Chapter #126

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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      15th level drow elf mage              (N)   +
+      Lyra       12th level female drow elf mage       (N)   +
+   Belphanior    12th/13th/13th level high elf w/m/t  (CN)   +
+   Ged           13th/13th level grey elf priest/mage (NG)   +
+      Arnold     11th level human warrior             (NG)   +
+        ?             grey cat (familiar)             (NG)   +
+   Mongo         15th level dwarf warrior             (CG)   +
+      Flint      11th level dwarf warrior             (CG)   +
+   Peldor        18th level human thief                (N)   +
+   Rillen        15th level human warrior              (N)   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   Date:    n/a                                              +
+   Time:    n/a                                              +
+   Place:   some alternate dimension                         +
+   Climate: n/a                                              +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   "It's good to see old friends again.  Especially when     +
+    they come from so far away, and they have so much to     +
+    talk about.  And you do have a lot to talk about,        +
+    haven't you?"                                            +
+         Angel Eyes, from _The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly_  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+    When last we saw the adventurers, they had found a       +
+  strange, black mirror deep within the lost dungeons of     +
+  Zagyg:  "Anyone touching the mirror is drawn into another  +
+  dimension.  Adventuring may continue, but not in this      +
+  universe."                                                 +
+    Thus begins the party's strangest journey (and one that  +
+  happened via a one-time reunion which included five of     +
+  the six original players...)                               +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                CXXVI.  Strange Ways





  Stepping into the dull black surface of the mirror,
the adventurers experienced various sensations, among
them darkness, vertigo, and nausea.  Falling and also
spinning, they could neither see nor hear anything.
After an indeterminate amount of time, bright light
flared out, enveloping everything...





  All was quiet.  A lizard scurried across a boulder,
looked around, and then leaped into a nearby shrub.
Such was the way of things.

  Then, from out of nowhere, nine figures appeared, and
fell from the sky, most of them landing roughly on the
hard ground.

Arnold:  Aaaaaaaaa...<wham>  Aaa.
Ged:  (hits the ground butt-first)  Ow!
grey cat:  (lands on its feet)  Meow?
Belphanior:  Yaaaaaaaa...<thud>  Ugh.
Alindyar:  (sails most ungracefully downward, hitting
  the ground painfully)  Agh!
Lyra:  (likewise)  Argh!
Flint:  Yiee...<wham>  Urgh...what happened?
Mongo:  (due to a magical item, he feather falls to the
  ground, landing softly)  Hah!
Peldor:  (likewise)  Peldor never falls from the sky!
Rillen:  (likewise)  Quiet, fool.
Ged:  (looking around)  Why is everything green?  Where
  _are_ we?
Mongo:  (looking upward)  Hey, why is the sky green?
Alindyar:  (rubbing his bruised body)  'Tis not the sky
  that is out of place, 'tis _us_.
Belphanior:  Yep, I agree with that.
Arnold:  Green sky?  Green sky?
Peldor:  It's a green sun...
Rillen:  Hmm.
Alindyar:  Most passing strange.
Ged:  We must be on a different plane or something.
Mongo:  (looking around, he sees that the party is in a
  vast grassland area)  This sucks rocks.
Peldor:  Hey, it's not easy being green!
Belphanior:  (pretty much ignoring everyone else, he sets
  about casting Stoneskin upon himself)
Arnold:  I wumbder why the sky is green?
Ged:  Why, Boccob's great power, no doubt.  Haven't you
  learned anything?
Arnold:  (grins somewhat abashedly)  Uh...
Peldor:  Boccob this.  Boccob that.  Bah.  It's all more
  of the same foolishness.
Alindyar:  Mayhaps.  (casts Armor upon himself)
Rillen:  (notices what looks like a small town on the
  distant horizon)  Hmm.  Maybe we should go _there_.
Peldor:  Eh?  (points)  A town!
Ged:  Brilliant.  Simply brilliant.
Alindyar:  (he and Lyra huddle within the blanket of warmth)
Belphanior:  Well, my stoneskin's complete.  Let's go for
  it.

  The adventurers brushed the dust from themselves and set
out across the grassland, whose shrubbery, by the way, was
blue.  An occasional rock outcropping dotted the plain,
but by and large it was extensive and boring.

Peldor:  Green sky?  Blue grass?  Whose idea _was_ this,
  anyway?
Mongo:  Don't you ever get sick of hearing your own voice?
Peldor:  Well, not really.  I-
Rillen:  Look!
Belphanior:  (points to some approaching figures)  We have
  visitors...
grey cat:  Meow?

  A small band of people, perhaps ten in number, were
headed toward the party on foot.  The wore leather or
chain mail, augmented with weird bony plates and skulls.
To be sure, they looked for all the world like brigands.

Ged:  Well, at least they're regular people.
Belphanior:  What did you expect, aliens?
Arnold:  Whad's an ablien?
Ged:  Never mind.  (prepares a spell)
Lyra:  What are you doing?
Ged:  Oh, nothing.  Ho-hum.
Lyra:  (frowns at the elf)  Humph!
Belphanior:  (prepares to go for his sword)
Peldor:  (blinks out of sight, suddenly invisible)
Mongo:  (grins at the men through his helm)  How's it
  hanging?
leader-type:  (barking to his men)  Kill them!
Mongo:  Aw, crap, I had a feeling he would say something
  like that...

  The bandits charged, and only moments later, the party
charged to meet them.

grey cat:  (runs for cover)
Ged:  (suddenly casts a Fireball, taking both his allies
  and his targets by surprise)  Taste deadly fire, evil-
  doers!
bandits:  Wha-  AaaaaaAAAAA!!!  (scatter tardily)

  There was a tremendous explosion as the fireball
detonated, blasting the bandits and sending them in
various directions.

Ged:  Hah!  The power of Boccob is felt in this new land!
bandits:  (all charred, but all alive, they slowly stand
  up, dazed)
Peldor:  (backstabs a bandit, slaying the poor fellow,
  and turns visible)  Boccob's puniness, you mean!  Not
  a one of these guys was hurt by your stupid fireball!
  (somehow, the thief has disguised himself to look like
  Belphanior, and everyone else in the party is confused
  to no end)
Ged:  Huh?  TWO Belphaniors?
Belphanior:  Heh heh.
Peldor:  Heh heh.
Rillen:  Bah.  (wades into the midst of the bandits,
  striking out with his deadly fists)  Hai!  Yai!  Waa!
bandits:  (three fall, slain)
Rillen:  They should not have attacked us.
Alindyar:  (huddles with Lyra in the blanket of warmth,
  watching the party destroy the bandits)
Belphanior:  (slashes another bandit, slaying him and
  absorbing his life force)  Aah.
Mongo:  (begins hurling his hammer, crushing bandits
  with every blow)  Take that!  And that!  Get some!
Arnold:  (pushes his way past the smaller Flint and
  commences the destruction of two more bandits)  Ah-
  nold!

  Before Alindyar could hardly blink, all the bandits
were dead.

Belphanior:  Idiots.  They deserved it.
Ged:  Yea.  (mutters quietly to himself)  Hmm, I must be
  getting bloodthirsty.
Rillen:  Bandits will be bandits.
Arnold:  Yah!  (wipes his gory sword on a dead foe's
  tunic)
Peldor:  (still disguised as Belphanior)  These were puny
  bandits.  And poor too...
Belphanior:  Yeah, well, they _did_ survive the fireball.
  Say, why do you have to disguise yourself as _me_?  Is
  it unreasonable to ask you to be someone else?
Peldor:  (uses his hat of disguise to alter himself into
  a duplicate of Lyra)  Hmm.
Lyra:  Hey!
Peldor:  (groping himself)  Hmm, these don't feel real.
Alindyar:  (scolding the thief)  Enough of this.  Choose
  another to imitate, rogue.
Peldor:  Ah...some people have no sense of humor.  (he
  becomes Belphanior again)
Belphanior:  <sigh>

  The motley crew moved toward the town, which was now
about fifteen minutes' walk from the battle site.  At
some point during this trek, both Belphaniors became
invisible.

Mongo:  Geez!  Stop doing that!
invisible Belphanior:  What?
invisible Peldor disguised as Belphanior:  What?
Arnold:  Hah.
Rillen:  As if one was not trouble enough...
grey cat:  (sniffing at invisible people)  Sss.

  Shortly, they entered the town, and found it to be in
rather shoddy shape at the moment.  The remains of a once-
mighty palisade surrounded the place, but large gaps had
been smashed or burned in the wooden barrier.  No people
could be seen in the village at all, and the green light
of the sun threw strange shadows across the old buildings.

Mongo:  Well...we've gotta start somewhere.  (heads for a
  bar)
Flint:  Good choice, boss.  (he follows Mongo, as do the
  others, or at least the invisible ones)
Ged:  This is getting strange.
Alindyar:  Curiouser and curiouser...
Lyra:  Hm?  Where'd you hear that?
Alindyar:  I read it in some old tome.

  The group walked into the tavern, and found numerous
people hiding within, cringing in the corners.

villager:  (cringes, making an odd face)
Rillen:  What is wrong with you people?
Alindyar:  Perhaps they are constipated.
Mongo:  (takes his helm off)  Huh?  What was that?
other villager:  (upon seeing Mongo)  Aieeee!  (he flees,
  smashing through a window)  Aaaaaa....
Ged:  (steps into the center of the main room)  Now what
  did he go and do _that_ for?
several other villagers:  (upon seeing Ged, they all
  start screaming and running around)  Aie!  Aaa!  Yie!
grey cat:  (dashes for cover as people mill about)  Meow!
Mongo:  They're all running away!
Rillen:  Hmm.  (grabs some villager by the hair as he
  runs by, but the guy flees, leaving most of his hair
  in Rillen's hand)
Belphanior:  (invisible somewhere nearby)  Cool.
Mongo:  Enough!  (grabs an old geezer by the collar)  You!
old guy:  H-h-huh?  M-m-me?
Mongo:  You.  What's going on?
old guy:  T-t-the dread lord!  Seldom does he visit the
  places of his carnage, but when he does...hoo boy!
  Everyone dies!
Mongo:  Dread lord?
old guy:  Uh...yeah.
Ged:  What dread lord?  Where is he?
old guy:  You!
Ged:  What?!?  (looks around, but finds that no one is
  standing next to him)  Me?
old guy:  You!  You're the dread lord!  Don't you know
  that?  Say...(suddenly begins wondering why he's still
  alive)  I'm really the bartender here.
Mongo:  Good.  Get us all a drink, why don't you?  (he
  flips the bartender a gold coin)
old bartender:  Eh?  The dread lord and his men _never_
  pay for stuff!  (he begins pouring drinks)
Ged:  But...I know _I'm_ not any kind of "dread lord".
  So who...?
old bartender:  You're not from around here, are you?





next time :  the madness continues

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

notes     :  Well, as you can see, I finally began the
           process of writing up the reunion adventure
           (which was played on 10/9/93)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++




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