Chapter #190

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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                    +
+                            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:    early evening                                    +
+   Place:   the NE reaches of the Hold of the Sea Princes    +
+   Climate: cold                                             +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   "You ever seen anything like that before?                 +
+   "Hell, I ain't ever even _heard_ of anything like that!"  +
+                                         - from _Tombstone_  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                       CXC.  Battle!





  As the small but potent force which has followed them
from Westkeep turns invisible, the adventurers prepare for
one hell of a battle...

Gorin:  I can't see 'em!
Bosco:  Where _are_ they?!?
Belphanior:  (his magical eye glowing crimson)  _I_ can see
  them...the three wizards are flying our way...the priest
  is spellcasting...the half-orc is riding toward us on one
  flank...the twenty mounted warriors are riding at us in
  a semi-circular formation, head-on.
Mongo:  Oh.  (he scratches his head)
Belphanior:  (still airborne, he begins spellcasting)  It
  would probably benefit us to spread out...
Arnold:  (with Mongo, Gorin, and the ex-slave Garth, he
  waits in front of Rillen)  Aaa.
Rillen:  (holding his bow and nocked arrow)  I need targets.
wispy thing:  (nowhere to be found)  sss.
Peldor:  (invisible somewhere, he hastes himself)
Bosco:  (standing near Rillen, waving his sword around)  I'm
  ready to do battle.
Rob:  Me too.  (he looks at his mace)  Well, maybe not.  (he
  begins casting a Prayer)

Belphanior:  (completes his spell, and a flame sphere appears
  and begins rolling across the plains, igniting grass as it
  goes)  That'll delay the cavalry a bit...(he wipes sweat
  from his brow)  Whew.
Rob:  (completes his prayer, and the others feel invigorated)
Mongo:  Where are those flying wizards?
Belphanior:  (points into the sky above)  There's one!  Take
  cover!
Huey:  (completes his Fireball, and the huge mass of flame
  rockets toward the party)  Hah!  Let's see you take cover
  from _that_!

  The fireball exploded in a tremendous blast, spraying
tongues of flame everywhere.

Garth:  (far to one side anyway, he dashes out of the way,
  avoiding any damage)  Whew!
Mongo:  (directly within the blast, he is scorched severely
  but lives, thanks to his various magical protections)
  Aaaargh!
Gorin:  (leaps to one side, and is saved from serious harm
  thanks to the potion he drank earlier)  Yaaaah!  (he
  rolls, trying to put out the small fires on his person)
Arnold:  (avoids the brunt of the blast, and only gets
  singed slightly)  Aaa.
Rillen:  (having leaped outside the fireball's blast radius
  with his bow and arrows, he quickly fires an arrow at the
  airborne, and now visible, Huey)  Hold still, there.
Huey:  (his arm speared by the missile)  Argh!  (he looks
  around in shock)  Some of them actually lived through my
  fireball?!?  Inconceivable!
Mongo:  conceive this.  (he hurls his hammer, walloping the
  flying mage, hard)
Huey:  Ugh!  (his arm broken, he floats about in an airborne
  version of a stagger)  Damn it!
Dewey:  Fear not, I shall get them!  (he casts a Lightning
  Bolt at the adventurers, becoming visible immediately)
Arnold:  (sees the bolt of electricity coming)  Aaa.  (he
  leaps for cover)
Gorin:  (manages to scoot from the path of the bolt)  Whoa!
Rob:  (grazed by the missile, he is knocked back)  Aaaargh!
Rillen:  (barely has time to dodge as the lightning comes,
  and takes the blast head-on)  AARGH!  (he is knocked back
  and down, and his bow falls from his hand)
Mongo:  Shit!  (he hurls his hammer at Dewey, hitting the
  airborne mage in the chest)  Yeah!
Dewey:  (seemingly unshaken by the blow)  Hah hah!
Mongo:  Huh?
Louie:  (chooses this exact moment to cast a Wall of Force,
  and the magical barrier materializes around Mongo, in a
  spherical shape)  That should corral yonder dangerous
  dwarf...
Stormcrest:  (in the process of returning, it hits the
  translucent wall of force, and bounces off)
Mongo:  Huh?  Hey!  (he begins beating on the wall from the
  inside)  Lemme out!
Stormcrest:  (falls to the ground, inert)
Belphanior:  (diverts his flame sphere in a new direction)
invisible half-orc:  Uh-oh.  (he spurs his mount to greater
  speeds, but in vain, as the fiery ball engulfs him)  AIE!
  (he ignites)  AAAARGH!
Belphanior:  Hmph.  (he directs the sphere toward the other
  mounted, invisible attackers)  Damn, too many...(he has a
  better idea, and digs in his pack for a wand)
Arnold:  (on the ground, like most of the others, he can't
  really do much right now)  Aaa.  (he waves his sword)
  Someone come fight Ah-nold!
invisible red-robed priest:  (casts a Wall of Fire, which
  appears and encircles Arnold, Gorin, Bosco, Mongo in his
  force-bubble, Rob, the ex-slave Garth, and the prone
  Rillen)  By Hextor, they are cut off!  (he now becomes
  visible)
Belphanior:  Uh-oh.  (he finds the wand he was after)



Peldor:  (invisible, and now directly behind the red-robed
  priest, he backstabs, slashing violently)  Die, scum!
red-robed priest:  AARGH!  (wounded direly, he staggers,
  one arm now attached only by a few tendons)  YAAARGH!
Peldor:  (now visible)  That should take care of your next
  spell...(he advances on the priest)
invisible warriors on horses:  (bearing down on Peldor)
Belphanior:  Look out!  (he uses his wand of foam to spray
  a sheet of white, bubbly foam down onto the twenty riders)
Peldor:  Huh?

  Since Belphanior was so far up, the foam dispersed nicely,
and the entire score of horsed foes was rendered visible,
thanks to the sticky magical foam.

Belphanior:  (glad that he found another use for the wand
  besides putting out fires created by Ged)  Hah!
Peldor:  (rather confused, he nevertheless attacks the high
  priest again, stabbing him in the leg)  Time to put an
  end to your machinations, vile one!
red-robed high priest:  Argh!  You'll pay for that, thief!
Huey:  (spellcasting)  Time to kill-
Dewey:  (likewise)  -these fools-
Louie:  (likewise)  -once and for all!

  Suddenly, the blazing wall of fire that surrounded the
majority of the adventurers simply...vanished!

Rob:  (finishes murmuring magical phrases)  Ah!
Arnold:  Chaaaage!  (he leads Gorin, Bosco, and Garth in
  a charge toward the foam-covered cavalry)
Gorin:  Get 'em!
Bosco:  (feeling cocky, no surprise since he drank a potion
  of giant strength)  urp...(his stomach churns, but yet he
  charges onward with the others)
Garth:  (swinging Arnold's spare two-handed sword)  Death
  to the slavers!
Rob:  (feeling rather left behind)  Oh.  (he notices that
  his Dispel Magic didn't neutralize Mongo's force-sphere)
Mongo:  (screaming bloody murder from within the sphere of
  force that surrounds him)  Dammit!  I want out of this
  thing!
Rillen:  (nearby, lying on the ground next to his bow, he
  stirs)  Oh...
Huey:  (casts a Death Spell upon Belphanior)  Die, fool!
Belphanior:  (shrugs off the deadly spell)  Try again...
Huey:  Aie!
Dewey:  (puts a Globe of Invulnerability up around himself)
  I shall be invulnerable!
Louie:  (casting a spell of monster summoning)  You people
  are not the only ones who can bring monsters into play...
red-robed high priest:  (spellcasting as Peldor rushes him)
  Balok will finish you, scum!  (he reaches out, touching
  Peldor on the shoulder as the thief lunges)  Hah!
Peldor:  (drained of almost all of his health)  Argh...(as
  he collapses, he still manages to drive his sword through
  the priest's throat)  Die, you son of a bitch...!
Balok:  (gurgles and falls, dying)
Peldor:  (falls to the ground)  You lose...
Louie:  (about to complete his summoning spell)  Ha ha ha-
Rillen:  (standing shakily, he fires a magical arrow at the
  flying mage)
Louie:  (hit by two arrows, as Rillen's magical bow doubles
  its missile)  Urgh!  (his spell is ruined)
Rillen:  Have another...(he fires another arrow at the mage,
  and this one, too, doubles and hits)
Louie:  Argh!  Yargh!  (he hovers, bleeding profusely, then
  falls from the sky)  YaaaAAAAAIEEEEE-  <splat>
Huey:  Louie!
Dewey:  He killed him!
Rillen:  Naturally...what did you expect?

cavalry:  (foam-covered, they yet advance)  Kill them!  Kill
  them all!
Arnold:  I was hobing you'd say something like that!  (he
  leaps forward, taking a glancing sword blow on his helm,
  and hacks at a mounted warrior)  Ah-nold!
mounted warrior:  Argh!  (he is knocked from his horse)
Gorin:  Yeah!  (he chops at a warrior's leg, wounding the
  fellow)
Bosco:  (stands fast before a charging horse and rider)
mounted warrior:  A _halfling_?!?  Hah!
Bosco:  (dodges the man's sword blow and grabs his ankle as
  he rides past)
mounted warrior:  Wha-  (suddenly finds himself unhorsed)
Bosco:  (hurls the fellow into another mounted warrior)
  Whee!  Giant strength'll do the most amazing things!
Garth:  Die!  (he slashes a mounted warrior, severing an
  arm)
Arnold:  Yah!  That's the way to go!
Garth:  A fine sword, this...

  As the land battle continued, Belphanior faced off against
Huey and Dewey, in the air.

Huey:  You were warned...(he begins spellcasting)
Dewey:  (also begins spellcasting)  Prepare for the end.
Belphanior:  Bah.  (he invokes the power of his evil eye,
  which glows bright red)
Huey:  (suddenly sheathed in a nimbus of red light)  AIE!
  (his features shift and melt, and he suddenly falls from
  the sky)  AAAAAAARGH!  (he hits the ground with a wet
  squishing sound)  <sploosh>
Dewey:  By the gods...!  (he casts a Power Word, Blind at
  Belphanior)
Belphanior:  (instantly stricken blind)  Yow!  (he flies
  forward, well, blindly, attempting to slash the mage,
  but misses by quite a distance)  Fuck!  (he sails around
  blindly)
Dewey:  Now to finish the others...(he turns to those on
  the ground)
Rob:  (completes another spell, touching Peldor on the
  forehead)  Be healed, brave thief...
Peldor:  (stands up)  Huh?  (he looks around)  Holy shit,
  we're in trouble!  (he points to Mongo)  We've got to free
  him!
Rob:  Err...yes, I know.
Peldor:  (spots Dewey in the air)  Can't reach him...
Dewey:  (hunting for a wand)
wispy thing:  (finally shows up, orbiting the mage's head
  at blinding speed)  whzzzzz!
Dewey:  Wha-  Aie!  (he swats ineffectually at the wisp)
  Get away!
Rillen:  (buries two arrows in a mounted warrior, knocking
  him off of his horse)
warrior:  Eyagh!  (he falls onto the ground, the twin
  missiles protruding from his chest)
Rob:  (looking around)  Huh?  (the potion of ESP he drank
  is helping him pick up some evil thoughts nearby)
half-orc:  (quite charred, but also invisible, he stalks
  Rob)
Rob:  (feels that something is amiss, and turns suddenly)
  What's-
half-orc:  (its potentially lethal backstab merely glances
  off of the priest's chain mail)  Damn!
Rob:  Ow!  (he backs up)  Who?!?
half-orc:  (now visible)  How did you...?
Peldor:  (draws his sword, and interposes himself between
  Rob and the half-orc)  Why don't you fight _me_ instead?
half-orc:  With pleasure...(he charges)
Rob:  Hmph.  (he ignores the combatants and turns to Mongo,
  preparing a second Dispel Magic)  Maybe I can free him
  this time.
Mongo:  (nodding enthusiastically)
Arnold:  (cuts down another horsed attacker)
Bosco:  (swats a horse and rider aside with his giant
  strength)  I _like_ it!
Gorin:  (he and Garth team up to attack another mounted
  warrior)  Let's get him!
Garth:  Aye.  (they proceed to do so)

Dewey:  (unable to begin new spellcasting because of the
  wispy thing)
wispy thing:  (refuses to let up)  sssss!
Rob:  (tries his Dispel Magic directly on Mongo's sphere
  of force)  By Trithereon, I say take _down_ this wall!
Mongo:  (pushing against the invisible wall, he suddenly
  falls over)  Hey!  It's gone!
Rob:  All right!
Mongo:  (catches Stormcrest as it flies back into his hand)
  Time to kick some ass!  (he hurls the weapon at Dewey)
Dewey:  (knocked twenty feet higher into the air)  ARGH!
wispy thing:  (looks on approvingly)
Dewey:  (tries to cast a spell)
wispy thing:  (begins orbiting the mage's head once more)
Dewey:  Dammit!
Mongo:  (catches his hammer, then hurls it again)
Dewey:  (his neck is snapped by the blow, and he falls)
Mongo:  Yeah!  (he looks up into the sky)  What's that?
Rob:  That's Belphanior...he's flying and blind.
Mongo:  Oh.  (he turns his attention to the land fight,
  in which the mounted foes have encircled Arnold, Gorin,
  Bosco, and Garth)  Look there!  They need help!

Peldor:  (narrowly avoids a slashing blow by the half-orc)
  Whoa, you're a fast one...(he stabs at the foe)
half-orc:  (takes the blow on his armor)  You can't beat
  me, thief!  (he slashes Peldor, tearing a deep cut in
  the thief's side)
Peldor:  Argh!  (he staggers back in a daze)
half-orc:  I've been a warrior for ten years!  You'll
  never outfight me!  Ha ha!
Peldor:  Don't have to...(he uses his ring of telekinesis
  to lift the foe into the air)
half-orc:  (swinging and slashing around himself as he
  rises into the air)  What?!?  Come back here!
Peldor:  (continues to levitate the half-orc higher)

Mongo:  (hurls his hammer at the group of mounted warriors,
  knocking two over at once)  Hah!
Bosco:  Yeah!  (he darts under a horse, then picks it and
  its rider up)  Aha!  (he tosses them away and heads for
  another horsed warrior)
Gorin:  Wow.
Arnold:  (bleeding from a half-dozen minor wounds, he still
  fights on)  I think we're winning!
Bosco:  Of course we're winning!
Rillen:  (punctuates this statement with two more arrows,
  both of which hit another mounted warrior, exposing him
  for Garth, who pulls him out of his saddle)
Garth:  Scum!

half-orc:  (fairly high up now, shouting loudly)
Peldor:  Oh, all right.  (he releases his telekinetic hold
  on the foe)  Down you go.
half-orc:  Oh, shiiiiiiiiiii-  (hits the ground)  <SPLAT>
Peldor:  Hmm.  What a mess.
Rillen:  Nice of him to drop in.



  Shortly, the group had beaten the remaining cavalry, and
wounds were bound.  Belphanior eventually returned, able to
see - apparently, the blindness was extremely temporary.
Everyone but Mongo was wounded, though Bosco's nicks and
cuts weren't too serious.  At Belphanior's suggestion, all
of the enemy bodies were piled up and promptly burned, after
being searched (in vain) for spellbooks and other useful
items.

Mongo:  Burn 'em, eh?
Belphanior:  (coughing)  Who knows, someone might try and
  bring them back.
Peldor:  Well, we wouldn't want that, would we?
Arnold:  Definidely not.
mob of ex-slaves:  (beginning to approach)
Garth:  Have no fear, my people.  It is over.
Rillen:  (his wounds bound tightly, he looks to the south-
  west wearily)  Is it, I wonder?





next time :  towards Keoland

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

notes     :  It's time for some more shameless bragging; all
           three intramural teams which I play for (being
           male, I only coach and keep stats for the womens'
           team) have now ended their seasons; my final
           stats are:

  GAMES  AB  HITS  2B   3B   HR   BB   AVG   K   RBI  RUNS
    9    31   18    1    1    1    7  .581   2    9    16

             If it's not obvious yet, I'm not only a leadoff
           man but also a singles hitter.  That homer was a
           fluke  :)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


--
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?"





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