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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 +
+ email@example.com +
+ THE PARTY: +
+ 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: 2/27/572 C.Y. (Common Year) +
+ Time: afternoon +
+ Place: the Forgotten City, amid the Sea of Dust +
+ Climate: hot outside, but fairly cool in the dungeons +
+ "That is our fate - to kill or be killed. As with the +
+ great beasts of the jungle - eat or be eaten. And this +
+ day I will feed." +
+ - Casca, the eternal mercenary +
CXVII. Legions of Darkness
The adventurers had passed through a long, dark, and
dusty hallway, and reached a strange portal. As those who
used magic began to feel ill, the warriors heaved open the
Mongo: (gazes into a black, cobwebbed passage, but then
notices that his armor and weapons are heavy all of a
sudden) What the hell...?
Ged: (feeling quite weak) Ugh.
Rillen: (looking around) This bodes ill.
Alindyar: (wipes sweat from his brow) Something is
Ged: Yea. I haven't felt this bad since...since...
Belphanior: The anti-magic zone in the Underdark?
Ged: Yes! That's it, by Boccob...(tries to cast a
cantrip, but nothing happens) Boccob has deserted us!
Belphanior: 'Fraid so.
They quickly found that all magical items were now
normal items, and that no spells worked. Peldor had
even lost the use of his feather tattoos. Terrified
that these effects might be permanent, the adventurers
immediately fell into chaos.
Ged: It didn't happen until you opened the door!
Rillen: That was _not_ my fault.
Mongo: Yeah, someone had to open it. Someone strong,
not like you wizard-types.
Lyra: So close it!
Alindyar: Yes, close the damned thing.
Peldor: (preparing to venture into the dark passage
beyond the portal)
Belphanior: Hey! (grabs the thief by the collar) No
use going in there till we figure out what the hell's
Mongo: (runs to the door and tries to push it shut,
but it's much heavier now than before) Ungh!
Rillen: (moves to help the dwarf) We must get this
Flint: (adds his strength to the effort, and the odd
door finally shuts) Whew.
Lyra: I feel much better now.
Ged: (senses his magic returning...slowly) Praised
be Boccob! Our magic is coming back.
Mongo: (feels his girdle's magical strength building
back up to its normal levels) Yup, you're right.
Peldor: So what are we going to do now?
Ged: What do you mean? We surely can't go in _there_
now, considering...(shudders) Without any magic,
there is nothing.
Mongo: Why not? (raises his hammer) I don't need to
have this thing return to be able to smash somebody
Belphanior: Anything that hides in a place like this
won't be beaten with one hit. Even from a big damn
hammer like that.
Rillen: What could it be, that lurks beyond such a
Ged: Didn't Kiel tell us something about an ancient
dragon, unseen for centuries?
Belphanior: I can't remember. (scratches his head)
Alindyar: (points his finger in the air) There _are_
legends of a dread monster...the grey dragon. 'Tis
said that the greys are older and larger than even
the red dragons.
Lyra: And they absorb magical energies.
Belphanior: What _kind_ of magical energies?
Lyra: All of them.
Mongo: (shrugs) So?
Ged: Bah! How can one defeat such a foe? For that
matter, how can _nine_ defeat such a foe?
Belphanior: For once, I agree with Ged. There's no
way of knowing what's beyond that passage, and it's
not like we're trapped and this is our only way out.
We've got other ways to go. Like those stairs back
at the intersection...
Mongo: But we can beat such a dragon!
Alindyar: Not likely.
Arnold: Ah-nold needs no magic to bead the dradgon.
Ged: Forget it. You'd just get yourself killed.
Lyra: We all would.
Mongo: Bullshit! I call for a vote!
Ged: Very well. Majority wins, as usual.
Arnold: Do _I_ get a vode?
Mongo: All those in favor of finding this "dragon",
and kicking its ass? (he, Peldor, and Arnold raise
their hands) Crap.
Ged: All opposed? (he, Alindyar, Lyra, Belphanior,
Flint, and Rillen raise their hands) Hah!
Mongo: Bah, I say. Bah.
Ged: Boccob has shown us the way. To the stairs!
(the party starts to turn and backtrack)
Peldor: (to Mongo, as the others hastily retreat to
the T-shaped passageway and the stairs down) You
know, we could come back and check it out...
Mongo: (ignoring the thief as he formulates battle
plans) Some oil flasks...a few brave warriors...
maybe some archers...yeah, we could kill anything.
Even a dragon. Even without magic.
The party reached the stairs, and then took them,
descending into the darkness.
Arnold: (lights another torch) Aaa.
They emerged from the winding stairway into a level
that could only be described as hellish. The walls
and ceiling of the place were entirely composed of
bones and skulls! The pale, gleaming bones seemed
glued to each other by some kind of sticky red mucus,
blood perhaps, and numerous patches of dried crimson
decorated the eerie walls. The adventurers avoided
touching the dead walls as they spread out into the
large, hexagonal chamber.
stairs \ /
up --> ||||| /
Ged: (gazing at the walls with revulsion) I must
be seeing things.
Alindyar: This is no illusion.
Belphanior: No, but it sure is neat.
Mongo: Whoever built this was seriously fucked up.
Peldor: Yeah. Could it have been the Suel people
who used to live here? I mean, everyone knows
that people from long ago were weird, but this is
a little extreme...
Ged: The Sueloise are legendary for their cruelty.
Yet, I am not so sure they would have gone _this_
far - and Kiel did warn us of demons...
Belphanior: Demons? (wondering if he's ever slain
Lightbringer: (blazes to life) I sense undead...
Ged: No shit. It's the walls.
Lightbringer: I think not. If-
The party's chatter was interrupted by a moaning
sound from the exit to the south. As the party
shifted uneasily, a mob of shadowy forms sailed into
the room. The wraiths would likely have had the
element of surprise, but for Lightbringer's ability
to sense their presence beforehand; the party was
now prepared to fight.
Ged: (already holding up his holy symbol, to turn
away the undead) For Boccob!
wraiths: (seven of them cringe and back away, but
three still head for the party)
Ged: Better odds, now.
Arnold: Aaaa. (charges the wraiths, interposing
himself between them and Ged) Ah-nold vhill kill
the spooky-men! (he hacks at a wraith, slicing
its arm off) Aaa.
wraith #8: (regards its terrible wound, which is
now leaking black vapor) Ssssss! For that you
die, mortal...(gropes at Arnold, but only hits
his plate mail, causing no damage)
Arnold: Nod Ah-nold! (chops the wraith again, and
it dissolves into a cloud of black mist, which
wraith #9: (charges Belphanior) Sssss!
Belphanior: (backs away) Shit. (he of course is
thinking about Blackrazor's weaknesses against
Mongo: (hurls his hammer at the wraith as it is
almost upon the elf) Hey! Fight me!
wraith #9: (staggers) Ssss! It cannot be...
Mongo: (catches his hammer) But it is! My hammer
here _can_ hurt you!
Rillen: (trying to make his way around Belphanior,
Mongo, and Flint, all of whom block his path to
the battle) Make way!
wraith #10: (advancing on Ged) Beware, priessst!
Ged: No, it is _you_ who had better beware, foul
Lightbringer: (shines brightly) Yes!
wraith #10: Aieee! (cowers)
Mongo: (hurls his hammer at wraith #9, but misses)
Peldor: (invisible somewhere, no doubt)
Flint: (chops wraith #9 in the legs at the same
time as Mongo hurls his hammer again) Die, spawn
wraith #9: (perishes, sending black mist spewing
in all directions)
Ged: (swings at the last wraith with Lightbringer)
Time to die, undead!
wraith #10: (hit by the holy weapon, disintegrates
with a flash of light) Aaaaaaaieeeeeee.....
Lightbringer: A fitting end. Where are the other
Ged: (looking around) I don't know.
Lightbringer: I can no longer sense their putrid
presence. No matter; we shall deal with them
when they show theirselves again.
There were two passages to choose from, one to the
north and one to the south. The party decided to
go south first, mainly in case the wraiths were in
that area waiting to strike again later. As they
walked through that passage, the skulls imbedded in
the walls seemed to stare at them. The corridor led
around a corner, but then dead-ended into a wall.
Within moments, Peldor had located a secret door, a
sliding stone panel, and he slid it away to reveal
a large room. Within, five ethereal fellows were
sitting around a square table, engaged in a heated
argument. As the party burst into the room, they
quickly stood up to menace the adventurers.
Belphanior: Maybe we should have tried for the
element of surprise...
Lightbringer: Nay! Vile spectres! Your doom is at
Ged: It is? (begins waving his holy symbol, in an
attempt to turn the undead)
Lightbringer: What is this? I _demand_ action!
(it glows very brightly, shining light upon the
Ged: (despite - or perhaps due to - Lightbringer's
interference, he successfully turns back all five
of the spectres)
Ged: Hey, what's this?!? They aren't supposed to
just disappear like that!
Lightbringer: Perhaps the evil of this place took
Alindyar: A fascinating possibility.
Arnold: _I_ tink dhey got scared and ran away for
Mongo: Hey, who gives a shit? Let's search this
Peldor: (muttering) What's this 'we' crap? (he
checks for secret doors and panels, but finds
Belphanior: (pops away a hidden floorplate, and a
rotted sack can be seen, dull coins spilling out
of its burst seams) Hey, this is platinum!
Mongo: Good stuff. (he helps the elf rake all of
the coins into a new sack,and then puts the sack
into his portable hole) Nothing else?
Ged: Let's go north, then. (they go back to the
hexagonal entry room, and head for its northern
____| . . . . . . . . . . |__
| __ . . . . . . . . . . __
N | | |_____________________|
W+E | |
S __|*|__ <-- party's location
stairs \ wraiths /
up --> ||||| /
\__ __/ ________
| | _| |
| |____| spectres|
After turning a corner, they saw a door, made of the
same stuff as the walls and ceiling - strange indeed.
Alindyar: Most passing strange.
Mongo: Bah. It's creepy, but it's also weak. (he
kicks the door in, revealing a long hallway with two
rows of pillars, carved into columns of tortured
bodies, which complement the ghoulish walls rather
appropriately) Weirder and weirder.
Belphanior: Not really.
The adventurers were continuing, making their way
through the hall, when suddenly, a pair of ghostly
figures materialized before them.
Mongo: Even _I_ knew that.
ghosts: (gaze upon the party, trying to scare them
Alindyar: (resists the ghosts' evil power) Methinks
these spooks mean to scare us away.
Lyra: (likewise) Fortunately, magic flows strongly
in the blood of drow.
Belphanior: (fails to resist, and ages ten years in
the span of ten seconds) Aie! (he turns and flees
Mongo: Hey! Where does he think he's going?
Ged: (due to his priestly nature, he automatically
resists the ghosts' gaze) Time to meet your maker,
Arnold: (perhaps inspired by his liege's example, he
resists the ghosts evil powers) Aaaa.
Mongo: (thanks to his magical helm, he, like Ged, is
protected from the magical fear and aging; the big
diamond mounted in the helm's front glows with a
bright white light) What the hell's wrong with all
Flint: (also saves)
Peldor: (also saves) Hmm. (he turns invisible, and,
guessing what has happened to Belphanior, goes after
the elf) Come back here, you.
Rillen: (saves, and gets his staff out) Time to find
out if we can hit these things.
ghosts: (float around) Oooooooooo!
Lightbringer: I demand death!
Ged: (dashes forth and hits one of the ghosts with the
holy morningstar) Die!
ghost #1: (barely grazed, yet it begins to disintegrate
immediately) OoooooOOOOOOOOOOooo...(breaks up)
ghost #2: (looks on in fascination, then realizes that
it could be next) Ooooo...(attempts to Magic Jar Ged)
Ged: Ack! (lurches about)
Lightbringer: (grasped in the elf's hand) Fight it!
(the weapon adds its will to that of the elf, and he
resists the possession attempt)
Ged: AaaaaAAAAAAAAGH! (looks around, wild-eyed) Damn
that ghost...I'll kill it for that...
Lightbringer: That's the spirit!
Mongo: (hurls his hammer at the ghost's semi-material
form, but the weapon passes through harmlessly) Hey!
That wasn't supposed to happen!
ghost: (sails away from the dangerous Ged, heading for
Mongo now) Oooooooo!
Ged: Come back here, you!
Mongo: Yie! (catches his hammer, and raises it to
defend himself) Get away!
ghost: (flits around, trying to grab the dwarf)
Ged: (chases the ghost around Mongo)
ghost: (sails around Mongo, fleeing from Ged)
Mongo: Hey. Hey! Cut that out! (swipes uselessly
at the undead with his hammer)
Eventually, Ged was able to hit the ghost with his
holy morningstar, putting an end to it for good. As
the others rested for a moment, Peldor came back, now
visible, with Belphanior in tow.
Belphanior: (visibly shaken) ...
Mongo: So there he is.
Peldor: Yep. He ought to be okay in a little while.
Ged: Hopefully. Of all people to succumb to the
life-draining sight of a ghost, he's not the one I
would have guessed...
After a few more minutes, they exited to the east,
and walked down a dark passage toward a large, stone
to ghost __________| |__
hall <-- _______/__ __|
Peldor: (listening at the door) I don't hear any-
thing. Of course, the door _is_ made of stone...
Mongo: (grabs the door) Let's get this sucker open.
Rillen: (helps the dwarf pull the door open)
After they got the door opened, they almost wished
they hadn't. Within the oddly-shaped chamber beyond
lurked a veritable mob of undead. From one side, a
band of skeletons, wearing chain mail and wielding
rusty swords, clicked and clattered as they moved in
the party's direction. From another flank, three
sickly-looking wights scrabbled their way toward the
intruders. A pair of mummies, covered with dust,
could be seen further back in the room, and a dark,
shadow-cloaked figure behind the bandage-swathed
undead seemed to be directing the whole attack. As
the party watched in terror, another skeleton, its
bony form colored dull black, clawed its way out of
a wall, and stumbled toward them.
Lightbringer: (obviously having a ball) Slay them!
Ged: (refusing to grab the weapon, he instead holds
up his holy symbol, attempting to turn the undead)
By the power of Boccob, I command you to perish!
skeletons: (instantly crumble into powder)
wights: (melt away into black smears)
mummies: (continue to advance)
black skeleton: (continues to advance)
Ged: (to Lightbringer) Okay, _now_ we can go fight
the ones that are left.
Lightbringer: It's about time!
shadowy figure: (making strange gestures)
Mongo: Everyone spread out!
The party fanned out, in order to bring all their
weaponry to bear. Mongo and Arnold charged one mummy,
while Ged and Rillen rushed the other. Flint headed
for the gap between the mummies, but Belphanior ran
by him, charging the shadowy figure who lurked in the
back of the room. Peldor was, as usual, nowhere to
be seen; the two drow were busy casting spells.
Arnold: (hacks at the mummy) Ah-nold vill cud down
the bandage people!
mummy #1: (recoils as the warrior slices away a chunk
of its rotted torso) Glrk! (swings a white-wrapped
arm at Arnold, connecting solidly)
Arnold: Aaaa! (he is knocked back, and drops his
torch, sending shadows flickering around the room)
Mongo: (hurls his hammer at the undead foe, driving
it back and allowing Arnold to regain his feet)
Arnold: I don'd feel so good...(a moldy dent has
formed on his armor, at the shoulder joint)
Mongo: (catches his hammer) Use the fire, Arnold!
Arnold: Whad? (looks at the torch on the floor,
and then at the sword in his hand)
Ged: (charges the other mummy nearby, Lightbringer
held high) For Boccob!
Lightbringer: For the powers of Good!
Rillen: (manages to hit the undead first, however,
sending rotten chunks flying everywhere) He is
falling apart on us...
Ged: You bet! (wallops the mummy with his holy
weapon, igniting it instantly)
Lightbringer: Justice is served!
mummy #2: (falling apart quickly as it burns) Rrr!
shadowy figure: (points at Belphanior, and a huge
mass of whirling, rotating blades appears right in
the area where he and Flint are standing)
Flint: (farther back, manages to leap backwards and
avoid damage) Huh?
Belphanior: (not so lucky, he is surrounded by the
bladestorm) Yeaaargh! (his bloody, shredded body
is ejected from the blade barrier's area) Ugh...
Flint: Holy shit! (he vaults over the elf's form
and heads for the shadowy figure) I'm coming for
black skeleton: (intercepts Flint, clawing at him
with great fury)
Flint: Aargh! (his chain mail is torn in furrows
where the thing's claws ripped it) Crap! (he
brings his axe to bear upon the thing)
Mongo: Use the torch, Arnold! (he hurls his hammer
at the first mummy again, causing it to stumble in
its advance) Burn the fucker!
Arnold: Yah! (he runs forth and buries the flaming
torch in the mummy's face) Ah-nold!
mummy #1: Rrrrrrrghk! (staggers back, then ignites
with a burst of flame) Rrrrglk!
Alindyar: (casts Phantasmal Force, creating a small
humanoid-shape and causing it to attack the figure
in the rear of the room)
shadowy figure: (ignores the illusion)
Alindyar: 'Twas insufficient to fool that one.
Lyra: (casts Hold Monster upon the shadowy figure)
Maybe that will stop it.
shadowy figure: (obviously unaffected)
Lyra: Then again...
Flint: (hacks at the ebon skeleton, severing one
bony arm) Ha!
black skeleton: (keeps on fighting)
Flint: (hits it again, crushing ribs)
Lightbringer: (to Ged) Make for that one in the
back! It is a vampire!
Lyra: So that's it.
Ged: (heads for the shadowy figure) Quake in your
very boots, evildoer. Boccob's punishment looms
shadowy figure: (casts another spell)
Alindyar: (resists the spell) Aie.
Lyra: (falls victim, and stands confused) Huh?
Belphanior: (continues to lay on the stone floor,
Ged: (resists the spell) That bastard!
Arnold: (resists the spell) Aaa?
Mongo: (resists the spell) What the hell was that
thing trying to do?
Flint: (falls victim to the spell, and wanders to
a corner of the room) Where am I?
Peldor: (invisible, resists the spell and continues
his stalking of the shadowy spell-caster)
Rillen: (resists the spell, and wallops the black
skeleton with his staff, knocking a leg away)
black skeleton's severed arm: (claws at Rillen's
Rillen: What? (kicks the arm away)
black skeleton: (with one leg and one arm left, it
gropes at Rillen)
Rillen: I cannot believe this.
Mongo: Believe it. (he trots up and smashes the
thing's skull to powder)
black skeleton's severed leg: (kicks at Mongo)
black skeleton's severed arm: (claws at Rillen)
Mongo: Fuck! (crushes the arm's hand with his
Peldor: (invisible, approaches the shadowy one)
Ged: (brings down a Flame Strike on the thing)
Peldor: Whoa! (backs up, and manages to avoid
shadowy figure: Aaaaaargh! (its cloak ignites,
and is cast away, revealing a tall, gaunt priest-
type) Hssss! (it is quite burned by now)
Ged: Take that, hellspawn!
Lightbringer: Your doom is at hand, vampire!
Alindyar: (fires Magic Missiles at the vampire)
vampiric priest: (wounded further) Aaargh!
Peldor: (backstabs the priest, hitting it square
in the head) Hah! Taste Peldor's steel, dark
vampiric priest: Aaaaaarrr! (turns into vapor,
and floats away)
Mongo: All right!
Ged, Mongo, Rillen, Peldor, and Alindyar rested
for a moment, but then noticed that Flint and Lyra
were circling each other warily, perhaps preparing
for combat in their confused states. Belphanior
was lying in a growing pool of his own blood.
The warriors worked to keep their confused fellows
from hurting each other, while Ged cast a spell of
healing on Belphanior. Peldor, meanwhile, was now
watching the mist that had been the vampire.
Peldor: (sees that the stuff is going into the wall
of the south alcove) Hey! (goes to that wall and
examines it) Not a trace...hey, Ged!
Ged: What now?
Peldor: Can you cast that Rock to Mud spell here?
Ged: (walks over) I do have that one memorized
today, yes. Why?
Peldor: 'Cause I think our vampiric friend escaped
through this wall.
Ged: Hmm. Very well, stand back. (he casts his
spell, and a large section of wall melts into mud
in front of him and Peldor) Boccob! (revealed
is a hidden alcove with an old coffin)
Flint and Lyra were tied up, for their own safety,
and Belphanior was still too weak to be of much use.
Mongo, Rillen, Arnold, Alindyar, Ged, and Peldor now
debated what should be done next, as the mud flowed
around their feet.
Ged: Wooden stake. We need a wooden stake.
Mongo: I have just the thing. (digs in his pack,
and produces a short piece of wooden pole)
Ged: That's not a stake!
Rillen: (grabs Flint's axe, chops the wooden pole
at an angle, and holds the sharp result up for
all to see) It is now.
Mongo: All right! Let's get this done!
Arnold: Is this really a vambire?
Ged: Yea, it really is.
Arnold and Rillen prepared to open the coffin, and
Mongo held the stake high, his hammer in his other
Mongo: Let's do it.
The coffin lid was opened, revealing the unharmed
body of the vampiric priest! It seemed to be asleep
now, its pale face and thin lips at rest.
Ged: Stab it! Stab it now!
Mongo: Err...(raises the hammer)
vampiric priest: (its eyes suddenly open) Ssssss!
(it gnashes its fangs at the adventurers)
Lightbringer: (imposes its will on Ged) Slay!
Ged: (before even thinking about it, he raises the
holy weapon and brings it down on the undead's
vampiric priest: (begins to melt)
Mongo: Fuck you! Fuck you! (wildly hammers the
stake into the monster's heart) Fuck you!
The vampire was not long for this world, and in
the span of several seconds, it died for the final
time. Within its casket, the group found a few items
of interest - a pouch containing two dozen large gems,
a wand, an amulet, a vial of dust, and an archaic
Stashing these treasures in Mongo's portable hole,
the adventurers decided that it was time to make camp
and rest for the night. Not wanting to sleep on this
level, due to the catacombs' eerie nature, they went
back up, to the room where they had found the sand
golem, and made camp there. Eventually, the confused
and wounded ones were better, though it took Mongo's
strange healing rod to restore Belphanior to full
health (Ged ran out of healing spells before he had
a chance to fully cure the elf). Ged also cast the
spell of curing diseases on Arnold, to kill the rot
that the mummy had given the big warrior.
The party camped, getting some much-needed rest on
this night. Tomorrow, they would continue their
next time : finale
ftp site : ccosun.caltech.edu, in pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers
notes : DragonCon was cool, but as usual, I spent too
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