Chapter #346

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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 1991-6 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.ns.gatech.edu   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  THE PARTY (or a current splinter of it, anyway):                 +
+                                                                   +
+  Peldor      19th level human thief                           (N) +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Date:        1/9/576 C.Y. (Common Year)                          +
+  Time:        dusk                                                +
+  Place:       the Green Dragon Inn, in the Free City of Greyhawk  +
+  Climate:     very cold                                           +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "It is good to put your life in other peoples' hands."           +
+                        - T. H. White, _The Once and Future King_  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                     CCCXLVI.  Unification





  Peldor was seated at a large wooden desk in his suite within the
Green Dragon Inn's sprawling upper floor.  The master thief was busy
checking ledgers, making sure the numbers added up and no one had
been skimming or otherwise trying to cheat the system.  The Thieves'
Guild of Greyhawk was _not_ a system it was wise to try and cheat.
It was common knowledge that those who tried met unenviable fates,
and more quickly than people would have thought.
  Of course, being independently wealthy, Peldor had no need to take
money from the guild.  Perhaps that was one reason for his success
as master of the organization's River Quarter operations.  One who
was tremendously wealthy couldn't be enticed or corrupted by offers
of money.  Peldor remembered part of a conversation that he and Tanya
once had...

Tanya:  So, how much money _do_ you have stashed away?
Peldor:  I'll put it this way:  our kids will never go hungry.
Tanya:  But how m-  (her eyes widen considerably)  Kids?
Peldor:  (ponders)  Err...umm...well, eventually...
Tanya:  (smiling mischievously)  Gotcha!  So you _do_ intend to marry
  me someday!
Peldor:  (spreads his hands)  Who'd have doubted it?

  The thief smiled at the memory, one of his more pleasant of late.
Then again, all of his recent memories were happy ones.  Times were
good, not just for Peldor but for all of his best friends.  Alindyar
and Lyra had gotten past their problems in the course of the past
six months.  In fact, Alindyar had accepted a teaching position at
the College of Magic, and between lecturing and research, he seemed
as busy as he was happy.  Peldor knew that it was important to the
dark elf to be accepted and respected by the "normal" races, even if
the proud drow didn't admit it.  Now, Alindyar was more than accepted
and respected, he was a veritable rising star at the College.  The
fact was, the drow was well-liked by both his students and fellow
faculty.  Easy-going (usually) and abnormally intelligent, and wise
in the ways of several worlds, Alindyar was working on research that
could bear great fruit.  Rumor had it that students practically
fought to secure a position with the white-haired drow.
  As if that wouldn't have been enough, Alindyar had managed to get
Lyra an associate professorship as well.  While the male drow was a
master of the illusionary class of magic, Lyra had a more general
area of expertise, though she leaned slightly toward magic of the
invocation/evocation and enchantment sorts.  Both drow did more than
teach pure wizardry, though; they also possessed vast knowledge of
certain arcane subjects, such as the Underdark.  Often, it wasn't
just the students who came seeking knowledge from one or the other
drow.
  Peldor smiled again; if anyone deserved a lion's share of happiness
it was surely the drow.  After all that they'd been through, he was
amazed that they were still sane and stable.
  Others, too, were prospering lately.  Ged's lands had seen their
best harvest season ever, his subjects were happy, and he had easily
been able to fill the additional land he had purchased recently.  It
didn't take long for word of prosperity to spread, and Ged's castle
now stood in the middle of a large chunk of populated farmland.  Had
the city not been so close, the place surely would have become a town
in its own right by now; as it was, that might still happen.  Peldor
had jokingly spoken to Ged, "You could call it Gedville!" to which
the elf had replied "Don't laugh..."  Truly, the grey elf's rapport
with the deity Boccob seemed stronger than ever before.
  Arnold, whose severed tongue had been reattached months ago, still
spoke with a gruesomely bad accent.  The huge barbarian seemed to
have adapted to life in the warmer southern climes, and one could
only wonder how much longer it would take him to find a wife and
sprout some children.
  Speaking of wives, there were Nenya and her husband-to-be, Deryck.
While no exact date had been set for the wedding, the couple planned
to hold the ceremony in the spring, as soon as the warmer weather
returned.  Whatever Ged's initial hangup about the whole thing, he
had apparently forgotten it, and often seemed as happy for the pair
as they were for themselves.
  Mongo had made several journeys to Thunderdelve Mountain over the
course of the last six months.  Though he seemed happy, Peldor got
the impression that the dwarf was missing something, perhaps even
searching for something.  If he had to venture a guess, the thief
would have speculated that Mongo was depressed; the dwarf was busy
watching his friends and long-time companions settle down to stable,
in some cases married, lives.  Mongo himself seemed to have little
interest in finding a comely dwarven lass and ending his wandering
ways; he only seemed content if he was either surrounded by other
dwarves or charging into battle.  Neither of those things were
happening in Greyhawk lately, and thus, Mongo had headed to the
vast fortress of Thunderdelve, where his good friend Yod Ironbeard
held court.  Gorin had, of course, accompanied Mongo, and on the
more recent trip, little Bosco had gone along too.  In fact, though
that crew had returned only two days ago, already Bosco's ferrets
had been victimizing Vinnie yet again.  Bosco's explanation that
that proved they liked him had fallen on deaf ears; Vinnie had been
trying to interest Leonardo in experimenting with Ferret Flambe'.
  Bosco - now _there_ was someone who was perpetually happy.  Then
again, thought Peldor, ignorance is bliss.  Still, whatever the
reason, someone like Bosco was a delight to have around.  His way
with words, his mischief, and lately, his ferrets, had a way of
brightening the darkest, gloomiest day.  Peldor wondered with more
than a little apprehension what would happen if Bosco ever assumed
a position of power somewhere.
  Then there was Rillen.  Departing six months ago, the warrior had
left to seek his soulmate, the huntress Songa.  Apparently their
brief relationship had been stronger than anyone had thought; at the
urging of Peldor and others, Alindyar had finally given in and used
his crystal ball to check up on Rillen's current situation.  The
resultant image answered all their questions, though it only stayed
visible for moments before Alindyar caused it to cease.  It was safe
to say that Rillen had found the happiness he sought; if he wanted
to return to Greyhawk, then someday he would.  If not...well, who
could know?
  His thoughts having come full circle, Peldor again pondered his
own situation.  Five years ago, he wouldn't have bet a million gold
pieces that he'd have settled down by now, even if he'd had a million
gold pieces.  As things were, though, Peldor was ready to propose to
his true love, but now that Nenya and Deryck had done the same thing,
Peldor was afraid his idea wouldn't seem original.  Especially to
Tanya.  Maybe he was being overly sentimental, but he didn't think
so.  Therefore, he mused to himself, he would put it off for a little
while longer.

  Peldor's thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door.

Peldor:  Come.
Tanya:  (enters, looking puzzled)
Peldor:  Hi, babe.  What's up?
Tanya:  Come?
Peldor:  Eh?  Oh, just a random thought that sprang into my head.
Tanya:  And right back out, apparently.  I won't even get into the
  tasteless replies I could have made.
Peldor:  (having lost his tongue)
Tanya:  Anyway, I think you'd better go downstairs.
Peldor:  Oh?
Tanya:  Remember that evil-looking dwarf, the friend of Belphanior?
Peldor:  (stands up, surprised)  Otto?  But he doesn't live around
  these parts...
Tanya:  Be that as it may, Otto's here.  And the guy with him looks
  even meaner than he does.
Peldor:  Oh.  What do they want?
Tanya:  Something about Belphanior losing control of himself and
  going on a rampage, and needing help.  Bosco seemed particularly
  enthralled by the tale.
Peldor:  Oh, dear.





next:   a group rap session
ftp:    ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
www:    http://www.gatech.edu/oit/oe/design/thomas/adv.html
mail:   tmiller@cimmeria.ns.gatech.edu  (preferred)
        thomas.miller@oit.gatech.edu    (emergency)
notes:  No bitching about who's listed (and missing) from the cast
  of characters at the top of this episode!  :)
    That list depicts whoever the story centers around at the start
  of the episode.  Any who join in the mayhem will appear atop the
  next episode.
    This episode was supposed to be an Otto-heavy gathering of the
  group, to help Belphanior, but I got a little carried away with
  Peldor's thoughts, which also served to cover the "lost" six
  months that only Belphanior and Otto went through.
    I forgot to tell you, but on Saturday February 24, 1996 I became
  a brother-in-law.  My middle brother (we were born in 1969, 1972,
  and 1976) got married, and I was a groomsman.  I even got to do
  special stuff like light candles.  It almost makes me wonder how
  my life would be if a few things had gone differently.  Almost.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





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