Chapter #316

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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                    +
+                          +
+  THE PARTY (or a portion of it):                                  +
+                                                                   +
+  Bosco         10th level halfling thief                     (CN) +
+  Mongo         17th level dwarven warrior                    (CG) +
+     Gorin       8th level dwarven warrior                    (CG) +
+  Nenya          8th/9th level elven warrior/mage             (NG) +
+  Tanya          5th/11th level human female warrior/thief     (N) +
+  Date:        6/7/575 C.Y. (Common Year)                          +
+  Time:        a few hours before dawn                             +
+  Place:       the Green Dragon Inn, in the Free City of Greyhawk  +
+  Climate:     mild                                                +
+  "You're very foolish...the true sign of a hero."                 +
+                              - Shang Tsung, from _Mortal Kombat_  +

                   CCCXVI.  Those Who Remain

  In the aftermath of recent events, a small-seeming contingent of
the adventurers remains, not missing like many of the others.

Nenya:  No doubt about it, then.  Someone's organizing these attacks.
Mongo:  Damn straight.
Bosco:  But who?  (he spreads his tiny hands)  Who'd have any reason
  to want to destroy _me_?
Gorin:  You haven't been attacked yet, Bosco.
Bosco:  Oh.  Oh, yeah.
Nenya:  But you probably will be, soon.  As will we all.
Mongo:  I already was.  Me and Gorin.
Bosco:  Hey, we don't know for sure that Peldor and Belphanior ran
  into trouble.  They could be-

  Just then, there was a weak knock, at the front door of the inn.
They rushed over to the door, weapons bristling and spells at the

Mongo:  (hammer raised)  Ready?
Bosco:  Yeah.  (he opens the door, revealing a disheveled, battered
Tanya:  Ungh.  (collapses)
Bosco:  Whoa!  (catches her, as best as he is able, as she falls)

  Shortly, they had gotten Tanya to a bed, and were gathered around
her as she drifted in and out of consciousness.

Tanya:  Attack...ambush...set up...
Gorin:  What's this?
Bosco:  Attacked by who?
Tanya:  Sorceress...dwarf...iron dwarf...
Mongo:  (looks surprised)  Huh?!?
Bosco:  What in the world is an iron dwarf?
Nenya:  (examining Tanya's head wound)  I'm no priest, but I think
  it's safe to say that she'll live.
Bosco:  (produces a healing potion)  Let's make sure of that.  (he
  puts the bottle to Tanya's lips, carefully feeding her the magical
Mongo:  (to Tanya)  More - tell me more about this dwarf!
Tanya:  (muttering incoherently)
Bosco:  Eh?  Didn't quite make that out...
Mongo:  (leaning closer)  What now?
Tanya:  (silent, she sleeps)
Mongo:  Damn!  She needs to tell us-
Nenya:  What she _needs_ is some rest.  Let's leave her alone for a
  while, shall we?
Mongo:  But-
Nenya:  (sternly)  I mean it.  She'll never recuperate from her wounds
  with us here questioning her.
Gorin:  I, for one, agree.
Mongo:  Hmph.

  They retreated to a large table downstairs, where they resumed the
discussion they had been pursuing before Tanya had shown up.

Mongo:  -only way I can figure it is, she must have been found by
  Peldor and Belphanior, then all three of them had to fight some
Nenya:  Or attackers.
Bosco:  So she somehow escapes, and wanders through the wilderness,
  back to Greyhawk.  (he rubs his chin in admiration)
Gorin:  Tough girl.
Mongo:  Yeah.  So let's sum it up here.  Ged, Peldor, and Belphanior
  got taken for sure.  Rillen might or might not have suffered the
  same fate.
Bosco:  Don't forget the drow.
Mongo:  A smart enemy wouldn't.
Nenya:  We also need to collect the information we know about the
  attackers.  One:  Potas Potay, wizard, who likes to fly and use
  warriors to distract his foes.  He attacked Mongo and Gorin four
  days ago.
Bosco:  Two:  grey-robed, slender assassin who uses darts and dust
  and poison.  He attacked Ged two days ago.
Mongo:  How'd you know that?
Bosco:  Arnold told me.
Mongo:  Oh.
Gorin:  Arnold...yeah, he should have been back by now.
Nenya:  We should probably assume the worst, then.
Bosco:  (frowns)  Two attackers...that's _all_ we know?
Mongo:  Yeah.
Gorin:  Damn, that's not too good.
Nenya:  (rubs her eyes)  Damn, but I'm tired.
Bosco:  We all are.
Gorin:  That's probably another thing that'll help these foes...
Nenya:  I'd suggest that we all stay here, in one place.  That way
  we can band together if need be.
Mongo:  Or all be in one place - easy targets.
Nenya:  (nods)  True.
Mongo:  Well, I guess it's better to stick together.  Just in case.
Gorin:  Not very reassuring, eh?
Bosco:  (looking worried)  No.

  With that, they retired for the night (morning?) in the Green
Dragon, using adjacent rooms save for Bosco, who of course had his
own room.  Despite recent events, everyone slept deeply, and it was
well past noontime when someone finally woke up.

Mongo:  (yawns, and goes downstairs to get some breakfast)

  The inn was bustling with activity, but Mongo was still able to
get some food fairly easily.  Sitting at a table by himself, he ate
in silence, pondering recent events.

Bosco:  (bounds up to the table)  Hey, Mongo!
Mongo:  Eh?  Oh.  Morning, Bosco.  What's up-
Bosco:  I found Rillen!
Mongo:  (stands)  You did?  Where?
Bosco:  In another inn...he's hurt, and needs our help!
Mongo:  Whe-  take me there.
Bosco:  Right.  (he leads the dwarf from the Green Dragon)

  They walked briskly through Greyhawk's streets, into a section of
town Mongo was unfamiliar with.  The dwarf was glad that he'd suited
up and grabbed his weapons before breakfast, for these days even he
couldn't be sure of being safe, not anywhere.  Bosco led him through
a run-down street, bums and drunkards decorating the walks on both
sides.  Finally, they approached a dilapidated inn, over whose door
hung a half-broken sign declaring it to be the "Last Resort Inn".

  Meanwhile, back at the Green Dragon Inn, the others had gathered
at a table, for lunch.  The night's rest, while not ideal, had still
helped a great deal, and they could all think much more clearly now.

Gorin:  (looking around)  Where's Mongo?
waitress:  The dwarf?  He left with Bosco, a good while ago.
Bosco:  (appears at the bottom of the stairs)  What are you talking
  about?  I just woke up!
waitress:  (looks confused)  Err...
Nenya:  Uh-oh.

  Back at the Last Resort Inn, Bosco had led Mongo into the huge,
nearly-empty place.

Bosco:  (chatting with a young lad)
Mongo:  (looking around)  So, where's Rillen?
voice:  How should I know?
Mongo:  (whirling around)  Hey!

  The form of "Bosco" had changed, growing larger; its features were
blurred for a moment until it assumed its true form.

Potas Potay:  Greetings, my friend.
Mongo:  YOU!  (he grabs his hammer)
Potas Potay:  Not so fast.  (he pats the shoulder of the lad he was
  talking to)
lad:  (looking slightly worried, as if he should have listened to
  his mother's advice about talking to strangers)
Mongo:  A hostage?  Get real, scumbag.
Potas Potay:  (ignores the insult)  I _am_ real, dwarf.  (his other
  hand glows with magical fire)  And if you don't surrender, I shall
  slay this child without a second thought.
lad:  (looking even more worried now)
Mongo:  (raising Stormcrest)  And I'll send you to fuckin' hell!
Potas Potay:  You should also know that if I don't return safe and
  sound very soon, all your friends will die.  Ged, Peldor, Arnold,
  Alindyar, Lyra, even Belphanior.  They are all prisoners.  It is
  perhaps a compliment to your resilience that I have been forced
  to resort to such tactics. have lost, and I have won.
Mongo:  Why, you...(he raises his hammer)
Potas Potay:  Ah, ah, ah.
Mongo:  Grr...
Potas Potay:  Set the hammer down.  Now.  (his hand glows, sending
  motes of flame floating through the air)
lad:  (crying)
Mongo: figures.  (he puts his hammer down)  You can't beat
  me in a fight, so you use an innocent kid as a shield.
Potas Potay:  That is why me and mine shall always triumph.  Now, you
  will kindly remove your strength belt.
Mongo:  (looking quite angry)  Grr...
Potas Potay:  Now, or this child will be a pile of ashes.
Mongo:  (removes his girdle of giant strength)
Potas Potay:  Excellent.
Mongo:  Go to hell.
Potas Potay:  Not just yet...(using his free hand, he reaches in a
  pocket, holding up a small, spongy glob of grey matter)  Stand
  still, now.  (he tosses the thing at Mongo)
Mongo:  (forced to stand there as the glob lands at his feet)

  The missile instantly grew in size, becoming a large mass of thick
web-strands that quickly and efficiently immobilized Mongo.  Without
his magical girdle, he had no hope of breaking free, though he tried

Mongo:  (struggling in vain against the webbing)  Dammit.  Dammit,
  dammit, dammit!
Potas Potay:  (hurls the child-hostage away, and strides toward Mongo
  triumphantly)  Now, now.  (he tosses a small black marble to the
  wooden floor of the inn, where it instantly grows into a larger
  sphere of crackling black energy)
Mongo:  What the hell's that?
Potas Potay:  Why, you should be _happy_!  This portal will enable
  you to see your friends.
Mongo:  The others...
Potas Potay:  Yes!
Mongo:  Sometime real soon, wizard, I'm gonna rip your head from your
  shoulders and stuff it into a-
Potas Potay:  Silence!  (he pushes the captive dwarf into the sphere,
  where he disappears)  Heh, heh, heh.  (he strides into the portal
  himself, also vanishing)

  Moments later, the spherical gateway shrunk, disappearing into thin
air.  In its wake, the patrons of the dilapidated inn stared in awe
and fear.

next:   the whereabouts of Rillen
ftp: in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
notes:  ...

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