Chapter #25

previous chapter (#24)                                                                  next chapter (#26)






*****
*  The 8 player characters contained in these writings 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.  Specific
*  text and maps from them have been avoided, and I encourage anyone
*  who enjoys reading about them to buy and play the whole "A" series.
*****

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
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)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


                      XXV.  Markessa & Company



  The party, having rested and recuperated, prepares to go through
the (formerly) secret door at the end of their small L-shaped camp/
hideaway in the dungeons beneath the slavers' stockade.  Due to the
noises that they heard from above, throughout the night, they have
reason to believe that the fire(s) they have caused and seen are
out of control, and chaos reigns in the stockade itself.  It is
also a sure bet at this point that the occupants of this dungeon
are aware that there are intruders in the area...

Belphanior:  (listening at the door)  I hear some scratching.  Are
  we ready to go?
Mongo:  (raises hammer meaningfully)  Hell yeah!
Peldor:  Just about.  (puts caltrops at the base of the ladder up)
  In case of pursuit.
Halbarad:  Belphanior, you open the door.  I'll go through first,
  in case we have to fight, followed by Mongo and Peyote.
Peyote:  Sure, I'll go.
Alindyar:  The plan sounds fine to me.
Belphanior:  Okay.  (lifts the latch)
Halbarad:  (enters)  Wha...?!
Big wolf:  Snarl!  (leaps for Halbarad's throat)
Halbarad:  Aie!  (bitten in the shoulder, surprised)  Damn!
Mongo:  Hang on!  (runs forth)
Peyote:  Dude?
Belphanior:  Wolf!
Other big wolf:  (across the hall about 20')  Howl!  (starts a very
  loud howling)
Ged:  Uh-oh.
Belphanior:  Wolves!
Mongo:  (slams the wolf biting Halbarad)  Get off him!
Wolf:  (ribs crack)  growl...
Belphanior:  (seeing that the second wolf is chained to the far wall,
  he strolls up to it and stalks it with his longsword ready)
Alindyar:  (fires a magic missile from his wand, at the first wolf)
Peyote:  (chops the first wolf)  Leave him be!
wolf:  (dies)
Halbarad:  Ugh!  Somebody help me staunch this $@%#&*! bleeding
  shoulder!
Peyote:  Yonder beast, and this slain one, seem evil, even for wolves.
Mongo:  No shit.
Halbarad:  They are worgs, gigantic evil cousins of normal wolves.  I
  do not think that they can be tamed by us, or any lawful group...
Mongo:  Good, 'cause I'm sick of that other one's damned howling!
  (moves to the west and throws his hammer at it, narrowly missing
  Belphanior's head before it crunches into the monstrous animal)
Belphanior:  Hey!  Watch where you throw that!  You could put somebody's
  eye out with that thing!
Alindyar:  'Tis an understatement...
Rob:  Let me help.  (heals Halbarad)
second wolf:  (still howling)
Halbarad:  Silence that companion beast, before every creature in this
  dungeon comes looking for us!
Belphanior:  (slices the worg again, for the second time)
Worg#2:  (dies)  Awooo....urk.
Mongo:  _Much_ better.
Ged:  (to Alindyar)  I guess we'd better get our heavy magic ready,
  for now we're sure to run into the worst of trouble.
Alindyar:  Aye.
Belphanior:  There's a door nearby, to the north, and another farther,
  to the south.  Which one to take?  (wanders northward)
Halbarad:  Where are you going?
Belphanior:  I don't want to tarry here too long.  There may be more
  wolves about.
Mongo:  Yeah.  And where there's wolves, there's usually goblins too.
  (also heads north)  Which wouldn't be so bad.  I'm sort of out of
  practice in melee, and goblins are a pretty good challenge...
Halbarad:  Fine.  North we go, then.
Alindyar:  (prepares a color spray)  Hmm.
Ged:  (prepares magic missiles)  Ho.
Belphanior:  (listens at the northern door, hears nothing at all)  Hm.
  (opens the door and leaps all the way in)

  Beyond the door was a huge room, over sixty feet in length and more
than forty wide.  Its high, sloping ceiling looked about fifty feet
or so from the floor.  All but the northern part of the chamber had
a raised balcony around the perimeter; this ledge was about ten feet
higher than the floor.  The place was obviously a laboratory, for it
was filled with tables, bookshelves, flasks, and other arcane toys.
  More importantly, there were about a dozen goblins, most of them in
strategic positions along the ledge, with bows ready.  They chattered
and screeched in excitement as the party entered the room, and then
raised their bows.

Belphanior:  Fuck!  (looks around, spotting a goblin about ten feet
  to his front and left)  You!  Die!  (rushes the goblin)
Goblin:  Yie!  (points his shortsword at the crazed oncoming elf)
Halbarad:  (enters the room)  Goblins!
Belphanior:  We can clearly see that!  (dodges a thrust from his foe)
Mongo:  (enters the room)  Shit!  They're everywhere!
goblin:  (some random one, shoots an arrow at Mongo)
Mongo:  (the missile bounces off of his plate mail)  Fuck!
Peyote:  (enters the room, just in time to be nicked by an arrow)
  Whoa!  Battlezone!  (slips on his ring and goes invisible)
goblin:  (on balcony)  Hey!  Where'd he go?
Rob:  What's going on?  (enters the room holding a lantern in one
  hand and a flail in the other)  Oh.
Belphanior:  (missed by an arrow)  Damn snivelling fools!  (slices
  his foe, decapitating it with a lucky strike)  Hah!  (turns to face
  another goblin, this one about twenty feet away at a table in the
  center of the room)
slender female elf:  (far to the north of the room)  Get them!  Kill
  them all!  (casts a spell on herself)
Belphanior:  Not very friendly, girl.
goblins:  (above the doorway, they push a large wooden tun over onto
  those below)  Har har!
Mongo:  Oh no!  Not again!
Alindyar:  Another tun...

  The barrel shattered all over Halbarad, Mongo, Peyote, and Rob,
doing minor damage but soaking them in brine.  The lantern went out
in a flash.

Rob:  Hey, I can't see.
Halbarad:  Shut up.
Mongo:  (hit by an arrow)  Fuck this bullshit.  I am nobody's target
  practice dummy!  They're not the only ones who can see in the dark!
  (hurls hammer at a goblin on the balcony to the left)
goblin:  (head crushed)
Peyote:  (fuming about the waste of a good invisibility, heads for
  the female elf to the rear of the room)
Halbarad:  Phew!  This brine stinks!  (feels for a wall and gets out
  of the way of those who can see)
Rob:  (still in the way, pushed aside by Mongo)  Huh?
Ged:  (enters the room, almost totally dry of brine)  Boccob's wrath
  has arrived!  Repent!  (fires three magic missiles at the distant
  elven woman, hitting her and eliciting a cry of pain and anger)
Mongo:  (catches his hammer)  Yeah!  That bitch is next!
Alindyar:  (enters the room, looks around for the largest number of
  goblins)
Ged:  (nicked by an arrow)  Boccob damn it!
Belphanior:  (launches a flaming sphere at the table in the center
  of the room, specifically at the goblin next to it)  Let there be
  LIGHT!!!
goblin:  (the target, ignited in a burst of flame)  Aaagh!
Belphanior:  Heh heh.

  The room was somewhat illuminated by this new light source.  The
shadows above, on the balcony, indicated positions of goblins, who
were still firing a lot of arrows.

Belphanior:  (to DM)  I look at the stuff in this room closely.
  What sort of laboratory does it seem to be?
DM:  (to Belphanior)  There are tools like saws, drills, etc. plus
  a lot of body parts and limbs.
Belphanior:  A torture chamber?  What is that elven girl up to?
DM:  Who knows?
Mongo:  (hit by one arrow, missed by another)  Damn goblins.
Halbarad:  (a sitting duck, nailed by two arrows)  Agh!
Belphanior:  (to DM)  I head for the goblin whom I just ignited.
DM:  Okay.
Alindyar:  (launches a color spray at three goblins above and to the
  left of the door)
Goblins:  (those three; rendered unconscious)
Peldor:  (just enters the room, but can barely see)  Hmm.  (wanders
  off to the right)
something behind bars to right:  Growl!
Peldor:  What was that?
goblin:  (above Peldor and the source of the growl)  Ha.  See how you
  like this.  (pulls a lever, and the bars next to Peldor raise)
Big furry monster:  (lumbers out)  GRAARR!
Peldor:  Uh-oh.

Belphanior:  (walks by the tables in the center of the room)
thing on table:  (a deformed man-like thing, with a strange clawed arm
  and a melted-looking mouth)  Croak!  Croak!
Belphanior:  Holy shit!  What in the hell are YOU?!?
thing:  (continues to croak miserably)
Belphanior:  (moves around behind it and backstabs it, successfully,
  as it fails to turn around much or move away)  Well, the least I
  can do is put you out of your misery.
thing:  (dies)
Belphanior:  (looking with hatred at the female elf)  Who would do
  this to anyone?  (to DM)  This isn't funny.  I send the flaming
  sphere straight at her.  As fast as possible.
Peyote:  (still toward the eastern fringe of the room; attacked by
  a goblin who ran out from the north)  Hey!  (chops at the humanoid)
goblin:  (dies, courtesy of the half-elf's magical bastard sword)
Peldor:  (surprised by the owlbear that ran out of the cage at him,
  is clawed by a paw)  Agh!  Somebody come help me put this thing
  out of my misery!
Halbarad:  On my way.
Mongo:  (hurls hammer at a goblin on the balcony who is drawing a
  bead on someone)
goblin:  (hit critically, dies messily)  Aaaa...
Mongo:  Yeah!
Rob:  We need more light.  (casts continual light on top of the
  helmet of a goblin to the north, not on the balcony)
goblin:  Aie!  (can't see too well now, stumbles around hacking at
  the air with his shortsword)
Halbarad:  (moves to help Peldor)
Mongo:  (catches his hammer, turns to face the female elf)
female elf:  (fires magic missiles at Belphanior, to disrupt his
  concentration on the flaming sphere, which is getting rather close
  by this time)
Belphanior:  Agh!  Stupid bitch!
Alindyar:  (casts darkness, 15' radius on the three goblins above
  Peldor and the owlbear)
goblins:  Aaaaa!  (one falls off the ledge, in front of the monster)
owlbear:  (stomps on the unfortunate goblin)  GRRR!!
Peldor:  Ha ha.
Ged:  Time for melee!  (pulls out his morningstar and charges the
  owlbear)
Peldor:  (stabs the owlbear)  Peldor takes no shit from any monster!
Mongo:  (launches his hammer at the elf to the north)
female elf:  (hit by the weapon)  Aie!  (staggers, her spell disrupted)
flaming sphere:  (sitting now by a table that is too high for it to
  roll over.  The table is on fire now, though.)  (blaze)
Mongo:  (catches hammer)
Halbarad:  (chops and stabs the owlbear, hitting with the dagger but
  not the axe)  Back, fell beast!
Ged:  (hits it with morningstar)  Boccob commands it!

female elf:  (launches lightning bolt at Belphanior)  Ha ha!  Die!
Belphanior:  Whoa!  (dodges aside, taking only some damage from the
  electrical bolt)  Aaagh!  Geez!

  The bolt continued on, to hit Mongo (who failed to save and thus
took full damage, and was knocked down) before it went on.  The
dwarf's plate armor made an excellent conduction path for the bolt
to go down into the floor, but nevertheless, Halbarad and Ged got
slight shocks from residual electricity because they were somewhat
in its path.

Mongo:  (smoking)  Aaaaagh!  @#%$&*! fucking damn shit bitch!!
Belphanior:  (causes his flaming sphere to go around the table)
female elf:  (runs for a door)
Belphanior:  No way.  No way! (the sphere outruns her and collides
  with her, setting her on fire)  Burn, torturer of hapless ones!
female elf:  (aflame)  Aaaaa!
Belphanior:  Justice is served.
Mongo:  Hey, good job!  (hurls hammer at the flaming form, hitting)
  Let's take no chances with her.  She zapped us good.
Belphanior:  Of course.
Rob:  (attacks the c. light-ed goblin with his flail, slaying it)
  There.  I have done something useful.
Ged:  About time...
Halbarad:  (hits the owlbear again)
owlbear:  (seriously wounded now; paws Halbarad twice)  GRAAR!!
Halbarad:  Augh!
Ged:  (hits the monster also)  Boccob!
Peldor:  (stabs it; the thing dies)  Hah!  Peldor's foes fall like
  wheat before the scythe!  Now where's the treasure?

  Peyote never reached the female elf, for she died afire in moments.
The party searched the room, finding all manner of strange devices
typically used by alchemists.  They also found a number of body parts
from different creatures, preserved in brine.  Peldor found some gold
on the goblins' bodies, and Alindyar found some parchments with names,
descriptions, and maps.  Belphanior retained a few odd items he saw.
The elf's body was burned fairly thoroughly, so she had nothing of any
value left.  There was a second owlbear, in another cage that hadn't
been opened thanks to Alindyar's color spray on those goblins (yes,
Belphanior killed them in their sleep).  The party left it here for
now.  Some healing took place, and then the door to the northwest
was the next one taken.

Belphanior:  Say, am I the official, designated door-opener now?
Halbarad:  Sure.
Ged:  Now just open the door.
Belphanior:  (opens door; beyond is a large room with many doors and
  a hallway going off to the south out of sight (also with more doors
  along its length)  Wow.
Halbarad:  Let us go north.  We might as well be consistent.  (the
  party heads through the easternmost of the doors on the northern
  wall)





next time:  More slaver leaders...

************************************************************************
NOTES:  I got mail from somebody named Scott stating a number of points
that I as a DM should probably have been more strict on.  Unfortunately
I lost your email address, Scott, and only retain a copy of your mail.
Please mail me again so I can reply to your myriad comments...  In a
general sense, all readers should remember that these writeups, while
detailed, cannot cover everything that happened.  Maybe I forgot some
things since we played.  Maybe I skip things sometimes for efficiency.
Maybe I add things sometimes, for convenience.  I take all of the many
editor's liberties when I write these stories, so people who are after
100% rules- and continuity- correct stories won't find them here.  I'm
in it to chronicle the deeds and humor that we experienced over two
and a half years of playing, no more, no less.  Even during the active
times of the campaign, I missed things and forgot certain rules.  Now,
as I write up these stories, I am not overly interested in criticisms
on how I DM-ed two or three years ago.
  On to other topics.  In case you don't have the module, Markessa was
the evil elven woman who got toasted.  She figured that her lightning
bolt would be sufficient to stop Belphanior and Mongo, and she (well,
I, the DM) noticed that the two were lined up, so...but she figured
wrong.  By the time that I realized that she should have retreated,
Belphanior's player pointed out to me the movement rate of the spell
(flaming sphere).  I had to let Markessa get hit, and she was rather
weak at that point.  Still, the battle was fun.
  Now for some (silver anniversary/25th episode) fun stuff.  I don't
want to give away too many specific details, because if I do, someone
will nab me at some point in the future with a contradiction, and I
don't want that to happen.  Other than that, enjoy the following data
and I'll update it every 25th episode!



ALINDYAR   (6th level drow elven mage)   (Neutral)
  height: 5'9"   weight: 104 lbs   age: 124 yrs   hair: white
  eyes: dk. brown   land of origin: Underdark   deity: ?
  preferred weapon: spells (dagger)
  armor: bracers of defense
  highs: Int, Dex, 120' infravision, always levelheaded
  lows: Str, weakness in bright sunlight, racial conflicts w/others
  likes: peace & quiet, magic
  dislikes: bigotry, senseless actions
  major magic items: robe+1, bracers ac6, bag of holding, carpet of
    flying, wand of magic missiles
  common spells: fireball, dispel magic, web, wall of fog
  goals: to become powerful enough to enjoy things he likes w/o fear
    of attacks or violence

BELPHANIOR   (4th/4th/5th level high elven fighter/mage/thief)   (C.N.)
  height: 6'1"  weight: 117 lbs   age: 119 yrs   hair: lt. brown
  eyes: black   land of origin: Wild Coast   deity: none yet
  preferred weapon: longsword
  armor: bracers of defense
  highs: Dex, Int, good combat abilities, versatility
  lows: Wis, Chr, reckless nature, curiosity
  likes: chaos, combat, death
  dislikes: slavery, torture, boredom
  major magic items: ring of wizardry (1st level spells), longsword +1,
    staff of Thunder & Lightning, bracers ac4
  common spells: flaming sphere, color spray
  goals: to live a life of danger and thrills

GED   (5th/5th level grey elven mage/priest)   (Neutral Good)
  height: 5'8"   weight: 101 yrs   age: 107 yrs   hair: gold
  eyes: green   land of origin: Celene   deity: Boccob
  preferred weapon: morningstar
  armor: chain mail, small shield
  highs: Int, Wis, versatility w/magic, good knowledge of spells, looks
    out for party, takes over leadership of party at times
  lows: Str, Chr, temperamental
  likes: magic, magic items
  dislikes: Peldor, undead
  major magical items: ring of water breathing, stone horse, small shield
    +2, ring of shooting stars
  common spells: magic missile, sleep, identify, burning hands, haste
  goals: to spread the word of Boccob while vanquishing evil foes

HALBARAD   (6th level human ranger)   (Neutral Good)
  height: 5'10"   weight: 186 lbs   age: 26 yrs   hair: brown
  eyes: grey   land of origin: Furyondy   deity: Elhonna
  preferred weapon: battle axe, dagger
  armor: leather
  highs: Con, Dex, good sense of right and wrong, quasi-leader at times
  lows: takes some things too seriously
  likes: outdoors, animals
  dislikes: corruption of likes, and orcs...
  major magical items: battle axe +1, dagger +2, leather armor +3,
    gem of seeing
  goals: to own and maintain his own happy little forest

MONGO   (6th level dwarven fighter)   (Chaotic Good)
  height: 4'0"   weight: 154 lbs   age: 68 yrs   hair: black
  eyes: red   land of origin: Flinty Hills   deity: ?
  preferred weapon:  war hammer
  armor: plate mail, medium shield
  highs: Str, Con, aggressiveness, hard to injure, loyal to party
  lows: Int, Wis, Dex
  likes: cooking, battle, weapons, the underground
  dislikes: giants, humanoids, sitting around dungeons doing nothing
    even remotely useful
  major magical items: hammer +3, dwarven thrower, medium shield +1,
    ring of regeneration, chime of opening
  goals: to become a general in some army

PELDOR   (7th level human thief)   (Neutral)
  height: 5'11"   weight: 161 lbs   age: 18 yrs   hair: brown
  eyes: black   land of origin: unknown   deity: none
  preferred weapon: short sword, knife
  armor: leather
  highs: Int, Dex, Con, Str, good thief, incredible luck, comedian of group
  lows:  Wis, untrusted by some
  likes: stealing, backstabbing, having a lot of money, adventure
  dislikes: Boccob & associated minions
  major magical items: shortsword +1, +4 vs. reptiles, knife +3, pouch
    of accessibility, luckstone
  goals: to run his own thieves' guild in a major city

PEYOTE   (5th/5th level half-elf fighter/druid)   (Neutral)
  height: 5'6"   weight: 132 lbs   age: 22 yrs   hair: brown
  eyes: brown   land of origin: Vesve Forest   deity: Obad-Hai
  preferred weapon: bastard sword
  armor: hide armor
  highs: Str, Chr, tries to do the right thing
  lows: Int, Con, irritating style of talking, short-sighted at times
  likes: typical druidic things
  dislikes: undead, evil beings, noisy things
  major magical items: ring of invisibility, wand of wonder, bastard
    sword +3, Frost Brand, ring of protection +2
  goals: to become the world's most successful wandering druid

ROB   (6th level human priest)   (Lawful Good)
  height: 5'10"   weight: 171 lbs   age: 19 yrs   hair: blond
  eyes: blue   land of origin: Keoland   deity: Trithereon
  preferred weapon: flail
  armor: banded(!), medium shield
  highs: Wis, Int, healing powers, source of many jokes
  lows: Str, low attention span, tendency to do really stupid things
  likes: being a priest
  dislikes: having to deal with evil beings and religions
  major magical items: footman's flail +1, mace +1, necklace of prayer
    beads



HIGHEST STR: Mongo
HIGHEST INT: Alindyar
HIGHEST WIS: Ged, Rob
HIGHEST DEX: Peldor
HIGHEST CON: Mongo
HIGHEST CHR: Peldor

MOST HP: Mongo (60 hp)
LEAST HP: Alindyar (25 hp)





                         IMPORTANT NOTICE !!!

  Thanks to garyf@tybalt.caltech.edu, there is now an anonymous ftp
site for these stories (tybalt.caltech.edu) so you can get them there.
They are in /pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers.  Have fun.
************************************************************************




previous chapter (#24)                                                                  next chapter (#26)