Chapter #393

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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:                                                       +
+                                                                   +
+  Otto         8th/9th level dwarven fighter/thief            (CN) +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Date:        4/4/576 C.Y. (Common Year)                          +
+  Time:        several hours past midnight                         +
+  Place:       the Free City of Greyhawk                           +
+  Climate:     chilly                                              +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "What's that _smell_?                                            +
+  "Oh, that would be me.  I've been swimming in raw sewage.  I     +
+   _love_ it!"                                                     +
+                        - Lt. Frank Drebin, _The Naked Gun 2 1/2_  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                   CCCXCIII.  Death Warrant





  After he and Peldor escaped from the sewers, Otto was left behind
while the master thief went to confront Org Nenshen...

Otto:  (standing alone in the dark dining-hall of the Green Dragon
  Inn)  Damn.

  The dwarf was more than a little upset; he'd wanted a piece of
whoever set them up.  Peldor had insisted on Otto staying behind,
though, both because he thought he had a better chance on his own
and because he wanted someone around who knew what was going on,
in case he didn't make it back.
  To Otto, of course, this was pure rubbish; however, Tanya was
somehow involved, and for that reason only, Otto had respected
Peldor's wishes.

Otto:  (leaves the inn, locking the front door behind him)

  The dour dwarf wasn't one to mutter much to himself, so while he
walked away from the inn, he amused himself by thinking of all the
things he would do to whoever orchestrated the sewer fiasco.  By
the time he walked back out into Greyhawk's moonlit streets, Otto
knew that he'd made a mistake.  Or more accurately, Peldor had, and
Otto had merely failed to catch it.  Peldor had told him to seek
the drow at their home, but Otto had no idea where this place was!
  A trivial error, overlooked at the time of its occurrence due to
the pressure of the situation, but yet a potentially costly blunder.
Cursing in several languages, Otto pondered his possible courses of
action as he walked down the street.  In the daytime, he could have
gone to the city governmental offices, and eventually located the
residence of Alindyar and Lyra.  Since it was the middle of the
night, however, this was not an option.  Another possibility would
be to follow Peldor's course, and go to the thieves' guildhall.
Otto frowned, though, for this was a bad idea even under the best
of circumstances.  He was not registered with Greyhawk's guild of
thieves, and the possibility still existed that Org Nenshen, whom
Peldor had gone to see, was somehow involved.  If that was indeed
the case, Otto thought to himself, he'd end up in a very small room
with no doors and no windows.
  What, then?  Mongo and Belphanior were either dead or trapped in
the sewers beneath Greyhawk.  Ged was a possibility, but his castle
was a half-day's ride to the west.  Tanya was missing, and Gorin,
though probably in the city, didn't have the sort of talents and
power Otto figured he'd need to take care of things.  Years ago,
Otto had had contacts in this city, but he'd been away for too long.
If anyone he knew was still around, they probably wouldn't be much
help.
  No, the best alternative was to somehow find out where Alindyar
and Lyra lived, and enlist their aid.  Stopping at a streetcorner,
Otto mentally reviewed what he knew of the city's layout.  The drow
seemed to be fairly upscale folks; therefore their home, whatever
it might look like, was bound to be in the High Quarter.  Heading
that way, the dwarf took heart, for there might be a chance of
finding them after all!

Otto:  (breezes past a streetcorner)
woman:  Heyyy, baby, lookin' for some action?
Otto:  Get lost.  (he storms by)
woman:  (yells after him angrily)  No need to be rude!

  The dwarf used the Garden Gate, which was open day and night save
during war or siege, and entered the High Quarter.  Moving quickly,
he searched for inns or taverns that might still be open at this
hour.  There weren't many, and even when he found one, Otto still
had other problems...

barkeep:  (rubbing his eyes)  Gods, fella, you been swimming around
  in shit or something?
Otto:  Something like that.  Hey, listen, I need some help.
barkeep:  No kiddin'.
Otto:  I need information.
barkeep:  Doesn't everybody?
Otto:  (wearily finds a gold coin among his pockets)  Maybe this
  will change your mind.
barkeep:  (eyes the coin, checking for slime or feces, before taking
  it)  What're you after?
Otto:  I'm looking for some friends...two drow.  Dark elves, wizards
  too.  I think they live somewhere in this quarter.
barkeep:  (his eyes go wide)
Otto:  Ah, so you do know...
barkeep:  Them two was spooky enough to start with, but they moved
  into that haunted house!
Otto:  Haunted house, eh?  Hmm.  (he leans forward)  Tell me exactly
  where I can find this place...



  Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Otto, the dark, silent Green Dragon Inn
had a visitor.  A shadow detached itself from the darkness around
the building and glided toward the inn's front door.  After assuring
himself that no one had seen his approach, the man known to some as
Whisper bent down, bringing a small pick to bear on the lock.  Within
moments the tumblers opened, as silently as death, for the assassin's
magical lockpick radiated a narrow field of silence.  Entering the
inn, the shadow closed the door behind him and surveyed the common
rooms.  Though the establishment was closed, there were a few people
around - staff, mostly, though an errant guest sometimes wandered
about after closing.
  With the ease of one well-schooled in the secret arts, Whisper
bypassed these people entirely, and was soon headed up the stairs.
He made no sound, and moved like a ghost up to the inn's top floor.
As usual, his information proved accurate; within moments the shape
stood before Peldor's bedroom door.  He glanced around before going
to work.
  Momentarily, Whisper was inside, and he scanned the spacious bed-
chamber with vision that rendered night as day.  Assuring himself
that the room was empty, he searched for clues as to his target's
whereabouts.  Otto had been with Peldor, but Peldor was dead now,
and there was no telling where the dwarf might have gone.  Anything
he could find here would certainly save time, and time was valuable.
  Pausing as he walked past the large, canopied bed, Whisper bent
down, picking a scrap of paper off of one pillow.  The hastily-
scrawled parchment was written in the secret dialect of thieves,
but this language was among the many the assassin was fluent in.
The note read, "Tanya-  Escaped from the sewers with Otto.  All
others dead.  We were ambushed - think Org's been killed and replaced
by shapeshifter.  Going to see him.  Be careful.  Love, Peldor"
  Beneath his hood, Whisper frowned to himself - an extreme rarity
for the master assassin.  After moments of contemplation, he pocketed
the note, and prepared to leave the chamber.  It was then that his
skilled ears picked up the sound of someone climbing stairs, outside
in the hallway.  Instantly, he became one with the darkness, vanishing
from sight moments before the bedroom door was unlocked and opened.

Tanya:  (enters the room, and closes the door)  Whew, what a night!
  Those silly drow never sleep...(she begins to disrobe, completely
  unaware of the presence of death in her bedroom)





next:      Whisper...confronted!
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:     I don't want to hear anything about Peldor forgetting
  that Otto didn't know where the drow lived.  To err is human, and
  in this case, demi-human too.  Even the best make rare mistakes.
    I've got my ACOG Olympic badges and clearance.  Like many of
  the people in my department, my job will remain the same during
  the games.  However, there will definitely be some neat things to
  see this summer.  I've had to adapt (no cars are allowed anywhere
  near campus) but it may not be so bad after all.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





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