Chapter #177

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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:                                                +
+                                                             +
+   Alindyar      15th level dark elven mage              (N) +
+   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) +
+   Lyra          12th level female dark elven mage       (N) +
+   Mongo         16th level dwarven warrior             (CG) +
+   Peldor        18th level human thief                  (N) +
+   Rillen        16th level human warrior                (N) +
+   Date:    10/25/573 C.Y. (Common Year)                     +
+   Time:    irrelevant                                       +
+   Place:   the plane of Concordant Opposition               +
+   Climate: none                                             +
+   "I am beyond their timid lying morality...and so, I am    +
+    beyond caring.                                           +
+                   - Colonel Kurtz, from _Apocalypse Now_    +

            CLXXVII.  A Stranger In A Strange Land

  After rescuing Alindyar from a drow city amidst the Underdark,
the party was plane shifted by Ged.  They have materialized in
an empty void, a place without color, features, gravity, or any
other features typical of a normal place.

Mongo:  (looking around as he floats in place)  Where the hell
  are we now?
Ged:  Why, the plane of Concordant Opposition, of course.
Peldor:  Well, _that's_ good to know.
Arnold:  Aaa.
Rillen:  (realizes that he's floating)  Hmm.
Alindyar:  (still somewhat ragged from his recent ordeal)
  Concordant Opposition...of course...
Lyra:  It _is_ the natural plane of Boccob.
Belphanior:  It is?
wispy thing:  (circling the party happily)  Ssss.
Ged:  Yea, it seemed like the most natural place to transport
  us to.  You could say that I'm in maximal contact with the
  almighty Boccob.
Peldor:  Well, yeah, you could say that.
Lyra:  He did say that.
Peldor:  True.
Arnold:  (looking bored)
Rillen:  So, what next?  You can take us back home, I assume?
Ged:  Yep.  A simple teleport would do the job.  (he looks
Belphanior:  Pretty empty, eh?
Alindyar:  Indeed.  'Tis the juncture of all good and evil,
  all law and chaos.
Mongo:  (wondering what these terms really mean)  Bah.
Lyra:  Actually, I'm rather surprised that there's air here.
Ged:  Yea, I wonder-
Peldor:  Look!

  The thief was pointing to a growing speck in the distance,
a speck that was rapidly getting closer.

Belphanior:  What the hell...?
Mongo:  Looks like a big grey rock.
Alindyar:  An asteroid...

  As the thing got nearer to the adventurers, they realized
that it was not just big, but huge, measuring perhaps three
hundred feet across.  The mass of rock ceased its movement
at a point about twenty feet away from the party.

Ged:  Boccob!
Alindyar:  What can this be?  Truly yonder asteroid cannot
  guide itself through the cosmos, uncontrolled?
Rillen:  I think not.  Look.

  A ten-foot square hatchway of grey stone swung open right
in front of the adventurers, revealing a dark corridor hewn
from solid rock.

Arnold:  Aaa.
Peldor:  Looks like someone wants us to come in.
Alindyar:  A logical conclusion.
Ged:  Yea.  (he floats toward the doorway)
Mongo:  How are you moving?  I mean, controlling yourself as
  you float?
Ged:  Pure thought.  Just think of moving in a direction,
  and you will.
Alindyar:  (already having caught on, he is right behind Ged)
wispy thing:  (also near Ged)  Ssss.
Lyra:  (floats after Alindyar)  Piece of cake.
Ged:  We'll need light.

  As if on cue, the corridor suddenly began glowing with a
pale white light.  Those near its entrance could see that it
turned right after about twenty feet.

Ged:  Come on, let's go inside.
Alindyar:  We must wait for the others...(he gestures behind
Peldor:  (floating toward the doorway now, next to Belphanior)
Belphanior:  This is kinda fun.
Rillen:  (sailing along behind the thieves)  Unusual.
Mongo:  (sailing along behind Rillen)  This is stupid.
Arnold:  (bringing up the rear, as he sails along even more
  slowly than Mongo)  Yah.  (he begins spinning slightly as
  he floats)  Aaa?

  They entered the huge rock, floating through the corridor.
The thick rock door closed silently behind them.

Alindyar:  A strange place, this...and yet, intriguing.
Ged:  I agree.  (he grasps his fire wand in one hand, ready
  to blast any threatening foes that might appear)
Belphanior:  (scanning the tunnel, his eye glowing)  Yeah,
  it's intriguing, all right...and also highly magical.
Lyra:  As we'd expect.
Alindyar:  Aye.  Unfortunate for me that I have no spells to
Belphanior:  (to Alindyar)  What about your magical items?
  And spellbooks?  How will you ever recover them?
Alindyar:  The items, I am afraid, now rest in the depths of
  Erelhei-Cinlu.  But the spells...I have reserve spellbooks.
Lyra:  We could go there now, you know.
Alindyar:  Nay.  I would explore this odd place we now stand
Peldor:  Me too.
Ged:  (in the forefront of the party, turns the corner ahead,
  and sees a pair of silver doors a short distance ahead)  By
  Boccob, I daresay we've found something.

  The doors opened as the party approached, revealing a large
chamber beyond.  The place was lavishly decorated, with thick
piled carpet of a golden hue.  The walls were made from huge
slabs of solid ivory, and the ceiling appeared to be composed
of millions of tiny gems.  These sparkled brilliantly, casting
multicolored light upon the chamber.  Several sets of steps
led to a sunken area in the room's center, where four large,
plush couches formed a circle.  No other doors were visible,
aside from the one that the adventurers entered through.

Ged:  Looks like a study.
Alindyar:  Aye, or a lounge.

  Suddenly, a tall male human appeared in the center of the
room.  This majestic figure towered over the adventurers, at
a height of more than seven feet.  He was clothed in a golden
robe, but carried no items and wore no jewelry.  His head was
utterly devoid of hair.

tall one:  (striding elegantly toward the party)  Greetings.
Belphanior:  (recoils in alarm)  Yie!  Where the hell'd _he_
  come from?!?
Mongo:  (thinking about what a wimp the tall guy looks like)
  Hmph.  He's even balder than you, Rillen.
Rillen:  I'm not bald.  I just shave my head.
Ged:  (gaping at the new arrival)  Boccob!
Peldor:  Don't tell me _this_ is Boccob?
tall one:  Hardly, mortal.
Alindyar:  Who might you be, then, fellow?
tall one:  I am Fusoya.  You are resting in my home.
Ged:  Home?  Here?
Fusoya:  Why not?
Ged:  Err, good question.
Alindyar:  This control it?
Fusoya:  Naturally.
Lyra:  (to Belphanior)  Like you said, highly magical.
Belphanior:  I did say that.
Ged:  Well, we've just stopped on this plane for a brief time,
  before we return to the Prime Material.  We meant no kind of
  intrusion into your home.
Fusoya:  Of course not.  I would not have permitted you to
  enter otherwise.
Alindyar:  Oh.
Peldor:  (looking at the ceiling)
Fusoya:  Inadvisable, thief.
Peldor:  (looks shocked)
Rillen:  (makes a mental note to keep an eye on Peldor)
Arnold:  (rather confused by all of this, he decides to keep
  his mouth shut and follow along)
wispy thing:  (hovering nearby, it stares at Fusoya)  ffffooo.
Fusoya:  Indeed.
Belphanior:  Huh?!?
Ged:  What do you do here?  I mean, floating around Boccob's
  plane and all that?
Fusoya:  I am a...recluse, for the most part.  You will note,
  however, that this is not just Boccob's plane.
Ged:  Well, not entirely, but...
Fusoya:  It pleases me that you understand.  (he scans the
  adventurers, one at a time)  Hmm.  You have had a number of
  unusual adventures.  Excellent.
Alindyar:  (glaring at the tall fellow)
Mongo:  You're damn right.  We kicked ass and took names.
Fusoya:  I see.
Ged:  Well, I hate to brush off your hospitality so quickly,
  but we really should be getting back now.
Alindyar:  (nods)
Fusoya:  Indeed you should.  Things are amiss, elsewhere.
  You may teleport directly out of here, if you wish.
Ged:  Very well.  (he begins spellcasting)
Alindyar:  (still eyeing Fusoya)
Peldor:  (still eyeing those gems in the ceiling)
Lyra:  Everyone link hands.  (the others hasten to do so)
Ged:  (completes his spell)
Fusoya:  Farewell...until next time.

  The eight adventurers, plus one wispy thing, vanished from
the strange home of the even stranger Fusoya.  A mere moment
later, they appeared within a plain, highly secure chamber
within Ged's castle.

Mongo:  Hey!  This isn't where we usually come in at!
Ged:  I've built this special room just for teleportations
  such as these.  It's locked, barred, and magically secured
  like you wouldn't believe.
Belphanior:  Well, that's good to know.
Alindyar:  That Fusoya person...he read our minds, you know.
Rillen:  Did he?
Ged:  Yep.  Rather irritating, but then again, I got us out
  of there as quickly as I could.  (he and Alindyar exchange
  glances, relishing their supra-genius intelligences)
Lyra:  I didn't get the impression that he was malicious or
  evil...just different.
Alindyar:  Still, by all accounts, an unsettling experience.
Mongo:  (yawns)  I'm tired.
Arnold:  (to Alindyar)  I have a quesdion.
Alindyar:  Yes?
Arnold:  You were...missing for a long time.  Mondths.  But
  I'm sure you weren't in that drow prison in the Underbark
  for all that time.  So...?
Alindyar:  Ah.  So months have passed here?
Ged:  Almost five, to be sure.
Alindyar:  (to Lyra)  The retributive strike moved us across
  time as well as space.
Lyra:  It would seem so.
Alindyar:  Aye.
Ged:  Hmm, well, that explains it.
Arnold:  It does?

  Wearily, the adventurers split up, each heading to a guest
room in Ged's castle to get a good night's sleep, for none of
them had slept since before their arrival in the drow city.

next time :  various business is attended to

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

notes     :  I just watched the opening game of the baseball
           season.  Softball practice starts this week for me,
           as well.  Ah, spring!
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