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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: +
+ Bosco a mighty halfling +
+ Date: 4/1/576 C.Y. (Common Year) +
+ Time: daytime +
+ Place: some faraway kingdom +
+ Climate: pleasant +
+ "You're a legend in your own mind." +
+ - variously attributed +
CCCL. One-Man Band
The small band of riders reined in as they approached the royal
palace. Majestic and impressive, as suited the king of the most
powerful land in the realm, the great castle towered over the new
Bosco: (riding in the front, he dismounts, followed in turn by the
others) Well, here we are! (he looks around, tiny arms folded
across his chest)
guardsman: Greetings, visitors. State your business, please.
Bosco: I am Bosco, Juggernaut-Warrior, Thunderdelver, Dragon-Rider,
Demon-Slayer, and leader of the Band of Bosco.
guardsman: (just stands there, obviously awestruck)
Bosco: We have an appointment with His Majesty. Bosco and his
friends have arrived. So, if you please, good fellow...?
guardsman: (fighting the urge to bow to the halfling) Certainly,
sir. I shall take you there myself. (he frantically gestures to
other, subordinate guardsmen, who then open the royal palace's
Bosco: Well done, there. Bosco thanks you. (tossing his tiny
cloak back, the emblem of the "Royal Order of Bosco" gleaming in
the sunlight, he strikes a pose before entering the palace)
others: (the halfling's companions, they trail along behind the
diminutive one as he strides into the castle)
guardsman: (walking in front of Bosco, he turns suddenly) Err...
Bosco: What's on your mind?
guardsman: Well...you being Bosco, the greatest hero in the lands
and all, I was, um, wondering if I could get-
Bosco: Autograph? (he snaps his fingers, and instantly, as though
by magic, a golden pen appears in his fingers) Certainly, my good
fellow. Bosco gladly pays his respects to the people of the lawful
guardsman: (quickly produces a scroll) Oh, thank you, great Bosco!
Signing his name, and all of his mighty titles, without breaking
stride, the halfling continued along his way. The entourage passed
numerous guards, some of whom whispered in awe as they realized who
now strode through the halls. Yes, the legends of the great Bosco,
that hero among heroes, doer of divine deeds, challenger of the
unchallenged, had spread far and wide.
Soon, Bosco's group was presented to the king, an older man with a
long, flowing grey beard and twinkling eyes.
king: (to a courtier) He's here!
courtier: (to other courtier) He came!
other courtier: (to sub-courtier) It's really him!
sub-courtier: (to royal dog) We're saved!
royal dog: (wags its tail) Rowf!
king: Greetings, and well-met, noble Bosco, hero of heroes, greatest-
Bosco: Yeah, yeah, yeah. How's it hanging, Your Majesty?
king: (ignoring the question) The bards sing that Bosco the
invincible, Bosco the wise, Bosco the all-powerful will come to
those in need.
Bosco: (crosses his arms mightily) It is true.
king: So you'll help us with our problem?
Bosco: Depends. (he approaches the throne) May I?
king: (plops back down in the throne)
Bosco: (forgives the king, what with him being old and all that)
Okay, tell Bosco your woes.
king: Problem? Oh, the problem...
Bosco: Thrill me.
king: Once upon a time-
Bosco: (yawns noticeably)
king: -the kingdom was menaced by a great, fearsome dragon. The
finest heroes in the land went to face the wyrm...mighty warriors,
powerful wizards, holy priests, daring thieves. All failed, and
the terror continued...
Bosco: Wow! When was this?
king: Eons ago, my boy.
Bosco: (pondering the ramifications of this) Hmm. Well, then I
guess it's safe to say that Bosco and this dragon haven't met.
king: Of course not, great Bosco, for then the monster would be
Bosco: (grins) Of course!
king: Anyhow, a few days ago, a farmer sighted the horrible beast
flying to the peak of Ganja Mountain, to the northeast.
Bosco: You don't say!
king: I'm afraid I do: the dragon is back! Woe and pestilence are
back with it. (nearly sobbing now) The land is _doomed_! (he
looks up suddenly) Unless, that is, some renowned hero takes the
challenge and sallies forth to rid the kingdom of the beast?
Bosco: (looking around) Don't forget Bosco's loyal henchpeople,
king: (glancing briefly at the others, who are sorry-looking when
compared to the immaculately-tailored halfling, he turns his gaze
back to Bosco) Whatever. Can you help us, O great Bosco?
Bosco: (rubs his chin) For such a noble and just cause, how can
one such as the mighty Bosco refuse? (to the king) The band of
Bosco will take the quest for fifty thousand pieces of gold.
princess: (a cute young waif, she makes her appearance) See, pop!
I _told_ you he was the greatest hero in the world!
king: Mighty Bosco, meet my daughter, the Princess Bubbles.
Bosco: (bows deeply, or as deeply as a sub-three-foot halfling can)
The pleasure is all Bosco's, m'dear. (he takes her hand and kisses
Bubbles: (giggling uncontrollably) Oh, he's such a charming hero!
king: Do you wish to introduce your retinue?
Bosco: Yeah, I guess it's about that time. The followers of Bosco
must be introduced!
First, the halfling gestured to a shady-looking fellow whose wide-
brimmed hat kept his eyes perpetually hidden from view.
Bosco: May I present the right hand of Bosco: the rogue Peldor!
Peldor: (nods almost imperceptibly) Pleasure.
Bosco: It is Peldor who follows the great Bosco around the lands,
keeping track of his quests and duties. He also acts as our scribe.
king: Of course.
Bosco: (points at a purple-cloaked, fair-featured elf) Next is the
left hand of Bosco: the humble, holy mage Ged!
Ged: (bows deeply) An honor, sir.
Bosco: Ged supplies the band of Bosco with the firepower it needs to
take on the most powerful foes. (next, he indicates a pair of stout,
armored dwarves who lean on their weapons) May I present Mongo,
general of Bosco's armies, and his ever-loyal shield-dwarf, the
Mongo: (tips his odd-looking, fringed helm) Howdy, pardner!
Gorin: (nods, then spits a wad of something wet and brown onto the
royal dog, who is busy sniffing his boots) Ptui!
royal dog: Yip! (it runs away)
Bosco: Next is the former scholar and stage actor turned warrior,
Arnold! (he gestures to a tall, powerfully-built warrior)
Arnold: Deeply pleased to make your acquaintance, your most affable
and honorable majesty. Your great and wise rulership of these
varied, sovereign lands is well-heard in civilized regions across
the face of the world.
king: Well-met, eloquent fellow.
Bosco: Hmph. Next we have yet another of Bosco's myriad legions:
the scout Belphanior. (he points in the direction of a tall,
handsome, green-cloaked elf)
Belphanior: (bows) Your Majesty.
Bosco: It is Belphanior who wields that mystic blade, Whitelight,
in the name of the great Bosco.
Whitelight: (glowing in its sheath) A pleasure, good king. We
promise to rid your lands of this foul, evil dragon.
king: Oh, my. A talking sword.
Bosco: Just one of the many wonders to be found in Bosco's troupe,
Your Majesty. And now...(he gestures to a gorgeous, red-haired,
oddly clad woman) This is Tanya.
Tanya: (grinning merrily) Like, hi there.
king: Nice to meet you.
Tanya: Yeah. (she looks around the throne room in obvious wonder)
Whoa. this is, like, far out.
king: (to Bosco) What purpose does this woman serve?
Tanya: (doesn't even seem to notice the question)
Bosco: She's the...yeoman of Bosco. Yeah, that's it.
Bosco: So, there you have it: the band of Bosco...Bosconians, for
king: (surveying the assembled people) A great band of heroes, to
be sure. Bosco's reputation is everything it's said to be, and
Bosco: More...? (he surveys his followers) Alindyar? Lyra?
A pair of drow elves, one male and one female, appeared as if from
nowhere, becoming visible before the king's eyes! Clad in matching
leather bodysuits, both were well-built for their particular genders.
Bosco: Last but not least - for who could be least in the band of
Bosco? - I give you the husband-and-wife team of magicians, those
skilled illusion-weavers, Alindyar and Lyra!
Alindyar: (he and Lyra bow as one) It's an honor, Your Majesty.
We'd be pleased to help you out.
king: Drow elves?!? In my palace! Aie! I am truly blessed!
Bosco: (steadies the king, in case he decides to fall) Don't act
so surprised, Majesty. One such as Bosco is bound to have the
very cream of the world's crop of heroes.
king: Yes, but members of the dark elves, that legendary race of
demi-gods?!? I stand freshly amazed at the prowess of Bosco!
Bubbles: (eyeing Lyra's outfit)
Bosco: _Now_ the band of Bosco is complete and ready to quest!
king: Bosco and his eight allies...
Bosco: Hey, eight is enough. But don't forget about Tanya...(he
gestures to the woman, who is engaged in conversation with the
king: Whew...that dragon doesn't stand a chance.
Within the hour, the noble heroes were on their way, riding fresh
horses straight from the king's personal stables. They also bore a
great supply of fine food and drink, from the king's personal larders.
Peldor: Damn, Bosco, you sure worked out a good deal for us!
Bosco: Yep. Never let it be said that Bosco neglects his charges.
(he munches on a chunk of rare, spiced cheese) Mmm.
Mongo: (wolfing down large amounts of food) I do say, Bosco, this
here's good eatin'!
Gorin: Yeah. (he spits at a gopher which watches the party from
its roadside hole) Ptui!
gopher: Chk! (beaned in the head, it quickly ducks for cover)
Ged: (looks disgusted)
Gorin: (notices the look on the elf's face) What's the problem?
Ged: Oh, nothing. Sorry to bother you. (he drops his mount back)
Gorin: (to Mongo) What a wuss.
Mongo: Do tell, pardner.
Alindyar: (dreamily looking into the sky as he rides) Ahh. (to
Arnold) Doesn't that cloud look like a bird?
Arnold: (shades his eyes with his hands as he looks up) That one
specimen to the north-northeast, my dear fellow? Heavens, no!
Cumulus clouds of that sort cannot possibly assume the form of
something as complex as a feathered avian.
Alindyar: Oh yeah? (he concentrates)
Lyra: Look again, scholarly one.
Arnold: (eyes the sky again) My goodness! The clouds _do_ indeed
resemble a bird...a hawk, perhaps? Or even a bald eagle?
Alindyar: Ha ha! (he hugs Lyra happily)
Tanya: (gazes at the clouds, totally confused) Whoa, this is deep.
Bosco: (to Belphanior, who rides at the front of the party) This
mountain, what'd he call it?
Belphanior: Ganja Mountain, fearless leader.
Bosco: Yeah...how the heck are we gonna find it?
Belphanior: Leave that to me. (he points) There it is.
Bosco: (scans the road ahead, where a peak looms many miles to the
northeast) Hey! Where'd that come from?!?
Belphanior: It's been there for awhile now.
Bosco: Oh. Of course. Well, I hope that dragon's ready for us.
Whitelight: Fear not, great Bosco. Any evil that lurks atop that
peak shall fall before our righteous fury. (it shines with pale
Bosco: Riiiight. (he turns to Peldor) And what do you think, my
Peldor: (speaks, smiling but never looking up and revealing his
eyes) Who am I to second-guess the great Bosco?
Bosco: Nonsense. I value your opinions - all of you. Even Bosco
must ofttimes seek counsel with faithful companions.
Peldor: Hmm. Well, I'd say that the dragon's lair is likely atop
the mountain, as Belphanior's sword-
Peldor: -Whitelight said. If it's an old dragon, it'll probably
have guards and traps galore.
Bosco: No matter - we'll sniff such paltry tricks out, and swat
aside any puny resistance.
Mongo: You got that right, good buddy.
Bosco: And then - then Bosco and crew will confront this dragon,
and end the reign of terror once and for all!
They rode on, covering much ground, and camped at nightfall. The
estimates of Belphanior put their arrival at Ganja Mountain sometime
around lunchtime on the morrow.
Bosco: Mmm...lunchtime. Anytime's a good time for lunchtime. (he
begins slurping his soup)
They camped out under a full moon. Bosco thought the pale orb
resembled a grinning face, but he couldn't be sure, especially with
the likes of Alindyar and Lyra around.
Bosco: (eyeing the drows' darkened tent) Hmm. Now why'd they get
to bed so early?
Arnold: Oh, come now, dear Bosco. Surely as sharp a mind as yours
has grasped the motivation behind such facades by now.
Ged: How romantic...
Mongo: Aw, not again.
Belphanior: This always happens.
Bosco: Oh. Oh...(he looks puzzled) Again?!? They just did it
the other day!
Peldor: Hey, they're married. Plus they're demigods. They can do
it whenever they want.
Bosco: Yeah...(muttering) Do they do it all the time?!?
Peldor: (to Bosco) Yep.
Bosco: Sheez. People're gonna start to talk...
Tanya: (looks puzzled) Talk about what?
The night passed peacefully, and the next day saw the intrepid
band closing in on their destination: the dark, fog-shrouded peak
known as Ganja Mountain.
Belphanior: ...and so the half-elf named it Ganja Mountain, and
the name stuck.
Bosco: Wow. Good story.
Alindyar: I wouldn't be surprised if he picked the name on purpose.
Arnold: Indeed. What a scandalous scoundrel.
Lyra: (gazes up at the bright midday sun, smiling pleasantly) What
a nice day.
Alindyar: It sure is, isn't it?
Peldor: (his face shaded from the sun by his wide hat) How will we
Belphanior: I'll find a trail, once we reach the mountain itself.
From there, we can make our way up.
Mongo: Hell, yeah! Gonna be a helluva fight!
Gorin: Got that right. (he spits) Ptui!
small hairy rodent: (knocked over by the brown juice) Squeak!
(it scurries away)
By midday, they had reached the base of the peak, and Belphanior
led them up a moderately steep trail. Only the wind and the natural
fauna of the mountain greeted them. Here, a small goat picked its
way up a rocky slope. There, a bird landed on a large boulder and
regarded the party.
Bosco: Ork to you too. I'm Bosco.
Bosco: Well! Be unfriendly, then, if you wish. But be warned now:
Bosco has a long memory, rather like an elephant, though not nearly
thrush: (unimpressed) Ork.
Mongo: You want I should smash 'im for ya, boss?
Bosco: Nah. Best to let the unenlightened stay that way. (he spurs
his war pony onward)
Gorin: (in passing, he nails the thrush with a plug of tobacco juice)
thrush: Ork! (it flies away)
Tanya: Like, what a silly bird.
As the day grew shorter, the party ascended the great mountain.
Somehow, they scaled the bulk of the peak before dusk approached,
and now faced what had to be the dragon's lair: a huge, naturally
ornate pointed dome of rock. Several wide entrances were apparent,
and the group began planning its approach.
Bosco: Belphanior, worthy scout of Bosco, go ahead and scout.
Belphanior: Aye, aye. (he dashes away, moving through thick weeds
without a sound)
Peldor: What if the dragon's there?
Bosco: Then...we attack. Mongo, you're Bosco's general. What do
Mongo: Well...we'll split the boys into lil' groups. That way,
no attack is a surefire bet to get 'em all.
Mongo: (tips his helm) Sorry, little lady. Mah apologies.
Tanya: (wondering what he's apologizing for) Hm?
Gorin: Ptui! (spits at a beetle, knocking it clear off of the rock
it just landed on) Then we rush the big lizard?
Arnold: Is this plan not as eloquent as it seems upon first glance?
Alindyar: (confused) What?
Arnold: (irritated at the elf's seeming incomprehension) Nevermind.
Peldor: (adjusts his hat, which was moving too high over his face)
Good plan. We hit it with power, stealth, and magic.
Tanya: And all the might we've got gathered!
Peldor: (regarding the woman) Err, right.
Ged: _If_ it's there.
Bosco: It's got to be. Bosco doesn't embark on empty quests.
Ged: Yes, sir.
Belphanior: (returns) I've got news...
Bosco: Ah! What news?
Belphanior: The dragon's in there, all right, and it's a big one.
Whitelight: A mighty evil! I could sense its foul breath even from
within my sheath.
Arnold: The time has come to give rise to new Bosco-legends, then?
Bosco: It has. (he raises his sword) Okay, then, Bosconians! We
proceed with the plan!
Mongo: Yeah! Now you're talkin'!
The nine companions moved forward, guided by Belphanior, who had
figured the easiest, least detectable route into the cavern. As
the moments passed, they moved into position, spreading out once
in the cavern, covering all sides and exits. Not only would the
evil dragon be faced with the mighty nine-pronged attack of Bosco's
band, but all the exits would be covered.
They advanced, swords (or hammers, or whatever) ready to wreak
mighty damage upon unsuspecting dragon-flesh. And then, there it
was! In the gigantic, dim cavern, lit only by patches of dully
fluorescent fungus, the great, scaly form rested. Its breath was
like a tremendous bellows in the hollow cave, and they could feel
rather than hear the beating of its heart. Every so often, the
dragon twitched, its great tail thumping or a taloned paw flicking
Bosco: (gives hand signals, leading his band of heroes onward)
As the moment of truth arrived, Whitelight was unsheathed, and
a powerful glow filled the cavern; Belphanior had poised himself
at the dragon's face, to blind it while the others attacked. The
blazing light shone forth, falling upon an ancient, scaly, golden
Bosco: STOP THE ATTACK!
everyone: (halts in place)
gold dragon: (opens its eyes) Aie!
Beholding the sheer might of Bosco's forces arrayed against it,
the great wyrm recoiled in fear, trembling. As for the would-be
attackers, they exchanged confused looks.
Bosco: Gold? A gold dragon?
gold dragon: (attempts to back into a corner at the sight of the
legendary figure now standing directly before it)
Arnold: Indeed it is. A noble, and more importantly, _good_
Peldor: How can it be? (he looks at Belphanior)
everyone: (looks at Belphanior)
Belphanior: (cringes) Hey, now - all of you know I'm color-blind...
that accident years back, with my eyes.
Whitelight: Hey, don't look at me - I was in my sheath. How could
I have known?!?
Ged: It is a gold dragon...(to the dragon) Sorry about this.
gold dragon: (meekly) You are?
Tanya: We are? Why?
Mongo: (to the dragon) Howdy, there. We're the band of Bosco, a
purty good set o' folks to be 'round. Really.
gold dragon: Uh...sure.
Peldor: (regards the dragon from beneath the brim of his hat) I
can't believe this. (he sheathes his sword)
Belphanior: (embarrassed, he does the same)
Whitelight: Now wait- (its words are muffled by the sheath)
Bosco: My apologies, good dragon. We were...misled.
gold dragon: Misled?
Mongo: You betcha.
Arnold: The rather recalcitrant inhabitants of the nearby kingdom
have apparently mistaken you for someone else.
gold dragon: Incredible!
Ged: We really do apologize.
Arnold: And most profusely.
gold dragon: (wipes sweat from its brow with one clawed leg) Whew.
Bosco: Good thing Bosco and his merry marauders were around to set
the record straight, though.
Gorin: Ptui! (spits brown juice at a passing fly, grounding the
Belphanior: (muttering something about mindless peasants who might
or might not be color-blind too)
Bosco: (to the dragon) I'm Bosco, Juggernaut-Warrior, Thunderdelver,
Demon-Slayer, Dragon-Ri- err, -Friend. And leader of the heroic
Band of Bosco.
gold dragon: Pleased to make your acquaintance.
Bosco: So you're not the fearsome dragon of legend, who roamed the
nearby lands eating livestock as if they were grapes and burning
fields and towns alike?
gold dragon: My heavens, no! I'm just passing through en route to
my southern migration.
Bosco: But of course. All the dragons are doing it this time of
gold dragon: (nods)
Alindyar: (creates a quick illusion of flocks of brightly-colored
dragons flying through the sky)
Lyra: (adds a flock of ducks, which are intercepted and eaten by
gold dragon: Hey! (to Bosco) You know of the annual migrations of
Bosco: (spreads his hands) You'll find Bosco an educated epic hero.
Arnold: Quite the truth, I assure you, my good dragon.
Ged: Even in the highest circles of wizardness, the name of Bosco is
spoken with reverence.
Tanya: (raises a finger) And respect.
gold dragon: (looks upon the woman with a "who's this bimbo?" look)
Bosco: So, let it be said now: Bosco declares this dragon a friend
of the Band, and the kingdom, and the king!
Peldor: Isn't that being a bit pretentious?
Bosco: No way.
Mongo: So, y'all ready to go, or what?
Bosco: I think not...not yet, anyway. We've got to make amends...
(he frowns in thought) We've still got all that food and drink,
gold dragon: Got any cheese dip? I _love_ cheese dip.
Peldor: As a matter of fact, I did see several jars among the packs.
(he produces one such jar)
Bosco: Perfect! Truly a miracle...
gold dragon: (eyeing the cheese dip) Mmm.
Bosco: Then again, this is the band of Bosco, where miracles thrive.
gold dragon: (tasting the cheese dip) Mmmmmm.
Ged: (raises a finger) And don't forget, I can create more food...
a lot more.
Bosco: (to Ged) Outstanding. (to the dragon) Can you breathe
small jets of fire?
gold dragon: (nods) I can.
Bosco: Well, then, we'll have a feast! A roast! A marshmallow
roast! With cheese dip!
Mongo: A hoe-down! Yee-hah!
The small form tossed and turned between his covers, laughing
in his sleep. A slight roll threatened to spill the blanket-
sheathed halfling onto the floor, ending his dreams, but at the
last possible moment he rolled back the other way, preserving
his narcissistic adventures...for now.
next: Bosco wakes up
ftp: ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred)
notes: Thanks to Jim Sidaris for the original idea of doing an
April Fool's story. I hope you enjoyed reading about Bosco's
fantasies wherein not a single man, woman, child, or creature
was killed - and words such as "Adventurers" and "Boccob" never
Note also the other web site listed a few lines above. This is
a web page set up by Kal Shobaki, and it has all of the stories
available for perusal.
Here's a special treat, courtesy of Tom Vallow: "The Ballad of
Bosco the Bold" as sung by Mongo...
Bosco was his name, slaying dragons was his game
Bosco, a lizard's chagrin!
Until it did transpire that he waddled up the spire
That one called good ole Ganja Mountain! (yee-haw!)
Now the king was perplexed and his kingdom was vexed
By a red drake who thought _he_ should reign
But Bosco was for hire and would quelch the dragon's ire
Up on good ole Ganja Mount-ain! (yee-haw!)
So he went there for the king to do his dragon killing thing
With a posse that dragons disdain
But instead of killing sprees they just started eating cheese
With the drake of good ole Ganja Mount-ain! (yee-haw!)
Called the Battle of Ganja Mount-ain
By bards who take up the refrain
That Bosco was a fella who enjoyed his mozzarella
In the Battle of Ganja Mount-ain! (yee-haw!)
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