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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 +
+ firstname.lastname@example.org +
+ THE PARTY: +
+ Alindyar 16th level dark elven wizard (N) +
+ Belphanior (14th)^3 level elven fighter/wizard/thief (CN) +
+ Otto 7th/8th level dwarven fighter/thief (CN) +
+ Razor Charlie 8th level human fighter (CN) +
+ 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 (N) +
+ Tanya 5th/11th level female human fighter/thief (N) +
+ Date: 1/15/576 C.Y. (Common Year) +
+ Time: late morning +
+ Place: the Green Dragon Inn, in Greyhawk +
+ Climate: cold outside, warm inside +
+ "If my answers frighten you, Vincent, maybe you should cease +
+ asking scary questions." +
+ - Jules, from _Pulp Fiction_ +
CCCLII. Breakfast of Champions
As Belphanior descended the stairs, slowly and painfully, he
found most of his friends waiting for him in the inn's main room.
Bosco: Hey, look, everybody! It's aliiiive!
Belphanior: (dressed in high boots, red breeches and a loose shirt
of black silk, not to mention a tight black headband/eyepatch)
Bosco: You don't think I'm funny, do you?
Belphanior: You're a riot, Bosco. As you can see, I'm laughing my
fucking ass off.
Bosco: (looking for somewhere else to be)
Mongo: How's it going? Do your wounds still hurt?
Belphanior: Which one?
Peldor: (resting in a plush chair) Good to see you again.
Belphanior: Likewise...despite what my mood might indicate. (he
surveys the group) Is everyone okay?
Otto: (takes a swallow or three from a mug of ale) Yup. Even the
Ged: I'll thank you not to call me that.
Otto: You should thank me for a lot more.
Gorin: I was laid up for awhile, like you - hell, a lot of us were.
Arnold: (nods, flexing one huge bicep to show the fresh scar there)
Even Ah-nold can be hurdt by the dembons.
Razor Charlie: (twirling a knife between his fingers, he sneers)
Belphanior: (walks to Otto and Razor Charlie's table and takes a seat)
I'm hungry...(he eyes the assorted food, mostly breakfast fare, and
begins shoveling it onto a plate)
Lyra: I'd say we came out more than okay, given the force which was
arrayed against us.
Mongo: But which we beat handily.
Alindyar: Aye. (he makes arcane motions in the air with his fingers,
causing a shimmering cloud to float about) I have been...delving
into the mysteries of the demonkind.
Belphanior: Oh? (he swallows his mouthful of food) We should get
together and talk sometime.
Alindyar: (nodding) I seek a way - as, I think, do you - to ensure
that the fiends will stay out of our future affairs.
Peldor: A welcome idea. (he sips some cider) Any luck?
Alindyar: (frowning) Not as yet. I was hoping for some...insight
into the matter. (he stares at Belphanior expectantly)
Belphanior: Okay, we'll get to it after I eat.
Alindyar: (smiles) Of course.
Tanya: There _is_ another question...
Belphanior: For me? Okay, shoot.
Tanya: That eye...is it gone? I mean really gone?
Peldor: (surprised that Tanya has taken this step to confront the
Belphanior: Yeah. (he swallows another forkful of food) When I
hit it with Blackrazor, its very essence was consumed.
Bosco: (listens with fascination) Really?
Belphanior: (eyes the halfling, with his one good eye anyway) Trust
me on this. Blackrazor knows when it has devoured a soul.
Ged: And what about Blackrazor?
Belphanior: What about it? (he pats his swordbelt, where the dark
sword's handle protrudes from its sheath)
Ged: You're still going to keep it?
Belphanior: Of course. (he takes another huge bite, chews, swallows,
and finally talks again) Why wouldn't I?
Ged: Err...I guess I just assumed...
Belphanior: (stabbing his fork in the air) You know what they say
Tanya: (stands, furious) Dammit! What the hell's WRONG with you?!?
Peldor: (moves to comfort his lover)
Tanya: (ignores Peldor, moving angrily away from him, toward
Belphanior) We just spent the better part of a week recovering
from a battle fought on YOUR behalf! We risked death or worse and
found you, and fought you, and then fought all those demons! All
because SOME of us thought you were a friend, someone worth the
Belphanior: (frozen in mid-bite)
everyone else: (all of them are pretty much stunned)
Tanya: (shaking one fist in the elf's direction) And after ALL that
chaos and battle and danger, all you can do is sit here and insult
us?!? (she whirls and strikes out, smashing the plate on the table
in front of her and shattering it)
Otto: (does a double-take)
Tanya: (shakes her fist again; this time it drips blood from several
deep cuts) I ask you again, Belphanior: what the hell's wrong with
Peldor: (arrives at Tanya's side, and this time, he is not ignored)
C'mon, sit down.
Bosco: (thinking quickly, he grabs a thick napkin and hands it to
Peldor: (takes the piece of cloth and puts Tanya's hand on it while
he pulls out shards of glass)
Belphanior: (still stunned by the outburst)
Alindyar: Ahem. (he stands up slowly, eyeing Belphanior carefully)
The question still stands.
Belphanior: (puts his fork down and sighs) Look...a few weeks ago
I'd have flown into a red rage at this, and slain everybody.
Belphanior: But due to recent events, I've managed to...dull the
edge of my temper. Things have been rough, you know, and I've
done some bad things. Evil things, if you prefer. But the eye
was pulling me in a certain direction - has been for awhile now.
I just hadn't seen it until recently. And on top of all that,
there have been times when random people have shown up to try and
kill me. Or all of us, if you remember the abductions.
Lyra: (grimaces, seeing more in the elf's words than most of the
Belphanior: ...and it's been a rough time. For me, for my friends-
(he casts a glance at Otto and Razor Charlie) -and for all of you.
I'm not ungrateful. No...rest assured, if any of you needed my
help, I'd be the first one at your side. But right now, I've got
a lot of thinking to do, and a lot of things to make amends for.
I want nothing more than to return home and think things over...
no enemies, no fights, just peace and quiet.
Ged: (nodding) You seem to have gained more from this experience
than I'd have given you credit for.
Belphanior: (unconsciously rubs his empty eye socket) No one, and
nothing, controls my fate but me.
Alindyar: Then you should look to give up Blackrazor now. It also
possesses an intelligence which attempts to use you, does it not?
Belphanior: (outraged) What!?! How dare...(he makes a visible
effort to bring himself under control) Sorry...I'm still feeling
a lot of strain. I'll _think_ about Blackrazor, but it's better
with me than with someone else.
Ged: Hmm, I think Alindyar is right, though you have a point as
well. (he looks for a way to change the subject) You know, it's
possible that you could regrow that eye, with the proper magics
Belphanior: No, that's okay. I...prefer it this way, for now at
Ged: (shrugs, surprised but unwilling to push the matter) Yea.
Belphanior: (stands) On second thought, I think I'd better leave
Arnold: Naa, stay awhile.
Bosco: Yeah! We've got places to go...and gamble.
Mongo: And carouse.
Belphanior: (shaking his head) No, no. Like I said, I've got some
business to take care of...elsewhere.
Otto: (to Razor Charlie, in a low whisper) I bet I know what her
Razor Charlie: Heh.
Belphanior: I'll gather my things, and depart shortly.
Except for Belphanior and his two companions, who would be of
course be accompanying him, everyone stood now, to bid farewell
to the elf.
Mongo: (clasps hands with the elf) Good speech...well-said.
Belphanior: Thanks. I meant it, too.
Gorin: I hope things straighten out for you, man.
Belphanior: Me, too.
Arnold: The regaards of Ah-nold go with you.
Belphanior: (returns the warrior's handshake) Appreciate it.
Alindyar: I suppose we shall conduct that research another time.
Belphanior: Count on it. When I get some ideas, you'll hear from
Lyra: (surprises Alindyar by hugging Belphanior lightly) Be good.
Ged: (nods to Belphanior) Good luck.
Ged: Remember to think about disposing of Blackrazor.
Belphanior: I'll think about Blackrazor...but I make no promises.
Ged: Better no one, than you. But that can wait awhile.
Bosco: (salutes Belphanior) Bosco, freshly appointed as "Demon-
Slayer", sends his regards with you.
Belphanior: And we all thank him for it!
Peldor: (clasps hands with the elf) Take care of yourself, my
Belphanior: And you too. Don't get married without inviting me...
Peldor: (looks shocked) How...?
Belphanior: (winks at his fellow thief with his one eye) Body
language gives it all away.
Tanya: (approaches) Err...
Belphanior: (grinning) Don't worry. I deserved it.
Tanya: (smiles weakly)
Belphanior headed upstairs; a short time later, he and his two
companions were gone, having teleported away.
Ged: Wonder how he re-memorized that spell...
Lyra: Or any others, for that matter.
Alindyar: Perhaps the one known as Otto carried a spellbook or two
in his pack.
Peldor: (nods) I bet that's it.
Gorin: You think we'll see Belphanior again?
Arnold: Yah, I do.
Bosco: (nodding) Agreed.
Tanya: I just hope that next time, it's under better conditions...
next: a real estate transaction
ftp: ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
mail: email@example.com (preferred)
notes: Well, as I write this, St. Patrick's Day 1996 has come and
gone. I thought about this because I had lunch with Rick (aka
Belphanior) this Saturday while my truck was getting its first
scheduled maintenance. Maybe I should have gone with them like
in 1995, but then again, almost nothing could top that trip.
It's funny - a year ago I was in recovery mode, and now I'd like
nothing better than to go into the Navy and attempt SEAL training.
How things change.
More fanmail (I'm breaking it into smaller chunks these days) on
I'm looking forward to the rest of the Belphanior story.
But.. gotta ask before I know the outcome.. Have you ever
considered actually killing off one of your main characters? I
mean for real, dead, body and everything ? I started thinking
about this story line and where it was going and can't decide
if it makes a better ending with Belphanior being killed by
his companions or being redeemed......
TM> Oh, yeah, I've thought about it. Nothing is sacred.
Belphanior has finally broken. Though I understand that this was
inevitable, I'm also concerned about his fate.
I must say that Belph is hands down my favorite Adventurer, and
that I've really watching him bloom into a powerful and multi-
faceted character. Overall, I think that he is your best-developed
There is a tenuous balance between his love of power, and his
desire for personal freedom. I think that the driving force in
Belphaniors existence is his desire to be free, and never to be
at the mercy of another.
I think that when he realizes where Blackrazor and The Eye of
Elik are taking him, and how he is not truly free when he uses
them - he will try to fight them. And, if needs be, he will
tear the damned eye out.
Sure - with these items (and his other abilities and items) he is
approaching demi-god status, but I think that he would rather be
free of the influence that these things exert on him.
Hell, there's a great idea for a storyline. Belphanior falls
under the power of the Eye and Blackrazor and proceeds to become
a serious threat to the welfare of Oerik (sp?). Maybe he will
rally an army and begin killing everyone and everything that gets
in his way? Anyway....he will attract the attention of powerful
forces of good, and they will come after him. Some of the
Adventurers will come after him to stop him, whatever the cost
(Ged, et al?) . Some of the Adventurers will come after him to
try and save him (imagine Peldor at the helm here)
Anyway, I see it as a battle for the soul of Belphanior. If he
loses, then I see him dead. If he wins, then I see the destruction
of the Eye and of Blackrazor.
Just my ideas - I'm worried about my old pal.
Actually I thought Victoria would turn out to be Nerg! till she
started killing all the red armbands.
Good stuff. I think you can do great things with the "evil
Belphanior" line .. descent into darkness, a possible atonement/
I would like to see Belphanior being taken over represented as
Belphanior's _own_ opinions changing, rather than some sort of
"I'm out of control" thing.
> notes: This begins the story you've all been asking for.
I think I shall at least register my claim to the negative. Though,
that being said, if you can make a good story out of it more kudos
to you. :)
I've always felt that if some old fossil of a legend could control
an artifact, then the possibility exists that some hero can now.
There are always new legends being made.
(this rant is partly because my gaming circle had a rash of mind
control plots a while back, and it became so cliched that these
days I tend to avoid/ignore anyone who brings up the idea - unless
of course they do it "really well")
PS. If the Eye won't submit, I think Bel would power up the ol'
anti-magic sphere, cut out the eye and splat the malefic blob
while it's helpless.
Thanks! BTW - it's great to finally see the battle between
Belphanior and the various artifacts of chaos and evil in
his posession! I've been waiting on this one, and so far
it looks great! Ok, so maybe Belphanior didn't have all
that far to go to be turned to the dark side anyway, but
if he succumbs there could be a major split in the party!
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