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+ THE ADVENTURERS +
+ Epic II +
+ Many of the locations, non-player characters, spells, +
+ and other terms used in these stories are the property of +
+ TSR, Inc. However, this does not mean that TSR in any +
+ way endorses or authorizes their use, and any such items +
+ contained within these stories should not be considered +
+ representative of TSR in any way, shape, or form. +
+ Due to the nature of the Internet, these stories have +
+ been widely available since 1991. I have given them to +
+ the world freely, and have never intended to market them +
+ or in any way make money. However, due to TSR, Inc.'s +
+ copyright restrictions, old episodes of the Adventurers +
+ are no longer being archived on any ftp site anywhere. +
+ The player 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 +
+ firstname.lastname@example.org +
+ THE PARTY (or more accurately, a fragment of it): +
+ Arnold 12th level human warrior (NG) +
+ Ged 14th/14th level grey elf priest/mage (NG) +
+ Mongo 17th level dwarven warrior (CG) +
+ Gorin 8th level dwarven warrior (CG) +
+ Peldor 19th level human thief (N) +
+ Bosco 10th level halfling thief (CN) +
+ Date: 7/1/574 C.Y. (Common Year) +
+ Time: morning +
+ Place: the Free City of Greyhawk +
+ Climate: warm +
+ "If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead +
+ and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do +
+ things worth the writing." +
+ - Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack )1738) +
CCXXVI. Ged's Expedition
About a week after the last regrouping and resplitting,
some of the adventurers are still hanging around Greyhawk...
Ged: (in Peldor's tavern, the Green Dragon Inn, he is now
sitting at a table with Peldor, Bosco, and Arnold) ...and
so I started thinking, why _not_ go back there?
Arnold: Aaa. Dhis was before my time.
Peldor: The Suss Forest? The Lost City?
Ged: Yea. We only explored a small part of the dungeon -
building is a more appropriate term - but I'm convinced
that there's more. Much more. And I'm going to get it,
all of it.
Bosco: Sounds like fun. And treasure...
Ged: I could get a team of miners...others to guard the
horses, wagons, etc. above-ground...(he gets a dreamy
look in his green eyes) Boccob, think of the lost magicks
to be had...
Peldor: (dubiously) Hmmmmmm.
Bosco: (not-so-dubiously) Hmm.
Arnold: How will you organize the exbedition?
Ged: Miners...guards...supplies...by Boccob, there's much
work to be done! (he looks around) Why am I sitting
around here, then?
Bosco: I don't know...why _are_ you?
Ged: Come, Arnold. Let's go about this business.
Arnold: (stands up) Yah.
Ged: (to Peldor) Are you with me? We could use a couple
of good ferrets- err, scouts. Yea, scouts!
Bosco: You betcha-
Peldor: You'll have to deal me out of this one, I'm afraid.
I've got a lot of work to do here.
Ged: Work? You? Like what?
Peldor: I just bought the building next door...I'm planning
to turn it into a casino.
Bosco: Huh? Hey, I wanna gamble there!
Peldor: Of course you do, Bosco. Everyone will.
Ged: Hmph. Yet another way for you to steal money from the
unsuspecting and unaware...
Peldor: Hey, gods' followers must pay their rightful taxes!
Ged: Bah. (to Arnold) We'll get some other thie- scouts,
then. No problem.
Arnold: (looks doubtful)
Ged: Hey, I bet Mongo would be interested in helping us on
Bosco: Probably...hey, what about Alindyar and the babe?
Ged: You mean Lyra?
Bosco: Yeah, Lyra.
Ged: (looks perturbed) I won't have those drow sharing in
the magical wonders that are rightfully mine!
Peldor: (mumbling) Rightfully mine...
Ged: Eh? What's that?
Ged: I thought not. Besides, the drow have vanished again,
as they are wont to do. No one knows where they are. I
guess they'll reappear when they're ready.
Peldor: Like they always do.
Ged: Yea. Well, we must be off - there's a lot of work to
Peldor: I can only imagine.
Bosco: (envisioning heaps of golden coins) Me too.
Ged: (stands, and tosses a coin onto the table, to pay for
Peldor: Oh, don't worry about paying. It's on the house!
(to Bosco) I've always wanted to be able to say that...
Ged: Well, if you insist...
Peldor: Of course! The unfortunate and downtrodden must
have people like Peldor around, to help them out in-
Ged: (turns to leave) We'll see you around.
Peldor: -times of need?
Arnold: Bye, Bodsgo.
Peldor: Err...good luck!
Ged and Arnold left the tavern, and headed to the market
quarter, to price out the necessary items and labor-power
for the upcoming expedition.
In the next week, Ged assembled a significant force for
the Suss Forest expedition.
Ged: So, what do you think of my plan?
Mongo: The Lost city? Treasure? Monsters? Sure, I'll
go! Just try to keep me away!
Gorin: (pauses in his woodworking - a dwarf-sized chair)
Mongo: A dungeon, lad! A big dungeon! (to Ged) When
do we leave?
Ged: Hopefully, sometime this week. I've got to get all
the troops and people that I need.
Mongo: Maybe I can help with that...
Indeed, with Mongo's help, Ged was able to secure a
score of stout dwarven miners. Besides these hirelings,
the elf also recruited several dozen of the farmers who
lived around his castle, to serve as porters. He found
a number of guards-for-hire in Greyhawk, and chose those
whom he deemed trustworthy (spells assisted in this
capacity) to accompany the expedition.
As far as materials, Ged purchased ten large wagons,
each pulled by a team of six horses. Of course, these
in turn required the hiring of drivers. Then there were
food, drink, mining equipment, torches, ropes, iron
spikes, oil, wheeled carts, horses and ponies for all
the hirelings...the list went on and on.
Ged: (tallying up the costs thus far) Boccob! I hope
that we find some coinage, as well as magical items,
in the Lost City...
Mongo: (puzzling over the columns of figures) We did
last time, remember? That's where we got my portable
hole, too. Good place...except for that juggernaut.
Continuing castle-building operations were to be left
in the care of the half-elf Deryck, and the engineer
Scotty. Ged brought Nenya, his elven protege, along, so
that she might gain experience in an actual dungeon.
Nenya: (rather excited by this prospect) I'll be ready
to leave within the hour!
Ged: Hold your horses...it will be at least two days,
Arnold: (wondering if Ged should bring Calvin the page
along, so that he too might gain experience in an
actual dungeon) Aaa?
Three days later, all was in readiness. The caravan
(for such was its size and scope now) set out for the
Suss forest, to the southwest.
Mongo: (saddles up, along with Gorin, Arnold, Nenya,
and Ged) Ah.
Ged: Here we go...
next time : to the Suss!
notes : You'll be happy to know that this adventure idea came
straight from Ged's player himself...
Now for something that's been long overdue: Survey results!
Here are the responses, ordered and arranged in several different
South Africa 1
Soviet Union 1
READERS' FAVORITE CHARACTERS:
the wispy thing 1
not sure 13
READERS' FAVORITE EPISODES/STORYLINES:
the alternate-Oerth saga 126-143 22
just Belphanior trashing Greyhawk 213 1 \
Belphanior & Rillen solo 213-221+ 5 ) 18
just the horror story 218 12 /
the undead saga 91-100 13
adventures on Earth 200-211 13
the Slaver modules 16- 38 9.5
the Underdark saga 79- 90 8.5
the Sea of Dust adventure 111-119 4.5 \ 8.5
Peldor killing the Balor 119 4 /
Mongo vs. the giants 147-148 6
Belphanior/Peldor thieving adventure 51 5.5
the freeing of the slaves 186-192 4
the Rune quest 195-199 4
the assault on the devil fortress 73- 75 3.5
grouped solo quests 150-164 3.5
rescue of Alindyar from Drow city 175 3
Rillen's tournament 101 2.5
the Tomb of Horrors 165-172 2.5
battle with bounty hunters 105-106 1.5
repost of episode #1 1 1
prose story from Belphanior's POV 10 1
battle with red dragon 42 1
dungeons of Aranor 46- 49 1
first Lyra 62 1
Alindyar & Lyra in pocket dimension 104 1
Belphanior works on his Greyhawk home 146 1
battle with the humanoid army 155 1
trip to Arnold's village 158-160 1
Ged recharges his fire wand 161-164 1
seabound Rune adventure 197 1
land/sea group split 52 -69 0.5
Zagyg's dungeons 120-125 0.5
any of the individual/solo/non-group adventures 6
any of the "early" episodes 3
just not sure 55
Well, that's it. I can assure you that it was both a fun
and difficult task to compile all of the survey responses.
A few random notes:
Surprise #1: The recent (213-225) storyline is much more
popular than I thought it would be. The intention was to
kick off a series of solo- or pair- type adventures. I
hope the other adventurers' solo exploits please you as
much as Belphanior's and Rillen's have.
Surprise #2: Belphanior the most well-liked adventurer?!?
Reasons cited include versatility, dual nature, having the
best toys, et al. I'll bear this in mind when considering
the elf's future plans, and my plans for him. Then again,
Peldor's a _very_ close second (no surprise there)
Surprise #3: Despite only getting 3.5 votes, the episode
in which Peldor got ripped in half (#75) was rather widely
mentioned as one of the best.
Non-surprise #1: The alternate-Oerth saga won. Something
about seeing the adventurers' mirror images thrilled you
people as much as it did me...
Non-surprise #2: About a third of you couldn't make up your
mind about which episode was the best. I guess that's a
good thing, really - a mark of consistency on my part,
Things the readers have given me to think about in the future:
Alindyar: Needs to start doing more things that supra-
intelligent archmagi would do.
Belphanior: Needs to decide what he's going to now that he
can't go back to Greyhawk.
Ged: Needs to expand his territory.
Lyra: Needs to prove that she's more than a sidekick for
Mongo: Needs to start a territory.
Rillen: Needs to do _something_ on his own.
My own answers to my survey (hey, it's only fair...)
1) 24 years old (25 in late December 1994)
2) Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering, currently a
3) USA (Atlanta to be exact)
4) author since #1 :)
5) Belphanior or Peldor were my personal favorites - they
always made my DM-ing job interesting. Ged did too,
but in an irritating way.
6) Hmm, tough call. Thinking back about the ones I've
been most pleased with after writing them...then
weeding out anything that I had any stigma with
while writing...the undead saga (91-100) is the only
Now for some letters, i.e. a letters page. Ideally, mail
re-printed in a particular episode should pertain to stuff
that happened ~5 episodes back, or thereabouts...so here's
a batch of fan mail that covers 218-221...mostly 218. I'll
reply to questions here, as well, making it a public forum.
>> Subject: Re: story 218 - happy Halloween!
>> Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool!!!!
>> I loved it!
>> Nice to have adventurers really seem scared. ;-)
>> ps - okay, so I was wrong about vampires/werewolves -
>> but pleasantly so! ;-)
>> If I may say so..that was one of the most excellent
>> stories I've EVER read. And right up there with the
>> best adventurer stories, if no the best. All this
>> practice has really honed your sense or timing I'd
>> say. I was utterly engrossed in the reading..and that
>> says something.
>> *clap, clap, clap*
>> I have to say, I'm impressed - that was the single best
>> "Adventurers" story I've ever read! It was especially
>> nice to see (or not) something even Belphanior is power-
>> less against, at least for now. :-)
>> Rob Macomber
>> Just wanted to let you know I really liked this story.
>> Quite a mood piece and perfect for today. I've enjoyed
>> your Adventurers stories a lot and I hope to see more in
>> the future. I really think your writing style has
>> improved over the course of the cronicles. I have quite
>> a feel for the characters and how they will react in a
>> given situation. Who knows, someday you may be collecting
>> them for TSR to publish! :) (Yes I know,
>> TSR is the Evil Empire but you gotta start somewhere.)
>> Michael Wesely
Not likely...the Evil Empire seems to have no interest in
my stories...kinda like it has no interest in the net's
opinions on "copyrighted" material.
>> Dear Mr. Miller:
>> That was extremely well done! I've been a fan of your
>> stories for three years now and I have to say that was by
>> far, one of the best I've read. I like the touches with
>> the building up of the horror, the comfy humanization of
>> the "victims" before they're killed-- especially Garn--
>> it made the horror all the more scary. Also, the way the
>> story took precedence over combat, and how the reactions
>> of the characters, were shown was very well done. The only
>> minor point that I felt was missing was an explanation of
>> some kind for why it was happenning--why the fog, what it
>> was, and so on.
>> Regarding the characters, they've become much more alive
>> and 3-D-- again, extremely well done. It's a far cry from
>> having one combat scene after another, with random monsters
>> here and there without any rhyme or reason or purpose.
>> Great job! Keep on writing.
>> John Lee
Yeah, I guess in the long run, Garn was a sacrifice. I
went into this story with a different approach than I usually
do for the stories.
>> I liked 218. For some reason it reminded me of some Call
>> of Cthulu sessions I have played :-) I also like the style
>> with small separate adventures with just a few members of
>> the group.
>> Also what the hell was in that fog?
>> Hey if fire doesn't work try ice.
>> LONEWOLF SENDS YOU HIS REGARDS
We'll never know what was in the fog...I hope.
>> Ahh...sad to see Garn go so quickly....the party could
>> have used a ranger with Halbarad MIA.....
>> I was also a little suprised that Belphanior didn't try
>> to lightning-bolt the creature of the mists.
Yeah, I guess that lightning _is_ one of his favorite
>>>> Oh, also...Belphanior's fate puzzles me too. I'm
>>>> not sure what I'll do with him.
>> Damn, at least now I got time to comment on that one.
>> IMHO Belph cannot go (will not too!) back to Greyhawk
>> and has no pressing matters after 'escorting' Rillen to
>> the tournament.
>> After seeing Adventurers wreak havoc in parallel
>> universe with their doubles, I think Belpanior could do
>> well as a bandit. He has freedom to do what he likes,
>> he can boss his underlings around and his blade can be
>> sated by continuous raids on caravans and nearby settle-
>> Still, he could do well also as a plain wanderer, seeking
>> thrills and danger :) He would get the risks, but the
>> rewards could be greater than those of Adventurers who
>> decided to settle down (no need to use months to create
>> items & potions..).
>> Anyway, I'll watch with interest what happens to him in
>> near future...
>> BTW, will you make same kinds of episodes for everyone
>> else? Would be nice to know what is happening to them...
>> And as a final query: Will Alindyar ever come out of his
>> quiet shell ? Would be nice for him to be effective =)
>> once in a while..
>> VP Tervonen
Yup, you're pretty much on track. As for other solo
shots, I'm working on it even now. As for Alindyar...well,
he can be pretty darn effective at times. As one reader
once said, he walks softly and carries a very big stick.
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