Chapter #37

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*****
*  The 8 player characters contained in these writings are copyright
*  1992 by Thomas Miller...copying and distribution of these stories
*  is permissible only under the condition that no part of them will
*  be used or sold for profit.  In that case, I hope you enjoy them.
*    The dungeons and non-player characters contained herein are from
*  TSR's module, A4, and are copyright 1980 by TSR, Inc.  Specific
*  text and maps from them have been avoided, and I encourage anyone
*  who enjoys reading about them to buy and play the whole "A" series.
*****

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THE PARTY:

Alindyar, 6th level drow elf mage (N)
Belphanior, 5th/4rd/5th level high elf fighter/mage/thief (CN)
Ged, 5th/5th level grey elf priest/mage of Boccob (NG)
Halbarad, 6th level human ranger (NG)
Mongo Thunderhead, 6th level dwarf fighter (CG)
Peldor, 7th level human thief (N)
Peyote, 5th/6th level half-elf fighter/druid of Obad-Hai (N)
Rob, 6th level human priest of Trithereon (LG)
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Date:   ?  (presumably sometime after 4/21)
Time:   about two hours since the party woke up
Place:  the Isle of the Slave Lords, now torn by volcanic eruption
--------------------------------------------------------------------


                 XXXVII.  The Downfall of the Slave Lords



  The party is standing on a road watching the burning forest
to one side and some kind of noxious volcanic gas billowing into
the ruined city of Suderham on the other.

Mongo:  Uh-oh!  Gas!
Peyote:  Looks pretty gnarly, dudes.
Halbarad:  How in the nine hells are we going to get off of
  this island?
Ged:  The concealed tunnel that we used to go under the lake-
  ah, damn.  It's in that hill over there.
Peldor:  Which is now burning.  Just swell.
Alindyar:  Surely there must be a dock somewhere nearby.
Ged:  That's right!  We'll take a boat and cross the lake,
  and then get the hell out of this crater!
Mongo:  Say no more!  (runs toward the distant yet visible
  shore, giving the city a fairly wide berth)  Let's go!
Halbarad:  Well, what are we waiting for?  (follows, as do
  the others; they cut through a field of grain)
Peldor:  What's that?  (pointing)
Mongo:  Hey, look out ahead!  Giant farm animals!
Halbarad:  Goats!  They are charging us!
Ged:  Run for it!  (they all split up to present less targets
  for the berserk animals)  We can fight them off!
Peldor:  (squinting as he runs)  I see docks, and boats too!
Peyote:  Let's get to them!
Mongo:  (slows down)  <huff huff>  Fuck this.  I can't run
  fast enough.  I'll FIGHT, by the gods!  (hefts his bone-
  club and waits for the nearest giant goat)  Come and get
  it, you oversized animal!
goat:  (charges the dwarf)
other goats:  (turning around)
Alindyar:  (stops also, and pulls out a scroll)
Mongo:  AAAAAA!  (bashes the goat as it rams him)  Grr!  Take
  that!  And that!
goat:  (smashed severely)  Rrrr...(keels over in pain)
Mongo:  Ha ha!  Oh, here come some more!  I'll take you ALL
  on!  Come and be pulverized!  Come ON!!
Alindyar:  Nay, dwarf.  (casts a wall of fog from the scroll,
  placing it around the remaining three goats)  We have not
  the time to dally here.  Let us be off.  Leave the farm
  animals be.
Mongo:  Aw, shit.  Okay, let's catch up to the rest!  (they
  jog in that direction)

nearby...

Belphanior:  Where in the hell did the dwarf and the drow go?
Peldor:  Never mind that.  Look ahead, there!
Ged:  Holy...

  Up ahead was a grisly scene.  Scores of half-clothed people,
probably former slaves, were engaging in the ultimate revenge.
While some sharpened wooden spikes, others held struggling
city guardsmen and slavers.  Every so often, a stake would be
finished and then the mob would grab one of their ex-masters
and shove them onto the long spike, as the rest cheered.  A
number of impaled bodies already littered the vicinity.

Belphanior:  Cool!
Peyote:  Not!  These dudes have lost it, man.  Let's get to
  the boat while we still can.
Halbarad:  Surely those men do not all deserve this fate.
Ged:  No way.  (strides forth and yells)  What is going on
  here?!?!
ex-slave:  We're getting rid of these bastards!  Wanna help?
Ged:  No, that's okay.  Must they all be speared though?
ex-slave:  Yea!  These scum whipped and beat us for months!
  They stole us from our homes, separated us from our very
  families, and sold some of us!
other ex-slave:  They also raped the women and killed any
  of us who resisted!  They must die!
Ged:  (faltering)  ...
Peldor:  (grabs Ged)  Come on, leave them.  There's no sense
  arguing with an angry mob like this.
Ged:  Uh...okay.  (wondering about justifying such revenge
  unto evil ones)
Belphanior:  (persuades some of the mob members to give him
  their knives)  We may need these.  (pays them a few golden
  coins)  Thanks.
Halbarad:  Here comes Mongo!  And Alindyar as well.
Mongo:  <huff>  We got rid of the goats.
Alindyar:  So to speak.
Peyote:  Okay, there's the dock.  Or docks.
Rob:  Let's run for it!  (they do)

momentarily...

Mongo:  Hey!  Who's that?!
Belphanior:  He must be a stray guard of the Slave Lords!  I'll
  get him!  (charges the man)
man:  (holds up his hands)  Wait!
Belphanior:  Huh?  Are you a spell-caster?!
man:  I mean you no harm!  (slowly walking toward them with his
  hands above his head)
Peldor:  Hey!  I know that guy!  He's the "beggar" from the
  city gate!
Ged:  So it was you who left us the scrolls.
man:  Yes.  Yes!  I am called Selzen.  (shakes hands with Ged,
  and then some of the others)  I am in disguise, you see.  I
  am an agent of those who hired you.
Peyote:  You'd better get a new disguise, man.  If that mob
  gets ahold of you, your goose is cooked.
Mongo:  Roasted.
Selzen:  (shucking his slaver officer insignia)  Yeah.  Well,
  those crazies aren't the only trouble here.  Did you know
  that there are little fire men running around?  They're
  setting everything they touch on fire!  I shit you not.
Belphanior:  Sounds like fun.
Selzen:  Really.  There are also some looters around, taking
  everything they can get.  And, here and there are monsters
  that broke free, or just appeared.  Who knows where THEY
  came from?  This island is getting too hot for my liking.
Ged:  So, are we going to get a boat, or what?
Mongo:  Yeah!  We need to get the boat, get the fuck off of
  this island before we wind up dead!
Selzen:  Well, there are a number of boats.  The best one would
  be the Water Dragon.  That's the Slave Lords' private boat.
  There are others, but mobs are fighting over them.
Rob:  Why don't they all unite and storm the big boat?
Selzen:  (wearily)  Because they fear the power of those Slave
  Lords who remain.
Ged:  What do you mean, remain?
Selzen:  Some of them were killed in the last earth tremor,
  when the castle collapsed.
Mongo:  We've got to get on that boat!  They've got our stuff,
  right?
Selzen:  Yes.  All of your possessions are there.
Halbarad:  Well, we cannot let the lords get away.  Then this
  whole operation would have been for naught.
Belphanior:  I agree.  Let's take the boat!
Selzen:  Oh, I managed to lift these other scrolls from the
  keep before the last big tremor collapsed it.  Here.
Peldor:  A man after my own heart.
Rob:  What a guy.
Selzen:  There is a priests' scroll, and a mages' scroll.
Ged:  (examining both)  I think we should heal ourselves to
  the best of our ability, and then try to take over that
  boat and defeat the Slave Lords.
Halbarad:  Who among us is the worst wounded?
Mongo:  Well, I'm pretty bad off.
Belphanior:  I could use some healing too.
Peldor:  Hey, I fell over fifty feet!  I'm hurt too!
Rob:  I'm not hurt, myself.
Ged:  Well, this priest scroll has nothing but healing magic.
Mongo:  Good.

  Healing commenced, followed by the identification of the
spells on the mage scroll.  Selzen had a magical lens that
had the ability to enable the user to read magical writings.
The scroll contained the spells Sleep, Invisibility, Strength,
Dispel Magic, and Hold Person.  The party moved toward the
Water Dragon.

Mongo:  Quick, cast some of those spells on us, and let's go
  kick some ass!
Belphanior:  I'm partial to the strength spell, myself.
Alindyar:  (casts the strength spell on Belphanior)
Ged:  (casts the invisibility spell on Peldor)  There.  Go
  and do something useful.
Selzen:  I'll just remain in the rear of the party.  I'm
  dead tired.
Peldor:  (thinking that maybe Selzen is a thief)
Belphanior:  Here, I got these daggers from the mob (doles
  one out to Halbarad, Peldor, and Peyote, keeping the
  last for himself)
Ged:  Armed by the mob...
Mongo:  I'll hang on to this bone for now, thanks.  (the
  party moves toward the slavers' private dock)
Belphanior:  Look at those people on this end of the dock.
Ged:  More slaves, obviously.  Ex-slaves.
Mongo:  Hey, you people!
mob:  (some members turn to face him)
Mongo:  Follow us!  We're taking this boat!
man in rags:  No!
Mongo:  No?!?  What do you mean, no?!?
man:  The Slave Lords are too powerful for us.
Belphanior:  Stop whining.  We mean to crush them.  Stand
  with us or stand aside.
mob:  (moves back as the party steps on the dock)  ...
ogre:  (about thirty feet back on the dock, eyeing the mob
  warily)  Hey, you!  Stay back or die!
men:  (two sergeants with longswords)  Yeah!
Mongo:  In a pig's eye!  (charges the ogre)  Die, shithead!
ogre:  Arg!  (charges the dwarf)
Belphanior:  Aaaaaaa!  (charges at one of the men, screaming
  at the top of his lungs)
Halbarad:  (charges the other man)
Peyote:  (charges as well)
Peldor:  (invisible, and saving it for a better time, he
  hangs back)
Ged:  (leads Alindyar, Rob, and Selzen along the dock in the
  wake of the warriors)  Let's go, guys!

ogre:  (swings at Mongo)  Arg!
Mongo:  (dodges between the humanoid's legs, causing him to
  miss, and then clubs him in the groin)  Heh!  Take THAT!
ogre:  Argh...
Belphanior:  (stabs his foe in the chest, slaying him)  Ha!
  Who dies next?!  (looking around)
Halbarad:  (slashes at his opponent, hitting him in the arm)
  Surrender, scoundrel!
man:  Get off our dock, shithead!  (swings at the ranger,
  nicking him)  Ha!
Peyote:  Allow me.  (slashes the man, slaying him)  He should
  have taken your advice.
Halbarad:  Yes.  (turning to the ogre)

ogre:  I'm gonna mash you inta stuffin', dwarf!
Mongo:  No way, slowpoke!
ogre:  Argh!  (swings his two-handed sword at Mongo, scoring
  a minor wound across the dwarf's chest)  Har har!
Mongo:  ARGH!  You'll pay for that!
Belphanior:  (backstabs the ogre, slicing its head in half)
  He sure did.  Heh.  Let's take the boat now!
Peyote:  Wait, dude.  Get their weapons!  (grabs the ogre's
  two-handed sword)  Close enough to what I'm used to.
Belphanior:  (grabs one longsword)  Ah, at last.  Now they
  will all pay.
Mongo:  (grabs the other longsword)  I used to use one of
  these, a long time ago.
Halbarad:  Old skills never die.  (picks up a dagger that
  Belphanior discarded; now he has two)  I shall take the
  pair of daggers.  At least until I find a battleaxe...
Peyote:  We're re-armed now!  Let's go!
Ged:  (looking at one of the scrolls)  We may need that
  one soon...
Alindyar:  Verily.  I shall get this one.
Peldor:  (still invisible)  I'll just wait.
Selzen:  (unsheathing his longsword)  The battle will be
  much fiercer now.  Prepare for the worst.
Halbarad:  Onward, men.  And dwarf.  And elves.  And...oh,
  to hell with it.  Charge!

  The party ran up the dock, but a wave of eight humans with
swords was charging at them.

Ged:  I'll get them!  (casts a spell from the scroll)  Maybe
  if I'm lucky I'll get all eight.
men:  (five of them fall fast asleep)  Zzzz..
three awake men:  ...Die!  (they continue)
Ged:  Not bad, not bad.
Belphanior:  (gleefully runs up and cuts one down)  Ha ha!
Peldor:  (invisible, he picks up the fallen man's longsword)
Halbarad:  (facing another)  Leap from the dock and swim
  away, or perish.
man:  (looking fearfully into the water)  But there's undead
  in there!
Halbarad:  (advancing)  I see none.
man:  Aaaa!  (leaps into the water and swims madly for shore)
Peyote:  (he and Mongo just forced the third man into the
  water as well, but wounded)  So much for those dudes!
Peldor:  (still invisible, he notices the people on the boat
  and quietly, invisibly slinks toward the bow of the vessel)
Mongo:  Hey, there's some goofy-looking people in that boat.
Belphanior:  (charging down the dock)  Then they die too!
half-orc with shortsword:  No, you die, elf!
Belphanior:  We'll see!  (they close on each other, as a man
  in robes leaps gracefully onto the dock as well)
Halbarad:  (charges this new foe)  Fight me, you scoundrel!
robed man:  Certainly.
Peyote:  (charges at no one in particular)  Time to lose it
  all, evil slaver dudes!
Mongo:  (ambles on up behind the others)  Wait up!


robed monk:  Hai!  (slams the ranger with an open hand)
Halbarad:  Agh!
Belphanior:  Die, scum!  (slashes the half-orc, wounding him)
half-orc:  Arg!  You'll pay for that, elf!

drow priestess/warrior in boat:  They must all die!
woman:  They will, Edralve.  I'll see to that!  (dives
  overboard)
human mage:  It is either them, or us.  They seem very
  powerful, and dangerous.  (begins spellcasting)
robed priest in boat:  (casting a spell)  The Dragon shall
  triumph, never fear.  (turns suddenly, hearing a "thump"
  on the deck nearby him)  What was that?
Peldor:  (moving around silently, throws his rusty dagger
  over the edge of the boat, where it lands in the water
  with a "bloop")
priest:  What WAS that?!?  (looks overboard)
Peldor:  (moving further along the boat)

Peyote:  (moves up to help Belphanior)  I'm here, dude!
Belphanior:  (notices for the first time that the half-orc
  has something green coating his blade)  Watch out!  He
  is using poison!
half-orc:  That's right!  Taste it, why don't you?!  (he
  slices the elf, nicking him)  Har!
Belphanior:  Argh!  (saving...successful)  Not deep enough,
  jerkoff!
Peyote:  (slashes the half-orc with a truly mighty blow)
half-orc:  ARGH!  Fuck!
Halbarad:  (playing the feinting game with the robed monk,
  he stabs him suddenly, scoring a major wound)  Slaver
  scum!  We are the arm of justice!
monk:  Bah.  (slaps Halbarad again)
Halbarad:  Agh!  (slashes the monk with his other dagger,
  hitting him again)  We shall see which wins, my knives
  or your hands.
monk:  The hands will win.
Halbarad:  Not if I have anything to say about it.
priest on boat:  (casts a spell of silence on Alindyar)
Alindyar:  (fortunately he moved back somewhat as Ged
  moved forward, so Ged isn't in the spell's radius)
Rob:  (close to the drow, he now gapes wordlessly)
Selzen:  (also in the radius of the spell)
Ged:  Huh?  (casts a hold person spell from the scroll,
  at the human priest, drow priestess, and human mage)
  Boccob take you!
priest:  (unaffected)  Ha.  Is that all your puny god can
  do for you?  I shall wipe the dock with you, elf.
drow priestess:  (held fast, grimacing)  ...
mage:  (unaffected)  Well.  Aren't we fier-  Urk!
Peldor:  (becomes visible as his longsword appears in
  the mage's chest)  No casting spells at Ged, now.  He
  doesn't take them very well.  Hmm.  (realized that he
  has no time to search for treasure now)
mage:  <gasp>  (dies)
Peldor:  (turns to regard the drow priestess)  You're next,
  bitch.
drow priestess:  (eyes the thief fearfully)  ...
human priest:  (turning to face Peldor)  You FOOL!  I
  will enjoy destroying you!
Peldor:  Take it easy there, guy.  Your face is turning
  red.

Mongo:  (ambles up, and unloads his fury on the monk)  I've
  had it with you people!  (slashes the evil monk with his
  longsword, scoring quite a blow)  Surrender now or face
  the unleashed fury of a Thunderhead!!
monk:  (very badly wounded now)  ugh...
Ged:  That's quite a speech for him.  Mongo, I mean.
Mongo:  (turns to face the half-orc)  You!  You're next!

Belphanior:  (swings at the half-orc, hitting again)  Are
  you ready to die, scum?
half-orc:  No!  (swipes at the elf, cutting him again too)
Belphanior:  Agh!
Ged:  (wondering if he should use the remaining scroll
  spell, dispel magic, or wait)
monk:  (hits Halbarad again)  You will regret coming here,
  fool.  The Brotherhood will see to that.
Halbarad:  Argh!
Peyote:  (leaps onto the boat to help Peldor)  I am on the
  way, dude!
Peldor:  (grabs the drow priestess, holding his sword edge
  to her throat)  Hey priest!  One false move and this
  bitch gets it!
priest:  ...
Peyote:  (moving toward the priest)
Mongo:  (slashes the half-orc, dealing him a mighty blow)
  How do you like that, slaver?!
half-orc:  (seriously hurting now)  Urg...
Halbarad:  (stabs at the monk, twice, with his daggers, but
  only hits once)  Back, foul one.  Back!
monk:  (clutches at his ruptured heart as he falls, dead)
Halbarad:  That's one less evil slaver to worry about.
woman:  (the one who dived into the water; unnoticed by
  all, she climbs up onto the dock behind Selzen)
Selzen:  (watching the combat, unsure of what he can do)
Alindyar:  (trying to find a way to get away from the
  others around him so that they won't be silenced too)
Rob:  (fidgeting)
Ged:  Ah, to hell with it.  (holds off on the spell for
  now)
priest:  (uses a Command on Peldor)  Sleep!
Peldor:  ...Zzzz...(falls, in a trance)
drow priestess:  (still can't move)
Peyote:  Uh-oh!  (charges the priest, who is a good forty
  feet away still)
priest:  I'll get you first, mongrel!
woman:  (slinks up behind Selzen, who, alas, is still in
  the silenced radius of Alindyar)
Selzen:  (practically deaf right now, he can't hear her)
woman:  (makes an ugly face and backstabs Selzen)
Selzen:  (falls, bleeding profusely)
Alindyar:  (hears nothing, but feels the vibration from
  the spy's fall and whirls about)  ...
Rob:  (likewise; neither he nor the drow are armed)

half-orc:  (feebly slashes at Belphanior, still manages
  to hit him somehow)  Fall, elf!
Belphanior:  Agh!  Never!  Your time in life has ended,
  scumbag!  (he cuts the evil half-orc down)  And good
  riddance!
Mongo:  Yeah!  (leaps onto the boat, and charges the
  priest)
Halbarad:  (sees the peril that Alindyar and Rob are in
  and rushes to help them)
Belphanior:  (screaming, he leaps onto the boat, runs
  past Mongo, and charges toward the priest too)
Ged:  (whirls, sees the woman/thief stalking Alindyar,
  and casts the dispel magic on Alindyar)  Now use one
  of the spells from YOUR scroll, drow!
Alindyar:  Ah.  At last I can speak.  (opens his scroll
  and begins casting a spell)
woman:  (charging the drow now)  I'll gut you, blackie!
Rob:  I'll stop her!  (attempts a flying tackle of the
  drow's assailant...and rolls a 20)  Yeah!  (both of
  them go down in a heap)  Stay down, woman!
woman:  (cursing)  Get the hell off of me, priest!
Alindyar:  (casts a light spell into her eyes)  There
  you are.
woman:  (glowing from the face)  AAAAA!  I'm blinded!
  (runs right off the pier and falls into the water)
Rob:  What will happen to HER?
Alindyar:  Who can say?
woman:  (floating in the lake)  Aaaa!
Ged:  Look!  There's something swimming toward her!

  Sure enough, there were several dark shapes in the
water, closing fast on the blinded, floating Slave
Lord.  Within moments, they had dragged her underwater
in a feeding frenzy.

Rob:  (agape)  Say, I could have sworn those were ghouls.
Ged:  That's what I saw, too.  Or THOUGHT I saw.
Alindyar:  She is gone from this world, now.
Ged:  We need to help Selzen there!  (moves toward him)
Rob:  Is he...?
Ged:  No, he will live.  Help me bind his wounds, now,
  quickly.

on the boat...

Belphanior:  (slashes the priest)  There will be no more
  slavery by you, scum!
priest:  I shall destroy you all!!
Peyote:  (also attacks the priest, hitting him hard)  I
  concur!  NOT!
Mongo:  (joins in the fray)
Belphanior:  Keep hitting him!  We can't let him get a
  chance to cast anything!
priest:  (manages to get in one blow with his mace, and
  knocks Belphanior back a bit)
Belphanior:  (wiping blood from the corner of his mouth)
  Hits pretty hard, for a priest.  Hmm.  (notices the
  drow priestess quivering nearby)  HMM.  (he heads for
  her)

  Within a minute it was over.  The priest refused to
submit and was slain.  Belphanior, it turned out, had
cut the drow priestess' throat moments before.  Selzen
would live, thanks to the ministrations of Ged and Rob.
The party cut the ropes on the boat and moved away from
the island fast.  Soon, they had reached the outer edge
of the crater, and during this trip, they found a chest
containing all their items!  They equipped as best they
could, for now, not forgetting to thoroughly search the
rest of the boat as well as the ex-Slave Lords' bodies.
Much loot was gained.  They landed on the far shore, and
moved rapidly though the gateway to the outside world.
No one was there to offer any resistance - indeed, the
group of orcs they found fled rather than try to mount
their horses, and so it was that the party gained some
steeds for use in their escape.
  As they rode away at breakneck speed, the whole
mountain shook, and then collapsed, spewing rubble the
size of houses all over the place.  Lava flowed freely
from this ruined peak, and it was with a sigh of relief
that the party looked back one final time before reining
their mounts in and heading them toward the safe lands
far to the west.





next time:  A _long_ rest, and training, and commendations;
  the division of treasure

ANONYMOUS FTP SITE: tybalt.caltech.edu (in pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers)
***********************************************************************
NOTES:  The battle with the Slave Lords went easily in the party's
favor, as can be seen above.  I think that the party's teamwork and
efforts were well done - they deserved everything they got.  Speaking
of which, join us next time for massive loot debates and power/level
increases...
  With this posting, the sum of all my postings pops past 700K in
length, a minor landmark of sorts to me.  I will post part 38 on
Sunday, if all goes well.
***********************************************************************




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