Chapter #173

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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/14th level high elven w/m/t  (CN) +
+    (LN and female, for now)                                 +
+      small immaterial wispy thing                           +
+   Ged           14th/14th level grey elven priest/mage (NG) +
+   Mongo         16th level dwarven warrior             (CG) +
+    (physical body destroyed, soul still intact in a gem)    +
+      Gorin       6th level dwarven warrior             (CG) +
+   Peldor        18th level human thief                  (N) +
+      Bosco       7th level halfling thief              (CN) +
+   Rillen        16th level human warrior                (N) +
+   Sylvie, a siren (guest)                              (NG) +
+   Date:    10/9/573 C.Y. (Common Year)                      +
+   Time:    night                                            +
+   Place:   a large feasting hall                            +
+   Climate: cold                                             +
+   "Success isn't permanent, and failure isn't fatal."       +
+                                              - Mike Ditka   +

            CLXXIII.  All's Well That Ends Well

  After a harrowing exploration of the ancient tomb of the
demi-lich Acererak, and the defeat of same, the party has
been teleported home by Ged.

Peldor:  (looking around)  Hey!  This isn't home!
Ged:  Well, no, but it's close enough.

  They were in the feasting hall of Ged's castle, near the
city of Greyhawk.  Arnold and Rillen opened Mongo's portable
hole and removed the unconscious Gorin, Bosco, and Sylvie,
arranging them atop the oaken table.

Rillen:  (regards the warrior oddly)
Arnold:  Don't worry, it's not like we're canndibals or
Peldor:  Whew, that's a relief.
Belphanior:  Truly.
Arnold:  (to Ged)  If you had beds for them, they might be
  comforbdable, but since you don't...(he lets Bosco's head
  drop to the table)
Bosco:  <bonk>
Ged:  Bah.  How can you people make jokes at a time like
  this, with Mongo's body destroyed?
Peldor:  Don't forget about Belphanior...we've got to get
  her back to...his normal self.
Arnold:  Uh...right.
Ged:  (heads for his library)  I've got to check in some
  tomes...I'll be back in-
Deryck:  (opens the door, right as Ged is walking out)  Oh,
  it's you.  (the soldiers behind him relax)
Ged:  Uh...yea, we're back again.  I guess we didn't exactly
  come in through the main gate, did we?
Deryck:  Well, we heard noises in here...(he looks at the
  female Belphanior, confused)
Belphanior:  What are _you_ looking at?
Deryck:  Uh...err...
Ged:  (to Deryck)  I commend your alertness.  We're okay,
Deryck:  We must talk.  There are matters of taxes, and
  land purchases, and-
Ged:  Not right now.  I'll take care of that stuff in the
  morning.  For now, I've got to figure out how to bring
  Mongo back.
Deryck:  But-
Ged:  (adopts a stern look)  Not now.
Deryck:  Very well.  (he leaves, and Ged heads away in
  another direction, chatting with Lightbringer)
wispy thing:  (sails up the chimney, disappearing from view)
Rillen:  (he, Arnold, Belphanior, and Peldor are left in
  the hall, along with the unconscious)  You know, what we
  need right now is a wish.
Arnold:  Yah.
Peldor:  Hmm.
Belphanior:  Truly.  Mongo needs his old body back.
Ged:  (returns, with an opened tome in his hands)  I've
  found it!
Belphanior:  That's good.  Err, what have you found?
Ged:  Once we re-create the body, we can crush the gem,
  and the soul inside will enter the body.
Arnold:  Sounds simble enough to me.
Ged:  Problem is, we need the body first.  Or _a_ body,
  technically - the soul will enter whatever shell it can
  find.  Kind of like when Bosco got possessed.
Bosco:  (snoring)  Zzzz.
Rillen:  (to Peldor)  You taught him well.
Belphanior:  So the soul could do anything?
Ged:  Indeed.  If we're not careful, Mongo's soul could
  even re-enter...him!  (points to his stone golem)
stone golem:  (stands there impassively, its huge arms
Rillen:  Hmm, Mongo might like that.
Belphanior:  So our problem is that we need to figure out
  how to get the body back.
Ged:  Basically...but the body's utterly destroyed - I
  think the best we could do would be to make a new one.
  But it won't be the _same_ one, not his original body.
Rillen:  But he'd be alive.
Ged:  Yea.
Arnold:  Then we could fix Belphandior too.
Belphanior:  True, but Mongo's need far outweighs my own.
  I insist that he be fully restored to life before we even
  begin to consider my own...plight.
wispy thing:  (reappears from under a door)  pffft?
Peldor:  Hmm.  (he arrives at a decision, and speaks up,
  his eyes gleaming)  I'll take care of Mongo.
Arnold:  You?
Ged:  (laughing)  YOU?!?
Peldor:  None other.  I'll use my godly powers right now,
  in fact.
Ged:  But-
Peldor:  Shh!  I'm hard at work.  (he clears his throat)  I
  wish that Mongo and Belphanior-
Belphanior:  (gapes in shock)
Peldor:  -would have their bodies, minds, and souls returned
  to the exact same condition as this morning, with respect
  to being alive and well.

  Nothing seemed to happen for a moment...

Belphanior:  (blinks, and examines his body)  Hey!  I'm me
Rillen:  (sees that this is true - the elf is back to his
  original male body)  Hmm.
Ged:  Wonderful.
Peldor:  Isn't it, though?  I told you I had godly powers.
Rillen:  Yes, where _did_ that wish come from?
Peldor:  (combs his hair back with his hands)  Us gods are
  granted powers far beyond those of-
Arnold:  Aaa.  Where's Mondo?

  Mongo's body had reappeared, atop the table!  It was truly
weird, but one moment, nothing was there; the next, the body
was simply resting on the table.  Of course, it was naked...

Sylvie:  (wakes up, and sees the naked Mongo lying next to
  her)  AAAAAAA!  (she leaps up and away)
Belphanior:  (snickering)  Oops.
Arnold:  (finds a blanket, and tosses it over Mongo's lower
Rillen:  (comforting the siren)
Bosco:  (wakes up, and looks around)  Geez, what's all the
  screaming about?
Gorin:  (wakes up)  Whoa.  Where am I?  What's going on?
  What's wrong with Mongo?  Did I miss something?
Rillen:  We'll explain later.
Ged:  Truly.  (he produces the ruby that contains Mongo's
  soul)  We must break this now, to return soul to body.
Peldor:  You're sure this is going to work?
Rillen:  Aye, are you sure?
Ged:  Absolutely.  (he bashes the ruby against a wall)  Hmm,
  it's a tough one.
Belphanior:  Yeah, those corundums are noted for their
  hardness and resilience...
Ged:  Bah.  (he tries again, and again, and finally manages
  to smash the gem, aided by his giant strength)  Boccob!

  Unseen to all (except the wispy thing) a tiny, immaterial
Mongo leaped out of the shattered ruby and sailed into the
physical Mongo-body.  The body twitched, and quivered, and
sat up!

Mongo:  Yah!  Will someone tell me what the hell's going on
  around here?  I was in this red room...and there was all
  this screaming...
Belphanior:  He's back.
Rillen:  Good.  (to Mongo)  How do you feel?
Mongo:  Fine, I guess...well, actually, I feel weird, like
  I'm sleepwalking, like my body's not all there...
Bosco:  Sleepwalk?
Mongo:  My hands feel weird.  My feet, too.  What's wrong
  with me?
Belphanior:  Uh, you're just re-adjusting to your body.  Or
  should I say adjusting to your re-body?
Rillen:  (glares at the elf)  Not now.
Ged:  Well, you see, we had to bring you back from the dead.
  In a manner of speaking.
Mongo:  Whatever.  I'm tired - where's a bed?
Belphanior:  (holding his head)  I have a bad headache...
  I need to go to sleep too.  (his eye pulses)
Arnold:  Yah.
Bosco:  (talking to Gorin about a dream he just had, where
  he was trapped in a lightless, soundless place with a
  big pile of equipment and treasure)
Sylvie:  (looking ill)
Mongo:  (griping about being dead)
Ged:  (pulls a cord, to summon servants)  I still can't
  believe that _Peldor_, of all people, brought you back!
Mongo:  WHAT?!?!?

  Since they were all tired, the adventurers retreated to
the guest rooms that Ged's servants made up hastily.  All
further matters of importance would wait until the morning.

next time :  treasure splitting, affairs of state, etc.

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

notes     :  Okay, I know I said they'd be gone for over a
           year, and it's only been about three months...
           no worries.  I'm pretty cool, but even I can't
           predict the future of the saga, at this point.
           I mean, it _was_ 22 episodes ago.
             About the "killing two birds with one wish"...
           that wish was typical of something the party would
           have tried.  I certainly would have allowed the
           wish to succeed, had we still been playing - in
           fact, I discussed it with Peldor's player before
           writing this story.
             I had never taken demi-liches very seriously
           until I saw what they could really do.  Of course,
           without Mongo around, the party might have been
           in dire straits indeed.  I was thinking, if Mongo
           was in our world, he'd probably smoke cigars, kind
           of like Clint Eastwood.

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