Chapter #318

previous chapter (#317)                                                                  next chapter (#319)

                                +   +
                              +       +
                            +           +
                          +               +
                        +                   +
                      +                       +
                    +      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                    +
+                          +
+  THE PARTY (to be more accurate, those who have been kidnapped    +
+                                                                   +
+  Alindyar     16th level dark elven mage                     (N)  +
+  Arnold       12th level human warrior                      (NG)  +
+  Lyra         12th level female dark elven mage              (N)  +
+  Belphanior   13th/14th/14th level elven warrior/mage/thief (CN)  +
+  Ged          14th/14th level grey elven priest/mage        (NG)  +
+  Peldor       19th level human thief                         (N)  +
+  Rillen       17th level human warrior                       (N)  +
+  Date:        6/8/575 C.Y. (Common Year)                          +
+  Time:        night                                               +
+  Place:       someone's dungeon                                   +
+  Climate:     cold                                                +
+  "There's _always_ a way to take somebody down..."                +
+                                        - from _An Innocent Man_   +

                      CCCXVIII.  Prisoners

  In the last few days, various adventurers have been kidnapped, or
worse.  Most recently, Rillen was attacked and beaten, though only
after he defeated a number of mercenaries.

  Now, the warrior finally woke up, his head throbbing.  It took him
a moment to get his bearings, and remember the last things that had
happened to him.

Rillen:  (rubs his neck)  Ouch.

  The first thing the warrior realized was that he was lying on a
cold stone floor.  The second was that he had been stripped of all
weapons and items, and was wearing only a loincloth.  The third and
most important thing he realized was that he wasn't alone.

Mongo:  Welcome to the party.
Rillen:  (sits up)  Ungh...

  Looking around, Rillen felt his heart go cold, for a number of his
friends shared this dungeon with him:  Mongo...Ged...Arnold...Alindyar
and Lyra...Peldor...even Belphanior.  And a dungeon it was, without a
doubt; no more than twenty feet square, the place was cold and dark.

Rillen:  Wh- where are we?
Belphanior:  You tell me, then we'll both know.
Peldor:  We all woke up here, about the same time.  You were out like
  a light, though, so we let you rest, and wake up on your own.
Rillen:  Hmm.  (he looks around, eyeing the small cell)  At least it's
Mongo:  Huh?
Rillen:  Nothing.  Might I ask what happened?  I mean, how were the
  rest of you captured?
Ged:  Poison darts in my own cas-
Peldor:  -kidnapped Tanya-
Mongo:  -innocent hostage-
Alindyar:  -fireball-
Arnold:  -aaa-
Rillen:  Whoa, whoa!  One at a time, please.  My head's still sore.

  For the next few minutes, the other prisoners related their own
tales of ambush, capture, or whatever.  When it was over, Rillen
told them how he had been taken, namely, by a wizard who used his
warriors to weaken Rillen.

Ged:  Yea...that about fits the profile.
Lyra:  (frowning)  Someone's really after us.
Arnold:  (drily)  Well, nod any more.
Alindyar:  Aye.  'Twas a good thing that we finally correlated all
  of the circumstances.  It allows a broader view of the events.
Mongo:  This plot reeks of intelligence.
Peldor:  And evil.
Belphanior:  And cunning.  One or two of us, I could see - but all
Ged:  I wonder who's out to get us?
Mongo:  Whoever it is, they succeeded.
Lyra:  Hmm...try as I might, I can't come up with any one suspect.
Belphanior:  (stands)  Maybe there's more than one.
Ged:  Eh?
Peldor:  (angrily)  Hell, think of all the enemies we've made over
  the years...
Arnold:  Enembies?  What enembies?
Belphanior:  (grins)  You've got to admit, there are a lot to choose
Alindyar:  Let us put this in perspective.  In each case - most cases
  at least - the attackers exploited a weakness and used it against
Ged:  (nods)
Mongo:  (realizes that he had forgotten his earlier argument with Ged,
  and grimaces at the elf)  Huh?
Ged:  That little kid that the wizard held get you to
  surrender peacefully.  The scum knew you wouldn't let a young child
  come to harm.
Alindyar:  And you, friend Ged - you were attacked in your own home,
  where you waited unsuspecting and unprepared.
Ged:  (looks slightly embarrassed)
Lyra:  After all, who'd attack a powerful wizard in his own home?
Ged:  Who, indeed?  And for you, Peldor, they kidnapped Tanya.
Peldor:  Bait!  A trap, and a devious one at that.
Belphanior:  (scowls)  I guess that makes me a bonus casualty.
Lyra:  We've got to assume they would have found you sooner or later.
Belphanior:  Maybe...I'm beginning to get the picture here...with you
  and Alindyar, a frontal attack wouldn't have been practical, so
  they used brute force.  Or fire, in this case.
Alindyar:  (nods)
Lyra:  (frowns)  That still doesn't explain why we're alive and well.
voice:  Then I shall.

  The voice was that of a slender elven woman in a blue cloak.  Her
features conveyed an impression of distaste, as she watched the seven
prisoners in their cramped cell.

Belphanior:  You!  The bitch who-
elven woman:  My name - not that it will do you any good - is Kynn
Peldor:  Never heard of you.
Kynn:  That is, I believe, the general idea.
Belphanior:  (concentrating and squinting)
Kynn:  Trying to use your eye, eh?  Well, go ahead.  It won't do you
  any good.
Belphanior:  Fuck!
Kynn:  The cell is lined with an anti-magical ore...rare indeed, but
  well worth the cost.
Ged:  Now listen here-
Kynn:  (picks at a fingernail)  Did you know that hundreds of people
  died in the process of obtaining the ore?
Belphanior:  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  We also noticed that you...liberated
  us of all our magic items.
Kynn:  One can never be too safe.  To be sure, though, we weren't
  able to take everything.  Your cursed eye, for instance-
Belphanior:  Hey, send someone in here with a knife.  I dare you.
Kynn:  (pointedly ignoring the elf)  Or Peldor's remove
  them would require a flaying.
Peldor:  Well, this must've been my lucky day.
Kynn:  Don't count your blessings yet, thief.  Eventually, skinning
  will seem a relief compared to the torments you shall suffer.
Rillen:  Look, lady, what exactly is it that you _want_?
Kynn:  Wouldn't you like to know?
Alindyar:  Indeed we would.
Kynn:  Well, too bad, because I don't _want_ anything.  You're here
  because of your past actions-
Mongo:  What was it?  Did we destroy your cult or something?  Or maybe
  we levelled your city at some point?  Or did we kill the devil you
  were screwing?
Lyra:  (suppresses a giggle)
Mongo:  Out with it, witch!
Kynn:  Bah.  You shall learn all, in due course.  (she turns to leave)
Mongo:  Kynn.
Kynn:  (turns)  What do you want, dwarf?
Mongo:  I just wanted you to know that when I get out of here, I'm
  going to rip your FUCKING HEAD OFF AND THEN-
Kynn:  (leaves, and a door slams behind her, cutting off the fuming
Belphanior:  Well, how about those apples?
Lyra:  Who is that woman?  I've never even seen her before.
Ged:  None of us have, I'd guess...(he looks around)  Nope.
Arnold:  Naa.
Peldor:  Beats me.  Given her reaction to Mongo's little speech, I
  think it's safe to say that we didn't destroy her cult, or level
  her city, or even kill her devil lover.
Belphanior:  (smirks)
Mongo:  Also, they didn't take any of our younger students.
Peldor:  Hey, Tanya's older than me.
Mongo:  Whatever.  Gorin...Tanya...Bosco...Nenya - all were left out
  of this.
Lyra:  Probably a good thing.
Peldor:  Tanya wasn't exactly left out, but I see your point.  Once
  me and Belphanior were safely captured, Tanya was ignored.
Ged:  But Arnold's here, and he was a henchman once.
Alindyar:  And Lyra a student...long ago.
Rillen:  It would seem that the enemies we made, whoever they might
  be, can be narrowed down to one point in the past.
Arnold:  (frustrated)  But when?
Belphanior:  That, my friend, is the riddle.
Peldor:  (looking upset)  Some riddle.
Alindyar:  Well, at least we now know the motivation for this...
Mongo:  We do?
Alindyar:  Of course we do.  Yonder woman was tricked, and fairly
  well, into-
Mongo:  Out with it!
Alindyar:  (sighs)  Revenge.
Belphanior:  Yeah, she did say we were here because of past actions.
Ged:  Must've been something we don't remember.  Maybe she was only
  indirectly involved.
Rillen:  Keep in mind that she's only one of at least seven foes we
  have seen.
Peldor:  (sits down, against a wall)  Man, this whole thing stinks,
  and bad.
Belphanior:  Huh?
Peldor:  (rubs his neck)  I wanted to leave my enemies behind me...
  start fresh.  That's why I've invested so much in Greyhawk.
Arnold:  What enembies?  What are you saying?
Mongo:  Do you know something we don't?
Rillen:  These are your enemies?
Peldor:  No, of course not!  It's obvious that she - they - are all
  _our_ enemies.  I was just musing about the bad timing of this
  whole business.  I didn't think I had any enemies left.
Mongo:  I thought all mine were dead.
Belphanior:  I, for one, do my best to ensure that outcome.
Lyra:  Let's sum this up:  we're locked in a magic-proof cell, with
  no equipment or items, and a host of unknown and powerful enemies
  is arrayed against us.
Belphanior:  Powerful enough to control the iron dwarf.
Ged:  Don't remind me.
Alindyar:  Does anyone remember the last time we all got captured?
Peldor:  The slavers?
Lyra:  (looks confused)
Arnold:  The candibals.
Peldor:  Oh, yeah.
Mongo:  Friends, this sucks.
Rillen:  Look at the bright side:  things can only get better.

next:   back in the real world
ftp: in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
notes:  As I write this, it's Tuesday, December 19th, 1995.  This
  Friday will (should) be my last day at work until Tuesday, January
  2, 1996.  The reason I'm telling you this is because by the end
  of this week, I plan to release everything I've written (315 to
  this one, inclusive) and then stop posting stories until January
  2.  Now, that doesn't mean I'll stop _writing_, by the
  time we're in 1996, I should have this current storyline done.
  As you probably know by now, 325 will be a jumbo-sized adventure
  featuring a climax to this evil plot.
    The only thing that possibly could stop me, of course, would
  be an impromptu trip to a nearby state, to see a wonderful young
  lady I happened to meet three days ago.  Totally unexpectedly,
  and by a lucky twist of fate, I ended up spending most of the
  weekend talking and sightseeing with her.  It had been far too
  long.  (Paula who?)  Whee.

previous chapter (#317)                                                                  next chapter (#319)