Chapter #15

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*****
*
*  The characters and events contained in this writing are copyright
*  1991 by Thomas Miller...copying and distribution of these stories
*  is permissible only under the condition that no part of them will
*  be used or sold for profit.  In that case, I hope you enjoy them.
*
*****


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THE PARTY:

Alindyar, 4th level drow elf mage (N)
Belphanior, 3rd/3rd/4th level high elf fighter/mage/thief (CN)
Ged, 4th/3rd level grey elf priest/mage (NG)
Halbarad, 4th level human ranger (NG)
Mongo Thunderhead, 4th level dwarf fighter (CG)
Peldor, 5th level human thief (N)
Peyote, 3rd/3rd level half-elf fighter/druid (N)
Rob, 5th level human priest (LG)
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                      XV.  A Pair of Surprises; Rescue



  The party was fighting some ogres inside of an orcish fortress, when
the battle was joined by a pair of ogre magi.  Belphanior and Halbarad
were blasted by a cone of cold...the magi (Ged and Alindyar) are still
outside.  The six adventurers face a leftover ogre as well.

ogre:  Har!  That'll show 'em!
ogre mage#1:  (grins)  Indeed.
Halbarad:  (stunned and frozen)  Uhh...
Belphanior:  (unconscious and frozen)
ogre mage#2:  (goes invisible)
Mongo:  Hey!  Where'd he go?!
Peldor:  The shit just hit the fan guys...

ogre:  (hits Mongo, denting his armor)  I take care of dis one.
Mongo:  Ow!  Shit, that hurt!  (deals first one blow, then another to
  the ogre, wounding it badly)  How's that, chump?
Peldor:  (to DM)  I slash at the place where the invisible ogre mage
  used to be...
DM:  You hit...nothing.  But the ogre hits YOU.  Oh, let's see...a
  20.  Hmm.  Not good.  Not good at all.
Peldor:  (dealt a gaping wound, he stumbles and falls)  Ahh, the pain..
ogre mage#2:  (now visible)  So much for you, human.
Rob:  (his spiritual hammer slams the ogre, finishing it off)  Well,
  at least I did something useful today...
Peyote:  You fucking bastards!  (hacks at ogre mage#1, wounding it)
ogre mage#1:  (now injured, casts sleep spell on the party)
Peyote:  (makes his save)  Dude?
Mongo:  (makes his save)  Hah!
Rob:  (fails his save, falls asleep)  Zzzz...

Mongo:  What do we do now?  They're smearing us, dammit!
Peyote:  I don't know.  Wait, I'll use my lightning wand!  This is,
  after all, a desperate situation!  (pulls out the wand and activates
  its powers, pointing it at the ogre magi)
ogre mage#1:  Eh?
ogre mage#2:  What's this?  Oh, no!  NO!

  Peyote, and other concerned parties as well, were surprised when the
wand failed to produce the needed lighting bolt.  Rather, the magical
device sprayed forth a stream of butterflies (yes, butterflies!) at
the ogre magi, blinding them.

Peyote:  Awesome!  Totally awesome!
ogre mage#1:  What in the hells...?  (swatting at the multicolored
  cloud of butterflies surrounding his head)
Mongo:  HaHA!  I'll be a son-of-a...Ha!  Just when we need a lightning
  bolt, you give us BUGS!  Oh, well, fuck it.  (throws his magical
  hammer at one of the creatures)
ogre mage#1:  (hit by the weapon, and knocked back into a wall, hard)

  Then, a most astonishing thing happened.  The hammer, after being
used as a thrown weapon for the first time, exhibited a quite amazing
and useful property:  it returned to Mongo's hand after striking its
target.  Though the dwarven warrior was altogether unprepared for the
hammer's return, he instinctively caught the heavy weapon, with an
ease that should have taken years of practice to acquire...

Mongo:  Wow!  WOW!  Didja see THAT?!?  (dancing with glee)  A dwarven
  hammer of throwing!  Yes!  YES!
Peyote:  Geez.  Chill out.  It's just a hammer.
ogre mage#1:  Urk.  (slowly rising to his feet)
Mongo:  (smacks the monster with his hammer)  Ah, shaddup!
ogre mage#1:  (dead now)
Mongo:  It's not "just a hammer"!  It's THE hammer!  (suffused with
  happiness, he fails to notice the other ogre mage until it sends
  a cone of cold his way)
ogre mage#2:  Take that, and shut up!
Mongo:  (dodges somewhat, but is still blasted by the cold)  Brrr!
Peyote:  (within the scope of the magic as well, somewhat weakened by
  the cold)  Desperate situation!  Definitely a desperate situation!
  (aims wand at the remaining ogre mage)
ogre mage#2:  (slowed down considerably by the power of the wand)
Peldor:  (having regained his feet, he happens to be behind the thing
  now, and backstabs it)
ogre mage#2:  (perishes)
Peldor:  So much for _him_.  Now what's this about a hammer?
Mongo:  Weapons such as these (holds the hammer up) are spoken of in
  the dwarven legends, but no one ever finds any of 'em.  Until now!
  And to think, I've had it all this time, and never used it.  Damn!
Peyote:  Hey, is that Ged?
Ged:  (entering the room, sees Peldor, Peyote, Belphanior, and Halbarad
  extremely wounded, and Rob asleep, and Mongo wounded but grinning)
Peldor:  THERE you are!  It's about time.
Ged:  What?
Alindyar:  (also enters)  The orcs are all...eliminated, shall we say?
Ged:  That's putting it mildly, drow.
Peldor:  What took you two so long?  We could have used some help!
Mongo:  Bah!  We did fine.  And I feel great!  My wounds aren't even
  bothering me at all.
Ged:  I see that you people weren't idle, either.  Ogre magi?
Peyote:  Yep.
Ged:  Too bad we missed it.
Peldor:  Cowardly magi.  Who needs 'em?

  Much healing followed.  No one was dead, though several of the party
were unconscious.  The pair of ogres and the pair of ogre magi had
many treasures, including several small sacks of gold and/or platinum,
a number of various-sized gems, several potions, and a fine knife.
The first ogre mage was wearing bracers, while the second one had some
kind of amulet on a thong around its neck.  The party went through the
door, into the chamber that the ogre magi came from.  Beyond was a big
room, obviously the lair of the two creatures.  The place was lavishly
furnished, as cushions were piled high upon silken couches and ornate
wooden dressers, tables, and chairs were placed here and there.  Tied
to a post of one small bed was a young, attractive human female.

girl:  Eeeeeek!
Mongo:  What?  What's YOUR problem?
Halbarad:  Calm down.  (grabs the girl's arms and holds her still)
girl:  (not screaming anymore)
Halbarad:  Who are you, and how did you come to be here?
girl:  I...I am the princess Tasmela.  I live in the Principality
  of Ulek...I am the daughter of Baron Trevor, in Havenhill.
Peldor:  Baron?
princess:  I was kidnapped about a week ago, when those disgusting
  beasts attacked my wagon.  They killed all of my guards, and
  brought me here.  What if they come back?
Peyote:  No chance, sister.  We got rid of them.
princess:  Oh.  Well that's nice.  Could I possibly convince you
  gentlemen to escort me back to my homeland?
Peldor:  Certainly, my dear lady.
Ged:  Huh?  Is he sick today?  Why is he being so nice?
Halbarad:  We should be happy to do so, young lady.  (to Peldor)
  Stay away from her, thief.  She's too young for the likes of you.

  The room naturally lent itself to a thorough examination by the
party.  They found a number of jewelry items and other neat things
among the drawers and piles of clothes in the chamber.  Ged cast a
detect magic spell, and the party spread the collected loot out on
the floor.  The following items were discerned as magical and then
divided among the adventurers:


potion (extra-healing)  - Rob
potion (extra-healing)  - Alindyar
potion (flying)         - Alindyar
knife +                 - Peldor
bracers                 - Belphanior
chime                   - Mongo
scroll (mage spells)    - Ged & Alindyar
blue gem                - Halbarad
helm                    - Peyote


  Soon after, they departed the fortress, leaving it empty and in
flames.  They rode south and west for three days, eventually reaching
the hilly terrain that marked the outskirts of the city of Havenhill,
within the Principality of Ulek.  The Princess Tasmela led the party
to her father's manor within the city.  As it turned out, the good
Baron was a displaced human noble who happened to live happily in
the (almost exclusively elven) Ulek area.  The motley crew slowly
approached the house...

guard:  Oh my stars!  It's you!
Tasmela:  Obviously.  Where is Daddy?
guard:  Err...he's in the house.  He's been going crazy looking for
  you, you know.  Who are these ruffians?
Peldor:  I take offense at that.  I am no ruffian!
Ged:  Quiet, fool.  For you, that's a compliment.
Tasmela:  Take us to him!
other guard:  (appearing)  I'll take them.  (the party is led into a
  torchlit hallway, then into a room illuminated by candles; night
  has fallen.)
Man in robes:  (stands up)  Tasmela!  Gods above!  (rushes forth and
  hugs the girl fiercely)
Rob:  Aww...
Tasmela:  Daddy!  There were monsters and ogres and orcs and kidnap
  and a nasty fort and then these nice guys came and rescued me and
  now I'm home and I'm so happy and...
Alindyar:  Verily, the damsel doth bubble over with joy.
Mongo:  (wondering where he can practice with his hammer)
Peldor:  (wondering about the possibility of reward money)
Rob:  (taken in by the scene)
Peyote:  (bored silly)
Man:  Greetings, my new friends.  (shakes the adventurers' hands one
  at a time)  I am Trevor, and I owe you a great debt.  Anything I
  can do for you, just name it.
Peldor:  Anything?
Ged:  Boccob will not tolerate such wanton greed, rogue.
Peldor:  Sure he will.  Just watch me.  Heh heh.
Halbarad:  Well, we certainly do not mean to impose, but we are in
  need of a place to stay for a while.
Mongo:  And training grounds!
Belphanior:  And food!
Rob:  And a temple.
Alindyar:  A nice quiet room would be nice.
Ged:  Second that.  Is there a temple of Boccob in this city?
Trevor:  Enough.  All of your needs can be met in Havenhill, I am
  sure.  Stay here for a few weeks, if you need to.  You will be my
  welcome guests!
Peldor:  All right!
Halbarad:  (to Peldor)  I had better not catch you stealing anything
  from the good baron here.
Peldor:  No problem.  I'll find someone else to rob.
Halbarad:  Whatever.  Just remember what I said.  You don't want me
  to catch you.  (wanders away)
Peldor:  (muttering)  You couldn't catch me on your best day, ranger.
  That's the problem here - no one appreciates the thieves anymore.
  Well, I'll show them.  I'll show them all.  Soon...

  And so, the party spent several months in Havenhill.  They really
hadn't intended to, but winter's cold was still upon the land, and
the free room and board didn't hurt either.  By day, the adventurers
studied, practiced, or whatever.  There was a retired elven mage in
the city, who assisted some of the group in their efforts.

  Alindyar studied for almost five weeks, learning several spells as
well as copying some from the scroll that he and Ged got.  The grey
elf also learned some new incantations; from the scroll he took the
spells charm person and enfeeblement (the drow got spider climb and
forget).  The two wizards actually helped each other out for this
time, working together to decipher the scroll's contents and recopy
them into their spellbooks.
  Belphanior practiced for quite some time in the warriors' halls,
seeking to hone his sword technique further.  It was not yet time
for the elf to learn new spells as of yet.  He did spend a few days
with Peldor, practicing drills and use of equipment.  The human, by
contrast, was at the thieves' guildhall for many long days, working
hard on his subversive skills.  Belphanior also attempted to figure
out what his magical ring was used for, with limited success.
  Halbarad found a temple of Elhonna, and donated a hefty sum to the
clergy there.  The ranger split his time between this place and the
fighting grounds.  He had his blue gem identified by the mage, and
learned that it was a device to enable him to see altered, invisible,
and concealed things as they really were.
  Mongo practiced for weeks on the combat fields.  He spent at least
half of his time perfecting his skill with the hammer, not that there
was much of a need.  He also learned from the retired mage that his
magical ring was of a beneficial, healing nature, regenerating wounds
over a period of time; also his new chime was a magical device used
for the opening of doors.  The mage in turn learned that a dwarf does
not part easily with large sums of gold.
  Peyote trained in both weapon use and druidic magic, gaining a bit
more power in both of his areas of expertise.  He learned that his
new helm was oriented towards the seas and oceans, in some way or
ways yet to be discovered.
  Rob the priest secluded himself in the temple of Trithereon, his
patron deity, for almost all of the party's time in Havenhill.  He
was no doubt learning more of the holy magicks available to him.





next time:  In search of slavers...

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NOTES:  I kept hoping that Mongo would figure out that he needed
to use the dwarven word the party found when they found the hammer,
but he never did.  So, I let the hammer function as it should when
thrown (after all, he IS a dwarven warrior).  Also, Peyote wasn't
too happy when he found out that he had a wand of wonder, not a
wand of lightning, but he got used to it pretty quickly.

  I was looking through my old notes and found a number of notes
that we used in our gaming sessions.  Most of these were sent from
various players to me, the DM, but a few were from one player to
another.  See if you can guess who said them (even I don't know
some of them); I present these for your entertainment:

"I search them for anything suspicious"
"I'm watching Peldor"
"I'm keeping my eye on Peldor and that drow person"
"You know what I'm doing"
"What's Peldor doing?"
"I talk to him in Chaotic Evil - What does he say?"
"Oh, I don't know Chaotic Evil?  Oh yeah."
"I run down the corridor 20' while invisible"
"I watch everyone, especially Ged"
"I don't know what his alignment is.  We must be careful with him
   though."  (other player)  "Why?"  (first player)  "He appears bad.
   Maybe he should be subdued sometime."
"I know who the other thief is."
"Search search"
"When I'm searching, if I can grab things without being caught, I'll
   pocket those - gems and magic items only though"
"Did the drow find anything?"
"What's the thief up to?"
"If Rob tries to talk to the water, I push him in"
"I watch to see if anyone leaves the party"
"I'm staying back and watching everyone"
"While they're all fighting I go through the door"
"While invisible I stay directly behind Peldor"
"If Peldor goes to sleep I pick his pockets"
"Maybe a wall of fog and then a burning flask of greek fire into it?
   Yeah, that's it!  Cool!"
"Shake your head no if I got anything"
"I want secret messages"
"I pretend to eat more than one"
"You know, I don't think anyone is paying attention to us"
"Is the treasure heap still there when I get behind it?"
"I disguise myself at the first available opportunity"
"I cast a speak with animals and howl at wolves"
"While collecting the gold I keep an eye on the untrusted thief"
"Grummsh is dead.  Die."
"I give Ged 250 gp for his church and deeds"
"Did I get anything this time?"
"I'm going to backstab someone"
"After casting the spell, I gather the horses and bring them to the
   party - I still keep an eye on Peldor"


*  I must say, Belphanior's player was the champion note-writer in
   the party.  He sent me many notes, relevant or otherwise.


  The next (many) postings will detail the party's adventures in
the Slaver series, aka A1/A2/A3/A4, by TSR, which I hope you will
find entertaining...
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