Chapter #356

previous chapter (#355)                                                                  next chapter (#357)




                                  +
                                +   +
                              +       +
                            +           +
                          +               +
                        +                   +
                      +                       +
                    +      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:                                                       +
+                                                                   +
+  Mongo          17th level dwarven fighter                   (CG) +
+    Gorin         9th level dwarven fighter                   (NG) +
+  Bosco          11th level halfling thief                     (N) +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Date:        1/20/576 C.Y. (Common Year)                         +
+  Time:        early evening                                       +
+  Place:       the Free City of Greyhawk                           +
+  Climate:     cold                                                +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "He say you bladerunner."                                        +
+  "Tell him I'm eating."                                           +
+                     - sushi master & Deckard, from _Bladerunner_  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





     CCCLVI.  Fine Food, Finer Wine, and Finest Entertainment





  Mongo and Gorin had spent almost an hour hunting for a good place
to eat.  There were many such taverns in Greyhawk, to be sure, but
sometimes, only a certain place will do.  And in these cases, one
simply knows when the right place has finally been found.

Mongo:  (looking up at the sign that swings outside the tavern)  The
  Bloody Boar...
big, hairy fellow:  (standing nearby)  Best damn roasted meat in town.
  Hot and bleedin' like a fresh kill.
Gorin:  (his eyes light up)  Blood and beer!
Mongo:  (entering the establishment)  Damn, I'm hungry.

  Although the tavern was crowded, teeming with people and noise,
the two dwarves were quickly seated.  This was one of those places
that was bigger than it looked.  They kicked back in their sturdy
wooden chairs and scanned the place for a server.

large-chested serving wench:  (shows up within moments)  How's it
  goin', boys?
Mongo:  Pretty damn good.
Gorin:  (nods)
wench:  Glad to hear it.  You two look like you could use something
  cold and foamy...?
Mongo:  You got that right, lady.  We'll take two _big_ mugs of your
  strongest beer!
Gorin:  Mmm...
wench:  Comin' right up.  (she darts away, dodging patrons and other
  servers alike)
Mongo:  Beer...damn, I sure hope they have strong beer here.
Gorin:  (looking around)  This looks like a rough place.
Mongo:  Who cares?  (he plops his booted feet up on the table)  Man,
  I'll tell you what...I'm in a damn good mood.
Gorin:  Why?  (he smirks)  I mean, not that I'm not...
Mongo:  Belphanior's okay, and even got rid of that damned eye in
  the process.  Nenya's getting married.  Peldor won't be far behind,
  I'd wager.
Gorin:  Nor the drow.
Mongo:  Right-o.  Rillen, too...(he frowns)  Wonder if he ever found
  that Songa woman?
Gorin:  He must have, or he would have come back by now.
Mongo:  Probably so.  But still, I wonder about him.
Gorin:  You shouldn't.  Sometimes, a guy's gotta do what he's gotta
  do.  He had that look.
Mongo:  Yeah.
serving wench:  (returns with two gigantic mugs, overflowing with
  ice-cold beer)  Here ya go.
Mongo:  (takes his mug)  Yeahhhh...(he gulps down some of the beer)
  Yeah!
Gorin:  (also tasting the beer, he nods)  Mmm.  (to the wench)  Now
  that is some _damn_ good beer!
serving wench:  Aye, that it is.  What's for dinner?
Mongo:  Well, you know, I heard this was a place where a fellow could
  get a hot, bloody steak.
serving wench:  Only if it's from cows or boars.  We also have lamb,
  chicken, turkey, and ham.
Gorin:  Damn.  You must have your own farm out back.
serving wench:  Nah, the owner's brother runs a butcher shop across
  the street.
Mongo:  Well...(he ponders this important decision carefully)  Bring
  two steaks-
serving wench:  Cow or boar?
Mongo:  Two of each.
serving wench:  Oh.
Gorin:  And a roasted leg of lamb.  (he grins)
Mongo:  And some ham.
serving wench:  (eyes the two dwarves)  Damn!  Can you boys pay for
  all this?
Mongo:  (produces several golden coins)  You bet.
serving wench:  (takes the gold)  Damn.
Gorin:  We're really quite hungry, ma'am.
serving wench:  I'll say.  (she turns to leave)  I'll bring the stuff
  out as they cook it.
Mongo:  All right.  And...
serving wench:  Yeah?
Mongo:  (holds up his empty mug)  It would probably be a good idea
  to keep the beer tap flowing.
serving wench:  (grins crookedly)  Gotcha.  Anything you need, just
  yell for Carla, you hear?
Mongo:  Will do.
Carla:  (walks away, various orders churning in her mind)
Gorin:  How are we gonna eat all that food?  You didn't tell Bosco
  to meet us here, did you?
Mongo:  Of course not-
Bosco:  (appears from nowhere, plopping into a third chair)  Hi,
  guys!  How's it going?
Gorin:  (stares, wide-eyed)
Mongo:  (likewise)
Bosco:  Say, did we order yet?
Gorin:  Uh...yeah.
Bosco:  Good, 'cause I'm _real_ hungry!
Mongo:  How in the hells did you know we'd be here?!?
Bosco:  (shrugs nonchalantly)  Like most gods, Bosco comes when his
  name is uttered-
Gorin:  (rolls his eyes)
Mongo:  Right, Bosco.  Right.
Bosco:  (looks around innocently)  Hey, can a guy get a beer in this
  place?
Gorin:  Only if the wench can see you, Bosco.
Bosco:  Really?  (he stands up in his chair)
Carla:  (appears within moments, carrying three fresh mugs of beer)
Mongo:  (to Gorin)  How does he do it?
Gorin:  Beats the hell out of me.
Carla:  Food's coming right up, boys.  (she leaves)
Bosco:  (upends his beer, miraculously managing not to spill any on
  himself)  <glug glug>
Mongo:  You didn't bring those little weasels, did you?
Bosco:  (peeps over the rim of his mug)  Ferrets.  (he goes back to
  his drinking)
Mongo:  Whatever.
Bosco:  (puts his more-than-half-empty mug down)  Urp!  (to Mongo)
  Nope.  Left 'em at the inn.
Gorin:  Maybe they followed you.
Bosco:  No, I haven't trained them to do that yet.  Not outside.
Mongo:  Good.  The last thing I want right now is to have to fight
  someone because a ferret stole their purse.
Bosco:  Hah!  Perish the thought!
Gorin:  (claps the halfling on the back)  Good to have you here with
  us, Bosco!
Bosco:  Good to be here.

  They fell into discussion, covering topics ranging from the fight
with the demons to Nenya's upcoming wedding.

Mongo:  I still say Ged's jealous.
Gorin:  Nah.  Nenya said that Ged said he wasn't.
Bosco:  He's lying, then.
Gorin:  You think so?
Bosco:  Heck, it's obvious.
Mongo:  Hmm.
Gorin:  When's the wedding, anyway?
Bosco:  This summer, I think.  Haven't heard a date yet.

  Shortly, the trio's food began to arrive, and they ate everything
that crossed their table.  The discussion turned courses as often as
the meal...

Bosco:  So what's next on your agenda?
Mongo:  I'm really not sure.  I kinda want to get my own castle or
  fortress.
Bosco:  Aren't they the same thing?
Mongo:  Depends on who you are.
Bosco:  Oh.
Mongo:  But...I'm way too young to get saddled with power and
  responsibility.
Gorin:  Yeah.  You'll settle for just power.
Bosco:  He's right, though.  Just take a good look at Ged.  Can you
  say "miserable"?
Mongo:  (nodding)  Good point.
Gorin:  Let's not forget Peldor.
Bosco:  Well, he's happy, at least.
Mongo:  He seems to be.
Gorin:  And with Tanya...
Bosco:  She's a classy lady, no doubt about it.
Gorin:  Is that why you always try to look up her skirt, Bosco?
Mongo:  Or down her shirt?
Bosco:  Who, me?
Mongo:  To tell the truth, I was...inspired by what Yod Ironbeard's
  built for himself, in Thunderdelve.
Gorin:  Me, too.
Bosco:  Yod Ironbeard!  Wonder how he's doing?
Mongo:  We may soon find out.
Bosco:  So, why don't you find your own mountain, and build your own
  Thunderdelve, someday?
Mongo:  Someday...but not anytime soon.
Gorin:  Sounds like you're bored.
Bosco:  Agreed.
Mongo:  Yeah...
Bosco:  Maybe you could become head bouncer at a nudie place.
Gorin:  (regards the obviously-crazed halfling)
Mongo:  Hah.



  Elsewhere in the Bloody Boar, Horkus the barbarian was busy arguing
with another large oaf.  Their dice-game, while simple, sometimes got
out of hand.  At the moment, Horkus was thinking something about how
he had gotten cheated, and he made sure to let everyone know it.

Horkus:  Last chance!  You give money back, or else!
other oaf:  (stands)  Or else what?
Horkus:  (punches the man with all his might)
other oaf:  (goes reeling back)



  The three adventurers' conversation was rudely interrupted as a big
fellow crashed onto their table.  The only saving grace was that the
food was just about gone.  Wood, food, trays, and mugs went crashing
to the floor in a great, broken mess.

Mongo:  What the hell...?!
oaf:  (lying there, stunned)  Urr...
Bosco:  (leaps out of his chair, looking around)  Okay, who did that?
Gorin:  Good question.
Mongo:  Damn good question.
Horkus:  (pushes his way through the crowd)  Graar!  (sighting the
  fallen man, he beats his chest in triumph, then turns and heads
  back to his table)
Bosco:  Hey!  (he darts after the barbarian)
Gorin:  Uh, Bosco...
Horkus:  (walking toward his table, the crowd parting before him)
Bosco:  (chasing the big man)  Hey, you!
Horkus:  (turns, looking around)  Huh?
Bosco:  Down here!
Horkus:  (looks down, sees the halfling, and laughs)
Bosco:  You just destroyed our dinner!
Horkus:  Get another one.  (he resumes his walk)
Bosco:  (ignored, and not wanting to draw his blades over this, he
  stands there fussing)
Mongo:  (somehow moves through the crowd, and steps between Horkus
  and his table)  Stop right there, fella.

  The dwarf wasn't wearing his armor, and Stormcrest was tucked away
in his pack.  Still, he presented a formidable figure, given his
bulk and the thick muscles that bulged on his arms.

Horkus:  Huh?  Problem here?
Mongo:  That was _my_ dinner you destroyed, too, barbarian.  (he
  crosses his hairy arms)  Once you've paid for it, we'll have no
  problem.
Horkus:  Pay?  Bah.  Horkus not pay.
Mongo:  Then we have a problem.
Horkus:  (cracking his knuckles)  No problem.
bartender:  (approaches rapidly)  Outside!  (he points to the front
  door)  Outside, or I'll have the city guard here faster than you
  can say "jail"!
Horkus:  Grr...(he swats the bartender aside)
bartender:  <whack>  (he falls, unconscious)
Mongo:  Why don't you try that on me?
Bosco:  (nearby, he looks at Gorin and makes a questioning stabbing
  motion with his fingers)
Gorin:  (shakes his head "no")
Horkus:  (swings at Mongo, hitting the stout dwarf in the jaw)
Mongo:  (staggers slightly)
crowd:  (murmurs in wonder)
Bosco:  (working the enraptured crowd, he makes random comments)
  Dwarves' heads are tougher than stone...
Horkus:  (looks at Mongo, then at his fist, then at Mongo)
Mongo:  My turn.  (he reaches out and flicks the barbarian in the
  stomach with one finger)
Horkus:  Ungh!  (doubles over, all breath driven out of his lungs)
Gorin:  (grinning, he grabs two mugs of beer from a passing wench)
Bosco:  (filches another purse)
Horkus:  (falls to his knees, seeing stars)
Mongo:  Hurts, doesn't it?  (he puts one hand under the barbarian's
  chest and lifts him into the air)  C'mon, out you go.

  As the crowd watched in amazement, Mongo single-handedly carried
the wheezing Horkus to the door, out the door, and into the street.

Mongo:  (sets the barbarian down against the deck)  Now you just stay
  put, and stay out of trouble.
Horkus:  (still trying to catch his breath)
Mongo:  (goes back into the tavern)
Gorin:  (hands Mongo a mug of beer)
Mongo:  Thanks, I was getting thirsty.  (he takes a gulp from the
  mug)  Mmm.
Bosco:  Good show.  (he pats his pockets absentmindedly)
Mongo:  We need to get you another beer, too!
Bosco:  (looks alarmed)  Oh, no, don't bother.  I'd really love to
  stay, but I've gotta be somewhere.
Gorin:  You're sure?
Bosco:  Positive.  (he heads for the door)
Mongo:  Suit yourself...

  With that, the two dwarves found another seat and several more
beers, not to mention a growing crowd of fans.  Had Bosco stayed,
he would have found several hours' worth of friendly dice games.
Nevertheless, there was no more trouble at the Bloody Boar that
night.





next:      another merry little adventure
ftp:       ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
www:       http://www.access.digex.net/~dpm
           http://www3.hmc.edu/~kshobaki/adventurers
homepage:  http://www.gatech.edu/oit/oe/design/thomas/adv.html
mail:      tmiller@cimmeria.ns.gatech.edu  (preferred)
           thomas.miller@oit.gatech.edu    (emergency)
notes:     At the rate the bottom headers are growing, they'll
  soon be as big as the top headers!

  More fanmail - this comes from various places, but covers through
episode #348.



*jumping up and down* 348 348 348 348!
Give us 348! I can't stand it! I *MUST* see that fight...i've
been waiting for something like that for 347 episodes :-)

-Angelos

PS. I find it amazing that your writing keeps improving yet...



Thomas,

Yeah!  I guess we'll soon see just how bad-ass Belphanior is!

-kal



I thought adventurers 347 was real quality, the "calm before the
storm".  Lose Razor Charlie, though, he sucks. Maybe Belphanior
can eye him or do him with Blackrazor.

Adrian
>
>   Hmm.  Why do you hate him?  He's one-dimensional, but then again,
> he's sort of meant to be.  I won't give anything away this early in
> the game...
>
>
>
> Thomas
>
"Razor" Charlie is just _too_ cliched I guess. Detracts from the
other characters.  I like your stories partly for the "real" feel
to them, I don't want them too comicbook.



Brave plot line you're enterring into here, maybe one of
the characters will finally die for good.  I think the best
fantasy needs to show that there is some real risk out
there, not just heroic deeds left right and centre.

Sadly it would be better for one of the main characters to
die because that way your audience will be forced to deal
with how their going to live without them, not just witness
how one of the main characters is going to deal with the loss.

(I mean that someone with henchmen should die themselves, not
even that one of the henchmen should die)

With Blackrazor around I don't see how you can avoid someone
going.

(In any case, if there's enough trouble from the fans about who
dies you can always have Alindyar find them stranded on an
outer plane and have a few of the others spend a pleasant weekend
with whoever lives out there)

Frankly I think permanent death would be better, but I hate to think
what it will do to future plots given how well you must know the way
your characters work by now.

george



This is the best on ever, you rewl. But, Bel's gotta be good (err...
neutralish)again, or I'll stop reading, cause he's my fave.

Joshua



Hey Thomas,

   Although it was indeed logical that Belphanior should
have been overcome by the others, it was almost sad (in a
psychotic way :)  I found myself wishing that someone would
get a bit more dead, although Mongo seemed to be pretty
wasted.

    I just have a few suggestions for the next, if it is
not too late.

    Maybe while the group is battling the demons, the eye
could attempt to re-control Belphanior.  It would be interesting
to see what would happen with Blackrazor vs. Peldor's remaining
lives (via the Nine Lives sword or whatever it was).  Not only
from a magical standpoint, but from the standpoint that Peldor
was the closest to Belphanior of all the adventurers.

    Secondly, if the eye isn't to re-control my mad-elf hero,
a Desperado-esque scene (the opening scene in the bar) with
Belph's arsenal would also be very cool.

Anxiously waiting the next installment,

Mike



> next:   demonstorm!

Wondering if this would've set off alarm bells from Greyhawk to
the Seven Heavens. :)

'Course, by the time the celestial cavalry arrives, might be too
late for the Adventurers.

(pssst! Alindyar! You *did* have a second one of those mass teleport
spells memorised for the return journey, didn't you? Hope so!)

> notes:  I know what you're thinking:  Belphanior didn't cast a
>   single offensive spell!  Belphanior didn't even slash anybody!
>   The fight went too easily for the party!  Some people didn't
>   even do _anything_!
>     Well, folks, remember what we're dealing with here:  three
>   mighty, diverse, smart wizards, plus the fighting power of the
>   others.  A battle like this, I realized as I wrote it, wouldn't
>   drag out like other big battles in the past - it would be short
>   and efficient and not everyone would have a major role.  Hell,
>   outnumbered as Belphanior was, he couldn't have had a chance to
>   do much at all, as long as they kept hammering away at him.

Yup, the action seemed right on the money.

>     Anyway, there's still the next episode, which promises more
>   action than you can shake Blackrazor at.

Not that poor Belphanior is in much condition to shake it. :(
Hmm. Bosco has a wish, and possibly so does Peldor? This seems
like one of those rainy days to have saved them for...

Shane
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





previous chapter (#355)                                                                  next chapter (#357)