Chapter #22

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*****
*
*  The 8 player characters contained in this writing are copyright
*  1992 by Thomas Miller...copying and distribution of these stories
*  is permissible only under the condition that no part of them will
*  be used or sold for profit.  In that case, I hope you enjoy them.
*    The dungeons and non-player characters contained herein are from
*  TSR's module, A2, and are copyright 1980 by TSR, Inc.  Although
*  they are reprinted after a fashion in this story writeup, they
*  are not being used for profit or personal gain in any way.  In
*  this spirit, verbatim text and maps from the module have been
*  avoided.  I would encourage anyone who does not own the Slaver
*  series, that is, TSR modules A1-A4, to buy them, as much more
*  enjoyment will come from actually playing them rather than from
*  reading about one party's experiences within.
*
*****

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THE PARTY:

Alindyar, 6th level drow elf mage (N)
Belphanior, 4th/4rd/5th level high elf fighter/mage/thief (CN)
Ged, 5th/5th level grey elf priest/mage of Boccob (NG)
Halbarad, 6th level human ranger (NG)
Mongo Thunderhead, 6th level dwarf fighter (CG)
Peldor, 7th level human thief (N)
Peyote, 5th/5th level half-elf fighter/druid of Obad-Hai (N)
Rob, 6th level human priest of Trithereon (LG)
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                     XXII.  Tricks and Traps



  After Alindyar decimated the upper level of the slavers' keep with
a fireball, the party fled indoors.  Alarms were being sounded all over
the place, and distant cries of surprise and outrage could be heard from
several directions.
  The adventurers very hastily bound wounds, healed, etc. and were
soon ready to go on.  They stood in the approximate center of a long
corridor, and both ways featured a door at the end.  They chose to
go east, that is, to the left, and rushed down the corridor, eager to
find a more secure location in case of mass attack.

Mongo:  (trotting along)  Those apes were nothing!  Are there any
  _real_ monsters around here?
Ged:  Have a care as to what you hope for, dwarf.  We don't need to
  be attacked by anything else.
Peyote:  Really.
Belphanior:  I kinda thought the carnivorous apes were neat.  I'd
  love to have a chance to see them go to work on some of these
  slavers we've been running into.
Mongo:  Yeah, that sure does sound like fun.  What's this, an unlocked
  door?  (opens it)  Aaa!  (holds his hammer up in defense)

  A low, rumbling noise was heard, as a huge grizzly bear bore down
on the party from behind the door...cries of surprise were heard
from all...

Mongo:  Oof!  (buried under the bulk of the thing, and overborne)
Halbarad:  (manages to dodge to one side)  An evil bear!  (chops it
  with his axe)  Can there _be_ such a thing?
Peyote:  Gnarly!  (backs up and brandishes his bastard sword)  Hold
  it right there, grizzly one!  (to DM)  Perhaps I should try to
  subdue it, or talk to it...
Belphanior:  (regarding the bear, notices that it isn't moving or
  attacking)
Peyote:  (prods the beast)
Halbarad:  (chops at the thing again)  What's this?  Have I slain
  the thing already?
Belphanior:  Heh heh.  Look at it.  It's not alive.  It's a stuffed
  bear!  Heh heh.  Good idea.  Wonder who put it there?
Mongo:  (buried)  Oof!  Augh!  Somebody get this blasted thing OFF
  OF ME!!!!
Halbarad:  (abashedly)  Oh.  (lifts the bear off of Mongo, with the
  help of Peyote and Belphanior)  Are you well, friend Mongo?
Mongo:  Hmph.  As well as can be expected, with fat hairy monsters
  leaping at me.
Belphanior:  Uh, guys?  This may seem like a dumb question, but where
  are the others?!?

  The four noticed that the rear half of the party - Ged, Alindyar,
Rob, and Peldor - had disappeared into thin air!

Halbarad:  Good grief!  This isn't helping our situation any.
Belphanior:  Where the hell did they go?  They couldn't have run back
  the way we came, we'd still see them!
Peyote:  A chute?  Teleportation??  Disintegration???
Mongo:  Who knows?  We'd better find them.  (to DM)  I check all the
  stone around - walls, floor, ceiling too if I could reach it.


elsewhere...


Ged:  (suddenly falling)  Damn!  Damn it!
Peldor:  Shit, what happened?  Who blew out all the torches?
Rob:  Aaaaa........
Alindyar:  A trap...we have fallen into a trap.
Ged:  (landing on his rear hard)  Ouch!  Brilliant observation there.
Rob:  (he, and the rest, all land as well)  Oop!  Ouch.
Peldor:  (lights a torch)  Hmm.  We're in some kind of pit here.
Alindyar:  It looks to be about fifteen feet to the top.  I wonder
  how the trap was triggered.
Peldor:  Last thing I remember was something coming out of that door
  that Mongo opened.  Then - Whsst!  (makes a sweeping motion with his
  hands)  Here we are!
Ged:  Not for long.  Let's find a way up to the top, and break out or
  something.
Alindyar:  No problem there.  I still have my carpet of flying.  (gets
  the carpet out, puts himself and Ged on it)  Up.  (the magical item
  rises, slightly too fast)  Stop.  Stop!  (BUMP!  Both elves hit
  their heads lightly on the ceiling.)
Peldor:  Ha ha.
Ged:  For crying out loud!  Can't you control that thing?!
Alindyar:  It is under control once more.  (taps on the ceiling with
  his wand)
Rob:  Hey, the ceiling sounds hollow!
Ged:  Just like your head.  Hey, I hear noises from the other side.
Alindyar:  Someone is tapping.  Let us hope it is our companions and
  not some accursed creature.


above...


Mongo:  Hey!  I hear something!
Halbarad:  Tapping...
Belphanior:  (readies sword and investigates the area beyond the door
  for attackers or guards)  Hmm...
Peyote:  (starts tapping some song on the floor with his sword hilt)
Mongo:  (finds an iron spike and hammers it into the floor, and strings
  a rope through the spike)  Help me pull this floor up!
Halbarad:  (helps.  The two manage to displace the floor somewhat, and
  a pit beneath is visible, containing the missing ones.)
Ged:  Mongo!  Boy am I glad to see your ugly face!  Pull us out of here!
Peyote:  I'll help, he's got to hold the floor open.  Sheesh.

  Eventually those below were brought above.  At Peldor's insistence the
trap was left "armed"...

Peldor:  To avoid nasty surprises from the rear.  Standard safety measure
  for us thieves.
Halbarad:  (to Belphanior, in the next room)  What have you found there?
Belphanior:  (comes back)  Not much.  Here's a ramp - this must have
  been what the stuffed bear was sitting on, until we came along.  The
  room is a study, and contains some casks, a table, a woodpile for the
  fireplace, etc.  I found a box of gold.  Maybe they use it to pay off
  the humanoids...(presents the box, as the rest enter the room)
Peyote:  Cool.  We'll add that gold to the loot sack.
Mongo:  Sure, I'll carry it.  Geez.
Peldor:  (wondering how much gold the elf skimmed from the box first)
Halbarad:  (checking the north and south doors)  The north door is
  locked securely.  Mayhaps we should try the southern one.  There is
  light underneath it.
Belphanior:  (in a good mood)  Okay.  But hang on for a second.  (opens
  his pack, pulling out a handful of sharp, spiked things)
Rob:  What are those?
Belphanior:  Caltrops.  They won't get to us without a few injuries...
  Go on, I'll get these in place.  (the party moves on.  The elf opens
  a jar of poison and carefully coats the spikes with it.)  Heh heh.
Halbarad:  (wondering where the honor is in such tactics, but not too
  goody-goody to miss the usefulness of the caltrops)  Hmph.

  The southern door opened into a long corridor.  A door was visible
at the far end, and a mirror hung to the right a few feet away.

Belphanior:  A mirror!  I wonder if it's a one-way mirror.  (to DM)
  I make obscene gestures at the mirror.
Ged:  Stop playing around and rejoin the front rank, fool.
Halbarad:  No time for bickering.  Look!

  At the far end of the corridor, a trio of figures were now visible.
Their bandage-swathed bodies shambled down the corridor, mindlessly
seeking out the party...

Ged:  Aaa!  Mummies!  Back, spawn of evil!  (waves his holy symbol
  of Boccob in the air)
mummies:  (continue)  uurrrrr...
Ged:  Damn.  Damn things.  (prepares a spell)
Rob:  Hey, I'll try!  (dashes forth, before anyone can hold him back)
  Leave here at once, wrapped minions of chaos!
mummies:  (advancing on the priest)  UURRRRR...
Rob:  Uh-oh!  (pulls out his flail)  Time for a fight.
Mongo:  Battle!  Three rotting mummies won't stop the raw power of the
  last son of Clan Thunderhead!
Peyote:  Maybe they will.  Watch it, these dudes are rancid.
Mongo:  Rancid, shmancid!  (hurls hammer at the targets)
Halbarad:  (brandishes axe and moves to protect Rob)  Stay put, priest.
  I shall meet these foes.

  Just then, there was a loud crash and tinkling of broken glass, and
Mongo's hammer came back devoid of mummy ichor.  The mummies vanished
as if by magic, and the door was suddenly a bit closer.

Alindyar:  What madness is this?!?
Mongo:  What in the hell...?
Rob:  Teleporting undead.  That's a new one on me.  No wonder we
  couldn't turn them.
Halbarad:  Maybe they are invisible now.  Watch yourselves.

  Almost at the same time, the mirror behind them, the one that had so
briefly occupied Belphanior, slid aside, and a tribe of smelly, armed,
and screaming humanoids rushed from a hidden room to attack the rear
rank of the party.

Halbarad:  Hobgoblins!  Quick, someone protect the magi!
Ged:  We can fend for ourselves.  Usually.  (wheels about and blasts
  the attacking hobgoblins with a sheet of flame from his hands)  Ha!
  Eat flaming death, mangy dogs!  The burning hand of Boccob strikes!
hobgoblins:  (several are crisped, others are injured by the burning
  hands spell)  Aaaaagh!  Eyaaah!
Alindyar:  Good move.  (working on a spell)
Ged:  Thanks.  (finds his morningstar and readies it)
Peldor:  (moves in toward some hobgoblin)  You there.  Give me all of
  your treasure and surrender.  Pronto!
hobgoblin:  Die, intruder!  (slashes Peldor for a minor wound)
Peldor:  (stabs the humanoid with a mighty thrust, downing it)  The
  next foe - where is it?  Do none dare to face the deadly blade of
  Peldor?
hobgoblin:  (approaches Alindyar cautiously)
Alindyar:  Boo!  (casts a spook spell)
hobgoblin:  Aaaaa!  (flees in sheer terror)  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa.....(gone)
Ged:  (beaned on the head by a sling bullet from a big hobgoblin)
  Ouch!  Who did that?  Oh.
Halbarad:  (trying to get to the rear to help with the hobgoblins, but
  also wondering about the door and the mummies and such things)
Belphanior:  (to DM)  Since no one's paying any attention, I wander in
  the direction of that first door.  If I see any mummies, I charge
  them.
DM:  Sure.
Belphanior:  (heads off to the south)
Halbarad:  What to do...?
Peyote:  (to Halbarad)  Yo, look.  The mummies are back there!  They're
  coming back!
Halbarad:  So they are...what in the @$&*%#! is that elf doing now,
  walking to greet them?!  (charges after Belphanior; Peyote comes
  along with sword drawn)
Mongo:  (looking around, decides that the three can handle the mummies
  for now and fires his hammer off at the big hobgoblin who hit Ged with
  the sling bullet)  Incoming!
Rob:  Whoa!  (almost brained by the whizzing hammer)
hobgoblin subchief:  (actually brained by the whizzing hammer, dies)  Ug.
Ged:  Thanks!
Mongo:  Anytime.  (catches the warhammer)

Belphanior:  AAAAAAA!  (charges the mummies, slashes one who isn't quite
  quick enough)
mummy:  (hideously wounded, drops)  Urg...
Belphanior:  Huh?  It had a morningstar?
Halbarad:  (running, and closing in fast)  Here we come!
Peyote:  To save the day!
Belphanior:  Since when do mummies fight with morningstars?
Peyote:  Dude?  (chops a "mummy" asunder, slaying it)  What the...?
Halbarad:  (chops a "mummy" with his axe, wounding it)  They do not seem
  to be undead.  (stabs the foe with his dagger, dispatching it)
Belphanior:  (to DM)  I unwrap one of them - one of the slain ones - and
  see what's under the bandages.
DM:  They seem to be hobgoblins.
Belphanior:  Is nothing as it seems in this fucking place?!?  Hm.  (turns
  to the wounded one with an evil glare, and moves in on it, sword drawn)

Mongo:  (in a rare show of speed, strikes first, slaying the last of the
  hobgoblins with a toss of his hammer)  For freedom!
Rob:  Freedom?
Mongo:  Yeah.  You know.
Ged:  Someone check behind that mirror.
Peldor:  I'll check the bodies.
Rob:  I'll help Peldor.
Ged:  If you helped him, then your pockets would soon be overflowing
  with pilfered coinage and loot.  I will help.
Alindyar:  The mirror...
Mongo:  Okay, okay.  I'll check it out.  (peeks around behind the mirror
  and into the area beyond)  Hey!  There's a hallway here, going into a
  room to the south.  I'll go have a look, the room probably leads into
  the area where the mummies, or whatever the hell they were, came from.
Alindyar:  (follows Mongo)  Fascinating.
Peldor:  Silver?  Is that _all_?  These were poor hobgoblins!
Rob:  The leader here has some too...but not more than the others.
Peldor:  That's the idea!  The leader is supposed to have better treasure
  than the minions.  Hey, this is a nice sling, let's take it.
Halbarad:  (somewhat to the south)  This door is false.  The passage does
  continue to the right, though.
Belphanior:  (having dispatched the last of the disguised hobgoblins, he
  is engaged in searching their corpses)  Hmm.  No loot.  I wonder if
  Peldor's faring any better?
Peyote:  A door.  A real door, I mean.  (opens it, and finds Mongo and
  Alindyar searching a barracks)  Hey dudes!  What's up?
Mongo:  Not much.  Nothing here but straw beds, dirty food, lice, and
  roaches.  (smashes a roach with his gloved fist)  I wonder if these
  things have any nutritional value?
Alindyar:  Ask the hobgoblins.
Belphanior:  (searching this new room now)  Hmm.  Here are a few things
  more, Mongo.  A chipped ring, a bag of walnuts, a nice knife.  Rusty,
  though.  No use to us.  (throws the butcher knife neatly into the
  headboard of one of the beds)  Bah.
Halbarad:  We shall take that door to the north, then.  That is, as
  soon as the others rejoin us.

  Presently, they all did.  A few small cuts were bandaged; Belphanior
liked the mummy trick so much that he considered using it on himself.
The party heard no sounds behind the door out, and so they prepared
to go on.  Belphanior opened the door, revealing a thickly carpeted
hallway going to the north.





next time:  More waltzing...

************************************************************************
NOTES:  Last time I said that the dungeon would come next; I under-
estimated the writeup size.  The dungeons will come soon...due to the
lack of buildup (I am now only writing episodes one at a time due to
time constraints) I can't accurately predict exactly what will happen
next time.  Also I said that I'd post every Sunday night.  Well, as
you no doubt know, I posted last Friday night.  I meant to write and
post one Sunday night as well, but got caught in a 2-hour delay on
I-20 and couldn't get it done (homework comes first).  Anyway, to
make up for it, I wrote and posted the above segment tonight.
  This module was full of tricks and traps, like the bear/pit and the
mirror/mummies.  The mirror made the corridor appear longer, whereas
it was actually L-shaped; the mirror was at the joint of the passage
and the false door was behind it.  The mummies "disappeared" when the
mirror was shattered, courtesy of Mongo and his hammer, and they came
back as they rounded the corner and were actually in a line of sight
from the party.
  Let's see, this is part 22.  Maybe I'll post some extra stuff that
readers have been asking for (e.g. magic item lists, height, weight,
age, stats, etc.) at the end of #25, for your reference.  We'll see.
************************************************************************




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