Chapter #371

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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 (or a fraction of it, anyway):                         +
+                                                                   +
+  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) +
+                                                                   +
+                                                                   +
+  SPECIAL GUEST STARS:                                             +
+                                                                   +
+  Drexel         human paladin                                (LG) +
+  Eyer           wood elven fighter/acrobat                   (NG) +
+    Baltek       high elven archer                            (NG) +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Date:        2/3/576 C.Y. (Common Year)                          +
+  Time:        late morning                                        +
+  Place:       the dungeons beneath Maure Castle                   +
+  Climate:     dry and musty                                       +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "Crom take all this delay!  We shall talk _now_!                 +
+                                                         - Conan   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                 CCCLXXI.  A Narrow Escape





  After exploring much of this dungeon's second level, the party
has found a map.  Targeting an apparent central chamber, to which
a number of passages lead, the adventurers are bound for that
room.

Eyer:  (scanning the map)  Wait... (he checks a door, finding a
  staircase spiraling downward beyond)  Another way down?
Mongo:  Typical dungeon design.
Ged:  (points to a large chamber to the east)  What's that?

  The gigantic room contained various training aids for warriors:
wooden dummies, straw targets, armed and armored props, and the
like.  A few loose weapons were scattered about, but they bore no
enchantment.  One wall was pockmarked with burns and small craters.

Ged:  Magic!  (he looks around)  Maybe wizards practice here, as
  well.
Drexel:  Foul wizards, then.  No doubt.
Baltek:  (grips his bow)  Not for long, if they attack us.
Gorin:  (grins, hefting his axe)  That's the spirit.
Eyer:  Tarl would like it here.
Mongo:  Who?  The barbarian you were talking about?
Eyer:  Yes.  He doesn't...get along well with wizards.
Ged:  A shame.
Eyer:  Evil wizards, anyway.
Ged:  Yea.
Eyer:  Not to mention some non-evil wizards...
Ged:  Yea, yea.

  Heading toward the round chamber, they marched north through a
passage.  On the way, they passed a door which concealed a third
stairway to the level below.  Once the northernmost door was
reached, Eyer checked carefully for traps.

Eyer:  (gives the thumbs-up sign)  Here goes.  (he pulls the door
  open)

  In the room beyond was a wizardly figure in black and grey robes.
As he glared at the intruders with an insane gaze, he began making
arcane gestures with his hands.  There was absolutely, positively
no mistaking his intentions.

Eyer:  Look out!  Everyone hit the deck!

  Right as they scattered, the wizard unleashed a tremendous bolt
of lightning, right at the adventurers!

Eyer:  (having leapt into the room and to one side, he avoids any
  injury)  Whew.  (rolling gracefully to a standing position, he
  scans the room)
Ged:  (blasted backwards by the electricity, he falls)  Argh!
Baltek:  (likewise)  Ungh!
Arnold:  (likewise)  Aaaaa!
Gorin:  (having been at the rear of the party, he had a chance to
  leap into an alcove; he avoids any damage)  Shit!

  The strangest thing had happened:  the bolt's energies had entirely
missed Drexel and Mongo, even though they were right in its path.

Mongo:  (looking around, confused)
evil wizard:  (looking around, even more confused)  No!
Drexel:  (smiles warmly, his sword glowing brightly)  I fear no evil
  spells when Chaosbane is in my hand!
Chaosbane:  Aye!  Now enough talking - on to the attack!
Drexel:  Right.  (he charges)
Mongo:  (looking at the scorched walls all around him, and his wounded
  companions)  Well, I'll be...

  Without another word, the dwarf hurled Stormcrest at the wizard.
However, that one had clasped his hands before him in prayer, and a
bizarre pattern of black shadows stood between him and the party.
Mongo's hammer flew wide, missing the wizard completely.

Mongo:  Fuck!

  Meanwhile, as Drexel charged, something blue and hazy appeared before
the armored paladin.

Arley:  (weaving a spell of some sort)  Stop there, kind fool.  There
  is no need to attack us.
Drexel:  No...need...(he quivers)
Chaosbane:  (shines brightly)
Arley:  Why not have a seat, and some tea?
Drexel:  (beads of sweat break out on his forehead)  N-no...

  Meanwhile, Eyer was moving around behind the wizard, but found his
progress blocked by a small, metallic monster of some sort.  The thing
looked like a blob with legs and antennae, and Eyer quickly recognized
it for what it was.

Eyer:  Rust monster!  (he leaps over the scurrying thing, landing far
  beyond it)  Damn wizard must've summoned it...knew we were coming.
rust monster:  (turns clumsily and heads for the elf again)

  Already, some of the adventurers were recovering.  Ged staggered to
his feet, mumbling incoherently, his robes and armor smoking.  Arnold,
in his metal armor, had taken the brunt of the lightning bolt.  Gorin
checked his friend, and was relieved to find that the barbarian was
alive, if injured; Arnold's breath came strongly and regularly.  Poor
Baltek had been knocked back some twenty feet, but he sat up weakly.
  Back in the round chamber, Mongo charged the wizard.

Mongo:  Die, fucker!
evil wizard:  (points at Mongo, casting some vile spell)  I think not.

  Mongo's armor, a powerful artifact, had many powers and properties.
One of these absorbed a certain amount of spell energies cast directly
at its wearer.  Thus, the wizard's enchantment, whatever it might have
been, simply ceased to exist as it hit Mongo.

evil wizard:  (leers madly)  What?!?
Mongo:  Surprise!  (noting that the strange black shadows went away as
  the wizard cast his spell, he hurls his hammer at near-point blank
  range)  Chew steel, fuckface!
evil wizard:  (hit in the chest, he is knocked down and away)  Argh!
Mongo:  About fuckin' time...(he moves in, catching his hammer a moment
  later)

  Nearby, Drexel struggled against the magic of the ogre mage Arley...

Drexel:  N...ngh...NO!  (he springs forth, sword slashing in a high
  arc)
Arley:  (hit in the shoulder by the holy weapon, he is nearly cut in
  half)  Glurk!  (falling, he dies)
Chaosbane:  And good riddance!

  Elsewhere, Eyer had managed to put an oaken table between himself
and the rust monster.  The elf wore no metal armor, but his sword was
yet susceptible to the monster's unpleasant powers.  Sheathing his
weapon, Eyer waited, timing his action until the small creature was in
the precise place...

Eyer:  (overturns the heavy table, pinning the rust monster beneath it)
  Got you!
rust monster:  (squeals unpleasantly)

  At the room's entrance, Gorin charged forth, heading for the evil
wizard from what he hoped was the foe's blind side.  It was, for as
the wizard menaced Mongo with strange black, scaled, spiky hands,
Gorin's axe bit into his side, causing blood to spew in a great gush.

evil wizard:  Noooooo...!  (he leaps away deftly, evading both dwarves
  for the moment, and chatters something as he backpedals away)
Mongo:  (to Gorin)  Thanks.  (they both close in on the foe)
evil wizard:  (grinding his teeth, as if he were some fanged beast)
  Away, fools!
Gorin:  Get back here and die, would you?
Mongo:  Really.  (he hurls his hammer again)

  As the weapon left Mongo's gauntleted hand, its target simply...
disappeared.

Mongo:  Invisible!
Gorin:  (looking and listening)  No, I think he's gone.
Drexel:  (wiping his blade on Arley's cloak, he grimaces in disgust)
  Probably teleported.  Evil wizards tend to do that.
Chaosbane:  (clean of gore at last)  Ahh.  Thanks, I needed that.
Mongo:  (looks around)  Everyone okay?
Gorin:  Arnold and Ged are okay, if wounded.  Baltek too.
Drexel:  What of-
Eyer:  (sitting atop the heavy oaken table which pins the rust monster
  to the floor)  Ahem.
Mongo:  What in the world are you _doing_?
Eyer:  I could use some help here, y'know.
rust monster:  (squirms)

  Soon, the wounded were healed (or mostly so) with magic, and the
rust monster was safely stored away.

Mongo:  (pushes a heavy bookcase into place over a small tunnel-exit
  from this room)  That oughtta keep him at bay for a while.
Eyer:  Let's hope so.
Arnold:  Maybe he'll go upstairs and eat the iron golem's remains.
Mongo:  (wondering if his invulnerable armor is subject to damage from
  the rust monsters)
Ged:  (still a bit woozy)  I'm getting low on healing spells...

  In the way of treasure, they found very little.  Gorin noted that
much of the furniture here was well-crafted and somewhat valuable, but
probably not worth taking, even in the portable hole.  They did find
one interesting book, an atlas of Oerth, which had several places marked
with large red X-es.

Drexel:  A dastardly plot of some sort, I'd wager.
Baltek:  You're a betting man, then?
Drexel:  (looks abashed)  Of course not!
Eyer:  Too bad.

  They also found a diary, though translating it would require some
magic, and wasn't something to be attempted right at the moment.  This
was because of a strange magical rug which Mongo and Eyer were trying
to roll up.  The thing suddenly animated, flying around wildly!

Mongo:  Shit!  (he hurls his hammer into the air, hitting the thing
  and driving it into a wall, showering everyone with small bits of
  plaster)
Eyer:  Look out, it's coming back!
Arnold:  (watches impassively as the rug sails right toward him, his
  sword held above him)

  At the last moment, the warrior swung his huge blade in a wide arc,
slicing a corner from the rug.

Arnold:  Ah-nold!
rug:  (wavers and flutters awkwardly)
Drexel:  (swings, unintentionally stabbing the thing instead of slashing
  it)
rug:  (trapped against a wall, it undulates wildly)
Eyer:  Good work!  You pinned it!
Drexel:  (frowns)  So I did.
Mongo:  Hold the blasted thing there!  You with edged weapons, slash
  it!
Gorin:  (complies, his axe shearing a wide tear in the writhing carpet)

  Soon, the animated rug was nothing more than tatters on the floor,
and the party moved onward, trampling its threads beneath their heels.
They found an old dungeon, complete with three shackled skeletons and
a date scratched into one wall.

Eyer:  (reading)  457 C.Y. - almost two decades ago.
Ged:  We'll remember it, in case.
Arnold:  In case of what?
Ged:  Just in case.
Arnold:  Aaa.
Lightbringer:  These skeletons aren't undead.
Chaosbane:  You sound disappointed.
Lightbringer:  Perish the thought.  I merely wish to "help" as many
  undead as possible.
Chaosbane:  But of course.
Baltek:  (to Gorin)  Let's hope they don't start debating politics.
Gorin:  (nodding)  Or anything else.

  Exploring further, the adventurers found a small room with a gas trap,
which Eyer carefully disarmed.  Nearby was a larger chamber, its walls,
floor, and ceiling completely covered with what looked like mud.

Eyer:  (holds everyone back)  No!
Mongo:  What's gotten into you?
Eyer:  It's not mud.  (he shivers)  Feel that?
Drexel:  Aye...it's suddenly cold.
Eyer:  (points to the "mud")  That crud's called brown mold.  It sucks
  heat from anything near it.  Bad stuff.
Ged:  I'll say.  What to we do with it?
Eyer:  Leave it alone.  Baltek?
Baltek:  (already checking the map)  Nope, nothing shown connecting to
  this room.
Eyer:  (shuts the door)  Good.
Arnold:  (to Eyer)  You sure know a lot.
Eyer:  Long years...and some mistakes.  (he winces)

  Another circular room had several tiny tunnels radiating outward, as
if it was a central peek-hole from some small guardian.  However, there
was nothing to be found here, whether friend or foe.  A passage to the
west led to a central room, with four exit doors; in this chamber's
center was a huge black hand imprint, set into the floor.

Eyer:  (looks at the thing from afar)  Hmm.
Drexel:  (his sword pulsing)  Beware...yonder thing is...is...well, it's
  not _good_.
Eyer:  Not a trap, either.
Ged:  Maybe we should check it out.
Mongo:  Maybe not.  (he has a vision of a huge black hand reaching up
  and crushing somebody)
Arnold:  I say naa.  Leave the hand alone.
Baltek:  Agreed.
Gorin:  Yeah.  I mean, why mess with it?
Ged:  But it might be magical...
Drexel:  (sternly)  Remember the quest.  We can always come back here
  later, but for now, we must go onward.
Ged:  (sighs)  I suppose you're all right.

  Presently, they found a storage room, complete with food, drink...
and a lone warrior, his arms piled high with plates of food.  This poor
fellow was quickly convinced to surrender, and now the adventurers had
something they could really use:  a live prisoner!

Drexel:  What have you to say, fellow?
warrior:  Er...I'm just getting lunch.
Eyer:  Isn't it a bit early for lunch?
Mongo:  (his stomach grumbling)  Not really.
Eyer:  (to Mongo)  Shh!  We're questioning the prisoner here.
Ged:  How many more of you are there?
warrior:  (sees the look in various adventurers' eyes)  Um...seven more.
Mongo:  Oh yeah?  (he hefts his hammer)  Take us to 'em.

  A short time later, eight warriors sat in a circle, facing outward,
tied together with heavy ropes.  Thanks to Ged's spells and a well-
planned and executed ambush, the fight had been won with a minimum of
bloodshed, and no fatalities.

Eyer:  (to Drexel)  Much better, I might add, than your plan to open
  the door, announce who we are, and give them a chance to surrender
  honorably.
Drexel:  Hmph.
Mongo:  (grins)

  From these guards, the adventurers learned that the wizard they had
slain was called Hubehn.  He was (had been, at any rate) second-in-
command to Eli Tomorast, the scaly-handed wizard who had fled.  The
guards confirmed the existence of a third and final level below, and
agreed that Tomorast had most likely fled there.

Eyer:  Shit.  That means that every guard on that floor will be ready
  for us.
Mongo:  You're right.
Gorin:  If that's true, we need to secure the various staircases on
  this level, to keep from getting surrounded.
Arnold:  I say we go forth and punch through them before they get a
  chance.  (he shrugs)  The best defendse is a good offendse.
Ged:  I think you're right.
Baltek:  (nods)  Yup.  (to Eyer)  Let's hit them before they can hit
  us.
Eyer:  Makes sense to me.
Drexel:  It even makes sense to me.
warrior:  (struggling with his bonds)
Gorin:  (to the man)  You really sure you want to do that?
warrior:  (sheepishly desists)
other warrior:  But what will become of us?
Eyer:  Oh, we'll be back for you.
warrior:  We could starve here!
Drexel:  (faces the fellow)  On my oath as a holy warrior of Heironeous,
  I shall come back and set you free!
warrior:  (looks suitably impressed)
Mongo:  (to his companions)  Ahem.

  With that, they prepared to descend to the third level.  The stairway
chosen for this descent was the one just south of the many-tunneled
"observation room."  Cautiously, the seven intrepid explorers crept
down the cold stone steps...





next:      the dungeon's third level!
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:     Baltimore, and Syndicon '96, were cool.  I met a lot of
  interesting people there, and got a few celebrity autographs.  I
  also bought a sword which is much like I envision Victoria's to
  be.  It's a light, well-balanced saber.

    Here's the dreaded fanmail; it covers episodes #350-360:





Oh my, now this story was a delight to read! Bosco is sometimes
even more full of himself than Ged.

Leonard



Funny story.  I love the incredibly eloquent Arnold!!  Only Bosco could
dream up something as wild as that!  One question though.  Where is Bosco's
beautiful girl-friend Tanya at? :-)

Keep them coming,

Marcus



Looks great!   I like Gorin and his spitting, and the Dragon going
for cheese dip.  The really weird stuff that shows up in our dreams as
seemingly normal is always interesting.

Jim



One of the funniest episodes it's been my pleasure to read. And don't
think I'm laying this on as thick as Bosco's cheese dip. :)

Also, Tom Vallow's ballad was great too!
---
Shane



Most excellent!

                               - Matthew



hey thomas,

i once asked (in the last e-mail):

>what could happen in episode 350?!?  i thought they would have this kind of
>fight to mark such a grand number.  i guess i'll have to wait and see what's
>cooking in that marvellous brain of yours...

lo and behold!  a bosco dream!  i am now truly ashemped.  never in a million
years would i have been able to guess...

thanks for the unexpected, it made it all the more ... weird.

have fun,

matt



Truly bizarre, Thomas.

          Greg



I liked the April Fool's episode.  I think that it'd be neat if you
did one every year, as a sort of timekeeper when reading the episodes
in book form.
  Bosco is one of my favorite minor characters.  I remain

Yours,
Robert



Episode #350 was different and enjoyable.  Have you ever thought
about letting Bosco get a few adventures of his own?  What I was
thinking was an alter ego type thing sort of like batman.  I bet
he would like to have a secret identity which the party would hear
rumors about but not know who it was doing the work.  He could foil
the plans of some evil doer or other schemer who might seek him out
and therefore get the party involved.

Food for thought...

Keep up the good work!
wayne



I really liked this story.  Belphanior's been one of my favorites, and
now that he's more or less a nice guy, he seems even better.  OTOH, he
might be fooling everyone else.  But I really hope not.  What woudl
IMHO be cool would be if he became what I consider myself, a good
fellow, but not Good in terms of the AD&D alignment system.  Sort of
like the ideal of the mediaeval noble (not much like the actual
article often was).  Great work.  I remain

Yours,
Robert



Anyway, comments on this arc:  it seemed a bit abrupt, especially
towards the end.  Of course, some of that can be rationalized by
pegging Orcus as the type of supervillain that gets all worked up
over how much he hates the good guys, and then acts before he's
totally prepared...but still, I found myself wanting more character-
character interaction between the possessed Belphanior and the rest
of the party.

On a more serious note, Peldor seems very different; in an earlier
episode, he would've played a much larger role in both getting
Belphanior back and in repelling the demon horde.  (At least, his
commentary during the demon fight would have been unavoidable.)
Peldor has always been my favorite character (2nd favorite has
started to trade places between Otto or Belphanior, shoving Ged down
into fourth place), and it's disappointing when he isn't given a
chance to shine.  So I guess what I'm saying is, I'd like to see
more of the old Peldor magic, when he could be concerned about the
rest of the party without having to stop smiling.

--
good work, though

Ryan



Thomas,

Just got finished reading 352 and had to comment on it.  Specifically
the Blackrazor part.  There is no reason for Belphanior to give up
Blackrazor.  The sword has saved his life many, many times.  The
reason that the party gives is that it is evil, and the reason many
of your readers give is that Belphanior wants to be his own master.
Well, Blackrazor (as far as I remember) has never tried to impose its
will over over Belph.  The biggest impact that has been visible is
those few times that Belph states that Blackrazor is hungry.

A couple episodes back you did a story from Blackrazors point of view,
it was content to let Belphanior do as he will.  Belph kills enough
things to keep Blackrazor satisfied, he probably always will.  It's
just his nature.

Blackrazor is an incredible weapon, and as such I'm sure Belphanior
realizes it's worth.  Also is the fact that being nearly artifact
level, it would be practically impossible to destroy.  If it couldn't
be destroyed I'm sure Belphanior wouldn't let it go. If someone else
got ahold of it.....

                                           Marc



  I just finished reading the end of story 352 and I must say that
I'm really pleased with how it turned out.  Belphanior is becoming
more like the Belphanior I used to know back in the beginning of the
saga...

--Alice



So Alyndiar and Lyra are to move to a haunted mansion!
Whow!!! It there just a ghost in it? Or perhaps a portal
to another dimension?

Costas



coolio. Alindyar and Lyra getting their own mansion at that.  I'd like
to see what kind of defenses and all that they'd put up, after all
they're a target from young Peldors and the like now...kind of like a
certain wizard's tower some time ago... =)

Gabriel



This one was good as an experimental piece...

Heh, what that means is that while you made excellent use of
some writing techniques and realistic dialogue, the theme didn't
catch me.  Preachy themes can be interesting in snippets, but
won't carry a series like _The Adventurers_.  In general, I
want to hear conversations I _wouldn't_ have myself, and _wouldn't_
hear from my father!  :-)

However, more on the dialogue.  It was very realistic and I think
this is why: Ged and Nenya didn't seem to know what the other person
was going to say, and both tried to steer conversation to their
own thoughts.  A lesser writer can't do this and conversation is
always used to further a single point.  Such complex dialogue shows
real talent.

Richard



Thomas,

 Light-hearted, yup, that describes it.  Its needed, though, now and
again.  355 looks good too.  Another possible henchman for Peldor in
the making?  Or perhaps for Tanya?

Tom



The bar-fight with Mongo and the barbarian reminded me a little of
Sean Connery's barfight in The Presidio.

Maybe Mongo needs to visit Ged, if he needs a quest to keep busy....

Tom



I've enjoyed the last few stories very much.  I was delighted to read
about Mongo's thoughts on his future, and how bored he currently is.
Ged's quest should provide the dwarf with enough excitement... for at
least a little while.  Likewise I suspect that Ged is thrilled with
his assignment, but once its over he may be even more bored than ever,
unless Boccob gives him some sort of sign that Ged will be called upon
on a semi-regular basis for such deeds.

Story 358 caught me off guard: a grand adventure in the Green Dragon
itself!  A rat may have gnawed the holes in his closet wall and chest,
but was it a rat that carried off the ring? Certainly a ferret could
have snuck in and taken it.

Leonard



Episode 357... YES!!!!   A quest!  I was hoping for just this kind of
grand scale old-school adventure!  Maybe I miss the old days of dungeon
delving.

Kurt



hey thomas,

about the stat listings, i'm not certain you should be showing us these.
but then you're damned if you do and damned if you don't so i guess it
doesn't matter which direction you go.

here's a good reason why you shouldn't be showing us the equipment
lists:

shouldn't mongo be using the spell absorption ability of his
invulnerable coat of arnd a bit more often?  he has been the target of
numerous spells since he's acquired the armor...

and a good reason why you should is that we want to see them.

what's the name of ged's new spell?  i can't believe that in the same
episode he declares he _just_ created a new spell and you list his
stats that you didn't include the name of it?!?  man, like you've got
other more important things on your mind?  just kidding.  if you happen
to think of it's name, could you somehow let me know?  thanks.

Matt

TM>  Yea, I forgot about both Mongo's armor's power and Ged's new
TM>  spell.  Too much writing   :)



Hmmm...Mongo's Longsword + 6 seems to stand out. :-)  I haven't played
AD&D for years, but doesn't this make the sword an "artifact" by
definition? (ie- Legendary, wielded by ancient King's, has other
powers, etc?)

TJ

TM>  You're right on all counts.  Of all the adventurers, only Mongo
TM>  would put a +6 weapon aside for "later" examination and then forget
TM>  about it.



Re: the search for the ring. . .

What a great idea for a story! Something a little different, but
plausible.

Glen



This story reminds me of an old sci-fi movie, whose name escapes me at
the moment.  What happened was that a group of doctors, inside a small
'spaceship' were shrunk small enough to be put into a needle, and
injected into a human.  Dont remember the exact plot, but always
thought the idea was cool.

Tom

TM>  "Fantastic Voyage" based on a book by Asimov.  And the movie had
TM>  Raquel Welch in it too!



Well that storyline was a sure see-through. Who other than Bosco's
ferrets could have stolen Peldor's ring?
Boring, boring, boring.

Kjetil




349:  Great seeing another "mindless" fight.  It has been awhile, you
have been dealing with other matters lately.  Belphanior's final touch
was classic!

350:  Just a lot of fun.

351, 352:  The necessary resolutions.  I had not expected Tanya's
reaction, though.  Hysterical or theatrical?  Still a new side to her
character.

353:  Peldor is my favorite -- I just hope Alindyar's moving out does
not mean an end to their close relationship.  Peldor, Tanya, Alindyar,
and Lyra make a nice bunch of people.  Add Bosco for the laughs ...

354:  Ged's story, well told.  Ged's character always was good, but
the changes lately merely adds to it.  One thing I long for is seeing
Ged and Peldor on a quest or adventure.  After the first, say, 40
episodes, I got the idea that they were the best of friends, but kept
their enmity part of their image, so to speak.  It has been a while
since this conflict was highlighted -- introducing Peldor to Ged's
new moods could be interesting.

355:  "Just another day in the Green Dragon Inn."  You really enjoy
writing these, don't you?  Well, I enjoy reading them.  Keep going!

356:  Mongo.  Now, he has been anonymous lately.  Nice seeing him
again.  Bosco, though -- what he does is enough to ruin anyones day,
but he is apprieciated, even by Mongo.  How did he follow them?

357:  Ged's new quest.  Building expectation.

358-360:  Great fun!  The only nagging moment is when I find out that
Ged is already on his quest.  I had been hoping Peldor would follow.
Anyways:  Peldor, Alindyar, and Bosco make a winning team!  The
ferrets are getting to be more annoying than useful, even to Bosco,
one might think ... or does he really enjoy that chaos?

  All in all, just great!  My gratitude is yours.

Eirik



Hi Thomas -

I just want to put in a brief word to counter all the calls you are
getting to let one of our heros really die.

I'm not at all sure it is necessary. They all fill a unique nitch, and
the group wouldn't be as well rounded with any of the major characters
gone. Maybe one of the fighters like Rilen or Arnold, but that's as far
as I'd go. Everyone else brings unique strengths that would need to be
replaced.

Keep up the good work - I love seeing mail from you in my mailbox!

Ted



You've published a number of messages calling for one of the main
characters to die: may I suggest that you could satisfy those people
by using my earlier suggestion about Divine Ascension? (Mongo comes
to mind here).

Secondly, and tied to the above, Alyndar and Lyra have been together
quite some time: it is quite surprising that she has not fallen
pregnant.

Keep up the good work - I'm looking forward to episode 361.

Quentin



  Thanks for all the great writing.  I am partial to Mongo and am
looking forward to his acquiring a stronghold.  I can see him taking
over an old dwarven city like Yod.  I think by now he has the
reputation to atttract an army.  I think Belphanior is  a nicely
deep character.  He brinsg a sense of realism to the group.  I think
Peldor is getting too old though.  He seems slower and more inclined
to let enemies attack instead of attacking first like Bosco.  Good
work on the halfing, by the way.  I like his lack of reverence and
his inclination to mischief.  I would like to see him get serious
about some fight sometime.  He has to care about something.  Well
that is my two cents.  Keep up the excellent work.

Chris



I've been a reader since the party was in New Orleans, and I have to
say that your writing style has really matured over the last year and
a half.  You have a great sense of pacing, plotting, and character-
ization.  Keep up the good work!

Michael



TM>  Now some more general comments...



Well it took me some time to catch up, but now I read 337 so I guess
I can start making comments and suggestions!
But first the fan duty: I LIKE IT! Yours stories are great, keep'em
coming!  I discovered them when I made some research work in Stanford
in 93 and had some difficulties to find them again in 95, when I got
a new Internet account from here in France. But find them I did, and
I was hard at work reading from the 100s to the 300s...

 Like many others, I liked the fog story, I liked the Oerth-2 plot.
You had me reading for hours on end with the 300+ plot. Favorites?
Belphanior and Bosco, again something that seems common among fans.

Thomas



Marvelous!  The Web Site I mean.

I've been away for a year with no web and no email, and I return
looking to find the adventurers, and get blown away.  I have about
100 epissodes to catch up on, and as a regular reader from 40-250,
I'm looking forward to it.

What else can I say but thanks!

--
Jim



hey thomas,

did belphanior ever detect a soul emminating from the wispy thing?
i would assume so, but you know what happens when you assume...

just curious.

have fun,

matt h.



TM>  Now for some comments from who but the player of Mongo himself:

I kept seeing Belphanior and Peldor in Indiana Jones in different
parts of the movie.  At the beginning when he is looking for a
cave with men, he is like Belph up until he grabs the gold idol.
Then he is like Peldor.  Belph would be silent and lead a couple men
thru the jungle.  One man would get scared and Belph would look at
him funny.  Then one man would pull a gun and Belph would smack the
guy with a whip...
Peldor would grab the idol, all hell would break loose, and end up
running for his life.

When Indiana is alone, he acts like Belph.  When with a girl or
stealing something, he is like Peldor.

Jim
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