Chapter #151

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

+    The various characters contained in these writings are   +
+  copyright 1994 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                    +
+                    +
+   THE PARTY:                                                +
+                                                             +
+   Arnold        11th level human warrior               (NG) +
+   Belphanior    12th/14th/13th level high elven w/m/t  (CN) +
+      small immaterial wispy thing                           +
+   Ged           13th/14th level grey elven priest/mage (NG) +
+   Mongo         16th level dwarven warrior             (CG) +
+      Gorin       4th level dwarven warrior             (CG) +
+   Peldor        18th level human thief                  (N) +
+      Bosco       6th level halfling thief              (CN) +
+   Rillen        16th level human warrior                (N) +
+   Date:    7/20/573 C.Y. (Common Year)                      +
+   Time:    early afternoon                                  +
+   Place:   the Green Dragon Inn, in Greyhawk                +
+   Climate: pleasantly warm                                  +
+   "Everyone gets everything he wants; I wanted a mission,   +
+    and for my sins they gave me one."                       +
+                             Willard, from _Apocalypse Now_  +

            CLI.  World Tour, part 1:  Greyhawk

  A week has passed since the adventurers rescued the lost
soul of Peldor's former henchman, Bosco, from an elemental
lord on the plane of Water.  Each of the party members has
been attending to his own business during this time.  While
Peldor has introduced Bosco to his staff at the Green Dragon
Inn, Rillen has wandered the city, searching for news of
martial arts tournaments.  Meanwhile, Belphanior has kept
himself busy at the city libraries, attempting to eradicate
or alter any records which prove that he owns the land and
building that he purchased recently.  Mongo has spent the
week making deals at various jewelers' shops, exchanging
mass quantities of coinage for smaller, more portable gems.
Finally, Ged has been researching various tomes, and also
communing with his diety, hoping to gain insight into some
of the party's more pressing problems and concerns.
  The adventurers are currently enjoying a late lunch at the
Green Dragon Inn, while discussing these issues.

Rillen:  I still say we should be looking for the two drow.
  After all, they _were_ members of our group.  Gone, but
  not forgotten.
Mongo:  Yeah...
Bosco:  _Two_ drow?
Belphanior:  Ah, who needs 'em, I say?  Besides, they're
  supposed to be dead!
Ged:  Perhaps, perhaps not...
Peldor:  Mongo, why don't you just ask that crystal ball of
  yours if they're alive?  Or, Ged, you could surely use
  your magic to learn of their fate?  Unless, that is, the
  power of Boccob is limited after all...
Ged:  Quiet, dolt.
Mongo:  Forget it.  I've already used the orb.
Rillen:  You have?!?
Mongo:  Yup.  First thing I asked it was if Flint could be
  brought back.  That was a long time ago, too, like right
  after we got back from the world of the green sky.
Belphanior:  Oh.
Gorin:  Who's Flint?
Ged:  (to Mongo)  So you asked the orb...and...?
Mongo:  The answer was no.
Arnold:  Aaa.
Ged:  Hmm.  Just as we suspected.
Mongo:  Anyway, I asked about the drow soon after that...
  and the orb didn't have an answer for me.
Peldor:  What does that mean?
Mongo:  Usually, it means that the orb doesn't know.  Which
  is better than a flat-out "no", to be sure.
Ged:  Yea...well, I too have tried to learn of their fate.
  Unfortunately, the mists of fate are hazy where this topic
  is concerned.
Belphanior:  How can this be?
Ged:  Who can say?
Peldor:  Certainly not _you_.
Ged:  (eyes the thief)  In any case, I'll keep working on
  this project.
Belphanior:  Could lead to something interesting...
Peldor:  Yeah.  (looks around)  We need some more ale here.
waitress:  (instantly appears)  Yessir, what kind?
Peldor:  Hmm...make it a...some of that '69 dwarven ale we
  have in the back.
waitress:  Right away!  (she zips off)
Ged:  You never cease to amaze me, Peldor.
Peldor:  Naturally.
Mongo:  (to Ged)  Why's that?
Ged:  Well, Peldor here has surrounded himself, or should I
  say staffed his tavern, with an all-female staff.
Belphanior:  And all quite comely, one might add.
Ged:  Yes, one might.  Isn't it a bit on the chauvinistic
  side, though?
Peldor:  (rolls his eyes)  Chauvinism?  Come now!  I merely
  cater to the demands of the people...
waitress:  (returns to the table, bearing a large bottle as
  well as fresh mugs)  Here you go!
Peldor:  Why, thank you, my dear.
waitress:  (scoots away)
Peldor:  See?  A man's got to do what a man's got to do.  I
  choose to staff my place as I would want anyplace I visit
  to be staffed.  (he eyes Tanya, who is busily tending bar)
  Yes, indeed.
Ged:  Hmph.
Gorin:  He's got a point.  It's not like this place is a
  brothel or anything.  And at least he didn't slap her rear
  as she walked away.
Bosco:  Right you are!
Arnold:  Yah.
Ged:  (rubs his aching head)  Who asked you three, anyway?
Mongo:  (guzzles some of the new ale)  Ah!  That really hits
  the spot!  (he turns to the others)  What say we quit all
  this stupid bickering and get down to business?
Peldor:  (spreads his hands)  Indeed.
Ged:  Okay, okay.  Boccob!  Now, putting aside for now the
  question of Alindyar and Lyra, we must choose whose quest
  we shall next undertake.
Bosco:  Count me in.
Ged:  (scowls)  Bet on it, halfling.
Bosco:  I'm not unthankful or anything, you know.
Mongo:  (inspired by an idea)  Need sorcery to fight more
  sorcery...(he gets his orb of fate out)
Rillen:  Eh?
Peldor:  What are you going to do with that?
Mongo:  (addresses the orb)  Is that evil red-cloaked mage
  still near the Flinty Hills?
orb:  YES.
Gorin:  Uh-oh.
Mongo:  Dammit!  I thought I'd driven that goon off once and
  for all!
Peldor:  Huh?
Ged:  Yea, what are you going on about?

  Mongo quickly explained the recent battles in his native
hills, and how the crimson-garbed elf had flown away rather
than face Mongo.  Several of the dwarf's fellows were quite
intrigued by his tale.

Rillen:  There is much honor in what you did.
Arnold:  Yah, but the reb-robed one midght sdill be around.
Belphanior:  Yeah, so let's go kick his ass.
Mongo:  (thinking)  Hmm...yeah, that's what I want my quest
  to be.  We'll journey to the Flinty Hills and make sure
  that all is well.  Forever.
Peldor:  How do you know the mage'll be in the Hills?  In
  fact, how do you know _where_ he'll be, other than near
  that area?
Mongo:  Uh...
Belphanior:  (thinking of the potential spellbooks involved
  in this quest, he hands Mongo his magical compass)  Here,
  try this.  Think of the mage you saw, and think of the
Mongo:  (takes the item, and concentrates)

  The compass point swiveled around and around, finally
settling in one direction.

Belphanior:  Eureka!  It _does_ work for someone else!
Ged:  What else did you expect?
Mongo:  Well, that's that.  Let's get packed and get going.
Ged:  right!  I'll have the sky balloon ready in-
Gorin:  Sky balloon?!?  (he quivers in terror)
Ged:  What?
Mongo:  Yeah, what?
Gorin:  You never said we'd have to fly around the lands in
  that thing!
Mongo:  So?  What of it?
Gorin:  Heights!  I can't stand heights!
Belphanior:  Aw, cripes...
Ged:  Don't worry, it's perfectly safe.
Gorin:  No!  (he flees)  I can't stand heights!
Mongo:  Uh...let me go talk to him.

  Try as they might, the others couldn't convince the young
dwarf to travel in the balloon.  He didn't want a spell put
on him to remove the fear, and he didn't want to try to
conquer his phobia.  His resolution was such that Mongo was
pressed to come up with another idea.

Mongo:  We'll just ride there!
Ged:  What?!?  That could waste weeks!
Mongo:  Three, in fact.  Six if you count both ways, coming
  and going.  But don't think of it as a waste, think of it
  as the scenic route.
Belphanior:  What could be more scenic than a birds-eye
Ged:  Really.
Rillen:  I shall ride.  (he wonders if his horse has been
  getting lazy recently)  If Mongo rides, I ride.
Ged:  (already thinking of which sub-priests to leave in
  charge of religious ceremonies and such, he continues
  arguing just for the hell of it)  What about the rest of
Peldor:  We're with Mongo, I guess.  I mean, it _is_ his
Bosco:  Fine by me!  I didn't really want to get into that
  thing anyway.  If people were meant to fly, they'd have
wispy thing:  (reappears from outside, sails through the
  room, and perches itself on Belphanior's shoulder)  Sss.
Guido:  (by the door, he looks visibly alarmed)  Hey!
Peldor:  Uh, don't worry about that thing, Guido.
Belphanior:  Heh heh.
wispy thing:  (looks pleased with itself)
Arnold:  Aaa.

  Thus, the party, now eight people strong, prepared to
undertake what appeared to be a simple and rather short
quest, never dreaming that it would be more than a year
before they set foot in Greyhawk again.

next time :  rough terrain ahead

ftp site  : in /pub/frp/stories/adventurers

notes     :  Here are a few:
           1)  Mail concerning the fate of the drow has
               been pouring in, and it all says the same
               thing:  bring Alindyar and Lyra back!  Of
               course, I had already planned on it, but I
               decided to let everyone know that it would
               happen at some point.  Just sit tight.
           2)  I don't know what that wispy thing is.  I
               don't really want to know right now.  We'll
               wait and see what it develops into over the
               upcoming episodes.
           3)  This episode kicks off the "world tour" for
               the party.  One thing will lead to another,
               and before it's all over, several of their
               quests will have been realized.

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