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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/14th level high elven w/m/t (CN) +
+ small immaterial wispy thing +
+ Ged 14th/14th level grey elven priest/mage (NG) +
+ Mongo 16th level dwarven warrior (CG) +
+ Gorin 6th level dwarven warrior (CG) +
+ Peldor 18th level human thief (N) +
+ Bosco 7th level halfling thief (CN) +
+ Rillen 16th level human warrior (N) +
+ Date: 10/9/573 C.Y. (Common Year) +
+ Time: shortly after noon +
+ Place: an ancient tomb within the Vast Swamp +
+ Climate: slightly chilly, inside the tomb +
+ "I spent a lot of time learning not to react to things +
+ like other people do. It's my job. It doesn't always +
+ work." +
+ - Frank Farmer, from _The Bodyguard_ +
CLXVIII. The Reversal
The adventurers have eaten lunch and rested, and are now
ready to continue their explorations of the ancient tomb.
Ged: (having just cast several minor healing spells upon
the wounded, while Peldor rang his healing bell) I hope
the lesson was not lost on anyone.
Peldor: Yeah, me too. (looking at the healed ones as he
imitates Ged's expression)
Belphanior: Ah, well, it's a risky profession we have...
someone's gotta take the big risks...
Bosco: Yeah, like me. (he puffs his chest out)
Without much more bickering, they entered the passageway,
Belphanior in the lead, then Mongo, then Ged, then the rest
of the party. Rillen and Arnold went last, since they had
the most trouble moving through the narrow passageway, and
Peldor volunteered at the last minute to be the _last_ one.
Peldor: (shrugs) Well, _someone's_ got to bring up the
rear. I'll crawl backwards, in case anything attacks us
from this direction.
They crawled through the passageway, which went on for
quite a long way, changing direction several times. After
what seemed like an endless time, Belphanior, in the lead,
came up against a flush stone wall.
Belphanior: Huh? (he begins searching for some trigger or
other opening mechanism)
Mongo: Hey, up there! Hurry it up. would you?
Belphanior: (ignoring the dwarf, he manages to find a catch,
and the stone wall slides away) Aha! We're there, folks.
The lithe elf dropped a couple of feet, into the large
chamber beyond the passage.
The place was clearly a temple of some sort. The walls
were decorated with painted scenes, and two rows of heavy
wooden pews filled the north (closer) end of the room, and
a thin wooden railing divided this section of the place
from the tiered dais to the south. At the center of the
dais was a padded chair, with a large brass candelabrum
to either side. Right in front of the dais was an altar,
a block of strange blue stone. In both the southwest and
southeast corners of the chamber were tall white urns, and
near the southwest urn was a skeleton, lying on the floor.
Armored in old black chain mail, it pointed to the west,
where an archway stood, filled with glowing orange vapors.
Belphanior: (wanders through the room, examining various
wispy thing: (having floated past the others in the tunnel,
it pops out and follows Belphanior)
Mongo: (drops from the tunnel and walks around, his armor
clanking) Hey, be careful.
Belphanior: (finds that the murals on the walls, though
representing normal life, contain subtle evil overtones,
such as rotting flesh, skeletal limbs, and worms) Hey,
something's wrong here...
Mongo: No shit.
Ged: (emerges into the room) By Boccob! A nest of evil,
exposed after countless years!
Belphanior: (begins pulling on the seat of one of the
Ged: What in the world are you doing?
Belphanior: (reaches into the hollow space under the pew
and holds up a handful of silver coins) Hah! You would
Mongo: How'd he...?
Belphanior: (begins popping up other seats) Quickly, open
the portable hole.
Mongo: Now you're talking.
Ged: (approaching the altar) I get an uneasy feeling from
Bosco: (he and Gorin have entered the room) Wow!
Gorin: Don't spoil our luck.
Arnold: (stuck in the tunnel opening) Aaa.
Rillen: (pushes the warrior's feet) Come on!
Peldor: (still in the passageway, talking to himself) At
least nothing's shown up to attack us from behind...
Bosco: (about to open one of the front pew seats) I want
to find some of the treasure, too!
Belphanior: NO! (he leaps over and swats the halfling's
Mongo: Hey, what gives?
Belphanior: These two seats are trapped! I didn't want to
risk killing some of us...
Bosco: Trapped? (he looks around nervously)
Ged: (examining the skeleton) Hmm?
Lightbringer: Don't expect _me_ to say anything - it's
Ged: Of course.
Belphanior: I wonder why it's pointing to that archway?
Perhaps a sign...?
Ged: Or a warning. (he approaches the blue altar-slab)
Bosco: (looking at a mural of a rotting cow) Aie.
Arnold: (enters the room, and looks around) Aaa.
Rillen: (likewise) Hmm. A strange place, to be sure.
Ged: (reaches out to touch the blue slab)
Peldor: (somersaults into the temple) Okay, everybody
relax. I'm here.
Ged: (touches the blue slab)
Suddenly, a great bolt of lightning shot out of the blue
altar, tearing down the center aisle, between the two rows
Ged: (directly in the path of this bolt, he gets blasted)
Mongo: (in the middle of the aisle) Huh? (he also gets
Gorin: (to one side of the aisle, he avoids serious shock
but still gets hurt) Argh!
Belphanior: (to the side, he merely watches this) Whoa.
Now I'm _really_ glad I left the lightning rod behind...
Bosco: (manages to leap behind a pew, avoiding the bolt)
Arnold: (with Rillen and Peldor in the northeast corner
of the temple, by the entrance, they also escape damage)
wispy thing: (near the misty archway, it ignores all of
The altar was now glowing a fiery bluish-red, and every
one of the adventurers who was still in the aisle either
got out of it, or was dragged out.
Ged: (his hair standing straight up, and his body burned)
Mongo: (only slightly wounded, somehow) He needs help!
Gorin: (staggers toward them) Me too...
Mongo used his magical healing rod to cure Ged and Gorin,
though he claimed that he himself was fine.
Mongo: No, I already told you, I _don't_ need to heal
Belphanior: Hey, whatever you say.
Ged: (recovering) Oh, my aching head...that bolt packed
quite a wallop...
Gorin: Yeah, no shit.
Lightbringer: Well, _I_ thought it felt good.
Bosco: (eyeing the altar warily) I don't think it's
going to fire another one...
Rillen: Not of its own accord, anyway. (gets as far away
from Ged and Belphanior as possible)
wispy thing: (floating above the altar) pffft.
Belphanior: Hey, now, don't touch that...
wispy thing: (grins)
Ged: (sits up) Ow.
Belphanior: Now how many times have I told you not to
touch glowing things in dungeons?
Ged: Oh, shut up. (he gets up and wanders around, his
golden hair still standing straight up)
Peldor: You know, I think your hair looks _so_ much better
Peldor: And what would the women think?
Meanwhile, Belphanior scanned the misty archway with his
magical eye, but couldn't discern anything except powerful
Belphanior: (considers lying to the others, so that they'll
all follow him through the arch, but inexplicably decides
against it) Hmm. (to Bosco, the only one within earshot)
Hey, I'm going to check this arch out. I'll be back in a
Bosco: (having grown carefree once more, as halflings will,
despite the bolt of lightning just minutes ago) Sure,
okay. Have fun.
Belphanior: (quietly disappears into the arch, while no one
but Bosco is watching)
Ged: (examining a strange spot in the southern section of
the eastern wall) By Boccob, what's this?
Peldor: Let me see. (he looks at the thing) Hmm. Looks
like a small slot.
Ged: I can see that.
Peldor: (peering into the tiny opening) There's a small
circle traced in it, I think...maybe we're supposed to
put something there?
Ged: Hmm, yea, that would make sense.
Rillen: (scanning the temple) Say, where's Belphanior?
Bosco: (looking around innocently) Uh...
Just then a figure stepped out of the misty archway. It
looked like Belphanior, as far as the height, and the armor,
and the clothes, and the weapons, and such. There was only
one small problem: the brown-haired, red-eyed elf who stood
before them was undeniably female!
she-Belphanior: What are you all looking at me like that
next time : much confusion ensues
ftp site : ftp.cs.pdx.edu in /pub/frp/stories/adventurers
notes : Something like this was bound to happen sooner
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