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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 +
+ firstname.lastname@example.org +
+ THE PARTY (or a portion of it): +
+ Belphanior 13th/14th/14th level elven warrior/mage/thief (CN) +
+ Peldor 19th level human thief (N) +
+ Tanya 5th/11th level human female warrior/thief (N) +
+ Date: 6/5/575 C.Y. (Common Year) +
+ Time: late night +
+ Place: the Green Dragon Inn, in the Free City of Greyhawk +
+ Climate: temperate +
+ "Hurting people isn't a good thing! Okay, sometimes it is..." +
+ - from _Demolition Man_ +
CCCXIII. Hot Pursuit
After hours of fruitless searching for the missing Tanya, Peldor
has contacted Belphanior, using a special scroll that the elf gave
Belphanior: (appears in the room)
Peldor: Err...I just didn't expect you to show up so soon.
Belphanior: I aim to please...so what's going on? Why do you need
Peldor recounted the circumstances of Tanya's disappearance, as
well as the recent argument between Mongo and Ged. Belphanior sat
in a chair and listened intently, nodding at some parts of the tale
and frowning at others. As Peldor finished his story, the elf was
already standing, cracking his knuckles.
Peldor: So...what do you think?
Belphanior: I think finding Tanya will be the easy part. Finding
out what else is going on will be a little more challenging.
Peldor: I'm beginning to think that some-
Just then, there was a frantic knock (more accurately, a series of
knocks) at the door.
Bosco: (barges in, Arnold close behind him) Man, you're not gonna
_believe_ what just happened!
Arnold: (nods to Belphanior, in greeting)
Belphanior: (nods in return)
Peldor: Something else happened? Hell, try me.
Bosco: Arnold says that Ged was..._taken_ by a robed person.
Belphanior: Oh, really, now?
Arnold: Ridht. He was in his study, and I was nearby, and I heard
the sounds of combad. So I broke in, just in time to see Geb and
the other one disabbear into a black ball of lidht.
Bosco: Black light? What's that?
Peldor: (ignoring the halfling) Ged? Kidnapped?
Belphanior: How'd he let that happen?
Arnold: He was asleep...or dead.
Belphanior: Well, that would do it.
Bosco: This sounds kinda like the attack on Mongo.
Belphanior: Agreed. Something fishy's going on around here.
Peldor: Okay, well, I've still got _my_ number one priority, which
is to find Tanya.
Belphanior: Right. Let's get cracking on that.
Peldor: Yeah...Bosco, I want you to go find Mongo, and tell him
what happened. Arnold, you probably ought to go with him.
Belphanior: (takes his magical compass out, and mumbles a few words
Peldor: Trying to locate Tanya?
Belphanior: Yep. It'll be a few moments.
Peldor: Okay. Bosco, what about the drow?
Bosco: Already checked, on the way here. They're not in their room,
but one of the maids said they'd gone out to eat.
Peldor: Great...they could be disguised as anybody, which means we
probably won't find them until they're ready to be found.
Bosco: Not even with my x-ray vision?
Peldor: Maybe not even with that, good Bosco.
Belphanior: (watching the compass closely as it turns slowly back
and forth) I could find them with the compass.
Peldor: No time for that. Okay, Bosco, here's the game plan. You
and Arnold get going. Belphanior and I will be away for a time,
though hopefully not too long. We'll meet up with you here, when
we're done. If you can bring Mongo and Gorin, do it, otherwise try
and get them to stay in town, at least.
Bosco: Right on. C'mon, Arnold, we've got work to do! (they leave
the room, heading downstairs)
Belphanior: Tanya...hmm...(he eyes the compass' swiveling needle)
Peldor: (immediately brightens) You've found her?
Belphanior: Roughly...she's several hours' ride south of Greyhawk.
Peldor: What's she doing _there_? That settles it, she must have
been kidnapped! She'd never leave the city, especially at night,
without letting me know.
Belphanior: Well, let's go and get her. (he taps the pommel of his
sheathed longsword) This ought to be fun.
Peldor: (looking angry) Not for whoever's got her. Let's get to
the horses, in the stable.
Belphanior: (spellcasting) Why bother? I can get us there faster.
Belphanior: Open the window, or else get us to the rooftop.
Shortly, the two adventurers were airborne, and sailing southward
through the night sky. They used Belphanior's magical compass as a
guide, following the needle that pointed southward, toward their
quarry. Thick scarves covered their mouths, to facilitate breathing
while they soared through the windy skies. Their cloaks spread out
behind them like odd wings, and the wind stung their faces and hands
as they traveled. However, they were determined to find Tanya, and
it would take more than wind currents to stop them.
Belphanior: I like traveling at night...because no one can see you.
Peldor: (makes hand signals, as they fly)
Belphanior: Oh, you can't hear me. Okay. (he mumbles to himself
for a while as they fly along)
A bit more than an hour later, they slowed to a comfortable air-
speed, for Belphanior had sensed that their quarry was very close
now. They were able to talk without the voices being lost in the
Peldor: Where is she?
Belphanior: A bit singleminded at the moment, are we?
Peldor: I want Tanya back, safe and sound. All other things come
second. Now where is she?
Belphanior: Okay, okay. She's close at hand...(he scans the dark
terrain below, seeing it clearly thanks to his magical eye) I'd
venture a guess that she, and her kidnappers - if there are any -
are on that road below.
Peldor: What do you mean, "if there are any?"
Belphanior: Sorry, I'm joking again. Just think, she might have
left town to prepare a surprise birthday party for you.
Peldor: (inspects his sword's edge, finding it razor-sharp) Not
a chance. Besides, we don't know when my birthday is.
Meanwhile, not too far away, Tanya woke up to find herself laying
across the seat of a wagon, bound hand and foot. Her sword, and
other weapons and items, were nowhere to be found. The wagon, a
large one, was moving, and the frequent bumps did nothing to help
Tanya's mood. She struggled angrily with her bonds, but to no avail,
for the fellow who had tied them knew his knots.
That very scoundrel sat atop the other seat, facing her. A grin
crossed his scarred face, and he eyed his prisoner's lithe body as
he licked his lips.
Tanya: How disgusting!
ruffian: 'Ay, but you may yet learn to like it.
Tanya: It figures...a scumbag like you would've had to hit be by
surprise, to take me.
ruffian: (puffs out his chest, as if to deny the accusation) Hey,
just followin' orders, luv.
Tanya: Knocked me out and kidnapped me, eh? We're not anywhere near
Greyhawk, are we?
Tanya: Who are you working for? What do you want?
ruffian: You'll learn soon enough...(he ogles a bare leg) Heh.
Tanya: Where's my sword? Damn, but if I had steel in my hands, I'd
teach you some manners!
ruffian: Heh, I'll just bet. You'd prob'ly do nothing more'n get
yourself hurt, playing with weapons. Anyways, yours isn't anywhere
that'll do you any good. (he pats the seat beneath him) Safe an'
sound, out of reach. Not like you, now. My, but you're a pretty
Tanya: (spits at the fellow) Release me or you'll be dead before
you know what happened to you...
ruffian: All in good time, girl.
Tanya: I am no girl!
ruffian: So I've noticed. Hmm, I wonder if the boss'd object if
you arrived a bit...used.
Tanya: (grits her teeth in rage) Try it and I'll kill you!
ruffian: Oh, I doubt 'at. (he knits his brow, as if contemplating
some deep thought) Nope, nobody said nothin' about how we's to
treat you. (he moves toward the bound prisoner, slobbering)
Suddenly, there was a scream from above, where the wagon-driver
sat guiding the horses. The ruffian stopped in his tracks, then
tried to stick his head out the window. However, at that exact
moment, the wagon slowed drastically, catapulting the fellow into
a wooden wall-panel, where he hit his head and slumped, unmoving.
Tanya, who had some idea of what might be going on, had rolled off
the seat and braced herself on the floor, and as a result was able
to avoid being seriously injured as the wagon jolted to a halt.
She struggled again, with her ropes, for whatever was happening,
she didn't want to be tied up for it. Unfortunately, she had no
better luck with the ropes now than before.
A voice interrupted her cursing and struggling, causing her to
look upward, at one window.
Belphanior: (his head appears, upside-down, from above the window)
Belphanior: In the flesh. (he swings into the wagon's cabin,
Tanya: Is Peldor-
Belphanior: With me? You bet. Here, turn around. (he cuts her
ropes with one quick but careful slash)
Tanya: Thanks. (she rubs her chafed wrists, restoring circulation
to her hands)
Belphanior: (kicks the wagon's door open, in fact breaking it off)
Tanya: (leaps from the wagon)
Outside, Peldor was busy shaking a second ruffian, while cursing
Peldor: Talk, damn you! Talk!
ruffian: (bloody and unmoving)
Belphanior: (grins, amused)
Peldor: Shit. (he tosses the man away contemptuously) I think you
Tanya: Good riddance to bad rubbish, says I.
Peldor: (whirls) Tanya! (he sheathes his sword while running, and
the pair meet halfway, embracing)
Tanya: You came for me...
Peldor: Of course. What else was there to do? (he holds her at
arm's length) By the gods, I feared you lost!
Tanya: (grins sheepishly)
Peldor: What happened? Who were they?
Tanya: (shrugs) No idea. One of them said he was working for some
Belphanior: How'd they get you, anyway? I heard that you were quite
a dangerous lady to mess with.
Tanya: (eyeing Peldor) Now who told you that?
Peldor: Hey, wasn't me.
Tanya: I was in Greyhawk, when I saw a young girl being beaten, or
robbed, in a dark alley. Naturally, I went to help, and then some-
thing hit me in the back of the head. Next thing I knew, I was all
tied up, in that wagon. (as an afterthought, she goes back to the
wagon, opening the hinged seat-top and recovering her sword and
other items that had been taken) Ah. He wasn't lying. (she looks
at the bloody, unmoving ruffian in the wagon, with disgust)
Peldor: Waylaid right there in Greyhawk, eh? Damn, these guys must
have been pretty bold, or else desperate.
Belphanior: Or else stupid. (he cleans his bloody sword on the dead
driver's tunic) From the sound of it, I'd guess that the mugging
"victim" was in on the plot.
Tanya: I agree. Hmm, maybe this other ruffian yet lives, and can be
Belphanior: My pleasure. (striding toward the wagon) He'll tell us
everything he knows.
voice: We can't have that, now, can we?
All three adventurers turned to face the speaker, who had appeared
perhaps fifty feet away. It was a slender elven woman, garbed in a
blue cloak; she hovered in the air, perhaps fifteen feet above the
ground, legs crossed. The lass appeared to be several hundred years
old, by Belphanior's reckoning, which made her more dangerous. Worse
still, he hadn't detected the approach or presence of her soul, or
the other that was now in the nearby area. The elf decided to take
the direct approach.
Belphanior: And who might you be? Do we know you?
elven sorceress: No, but I've brought somebody you _do_ know. (she
waves her hand, revealing a short, compact armored figure on the
ground beneath her)
Peldor: (looks shocked) By the gods...
Belphanior: Is that what I think it is?
Peldor: I'm afraid so.
Tanya: (looks from one thief to the other, confused) What?
elven sorceress: Get them!
iron dwarf: (charges, growling with rage and swinging a sharp, twin-
bladed axe) RRAAARGH!
next: third strike
ftp: ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
notes: It's still Sunday. In this weekend, I've written 311, 312,
and now this one. It's looking like 314 will get done today as
It's been awhile, but here it is again: fan mail. This batch
spans 275 (Rillenfinding the dead monastery) through 280 (the last
Belphanior tale right before Rillen's ascent of Dark Mountain.)
I'd have put more fan mail here, but there's too much of it.
>> The attack and combat with the Yeti reminded me of ESB, but the
>>rest of the story, especially the flash-backs, reminded me of the
>>old series "Kung Fu".
>> Well done, as usual. The flashbacks were a nice touch---kind
>> of reminded me of the old TV series _Kung-Fu_.
>> I _wondered_ what Rillen was going to do.
The Rillen stories must have ended a bit too quietly (or should
I say answers-lessly?) for many readers...well, I'll put it this way:
the Big Bad Monk hasn't shaken the forces of evil. Not yet.
Now, on to episode 276...
>> As you hop around from adventurer to adventurer, I keep thinking
>>I've missed a story somewhere, but I actually do prefer reading
>>about the group in this way.
>> Funny thing is that looking at the list of words generated
>>by the Unix spell checker, I can easily weed out most of the
>>Arnold speak at a glance (a tribute to your consistent use of
>>his dialect, I guess).
>>Maybe I'm in the minority, but I enjoy reading about some of the
>>more mundane things that go on while the adventurer's aren't out
>>... um, adventuring. Life isn't a continual series of harrowing
>>events, and seeing what the characters do when they aren't on the
>>road allows the reader to get to know them better. It was nice
>>to see Arnold and Nenya taking care of things while Ged was else-
>> Yes, we saw a lot more into Arnold's character in this story
>>than before. Arnold seems simple and straightforward, which makes
>>for a nice change from the wheelings and dealings of Peldor, the
>>machinations of the drow, the sanctimonious actions of Ged, or
>>the maniacal deeds of Belphanior.
>> I liked it, captured Arnold's no-nonsense approach pretty well.
>> I liked it a lot ... good "Arnold" view of the universe.
>> Solid episode. It's still nice to see everyone growing and
>> taking on responsibility of their own. While it's understandable
>> for Arnold to take care of the problem by himself, I would like
>> to see more of a partnership form between him and Nenya.
>> Looking foreward to the bloody duo's return.
>> 276 was great. Nice to see what the common folk do when the
>> bosses are off playing.
I wanted to give Arnold some responsibility and see where he went
with it. He did okay, I guess. Better than Bosco would've, I think.
On to 277...
>> I really should write more often - as I enjoy your stories
>> immensely. But of course, I am sure that your mailbox gets
>> flooded as it is. Anyway, I'm really enjoying the Belphanior
>> series. I've been looking forward to this round for some time.
Good, that was the plan!
>> The Mongo adventure was outstanding as well.
>> I'm a bit confused about the storyline change... after 275 I
>> thought for sure that we were in for a string of Rillen
>> episodes, which I thought might be a neat change... not that
>> I am disappointed with either Arnold (276) or Bel & Otto (277)
>> just curious as to why you decided to switch tracks so quickly
>> More, more, more!!!
>> I'm afraid I enjoy the Belphanior stories just too much for
>> my own good. He's a great anti-hero. I was particularly
>> struck by the way in which he dealt with the chief guard in
>> this episode. It's like he has his personal set of laws.
>> For any who transgress against those laws, he acts as judge,
>> jury, and (most definitely) executioner without letting any-
>> thing as transient as societal scruples to get in his way.
>> Or, more succinctly, he's a bad-ass and don't get in his
>> way. ;-)
>> More episodes, now! ;-)
Excellent. It would seem that I've managed to build him his
own unique personality. I, too, have been pleased with the way
he's been acting.
>> Wow, nice idea to put some Wild West atmosphere in frp setting.
>> You know, it's funny - yesterday I've seen Pale Rider on video.
I guess most of the Helgate stuff is like Westerns in many ways.
I tend to enjoy the more violent films of this genre, so I can't
say they don't influence my writing style.
Now, on to 278...
>> Fun story. Nice way to split Belphanior and Otto up so they
>> can do more damage. Good attitude from Belphanior. Cool and
>> steady. Looking foreward to the next.
>> P.S. Is Belphanior and Otto's killings kind of like therapy
>> for you? They seem to be at their bloodiest whenever you have
>> had problems. :-)
>> Belphanior's recent trend also seems to remind me a bit of
>> Lancelot in 'First Knight', with his, "you cant be afraid to
>> die...." attitude.
>> Very tasty. It was nice seeing Otto work his own brand of
>> intelligence gathering magic.
I'm doing what I can to highlight Otto's personality and skills.
Now for 279...
>> Good episode. Nothing like Belphanior and Otto getting a
>> little deep into a situation. :-) I still have to say that
>> they are my favorites.
>> Kinda makes you wonder what Belphanior would do WITHOUT
>> Blackrazor...although I suspect he would simply be more ruth-
>> less, and more violent---i.e. destroying most things that got
>> in his way with spells that produced major overkill. The
>> "assassination" scene reminded me of Empire Strikes Back....
>> The latest batch of stories has been interesting, if for no
>> other reason than we see an opponent who respects Belphanior's
>> power, but isnt afraid of it.
>> The climax ought to be fun.
>> And here are a few general comments about the past three
>> Belphanior/Otto episodes (nothing really constructive).
>> The previous stories have seemed to be rather grand, enlightened
>> adventures or quests. Even the relatively low key epidoes, such
>> as Arnold and Neyna taking over while Ged's gone, or Peldor
>> building up the Green Dragon all maintained this, almost "clean
>> cut" feeling: our guys were in the right, and doing good. When
>> the group was faced with danger, or mired down deep in the muck,
>> or being hammered by some gross, evil, slavering creature, the
>> stories still held this "good" feel about them, even when
>> Belphanior's less the idealistic actions got out of hand.
>> Ever since Belphanior has left Greyhawk, his stories have become
>> more dark and, if you will, seedy - especially these last 3.
>> Even though the vast bulk of Belphanior's victims deserved what
>> they got, the act seems less like justice, and more like
>> vengeance and rage, with more than a touch of joy at the carnage
>> from both Otto and Belphanior. The villians seem more corrupt
>> and vile than truly evil, which might explain the different
>> emotions one feels when Belphaior and Otto gleefully hack them
>> down. Belphanior himself seems to be picking up more of these
>> vile and merciless traits (Otto always seems to have had them).
>> The locations also seem less pleasant, more on the "wrong side
>> of the tracks", as are the people (even the relatively nice
>> ones) that the two encounter. This progression has been rather
>> subtle, and looking back on the past half a dozen Belphanior
>> stories, I can now see the progression, but it wasn't until
>> episode 277, 278, and especially 279 that I realized that "Hey,
>> something's really different here!"
>> You've really done a great job of developing the less than
>> pleasant feeling to these "renegade" stores. I really enjoy the
>> dark atmosphere that now surrounds this pair: the scene where
>> Otto helps a seriously wounded Belphanior out of the mine is
>> the perfect example of what I'm talking about.
>> Belphanior is really quite a scary opponent: stab him, slice
>> him, and he just grins at you before loping your head off.
>> Perhaps the more towards evil he drifts, the more powerful his
>> eye becomes.
Well said. I can't respond to such perfect praise :)
On to 280...
>> Good stuff, man!
>> Hmmm...nice swordfight. I have this mental image of Peldor
>> (had he been there) on the sidelines, sword in hand like he was
>> directing a play, dancing about, saying things like,"Hack, parry,
>> slash, twist, turn, grind, HA! Hack, stab, parry, slash! Wheee!"
Shouldn't there be a "HO!" in there somewhere?
>> Sorry I haven't written in a while. Don't take this as a sign
>> that the stories weren't great though. In fact, being a Belph
>> fan, I've enjoyed the last few thoroughly.
>> Belph using his Book of Beasts and Horn (of Undead Summoning
>> or something) were nice touches. Sometimes it's good to see
>> that he doesn't have to kill everybody.
>> Oh well, gotta go, but just thought I'd drop a line and
>> congratulate you on writing the many excellent stories you have.
>> Ahhh...the perfect way to start the working day. Good
>> coffee, fresh donuts, and a new Adventurers story. I really
>> like the Belphanior stories. Mayhap he promote himself to Lord
>> of Helgate?
Ah, too late - he already has! This is what happens when I wait
too long to print fan mail: there's a time-gap.
Now here are some (fairly) story-independent comments...
>> It's good to hear from you Thomas, since I sent you a letter
>> last week asking to be brought up to date and got no reply...I
>> have a suspicion that my mail system might have a problem.
>> I'm all up to date now, and have received ep.279 on .archives.
>> I didn't want to look at it until I was up to date but
>> eventually gave in to the temptation, which is when I found out
>> about the FTP site. I didn't know about this last term, even
>> though it seems things have been on there since may '95. When I
>> found out, I brought myself up to date so from now on, I expect
>> you will be very glad to hear, hopefully you will just be
>> getting feedback from me and not requests for episodes.
>> Anyway, now things are straightened out, here's some feedback.
>> Peldor & Bosco's sewer adventure - interesting:-) I understand
>> why Greyhawk thief politics can be complicated to write, but I
>> really liked the way Peldor's influence is felt all over
>> Greyhawk. However, I'm not that familiar with Greyhawk City, so
>> a note or two on the Thief's guild would be appreciated, like
>> how high up Peldor's boss is. Is he the actual Guildmaster? Who
>> is he when it is a Paladin/Priest/Noble asking? How does the
>> Thieves guild interact with the other powers in the City, like
>> the Circle? Presumably Bigby and Rary don't have Guild
>> protection and no thief is going to be stupid enough to try and
>> rob them...
Sorry about this confusion...off the top of my head, here are some
answers. Org Nenshen is the Guildmaster. His immediate subordinates
are the Quarter Guildmasters; there are six such people, for the six
quarters of Greyhawk. Peldor is one of these six. Org is also one
of the fourteen or so Oligarchs, who rule the city via council.
All of this is paraphrased from my memory of the _City of Greyhawk_
>> Halbarad's solo..Hmm. This seems vaguely familiar:-) But
>> seriously, I loved this story. I'm not quite sure why, but I
>> think it was the way all the others were cut down by the
>> predator, but Halbarad survived, though he had to use all his
>> ranger skills to do so. Also, in the movie Arnie had guns and
>> high-tech equipment whereas Halbarad only had medieval weapons,
>> though he made good use of his bow and magic items:-).
Thanks. Looking back, I'm really happy that I did that story.
>> Mongo & the Mines of Moria^H^H^H^H^H Thunderdeep I wasn't so
>> keen on. It was still good stuff, but when it comes to dungeons
>> I prefer having the party solve puzzles and traps like the
>> Dungeon of Aranor. Since one is trying to steer away from
>> combat at high levels, 100 dwarves vs. 1000 orcs...ah well.
>> Belphanior's adventures - More, more! Belphanior is my favorite
character, for much the same reasons as in your dream where you
>> beat up the car-radio thieves. We live in a civilised society
>> which frowns on violence as a solution to problems. However, it
>> is very nice, when our brain is hurting from the complexities
>> of living in modern society, to dream of beating the crap out of
>> people who get in our way. Belphanior does this:-) He has the
>> physical prowess and fighting savvy to do this and can use
>> thiefs skills and magic for the same ends:-) I reckon this is
>> the reason characters like the Hulk are so popular and possibly
>> also why there is so much violence on TV and films. What do you
I think that violence is a reality, and shouldn't be ignored.
Those who use it to get what they want should be victims of it,
from time to time, and this is something I try to show.
>> Back to the story:-) I'm not sure wether I like Otto or
>> not. Maybe he's a bit too much in Belphanior's shadow, maybe
>> he's too like Belphanior, I dunno. However:-
>> How did they escape Torin's Party? Dimension door? How did
>> they escape from the gas? I liked the story (though I thought
>> Whisper was going to be sent after Belphanior, hint hint:-))
>> but I didn't like how Torin stupidly split his party up and
>> Belphanior was hardly harmed - maybe Blackrazor's healing is
>> a little too powerful. Finally, I don't think a handful of
>> undead will be enough to stop Torin, so hopefully he'll appear
>> again, maybe surprising Belphanior this time, or even killing
>> Otto. THAT would make Belphanior think 'Yikes, this is getting
>> a bit dangerous'.
Well, by the time you read this, you've seen how smart foes can
defeat one or more of the adventurers...
>> Hi Thomas,
>> I have been injoying your stories ever since Tom Vallow first
>> introduced me to them a few years ago, but this is the first time
>> that I have gotten around to saying Thanks. The stories have been
>> great, they truely bring the RolePlaying expierience to life.
>> --Pete Shaff
Happy to hear it.
>> One more thing: what you have done with Bosco is great. He
>>should be listed below Peldor but _without_ 3 spaces before his
Hmm. I do get the feeling that if I did another character
popularity poll, Bosco and Otto would gain some standing...
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