Chapter #312

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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 1991-5 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):                                  +
+                                                                   +
+  Peldor       19th level human thief                          (N) +
+     Bosco     10th level halfling thief                      (CN) +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Date:        6/5/575 C.Y. (Common Year)                          +
+  Time:        night                                               +
+  Place:       the Green Dragon Inn, in the Free City of Greyhawk  +
+  Climate:     temperate                                           +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "Again we see that there is nothing you can possess that I       +
+   cannot take away."                                              +
+                         - Belloq, from _Raiders of the Lost Ark_  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                   CCCXII.  The Vanishing





  This evening, Peldor and Bosco were having a fine dinner of
roasted lamb, succulently stuffed with bread and vegetables
and served with a fine wine from the distant lands of Urnst.

Peldor:  -and fortunately, Gorin was okay.
Bosco:  Gee whiz.  Attacked?  Who'd want to attack them?
Peldor:  I don't know.  I hope we don't ever have to find out.
Bosco:  Hey, if I'd had to help Gorin, I sure would've.  He's a
  good guy.
Peldor:  Let's just be glad it didn't come to that.
Bosco:  So what are you doing over in the east hall of the inn?
  I heard one of the bartenders talking about a new plan.
Peldor:  Well, I'd like to build a stage there, for those times
  when we need to entertain all of our guests at once.  You know,
  a play or show while they're eating.
Bosco:  Yeah!  Then their pockets could be picked while they were
  distracted...
Peldor:  (leans forward)  Bosco, if they don't have any money,
  they can't pay me for food and lodging.
Bosco:  Oh.  Oh. yeah.
Peldor:  (sits back)
Bosco:  Maybe I should go to other inns to ply my trade.
Peldor:  Maybe.  Or maybe you could just stay here and take care
  of the gambling operations, like always.
Bosco:  But I still have to have _something_ to do on my night off.
Peldor:  Oh.
Bosco:  (looking around)  Now where the heck are you gonna build
  a stage?  There's no room!
Peldor:  The foundation's solid beneath the area I'm thinking of,
  so it's architecturally possible.
Bosco:  But you'd still have to expand the inn.  Again.
Peldor:  (sighs)  Yeah, I know.  I'm working on the next-door
  neighbors.
Bosco:  Neighbors?  Who're they?
Peldor:  Oh, no one.  It's just an expression of speech.  On the
  eastern side of the inn is a stretch of trees and grass, atop
  the same hill.  Beyond that is a city watch station.
Bosco:  And on the western side?
Peldor:  On the western side is just empty land...empty save for
  the riff-raff that hang around there.  It's kind of a den of
  petty merchants, beggars, and other lowlife.
Bosco:  Oh, yeah, I've seen 'em.  Even picked a few of their pockets
  now and then.  Not that they had much...
Peldor:  I wouldn't expect so.  I suppose they'll have to find some
  other place to congregate, once I take over that land.
Bosco:  You won't win any friends among the street people that way.
Peldor:  I know, I know.  I hate to force them off the land, but I
  can't very well make my plans around them either.
Bosco:  What are you going to do?
Peldor:  I don't know yet.
Bosco:  Maybe you'll think of something.  Or I will.  I always do.
Peldor:  That's what scares me.
Bosco:  Huh?
Peldor:  Nothing.
Bosco:  How long til a decision has to be reached?
Peldor:  Weeks, probably.  I'm working with the city government to
  buy that land, so I can expand westward.
Bosco:  West-  But I thought you needed to go eastward?
Peldor:  Yeah, but that's just a building add-on.  I'm just trying
  to get all the land around the inn - that's the greater project
  here.
Bosco:  I see.
Peldor:  In fact, Tanya's supposed to have checked with Org about
  a zoning...hmm, she should be back by now.
Bosco:  Maybe she's gone off shopping.
Peldor:  (regards the halfling sternly)
Bosco:  Hey, just joking.
Peldor:  Well, I suppose she'll be back before too long.  (he pushes
  his plate away)  I'm stuffed.
Bosco:  Not me!  (he heaps more food upon his plate)
Peldor:  (wondering if it's possible for a living being to have a
  portable hole for a stomach)

  The thief busied himself with various tasks for the next hours,
but he eventually began to wonder about Tanya's whereabouts.  He
checked downstairs, with the Green Dragon's staff, in case she had
returned and was somewhere on the premises.  This was not the case,
though, and the thief was worried now.  Making a decision, he donned
an evening-cloak and left the inn, heading for the Guildhouse of
Thieves.  He learned that Org Nenshen wasn't there, having gone home
hours earlier, so he next ventured to the Guildmaster's house.  The
bodyguards Org employed were overly careful, summoning their master
to the door rather than letting Peldor in.  Momentarily, the two
thieves were talking, but this avenue, too, proved fruitless.  Org
had indeed spoken with Tanya, but that had been well before dusk.
She had then left the Guildhouse, presumably to return to the inn.

Org:  And that was the last time _I_ saw Tanya.
Peldor:  Hmm.
Org:  You think something happened to her?
Peldor:  Could be.  A close friend of mine was recently ambushed,
  and the party responsible could be after more of us than just the
  one.
Org:  Interesting.
Peldor:  That's not the word I'd use.
Org:  Sorry.  In any case, my spy network hasn't reported anything
  unusual.  All the same, I'll have them on the lookout for Tanya
  by dawn.
Peldor:  Thanks...(he wanders toward the house's front door)
Org:  Where are you headed now?
Peldor:  (acting somewhat dazed)  To check further...

  The thief returned to the Green Dragon Inn, just in case, but no
luck; Tanya hadn't been there.

Bosco:  Man, something's wrong.
Peldor:  You can say that again.
Bosco:  I could, but I won't.  You want some help?
Peldor:  No, not yet anyway.  Stay here and keep both eyes out for
  here.  I'm going into the city, to look around.  Maybe she went
  somewhere, and someone saw her.  (he frowns)
Bosco:  You're sure you don't need my help?
Peldor:  I'm sure.  (he claps the halfling on the shoulder, then
  leaves)

  Peldor headed into the Foreign Quarter, since that was where Tanya
spent most of her time away from the inn.  He roamed the wide city
avenues, chatted with people he knew and people he didn't, and some-
times offered tips to those who might know something.  All of these
efforts were in vain, for there was neither hide nor hair of Tanya.
The thief quickly grew exasperated, and began thinking of the options
at his disposal.  Org's spies were the best in the business, but if
Tanya was in danger - an increasingly real possibility - Peldor was
after more immediate action.  He didn't want to wait for conventional
methods to track down a clue or produce an answer.  Peldor had never
been one to let others take care of his business, and he'd be damned
if he was going to start now.
  He considered asking Alindyar and Lyra for their help.  The drow
had powerful magic at their disposal, but Peldor didn't know if they
could locate random people or not.  Besides, he had recently used up
all his favors with Alindyar.  He frowned, and it was then that the
answer came to him, in a flash.  Returning to the inn, he made his
way to his room, hastily, not talking to anyone.  In his bedroom,
behind a false panel in one closet, was a locked and trapped lead
box which contained a few of his more valuable personal items.
Peldor retrieved one of these items from the lockbox, and after
stowing the container in its hiding place, he sat at an oaken table
and regarded the scroll Belphanior had given him, nearly two months
ago.





next:   the fate of Tanya
ftp:    ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
www:    http://www.gatech.edu/oit/staff/ns/thomas.miller/adv.html
notes:  I saw _Wild Bill_ this weekend...it was entertaining, with
  several good parts and several slow ones.  Of recent Westerns,
  though, _Tombstone_ is still the king.
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