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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 +
+ email@example.com +
+ THE PARTY: +
+ Alindyar 16th level dark elven wizard (N) +
+ Arnold 12th level human barbarian (NG) +
+ Ged 14th/14th level grey elven priest/wizard (NG) +
+ Lyra 13th level female dark elven wizard (N) +
+ Mongo 17th level dwarven fighter (CG) +
+ Gorin 9th level dwarven fighter (NG) +
+ Peldor 19th level human thief (N) +
+ Bosco 11th level halfling thief (CN) +
+ Tanya 5th/11th level female human fighter/thief (N) +
+ Otto 7th/8th level dwarven fighter/thief (CN) +
+ Razor Charlie 8th level human fighter (CN) +
+ Date: 1/9/576 C.Y. (Common Year) +
+ Time: evening +
+ Place: the Green Dragon Inn, in the Free City of Greyhawk +
+ Climate: very cold +
+ "People are complex, from moment to moment they reform and +
+ become new again, changing shape and color as easily as the +
+ mythical beasts that symbolize the inner life of man." +
+ - _Nature's End_, Streiber & Kunetka +
CCCXLVII. Grim Gathering
A number of the adventurers have assembled within the Green Dragon
Inn, around a dinner table. While eating, they have also been talking
over the current situation with Belphanior...
Lyra: It seems...unusual to eat while discussing this.
Otto: Oh? Whatever do you mean?
Ged: I think she's right. Well, sort of.
Bosco: I don't. (he crams a heaping forkful of food into his tiny
Mongo: Yeah - we've gotta eat!
Lyra: It's just odd, that's all.
Otto: Well, let me assure you, Belphanior's eaten more finely than
this while pondering even graver matters.
Alindyar: I doubt it not.
Arnold: Aaa. (he holds a leg of roasted lamb up, eyeing it, then
chews off a large bite)
Gorin: (shrugs at Lyra) If we've got to work, we've got to eat.
Peldor: Agreed. And we have so much work to do...
Ged: (to Otto) So let me get this straight: the eye took his mind
over and made him kill some people?
Tanya: Sounds like a normal day for Belphanior.
Ged: (frowns, clearly disapproving) He does kill a lot of people.
Otto: Yeah, but they all had it coming.
Peldor: Just a moment! When have you ever known Belphanior to kill
someone who wasn't attacking or hadn't attacked him, just for fun?
That's not the Belphanior we know! Come on!
Mongo: (angrily) ANYway...
Otto: Anyway, this is above and beyond normal behavior. He attacked
me, and let me tell you, he was completely insane. Might've killed
me too if it wasn't for Razor Charlie there. (he pokes a thumb at
the mercenary, who sits at one corner of the table, his feet propped
up on the wooden surface)
Alindyar: Hmm. This does sound distressing.
Peldor: And after the fight, he left?
Otto: (nods) Vanished into thin air. Teleportation, I'd guess.
Ged: Good guess.
Mongo: Well, much as I think the elf's crazy, I guess we owe it to
him to try and help him.
Peldor: Absolutely. Although he sounds possessed, remember how
Bosco acted, when he wasn't himself?
Bosco: Hey, I don't remember that.
Otto: Well, Belphanior definitely isn't himself right now.
Tanya: (looks bothered)
Ged: Do we? I mean, he's always dug his own graves...just managed
to avoid falling into them.
Peldor: Your opinion is noted, but-
Ged: Hold on! I'm not done. For years - years! - Belphanior's
collected evil artifacts, killed whoever he wanted to, and made
more enemies than probably the rest of us put together. And now
he's flipped out completely! There's no telling what he's done,
and what he might do, especially if we show up and confront him.
Lyra: (sighs) We'd be wise to consider that going after him might
well lead to some of us dying...
Otto: And let me remind you that if he kills you with Blackrazor,
you'll stay dead. (he slices a finger across his throat) No
Tanya: (looks at Peldor, extremely worried, for she knows that he
won't hesitate to go after Belphanior)
Peldor: (looks at Ged, his mouth dropped in shock)
Ged: ...and now, having said all that, I offer my assistance and
powers, should the majority of you decide to find and stop him.
Otto: (muttering) Well, that's noble of you...
Peldor: Risk? Since when have we let a little risk stop us?
Bosco: Since never?
Otto: Actually, Ged's points are good ones. This isn't a cakewalk
we're going on, and it'll be dangerous. Maybe fatal, with bad
preparation or bad luck. I'm not asking you to come along if you
don't want to - and neither would Belphanior, if he was in my
place right now. But if you're his friends, you'll try and help
me help him.
Mongo: (raises his hammer) He's right! No more talk of leaving
the elf to his fate! He may be a maniac, but he's _our_ maniac!
Arnold: (slams his mug on the table) Yah! You can count Ah-nold
Peldor: Ditto for Peldor.
Bosco: (slams his own mug down, making barely a sound or shock)
Otto: (eyeing the drow) And you?
Alindyar: We...(he looks at Lyra, and they briefly engage in ESP)
...shall assist. But only for a couple of days.
Lyra: We have duties in the city, three days hence. It's a good
thing you showed up during the students' study period.
Otto: All right. (to Ged) What about you, goldenhair?
Ged: (shrugs) I'll go with you. Who knows, you may need my magic.
Lyra: (kicks her mate in the leg, lightly)
Mongo: (counting heads) Ten, then.
Tanya: What about me?
Otto: What _about_ you?
Tanya: (to Peldor) Now look here - you're not leaving me behind.
Peldor: (lays a hand on her shoulder) Shh-
Tanya: (slaps his hand away) Don't "shh" me! I may not care for
Belphanior's company, but damn it, your problems are my problems,
and your fights are my fights. I'm going, and that's final!
Peldor: (looking vaguely embarrassed) Uh, okay, if you say so.
Bosco: (absorbed in his meal, he does his best to ignore this whole
line of discussion)
Otto: (looks amused)
Razor Charlie: (doesn't look amused, but then again, he _never_ looks
Lyra: (smiling at Tanya, she gives the latter a discreet thumbs-up)
Ged: (to Mongo) I guess we number eleven, then.
Mongo: Yeah...(looking around) Looks like this is one adventure
Rillen won't be around for.
Alindyar: No, and we shall not try to get him. (he surveys those
gathered at the table) Besides, if this group cannot stop the
Ged: Good point. I'll tell you now, Deryck and Nenya won't be in
on this one. Even if they had the time and the desire, I probably
wouldn't let them.
Bosco: Why not?
Ged: Don't worry yourself about it, Bosco.
Arnold: (to Otto) Don't worry, Oddo. We'll help Belphandior.
Gorin: But first we have to find him.
Otto: First we have to get a good night's sleep.
Peldor: Huh? I thought you were in some great hurry to find him!
Even moreso than we are...
Otto: Hey, he's been gone for two weeks. Another night isn't going
to make much difference one way or the other.
Lyra: (nods in agreement, for she is tired from her day's activities)
Ged: (to Peldor) I've got to concede him that point - it's late and
most of us are probably tired.
Tanya: A good night's sleep couldn't hurt. (she puts an arm around
Peldor: (reciprocates, privately pleased that Tanya feels so strongly
about coming along) Yep.
Otto: Besides, I think Belphanior's more evil - and more powerful -
Mongo: Sleep, then. And tomorrow we go for it?
Alindyar: Aye. Leave the finding to me - I shall attend to it first
thing on the morrow.
Peldor: (nods) Sounds like a plan.
Ged: I'll concentrate on figuring out ways to outmaneuver him - that
damned eye can kill with a blink.
Otto: (raises a finger) Only once every day, though.
Mongo: Yeah, but still, once a day is once too often, as far as we're
concerned. I don't want to become a pile of jelly - I've seen him
pull that stunt, and it wasn't pretty.
Otto: Agreed. And he has other tricks up his sleeve...(to Ged) I'll
help you - I'm best qualified to advise on what he can do. Oh, and he
has some toys he might use, if he's not completely lost his mind...
things he picked up when you were on some other world? We tested a
bunch of them.
Peldor: (blanches, unnoticed by anyone but Tanya, and mutters) I need
to talk with Otto...
Ged: (to Otto) Yea. Come to my castle, and we'll prepare some battle
plans and strategies to review with everyone tomorrow. (he begins
the casting of a teleportation spell)
Otto: Let's go. (to Razor Charlie) C'mon.
Shortly, Ged, Arnold, Otto, and Razor Charlie were gone to the grey
elf's castle, leaving the others in the Green Dragon Inn.
Lyra: Time to get to bed early - tomorrow's going to be a long day.
Alindyar: Aye, indeed it is.
Bosco: (wanders away, a deck of cards in one hand and a pouch of gold
in the other)
Gorin: Not for some...
Peldor: Ah, he'll be okay. Sometimes I think Bosco's invincible.
Mongo: No, that's me.
Tanya: (watching Bosco disappear from sight, into the casino area)
Only in his mind...(to Peldor) We could die tomorrow. (she looks
around) I don't want to die.
Mongo: It's a little late to think about that...
Peldor: (to all, particularly Tanya) Don't worry, we won't die.
next: the deadly confrontation
ftp: ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
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notes: Prepare yourselves for another survey, in episode #350. I
may ask the same questions as last time (when WAS last time?) or
maybe new ones, or maybe a combination. It's possible that some
people's most (and least) favorite characters have changed.
Anyway, whatever the thing ends up looking like, I'll make it
quick and easy, and attach it to the bottom of #350.
previous chapter (#346)
next chapter (#348)