Chapter #333

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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:                                                       +
+                                                                   +
+  Alindyar     16th level dark elven mage                     (N)  +
+  Lyra         12th level female dark elven mage              (N)  +
+  Peldor       19th level human thief                         (N)  +
+    Bosco      11th level halfling thief                     (CN)  +
+    Tanya       5th/11th level female human fighter/thief     (N)  +
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+  Date:        6/25/575 C.Y. (Common Year)                         +
+  Time:        lunchtime                                           +
+  Place:       the Green Dragon Inn, in Greyhawk                   +
+  Climate:     warm                                                +
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+  "You want revenge?"                                              +
+  "I want them dead, if that's what you mean."                     +
+                                - from _Highlander:  The Series_   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                   CCCXXXIII.  A Dark Secret





  Various adventurers have gathered for lunch at the Green Dragon:
Peldor, Tanya, Bosco, Alindyar, and Lyra are now seated around a
table.  A splendid lunch has been laid out, as is always the case
at the Green Dragon, and the friends are enjoying it immensely...

Lyra:  Don't you ever go anywhere else to eat?  I mean, don't you
  get sick of your own food, day after day after night after...(she
  lets the sentence trail off)
Peldor:  Well, when Leonardo can cook up anything that anyplace in
  the city could serve - and do it better, probably - there's no
  need to go elsewhere.  Having a master chef in one's employ is a
  useful thing.
Bosco:  Besides, just think how much money you save on food.
Lyra:  Good point.  (she sips some wine)
Tanya:  (slices open some kind of cheese-filled bread pocket)  Mmm.
Peldor:  (to Lyra)  To be sure, I hadn't thought of that either.
Bosco:  Heck, I _always_ think of things like that.  (he turns to
  the chair beneath him)  Uh-oh.
ferret#1:  (climbs up the halfling's pants-leg, a small, shiny
  object held firmly in its teeth)
ferret#2:  (chasing ferret#1, it climbs up the other side of Bosco's
  leg, then mounts a sudden attack, causing its brother to drop the
  shiny object and screech in outrage)
ferret#3:  (grabs the bauble, races up Bosco's leg over the fighting
  twosome, and hides in the sack at Bosco's belt)
Lyra:  Interesting pets you have there, Bosco.
Bosco:  Aren't they?
Tanya:  Running loose all the time, that's what they are.
Bosco:  (shrugs)  Some things were _meant_ to be running around on
  the loose.
Peldor:  Heck, maybe you should get a cage.
Bosco:  Aw, what fun would that be?
Tanya:  (notices that Alindyar isn't in a conversational mood)  Why
  so quiet?
Alindyar:  (shrugs)  I haven't much to say.
Tanya:  Sure you do.
Alindyar:  Trust me, you do not want to know.
Tanya:  Try us.
Peldor:  You're not still stewing about that island kidnapping
  business, are you?
Lyra:  (stops talking with Bosco, as her face darkens...relatively)
Alindyar:  We have been trying _not_ to think about that.
Peldor:  Oh, sorry.

  There was an awkward silence, which was broken in a predictable
manner.

Bosco:  Hey, someone pass the deviled eggs!  (he scans the table
  with beady eyes)  Heck, there _aren't_ any deviled eggs!
Lyra:  (manages a half-smile)
Peldor:  So, I talked with Org, and he said that things were well-
  taken care of in my abs-  Oh.

  And so it went - anything that anyone tried to talk about ended
up leading into recent events.  Finally, Lyra left the table with
a brief comment to excuse herself.  Alindyar just left.

Peldor:  Oh, crap.
Bosco:  What?
Peldor:  They're headed in different directions.
Tanya:  Excuse me.  (she stands, and goes after Lyra)
Peldor:  (ponders for a moment, then stands, tosses his napkin on
  the table, and departs)
Bosco:  (looking around)  Was it something I said?



  Moments later, there was a knock on the door of the suite in which
the drow lived.

Lyra:  Who is it?
Tanya:  Me, Tanya.
Lyra:  Oh, come in.

  Tanya immediately figured out that something was amiss; pillows,
chairs, and books were scattered about the suite - and Alindyar and
Lyra were not messy people.  Lyra was sitting on the edge of the bed
with her head in her hands, visibly upset.

Tanya:  What's wrong?  Where's Alindyar?
Lyra:  ...
Tanya:  (closes the door behind her)  Not here, is he?
Lyra:  (shakes her head)
Tanya:  What's going on?
Lyra:  (silent)
Tanya:  Does this have to do with the kidnapping, and the island?
Lyra:  (looks up, her eyes bloodshot, and finally nods)
Tanya:  (sits down on the bed, next to Lyra)  Want to talk about it?



  Elsewhere, Alindyar had left the inn, and was walking down the
street, seemingly oblivious to the stares he drew.  Peldor caught
up with him after a short time, and stood in his path - a bold move,
to be sure.

Peldor:  Hold it.
Alindyar:  Out of the way.
Peldor:  Not until you talk to someone.  And it might as well be me,
  since there's no one else around.
Alindyar:  (levitates into the air, sails over the thief, lands on
  the street, and continues walking)
Peldor:  Hey!  (he dashes after the dark elf)
Alindyar:  (watches Peldor interpose himself again, and sighs)  Must
  I teleport away from here to have peace and quiet?  Or perhaps a
  Bigby's hand would cause you to desist...
Peldor:  Look, you can't just wander around the city like this.
Alindyar:  Why not?
Peldor:  Because you're upset...and you attract attention...and the
  sun's harmful to you...and also because there's a woman back there
  who loves you very much.  You should be with her.
Alindyar:  (grits his teeth)  That _is_ the problem!
Peldor:  (walking with Alindyar now, he gradually leads him to less-
  populated avenues)  Whoa, there, my friend.  You've lost me.
Alindyar:  You were never found to begin with.
Peldor:  Uh...okay.  So what's going on?  If you're not going to talk
  to Lyra, you'd better talk to me.
Alindyar:  (raises an eyebrow)
Peldor:  That's the way these things work.
Alindyar:  I will return...eventually.  It is just...
Peldor:  Just...?
Alindyar:  Surely you remember the island...the dungeon...and the
  jailers?
Peldor:  Uh...yeah.  Vaguely.  When I wasn't taunting them.
Alindyar:  Well, then.
Peldor:  Well, then, what?
Alindyar:  Ponder this:  the guards and torturers were male.  Lyra
  was female.  The only female.  And a prisoner, as well.
Peldor:  Err...(he looks shocked)  WHAT?!?
Alindyar:  Indeed.  (an expression of pure fury crosses his face)
  _Now_ you finally understand.
Peldor:  (actually backs up a few steps, seeing the look on his
  friend's face)
Alindyar:  My apologies, my friend.  Nothing that happened was your
  fault.
Peldor:  (stunned)  Good gods...
Alindyar:  (stops walking, and bows his head)
Peldor:  I'm so sorry.  I hadn't even considered that.
Alindyar:  Neither had I.  Until, that is, Lyra broke down and told
  me last night.
Peldor:  Ouch.
Alindyar:  (silent once more)
Peldor:  So, how'd she handle it?
Alindyar:  How do you think?  She is quite upset.
Peldor:  What about you?
Alindyar:  What about me?  I simply want to kill everyone and every-
  thing involved with Necros, the kidnappers, and the island.
Peldor:  Already been done.
Alindyar:  Apparently so - but therein lies the problem!  Revenge is
  a powerful thing, even a good thing taken by itself.  But what if
  those who would bear the wrath of the revenge are already dead and
  buried?  What channel does the fury take then?
Peldor:  I...don't know.
Alindyar:  Neither do I.  But until I find an answer, I shall not be
  able to remain here.  (he begins muttering under his breath, and
  making strange hand motions)
Peldor:  Now wait a m-
Alindyar:  (vanishes)
Peldor:  ...damn.

  The thief looked around, high and low, before and behind, but the
drow wizard was nowhere to be found.  Peldor knew teleportation when
he saw it...and he hoped that wherever Alindyar had gone, nobody got
in his way.





next:   the wrath of Alindyar
ftp:    ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
www:    http://www.gatech.edu/oit/staff/ns/thomas.miller/adv.html
notes:  Writing stories like this one is a new thing for me.  Kinda
  like #331, where I had to describe a woman from head to toe (or
  toe to head, as it went.)  Now _that_ was tough.  But this is,
  too - just different.
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