Chapter #357

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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:                                                       +
+                                                                   +
+  Arnold         12th level human barbarian                   (NG) +
+  Ged            14th/14th level grey elven priest/wizard     (NG) +
+  Mongo          17th level dwarven fighter                   (CG) +
+    Gorin         9th level dwarven fighter                   (NG) +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Date:        1/21/576 C.Y. (Common Year)                         +
+  Time:        morning                                             +
+  Place:       Ged's castle, southwest of Greyhawk                 +
+  Climate:     cold outside, warm inside                           +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "A man isn't really alive till he has something bigger than      +
+   himself and his own little happiness, for which he'd gladly     +
+   die."                                                           +
+                                       - _Ghetto_, Poul Anderson   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                    CCCLVII.  A New Purpose





  Within his laboratory, Ged completed his incantation, and the
trident before him glowed, not of its own accord (though it would
have, if it had been dark.)

Ged:  (raises a triumphant fist)  Yes!  By Boccob, yes!
Nenya:  (just entering the room, she stops, alarmed)  What are
  you going on about?
Ged:  (dancing around excitedly, a vast difference from the way he
  was acting the last time his apprentice saw him)  It works!
Nenya:  (becoming somewhat annoyed)  What works?
Ged:  My new spell, that's what!
Nenya:  New spell?  (she finally perks up)  What does it do?  Fiery
  rain, perhaps?  Or a flying spell that works for a large group?
Ged:  Better than that!
Nenya:  A spell that builds a whole castle, overnight?
Ged:  (frowns)  Hmm, well, not that good.
Nenya:  What, then?
Ged:  I've created a spell that learns the properties of magical
  items!
Nenya:  Learns...wait, there's already such a spell.
Ged:  No, that one _might_ work.  This one _does_ work.
Nenya:  Foolproof?  How?
Ged:  It uses divination magic to call upon the limitless wisdom of
  Boccob, and he answers the prayer, err, spell.
Nenya:  _If_ he wishes.
Ged:  Well, naturally...
Nenya:  It's a fortunate thing you're high in the favor of Boccob,
  then.
Ged:  Indeed.  This won't be a spell that most wizards can cast.
Nenya:  Obviously not.
Ged:  A spell that can totally identify magical items...their powers
  and history...their intentions, even.  A spell created by _me_!
Nenya:  I'm happy that you're happy...but since when are you in the
  spell-writing business?
Ged:  (somewhat sheepishly)  Well, Alindyar did some, and even Lyra
  created one.  So...
Nenya:  (facing an imaginary crowd)  Not to be outdone, the great
  Ged undertook his _own_ spell research.
Ged:  (thinking of Peldor, or even Bosco)  Uh...yea.
Nenya:  Well, it's no offensive powerhouse, but it's got its own
  unique niche in the place of things.
Ged:  Offensive spells?  Hah!  (he calms down)  Fear not - I shall
  create some of _those_, too!
Nenya:  I believe you.
Ged:  Err...what were you coming to see me about?
Nenya:  (holds out a scroll)  It's this formula...I can't seem to
  make it work correctly.
Ged:  Let me see that...(he begins studying the parchment)

  It wasn't long before the grey elf had found and corrected the
problem:  one word in Nenya's incantation was wrong, and rather
than produce a blast of icy cold, she was trying to make it snow.

Nenya:  (embarassed)  Sorry to bother you with this...
Ged:  No problem.  After all, what are mentors for?
Nenya:  Thanks!  (she exits the laboratory)
Ged:  (returning to the mess of scrolls, components, and other
  things on his worktable)  Now, where was I?

  Just then, strange things began to happen.  Small objects rose into
the air...books opened and closed of their own accord...a slight wind
blew through the laboratory, though the windows were closed.  Ged
looked around, confused and amazed, for he could _feel_ the magical
power that now pervaded the room.  Suddenly, a glowing figure appeared
before the elf, bathing the room in violet light.  No crack remained
unlit, no crevice hidden - for Ged instinctively knew that he now
beheld the avatar of Boccob himself!

Ged:  (falling to his knees in reverence) Boccob!
avatar:  (a single, all-seeing purple eye wide open, hovers in the
  center of the laboratory)  RISE, O FAITHFUL SERVANT.
Ged:  (humbly gets to his feet)
avatar:  AN HOUR DRAWS NIGH WHENCE A GREAT QUEST SHALL REQUIRE YOUR
  POWER AND EXPERIENCE.
Ged:  Merely name the task, O Uncaring One, and it shall be done.
avatar:  IT WILL BE A JOURNEY FRAUGHT WITH PERIL.
Ged:  (bows)  I will do my utmost to accomplish your desires.
avatar:  INDEED.  IT IS IN PART FOR YOUR FAITH THAT I HAVE CHOSEN
  YOU FOR THIS MISSION.
Ged:  At your service, O Great One.  (bows again)
avatar:  ALAS, I FEAR YOUR POWER ALONE WILL NOT SUFFICE, HOWEVER.
Ged:  Milord?
avatar:  YOU SHOULDST BRING WITH YOU SUCH FRIENDS AS YOU MAY TRUST
  IN TIMES OF YOUR MOST DESPERATE NEED, WITH STRENGTH OF THEIR OWN.
Ged:  Comrades in arms?  (he ponders this) My former adventuring
  companions?
avatar:  YES...THEY WILL DO MOST NICELY.  BUT BE WARNED, THE WAY
  WILL NOT BE EASY.
Ged:  (bows yet again)  If it is within my power, it shall be done,
  milord.
avatar:  EXCELLENT.  NOW...LISTEN CAREFULLY.

  Ged did, hearing every word the avatar uttered, memorizing all of
the myriad details of the quest.  His tedium was at an end, for here
was an adventure of great scope, dire peril, and fabulous riches!





next:      will we find out what Boccob wants Ged to do?  There's
           only one way to find out...
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:     Rejoice - for the first time since #199, I've included
  the adventurers' vital stats!  These are current to episode #357
  aka 1/21/576 C.Y.

[note: moved to rpg/stories/adventurers/misc/stats.txt --- ed.]

  And there you have it, spell lists and all.  Now don't hold me
to these in the future...    :)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





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