Chapter #129

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                                +
                              +   +
                            +       +
                          +           +
                        +               +
                      +                   +
                    +                       +
                  +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                    +                       +
                      +      Epic II      +
                        +               +
                          +           +
                            +       +
                              +   +
                                +



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+    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                                              +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   "There's a limit to revenge."                             +
+   "Well I guess I haven't reached mine yet."                +
+                                      - from _The Punisher_  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                    CXXIX.  Revelations





  The adventurers are talking to someone who claims to be
one of them...

ancient drow:  Do you not see?!  Although _he_ is Alindyar,
  I too am Alindyar!
Arnold:  (scratches his head)
Alindyar:  What in the hell are you talking about?
Ged:  Uh...yeah.  What?
ancient drow:  Hmm...I have always believed there to be
  parallel dimensions.  Indeed, one might be created at
  any time...
Alindyar:  ...such as when people travel through odd black
  mirrors that are in reality portals through space and
  time.
ancient drow:  Indeed.
Alindyar:  Indeed.
Belphanior:  This is too weird.  (sits down to rest his
  weary feet)
Peldor:  (begins disguising himself as Alindyar)
Ged:  So what do you know, that can help our situation?
ancient drow:  The Dread Lord Ged began his conquests many
  years ago.  In fact-
Ged:  (jumping up and down)  Stop saying that!
ancient drow:  What?
Ged:  Stop saying "Dread Lord Ged"!  I can't stand it
  anymore!
ancient drow:  But is it not true?  The Dread Lord-
Ged:  Aaaaa!  (fumes)
Alindyar:  What manner of tactics did the fiend employ in
  his conquests?
ancient drow:  Ahh...he was foul indeed.  Plagues, beasts
  of evil, foul weather...he swept through the land, and
  none could stand before him.
Mongo:  What about you, old man?  You must have had a
  run-in with him sooner or later.
ancient drow:  Indeed.  (he looks sad)  Lyra - my Lyra -
  and I were living and studying peacefully in our home.
  the foul one, however, ascertained - perhaps correctly
  even - that we were a potential threat.  Thus, he wasted
  no time in locating and attacking us.
Lyra:  what happened?
ancient drow:  There was a pitched battle...the foul one
  overpowered us...he slew my beloved Lyra, and I was only
  able to escape seconds before I, too, would have died.
  (begins sobbing)  I do not remember...much after those
  times.  I wandered here and hid in fear...much of my
  power of old has left me...
Flint:  (to Arnold)  This is sad.
Rillen:  Sad indeed.  Why no revenge?
ancient drow:  What can one person do, against an army of
  foul ones and numerous leaders skilled in magic?  I had
  no choice but to hide, or be slain.  Or worse...(sobs
  uncontrollably)
Alindyar:  Calm yourself, old one.  What do you know of
  methods by which we might return to our dimension?
Alindyar-2:  Methods, young one?  Have you not yet seen
  the futility?
Alindyar:  Indeed not, old one.
Lyra:  What futility?
Alindyar-2:  (breaks into a fresh round of sobbing)
Ged:  (puts his hand on Lyra's shoulder)  Maybe it would
  be better if you didn't talk to him...seeing as how you
  died here some time ago...
Lyra:  Hmm, I suppose you're right.
Alindyar:  What futility, old one?
Alindyar-2:  There _are_ no methods to return to whence
  you came.
Ged:  Bull-  Look, I can cast a spell anytime I want, a
  spell that will return all of us to our world!
Alindyar-2:  Nonsense.  Try it, I dare you.
Ged:  Don't tempt me, you geezer...
Belphanior:  (opens his well of many worlds, only to find
  that it's just a piece of cloth now)  Hey, my well isn't
  working anymore!
Rillen:  Your well, it seems, is not well.
Peldor:  (still disguised as Alindyar)  Oh well.
Alindyar-2:  Who the hell are _you_?
Alindyar:  That is simply our thief - a fool when he wants
  to be, an idiot at all other times.
Alindyar-2:  Oh.
Ged:  You claim that spells won't get us back?
Alindyar-2:  I claim that, and more.  I have lived for
  over two millenia, and have never been able to break
  through into other planes.  'Tis hopeless.
Ged:  Oh.
Alindyar:  (toying with his staff of the magi)  I fear he
  is correct.  My staff here refuses to perform its Plane
  Travel power...
Mongo:  Great.  Just fucking great!  So we're trapped on
  this green world?
Alindyar-2:  Unless...how came you hence, to this world?
Ged:  That's easy, we stepped through a...mirror...hmm.
Alindyar:  One might surmise that there exists a way to
  go back...
Alindyar-2:  (babbling excitedly)  A large black mirror?
  One with no reflections to be seen on its surface?  An
  item that radiates both power and fear?
Ged:  (irritated)  Yea.  Haven't we told you all this
  already?
Mongo:  Hey, the guy's old-
Alindyar-2:  I have seen such a mirror on _this_ world!
Flint:  You have?
Ged:  Where?
Alindyar:  Where, pray tell?
grey cat:  Meow?
Alindyar-2:  The Dread Lord Ged owns the item.  It could
  be found within his fortress, within the Black Lake, to
  the northwest.
Ged:  Dread Lord?  Aaargh!
Arnold:  Calmb down...
Belphanior:  So let me get this straight.  To return to
  our world, we have to use Ged's magic mirror, which is
  some kind of analog to the one we used to get here?
Alindyar-2:  Just a guess.
Belphanior:  It's an awful lot of trouble.  Of course, the
  evil Ged-
Ged:  Argh!  (cursing mightily)
Belphanior:  -would surely have great treasures and many
  powerful items of magic hidden away in that fortress.
Peldor:  Surely he would.  After all, not _all_ Geds can
  be as dumb as our Ged.
Ged:  (fuming, he kicks part of a wall of the hut, bashing
  a hole in it)  By Boccob...!
Rillen:  Will you come with us, old one?
Alindyar-2:  Not I.  My battles here are done.  However,
  I may be able to provide you with valuable intelligence
  concerning those you may encounter.
Arnold:  Whaaaat?  I don'd undersband.
Alindyar-2:  Your duplicates, on this world.
Rillen:  Go on.
Belphanior:  what about me?  Who am I, here?
Alindyar-2:  (struggling to remember)  Err...I do not think
  you are represented on this world...
Belphanior:  Argh!
Alindyar-2:  Oh wait...a memory lapse, that...happens
  often these days...here, Belphanior is an outlaw king,
  who stages daring raids upon the evil Ged-
Ged:  Argh!  Stop saying these things!
Alindyar-2:  -from deep within the Blue Forest, far to the
  north.  You would be well-advised to seek him out; if
  anyone knows a way to get that mirror, 'twould be he.
Belphanior:  Cool!
Mongo:  What about me?
Alindyar-2:  Err...Mongo is the most violent and feared of
  all evildoers...except perhaps the D-
Lyra:  You-know-who.
Alindyar-2:  This world's Mongo is the general of all the
  evil armies.  Battalions have been known to fall beneath
  his hammer.  Nowhere will you find a more devious, more
  destructive warrior...
Mongo:  Sounds like a job for me.  Smashing him, I mean.
Alindyar-2:  That is all.
Peldor:  What about this world's Peldor?  Surely he must
  play some part in things.
Alindyar-2:  I have never heard of any "Peldor".  Now, you
  people must leave.  I am weary.
Mongo:  But-
Alindyar-2:  Leave this swamp by the route you entered,
  and go northward.
Ged:  But-
Alindyar:  Perhaps it is best if we go.

  Unable to get any more information out of the ancient
drow, the adventurers left his hut.

Peldor:  (hearing a sound, he turns around)  Hey!

  The tiny hut was gone, as if it had never existed.

Mongo:  Okay, I admit it.  I'm stumped.  What the hell's
  going on?
Ged:  Perhaps we'll never know.
Peldor:  Bah.  (becomes invisible once more)

  Surprisingly, the party got out of the swamp without any
further attacks by monsters.  Their horses were still in
the clearing where they had been left, but the old man was
gone.
  For some reason, it was daytime once more, although the
adventurers had entered the swamp at dusk...

Belphanior:  (on horseback, he heads for the town)  Let's
  go.  We've got to get supplies for the journey north.
Arnold:  Yah, sublides.
Flint:  (yawns)  I'm tired.
Mongo:  Me, too.
Ged:  Who knows what strange tricks this world holds in
  store for us?
Alindyar:  Not I.
Lyra:  Hush.
Peldor:  Eh?  (squints)  Look!

  In the distance, a thick plume of smoke could be seen,
rising from the area where the small town was situated.

Alindyar:  This means something.
Mongo:  Yeah...they're under attack!  Let's ride!





next time:  Mongo meets Mongo

notes:  I'm also working on the start of another saga, to
      be published, err, posted soon.
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