Chapter #188

previous chapter (#187)                                                                  next chapter (#189)





                                +
                              +   +
                            +       +
                          +           +
                        +               +
                      +                   +
                    +                       +
                  +      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                    +
+                            tmiller@cimmeria.oit.gatech.edu  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   THE PARTY:                                                +
+                                                             +
+   Arnold        11th level human warrior               (NG) +
+   Belphanior    12th/14th/14th level high elven w/m/t  (CN) +
+      small immaterial wispy thing                           +
+   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) +
+   Rob           15th level human priest                (LG) +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   Date:    12/5/573 C.Y. (Common Year)                      +
+   Time:    afternoon                                        +
+   Place:   Westkeep, within the Hold of the Sea Princes     +
+   Climate: cold                                             +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   "Death has come to your small town, Sheriff."             +
+                           - Dr. Loomis, from _Halloween_    +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





           CLXXXVIII.  Welcome to the Revolution





  Total chaos reigns in Westkeep at this point, as two
hundred armed and dangerous ex-slaves, led by the party's
warriors, storm the slave marketplace.  Meanwhile, most
of the city's guards and militiamen are preoccupied by
the monsters Belphanior summoned and the fires Peldor set.

ex-slave:  (stopping short as a wagon is rolled into the
  mob's path by some desparate merchants)  Whoa!
Mongo:  Stand back!  (he hurls his hammer, shattering the
  wagon's frame and stopping its advance)
merchants:  (scampering for cover as chunks of wood fly
  everywhere)  Aie!
Mongo:  Yeah!
Rillen:  Nice break...
Mongo:  (yelling to the slave merchants)  Flee or die!
  I promise that your former slaves won't give you that
  choice!
merchants:  (most of them flee the marketplace with haste)
Gorin:  (chops open a slave pen, causing dozens of slaves
  to flood the street)  Good thing these people aren't
  manacled...
Rob:  I guess that's why they were being kept in a cage...
  (he begins casting a Prayer)
Arnold:  Yah.  (he conks a passing city guardsman over the
  head, knocking him out)  Oops.  (he drags the man out of
  the busy street, grabs up his spear, and hands it to one
  of the freshly freed slaves)  Here.
slave:  Thanks!  (he joins the others who are busy freeing
  more slaves)
Rillen:  (bashes a guardsman who was about to cut down a
  half-naked, defenseless slave)
slave:  (staring in amazement)
Peldor:  (arrives on the scene, and quickly spots Mongo and
  the others)  There they are!
Bosco:  (at his height, he can't see anything in the crowd)
  Where?
Peldor:  (grabs Bosco and heads toward the other adventurers)
  Geez, I can't believe we're actually doing this...

  Elsewhere on Oerth...

Lyra:  (watching the chaos via Alindyar's magical mirror)  I
  can't believe they're actually doing that!
Alindyar:  Wonders never cease...
Lyra:  Should we go there and help them?
Alindyar:  I daresay not.  Not yet, in any case.  They appear
  to be doing just fine on their own.

  Indeed, things were proceeding favorably, if not exactly
smoothly.  A mob of slaves which easily numbered a thousand
now filled the marketplace; while only a small percentage of
them were armed, and many were women and children, they still
drove back any city guards who tried to stop them.

city guard:  (to a fellow guard)  They're not paying us to
  get killed here!
other guard:  Right on!  (they both drop their weapons and
  run away)

  In a nearby side street, a force of some fifty guardsmen,
from an outpost on the city's edge, rushed to join the
battle, sure that their training and weapons would enable
them to mow through the slave mob with ease.

guard captain:  Ahead, men!  We'll crush the slaves!
Belphanior:  (flying above, invisible)  Uh-oh.  (he sails
  down to where the giant slug he summoned is marauding)
  Hey, you!  (he begins barking orders)
giant slug:  (veers into the side street, heading for the
  guardsmen)  SSSSS!
guardsmen:  (all of them stop cold)  Aie!
guard captain:  Cowards!  Charge!  (he leads the charge)
giant slug:  (still rather hungry, it slithers toward the
  food at hand)
wispy thing:  (floats near the invisible Belphanior)  pff.

  Nearby, in the temple district...

umber hulk:  (per Belphanior's orders, it is busy smashing
  down the doors to every temple in sight)  Graaar!
various priests:  (running around in panic)
random high priest:  (casting a Flame Strike at the hulk)
  Hextor shall burn you down, beast!
shambling mound:  (following the hulk, as Belphanior told
  it to, it lumbers toward the priest)  Grnnnk!
high priest:  Whaaaaaie!  (his spell misfires, catching the
  shambling mound instead of the umber hulk)
shambling mound:  (aflame yet undamaged, it swats the high
  priest out of its way and proceeds to mow through the
  assorted priests and acolytes)  Gronnnk!

  Back at the markets...

Mongo:  (spies a catapult being pulled into the marketplace)
  No fair...(he hurls Stormcrest, and a thunderbolt follows
  in the weapon's wake)

  The catapult shattered into a million pieces, and the
unfortunate guards who manned it were knocked away by the
sheer force of the blast.

Mongo:  Yeah!
Rillen:  (at the dwarf's side, as is Arnold)  It is a good
  thing for us that this town doesn't border on any bodies
  of water.
Arnold:  Why?
Rillen:  The Sea Princes' major power stems from their
  mighty naval fleet...if this were a sea battle, we would
  be in trouble.
Mongo:  You're right...that's why it _isn't_ a sea battle.
Arnold:  Yah.  (he helps a fallen slave get to her feet)
Gorin:  (nearby, he helps direct the freed slaves to the
  more strategic points)  You, there!  And you, get over
  there and open up that weaponsmith's wagons!
Rob:  (having finished his prayer, he merely wanders around,
  mace in hand, as the various slaves in his vicinity enjoy
  the powerful effects of his spell)  Hmm, this is awfully
  chaotic...(he is nearly run over by a stray horse)  Whoa!
Rillen:  I think that all the slaves are free now - our
  diversions worked!
Mongo:  Yeah, we'd better see about getting them...hmm, what
  the hell are we going to _do_ with all these people?!?
Belphanior:  (flying overhead, he realizes this very dilemma
  and decides that now is as good a time as any to land and
  talk with the others)
strange blue-robed fellow:  (flies by)
wispy thing:  spppf!
Belphanior:  What's this?
fellow:  (staring at Belphanior)  Who the hell are you?
Belphanior:  (still invisible, and wondering how this guy
  can see him)  That's a hell of a question for you to ask.
fellow:  You must be one of those who instigated this...(he
  gestures to the packed streets below, in disgust)...chaos!
Belphanior:  Perhaps.
fellow:  What do they think they're doing?!?
Belphanior:  Why, they're revolting!
fellow:  Of course they are...your crime carries a death
  penalty, you know.
Belphanior:  Bah.  We have as much right to free those slaves
  as you have to keep them.  Consider that.
fellow:  Aie!  You speak madness!
Belphanior:  Fluently.
fellow:  (he begins spellcasting)  You shall, of course,
  pay for what you've done.  And I'll fry everyone below,
  too, before it's all over.
Belphanior:  I doubt it.  (he floats toward the fellow)
fellow:  Erp.  (he tries to cast his spell faster)
Belphanior:  (flying toward the man as rapidly as he can)
wispy thing:  (zips along even faster, beating Belphanior
  to the foe)  pnnnng!  (it orbits the guy's head at a
  blinding speed)  whzzzZZZZ!
mage:  Wha-  (he is distracted, and his spell goes off a
  bit early, sending a thin ray of pure cold straight up
  into the sky)  Aie!  I missed!
Belphanior:  Good, 'cause I won't.  (sails by, slashing
  with his sword)  Ha!
mage:  (badly wounded)  Argh!  (he spins about, groping in
  his belt pouch)  Who the hell _are_ you?!?
Belphanior:  (flying toward the mage again)  Death.
mage:  (produces a wand)  Now to-
Belphanior:  (slices the fellow's head clean off)  Quiet.
  You annoy me.
headless body:  (hovering in the air for a moment, as the
  magic dissipates)
head:  (plummets downward)

  Far below...

slave:  (raises his sword)  We're all free!  Praise to the
  gods!
head:  (lands neatly on the sword's point)  <thunk>
slave:  AIE!

  As Mongo and the others herded the mob of ex-slaves toward
the city gates, much discussion ensued.

Mongo:  I guess we'll just go northeast, to Keoland.  It
  couldn't take more than a week to get there...
Rillen:  I hope these people are up to the march.
Gorin:  The slavers from this city won't let all those ex-
  slaves go that easily...
Arnold:  (raises his sword)  Then Ah-nold will get rid of
  them!
Rob:  I'll help, too...

  Elsewhere, the drow continued to watch these escapades
with great interest.

Alindyar:  By the gods!
Lyra:  They're going to pull it off...let's go help.
Alindyar:  Nay, they have no need of our assistance.  Not
  thus far, anyhow.
Lyra:  Ah, you're no fun.

  In the sky above Westkeep, Belphanior kept watch for
anyone who might be moving to try and block the slaves'
exit.

Belphanior:  (sights a battalion of heavily armed troops
  marching inward from the main city gate)  Uh-oh.  (he
  begins spellcasting)  Cone of cold time...

  There was a mighty blast of ice and snow as Belphanior
bombarded the troops with his spell.  The soldiers were
dropped or scattered like tenpins, and not a moment too
soon - the mob of freed slaves, headed up by Mongo and
the others, charged for the city gates.

Mongo:  (grabs the edge of one of the massive iron portals
  and yanks, his giant strength enabling him to tear the
  heavy door off its hinges)  Hah!
Rillen:  Come on, let's get them out of this place.  (the
  slaves rush to follow him and the others)
Bosco:  (having stolen someone's horse, he rides along
  with the crowd)  Yippee!
Gorin:  (looking on in amazement)  Where'd...?
Arnold:  Aaa.
Rob:  (looking back)  Hmm.  (he begins spellcasting)

  As the mass of people filed out of Westkeep, Rob
completed his Animate Object, and the huge iron gate
came to life, rearing up like some gigantic, flat
snake.

Rob:  (addressing the oversized door)  Move aside until
  all these people are through.  Then block the city
  gate and let NO ONE pass.
big animated iron door:  (obeys, moving aside with a
  loud metallic sound)  <crnk>
Peldor:  (trotting along behind the main bulk of the mob)
  Huh.  I'll be damned.
Belphanior:  (in the air, he decides to provide even more
  cover for the escaping slaves, and casts an Ice Storm
  near the city gates)
Rillen:  (looking back in surprise)  Hmm.  That ought to
  cool them down a bit.

  With that, the adventurers, plus their mob of more than
a thousand freed slaves, marched out of Westkeep, leaving
behind numerous slain and wounded guards, a number of rather
upset priests in their vandalized temples, scores of scared
townspeople, three wandering monsters, a flaming guardhouse,
an ice storm, and an animated object.

Bosco:  Jeepers!





next time :  retribution looms, as the party and their new
           friends are pursued

ftp site  :  ftp.cs.pdx.edu in /pub/frp/stories/adventurers

notes     :  Whee...it's "The Adventurers", where the ends
           justify the means!
             "CLXXXVIII" is about the longest Roman numeral
           I've ever had to use, by the way...
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


--
Thomas Miller                        tmiller@cimmeria.oit.gatech.edu
Systems Support Specialist II          Georgia Tech Network Services

"What good is being a hammer when you can't find a deserving nail?"





previous chapter (#187)                                                                  next chapter (#189)