Chapter #374

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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):                         +
+                                                                   +
+  Alindyar       16th level dark elven wizard                  (N) +
+  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:        1/22/576 C.Y. (Common Year)                         +
+  Time:        evening                                             +
+  Place:       the Golden Phoenix, in Greyhawk                     +
+  Climate:     cold outside, cozy inside                           +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "If I say no?"                                                   +
+  "Don't say no."                                                  +
+                                               - from _Sneakers_   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                 CCCLXXIV.  A Simple Question





  After an unexpectedly complicated day - one which Tanya was
unaware of - Peldor had taken her out to dinner.  Though there were
a number of restaurants in Greyhawk that were classier than the
Green Dragon Inn, a few of them actually had comparable food and
drink.  The Golden Phoenix was the best such place; requiring
reservations and a goodly amount of coin, it was a favorite among
the city's wealthier inhabitants.
  Tonight, Peldor wore a silken vest, perhaps the fanciest of
his fancy clothes.  His high leather riding boots were shined,
and the breeches he wore cost more than some people made in a
year.  Yet, although dressed finely, Peldor attracted little
attention next to Tanya.
  The red-haired beauty was decked out in an elegant white dress,
its bottom hem barely touching the ground.  A one-piece garment,
the dress clung tightly to her supple figure.  While Tanya didn't
much care to wear such confining, impractical attire, there was
no denying that she looked marvelous tonight.  Of course, she had
also sensed that tonight would be a special night.  Perhaps it
was something in Peldor's mood, or the way he had acted for the
last few days.  Tanya was far from stupid, and her occupation
and experience had taught her to notice unusual things.
  They arrived at the Golden Phoenix, attracting a number of stares
despite the wealthy clientele common to this establishment.

doorman:  Good evening, madam and sir.
Peldor:  (nods in return)  And a good evening to you.
Tanya:  (bows slightly)
doorman:  (checking a scroll)  Sir Peldor and friend...?
Peldor:  Indeed.
doorman:  Follow me, please.  (he leads them to a table)
Tanya:  (scowls in jest as she whispers to Peldor)  _Sir_ Peldor?
Peldor:  They're learning.  I'm working up to "Lord Peldor"...
Tanya:  Feh.

  The fellow seated them, pulling Tanya's chair out for her, and
then vanished.  Within moments, a well-dressed waiter appeared,
brandishing a bottle of white wine.

waiter:  Celenian 476, from Enstad...
Peldor:  (nods almost imperceptibly as the man fills their glasses)
Tanya:  (a better judge of wine than Peldor, she waits until the
  waiter is gone before speaking)  476?!?  A century old...are you
  trying to impress me by spending money?
Peldor:  (grins)  I thought I'd impressed you years ago.
Tanya:  (half-smiles)  True.  Still...
Peldor:  I'm actually trying to impress you by choosing good wine.
Tanya:  I see.
Peldor:  (shrugs)  What good is being a wealthy fellow if you
  don't live it up?
Tanya:  So, am I just something for you to flaunt, as you flaunt
  your money here?  (she pretends to pout)
Peldor:  You're no plaything or bauble to display.  I care for you
  dearly, and that's why I've brought you here tonight...
Tanya:  (leans forward in her chair)
Peldor:  After all, I could have brought Bosco!  But, having money
  to spend is nice, if you can afford to do so.  And you're not
  fooling me:  you enjoy this wine.
Tanya:  (subsides back into her chair, and sips the wine again to
  hide her disappointment)  Indeed I do.  This is very good.
Peldor:  Glad you like it.

  Shortly, they ordered, selecting a variety of fine food.  The
salad was from the yards of Veluna, a mix of young romaine lettuce
leaves, palm hearts, and plum tomatoes, tossed with a light cumen
vinaigrette.  After this came a tasty white bean and garlic soup
with just a hint of fennel.  The third course was a sweet onion
tart in a buttery flaky pastry, baked such that the onions were a
swirl of dark amber glazes, and the crust a soft golden brown.

Tanya:  Mmm.  This resembles something that Leonardo would cook.
Peldor:  (thoughtfully)  Maybe he's moonlighting...
Tanya:  (exchanges looks with Peldor)
both:  Naaah.

  For the main course, Tanya had smoked pheasant with grapes and
wine cream sauce served on a bed of tiny pasta dotswith a side dish
of asparagus and eggplant tossed with walnut oil and grilled over
an open flame.  Peldor ordered a salmon fillet, poached in a leek,
sage and wine stock and served with an asparagus yogurt sauce.  Its
side dish was an assortment of baby white potatoes baked with butter,
garlic, lemon-juice, and thyme.
  Needless to say, these fine foods were tasty indeed, and both
diners had to pace themselves.  This was easy enough, as they had
all sorts of things they could talk about.

Tanya:  (notices something)  What's that scrape on your face?
Peldor:  Eh?
Tanya:  Cut yourself shaving?
Peldor:  Must have...it's rough to have a heavy growth like this.
Tanya:  You're telling me!

  After the main course came the desserts:  Tanya had a slice of
chocolate creme pie, topped with a rich cherry sauce, while Peldor
tried a sugar-sprinkled raspberry pastry, topped by a spoonful of
rare, Ulekian red honey.

waiter:  Here you are, madam.
Tanya:  Oh, that looks splendid!
waiter:  And sir...
Peldor:  Thank you.

  It was now, as they began to savor their desserts, that Peldor
finally made his move.

Peldor:  Oh, I've been thinking...
Tanya:  (stops chewing her food, in mid-bite)  Mmm?
Peldor:  Well...I've got a really important question to ask you.
Tanya:  (quickly swallows her food, that she might talk)  Oh?
Peldor:  It's something I've been thinking about for a while,
  but now more than ever, I think the time is right.
Tanya:  Hmm.  (she forces herself not to smile)  So, what's the
  question?
Peldor:  As you know, we've been living in the Green Dragon for
  a long time now...years.
Tanya:  (nods, taking another bite of her dessert)
Peldor:  And this is getting kinda old.  So...
Tanya:  Mmm-hm?
Peldor:  ...I was wondering what you'd think about selling the
  Green Dragon, and striking out on our own.
Tanya:  (nearly chokes on her food)
Peldor:  (smiles, seemingly oblivious to her reaction)  We could
  take the money and invest it...or store it, and wander the world,
  having adventures.
Tanya:  (tries to hide her disappointment)  Uh...what about the job
  you do for Org?
Peldor:  Oh, that?  Well...he'd be able to find another to do that.
Tanya:  Oh.
Peldor:  It's really the most sensible decision.
Tanya:  I- I'm not so sure...
Peldor:  Oh, come now.
Tanya:  (still shocked)  Um, I don't quite know what to say.
Peldor:  (appearing to notice her reaction for the first time, he
  sounds surprised)  You look flabbergasted!  What did you think I
  wanted to talk to you about?
Tanya:  (takes another bite of her dessert, chewing the suddenly-
  tasteless pie despondently)
Peldor:  Positively flabbergasted.  (shakes his head)  Oh, by the
  way, will you marry me?
Tanya:  (for the second time tonight, she nearly chokes on her
  food)  Glmph!
Peldor:  No hurry to answer that question.  (he produces, from
  nowhere, a ring - a pale golden band topped with a red-tinged
  diamond)  But I was thinking:  I happen to have tracked down
  this thing today, and I don't have any other use for, so...I
  suppose we could call it an engagement ring...?
Tanya:  (sputtering and choking)  Wh- what?!?
Peldor:  (smiling broadly)  Calm down, please.  You're making me
  nervous.  Here, have a drink.
Tanya:  (finally able to speak)  You-  you _rogue_!
Peldor:  I thought you knew that...(he stands, trots halfway around
  the table, and kneels, proffering the ring)  Have you an answer,
  fair lass?
Tanya:  (considers slapping him, but instead breaks out in a wide
  smile)  You crazy, deranged fool...yes.  Yes!  Gladly!

  There was much rejoicing, as various diners clapped and cheered
for the happy couple.  For Peldor's part, he merely slipped the
ring onto her finger, then stood and bowed.

Peldor:  Methinks we should hit the road, m'dear - I'm in the
  mood for some dancing!



  The rest of the night was eventful, though at least parts of
it were nobody else's business.  Suffice it to say that a good
time was had by both, and late the next morning, they broke the
good news to anyone who was around to hear it...

Lyra:  That's _wonderful_ news!
Alindyar:  Indeed.
Lyra:  (she examines the engagement ring)  Impressive.
Tanya:  (happily)  Isn't it?
Bosco:  Married?  (he begins dancing around jubilantly)  Married!
  Husband and wife!
Groucho:  (watches his master, confused)
Harpo:  (likewise)
Chico:  (begins dancing as well, perhaps emulating Bosco)
Zeppo:  (oblivious to Bosco's chaos, he instead stalks Harpo)
Peldor:  (silently notes what a fine job Bosco and Alindyar are
  doing of feigning surprise)
Bosco:  We'll have to tell Ged and Mongo and those, when they
  return.
Lyra:  They'll be back, but for now...(she claps, happier than
  ever)  So when is the wedding?
Tanya:  Between Wealsun and Reaping...during the Richfestival.
Alindyar:  Ah...Midsummer.
Peldor:  It's our favorite time of year anyhow, so we decided
  to make it even more special.
Bosco:  Hey, what am I gonna wear?  (he stops prancing about,
  coming to rest on the edge of the bar, where he sits, rubbing
  his perpetually hairless chin)  Hmmmmmm.
Lyra:  So you won't beat Nenya and Deryck to the punch.
Peldor:  Punch?
Tanya:  (punches him playfully)  Actually, we're not concerned
  with being the first...just the happiest.  (she eyes the ring
  again)
Peldor:  Won't be a problem, milady.
Tanya:  It's a good thing you were joking about selling the inn
  to Bosco.
Peldor:  Yep, a comical joke, that.
Bosco:  Huh?!?
Tanya:  Heh.

  Tanya hugged Peldor, Lyra hugged Alindyar, Bosco still thought
about his wardrobe, and all were happy.  Just more than a week
later, when Ged, Arnold, Mongo, and Gorin came back to town, they
too shared in the good news.  It seemed as if nothing could go
wrong, not for anybody.





next:      Rillen, Songa, and friends
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:     Those of you who are married, tell me how I did.  It's
  kinda funny - just this past weekend, I attended the wedding of
  two friends from Atlanta.  They, too, had lived together for four
  years before finally making it official.  Don't get me wrong - I
  think this is great.  People need to know they've found the right
  one before getting married.  This, I think, would cut the divorce
  rate significantly.
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