Alindyar's solo adventures were always the

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