Chapter #107

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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 (reunited at last):                             +
+                                                             +
+   Alindyar      13th level drow elf mage              (N)   +
+      Lyra       10th level female drow elf mage       (N)   +
+   Belphanior     9th/11th/11th level high elf w/m/t  (CN)   +
+   Ged           10th/12th level grey elf priest/mage (NG)   +
+      Arnold      9th level human warrior             (NG)   +
+   Mongo         12th level dwarf warrior             (CG)   +
+      Flint       9th level dwarf warrior             (CG)   +
+   Peldor        15th level human thief                (N)   +
+   Rillen        12th level human warrior              (N)   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   Date:    1/4/572 C.Y. (Common Year)                       +
+   Time:    morning                                          +
+   Place:   the Free City of Greyhawk                        +
+   Climate: cold                                             +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   "When I start off to find somebody, I find them.          +
+    That's why they pay me."                                 +
+                           - Angel Eyes, from _The Good,     +
+                                  the Bad, and the Ugly_     +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                  CVII.  Bungle in the Jungle





  The party has just fought, and triumphed over, some evil
bounty hunters led by Zara the drow, who bore a grudge from
her previous encounters with the party.  However, she and
her cohorts have all been destroyed, and the adventurers
have been marching southward for a few days.

Ged:  Hmm, it's about time to leave the river trail and go
  across the plainsland.
Belphanior:  Yeah.  Don't forget about that wide sea we'll
  be crossing.
Ged:  I haven't.
Peldor:  Look!  What's _that_?

  Ahead were a number of ogres...

Ged:  Ogres?  What are ogres doing in this area?
Rillen:  Who knows?
Belphanior:  (draws his sword)  Who cares?
ogres:  (charge the party)  Kill!
Mongo:  Cripes.

  Mongo, Belphanior, Rillen, Arnold, and Flint formed a
defensive perimeter, meeting the attack head-on.  The
magi-type and Peldor stayed back, casting spells.  Before
too long, Ged had used Evard's Black Tentacles to crush
the life from three of the ogres, while Alindyar's Color
Spray and Lyra's Web, both cast at opportune times, were
sufficient to immobilize ten more.  Even Peldor was able
to get some fighting in.  The remaining few ogres were
being slain rather expediently by the party's warriors.
  The unconscious and trapped foes were left as they were
(even Belphanior was persuaded not to slay them) - more
than anything else, the combat had proven the party's
ability to work together as an efficient, and powerful,
team.
  They rode for another week, traversing some grasslands,
a bit of forested area, and then more grasslands.  Finally
they had reached their first objective - the shore of the
Azure Sea.  A small coastal town stood ahead.

Mongo:  I guess we'll have to rent a ship here.
Ged:  Yep.  Boccob willing, we'll find a good one.
Belphanior:  Or Boccob unwilling...

  They rode into town, and headed straight for the docks.

dock master:  Ahoy thar, mateys!
Arnold:  Abhoy!
dock master:  (regards the group)  Ye look like folks that's
  after something...?
Belphanior:  We'll be looking for a ship, a stout one, and
  fast, too.
Ged:  One that can cross an ocean with ease.
dock master:  Ahh, settin' sail for faraway lands, are ye?
  Well, I think I know just the chap ye'll be needin' to
  talk with.  Foller me!  (he ambles away)

  The crusty old sea dog led the adventurers along the dock
and past all manner of boats and ships.  He stopped at one
vessel, a huge galleon (well over a hundred feet in length
and about thirty in width), and gestured to the party.

dock master:  This here's the _Typhoon_.  She's about the
  biggest o' what we got here.  And her skipper, Captain
  Jerrod, he runs a tight ship, yes he does.
bearded man:  (walks from the ship, across a wide plank
  and onto the dock)  What's the news, Bugger?  Who are
  these people?
Mongo:  Bugger?!?
dock master:  That'd be me.  (to bearded man)  Ahoy there,
  Cap'n Jerrod.  These fine folks seek passage for a long
  voyage.
Captain Jerrod:  Oh.  Thanks, Bugger.
Bugger:  Yep.  (wanders away)
Peldor:  (considers picking the dock master's pockets)
Jerrod:  So...you need to go somewhere, yes?
Ged:  Yea.  We want passage to the Amedio Jungle.  That's
  the continent south of-
Jerrod:  I know where that jungle is.  Passage could get
  expensive, though.  Especially for that kind of voyage.
Mongo:  Money is no object.
Peldor:  It isn't?
Ged:  Nope.  What is your price, Captain?
Jerrod:  For the jungle continent...hmm.  One-way or two-
  way passage?
Belphanior:  On-
Ged:  TWO-way passage.
Jerrod:  How long will you be on shore, then.  Waiting
  around can get hazardous...
Ged:  Ah, maybe a week or two.  Who can know, really?
Jerrod:  The price is five hundred coins of gold per
  person.  More if I have to wait around after the two
  weeks.
Peldor:  (wondering where he could steal five hundred
  coins of gold so that he wouldn't have to use his own
  money)
Ged:  Very well, we accept.
Mongo:  Five hundred gold?!?  To ride a _ship_?!?  Arg!
  That hurts!
Belphanior:  But we have to go there...
Rillen:  Not really.
Ged:  (to Jerrod)  Tell me of your ship.  How many masts
  and decks?  Is she clinker-built?  How much water does
  she draw?
Jerrod:  You sure know your ships, friend.  The _Typhoon_
  is a four-masted galleon, three decks across.  The fore
  and aft castles have two more decks apiece.  Clinker-
  built all the way.
Mongo:  What's "clinker-built"?
Ged:  It means the ship is built with overlapping planks
  on the sides for additional strength.
Mongo:  Oh.
Jerrod:  My crew numbers a hundred and thirty, too.  We
  have plenty of manpower in case of pirates.
Alindyar:  And now you have significant magical power as
  well.
Jerrod:  That's good to know.
Belphanior:  Are you familiar with the area we'll be
  sailing through?
Jerrod:  Of course.  I've been in the vicinity a couple
  of times.  It's a fairly straight-shot voyage.  Are you
  people ready to go?
Ged:  We could be, in a matter of hours.
Jerrod:  We shall leave on the morrow, then.  I'll have
  to see to it that extra supplies are procured, for my
  crew.  Come back here at dawn - and bring your money
  with you.  I only take payments in advance.
Belphanior:  Whatever.  We'll be back.  (he turns and
  strolls down the dock)

  Jerrod prepared his ship and crew for the trip, while
the adventurers made sure that they had any supplies and
equipment they might need.  One last trip to the market-
place was made, and inventories were double-checked and
triple-checked.  The next morning (1/15/572, were there
any historians present) marked the outset of the voyage.

Ged:  (standing at the forecastle of the ship, a sail
  billowing behind him)  Ah!  Now _this_ is living!
Mongo:  (wandering around the deck trying not to look at
  the water)  Ugh.  I think I'm gonna be seasick...
Flint:  (to Mongo)  Let's go to the kitchen, and cook up
  a boar or something.
Mongo:  Food!  Shit, yeah, that'll make me feel better!
  (they head for the ship's mess hall)
Rillen:  What is there to be sick of in the sea?
Belphanior:  Aw, it's an old joke.  Mongo doesn't like
  the sea, but I doubt he's really sick.  He just wants
  us all to know that he prefers land travel.
Rillen:  Hmm.  However, we cannot reach our destination
  by land travel.
Belphanior:  True.
Alindyar:  (never having been out sailing in a sea)  An
  exciting experience, this sailing.
Lyra:  Yes, though we had best be careful lest we get
  too much sun.
Arnold:  (climbing up to a crow's nest, rather like a big
  monkey)  Aaa.
Ged:  (notices his henchman in action)  Hey!  What are
  you doing up there?!?
Arnold:  I am climbding!
Ged:  Well, don't fall.  More importantly, don't knock
  anyone off the crow's nest with your antics.
Arnold:  O-kay.  (cheerfully climbs higher)

  It was to be a two-week trip.  After part of the first
day at sea, the land mass to the north could no longer be
seen.  They sailed southward, using the seaborne winds to
their advantage.  Jerrod's crew was quite competent, and
after a while Ged left them alone so they could do their
jobs.  The monotony of the voyage was broken on the second
day out, as a large blue object was sighted in the skies
to starboard.

Ged:  What the hell's that?!?
Peldor:  (squinting)  Looks like a...dragon.  Ulp.
Jerrod:  (runs toward the party members who are on deck)
  You didn't leave a dragon following you, by any chance?
Ged:  Never!  But we shall prepare spells, in case the
  thing gets too close.  (begins spellcasting)

  The bright blue winged form got closer and closer, and
seemed intent on attacking the ship.

crew members:  (mill about, panicked)
Belphanior:  (looks up, shading his eyes from the sun)
  Gee, that's a small one.
Jerrod:  A _small_ one?!?!?!?  What in the name of the
  hells are you talking about?!?  That thing could sink
  us without the slightest effort!
Belphanior:  Err, I was just saying that it's not quite
  as big as some other dragons we've seen.  (having cast
  Stoneskin yesterday, he uses a Fly spell now)
Jerrod:  Oh, well, that makes me feel a hell of a lot
  better!  (barks orders to his crew)
crew:  (some of them work on lowering the sails, while
  others prepare longbows and arrows, and yet others
  get ballistae ready)
Mongo:  (arrives above deck)  What's going on?  Why are
  the sails lowering?
Ged:  If it roasts our sails, we're dead meat.
Belphanior:  Fucked.  (floats into the air)  I'm going
  to go try and reason with the dragon.
Ged:  You WHAT?!?
Belphanior:  (sails away in the air)  Don't worry, I've
  got a plan.
Ged:  That's what I'm afraid of...
Peldor:  (invisible on deck, he picks up a gold coin
  that someone left laying around)

blue dragon:  (actually, a rather young and brash one; it
  wastes no time in deciding to breathe first and scoop
  up survivors for dinner later)

  A deadly-looking arc of bluish-white electricity shot
from the monster's mouth toward the _Typhoon_.

Mongo:  Holy shit!

  Suddenly, the sizzling bolt of lightning veered off to
one side...right at Belphanior, who was floating in the
air far from the ship.  The elf took the brunt of the
entire blast, and floated in midair, sizzling and smoking
as the electricity arced around his body.

Ged:  (surprised that the elf got hit)  What in the hell
  happened?!?
Jerrod:  (surprised that his ship is still undamaged)
  What the f-
blue dragon:  (surprised, period)  Snort?
Belphanior:  (perhaps the most surprised of all)  YEOW!!!

Ged:  (casts a Fireball at the dragon)  Maybe this will
  stop it!
Belphanior:  (for whatever reason, he lives on, though he
  floats numbly in the sky now)

  The flaming missile sped toward the dragon, and when it
hit the lizard, a huge fiery explosion filled the sky.

blue dragon:  RAAAAAARGH!  (being a young and thin-skinned
  sort, it is charred and burned severely by the spell)
  ROAR!  (it turns and flies away)
crewmen:  (firing all manner of arrows, bolts, and other
  missiles after the dragon)  Yay!  Yea!  Yo!  (cheering)
Mongo:  Phft.
Belphanior:  (still airborne, he feels an acute burning
  sensation at his back)  Huh?  (he takes off his pack,
  careful not to drop it into the sea, and looks through
  its contents)
Jerrod:  A miracle, surely!  The thunder beast has fled!
Alindyar:  'Twas no miracle.
Peldor:  (appears)  Yeah, 'twas no miracle.  The beastie
  recognized the might of Peldor and ran away!  (he puffs
  his chest out)
Ged:  Bah.
Lyra:  (to Alindyar)  And we never got to cast any spells.
Alindyar:  There was no need.
Belphanior:  (still airborne, he has found that the rod
  he acquired from his recent adventure with the princess
  and Peldor is glowing and red-hot)  Yow!  (he uses a
  thick glove to hold the thing)  Neat.  A lightning rod,
  maybe?  This could come in handy...

  With the immediate danger over, the voyage resumed.
Things were quiet from this point on; although numerous
ships, of all sizes, passed within sighting distance,
none of them were of troublesome disposition.  After a
week had passed, the _Typhoon_ and all aboard entered
warmer waters, and the climate, though cool, was no
longer cold.  No other vessels were seen now, and the
final week of the voyage was extremely quiet...perhaps
too quiet.
  One morning...

lookout:  (in crow's nest)  Land ho!

  And it was!  The shoreline of a new continent could
be seen in the distance.  As they sailed closer, the
beach's tree line came into view.  No towns or villages
dotted this coast, for it was pure, uncivilized, virgin
jungle.

Mongo:  Oh boy.
Jerrod:  Come, I'll have a boat lowered to take you to
  shore.
Belphanior:  Cool.  (the party prepares to go ashore)

  A small boat was lowered, and the whole party boarded
it, as well as two crewmen with rows, and Jerrod himself.
The first mate was left in charge, and the boat cast off.

Jerrod:  (talking as the boat moves toward the beach)
  Now remember, you have two weeks to get back.  Make a
  large bonfire on shore, and we'll come and pick you up.
Ged:  (slips the captain a large diamond)  Here's your
  first bonus.  Don't leave without us.
Jerrod:  Very well.

  Within ten minutes, the party was disembarking onto
the shore of the wild continent.  Jerrod and his two
crewmen waved their farewells, and headed back to the
_Typhoon_.

Belphanior:  (using the sun's position to try and figure
  out which way is due south)  Hmm...lessee here, if it's
  now midmorning, and the shadow goes this way...then...
Mongo:  (looks at the jungle ahead)  This is gonna suck.
Alindyar:  In what manner were we talked into this odd
  undertaking?
Flint:  You mean, how the hell did we get suckered into
  this trip?
Alindyar:  Something like that.
Flint:  Hey, _I_ don't know.
Ged:  (looks around)  Well, here we are!
Rillen:  Yes.  But where is "here"?





next time :  cannibals!

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

notes     :  ...
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++




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