Chapter #304

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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.                                             +
+    The player characters contained in these writings are copy-    +
+  right 1995 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                    +
+                                  tmiller@cimmeria.oit.gatech.edu  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  THE PARTY (or a portion of it):                                  +
+                                                                   +
+  Belphanior   13th/14th/14th level elven warrior/mage/thief (CN)  +
+  Peldor       19th level human thief                         (N)  +
+     Bosco     10th level halfling thief                      (N)  +
+     Tanya     5th/11th level female human warrior/thief     (LN)  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Date:        4/16/575 C.Y. (Common Year)                         +
+  Time:        morning                                             +
+  Place:       the Green Dragon Inn, in Greyhawk                   +
+  Climate:     cold                                                +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "I don't trust him.  We're friends."                             +
+                                               - Bertolt Brecht    +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                   CCCIV.  A Long-Overdue Chat





  Two days after Lyra's wondrous one-hundredth birthday party, the
elf Belphanior prepares to leave Greyhawk.  First, however, he and
Peldor are having breakfast and catching up on things...

Belphanior:  -and then we both went tumbling over the railing, and
  fell about thirty feet to the floor.
Peldor:  Ow.
Belphanior:  (frowning)  Or was it more like forty?  Anyway, the
  fight continued after that.  He was one tough bastard...he had
  the energy to keep coming, even after I pulverized his bones.
Peldor:  Hmm.
Belphanior:  Must've been his sword...but that's all in the past
  now.  He's buried in an unmarked grave, along with the guy who
  used to run the town.
Peldor:  What was that about the sword?
Belphanior:  I think it helped him push beyond his normal limits.
  It's highly magical - I've done the preliminary checking.  Soon
  I'll have to test it...and the other sword...not to mention all
  those items I've kept locked up since that adventure on the other
  world...
Peldor:  You have items from there, too?
Belphanior:  (shrugs)  A few.
Peldor:  Me, too.  When I went to that place...what did they call
  it?
Belphanior:  Beats me.
Peldor:  A "police station", that was it!  Anyway, I had to recover
  all your stuff, and in the process I filled my pockets and pouches
  with random items.
Belphanior:  Really?
Peldor:  Yep.  I haven't had the inclination to mess with 'em, but
  now that you remind me...
Belphanior:  (smiling subtly)  How can you test them, to learn their
  powers?
Peldor:  Good question.
Belphanior:  Yeah, but one to which I have an answer.
Peldor:  Oh?
Belphanior:  I propose this:  let me take all of your items from that
  trip, back home with me.  I'll test them when I test my own, using
  magic to ensure my safety.  Then, on my next trip to these parts,
  I'll bring them back, and let you know what's what.
Peldor:  Hmm.  A good idea...since I'm no sage, and have no spells
  to aid in the process.
Belphanior:  Exactly.  I have my very own testing ground, you could
  say.
Peldor:  A secret testing ground, I assume?
Belphanior:  Of course.
Peldor:  Well...it's a deal.  I'll have to get the stuff from my
  vault in the basement, though.
Belphanior:  Vault?
Peldor:  (shrugs, and smirks)  Even a Peldor's got to have a safe
  place to keep his valuables.
Belphanior:  Speaking of which, I'll be taking Angus back with me.
Peldor:  Oh.  (frowns)  How are you going to move him?  I thought he
  was too big to teleport around...?
Belphanior:  He is.  But...I've got a portable hole now.
Peldor:  Like Mongo's?
Belphanior:  Yep.
Peldor:  Wow.  Now that could come in handy.
Belphanior:  It already has...truly an underestimated item, given
  all the fascination with swords and armor and destructive items.
Peldor:  Hmm.
Belphanior:  So...how's the thieving business?
Peldor:  (spreads his hands)  I'm retired.
Belphanior:  Sure.  Right.
Peldor:  It's true.  I organize and mastermind other thieves now,
  like all those in the River Quarter.
Belphanior:  You're not the Guildmaster yet?
Peldor:  I'm young, and I'll be here for a while.  Anything could
  happen, in time.
Belphanior:  But you don't pull side jobs, occasionally?
Peldor:  Not in this city-  (he realizes what he was saying)  Ah,
  clever.  You're trying to make me admit something.
Belphanior:  The truth's the truth.  Thieves of our caliber don't
  retire.
Peldor:  This one has.
Belphanior:  What if I found a mark - a really rich one - in some
  faraway land?
Peldor:  Okay, okay.  Look.  If that happens, you can always feel
  free to come to me for advice.  I can't guarantee you more than
  that.  Got it?
Belphanior:  (nods, smiling)  I think so.
Peldor:  Enough about that.
Belphanior:  Yeah...any word on the hunt for me?  Do any of the city
  officials know where I am?
Peldor:  Doesn't look like it.  I don't think they worried about it
  after they hired you-know-who to go find you.
Belphanior:  Good.  Let them forget about me.
Peldor:  You plan to return here for good, someday?
Belphanior:  Nope, but it would be nice not to be a wanted felon.
Peldor:  Maybe you should try and make a case for your innocence.
Belphanior:  They won't listen.  They never have, and they never
  will.
Peldor:  There's more ways to convince them than with just words.
  I've got some influence now.  And I know you've got the money.
Belphanior:  It's still too hot right now, I think.
Peldor:  You're probably right.
Belphanior:  It's my life to risk, and for now, I choose not to
  risk it.  But they won't keep me away forever.
Peldor:  I believe you.  Maybe we can get things cleared up by then.
Belphanior:  Anything's possible.
Peldor:  Hmm, come to think of it, "they" isn't a good word.  As far
  as I can tell, only one man was responsible for the "contract" on
  you.
Belphanior:  Sental Nurev.
Peldor:  Very perceptive.  Yeah, ol' Sental hasn't seemed himself
  lately.  Maybe he's been taken over by one of those shapeshifters
  or something.
Belphanior:  (looks up, frowning)
Peldor:  (also frowns)
Belphanior:  Nah.
Peldor:  Couldn't be.

  They finished breakfast, just in time to be joined by Tanya and
Bosco.  The former had just woken up, and it was obvious from her
mussed hair and sleepy eyes.  Bosco, however, was prancing about as
if he'd just eaten several dozen sugarcubes.

Bosco:  I am Cor-  (he spots Belphanior)  Whoa.
Belphanior:  Hi there, Bosco.
Peldor:  (to Tanya)  Morning.
Tanya:  (yawns, and takes a seat next to the master thief, leaning
  on him)
Peldor:  Rough night?
Tanya:  (sleepily)  Some of us have to do more work than others.
Peldor:  Nonsense.
Bosco:  (to Belphanior)  Still in town, eh?  (he looks around)  No
  one's dead yet.
Belphanior:  I'm on vacation.
Bosco:  Hey, got time for a quick card game?
Belphanior:  Not really-
Bosco:  C'mon!  (he holds out a deck of cards)  Pick a card...any
  card.
Belphanior:  Couldn't I just pay you off now, and save myself the
  time and trouble of losing?
Bosco:  No way - that would be extortion, and Bosco's no extorter!
  Nosiree.  Dragon-slayer, Juggernaut Warrior, Thunderdelver...but
  not Extorter...
Tanya:  The day's still young.
Peldor:  Belphanior's hitting the road today...
Bosco:  Really?
Belphanior:  Yep.  Heading southward, to the Wild Coast.
Bosco:  Gee.  Maybe I could go.
Belphanior:  I think not.  (to Peldor)  I think it's time.
Peldor:  Okay...follow me.  (he heads toward the stairs, down to the
  basement)
Belphanior:  (follows)

  Shortly, the pair had vanished into the depths of the cellar...

Tanya:  (frowning)
Bosco:  You don't like Belphanior much, do you?
Tanya:  Not really.  He scares me.
Bosco:  He scares everyone...but he's an okay guy, when it comes
  down to it.
Tanya:  I'm not sure I believe that.
Bosco:  You should.  If I was in deep shit - I mean _really_ deep
  shit - there's no one I'd rather have on my side.  Except maybe
  Mongo.
Tanya:  Hmm.
Bosco:  (playing with a spoon)  POW!  Maybe Mongo would let me try
  out his hammer.  Whoosh!  PPOOWWW!

  Meanwhile, in the basement, Peldor and Belphanior removed the
necessary items from the vault.  As Peldor handed him the other-
worldly items, Belphanior loaded them into his portable hole (after
Angus had climbed in, of course) and prepared to leave Greyhawk.

Peldor:  Using magic to travel, eh?
Belphanior:  Yep.  It's the easiest way...not to mention fastest.
  And least conspicuous.
Peldor:  So the drow have said.
Belphanior:  Time to go home...home, sweet home.  (frowns)  Say,
  you wouldn't happen to know how Alindyar had the birthday party
  invitation delivered to me, would you?
Peldor:  (shrugs)  He _is_ a powerful wizard, you know.
Belphanior:  Yeah...well, I must be going.  Hey, listen, thanks for
  everything.  The room, and the warning on Torin, and all that.
  (he clasps the other's hand)
Peldor:  No problem.
Belphanior:  Yet still appreciated.  I won't forget it.  (he takes
  a scroll from his tunic, and hands it to Peldor)
Peldor:  What's this?
Belphanior:  If you ever need my help, for any reason, you can cast
  the spell on this scroll, and send me a brief message.  At that
  point I'll only be moments away from arriving to help.
Peldor:  Ah...well, I'll stash it in a secure place.
Belphanior:  Good idea...(he clasps hands with Peldor again, then
  utters a final arcane syllable)  Farewell, my friend.  (he blinks
  out of sight)
Peldor:  (rubbing his chin)  Until next time.





next:   we see what the drow have invented, after all this time
ftp:    ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
www:    http://www.gatech.edu/oit/staff/ns/thomas.miller/adv.html
notes:  Remember those items Belphanior and Peldor were talking
  about?  We'd call them pistols, rifles, grenades, bombs, tear
  gas...but I'm sure that in addition to all the lethal and/or
  dangerous stuff, they also picked up some benign items, like
  flashlights, staplers, sodas, electric pencil sharpeners...you
  get the idea.  Any comments or suggestions for items that would
  be neat to see Belphanior try and figure out?  Mail them to me
  and I'll use as many as feasible.  Nothing is too far-fetched.
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