Chapter #406

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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   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Belphanior   (14th)^3 level elven fighter/wizard/thief      (CN) +
+    Otto       8th/9th level dwarven fighter/thief            (CN) +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Date:        4/8/576 C.Y. (Common Year)                          +
+  Time:        morning                                             +
+  Place:       the mountain town of Helgate, within the Yatils     +
+  Climate:     chilly                                              +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "Well, we all have to do things that we don't like."             +
+  "You do what you gotta so you can do what you wanna...what       +
+   did _you_ do that you didn't like?"                             +
+                                                - from _Warriors_  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                      CDVI.  Rulers' Return





  Mere days after the dark events in Greyhawk, Belphanior and Otto
have returned to Helgate, only to encounter a whole new set of
problems.  These are being discussed even now, over a breakfast
prepared and served by magical, unseen servants.

Otto:  ...and there're more fortune-seekers in town than ever.  No
  big massacres - yet - but it's only a matter of time.
Belphanior:  Hmm.
Otto:  Those people are like animals, of all sorts - running around
  having pissing contests with each other.  Miners, bandits, roving
  mercenaries...a real unsavory lot.  Herbert took the initiative of
  hiring some more full-time employees while we were gone.
Belphanior:  Oh?
Otto:  Yup.  He's now got five guardsmen, plus one constable, per
  shift.  Three shifts per day.  (he waves his fork)  They're all
  seasoned veterans, from Perrenland to the north.  Good men.
Belphanior:  That's...acceptable.  Inform Balthaas of the change,
  and let him figure out where to take the money from, for those
  men's salaries.
Otto:  Already did it.
Belphanior:  What about Razor Charlie and Kyros?  Are they getting
  along with Herbert?
Otto:  Yeah...though the lack of bloodshed may be boring old Charlie.
  Apparently, Kyros roams the town, enforcing the law where necessary,
  but Charlie sees himself as more of an on-call kicker-of-ass.  If
  things get really hairy, we call him, and he shows up to ply his
  bladed trade.
Belphanior:  Fine by me, the way he throws those knives.  Diplomacy
  doesn't seem to be his strong point anyway.  (he wonders idly if it
  would be appropriate to refer to Razor Charlie as "Chuck")
Otto:  Also, we now own the Witches' Tit.
Belphanior:  What's this?
Otto:  (wonders if the elf is really paying attention)  You know, the
  whorehouse.  Don't worry, I got us a good deal on it.
Belphanior:  I'm not worried, it just struck me as odd.  Pimps...
Otto:  No, pimps deal with whores in big cities, where there's quite
  a bit of competition for business.  It's different here.  I prefer
  to think of myself as an "executive partner."
Belphanior:  Interesting.
Otto:  Besides, business is booming, what with all the people in town.
  We may have to go find some more whores somewhere.
Belphanior:  (chuckles)  Maybe we should send Razor Charlie.
Otto:  (thinking about the kinds of women that fellow might dig up)
  Uh...
Belphanior:  I'm joking.  I think.  (he sighs, then frowns)  Yeah,
  let prostitution thrive, says I.  Just as long as they don't try
  and form a guild.
Otto:  Fat chance.
Belphanior:  What about the other businesses?  Are they pocketing any
  of the visitors' coin?
Otto:  Oh, yeah.  Everyone's raking in the money, from Rexxus at the
  Sword and Cup to Jamaine at his cobbler shop.
Belphanior:  Good, good.  The town needed an economic revival.
Otto:  Even Desmond, our only leech, has been busy.  Brawls and such.
  Lots of cuts, lots of injuries.
Belphanior:  You know, I miss walking the streets of my town.  It's
  not right, me staying up in this castle just so the townspeople down
  there don't freak out.
Otto:  Yeah.  Hopefully, they'll forget after a while.  (he frowns)
  Then again, you _did_ kill several of them, in cold blood.
Belphanior:  Warm blood.
Otto:  The principle remains.
Belphanior:  I wasn't in my right mind then.  (he rubs his eyepatch)
Otto:  It doesn't matter - they'd never understand.
Belphanior:  You're right.  Peasants and common people have no inkling
  of magic and demons.  Such things are beyond their grasp.  Perhaps
  a public display of power is called for...
Otto:  I wouldn't advise it, but it's up to you.
Belphanior:  We'll see.
Otto:  How's the eye, err, socket?
Belphanior:  Itches a lot.  I'm thinking maybe I should have kept my
  old eye - my real eye - all those years ago.  Then I could find
  some way to re-attach it.  (he smiles grimly)  Then again, I look
  more sinister this way, which I don't really mind.
Otto:  (nods slightly)
Belphanior:  But my depth perception is all shot to hell.  Hmm, maybe
  I can research some options...
Otto:  That demon won't soon forget what you did.  Things could get
  dangerous when he shows up again.
Belphanior:  Yeah, I'm watching my back.  I'm also working on a few
  enchantments to help against that sort of thing.  Banishments and
  such...
Otto:  Nifty.
Belphanior:  What of Eduardo?
Otto:  I'll resume his training in a day or two, now that I'm back.
  I also understand that Razor Charlie's been giving the kid knife-
  throwing lessons.
Belphanior:  That's odd.
Otto:  It certainly is.
Belphanior:  Oh, speaking of odd, Peldor's getting married in a week,
  and we're invited, so be ready.  It's on the fifteenth.
Otto:  Married?  Didn't someone else just get married?
Belphanior:  Nenya, Ged's apprentice.  A somewhat skilled magician,
  but...inferior.  No, this wedding is Peldor and Tanya, and I ought
  to show up.  Peldor and I go back a ways.
Otto:  If you show up in Greyhawk, you know what might happen...
Belphanior:  Fuck 'em.  (he pictures the potential carnage)  Hmm,
  maybe Victoria would like to come along, as my date.
Otto:  We'll teleport there, as usual?
Belphanior:  Right you are.
Otto:  Hey, when you teleport, can you go anywhere, or only certain
  places?  I've always wondered, you see.
Belphanior:  Nah, this one's a cinch.  Places I'm really familiar
  with - like Peldor's inn - are a piece of cake.  But teleportation
  is somewhat overrated, since places a wizard hasn't been to often
  aren't really feasible teleport destinations.
Otto:  Oh.
Belphanior:  The Green Dragon Inn...and this castle...those are really
  the only two I've committed to memory.  I don't even try to teleport
  to other locations anymore.  Too dangerous.
Otto:  I see.
Belphanior:  But pack your bags for an overland trip back, after the
  wedding.  I've got a...package to pick up and haul back here.
Otto:  Ah.
Belphanior:  I've also got to beef up this castle's defenses.  There
  are guards in place, wards...
Otto:  Also there's Angus.
Belphanior:  (smiles thinly)  Yep, he'll give an appropriate greeting
  to any would-be foes who show up at the door.
Otto:  A smashing welcome, I'd wager.  (he crushes his scrambled eggs
  with his fork)
Belphanior:  (nods)  But still, there are a number of other traps and
  spells I want to get installed.  I'll need your help with the former,
  when the time comes.
Otto:  Gotcha.
Belphanior:  My goal, basically, is for this castle to be impressive,
  yet harmless to visitors - but only if they stay where they're
  supposed to.
Otto:  Sounds good.
Belphanior:  It will be, believe me.

  By this time, breakfast was finished, though the discussion
continued as the invisible servants cleaned up.

Otto:  I thought you didn't use such servants...?
Belphanior:  I didn't, but I'm finding that I don't have the time,
  or the inclination, to prepare my own meals these days.
Otto:  Oh.  Getting old, are you?
Belphanior:  I'm already old.
Otto:  Lazy, then?
Belphanior:  Never.  Besides, with Victoria around more and more
  lately, it helps to have a touch of class, like nobility.  That
  means servants to do all the work.  And since no one would want to
  work for me, up here, that means invisible servants.
Otto:  Yeah, where _is_ Victoria, anyway?
Belphanior:  No idea.  She might be in her room, though.
Otto:  (somewhat shocked)  You gave her a room here?!?
Belphanior:  Sure did.  Let her pick it out, actually - as you know,
  there are a lot of rooms in this castle.  I figured she could stay
  here if she wants...but as it turns out, it's more like _when_ she
  wants...
Otto:  She comes and goes like the wind, eh?
Belphanior:  Might as well.
Otto:  So she might be in there now?
Belphanior:  Maybe, maybe not.  (he shrugs)  It's her business, and
  she knows her way around.
Otto:  So you could go check...find out if she's here or not?
Belphanior:  I could, but I won't.  She's a fairly private person
  at times, and right now, I'm not going to encroach on that.
Otto:  Strange relationship.
Belphanior:  You don't know the half of it.





next:      a new threat
ftp:       ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
           ftp.nol.net in /pub/users/zac/rpg/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 probably said it once, sometime in the past, but for
  reference:  Helgate in in the Yatil Mountains, in hex L5/89 on
  your Greyhawk map.  There's a trail that runs from Molvar (in Ket)
  straight north, into Perrenland.  This route is more than a hundred
  miles of cold, barren mountain passes and trails, and although it's
  fairly well-used, it's still a dangerous place.  Helgate is a few
  miles off of the approximate center of this trail, in the deepest
  part of the mountains.  It's also in the Clatspurs (kind of) but
  it'd be more correct to say it was in the Yatils, since they're
  much bigger.

  And now for a scattering of fanmail, covering 386-402.  I know a
lot of it's out of order (especially given the fanmail I stuck at
the end of #395) but I got some files confused and one got lost.

  IMPORTANT NOTE:  This will be the _last_ fanmail to be printed
within an actual story.  While it's interesting to read and answer,
especially in a public forum, it's adding too much fluff to the
stories themselves.  I'll resolve this by setting up a web page
for fanmail, beginning with episode #403.

  And now, on to the fanmail...





Wow,

Now _THAT'S_ what I call a well executed plan.  Look Ma, no fireball
spell!  Now if the rest of the Adventurers used their resources as
well as Peldor and Otto they'd be positively lethal.

With regard to who's dead after the tunnel collapse, I'd say the
dwarf/sewer worker is toast.  Mongo I doubt is dead, especially with
his ring of regeneration plus him being virtually indestructable.
Gorin and Bosco I'm not so sure about.  Gorin only just got
resurrected...but I dunno.  But you CAN'T kill Bosco, he's too self-
centered to die!  Belphanior?  Naaaaah.

Seeya,

Denby



hey thomas,

the sewer stories are fun to read.  they are flowing very smoothly.
each episode is well enough they could stand alone and be considered
great pieces of art.

matt



I'm enjoying this, a lot.

There's a bit more tension than there has been for a while.

george



Yer stories get more and more lifelike with every chapter.  They've
turned from cool little D&D retellings into something much greater
than that.

Lemme say, I totally enjoyed seeing the party get mushed.  It's so
cool to see that they're not invulnerable.  I liked the planning
that went behind the shapeshifters' attack too, that was very cool.
Gee, bad guys have brains too! =)

Gabe



Having read all of your stories, and followed the life and times of
the Adventurers, I must say that  you are doing an excellent job.
The characters are developing very nicely.  It is very apparent that
they are getting older, wiser, maturing.  Your writing quality is
also improving. (not saying it was bad before, but that it is better
now)

Anyways thanks for all of your effort.

Paul



This may not become my favorite all-time story-line, but it will be
up there.  Riveting.

Jim



Thomas, I hope you don't get tired of hearing this sort of thing, but
you've pulled the best story-line yet out of thin air! The plot-line
is detailed and complex, without any major gaps or goofs, and the
interactions between characters has been near perfect.

I was actually surprised that Org turned out to be a shape-shifter: I
thought for sure that the deception came from higher up.

How does Peldor's sword decide where a safe place to teleport him is?
Could Peldor be halfway around the world?

>  The shapeshifter, patron of its now-extinct colony

So the Org-shifter is the head shape-shifter... can a shape-shifter
only take over a single body at a time? Or perhaps the "patron", or
larger forms are capable of multiple forms?

This all came from a dream? Damn, but I have dull dreams.

Heh, I loved the quote for 393. I can easily imagine Peldor (and
Otto) forgetting that Otto doesn't know where the drow live. Look
what they just went through! Otto was probably only half listening
to Peldor at that point anyway.

Keep up the great work, you've got us sitting on the edges of our
seats.

Leonard



  I have been on holidays and only now am reading the latest saga.
(Maybe this is really Epic III?).  This has been a wonderful plotline.
The multipoint plotline has been exceptionally well-done and makes
me wonder how far in advance you plot out the stories before writing
them.

Richard

TM>  Answer:  pretty far.



Now this is a neat thing...  Whisper appeared to be using magic in
that old episode, but given recent events he may in fact be a shape-
shifter himself?

Hmmm....

Patrick



Wow.  Good way to ensnare Whisper in the intrigue.  So does he confront
Tanya?  Tell her Peldor is wormfood?  Seek out Otto for confirmation?
Return to Org and check things out himself?

Rance



hey thomas,

the action was non-stop and the suspense was all around.  awesome.

everything fits together well and i like the way you had otto mentally
think about peldor telling him to go to the drows house without telling
him where it was.  i caught it when peldor first told otto to do it but
wasn't sure how you would handle it.  you did it just fine though.

these are top stories and most definitely the best you've ever done.

have fun,

matt



They got in rather easily I thought...  Perhaps merely incentive for
them to invest in more protective magicks.

Patrick



  The setup for this makes it seem like the drow WILL interrupt the
battle, but leaves the question of HOW they will interrupt hanging.
As you say, it is, after all, THEIR house.  I cannot imagine EITHER
drow being too terribly happy to find a combat going on in their
foyer!!

TM>  You know what's really interesting?  From episode 381 through the
TM>current one, the time has remained virtually the same:  4/3/576.
TM>Truly the hallmark of a great saga.  It'll be twenty eps that all
TM>happened within a 48-hour period.  As Space Ghost would say, groovy.

Yeah, that is pretty spiffy.  I think it stems from the fact that travel
in this saga is very localized. In episodes past, the party had a big
battle, then moved for a few days, or a week, then entered a town where
the pace slowed again.  In this saga, the entire series has been played
out on a 'local' level.

Tom



Better get the golem down here soon, or Whisper should have Otto's
guts for garters.  Or some other _deus ex machina_ rescue for Otto...

Vince



I have not written for a while (I just go accepted into UMass
grad school, got married, and moved to Amherst MA), but I cannot
help it now - the stories are fantastic! The sewer sequence is
much better than most commercially published stuff, and getting
better every time.
  BTW, what is this talk about Peldor dying? If I remember
correctly, one of the tattoos gives him regeneration, and
REGENERATION CAN EVEN WORK AFTER DEATH TO BRING THE PERSON BACK
(unless it is fire or acid damage, which is not true in Peldor's
case)

Looking forward to a lot of good stories coming out fast!!!

     Victor



Thomas,

Just wanted to tell you that I have really been enjoying the recent
storyline - you've managed to knock the adventurers down a notch, so
that they are not totally god-like in abilities.  Or at least they
are matched up in a way that makes them vulnerable.

You've also added a good element of intrigue and suspense to the
whole thing, which makes for very entertaining reading.

What's up with Walnut Creek...are they selling CD-ROMs with your
stories on them?  I'm fairly certain that if you ask them to stop,
they will.  From what I have heard, they are reasonably cool folks.

-kal

TM>  I have tried to contact Walnut Creek about this, but they
TM>  have so far refused to answer my emails.  Stand by.



Another cliff-hanger ending - you are putting us through the wringer!

Leonard



Thomas,

 A curious observation...why is it that, in movies, books, and
whathaveyou, that the folks most often portrayed (sp?) to be
'honorable' and 'keep their word' are always the deadliest 'bad
guys'?  Almost a matter of professional pride to them.
Hmmm....

 Not lots to say about this episode, other than I enjoyed it.

Tom



it is a great episode to catch everything up to the same time period
and to give the readers a chance to catch their breaths.  it still
leaves the sense of suspense and lots of action still to come, cool.

have fun,

matt h.



About the Invulnerable Coat of Arnd, Stormcrest, Sightstealer and
the like.  Were these all invented by you?  Or some from you, some
from adventures?

Patrick

TM>  Except for Blackrazor and the Coat of Arnd, I invented all of
TM>  the unique enchanted weapons in my stories.



hey thomas,

i love battle scenes, they're the most vivid in my mind and seem
to always linger longer than other stuff.

Matt



Nothing like a little carnage to make you feel better.  Especially
if you wield a soul-sucking sword.

Rance



This last series was one of the very best you have done.

Just wanted to say, often your writing is the best thing
in my day at work.  One further idea to write about I
didn't see in your list - who will be the new head of
thieves?  Certainly, Peldor has a shot at it...

Richard



hey thomas,

this episode rocked.  the momentum continued to build right up til
peldor wasted the shapeshifter-org.  i think it was an excellent
#400.

Matt



This has been absolutely the best story arc for the adventurers I
have read, with the possible exception of the trip to Earth.
Congratulations and keep up the good work.

                Salutations from Mt. Kolvir,

                    Dave, Marie and Morgan
                    kolvir@xmission.com



Thomas,

        It's been a long while since I last wrote, and I feel bad
about that.  As always, you are doing a _fantastic_ job.  Look
forward to every episode.  Many is the night I come home from work
and find the latest installment of The Adventurers in my e-mail,
making me forget how pissed I was just moments before.  I've been
reading these since about #55 or so.  So, I guess I could be
considered a long timer.
        The svirfneblin are great!  Perhaps the best 'guest starts'
you've introduced in a long time.  I particularly like the 'Yoda'-
esqe speech of the little buggers.
        While all the characters are enjoyed, Belphanior is still
my pick.  Maybe it's my imagination running wild, but I sense there
is more to the character than is visible on the surface.  You've
done a magnificent job portraying the mad elf - and I suspect that
there has been great care in how he has been handled.  It seems to
me that Killer B isn't 'mad' at all.  Belphanior is a survivor first
and foremost.  Evil and Good aren't known quantities to him - and
some actions of his that others may see as evil, Belphanior sees as
a means to an end.  Survival, and furtherance of his goals. Most of
what he says and does is a front.  He has become jaded by the harsh
start to life he had, and the things around him.  If I was ever in
a bad way, I'd want him (and perhaps Mongo) by my side. Of course,
there is always the fact that he's extremely versitile, smarter than
anyone gives him credit for, and has some rather nifty toys. :)  Ah,
but these are just ramblings on _my_ perceptions about a person who
only exists in our minds.  I look forward to you continuing his
development.  I don't think he can ever be 'redeemed'.  That would
change who he is.

   Some more thoughts.  Isn't it about time Mongo settled down?
That story in itself would be an interesting read.  My guess is
that he will become another Yod - with enough power to take on
whole Kingdoms.  I think that it's high time that he had his share
of the lime light.

   I could go on forever.  Thanks again for everything.  I hope you
derive as much enjoyment from these stories as we the readers do.

Best of luck

Michael



Thomas,

  This thread just gets better and better.  The deep gnomes are
great.  I can't wait to see what kind of firepower Belph, Ged,
and the Drow unleash when they catch up with the shapechangers.
Since the gnomes are under Grayhawk, I can't help but wonder if
they're known to at least some of the Circle of Eight?  I'm sure
having them as a buffer between the city and the underdark must
be a good thing...

-Tony



TM>    I've thought of another influence on this storyline:
TM>  C.H.U.D.  For some reason, this film terrified me when I
TM>  first saw it.

Dude...that movie gave me nightmares for weeks after i saw it.

I think I am a bit younger than you tho! 8-)

heh.
-kal



You too!?!  <LOL>

I had nightmares for weeks after I saw it... But I always was
terrified of any horror movie when I was younger...  Now most
of them are just laughable....

Here's a movie to influence another storyline... "Big Trouble
in Little China" It would be a Riot!

Mark

TM>    Indeed, "Big Trouble..." is one of the finest films ever
TM>  made.



Well well... two issues to go and its 400!  My congratulations
and admiration in keeping it going this long...

The current story line has really got me intrigued.  I figured
Mongo would be impossible to kill with a mere fireball and cave-in
and Bel. seems to be your favourite so he was pretty safe, but
Peldor's current state has me wondering how the climax will go
and whether or not "Epic III" is going to feature a different
selection of Adventurers.

Wayne



Tom,

Just wanted to let you know that I'm enjoying this particular storyline
thoroughly.  Keep up the great work!

Scott



Just caught up from 390-398. Good stuff.
I think this thread is the most filled with suspense of
all the Adventures. It's been a while since I remember
waiting for the next episode with such impatience!

On another matter, have you approached TSR about the possiblity
of them allowing you to publish your stories?  They could
serialise them in Dragon or something. Or at least allow you to
print them up on a small scale. You could even make some money
if TSR were to distribute them for you - I can see a market.

Adrian



TM>  And now to the big 400 itself...



This victory came at a great cost, both in friends as well as
possessions.

Well done!

Leonard



Wow!  Well done!

Two quick notes (I've got a thesis to write :).

Luck is one of the more difficult events to portray in a story.
It's far too easy for a "lucky" occurance in a story to look
contrived because that by definition is what the author does when
he writes the story.  Org/Shapeshifter told Peldor the ambush
would've succeeded if Mongo hadn't been in the party.  How did
Mongo happen to tag along?  Bosco blurted it out before the
others could stop him.  Perfectly in character, perfectly lucky,
perfectly Bosco.  Nicely done.

Re: Peldor wandering the sewers in the dark.  I presume his sight
was enhanced by his Eyes of the Eagle trinket.  I don't AD&D so I
don't know if this is a standard item.  What is it?  I searched
through the archives for a reference to it but couldn't find what
it is or where he got it from.  It makes an appearance when
everyone is running from the mob of undead (before the vampire
captures most of the party), and Peldor spots a keep in the
distance before anyone else.

Enjoy your well-earned break.  Maybe I'll get some thesis work
done without your stories to distract me.  :)

John

TM>  John brings up a good point.  When the fake-Org stripped
TM>  Peldor of all his weapons and items, he wouldn't have (and
TM>  didn't) find or get the eyes.
TM>  These eyes are basically contact lenses that enhance the
TM>  wearer's normal ocular powers.  Peldor got them a long time
TM>  ago.



Thomas,
  Congratulations on reaching the 400 mark. As a fan who's been
reading them since they were first posted, I'm looking forward
to reading the next 400. (!!) :-)

- Brett



OK, Thomas, you killed Org Neshen (*). But could you please
ask the deep gnome clerics to return the favor Mongo et.al.
made them fighting the Kuo-Toa and raise poor Darek Halfplow?

TM>  Fear not, we haven't seen the last of Darek Halfplow!

Costas

(*) Who is going to be the new guildmaster?

TM>  That will be the plot of some upcoming stories...but I
TM>  don't know yet.  Even if I did, I know you don't really
TM>  want me to spoil it for you...    :)



Great episode, Thomas.

"You're no mere human."
"I'm Peldor"

Superb!  I've been enjoying this story line from the start and
you have done it great justice with its conclusion.

Here's looking forward to the next 100!

             Greg



Excellent story line!  I mourn for the poor Guildmaster, but I
suppose that someone had to die eventually:-(  Really high
quality writing for the most part.  My sincerest congratulations
on pulling this line off.

Robert



What can I say. Magnificent.
"Return of Peldor" - I like it.

He'd have to be in line for Org's position, eh?
With all the Power and Responsibility that entails.

Can Belphanior deal with being forgiven by the City?

Do the svirfneblin have a further role to play?

Adrian



Very good story line, though 400-401 didn't quite pan out
as I'd have thought.

Glen



  Just wanted to let you know that the shapeshifter story was
*great*.  It was especially good to see a little of the old
Peldor back again.  The only thing that could have made it
better would be if Ged were around for Peldor to irritate.
Anyway, I really enjoyed the story and like the way things are
going with Belph now.  Incidentally, the side adventure with
the deep gnomes was really interesting.  It might be neat if
they summon Belph for help sometime in the future.  I look
forward to the next batch of stories...

-Tony



I think the Adventurers need some new long-term enemies,
perhaps so tough or in positions of power that they can't
just be killed off. They would have to be outmanoevered
over time, and the bad guys could have some wins along
the way.

How are things going with the Olympics in full swing?
Could you somehow arrange to get on camera, so your fans
could see you waving? eg "I'm the one with the red hat behind
the hockey goals" or whatever. Just for style value  :)

Adrian

TM>  On my links page (off of my main home page) is a
TM>  link to "View From the Village" which has a lot of
TM>  good pictures and commentary...

TM>  And now, on to fanmail for 401-404...



This is one of those episodes that has to be done, and yet,
you ask yourself, does it?  With the pacing of this storyline
(having so many episodes on the same relaitve 'date') I would
have thought you would have a meeting between the PCs, and
maybe Diedre in the guild, say, not long after Peldor and
Belphanior come back to set up the Council meeting. It really
depends on how you want to pace it all, and where you want to
go from here.

The problem with writing the Council meeting is that it has to
happen, and the attitude of the major players is pretty much
known, so its just setting it down to paper, and setting up
what you want to do next.

I think that if you were ever serious about having Peldor sell
the Green Dragon, and leave Greyhawk, you now have your out.
Have him get disgusted with all the politics and such and just
go.  Maybe set up an inn elsewhere, along a road, or just have
he and Tanya 'travel' for a bit.

Tom



but it seemed like a good wrap up, answering many questions and
actually creating very few more.

have fun,

matt h.



TM> notes:     This is the aftermath to #400.  You know,
TM> 400 kinda snuck up on me.  I mean, one minute I was
TM> writing #380, and then...bam!  400!  I'm still in shock.

You're not the only one.  It doesn't feel like 100 episodes
have gone by since #300.  I put it down to you giving a lot
more exposition and the number of characters have increased.

Oh BTW, since you're around Atlanta, don't suppose you'd care
to give us some birds eye view comments on the Olympics as
they happen around you.  Something along the lines of the
Mardi Gras reports and your sea voyage would be great.

Denby.

TM>  See the comment I made up there..."View From the Village"
TM>  is worth a look...



i agree, this was needed and it went well.

i never had the feeling that peldor really wanted to be the
head of the guild.  he knew the responsibilities that such a
postion held and was oft times thinking of the responsibilities
his quarter master position held and how it effected what he
wanted to do.  it would be my guess that he'd help the dude
from the slum quarter to obtain the head position and i'd think
gasgal would approve of this option too.

matt



Well, I agree, this has been a pretty darn good story line.
And I was just thinking, too, that this could easily lead
into Peldor, Guildmaster!  8-)

Anyways...  One thing that was odd, was that Org didn't
worship any god.  While atheism and agnosticism make sense
in our world, that is because, so to speak, there is a
reasonable doubt.  In a fantasy setting, there isn't (to
vastly understate things  8-), so it doesn't make sense for
anyone to be either.

Rob



Thomas,
  I agree with your recent fan mail.  The arc from ~380-401
has been the best of all time.  Hope it was as good for you
as it was for me, a loyal reader.
  Sorry I don't reply much, but I often let 10-25 episodes
build up before I read them, all in a row.  The 380-400 group
was read by me all in one sitting, and I loved it!  Your focus
never wavered, the flow was wonderful.

Carl



I just want to say thanks for writing the Adventurers Stories.
They are a very amusing and much welcome break every day.
Each story entices one to read the next.  I'm hooked!

What you are doing is quite a service.  The fact that you do
not charge for the stories is an act of unmitigated generosity.

Jonathan
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





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