Chapter #26

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*****
*  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.
*****

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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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                      XXVI.  Miscellany



  The party was in a large room with numerous doors.  They picked
the northeastern door and went through it.  Beyond was a hallway
veering off to the left.  After going around this corner, they saw
six doors, evenly spaced with three to either side.

Mongo:  I wonder what the hell's in here?
Peyote:  Here comes the answer.  Look!

  Advancing on the party were three furry humanoids, snarling and
slobbering the whole way.  It wasn't hard to figure out just what
they were...

Alindyar:  Lolth's breasts!  Werewolves!
Rob:  Aaa!  We are undone!
Halbarad:  Not to worry.  There are only three of them.  Though,
  they _are_ werewolves.
Ged:  Your grasp of the obvious is simply amazing.
Mongo:  Fuck this!  (hurls his hammer at extremely close range)  Quit
  your yapping and start your zapping, mage!
Peldor:  Hey, that wasn't bad.
werewolf#2:  (hit by the hammer, injured)  Yoooooow!
Belphanior:  (charges forth)  Die, child eaters!
Halbarad:  (advances as well)  Aye!
Peyote:  Child eaters?
Mongo:  (catches hammer, and raises it as he lumbers toward the impending
  melee)  Prepare to be smashed, wolf-heads!

Belphanior:  (slashes at a werewolf, injuring it)  Take that!
werewolf#1:  (surprised at being wounded by a weapon, recoils)  Aaaawl!
Ged:  What pitiful war cries these beasts make.  (fires away a trio of
  magical missiles at werewolf#1)  For Boccob!
werewolf#1:  (hit, singed, hurt - this just isn't his day)  Argh!
werewolf#3:  (claws at Halbarad, but misses)  Awoo?
Halbarad:  Stay back, evil thing!  (chops and stabs the lycanthrope,
  wounding it)
werewolf#2:  (claws Mongo, injuring him slightly in one arm)  Snarl!
Mongo:  Ouch!  Dammit!  I'd better not catch any diseases from you!
Rob:  I can help.  (casts a spiritual hammer)  Let the hammer swing!
Peldor:  Stop babbling, priest.  (starts moving around trying to get
  behind somebody and stab them)
Alindyar:  (casts spider climb on himself)  Hmm.
Peyote:  (trying to get into the melee, but blocked because the passage
  is but 10' wide)  Damn.
Ged:  Come on!  Drive them back!
Rob:  Huh?  Who?
Halbarad:  We are trying...
Mongo:  (slams werewolf#2 with his hammer, and hears bones splinter)
  Yea!
Werewolf#2:  Aaarrr!
Alindyar:  (removing his boots and gloves)
Belphanior:  (parrying attacks from werewolf#1)  I shall gut you yet!
Werewolf#1:  Hrrg!  Arg!
Mongo:  (smashes his opponent once more, dispatching it)  Hah!  Death
  to all evil wolf-heads!
Rob:  (tries to hit a werewolf with his spiritual hammer, but gets a "1"
  and fumbles...the hammer flies past the opponents and sails down the
  long hallway, out of control for the time being)  Darnit!
Alindyar:  (climbing onto the ceiling)  The view is nice from up here...

  The second round of combat was punctuated by new arrivals...from a
room to the north and west, two huge, furry humanoids emerged, grinning,
bastard swords in hand.  Also, from a room farther up the hall, a tall,
gaunt, skeletal man strode out into the hallway, frowning.

Mongo:  Hey!  Who are _those_ goons?
Peyote:  Easy.  Bastards with bastard swords.  (runs through the opening
  in the werewolf ranks that Mongo created, and charges the two bugbears)
Mongo:  (moves forward, eyeing the new opponents warily)
Peldor:  Ahh.  New, worthy opponents for Peldor!
Ged:  Hush, fool.  I shall help you, though only Boccob knows why.  I am
  about to cast an invisibility spell upon you, so go forth and do
  something of use.  (taps Peldor on the forehead)
Peldor:  Hey, sure thing.  (goes invisible and heads for melee)  Thanks!
Ged:  Remember, only one attack - then the magic will fade.
Halbarad:  (chops his werewolf with his axe, though his dagger misses)
  Vile @$&%#*!  Meet your maker in hell!
werewolf#3:  Aargh!  (swipes the ranger with a claw, slashing open his
  shirt)
Halbarad:  Ugh!  For that you shall pay tenfold, beast!
werewolf#1:  (misses Belphanior with its deadly claws)  A-woo!
Belphanior:  (slices the were-beast, wounding it yet further)  Heh.
Peyote:  (up the hall)  Buggerbears!  Taste steel, dudes!  (slices a
  bugbear, wounding it slightly)
bugbear#1:  (stabs at Peyote, wounding him)  Heh.
bugbear#2:  (slashes Peyote, also wounding him)  Big words, for little
  elfkin.
Peyote:  Argh...somebody help!
Mongo:  Coming!  (he stops running, and tosses his hammer, slamming one
  of the bugbears in the head)  Ha!
bugbear:  Aaagh!
Peyote:  Hey, good shot.
tall gaunt man:  Hmm.  'Twill never do.  (takes to the air, unsheathing
  a very big sword)
Peyote:  Huh?
Mongo:  Hey!  You're not a bird!  (catches his hammer)  Get down from
  there!
tall gaunt man:  As you wish.  (soars down and bats the dwarf with his
  two-handed sword)
Mongo:  Ouch!  Fuck!  That hurt!
Rob:  (regains control of his spiritual hammer and swings it at the
  gaunt one in the air above Mongo)  Leave him be!  (unfortunately,
  the attack misses)  Agh!  Oh for two.
gaunt one:  What foolishness is this?  A priest?
Rob:  (watching his spiritual hammer slam into the wall)  Oh!  I can't
  look.
Ged:  Phft.  If we weren't in combat, this would be funny.
Alindyar:  (mumbling)  What have we here?  This is no ordinary mage
  or warrior.  Let us see.  (casts a phantasmal force, conjuring the
  image of a demon-bat, and sends it at the gaunt man)
gaunt one:  Bah.  Such illusions have no power over me.  Come down,
  mage who would be a spider.  (flies toward Alindyar)


Halbarad:  (chops and stabs werewolf#3, hitting only with the dagger)
werewolf#3:  Urk.  (dies)
Halbarad:  Good riddance.
werewolf#1:  Raaargh!  (claws Belphanior)
Belphanior:  Fuck!  (slashes at the beast, but misses)  Double fuck!
Halbarad:  Need you some help, elf?
Belphanior:  Couldn't hurt.
Rob:  (gives up on the hammer and casts a cure light wounds on Halbarad)
  I can help too.
Halbarad:  My thanks, priest.
Ged:  Boccob strikes!  (bashes werewolf#1 with his morningstar)
werewolf#1:  (shrugs away the blow)  Grr...
Ged:  Boccob didn't strike hard enough, it seems.
Peyote:  (swings and connects his sword with bugbear#1)  At last!
bugbear#2:  Bah.  (slices the half-elf again, wounding him further)
bugbear#1:  (tries to hit Mongo, but the dwarf dodges aside)  Grak!
Mongo:  Say it again, pal.  (slams the beast with his hammer, and
  hits it in the groin)  Ha!  See how you like THAT!
bugbear#1:  Uuuhhhh...(falls over, stunned)
bugbear#2:  (suddenly convulses, as a sword tip emerges from his
  hairy chest)  Aaagh!
Peldor:  (appears behind the humanoid)  Peldor is here!  As this
  wretched beast just found out...
bugbear#2:  Urk.  (dies realizing the true greatness of Peldor)
Peyote:  Thanks, dude.

gaunt man:  A drow?!  Here?!  No matter.  (slashes Alindyar, who is
  on the ceiling above, with his sword, wounding him seriously)
Alindyar:  Agh...(falls from his supposed place of safety, and lands
  on the floor hard)  Oof.
gaunt man:  I know not what one of you is doing in my area of the
  complex, but you should not have come here.
Alindyar:  You are correct.  I am in great pain as a result of coming
  here.  Agh...
gaunt man:  A dark elf with a sense of humor?  What madness transpires
  here?  Further, where is Markessa?  Where is Icar?  What in the
  hells is happening?  (looks around)
Alindyar:  Markessa?  Icar?
Mongo:  That's for us to know, and you to never find out, bud.  Taste
  hammer!  (throws his hammer, but misses!)  Shit!
gaunt man:  You offend me, short thick one.  (points at Mongo...a cone
  of ice and frost blasts the dwarf, as well as Peyote and Peldor who
  are nearby.  The remaining bugbear is also hit, though the gaunt man
  seems not to care much.  Halbarad and the others are whipped by the
  snow and sleet as well, though not as badly, as they are farther
  away.  Alindyar landed in on the opposite side of the gaunt man and
  thus is the only one not hit by the cold.)

Halbarad:  Agh!  What was THAT?!?
Belphanior:  Brr...a mage at the end of the hall, maybe?
werewolf:  Grr...Brr...Awooo!
Rob:  Ouch!
Ged:  By Boccob's holy might!  Who just blasted us?!?
Halbarad:  That hovering fellow fighting the others - it was he.
Rob:  He?  Oh, _him_.
Ged:  Well, "HE" is about to get it.  (dashes forth to get closer)

Mongo:  Brr!  Fuck!  Shit!  Crap!
Peldor:  (frozen badly, falls unconscious)
Peyote:  (likewise)
Mongo:  They're dead!
gaunt man:  Perhaps.  Or perhaps merely frozen.
Mongo:  They'd better not be dead!  Or you'll pay!
gaunt man:  I doubt it.  (turns back toward Alindyar)  Now to rid myself
  of you, mage.
Alindyar:  (begins spell preparations)


Belphanior:  (slices the last werewolf, #1, slaying it)  Hah!  At
  last!
Halbarad:  Look yonder!  The others are sorely pressed!
Ged:  I already know that.  You don't miss a thing, do you?
Belphanior:  (sprinting toward Mongo and the others to the north)
Mongo:  (cursing heartily about having a bad initiative roll)
gaunt man:  (very near Alindyar)  My sword thirsts, mage.
Alindyar:  _That_ is not my problem.  _This_ is your problem, however.
  (launches a color spray at the man, gambling that he is of lesser
  magical skill than Alindyar himself.)
gaunt man:  Oh.  (falls unconscious)
Alindyar:  The gamble pays off...ohh (dizzy from loss of blood)
Mongo:  Whew.  I never would have hammered him to a pulp in time.
Alindyar:  We really should do something about him before he awakens.
Belphanior:  (arrives on the scene)  No problem.  (cuts the man's
  throat)  There, all better now.  I wonder if he has any spellbooks?
Ged:  You ruthless bastard!
Belphanior:  What?  You would have slain the fool yourself.  I just
  expedited the process.
Ged:  True...
Rob:  Look at him!  Look!
Alindyar:  What of him...oh.  (the dead gaunt man's body changes, into
  a much larger and uglier form...one that the party knows from past
  experience to be that of an ogre mage.)
Ged:  No wonder he was so hard to kill.
Alindyar:  Someone burn the body, else he will regenerate and plague
  us once more.
Belphanior:  Noooo problem.  Got a torch right here.
Mongo:  Bah.  Somebody help me thaw these two.  (indicates Peldor and
  Peyote)
Rob:  (pulls out a tinderbox)  ...

  The priests healed the party extensively.  No one was uninjured,
and many were worse than moderately wounded.  There was a general
consensus to find a place to hole up for awhile and rest.  First,
however, the rooms from which the recently deceased attackers had
come were searched.  There were six such chambers.  Belphanior
first locked and wedged shut the door into this whole area, in case
of further attacks.  Peldor searched all the bodies in the vicinity
once he was healed, but found nothing earth-shaking.  The warriors
piles the carrion into a heap, and then led the party into the rooms.

Mongo:  (entering the first door)  Hey!  Who're you?
human in padded armor:  (holding a loaded crossbow at the party)  I
  am called Carlstar.  I am an engineer and a miner.  What is your
  business here?
Belphanior:  Well, it's real simple.  We just killed all those fools
  out in the hallway.  Were they your friends?
Carlstar:  Hardly.  And I heard the battle.  You said you killed them
  all?  The werewolves too?
Mongo:  Yeah.  So?
Carlstar:  Thank the gods.  Those monsters scared the hell out of me.
Mongo:  Put the crossbow down, buddy.  There are eight of us.
Rob:  Eight is enough...
Halbarad:  You are safe now, in any case.  Did those evil ones force
  you to work for them?
Carlstar:  They hired me.  Not to say that it was the best job in the
  world, but they sort of kept me here after I got hired.  Those damn
  werewolves...
Mongo:  Fishbait, now.
Belphanior:  Along with all the other assholes.
Carlstar:  Say, in light of the current situation-
Ged:  Which is...?
Carlstar:  -you seem to be eliminating my employers, I would like to
  get the hell out of this rats' nest and back to civilized lands.  I
  could lead you out of here...
Ged:  Now there's a sensible idea.
Halbarad:  Wait.  What of the slaves, who are bound to be down here?
  No pun intended.
Belphanior:  Ah, yes.  The slaves.  That means more slavers to kill!
Carlstar:  There are some slave pens.  I could lead you to them as well.
Mongo:  Time to bust some more heads!
Halbarad:  Here's the deal.  We will accompany you to these slave pens
  and free the slaves, and then take them, and yourself, out of here.
  In return, you show us the way, and get protection and security.
Carlstar:  Hmm...sounds like an offer I can't refuse.  (shakes the
  ranger's hand)  I'm not a bad fighter, either, by the way.
Belphanior:  We'll see about that.
Halbarad:  Alright.  Let us search these other chambers.
Carlstar:  (gathers his personal possessions)
Peldor:  Say, do you need a hand with those?

Mongo:  (enters another door)  And who might YOU be?
human:  Eyah!  I'm Fyndax!  I'm just the alchemist!  Don't hurt me!
Belphanior:  Relax, pal.  You're not big and ugly enough.
Halbarad:  However, we cannot just let you go, as you might warn some
  slavers or somesuch.  Therefore, you too shall accompany us.  I can
  only assume you've met Carlstar?
Fyndax:  Yes, that's right.  Short time, no see, sapper.
Carlstar:  Yeah.  Get your stuff.  We're heading out of this place.

Mongo:  (enters the third door)  Phew!  Smelly room!
Belphanior:  Judging from the mess, I'd guess this to be the bugbears'
  pen.
Halbarad:  Likely.
Carlstar:  Actually, it is.  Was.
Peldor:  Let's just search it for treasure, and begone.
Ged:  Sure.  Just search away.  I'm watching.
Peldor:  (finds nothing useful)  They must have carried all their loot
  on their persons.

Mongo:  (enters the fourth door)  A pencil-pusher!
scribe:  Hm.  If you've come here for your bonuses, they're across the
  hall.  I don't have them anymore.
Carlstar:  ...
Fyndax:  ...
Mongo:  Bonuses?  For what?
Belphanior:  We don't even know you, and the room across the hall is
  empty, since we killed the bugbears who lived there, and you look
  goofy to me.  Nice try, but no luck.
scribe:  Aaaaa!  (pushes over the table and charges the party, screaming
  like a madman but waving a sword wildly)
Mongo:  Whoa!  (being the obvious target of the scribe, he bashes him
  with his hammer, crushing his head)  Self-defense!  Really!  Twerp.
Belphanior:  (sword at the ready)  Damn.
Carlstar:  Never did like that guy, anyway.  He sniveled a lot, and was
  in good with the leaders of the operation.
Alindyar:  Death is not something to be taken lightly.
Ged:  Quiet, Confucius.
Alindyar:  Beg your pardon?
Ged:  Never mind.
Peldor:  (already searching the room)  Hey, I found some documentation.
Halbarad:  Let me see that.  Hmm.
Alindyar:  (also looking)  This slave ring is quite extensive, judging
  from these records.
Belphanior:  Like I said, more slavers to cut down...

Mongo:  (enters the fifth door)  Hmph.  A hairy room.  Lots of hair.
  And beds for three.
Ged:  Gee, I wonder who lived here.
Rob:  This is unusual, going to their quarters _after_ they're slain.
Peldor:  (looking about disgustedly)  No treasure.  What, were these
  people all paupers?

Mongo:  (enters the sixth door)  Hey, nice place!
Alindyar:  This would logically be the quarters of the ogre mage.
Carlstar:  Yup.
Peldor:  (searching)  There's some gold, on this desk.  (slips some
  single coins into his sleeve, successfully)  Not much else, though.
Alindyar:  (examining a potted plant hanging from a chain)  Hmm.
  Interesting plant.
Halbarad:  Where else can we go?
Belphanior:  (to Peldor)  Search for secret doors!
Peldor:  Hey!  I search for secret doors.
Belphanior:  I'll help.  I'm an elf.

  They found one, to the north...it led to a passage about 40' by 10'
by 10' which turned out to connect to the werewolves' room.  Near the
east end (the ogre mage's room) there was a one foot by one foot square
hole.  Another room was visible at the other end.  Metal track-like
things ran down the length of the shaft, and a metal cord dangled from
this side and ran into the shaft as well.

Belphanior:  That's the treasure room.  I just know it!
Peldor:  But how can we get in there?
Mongo:  (to DM)  If I shucked my armor, could I fit?
DM:  No way.
Mongo:  Well, fuck.
Halbarad:  Perhaps a spell?
Alindyar:  Not I.  None of my magic will aid us here.
Rob:  Nah.
Peyote:  Hey, I'm a druid!
Ged:  Agh...Boccob damn it!!  I have no spell of shrinking!
Belphanior:  Fuck.
Mongo:  I think I can see a lot of chests down there...
Belphanior:  Shut up.  You're not making this any better.
Peldor:  Even the mighty Peldor is at a loss here.
Ged:  All that loot...and we can't get at it!  Aaaaaagh!!!!!
Halbarad:  Let us rest here, and think about it overnight.  Mayhap
  some solution will come to us.  In any case, we shall get some
  rest.
Rob:  And some spells back.
Peyote:  Aye.
Peldor:  The haul of a lifetime, and we aren't going to get it.  I
  will have you know that Peldor, for one, shall not sleep well this
  night.
Ged:  Aaagh...damn.  Damn.  Damn.
Halbarad:  'Tis time to make camp, my friends.

  And they camped for the night in the secret passage...





next time:  Freeing the slaves through the use of excessive force!

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NOTES:  I gave the ogre mage two actions per round, just for kicks.
Module A2 will be concluded with the next episode.  I never thought
that these modules would consume so many episodes.  Well, it's not
like there's a finite supply (of episodes).

Stories available for anonymous ftp at: tybalt.caltech.edu
                                        in pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers
************************************************************************




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