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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 +
+ firstname.lastname@example.org +
+ 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: 8/16/573 C.Y. (Common Year) +
+ Time: morning +
+ Place: the Raker Mountains, north of the Flinty Hills +
+ Climate: warm +
+ "Although we are the most intelligent creature on this +
+ planet, we are also the most inconsistent." +
+ - from one of the _Faces of Death_ films +
CLIII. World Tour, part 3: The Rakers
Having solved the riddles of the sphinxes, the adventurers
have spent the night camped amidst the Raker Mountains, and
surprisingly enough, made it through the night unmolested.
Ged: I guess the sphinxes weren't exaggerating - this truly
_is_ their domain.
Bosco: Good thing you had me along to help you out with the
Rillen: (prepares to swat the halfling)
Peldor: (ushers Bosco away) C'mon, let's go eat over here.
As soon as breakfast was out of the way, the party was able
to concentrate on the matter at hand, namely, the finding of
the evil mage Mongo sought.
Mongo: (holding the compass)
Belphanior: (grabs the item, and observes its needle) Ah.
Mongo: Hey! I'm the only one who's seen this guy - the
compass can't work for you!
Belphanior: Oh yes it can. (he watches the needle) Once
a target is picked, the compass finds it unless otherwise
told. Hmm, looks like he's to the northeast now.
Gorin: Damn, that puts him near Bone March...
Mongo: Armies of humanoids...
Belphanior: No problem. That's what fireballs are for.
Peldor: Hmph. Easy for you to say.
They rode along the mountain trail, slowly climbing in
altitude, and the day passed uneventfully. It wasn't
until late afternoon that the adventurers found signs of
Belphanior: (pointing to some tracks on the ground) It
looks like someone else has been by here...
Mongo: Probably not that elf - he was flying for most of
the time I saw him.
Rillen: (listening carefully) I get the feeling that he
whom we seek is nearby.
Peldor: Why don't a few of us go and scout ahead?
Ged: Seems reasonable.
Belphanior: Peldor and I shall go. (they move out)
wispy thing: (sails quietly after the elf)
Peldor: Wait here - we'll be back shortly.
Bosco: (runs off after the other two) Wait for me!
Gorin: That's the stupidest halfling I've ever known.
Ged: There was, after all, the matter of the deck of many
Rillen: Yes, there was that.
They anxiously awaited the return of the thieves, but it
was almost half an hour before the trio returned.
Mongo: What's the deal?
Belphanior: I think we've found 'em.
Peldor: There's a small cave a ways up the trail. A big
giant is guarding its entrance, but the compass was
pointing right at that cave.
Belphanior: Yup. That's got to be the place.
Bosco: Yeah, I wanted to sneak up and attack the giant,
but they wouldn't let-
Peldor: (claps a hand firmly on his henchman's shoulder)
Perhaps, Bosco, you haven't been alive long enough to
appreciate the fact.
Belphanior: Yeah...that was one _big_ giant. Of course,
they're all big, but still...
Rillen: We need a plan of attack.
Mongo: Well, I could just toss ol' Stormcrest here at
Ged: No, I think we need to make a more dramatic entrance
than that. Something that'll hopefully take out anything
hiding in that cave...
Arnold: Like Ah-nold?
Ged: No, like a fireball.
Belphanior: Now you're talking!
They huddled for a few minutes, planning their attack.
When all aspects had been decided, they made their way up
the steep trail, weapons or spells at the ready. About ten
minutes later, they were staring at the cave entrance from
afar. Ged stood at the front of the party, while Mongo and
Arnold prepared to charge, on either side of the elf. Far
to one side stood Rillen, his great bow raised, an arrow at
the ready. Peldor, with Bosco and Gorin in tow, moved to
the left, preparing to attack from that flank. Belphanior
cast Fly upon himself, and sailed high into the air, the
wispy thing drifting along behind him. The horses were
tethered some distance back along the trail, for various
Ged: Everyone ready? (he casts his Fireball)
The giant barely had time to look up before he was caught
in the middle of the great explosion. Huge gouts of flame
shot from the cave entrance, roasting whatever small brush
had been growing at the cavern's mouth.
Ged: Boccob! I'll bet that filled the whole place!
Rillen: Good. Maybe this wizard will be slain, and thus
fail to come out...
Mongo: Let's go! (he and Arnold charge for the charred
cave entrance, which has been caved in by the blast)
As they approached the smoking hole in the rock, there
was a deep rumbling from somewhere beyond, and the rubble
that blocked the cavern entrance began to tremble. Then,
a large chunk of melted rock broke free, bouncing toward
Mongo and Arnold.
Mongo: What the hell...? (he steps aside as the small
boulder rolls by)
Arnold: Aaa. Look!
The rubble shattered, and a large, gleaming form moved
toward the warriors. Almost as tall as the giant, whose
charred form was now beginning to stir, the thing looked
very much like the golems that Ged and Belphanior had
Ged: Boccob! That's an _iron_ golem!
Rillen: Looks tough.
Ged: Yea, no kidding.
As the giant stood up, brushing ashes and rubble from his
body, yet more opponents emerged from the cave. A tiny,
doll-like thing waddled from the gaping hole re-exposed by
the iron golem's exit; the thing looked like much like a
human infant. After this small creature, there emerged an
awesome foe indeed: a hulking, armored knight, clad in
jet-black plate mail that seemed to suck up the sunlight
that shone upon it. The being's very presence seemed to
radiate fear and depression.
Lightbringer: (glows fiercely) Undeaaaaaad! Slay it!
Slay it! Slay it!
Ged: Settle down. (he wanders toward the knight)
Mongo: (stops, just short of the golem) Huh. (he hurls
his hammer, not at the iron foe, but at the giant behind
it) For the dwarves!
hill giant: Huh?
iron golem: (turns to regard the giant)
hill giant: (his head disintegrates in the hammer's path,
and the crack of thunder shakes the ground) <splat> (he
Peldor: (covers his ears) Ow!
Bosco: (likewise) Aie!
Gorin: (likewise) Yah!
Arnold: (likewise) Aaa!
iron golem: (resumes its march, bearing down on Mongo)
Mongo: (catches his hammer) No sweat. We're ready.
Arnold: We are?
doll-like thing: (scampers toward Peldor, Bosco, and Gorin
with surprising speed) Waah!
Peldor: (invisible, he doesn't understand why the thing
seems to be headed right for him) What the hell is
Bosco: (he awaits the doll's attack) Got me, boss.
Gorin: Whatever it is, it's wearing a diaper!
dark knight: (approacheses Ged, talking in a deep, chilling
voice) Prepare yourself, priest.
Ged: By Boccob, we'll see about that! (he sallies forth
to meet the attacker)
Bosco IRON GOLEM
Ged wispy thing
Rillen: (lets two arrows fly, and the dark knight is hit
dark knight: Bah. (ignores the missiles)
Arnold: Aaa. (he hacks at the golem with his sword)
iron golem: <clang> (it ignores the mighty blow)
Arnold: (his hands and arms aching from the shockwave)
Mongo: Dammit! (he bashes the golem with his hammer,
iron golem: <CLANG> (it pauses)
Mongo: Yeah! There's more where that came from!
doll-thing: (leaps upon Peldor, biting madly) Gblaa!
Peldor: Aie! (bats wildly at the attacker) Get it off
Bosco: (trying to stab at the thing, without much luck,
for there exists the risk of hitting Peldor) Uh...
doll-thing: (sinks its fangs into Peldor's shoulder)
Peldor: (watches in horror as blood spurts from the hole
in his armor) Argh! (he becomes visible)
Gorin: Lemme at him. (he drops his axe, pulls out a
razor-sharp dagger, and stabs the doll in the head)
doll-thing: Byaaa! (it falls from the thief and lands
on the ground) Yayaya!
Bosco: Get it! (he slashes at the thing, slicing its
doll-thing: Bleek! (stuffing pours from the wound)
Gorin: What the hell's wrong with him?!?
Ged: Come on, foul one!
dark knight: (waiting for the elf to ready his weapon)
Ged: Come on! (he swings Lightbringer meaningfully)
dark knight: (slashes at Ged with a gigantic sword) You
seem eager to die, mortal!
Ged: (takes the blow on his shield, avoiding serious
damage) Argh! Taste holy steel, foul one! (he bashes
the knight in the head with Lightbringer)
dark knight: Eh? (a bit of black ooze drips from under
his cracked helmet)
Lightbringer: Die! Die! Die!
dark knight: Ah, I see. A weapon of disruption. How...
Ged: Oh, this isn't happening...
Lightbringer: Impossible! The evil one lives on!
dark knight: Indeed! It takes far, far more than a holy
weapon to stop a death knight.
Ged: Do tell.
Rillen: (fires two arrows at the knight, but they bury
themselves in his shield) Damn.
dark knight: Ha.
Arnold: (hacks at the iron golem again, digging a small
furrow in its metallic body) Ah-nold!
Mongo: (bashes the golem again, denting its leg)
iron golem: (reels, then punches the dwarf)
Mongo: Argh! (he reels himself, stumbling to the ground
for a moment) That hurt!
Belphanior: (hovering above, he uses his wand of lightning
to hit the golem with a forked bolt of electricity) It's
a good thing I left that lightning rod back in Greyhawk.
iron golem: (hit by the bolt, it slows down considerably)
Belphanior: Yes, a good thing. Hmm, why am I talking to
wispy thing: (hovers above the golem, trembling)
Mongo: (shocked by trace electricity in the ground near
the golem) Eyagh!
Arnold: (likewise) Aaa!
Belphanior: Oops, sorry.
Peldor: (begins laughing hideously) Ha hee ha ha hee!
(as he laughs, his body writhes in horrendous spasms,
and he drops his sword)
doll-thing: (sails through the air, toward Gorin) Blee!
Gorin: Aie! (he swats at the foe with his magical axe)
doll-thing: (an arm severed, it bounces off the axe's
blade) Bla blee!
Bosco: (ducks as the arm sails by overhead) Whoa.
death knight: (points at Ged, and a hemispherical wall
of ice appears around the elf) That should hold you
for a time. (he turns to face Rillen) You! You are
Rillen: Fine by me. (fires two arrows into the foe)
death knight: Agh. Ugh. You surely waste your time.
Mongo: (bashes the iron golem in the crotch) Ooo.
iron golem: (slowed down, due to Belphanior's spell, it
staggers, though not due to the location of the blow
as much as its sheer force)
Mongo: Oh, I forgot.
iron golem: (belches forth a blast of green gas) Sssss!
Arnold: Uh-oh. Green gas isn'd a good thing for me...
Mongo: (manages to avoid the gas and its harmful effects
as he rolls aside) Ha!
Arnold: (ignores the gas, unwittingly, as his ring of
health renders him immune to its effects) Aaa. (he
hacks at the golem, tearing its belly open) Ah-nold!
iron golem: (falls, unmoving)
Mongo: I think you killed it, big guy!
Arnold: Yah, me doo.
Rillen: (fires two more arrows at the approaching death
knight, but they just imbed themselves in his shield)
Hmm. (he readies his quarterstaff)
doll-thing: (runs toward Bosco)
Bosco: Aie! (he slashes at the thing, but misses)
Gorin: (his axe raised again) Hang on, I'm on the way!
red-cloaked elf: (floats out from the cavern mouth) Ah,
I see that my servants have been keeping you busy...
death knight: (far away, he yet hears this comment, and
scowls) Beware your words, mortal...
red-cloaked elf: (fails to hear this, but looks toward
Belphanior with evil intentions) Hmm.
Belphanior: Huh? (he redirects his next spell, Melf's
Minute Meteors, at this new arrival) Mongo told me all
red-cloaked elf: (laughs as the magical bolts bounce off
of some invisible barrier) Ho, ho, ho. (he begins his
Belphanior: A Globe of Invulnerability, I see.
red-cloaked elf: Ah, you are wise indeed in the ways of
magic. An elf after my own heart!
Belphanior: Yep...I want to tear it from your chest and
red-cloaked elf: Bah. (he continues his spell)
wispy thing: (orbits Belphanior's head, then flies at
the red-cloaked elf) zzz!
Peldor: (laughing and twitching, painfully, he begins to
bleed from his torn muscles) Ha ha hee haa argh!
Bosco: Cripes! (while watching Peldor with fascination,
he inadvertently allows the doll-thing to get within
doll-thing: Gloo! (it poises to leap)
Bosco: No! (he leaps upon the thing, pinning it down
with his entire fifty-pound weight) Now, Gorin, now!
doll-thing: (writhes, unable to move) Bloog!
Gorin: Right on! (he chops the pinned doll-thing with
his axe, cutting it in half) Hah!
doll-thing: Erp. (its halves twitch, and then cease to
Gorin: That got him!
death knight: (slashes at Rillen, tearing a bloody wound
in the warrior's side) Ah.
Rillen: Argh! (he bashes the foe with his staff)
death knight: Ungh! Well struck, warrior.
Rillen: Why, thank you. (he hits the undead again) Was
that one up to your standards as well?
death knight: (watches some of his teeth fly away) Urg!
Mongo: (he and Arnold are on the ground, watching both the
red-cloaked elf and the death knight) Well, someone's
gonna get it...(he raises his hammer)
red-cloaked elf: (having flown over to Mongo's right, he
is able to cast a Prismatic Spray which catches not only
Mongo and Arnold, but Peldor, Gorin, and Bosco as well)
Ha! (multicolored beams spring forth from his hand)
Mongo: (hit by a green ray, he is poisoned, but staggers
and lives) Ugh...
Arnold: Aaa? (hit by a blue ray, he is turned to stone)
Peldor: (still laughing uncontrollably, he is hit by an
indigo beam, with no apparent effect) Ha hee haha heho!
Bosco: (hit by an orange beam, he barely survives as the
mystical energies ravage his body) Argh...(he collapses)
Gorin: (hit by a red beam, he is wounded like Bosco, but
not as badly, and he reels, then gets up shakily) What
the hell was that?!?
red-cloaked elf: Ha!
wispy thing: (divebombs the elf)
red-cloaked elf: What- (he swats at the wispy thing)
Belphanior: (casts a Dispel Magic at the red-cloaked elf,
but since Belphanior is a weaker mage, his spell is
red-cloaked elf: Ha ha ha! (he prepares another spell)
wispy thing: (flies toward Peldor)
Ged: (using a Dig spell, he emerges from beneath the wall
of ice) Damn it to hell! (surveys the situation) By...
ARNOLD! (he begins spellcasting again) By Boccob, we'll
witness some real power now!
Lightbringer: Forget that! Get the death knight!
Ged: Shut up!
Peldor: (dances about, laughing madly, wracked with pain
from his exertions) Hee hee ha hee haha urgh! (he
Gorin: (tries but fails to slow or stop the thief's odd
ailment) I wish I knew more about magical stuff...
wispy thing: (orbits Peldor's head, grinning toothily)
red-cloaked elf: (casts a Cone of Cold at Belphanior, as
he has deemed the other elf too dangerous to ignore)
Belphanior: (struck by the powerful blast of snow and ice,
he falls from the sky, apparently unconscious)
Belphanior: (slams into the earth with a sickening thud)
red-cloaked elf: Oops! Ha ha!
wispy thing: (flies over to Belphanior, staring at him
Mongo: (hurls his hammer at the elf, but misses) Shit!
death knight: (speaks a Power Word, Blind upon Rillen)
Rillen: Yie! (he finds himself suddenly unable to see)
death knight: (ignoring the warrior, he instead turns to
red-cloaked elf: Hey! Finish the warrior!
death knight: Silence. I am no lackey, to be commanded
like a cur.
red-cloaked elf: I said _kill him_!!! Now, dammit!
death knight: (his orange eye-specks flare up) By the
gods, I warned you...(he begins spellcasting, while
Rillen wanders about blindly nearby)
Ged: (having no knowledge of the evil elf's Globe of
Invulnerability, since he was inside the wall of ice,
he casts Evard's Black Tentacles upon the opponent)
Boccob send these- huh?
red-cloaked elf: Ha ha! (laughs as the ebon tentacles
fall to the ground beneath him, some of the snaring the
motionless Belphanior) Oops, looks like you made a
Mongo: Hey, I'm still here! (hurls his hammer at the
evil elf again, hitting this time)
red-cloaked elf: (grazed by the weapon, he is still hurt
seriously) AARGH! (he begins another spell, with Mongo
Only Ged, Mongo, and Gorin still stood, for Belphanior
and Bosco were unconscious, possibly dead; Rillen seemed
useless, blinded as he was; Peldor was unable to stop his
laughing, and it appeared that he might laugh himself to
death; and Arnold was now a large statue. There was the
wispy thing, but it was now hovering near the death knight,
watching him intently.
red-cloaked elf: (casts an Otto's Irresistible Dance, and
swoops down to touch Mongo) Heh heh. Oh, you'll like
Rillen: (despite having to blind-fight, he comes close to
nailing the mage with his quarterstaff right before he
becomes airborne) Whoa.
red-cloaked elf: (looks back, irritated) I thought I told
that damned death knight to finish you...ah, well, I'll
take care of it eventually...(he sails toward Mongo)
Mongo: Yie! (he scrambles to duck, but gets tagged anyway)
Huh? (he begins dancing uncontrollably) Hey! Help!
Ged: Boccob, aid me! (he tries his own Dispel Magic on the
red-cloaked elf: Aie! (his magical globe dies) Damn you!
(he sails skyward, perhaps to gain a better vantage point
for his next spell)
death knight: (to Ged) My thanks, elf.
death knight: (his finger blazing, he points at the air-
borne elf) I warned you not to mock me, mortal. (the
tiny flame shoots toward the red-cloaked elf, turning
into a huge fireball as it goes) Now pay the price.
red-cloaked elf: What- (he is instantly consumed by the
Ged: Boccob! That's the biggest fireball I've ever seen!
wispy thing: (flies around erratically, then heads back
to the fallen Belphanior)
As the flames settled, dying out or falling to earth,
Ged and the death knight faced one another. Gorin stood
to one side, unsure of what he was expected to do at this
point. Mongo danced, Peldor laughed, and Rillen stumbled
into a boulder, wile trying to get his bearings.
death knight: Consider the odds.
Ged: What are you saying?
Lightbringer: Forget what he's saying! _I_ say kill him!
Ged: Quiet, I'm trying to think here.
Gorin: (stalks the death knight)
death knight: Not a wise move, son.
Ged: You're not suggesting that we call it even and quit
this battle, are you?
death knight: Exactly. (he whistles eerily, and a huge,
skeletal black horse lands beside him)
death knight: I have no wish to fight a battle for someone
who is no more than ashes now. Even if I killed him.
death knight: This is not my fight, and there is no honor
in it. Let it not be said that Gorath of Krynn fights
for no good reason. (he mounts his horse, and takes the
reins) I have no wish to battle to the finish with any
high priest, not when I have unfinished business to attend
to elsewhere...just as you probably have no wish to do
battle with a death knight, while your friends lie dead
or dying around you, and you are their last hope. (he
points at Peldor, who is covered in his own blood) Take
that fool, for instance. He'll be dead within a minute.
Ged: (stammering) But-
Gorath: There is no honor lost here, for either of us.
(he takes to the air, on his mount) None.
Gorin: He's got a point, you know.
Lightbringer: Bah! No undead can ever be allowed to live!
Ged: Someday soon, weapon, we shall discuss the meaning of
the word "parley"...and the word "dying"...
The death knight was no more than a black speck in the
distant sky, and Ged turned to regard the many wounded.
next time : the mage's cave; on to the east
ftp site : ftp.cs.pdx.edu in /pub/frp/stories/adventurers
notes : The doll-thing was a bone golem.
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