Chapter #305

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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):                                  +
+                                                                   +
+  Alindyar     16th level dark elven mage                     (N)  +
+  Lyra         12th level female dark elven mage              (N)  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Date:        5/1/575 C.Y. (Common Year)                          +
+  Time:        late afternoon                                      +
+  Place:       the Green Dragon Inn, in Greyhawk                   +
+  Climate:     mild                                                +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "Perfection is a road, not a destination."                       +
+              - Chiun, from _Remo Williams:  The Adventure Begins_ +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                 CCCV.  The Fruits of Labor





  Several weeks after Lyra's fabulous one-hundredth birthday party,
she and Alindyar have completed a great deal of work.  The results
of this work are even now being tested in a field outside the city.

Lyra:  Now what exactly does this one do, again?
Alindyar:  (spellcasting)  Observe.

  Suddenly, there appeared in the air before the drow a pair of
ghostly, disembodied hands.  These simply hovered in place, doing
nothing useful.

Lyra:  Hands?  So?
Alindyar:  (looks hurt)  Now watch this...(he begins chanting
  magical words of power)
Lyra:  But wh-  ah!

  She had realized that, while Alindyar spoke the necessary verbal
components for whatever spell he was casting, the _hands_ were
making the required somatic gestures!

Alindyar:  (fires a volley of magical missiles into the air)
Lyra:  Dry-firing, eh?
Alindyar:  Pardon?
Lyra:  Er, never mind.  (she eyes the floating, disembodied hands)
  So the hands take care of some of the necessary work during spell-
  casting?
Alindyar:  Aye.  They can manipulate material components as well,
  and you may notice that the spellcasting process is hastened.
Lyra:  It did seem to be sped up.
Alindyar:  It was.  Indeed, the hands will remain in place for a
  time, and can be used to facilitate further spellcasting.  Should
  I wish, I could busy myself with other things while the hands
  strove to complete whatever spell I was casting.
Lyra:  Useful!
Alindyar:  Aye.  Shall we try your lightning spell now?
Lyra:  Electricity, not lightning.  (she looks to the disembodied
  hands)  Maybe these can speed it up?
Alindyar:  No, only the one who brought them into being can utilize
  them.  In this case, that would be me.
Lyra:  No matter, I can learn the spell later.  (she has already
  begun spellcasting)  You _will_ share it with me, won't you?
Alindyar:  (grins)  Of course.
Lyra:  (concentrating now)  Okay, stand back...

  There was a loud crackling sound, and from nowhere, a semi-solid
wall of electricity materialized.  White and translucent, it popped
and sparked as tiny arcs of electricity leaped from it, getting no
further than a few inches before they were drawn back into the wall.
Overall, the barrier's size was impressive, being akin to the size
and shape of the more common wall of fire.

Alindyar:  (wide-eyed)  Fascinating!  A wall of solid electricity!
Lyra:  Yep.  Metal-armored warriors, beware.
Alindyar:  (nods)  In theory, a spell such as this was bound to be
  invented sooner or later, but this...amazing.  How powerful is
  it?
Lyra:  I'll put it this way:  I wouldn't suggest touching it.
Alindyar:  Ah.  Perhaps we should have brought Bosco along.
Lyra:  I could promise him a picnic lunch next time...

  They proceeded to conjure up other spells, some of which had been
previously completed.  One such case was the powerful illusion spell
that Alindyar had used at the Green Dragon, to make Lyra's surprise
party a true surprise.  This particular spell had also come in handy
while the drow (along with Peldor and Tanya) had journeyed to Dyvers.
It was an advanced illusion, complete with enchantments to fool all
five senses; Alindyar had done most of the work on this one while
Lyra had been busy with the wall of lightning.  Indeed, the fine-
tuning for the spell hadn't been complete until mere days ago.  It
was a mighty enchantment, capable of disguising a number of people
or a large area of ground for many hours.
  Another spell, one that Lyra had done most of the work on, caused
one or more targets to be afflicted by illusionary distractions.
These included (but were not limited to) the feeling of a swarm of
bees stinging the victim and the sensation of being covered with
ants.

Lyra:  A nasty spell, but...
Alindyar:  Often, those who we must cast spells upon are deserving
  of such punishments.
Lyra:  Since it's an illusion spell at heart, some beings may be
  able to ignore its effects.  But if, say, a tribe of orcs gets
  in our way...
Alindyar:  (winces)

  In addition, they had researched and completed one more spell,
one along the lines of something that Leomund or Mordenkainen might
invent.  This enchantment, when called upon, opened a unique pocket
of extra-dimensional space.  For any time up to the duration of the
spell, this area - referred to by Alindyar as a "closet" - would
remain open, allowing people to take items from it or put items into
it.  Once closed, the closet was inaccessible save by another such
spell, by the same caster.

Lyra:  Some might say we've invented a portable hole that's opened
  by magic, rather than by physical means.
Alindyar:  True.
Lyra:  Let them say what they want.  The spell's usefulness remains
  no matter how you describe it.
Alindyar:  This way, if we were to be captured or incarcerated, no
  physical or magical means could reach those things we store in
  the closet.
Lyra:  Agreed.  It's better than either a portable hole or Leomund's
  secret chest.

  There wasn't really much more they could do to test their new
enchantments any further.  Most of the illusionary spells would be
tested over the course of the next week, as the pair went about
business as usual in Greyhawk.  Certain of the spells, such as the
Distraction, would have to wait until combat, and then undergo a
trial by fire.
  The drow still had some other new spells, spells that would be
mighty once completed, but were still in the raw, experimental
stages at the moment.  One was a "teleport beacon" which would
assist one mage in teleporting to another, solving one of the more
common drawbacks of teleportation.  Another proto-spell would shunt
the caster and others to an extra-dimensional haven, for a brief
time.  Yet another involved the disembodiment of one's soul from
one's body, allowing the soul to roam freely for a time, undetected.
Still another new spell would create an advanced illusion, one that
could actually react to real-life stimuli.
  All novel ideas, but they were little more than that, for the time
being:  ideas, great ones that might someday see form as new and
unique spells.

Alindyar:  Much work lies ahead.
Lyra:  Yes, but much work also lies behind.
Alindyar:  (nods)  Aye.

  Their testing completed for the day, the pair of drow prepared to
return to the city, today's exhibitions declared a success.





next:   Rillen gets himself into trouble
ftp:    ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
www:    http://www.gatech.edu/oit/staff/ns/thomas.miller/adv.html
notes:  Inventing new spells is tough work.  The "powerful illusion
  spell" mentioned for Alindyar turned out to be a Screen (from the
  Player's Handbook) - everything I wanted to do with that spell I
  tried to invent was already covered by Screen.  Aside from that,
  though, the others are fairly unique...





            Alindyar's Spellbook Supplement (vol. I)





Alindyar's Closet
  (6th level)
  (Alteration, Conjuring/Summoning)
Range            0
Components       V,S,M
Duration         1 round/level
Casting Time     8
Area of Effect   Special
Saving Throw     n/a

  This spell allows the caster to access an extradimensional pocket,
about the size of a large wardrobe, that is, roughly 8' high, 6' wide,
and 2' deep.  This place is unique, not to mention unassailable, even
from the Ethereal Plane.  Upon a particular wizard's first casting of
this spell, an extradimensional space is created and linked to him or
her.  From that moment forth, this place is the caster's; no other
wizard can access it, and the wizard can never open a second such
pocket.
  The extradimensional "closet" will remain open for as long as the
caster desires, up to the duration of the spell.  Items can be put
into it, or taken out, as long as they are nonliving matter.  When
the closet "closes", it is gone, its link to the Prime Material
plane severed.  Thereafter, this spell must be cast again to bring
the extradimensional closet back.  Once such a closet is created,
however, it is permanent, though accessible by a single wizard.
  If a living being is in the closet when its time on this plane is
done, the being will be expelled as the closet vanishes; this very
action carries a 50% risk of permanent feeblemindedness.
  The material components for this spell are a shred from a portable
hole and a vial of blood from a phase spider.  After the initial
casting, the shred vanishes; subsequent castings require more phase
spider blood, which must be poured in the area where the closet is
to appear.
  It is possible that a variant of this spell allows two casters to
work together, both able to access the closet.





Disguise
  (8th level)
  (Illusion/Phantasm)
Range            touch
Components       V,S,M
Duration         1 hour/level
Casting Time     1 turn
Area of Effect   50' radius sphere, around caster
Saving Throw     see below

  This powerful enchantment masks the appearance of one or more
creatures with a powerful illusion.  This enchantment affects all
five senses - and cannot be disbelieved.  Any who witness the
illusion automatically believe it, even if given cause not to.
Only those armed with true seeing or similar spells/effects can
see through this spell's effects.  Even then, they must make a
saving throw to succeed, otherwise sensing something unusual but
nothing more.  The illusion will completely alter the appearance
of its subjects, on all levels.  Thus, a halfling disguised as a
giant will look like a giant, sound like a giant, even smell like
a giant.  If a real giant reached forth to tap the fake one on the
head, he would feel the fake giant's head.
  This illusion's true power lies in the fact that it moves with
the caster.  The spell can be cast on one creature (the caster)
plus another for every three levels the caster has achieved.
Thus, all those under the influence of the Disguise are bound to
the spellcaster, and must remain within the spell's area of effect
or lose their disguise.  Once lost in this manner, this spell's
effects cannot be regained by the creature(s) that lost the illusion.
  While this is a powerful spell, those who can detect magic will be
aware that the caster and friends, disguised as they may be, are yet
the source of some strong magical energy.





Distraction
  (4th level)
  (Illusion/Phantasm)
Range            1 yard/level
Components       V,S,M
Duration         2 rounds
Casting Time     4
Area of Effect   one 10-yard cube
Saving Throw     Negates

  By casting this spell, a wizard produces an illusory (and typically
unpleasant) effect in one or more targets.  Although this illusion
can cause no real, lasting damage, it is highly realistic and often
suited to each victim's own fears.  Thus, one target might feel as
if ants were crawling over him, while another might believe that a
swarm of bees was attacking him.  A victim who feared heights might
believe that he was falling through a great, empty sky.  Someone who
shunned darkness might think he was surrounded by blackest night.
  This is a quick, efficient spell whose purpose is to distract, no
more - hence the name.  Each creature within its area of effect gets
a chance to save, a successful saving throw indicating that that
victim was able to ignore the spell.  After two rounds of horrific
illusions, the enchantment expires, and the victim(s) will realize
the illusion for what it was.  The material components are a pouch
of topaz dust and a vial of ghost ectoplasm, which are mixed and
then hurled toward the victims as the spell is cast.





Helping Hands
  (4th level)
  (Conjuration/Evocation)
Range            Special
Components       V,S
Duration         2 rounds/level
Casting Time     1 round
Area of Effect   Special
Saving Throw     n/a

  This spell creates a pair of immaterial, disembodied hands in
the air before the caster.  These hands are roughly human-sized and
will always remain several feet in front of the caster, moving with
him if necessary.  These hands have only one use:  they are capable
of performing the somatic components and manipulating the material
components of spells.  The hands' activity serves to halve the cast-
ing times of any spells cast with their aid, though a caster can
still only cast one spell per round.  The spellcaster need not use
his own hands for such spellcasting, freeing them up for other uses
(but not combat.)





Wall of Electricity
  (5th level)
  (Evocation)
Range            60 yards
Components       V,S,M
Duration         Special
Casting Time     4
Area of Effect   Special
Saving Throw     None

  This spell brings forth an immobile, crackling wall of bluish-
white electricity.  It either creates an opaque sheet up to one
20-foot square per level of the caster, or a ring with a radius
up to 10 feet plus 5 feet/2 levels.  In either form, the wall of
electricity is 20 feet high; it must be cast vertically with
respect to the caster.  Unlike a wall of fire, either side of a
wall of electricity is equally dangerous:  2d4 points of damage
to anyone within 15' of it.  Passing through the wall inflicts
2d6 points of damage, plus 1 per level of the caster.  In all
other respects, the wall is identical to a wall of fire.
  These walls tend to attract other forms of electricity, such
as lightning bolts; any such energy within fifty feet of a wall
of electricity will actually be absorbed into the wall, harming
only those who are in the way.





        Spell ideas by Leonard Bottleman, Eric Boyd,
         Vince Gray, Thomas Miller, and Tom Vallow.
            Idea for the book-form by Eric Boyd.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





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