Chapter #29

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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, A3, 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, 5th/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/6th level half-elf fighter/druid of Obad-Hai (N)
Rob, 6th level human priest of Trithereon (LG)
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                    XXIX.  Traps, Traps, & more Traps



  The party has interrupted feeding time and now _they_ are dinner...

Belphanior:  (covered with a hurled bucket of bloody meat)  Cool!
Halbarad:  (also splashed, though not so heavily)  Ugh.
first dog-thing:  (bites at Belphanior but misses)  Snarl!
second dog-thing:  (bites Halbarad)  Chomp!
Mongo:  (charges the third dog-thing)  Come and get it, mutt!
third dog-thing:  (bites Mongo's armored leg, but only breaks some
  teeth)  <crunch>  Yowl!
Peldor:  Time for someone to get backstabbed...(begins creeping along
  a wall at the edge of the room)
Peyote:  Redrum!  Redrum!  (moves to help Halbarad)
Alindyar:  (hangs back outside of the room, preparing a spell)
Rob:  Hey!  I'll get rid of this scroll with only one spell on it!
  (whips out an old scroll and starts spellcasting)
Ged:  (casting a spell)  Damned smelly humanoids...I'll show them.
  (fires a trio of magical missiles, at three separate gnolls)
gnolls:  Agh!  Ow!  Ugh!
Ged:  Ha ha!  Chew on that, fools!
Peldor:  Puny mage...
gnoll:  (fires an arrow at the thief, grazing him)  Snort.
Peldor:  Hey, watch it, pal.
Ged:  <chuckle>
gnoll:  (fires an arrow at Mongo, but it breaks on the dwarf's armor)
gnoll:  (fires an arrow at Rob, but misses)
gnoll:  (fires an arrow at Ged, nicking him)
Ged:  Fool!  You shall pay dearly for that cowardly attack!
gnoll:  (fires an arrow at Halbarad, but "fumbles", hitting one of the
  dog-things instead)  oops...
Belphanior:  What a shitty shot you are.  (slashes his opponent, and
  wounds it)  Away, dog-breath.
Alindyar:  Let light cease...(casts a sphere of darkness, enveloping
  the three gnolls not at the fringes of the room)
gnolls:  Yie!  (much confused babbling is heard from within the spell
  effect)
Rob:  Hey!  (his spiritual hammer was headed for one of those gnolls
  and is now obscured by the darkness)
Halbarad:  These foul dogs will not give up!  (chops his opponent with
  his axe, but misses with his dagger)  Curses!
Peyote:  (slices Halbarad's canine adversary, wounding it heavily)
Alindyar:  (pulls out his wand)
Mongo:  (slams his opponent, twice, with his hammer)  Take that, mutt!
dog-thing:  Yelp!

Peldor:  (headed for an exposed back, but the gnoll somehow detects him
  and spins around, sword in hand)
gnoll:  No sneak on me!
Peldor:  Out of my way, villain.  (stabs the gnoll, wounding it)
gnoll:  (slashes at the thief, who easily ducks under its clumsy blow)
Ged:  (unhooks his morningstar)  Boccob's fist is coming...
Halbarad:  (chops and slices his opponent)  Away, I say!
dog-thing:  (gravely injured now)  Yowl!
Peyote:  (stabs the monster, slaying it)  There...it's cool now.
Halbarad:  Muchly obliged, friend.
dog-thing:  (bites Belphanior again)  Chomp.
Belphanior:  Enough, dog-lips!  (slices the thing, wounding it even
  further)
Ged:  (bashes the beast with his weapon, caving in its head)
dog-thing:  Urr...(dies)
Belphanior:  I didn't know you cared.
Ged:  That's okay, I don't.  (heads for the other dog-thing, the one
  fighting Mongo)  Boccob!
Mongo:  (bashes his opponent once, breaking some ribs)  Get the hell
  off of me!
Rob:  (flailing his spiritual hammer about inside the darkness wildly)
  Oomph!  I hit something!
gnoll:  (from somewhere within the darkness)  Yargh!
Alindyar:  Take that, fiend.  (fires two magic missiles from his wand,
  hitting Peldor's gnoll and bringing it down)
Ged:  Hey, you missed Peldor.
dog-thing:  (bites Mongo, wounding him slightly)  Snarl!
Mongo:  Argh!
Peldor:  Thanks, mage.  (to DM)  Hey, remember when I chose the non-
  weapon proficiency of blind-fighting?
DM:  Uh, yeah.
Peldor:  (looks around, grins evilly, and heads into the darkness sphere)
gnoll:  (sword drawn, he charges toward Belphanior)  Die, elf!

Belphanior:  (charges the gnoll, screaming wildly)  Aaaaaa!
gnoll:  Yaah!  (he and Belphanior duel for a bit)
Ged:  (smashes Mongo's opponent, wounding it badly)  Boccob speaks, you
  lice-ridden fleabag!
Mongo:  (hits the thing with his hammer, slaying it)  Thanks, buddy.
Ged:  My pleasure.
Mongo:  You're not too bad in combat, you know.
Ged:  I do my best.
Rob:  (pulls his spiritual hammer out of the darkness, afraid of hitting
  Peldor)
Ged:  Where'd that crazy thief go?
Belphanior:  (slays his gnoll)  Arr!  I am triumphant once more!

  From within the darkness, swordplay could be heard.  Without warning,
the head of a gnoll flew out and landed near Rob...

Rob:  (bashes the head with his spell, pulping it)  Yuch!
gnoll:  (dashes from the darkness, but meets Peyote and is felled shortly)
Alindyar:  Enough nonsense.  (cancels the darkness, revealing Peldor
  standing behind the last gnoll, about to stab it)
gnoll:  Eyah!
Peldor:  (backstabs the humanoid, killing it)  What grace!  What beauty
  in motion!
Ged:  What foolishness.  (casts a minor healing spell on himself)
Belphanior:  (covered in blood, a lot of it his own, staggers)  Ugh...
Peyote:  (heals Belphanior)
Rob:  (heals Belphanior)
Belphanior:  Ahh...I needed that.  Maybe I should learn the priestly
  ways, so I can heal myself.
Ged:  I hear the god of war is looking for clergy these days...

Meanwhile, while all this healing is going on...

Peldor:  There.  (having bound his cut, he is emptying the pouches of
  the gnolls onto the floor)  Plenty for all.
Alindyar:  (examining one of the coins)  Hmm.
Mongo:  Here's the loot sack.  It could use some filling, you know.
Peldor:  Yea.  Well, these guys weren't totally broke.
Mongo:  Nope.  (scrapes the small pile of coins into the sack)
Peldor:  (unnoticed, he slips a golden ring down his sleeve)  Not at all.

soon...

Halbarad:  This door is unopened.  Let us get to the bottom of this place
  once and for all.
Mongo:  Yeah!
Belphanior:  I want to kill some slavers...

  They advanced through the door and followed a passage through a simple
maze-like area, then came upon a room.  This new chamber was over sixty
feet long, about thirty feet wide, and perhaps twenty feet high.  Right
in front of the party, stone steps descended into a pool of whitish goo.
The stuff bubbled madly; similar stairs rose up from the other end of
the room, about fifty feet distant.  A narrow stone slab bridged the
entire pool, but the strangest thing here was the bluish field exactly
halfway across the room.  It snapped and crackled and leaped about, and
seemed to totally fill the width and height of the place; had it not
been semi-transparent, the adventurers would have thought it to be the
end of the room.

Peyote:  Far out!
Belphanior:  What's that odor?  Ozone?
Ged:  Smells like it.
Alindyar:  Tread with caution...
Mongo:  What kind of stupid room is this?!
Rob:  (bends down and touches the pool)  Hey, it's not acid!
Belphanior:  (inching toward Rob)
Ged:  ...(to Mongo)  Think he'll do it?
Mongo:  Dunno.
Rob:  (tasting the goo)  Mmm.
Peldor:  (muttering something about the uselessness of priests, he climbs
  onto the stone archway, quietly slipping on a nice golden ring first)
Halbarad:  That crackling blue field may mean trouble.
Peldor:  Obviously.  But how else can legends of Peldor's daring be made?
  (walks carefully out toward the field)  I shall triumph.
Peyote:  Way uncool.
Alindyar:  Perhaps we should stop him.  He could get fried up there.
Ged:  Nah.  That's his job.
Belphanior:  (pushes Rob into the goo with his boot)  oops...snicker.
Rob:  Whaooolp...glmgph!  (falls down the stairs into the goo)
Ged:  Ho-hum (looking toward the ceiling)
Alindyar:  What...?  How did the lad manage to fall in?!
Belphanior:  Beats me.
Rob:  (his head surfaces)  Blugmph...!  <cough cough>  I'm okay, guys!
Halbarad:  (climbs waist-deep into the goo, to help Rob out)  Worry not,
  priest.
Peyote:  Yeah...
Rob:  It's okay.  <cough>  It's ingestible - I can _breathe_ it!
Peyote:  Stop yelling.
Alindyar:  What insanity.  (gets his flying carpet)  I have a means out
  of this predicament, fortunately.
Ged:  Hey, I'm with you.  Only a total idiot would go through the slime.
Rob:  I mean, we can breathe the stuff.  It's like air.  Ahem.  Urg.
Ged:  See what I mean?
Peldor:  (on the bridge)  Hmm.  (regarding the energy field in front of
  him)  Maybe I put my foot in my mouth.  (takes a wooden rod and pokes
  it into the blue fire)  Yie!  That tingles!  (hurls the rod through
  the field, watching it land in the goo on the other side)  Well, if
  it can make it, so can I.  (to DM)  I leap through the blue energy,
  coming off the ground as I go through, and land on the other side
  of the stone bridge.
DM:  Sure.
Ged:  What's that idiot - oh, no!
Peldor:  (leaps into the energy......ZORCH!!)  YARGH!  (singed, he falls
  off the bridge and disappears into the goo, over 20' from the others)
Peyote:  Well, at least he can breathe in it.
Belphanior:  Hunh..!  (dives into the goo and quickly disappears)
Ged:  (to Alindyar)  I figure that we should be able to fly through the
  field, since we're not grounded if we're airborne.
Alindyar:  Grounded?
Ged:  Er...nevermind.  Let's go.  (they float off slowly toward the field;
  the grey elf draws his morningstar)
Alindyar:  We shall be back for any of you who want a ride.
Peyote:  Sure...
Halbarad:  Well, _I_ think that the goo underneath the field will protect
  us from the shock.
Peyote:  Sounds reasonable.  Let's go for it.
Mongo:  Wait.  I'll go first.  No telling what monsters may be out there
  about to eat us.  Hell, for all we know, they already got Peldor and
  the elf.  (he strides out into the goo and quickly submerges)
Halbarad:  (follows the dwarf)
Peyote:  You go first, Rob; I'll bring up the rear.
Rob:  Sure.  (they both go)

meanwhile...

Peldor:  (undergoo, singed a bit but alive and well; he remembers that he
  can breathe this stuff but doesn't really want to, so he is holding his
  breath.  He finds that he can move quickly and easily in the thick,
  soupy goo.  He also bumps into something hard on the floor of the pool
  and picks it up.)
Belphanior:  (swimming with great difficulty in Peldor's general direction
  and freely breathing the goo - quite an unnerving sensation)
Alindyar & Ged:  (pass through the field harmlessly, though their hair
  sticks straight out now)
Mongo:  (doesn't even bother to hold his breath, as he is plodding slowly
  through the goo with his plate mail and shield; freely breathing the
  stuff, which nauseates him a bit)
Halbarad:  (trying to keep his head up, but it's not as easy as it might
  seem.  Finally gives in and drinks goo; doesn't like it)
Rob:  (breathing the goo, and talking underneath the surface to make big
  bubbles)
Peyote:  (breathing the goo, and following Rob; it occurs to him that
  goop-breathing may the most gnarly thing he's done so far in life)

  When Peldor came up the stairs, barely out of breath (for he traversed
the thirty feet or so rather quickly), he found Ged and Alindyar waiting
at the open exit to the room.  The others followed presently.

Ged:  What in Boccob's name is going on here?!?!?!?  (his morningstar
  is stuck fast to his chainmail)  Argh!  My small shield here is trying
  to do the same thing!
Alindyar:  (rolling up his carpet)  Fascinating.  Small metallic objects
  on my own person are moving strangely...'tis fortunate that I carry
  very little metal.  Unlike you, my friend.
Ged:  Oh, shut up.  (gives up on the morningstar and leaves it glued
  across his chestplate)
Peldor:  Huh?  (his weapons are moving, trying to fly off and stick to
  Ged's armor)  Stay away from me, you weirdo.  (wipes goo from his
  eyes)
Ged:  But...(moves away from the stairs and the goo)  Damn.
Belphanior:  (emerges)  <cough cough>  Odd.
Ged:  You're probably all infected with some internal disease now.
Belphanior:  <cough>  Why is your morningstar attached to your armor?
Mongo:  (emerges from the goo, covered with the white stuff, just like
  Peldor)  Ptui!  Glurg!  Retch!  Fuck!

  Presently, they all came up.  Though the six who went through the
goo were able to get the stuff out of their eyes and faces, it was quite
difficult to get any more off, as the goo was sticky and seemed to be
slowly hardening.  Though they could still move about, this new coating
slightly impaired their movements and was otherwise irritating.
  The party continued onward, and soon the corridor split in two.  Both
passages led to the same door, though.  Peldor found no traps, and the
door opened to reveal a 30' long, slightly wider room.  A thick rope
hung from the center of the ceiling (20' high).

Alindyar:  No exits present themselves.
Halbarad:  Aye.  That is one thick rope, there.
Belphanior:  Let's pull the rope!
Mongo:  No!  We need to check the room for stuff.
Halbarad:  But it is empty...
Peldor:  Secret doors!
Belphanior:  Fuck it.  We'll pull the rope and _then_ check.
Mongo:  No way!
Peyote:  Way!
Ged:  Cease your prattle, dolts.
Rob:  Yeah!  Dolts!
Peldor:  I'll check the room.  (sticks his head in, looks both ways,
  pulls his head back)  It's empty, all right.
Belphanior:  (gets some rope)  I'll tie this to the big rope in there and
  then we'll all get back and pull.  No risk.
Peldor:  Sounds good.  I bet a big stone block comes down and crushes
  anyone in the room.
Ged:  Could have its uses.
Peldor:  Of course, we won't _be_ in the room.
Belphanior:  (uses his skill with ropes and knots to tie his comparatively
  puny rope onto the giant one, and comes back)  All set.
Alindyar:  (steps to the rear and unrolls his carpet)
Mongo:  (handed the rope)  Okay, let's pull!
Peyote:  Unh!
Belphanior:  Ugh!
Mongo:  Grr!

  THUNK!  THUNK!  The floor split in half, the two pieces (on hinges)
slamming down, revealing a bubbling pit under the "floor" of the room.
An acrid smell drifted up fairly quickly.  As this happened, a flush
section of wall on the far side of the room opened (away from the
party) and a section of corridor could be seen beyond.

Peldor:  Good trap.  Though not as good as my suggestion.
Belphanior:  Hey Rob, don't jump.
Rob:  Okay.
Halbarad:  Deadly stuff, that acid...
Peyote:  How will we ever get across?
Alindyar:  (holds up his carpet)
Peyote:  Ah.

  Within minutes, all were safely across, ferried by the drow one at a
time.  Those who had walked through the goo found that the slimy stuff
had crusted over on their bodies, not unlike very old milk...the secret
passage led around some turns to another room, about forty feet square
but only ten feet high.

Halbarad:  What in the hells is _that_?!
Alindyar:  A statue.  'Twould seem to depict a roper.
Mongo:  A what?
Ged:  Just another deadly subterranean monster.
Alindyar:  Verily - but they are definitely not made of stone.
Belphanior:  Look, it's half-covering a hole in the floor.
Peyote:  Walk with caution, dudes.  (steps into the chamber and looks
  around)
Belphanior:  Statues can die too, you know.  (enters the room)
Halbarad:  Aye, but they are tougher than living fiends.  (enters the
  room)
Mongo:  (brandishes his hammer)  No statue gets the best of ME !!
statue:  (suddenly launches its tentacles at the lead adventurers)
Mongo:  (watches a stonelike appendage sail over his head)  Hmph!
Halbarad:  (hit by a tentacle)  Urk.
Belphanior:  (closest to the thing, hit by two, missed by a third)  Uk.

  The adventurers watched in horror as Halbarad and Belphanior instantly
became very rigid, and they assumed the color of stone...as well as the
texture...

Mongo:  Holy shit!  That freakin' thing TURNED THEM TO STONE !!!





next time:  the evil lord (really!)

ANONYMOUS FTP SITE: tybalt.caltech.edu (in pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers)
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NOTES:  Peldor has blind-fighting (as do Belphanior and Halbarad).
Useful skill...  Peldor found a ring of free action, for those who want
to know; that's why he wasn't encumbered beneath the goo.
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