Chapter #375

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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 1995 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:                                                       +
+                                                                   +
+  Rillen       17th level human monk                          (N)  +
+  Songa        13th level female human huntress               (N)  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Date:        8/7/575 C.Y. (Common Year)                          +
+  Time:        morning                                             +
+  Place:       the far reaches of the Frost Barbarian icelands     +
+  Climate:     cold and clear                                      +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "That's the heart of it.  Now begin in the middle, and later     +
+   learn the beginning; the end will take care of itself."         +
+     - "'Repent Harlequin!', said the Ticktockman", Harlan Ellison +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                    CCCLXXV.  A Fresh Start





  A little over a month ago, Rillen ventured to the frozen north
to reunite with the barbarian huntress Songa.  Happily, his quest
was successful, and since returning to the remote village, he has
kept himself busy indeed...

Rillen:  (chopping firewood, outside Songa's cabin)
Songa:  (approaches)  What are you-  ah.
Rillen:  (pauses in his exertions)  Just keeping busy.

  A sheen of sweat covered the big warrior's face and exposed arms.
Despite the season, the weather was still cold - almost freezing -
and both he and Songa wore thick furs, well-padded boots, and the
like.  Rillen had removed the bulky outer layers from his torso,
though, to better facilitate the mighty swings of the huge axe he
was using.

Rillen:  (places another thick log atop the splitting block, aims
  the axe, and splits the log with a single blow)  Hai!
Songa:  (cannily)  Looking good.
Rillen:  (unsure whether she's talking about him or his woodcutting)
  Yes, well...this is fun...and good exercise besides.
Songa:  (nods)  I, myself, enjoy it too.
Rillen:  (eyes the split wood as he tosses it into a pile)  It's
  also a good coordination drill.
Songa:  Maybe you should learn the battleaxe.  You wield it handily
  enough.
Rillen:  (shakes his head)  No.  It's an ill-balanced weapon, not
  at all like a quarterstaff.
Songa:  You think so?
Rillen:  Why not?  It's true.
Songa:  Why not a sword, then?  Swords are well-balanced, yet I've
  never seen you even lift one.
Rillen:  (shakes his head again)  Never.  A sword would be...(he
  adopts a strange, faraway expression)  No.  I...cannot.
Songa:  (shrugs)  To each their own, I guess.
Rillen:  (sets up another log)  Yes.

  It had been an interesting month, to be sure.  Rillen had been
drawn back here not just for Songa, but also for the barbarians'
way of life.  Simplicity - that was the underlying element of life
in the distant, isolated north.  The many rules of conventional
civilization didn't apply here; there was no political intrigue,
no people backstabbing other people to gain money or power.  No,
in the lands of the barbarians, everyone in a particular dwelling
place had to work together for the greater good of all.  There
was neither the time nor place for duplicity or mad schemes; every
man, woman, and child had his or her place in the overall pattern
of things.  Those who farmed traded with those who hunted.  Those
who skinned sold their finished wares to those who carved tools
from bone.  The village was a single, harmonious entity, self-
contained and free of the myriad problems of "civilized" cities
and lands.
  Although there were a number of hunters in the village, Songa
was by far the best - something Rillen hadn't quite understood
until he'd come here.  She got a great deal of respect from the
other villagers, the latter often approaching her for advice.
Whether they wanted to know the best place to catch a fat trout,
or the ideal way in which to set a trap, Songa always had the
answer.  Not only was she highly competent, she was independent.
Rillen found this unusual, almost uncomfortable - for despite
his life's wanderings, it had been his experience that men were
supposed to protect and care for women.  Songa pretty much turned
this way of thinking on its ear.
  Yes, few men could fail to be intimidated by the huntress.  For
one thing, she towered over almost all of them, at six feet, four
inches.  She was muscular and lean, yet also agile, her reflexes
honed by years among the wilderness.  She had let her light brown
hair grow well past her shoulders, and when those flowing tresses
weren't bound in a short thong (which was often) they resembled
the mane of some wild beast.
  As for Songa, she was intimidated by no one, not man, woman,
or beast.  At best, one could hope to be considered an equal, as
Rillen and a few others were.  Songa wasn't one to let others
fight her battles for her, and her courage was greater than most
seasoned warriors could ever hope to attain.  Yet, this didn't
make her a cold, harsh woman, as some might have assumed.  No,
an untamed, naturally tough woman such as Songa had the same
basic needs as everyone else.  And finally, in Rillen, she had
found someone who was not only an accomplished warrior, but also
someone she genuinely cared for.

Songa:  (taps Rillen on the head)  What are you dreaming about?
Rillen:  Eh?  (he collects his thoughts)  Nothing...
Songa:  (playfully)  Right.
Rillen:  Nothing except how much I like it up here.  Away from
  all the chaos...the lies...the fighting...
Songa:  It does sound bad, from your stories.
Rillen:  It is bad.  Only here can I truly be free of all that,
  and come to see what really matters to me.
Songa:  (embraces him from behind, and together they watch the
  sun rise, to the east)

  Shortly, Songa went away to gather breakfast, leaving Rillen
to finish chopping his wood.  As he progressed, mechanically
reducing thick, tough logs to smaller fragments, the warrior's
thoughts drifted once more.  He thought of Songa's initial
challenge, by which Rillen had to best her in weaponless combat.
Now _that_ had been a brawl!  At the outset of the contest, he
had resolved to avoid using any of the various kicks, punches,
and holds he had mastered.  However, after the first two times
he was hurled to the rocky ground, Rillen had been forced to
change his approach.
  It had been a private match, this, fought not amongst the
barbarians but rather on a distant plain, several hours' march
from the town.  Rillen had a theory that this was because Songa
expected him to win - but if so, there was no telling during
the fight!  Songa had the grace and agility of a mountain cat,
and it was all Rillen could do to keep from being pinned and
held.  Still, he was larger and stronger than Songa, and just
about as quick, and eventually, as she tired, he had managed
to get her arms pinned behind her back.  No easy win, though,
for she had somehow slipped free, reversing the hold, tugging
at his arms with enough force to snap a lesser man's shoulders
from their sockets.  Yet, Rillen broke free, thanks to strength
and experience, and moments later, he had the warrior-woman in
a pin which even a snake would have been hard-pressed to slip
free of...

Rillen:  (breathing hard, and sweating profusely)  Enough?
Songa:  (tries to pull an arm free)  Ungh...(she next tries
  to get a leg around, to kick his head)  Urgh...
Rillen:  Come, now.
Songa:  (strains until veins are visible at her temples, but
  to no avail)  Argh!
Rillen:  (cocks his head)
Songa:  (goes limp, finally, her breath coming in gasps)  Ah!
  You have won!
Rillen:  (keeps her pinned)  You're sure, now?
Songa:  Yes...
Rillen:  (relaxes his grip)  Whew.

  Things had moved swiftly from that point (well, more swiftly
than the couple returned to the village.)  Like all other facets
of the barbarians' life, their weddings were simple, devoid of
unnecessary trappings and ceremonies.  Indeed, civilized people
wouldn't even have considered the two wed, but Rillen and Songa
were bound by ties that were actually much stronger than those
of conventional marriages.  The wedding had taken place around
a roaring bonfire, and was accompanied by a feast, some dancing,
and no little amount of fine drink.  A tribal shaman, Hrothgrar
by name, had united the happy couple in the primitive yet somehow
solemn rites of the Frost Barbarians.  And that, as they said,
was that.
  Actually, there _was_ more.  As was the local custom, the two
newlyweds went away for a time, into the frozen grasslands to
the north, to hunt and camp together in solitude.  It was here
that Songa began teaching Rillen valuable woodlore and survival
skills.  He learned which plants, herbs, and barks one could
safely digest, and which were harmful.  This knowledge had been
passed down through the generations, accumulated by trial-and-
error, and was now Songa's right to bestow upon her mate, for
the two were expected to share everything.  She showed him how
to use certain naturally-occurring flora to hasten the healing
of wounds, either by direct application or by cooking as broth.
He found that most vegetation that non-insect animals ate wasn't
hazardous to people.
  Songa explained to Rillen that plants used brightly-colored
berries for two primary purposes:  to attract creatures to come
and eat them (thereby spreading the seeds via their excrement)
and to warn creatures away from eating them (the fruit was
there to act as food for the seeds, not to entice animals to
transport them.)  Healthy animals only ate the safe berries,
although different animals had different "safe" berries.
  Rillen learned about hunting and killing animals for meat, by
traps, spears, and snares.  He learned to avoid carrion, unless
it was freshly-killed, and by the claws or teeth of a predator
at that.  Of course, if one was desperate, one could cook the
meat until it was charred black, and probably get by with no
more than a churning stomach.  Songa taught him to avoid eating
animals that in turn ate dung, feces, or carrion, as they would
probably taste bad and not be the safest choice of prey.  And
of course, animals acting ill or unusual were to be avoided, as
they could be diseased or otherwise contaminated.
  Songa explained to Rillen that, if one was running low on food,
it was possible to prolong the supply by adding undigestible
roughage, such as grasses or leaves.  These additives didn't
have much nutritional value per se, but they helped make one
feel less hungry when rations were short, and kept things moving
through the system.  As far as water was concerned, good sources
included glacial streams (where they leave the ice) and springs
(water weeping directly from the rock or pooling up from under-
ground.)  Rillen learned that when forced to drink from a stream,
clear water and a gravel bed were good signs; it was wise to move
a distance upstream first, to check for anything unpleasant that
might be in the water.  The northern lands were perpetually
heavily snowed, and Songa taught Rillen how to melt clean snow
in various ways.  Eating snow was a stupid idea, as it caused
one's body temperature to drop from the inside - a sure and slow
killer.
  There were other lessons, of course:  travel over snow and ice,
fire-building, avoiding the sun's glare, scaling rocky cliffs,
navigating by sun and stars, and more.  One of the most important
lessons, Songa told him, was simply to think clearly.

Songa:  (points to her head)  _This_ is your greatest tool.  If
  you use it, everything else comes a lot easier.
Rillen:  Just like in the martial arts...
Songa:  I suppose so.  Knowing where you are, and what's going
  on around you, will save you from harm, more often than not.
Rillen:  Ah.
Songa:  That's why you have to keep track of where you marched,
  and where you've passed.  Landmarks.  The position of tracks
  and mountains and even the sun and stars.  As you go, you've
  got to keep scouting for campsites and natural shelters.  Then,
  if you need one, you've always got one to fall back on.
Rillen:  (nods)

  Rillen, of course, showed Songa much of the ways of combat.
Despite her years, she had fought with little else besides a
spear and a longbow.  Of course, many strong men from the south
wouldn't have been able to fully draw her longbow, but that was
beside the point.  Rillen showed her the fundamentals of the
quarterstaff (which she wasn't too interested in) and unarmed
combat (which she was.)  Much like Rillen, Songa was of above-
average height, weight, and strength.  Thus, many of the same
tricks he knew and used worked for her too.  As well, the
huntress was a quick study, and had great natural agility and
reflexes.  She learned everything:  throws, holds, escapes,
stretching, even some kicks.  After only a week of this, Rillen
began to wonder if he could still best Songa in unarmed combat.
  Truly, they complemented one another:  two large, strong,
lean warriors, more at home in the remote wilderness than in
cities, preferring basic, simple things to complicated ones.
Both enjoyed pushing themselves to their bodies' limits, and
beyond.  And they enjoyed one another's company as well - a
murmured, fireside conversation...a foot race along the snow-
covered plains...a hunt with others from the village.  Rillen
was truly at peace, and he began to wonder if he might have
been born in a village such as this.  This lifestyle seemed
to be in his blood, there was no denying that.





next:      Helgate
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:     Many thanks to Leonard Bottleman, who greatly augmented
  my wilderness research with his knowledge.  For a change, I
  wasn't in the mood to write a huge story for a multiple of 25.
  I did know that I had to give you a dose of Rillen, though, so
  here we are.
    And there we go.  Next up is a dose of Belphanior and his
  various lethal friends, but first, here's some assorted fanmail:





hey thomas,

i like the way gorin is steady and dependable even without being
a huge power-house.  to me, he's the most like a real person.
he doesn't rely on magic or other worldly abilities to succeed.
almost like rillen but without the knowledge that he's got a
secret fighting style that can do amazing things when needed.
no.  gorin is definitely unique and i like that.

i like the way he had those quite talks with nenya and the way he
hangs with bosco on occasion but isn't really irked with him.  the
way he says "this is yod ironbeard, a friend of mongo." in which
yod replies "and of you..." as if gorin doesn't really believe or
expect it to be true.  gorin is truly a cool
character.

matt



hey thomas,

is victoria actually an alu-fiend or succubus?  sent to tempt
belphanior and maybe even to stir up trouble to set the stage and
get things rolling to help the eye take him over?

four things of note:

1) she's violent and deadly.

2) after the first night she had disappeared without any trace, even
   eduardo had no clue of her whereabouts, and i find that hard to
   believe unless magic was involved...

3) nerg and his men's final attack was preceded with the guys in the
   doorway saying "there he is ... just like she said."  and the
   candice closet could have been planted evidence by a scrupulous
   victoria, who in fact controlled nerg...

4) when belphanior teleported into candice's room and then looked at
   her body, he noticed something on the wall (spotted by the eye)
   and he picked it off. we didn't get to see what it was, maybe it
   was a long dark hair...

if so, then it'll be harder than ever for belphanior to really find
and decide he wants a love interest...

have fun,

matt h.



[sorry this got so long, but hey, this is praise for over 100 episodes!]

Okay!  I *finally* caught up through 360 (I was away for some time and
just read 250-360 over the last 2 weeks).  I'm going by the archives...
so if you're already way ahead of 360, take these for whatever they're
worth.

First, I must say the stories are still great, and improving all the
time.  I was very aware of this, reading so many stories in such a
short time, and it's clear you're adding new styles to your repertoire.
Certainly, you've had more room to work since the Alternate-Oerth
series, when you went into a purely creative mode, but I also sense
conscious effort on your part to experiment and try new writing
approaches and new themes.  Good work.

This leads me to the obvious...Belphanior...I'm glad you addressed the
whole Eye issue, and I see from the previous fan mail that you took a
lot of heat for not making him "evil" enough or not making the Eye
sufficiently "artifact-like" and so on.  While I must say that I agree
with those criticisms, I *also* agree with your decision to ignore most
of them [:-)].  Since this is no longer a simple recounting of gaming
sessions, there's no reason to adhere to the AD&D system.  You chucked
that whenever it gets in the way of your story, and that's great.

I also like the decision to keep Blackrazor around for now (though I
had expected the party to take more of a hard line on that score: "we
saved you from the eye and we don't want to have to save you from the
sword, so hand it over or we knock you senseless again and drop it in
the Hellfurnaces") because it makes for more good stories -- I doubted
B would change all in a day, and of course, he didn't, but by all
appearance, BR is *more* powerful and more Evil than the Eye; B's not
out of the woods yet.  Brilliant!  I look forward to learning more.

All this is from the perspective of someone who was never much of a
Belphanior fan (I am an Otto fan, though).  Frankly, I he comes off
to me as a bit inept.  "!?" you say?  Yes I know it sounds strange, but
he's got more powers and toys than any 3 other adventurers combined,
but he never seems to mix them to maximum effect.  He keeps getting
into these sword fights with large groups...and *stays*.  I'd expect
him to teleport out at once, go invisible, sneak back, cloudkill the
lot of them, and backstab the leader.  Maybe you're building a plot-
line here...influences of Blackrazor (which probably loves mass sword
fights), so I'll just have to wait and see.

I was thinking of asking for more Ged episodes, but I see you have
those coming, and I'm quite happy.  The whole "humbling" plotline was
masterful.  I always had a slightly different view of how Boccob
operated, which is to say that he never interacted with his clerics
at all, except for spells.  But again, the story takes precedence!  I
loved it.  And even more, I like seeing him doing magical research.
He should be living and breathing to make new magic: new items, new
spells, new books of magic lore.  The only thing that puzzles me is
why, with a 20 int and 20 wis, Boccob has to tell him what quests to
go on?  I think it reasonable that he should already know, or be
"inventing" new quests to spread magic to the people.

Wonderful!

Jim



Having read every single episode from #1 up to #360 over the last month
I can only say: "I've become an adventurerholic!" (How I passed those
two exams is nothing short of a miracle!)

"Ged" means "goat" in Danish!

Thanks for the Mardi Gras-stories (both the real thing and the Earth
adventure). Being a European, I'd never heard about Mardi Gras before.

How come the adventurers (almost) never have any language-problems?
Surely the common tongue is not spoken everywhere and elven and
dwarvish only get you so far among humans. It could be fun if the
adventurers got in trouble (as in nearly killed :) because they
misunderstood something or because they didn't know the local culture.
Think of killing a cow in India! (Yeah, I'm Danish, I live in Germany
less that two miles from both Holland and Belgium, and I write this
e-mail in English. We're talking major language confusion here!)


What I would like:

 - an underwater adventure (or any adventure in a foreign environment)

 - more of the Underdark (the drow must be really pissed after the
   tarrasque incident)

 - the comeback of the whispy thing

 - to see episode #500

 - the adventurers without magic (as in one of their first adventures --
   the slavers?)

 - a band of non-guild thieves trying to make a living in Greyhawk (and
   maybe Peldor (and Bosco?) would have to infiltrate them... You could
   make it look like Peldor and Bosco have been "bought" only to reveal
   the truth to the new band (and the readers :) a few episodes later.)

Poul



Hi Thomas
I've just got back from my Easter vacations and have caught up with
events while I was away, so here's my comments on the whole lot. It
might seem a bit bitty as I just made notes as I read them, so they
will be in approximately chronological order. I don't know what I'm
gonna do when I graduate - either get a net connection just so I can
read your stories or get a connected friend to download them. It'd be
simplest if I could buy them but I don't think you could get a
publisher (save TSR) for such a minority interest story, though
you're writing skills are, I think now sufficient that you could turn
professional. Anyway, on with the comments:-)

1) Re: writing speeds and the 400 mark - remember quality, not
quantity. If you need to take a break or explore other directions
(such as how Peyote got to be 12th level - hint,hint), that's fine.
2) Don't forget to tell us who did kill Candice, and what clue B.
spotted and where he was going when the eye possessed him...
3) Good Tactics on Alindyars part when attacking B. - Darkness and
Feeblemind. Ged should have used his Power Word Stun as well. I
realised B. was too outnumbered and unprepared for him to have a
chance, so you didn't need the footnote.
4) When the Eye ripped itself out of B.'s head, and everyone stood
there gawping, I was yelling 'Disintegrate it! Quick!'...too slow.
5) B. really needs to get a permanent protection from normal
missiles, as this is how he normally takes most of his damage, and
especially since Charlie likes throwing daggers and Otto has his
crossbow (not that I'm saying they're untrustworthy -sarcasm mode
off).
6) I'm also suspicious of Victoria - in fact I thought she was the
person Orcus was referring to. Could we have her class and level
please, and likewise for Kyros and Herbert.
7) Good battle with the demons, but I'm ready to start seeing a
different sort of plot now, rather than revenge and destruction. Ever
read the new Planescape stuff from TSR? I'd love to see the
adventurers start wandering the planes, maybe visiting Sigil.
8) Bring back Rillen but keep Songa alive. kids would be good, since
a humans reproductive cycle is a lot quicker than drow (i.e. Lyra is
not likely to get pregnant for a while yet). Let's see Rillen become
responsible for the safety of the village and start protecting
it...maybe teaching the villagers the theories of his order and so
keeping his order's heritage from dying out.
9) 350 - 'Ganja Mountains'- hmmm. Is that word just British slang or
is it used in the US as well? The characterisations of Gorin and
Mongo were very funny and the Gold Dragon a good twist. All in all,
it was an amusing story but not really my cup of tea. I tend to get
irritated with Bosco - he's so egotistically narcisstic and wrapped
up in his own thoughts. Even most children will have more awareness
of what others think than he does.
10) It's interesting how many neutral and CN members of the party
there are...while this may reflect the fact that you don't like
alignments, it does mean that we don't often see much altruism and
heroism, making Rillen, Ged and Mongo important purely for that, as
well as for other reasons.
11) Will we ever find out about Peldor's past? What if some person
turned up (Peldor is pretty famous now) and insisted that s/he was
related to Peldor. Are they really related to him and is there some
ulterior motive for him/her showing up now?
12) 352 - Good Speech Tanya! My predicted response 'I appreciate what
you did but that doesn't give you the right to decide how I should
run my life'. Pretty close:-)
13) maybe if B. does decide to get rid of Blackrazor he could go on
an epic quest to find out how to destroy it rather than let it fall
into the wrong hands. I don't really want him to lose Blackrazor but
if it is for the sake of a good story...
14) Since Blackrazor has become so important, I'd really like a
flashback detailing how he obtained it, even if it's purely fictional
and not gleaned from your vague memories of the actual adventure.
15) I don't want B. to remain one-eyed. Maybe he should find some
suitably chaotic religion to help him decide on a moral code for the
rest of his life. Regardless of Victoria's good points, B.'s not the
type to settle down at least not till he's relatively old for a
half-elf.
16) Re: Ged and Nenya's discussion, Ged's religion should be
supporting him with these questions. Maybe more emphasis on the
comfort of Boccob. Note that you have indeed drawn more attention to
Boccob, with 357. Well Done.
17) the miniaturization story was a splendid idea and a very
enjoyable story. Now he's got the ring, let's see Peldor pop the
question! (rather than having it 'off-camera').
18) Swearing seems to have been cut down, especially in the battle
scenes. Since 'shit' has appeared in 359 I assume it's not because of
this American censorship bill.
19) I like the way only the good guys are accompanying Ged.
20) Interesting cruise story - glad you had a good time.
21) is a forest elf what I would call a wood elf, or does Greyhawk
have both types?
22) Classes and levels of Ged's allies please!
23 Let's see plenty of the paladin! See point 10)



Hiya you may not remember me, but I followed your stories from around
30 on.  I used to be on the mailing list while I was in college, but
that was a while ago. I really like how your stories have been going
and try and keep up when I can.  I know that you get dozens of ideas
for plot lines, but I have a couple of questions for you:
1. Peldor still does not know about his past and that may come back to
him or something ? (Asking)
2. Since may be creating a new party to start going with the older
adventurers, as they settle down, do research , etc. Is it possible
that someone's younger brother or nephew may come from the depths of
the UnderDark to find their relative, especially if they find Drow
life not to their liking. A fighter/thief raised as an assassin would
be cool, but that is your world.

I think I see where you are going with the stories and I like them a
lot.

Brian D



Thought I would email you to let you know how much I have enjoyed the
Adventurers series.  I first found it on a CD ROM called "GIGA GAMES"
which basically had a gig of various stuff from the the web.  After
finding your stories, I quickly got "into" them and quickly read them
all (only stories 1 to 107 were there).  I was desperate to find the
rest of the stories somehow.

After giving up, almost 2 years ago, I got a new job with AMP, Inc.
in Feb. 95 and my own internet connection about 3 months ago.  I
searched every way possible and couldn't find the Adventurers.  I was
heartbroken.  I finally found a site for a series called Navarro and
had the bright idea to just back up one directory level..........and
there it was.......a directory called adventurers.

I was elated and overwhelmed when I saw about 260 stories in this
site.  Some checking found your home page and kshobaki's home page.
I now have downloaded all stories up to 359, I think, with the
exception of 246.  I couldn't pull this story up.

Anyway, great job!  Keep it up.  I love all of the characters.

Curtis



Thomas,

It has been a LONG time since I've written you.  I just got caught
up on reading through your last stories.  I read 237-270 at work
yesterday and today, (dont tell anyone <grin>).

I have to say that I am truly impressed at how much improved you
have become in your writing style since the very beginning soooo
long ago <g>.  When people ask me who some of my favorite authors
are, I say R.A. Salvatore, Frank Herbert, Anne Rice, Anne McAfferey,
Piers Anthony, AND THOMAS MILLER. (not in that particular order)
Believe me my friend you have got what it takes.  I absolutely love
sitting down to read these stories.  And once I start I cant stop
until my eyes hurt and I've got a headache.

You really have matured in your writing (not just the thing about
the more "mature" themes)... but the overall descriptions, verbage,
plots, morals, and characters... I could go one but I wont.

I think I have matured as a reader as well... I pick up on many more
subtle artistic devices now in my reading... one such device I've
particularly enjoyed in the Adventurers is the transitions from the
narrator describing the scene to the dialog... the narrator describes
something then the character(s) involved almost seem the comment on
what the narrator just said... Its beautiful man...

Recently I particularly enjoyed reading about your adventures in New
Orleans and the Caribbean.  It drew us a very "interesting" <grin>
picture of yourself.  So few writers are willing to do that.

Ok... I'll stop blabbering now... on an ending note:

--I absolutely LOVED story 350.

or two:

--If I might make a suggestion.  Regarding Fan Mail.  Personally I
like reading them... but I would rather see it handled slightly
different.  Instead of tacking it on the end of a story, send a
second e-mail with the fan mail in it... the Subject Line could
read "Adventurers FM ###-###" where ### are the episodes covered.
That way those who dont like or dont read the FM can just skip it
entirely and those who do like reading FM can still do so...

Thank you,

Mark





TM>  Here's some feedback on Ged & Mongo's latest adventure:



Wow!  2 stories in one day!  Barely had time to read the first
one, and here's the next!

I hope you're not overextending yourself with this, but I'm sure
not complaining!  I'm truly curious about this new adventure
(and I like the new golem that didn't even seem to notice Mongo's
hammer!)... not having done much ad&d, I have no idea what this
castle might be, nor what it holds, but you sure have wetted my
appetite.   Your drawings really help a lot to get a feel for how
things look.

Keep up the good work!

a bigger fan than ever.

-Sofus



Drexel and Eyer are terrific NPC's, a great duo to add to Mongo
and Ged.  I notice that you call Eyer a fighter/acrobat, yet he
seems to function much like a Ranger with respect to navigation/
woodland skills/traps/etc....

As always, the Adventurers is a bright spot in my week.  Looking
forward to the Peldor/Tanya plot line.....

Miq



I like the thoughts on Mongo, that seems on par to me.  But alas,
my main reason for mailing you is the criticisms.

Eli and his cohorts were woefully unprepared for the attack, IMHO.
They had plenty of time to prepare themselves, at the very least
all of them should've had a spell in preparation to attack the
party.  Stoneskins, mirror images, invisibility, minor (or major
depending how powerful they are) globe of invulnerability, summon
elemental, all spells that could've been cast before the party
arrived.  Elementals could've been summoned by then even.

But, of course, I have to compliment you on character introduction.
Every new character seems to breathe life of their own..

Gabriel



TM>  Something that most people aren't understanding is that Eli's
TM>  5 magi students were weak:  5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st level.
TM>  About the only good spell any of them had was the fireball.
TM>  Admittedly, I could have given them better levels and spells,
TM>  but I was going with the module at that point, for some reason.
TM>    Eli himself wasn't that powerful (12th level) plus he cast
TM>  several of his better spells earlier that day.
TM>    The best thing to do might have been to have the foot soldiers
TM>  in the 3rd level set up better ambushes.
TM>    Also, the bad guys in the dungeon didn't really have _that_
TM>  long to prepare...maybe an hour at most...
TM>    Glad you liked the new characters though.  Another will debut
TM>  in episode #375.



  Ask Mongo's player....would he put away his hammer?  Wield a long-
sword for a while? To maintain his anonymity?

  As quoted from the comment at the end of the last story:

"A group with young dwarf warriors he can train and develop.
If he is too famous, maybe he'd start up a group under a fake name."

Perhaps Mongo tries to join several groups, maybe his name carries
too much weight, perhaps people find him "intrusive or presumptious"
to the point where it is not _easy_ for him to join or start a group.
Maybe, it's not the risk..., but the ADVENTURE that's exciting and
Mongo remembers the first adventures, killing 10 orcs and quickly
running to town for healing...finding a single ogre and fearing the
single blow...what ever happened to the simple life?  :]

Patrick



Looks good.  Admittedly too soft for the party, but that happens.

Would have certainly been tougher without heavy-hitters like Mongo
and Drexel.

Rance
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





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