Chapter #42

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*****
*  The 8 player characters contained in these writings are copyright
*  1992 by Thomas Miller...copying and distribution of these stories
*  is permissible only under the condition that no part of them will
*  be used or sold for profit.  In that case, I hope you enjoy them.
*****

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THE PARTY:

Alindyar, 7th level drow elf mage (N)
Belphanior, 5th/5rd/6th level high elf fighter/mage/thief (CN)
Ged, 6th/6th level grey elf priest/mage of Boccob (NG)
Halbarad, 7th level human ranger (NG)
Mongo Thunderhead, 7th level dwarf fighter (CG)
Peldor, 8th level human thief (N)
Peyote, 6th/7th level half-elf fighter/druid of Obad-Hai (N)
Rob, 7th level human priest of Trithereon (LG)
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Date:   6/18/570 C.Y. (Common Year)
Time:   somewhat after nightfall
Place:  an unmapped hill fort in the western edge of the Pomarj
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   XLII.  Giants, Wizards, Dragons, and a Princess in a Pear Tree



  The party is descending a darkened flight of stairs, shedding no
light but rather using infravision to see.  They are also trying
to be quiet, since there is no doubt that any people or monsters
that wait below are aware that the fortress above has been breached
recently...lightning bolts and fireballs tend to alert everyone.



Mongo:  (at the front of the party)  Here's an open area ahead.
Belphanior:  Also known as...a room...
                                 |
   ______________________________|
  |
  |                      %%%%%%%%%
  |                %%%%%%         %%%%%%                        ________
  |           %%%%%                     %%%                    |        |
  |           %                           %%%%_______          |__..____|
  |            %%%                              ____  \________|        |
  |__________     %         cavern         %%%%%%    \______\__  bedroom|
             |     %%                        %_____________    |        |
             v      %%                        _\________   |   |________|
 STAIRS --> |==|      %                      %    ______|  |______
   UP     __|==|__     %             %     %%  __|  *   ====   *  |__
         |        |    %       %%%%%%%%%%%%   @                      |
DOOR --> |__ .. __|    %    %%%               |                      |
            |  |       %%%%%     ________     |     *          *     |
            |  |                |        |    |       wizard's       |
   _________|  |________________| store  |    |         hall         |
  |   ______    ______    ______\   room |____|     *          *     |
  |  |      |  |      |  |      |         __  |__                  __|
  |  |      |  |      |  |      |__   ___|  |__  |__            __|
 _|  |____  |  |    __|..|__       | |__       | |  |__      __|
|         | |  |   |        |____  |__  |______| |__   |_.._|
| empty   | |  |   | spider  __  |_ __|             |   |  |
|   room  |_|  |   |  room  |  |___$                |    \  \
|          ____|   |________|      |    ettin       |______\  \
|         |                        |      room      \________/
|_________|          N             |                |
                    W+E            |________________|
                     S
\ or ..  = DOOR
    $    = SECRET DOOR
   *     = PILLAR
    @    = SECRET TUNNEL TO ENTRY ROOM
 ====    = EVIL GOD STATUE

Mongo:  Hmph.  Empty.  Well, at least there's a door going somewhere
  else.
Belphanior:  High ceiling - almost twenty feet, looks like.
Mongo:  Giants, you think?
Belphanior:  Who knows?
Mongo:  'Cause I'm itching to fight some giants!
Peyote:  And there I thought you were just itching.
Halbarad:  Expose the light, please.  Some of us cannot see here.
Rob:  Okay!  (pulls the blanket off of his mace, illuminating the
  area with the powerful spell effect)  Wow, that sure is bright.
Alindyar:  (covering his eyes)  Could you not move to a more frontal
  position within the party?
Rob:  (looking around)  Huh?  Oh, sure.
Peldor:  (searching the small room)  Nothing interesting here.
Belphanior:  (listening at the door)  I can't hear a fucking thing.
Mongo:  Well, open the door then.  (he does so)
Halbarad:  Behold, there are three ways.
Peyote:  A four-way intersection.  Awesome.
Mongo:  How's that?
Peyote:  The symmetry of it all, dude.
Mongo:  Oh.
Alindyar:  How enlightening.
Belphanior:  Let's go this way.  (heads down the right passage)
Mongo:  Hey!  (barreling after the elf)  Wait up!
Halbarad:  Hm.  A large empty room.  One exit.  This area smells
  like an orcs' lair.  Maybe worse.
Mongo:  That's for sure!  Phew!  Wonder how long it's been since
  anybody cleaned this place?
Peldor:  (searching the room)  I don't think there's anything in
  here either.  I wonder why all these rooms are empty.  They
  must have heard that the mighty Peldor was coming and fled in
  terror.
Ged:  No doubt.  Word of your deeds has surely spread to the ends
  of the earth by now.
Mongo:  Well, I'm checking out this way.  (heads out the exit...
  and soon comes back to the four-way intersection)  Just a big
  loop...
Belphanior:  Well, that eliminates all of the ways except the
  eastern one.
Halbarad:  East it is, then.  (they move to the east)
Belphanior:  Look, the corridor goes right as well as continuing
  straight.
Mongo:  Both ways have doors to break down.  Let's go south.  (he
  wanders down the southern passage)
Belphanior:  Hold!  Let me check the door.  (listens at the old
  wooden door)  Still no sounds.  This waiting business is driving
  me crazy.
Peldor:  (sheathes his sword, becoming invisible)
Mongo:  (opens the door)  Uh-oh!
Halbarad:  What?  What is it?
Belphanior:  Spiders!  Big fat juicy spiders!  (leaps into the room,
  hacking madly at the nearest spider)  Yaaaaaa!
Mongo:  Look out!  Here they come!  (swings at a spider that is
  scuttling toward him; the thing is some three feet wide)  Get the
  hell away from me!
Halbarad:  (moves into the room)
Alindyar:  Spiders.  How...interesting.

Belphanior:  (stabs a spider, wounding it)  Die, web-creeper!
Halbarad:  (chops and slices a spider)  Beware their poison!
spider:  (badly wounded, bites feebly at the ranger but misses)
Ged:  (fires three magic missiles at Belphanior's spider)
spider:  (reeling)
Belphanior:  Thanks for the air support!
Peyote:  (invisible due to his ring, he moves into the room)
Mongo:  (smashes a spider with his hammer)  Don't even think about
  biting me, creepy crawler!  Us dwarves have really good poison
  resistance.
Peldor:  (trying to get around Rob, who is in his way, and enter
  the room)  Come on, move it, priest.
Rob:  Eh?  (holds his mace high)  I wonder if I could stick this
  weapon into one of the spiders' eyes?
spider:  (bites at Mongo, but his armor easily protects him)
Mongo:  I told you not to DO that!  (delivers a crushing blow to
  the offending spider, splattering yellow guts everywhere)
Alindyar:  These are abnormally large specimens.  I wonder where
  they originated from?  (blasts Halbarad's spider with three
  missiles from his wand, slaying it)  Ware, ranger!
Halbarad:  My thanks.
Peyote:  (materializes as he nearly cleaves a spider in two)
  Who cares?  Let's just keep from getting poisoned here!

Belphanior:  (slices his opponent, slaying it)  So much for those
  creatures.  (to DM)  Is it possible to milk the venom from the
  spiders?
Mongo:  Whew!  What a battle!
Halbarad:  Surely you jest.
Peyote:  No, and don't call him surely.
Halbarad:  <groan>
Peldor:  (still invisible, looking for treasure)
Ged:  Hey!  Where's that thief?!
Mongo:  (wiping spider juices off of his armor)  Check the webs,
  there.  That's where the loot would be.
Alindyar:  ...as well as our friend Peldor.
Belphanior:  (checking in the webs)  Look!  Silver!
Mongo:  (stepping gingerly through webs looking for more spiders)
  I think this is a busted sack of gold, over here!
Peldor:  (pocketing some of the small change here and there)
Belphanior:  I have a chest!
Peyote:  Not nearly.  You're way too skinny.
Belphanior:  No, you idiot.  (holds up a small metal chest)
Peyote:  Oh, my bad.
Ged:  Peldor!  Show yourself!  We need you to get into this
  chest!
Peldor:  (materializes as he unsheathes his sword slightly)
  Okay, okay.  I'm here.  (bends over the chest)  No problem.
Mongo:  (stuffing the loot into a sack)  Someone check out that
  exit passage there.
Belphanior:  (still pulling coinage from the webs)
Halbarad:  (searching the rest of the room)
Peyote:  (helping Mongo)
Rob:  (wanders toward the short hallway)
Ged:  Hey!  What are you doing?!  At least wait for me!  (he
  follows the other priest)  Don't get too far away from the
  chamber.  Who knows what is wandering through this place?
Rob:  (comes up on a blank wall after about thirty feet)  Eh?
  What's this?  (while pushing on the wall, he manages to
  slide it aside)  Huh?  Oh my...
Ged:  What is it, fool?  Holy...back!  Get back!
Rob:  AAAAA!  (he is grabbed and pulled into the room beyond
  the secret door)
Halbarad:  (running)  What is it?  What is going on there?
Ged:  Giants!  Make that two-headed giants!  Make that TWO two-
  headed giants!  And they've got Rob!
Mongo:  Huh?!  (drops the loot and the sack, and hefts his
  war hammer as he charges into the short passage)  Hang on,
  priest!  I'm coming!
Belphanior:  (also rises from his web search and runs for
  the room)  Not alone, you're not.
Halbarad:  (charges into the large room, to see a pair of
  huge - thirteen foot tall - two-headed humanoids leering
  at him; one of them is holding Rob like a rag doll.  They
  have backed up about ten feet from the secret door.)
giant-thing#1:  Har har!  (swats Rob aside like a flea, and
  he flies off into a wall)  Hey, more of 'em!
giant-thing#2:  Dinner here, Pat!
Mongo:  (barrels over Ged and runs up next to Halbarad)
  Holy shit!  Ettins!
ettin#1:  Dinner!  Good smell, too, Joe!  We get 'em all!
  (its second head begins arguing with the first head)  No,
  _I_ is Pat!
ettin#2:  Yup.  You get dwarf, Pat, I get little man.  We
  killum and then we eatum!  (its second head nods stupidly)
ettin#1:  Duh, okay Joe.  (the pair lumber toward the secret
  door)  Me hungry!  (other head speaks up)  Me too!  (first
  head)  Shaddup!  Me is the head in charge!  (second head)
  Are not!  (first head)  Am too!  (second head)  Are not!
Mongo:  (braces himself)  You are great enemies of us and all
  adventurers!  But I will not yield!  (raises hammer)  Come
  and meet your doom!
Halbarad:  (swinging his axe)  Face us and perish, evil ones.
Belphanior:  (arrives behind Ged)  A spell!  (begins spell
  casting)  That is what we need here!  And I have just the
  thing...
Ged:  Good call.  (also begins spellcasting)

Halbarad:  (chops at his ettin twice, hitting once, and slashes
  it with his dagger, nicking its mangy hide)  Fall, beastly
  one!
ettin#2:  Don't hurt none!  (second head)  Naw.  (both of the
  ettin's arms pummel the ranger, knocking him to his knees)
Halbarad:  Argh!
ettin#2:  We hammer you into da ground, don't we, Pat?
ettin#1:  Yep.  (second head)  Hey, _I_ is da king here!  (first
  head)  Shaddup, you.
ettin#2:  (its second head still nods and grins in a moronic way)
Mongo:  Fuck this!  (hurls his hammer twice at his opponent,
  once at each head, at close range)  I'll shut both - all four -
  of you up for good!
ettin#1:  Argh!  (second head)  Argh!  My nose busted!
Mongo:  (catches his hammer momentarily)  It's gonna get worse,
  shithead.  A LOT worse.
Belphanior:  (launches a Melf's Acid Arrow at ettin#2...the
  player rolls a 20!)  Yes!  Direct hit!
ettin#2:  ARGH!  (hit right in the face by the acid)  ARGH!
  CAN'T SEE!  (other head)  Duh, I can still see.  Elf dies for
  that.
Ged:  (walks up beside Mongo)  Hey ettin!
ettin#1:  (wiping blood out of all its eyes)  Whuzzat?!
Ged:  (raises his hands and blasts the monster with a fan of
  flames)  Here, have this token of Boccob's displeasure.
ettin#1:  (burnt somewhat)  Argh!  Elf dies too!  (second head)
  Yeah, kill elf!  (the thing's different hands flail quite
  independently of one another)  Argh!  Die!
Ged:  Watch out!  It's out of control!
Mongo:  (hit by one arm, though the other doesn't hurt him
  through his armor)  Agh!  Now you tell me!
Peyote:  (enters the room, invisible once again)  Hmm.
Alindyar:  (enters the room)  Hmm.  At least the monsters are
  becoming more challenging as we explore further.  (begins
  spellcasting)  A sign of a true evil leader, this is.
Peldor:  (back in the spider room, he looks at the treasure
  scattered around, and at the short passage going into the
  ettin room)  Hmm.
Rob:  (lying in great pain in a corner of the ettin room)  ...

Belphanior:  (casts another spell)  Heh heh.
Halbarad:  (chops ettin#2, but misses with both dagger attacks)
  Damnable humanoid!  I shall fell you yet!
ettin#2:  (still somewhat blinded by the still-burning acid)
  Eyagh!  (swings a huge arm at Halbarad, but the ranger easily
  ducks the mighty blow)  Yargh!  Stand still, flea!
Halbarad:  No flea has a bite like my axe here...
ettin#2:  (second head)  I still see you, manling!  (bashes the
  ranger with its other arm, knocking him into a wall hard)
  Should have shut up.
ettin#1:  I is Pat!  King of da ettins!  (lands two blows on
  Mongo)  Har har!  (the monster is still on fire from Ged's
  spell...)  Ouch.
Mongo:  Why won't you two SHUT THE HELL UP?!?!?  (lands one
  hammer blow, cracking the ettin's thigh bone)  I'll take
  you down a foot at a time, if that's the way I have to do
  it!  (his other hammer blow misses)
Ged:  (pulls out his magical sling and a sling bullet, he starts
  swinging the weapon)  I've always wanted to try this.
Belphanior:  (trying to sneak around ettin#2)
ettin#2:  Har!  We sees you, elfy!
Belphanior:  Oh.  Well, then...(lunges out and taps the monster
  on the side, discharging a significant magical charge)
ettin#2:  YEAARGH!
Belphanior:  Hmm.  Not enough.  I'll have to use a more powerful
  spell next time.
ettin#2:  Shaddup!  (swings at the elf, forcing him to dodge
  rather than crack jokes)  Kill all of you!  Kill, kill, kill!!
Peyote:  (moves in to replace the wounded Halbarad)  Hey, dude.
  You'd better pay attention to ME now...(hacks the ettin with
  his huge sword, wounding it seriously)
ettin#2:  Agh!...I is dying.
Rob:  (shakily gets to his feet, and moves toward ettin#2 with
  his mace raised high)  For the glory of Trithereon...
Ged:  (swinging his sling above his head, see Rob approaching)
  Uh-oh.  He'll get creamed for sure.  Better change targets.
  (now aims at ettin#2 rather than the other)
Alindyar:  (sends a phantasmal force at ettin#1)
ettin#1:  (seeing a gigantic spider sailing towards him)  Huh?!
Ged:  (launches his sling bullet at ettin#2, rolling all but
  maximum damage)  Yes, by Boccob!
Peyote:  Maximal, dude!
ettin#2:  <CRACK>  Urk.  (falls)
Ged:  (dancing about in glee)  It works!  It really works!  Son
  of a-
Alindyar:  (pleased that the elf finally found a weapon that he
  likes)  I am truly happy for you, my friend.
ettin#1:  (swatting at Alindyar's illusion, he destroys it)  Da
  fuck...?
Mongo:  (circling ettin#1)  Okay, Pat, or whatever you want to
  call yourself.  Let's end this.
ettin#1:  You again!  Die, dwarf!  Hunh?
Mongo:  (looking at the monster quizzically)  What the hell's
  wrong with you?!?
ettin#1:  Hg?  Urg!  Urk!  (a sword point appears through its
  chest)  Argh...gurgle gurgle.  (dies)
Peldor:  (becomes visible)  Have no fear, it is I.

Mongo:  It's about friggin' time you showed up, thief!
Ged:  I figured that he'd be back there playing with the treasure
  still.
Peldor:  Bah.  Let the legends note my unswerving loyalty to my
  companions.
Ged:  I doubt that, but thanks anyway.
Peldor:  Any time.  (searching through the ettin's rags)
Halbarad:  (stumbles up to Ged)  Agh...I need some magical aid.
Mongo:  Come to think of it, I think I got a rib or three busted
  just now too.
Rob:  (limps over to Halbarad and casts two spells of healing upon
  him from his scroll)  I hope this helps.  (casts two of his own
  spells upon himself)  Ahh.  So much better.
Ged:  (casts two healing spells on Mongo)  How bad are those ribs?
Mongo:  Bah.  Better already.  I've had enough healing.  Let's
  find what loot these big dummies had, and move on.

  The gigantic humanoids carried no treasure, but there was an old
iron chest in one corner of the room.  Peldor opened it (no trap -
ettins aren't too bright, you know) and the party confiscated a
number of thousands of gold and electrum coins, an elaborate but
beaten carving, a suit of disassembled plate mail armor, a spear,
and some loose gems.

Mongo:  I can't carry all this shit!  We're going to have to leave
  some of it!
Peldor:  I'll help carry the treasure.
Ged:  Ha!
Alindyar:  I volunteer the use of my magical sack, here.
Peldor:  That's awfully generous of you.
Mongo:  Fuck it.  I trust him.  Any objections?
Peldor:  Hey, let the drow take the loot, I could care less.
Ged:  (glaring)
Peyote:  I say we check that area to the north.
Halbarad:  Momentarily; we need to take what we will of these
  giants' items.  In case someone is slain, of course.
Ged:  Of course.
Peyote:  These things can be expensive, you know.

  To the north was a storeroom, which had a few items of note but
none of interest.  Its exit led into a passage that the group had
already explored, so they took the other exit from the ettin room,
the one leading east.  It ended in a door.

Peldor:  Aside, dwarf.  Let a professional take over.
Mongo:  Hey!  I can kick that door down better than you can!  But
  go on about your sneaky, silent ways.  It won't matter - I'll
  still bust the shit out of whoever attacks us.
Peldor:  Ngh.  Locked, but no big deal.  Stupid needle traps.  I
  have long outgrown such childish toys.  Here, it's open.  What
  lies beyond...?  (opens the door)

  They saw a huge hall, well over a hundred feet long and about
that in width.  At the far end was a huge statue of some vile
deity; in a small chair in front of this abomination sat a robed
human.  A few pillars decorated the giant hall; its roof was
about thirty feet high.  A pair of giants stood close to the
party, one to either side.  They were no less than eleven feet
in height.

robed man:  Who in the hell are you people?!
Mongo:  (in his best booming voice)  We are here to take back a
  princess!  Are YOU the one who kidnapped her?!?!
robed man:  Oh, I see.  Geez.  Where do you people come from,
  anyway?  (produces a wand)
Belphanior:  Hey!  No fair!
mage:  All's fair in love and war.  And this is most definitely
  war.  (aims the wand at the party; a bolt of lightning blasts
  forth and scatters the adventurers)  Haha!  Rend them limb
  from limb, my giants!
Hill giants:  (move up toward the party)  Har har!

Alindyar:  (saves, knocked back)  Agh!
Belphanior:  (saves, knocked aside)  Fuck!  Fuck!  Someone dies
  for this!  (begins spellcasting)
Ged:  (saves, knocked back but begins spellcasting)  You'll pay
  for that...
Halbarad:  (fails, stunned)  Lightning bolts...
Mongo:  (saves, gets up slowly)  Grr...
Peldor:  (saves, goes invisible)
Peyote:  (fails, knocked aside)  Whoa, dude!  Agh!
Rob:  (saves, begins spellcasting)  Huh?
Peldor:  (sneaks away)
Mongo:  (goes early for a change)  Hah!  (hurls his hammer with
  great force at the mage)  Take that!
mage:  Bah.  I am protected from missiles- <KLUNK!>
Mongo:  Obviously not this one.  Jerk.  (catches his hammer)
mage:  Agh!  You'll roast for that, dwarf!  (begins spellcasting)
hill giant#1:  (grabs Peyote and shakes him)  Hah hah!
Peyote:  Dude!
hill giant#2:  (swings a huge sword at Mongo, hitting him)  Har!
Mongo:  Argh!
Belphanior:  (launches Melf's Minute Meteors at the giant who
  has Peyote)  Let him go, you fuck!
giant#1:  Agh.  Bee stings.  (tosses the half-elf aside)  Time
  to die, elf.
Ged:  (casts haste on everybody except Rob and Alindyar)  Come on,
  guys!
Mongo:  Aha!  I'll get him for sure now!  (targeting the mage)
mage:  I beg to differ.  (casts a spell...a number of large, black,
  rubbery tentacles spring from the floor all around the party)
Alindyar:  !
Belphanior:  (grabbed by one, saves, it burns him slightly and then
  disintegrates)  Ouch!
Ged:  (grabbed by one, saves, is burned before the tentacle dies)
  Argh!  That hurt!  I've got to have that spell!
Halbarad:  (snared by two - saves and fails, and one tentacle is
  still wrapped around him)  Agh!  Help!
hill giant#1:  (snared by one, saves; the thing burns him and dies)
  Ouch.  Thanks a lot, master.
Mongo:  (snared by two, saves twice, they burn him and die)  Shit!
Peyote:  (snared by one, fails to save)  Agh!  It's crushing me!
hill giant#2:  (snared by two, saves and fails, snared by one)
  Agh!  I'm gotten!
hill giant#1:  (runs over to help his friend)
Mongo:  (runs over to help Halbarad)  Hang on there, pal.
Belphanior:  (regards Peyote, but quickly decides to help him and
  begins sawing at the half-elf's black tentacle)  Hmph.
Alindyar:  (casts darkness of a 15' radius on the two hill giants)
giants:  Huh??
Rob:  (casts silence of a 15' radius on the mage at the end of the
  chamber)  Try and cast spells NOW.  Ha!
Alindyar:  A noteworthy casting, priest.  I commend you.  (grabs
  his magic missile wand quickly)
mage:  (gaping stupidly within his sphere of silence)

Belphanior:  (manages to free Peyote)  Don't say I never helped
  you.
hill giants:  (in the darkness, manages to free the bound one)
Mongo:  (manages to free Halbarad)  There you go...now where's
  that funny-looking wizard?
Belphanior:  (still hasted, of course; sprints for the mage)
mage:  (mutely points his wand at the elf, letting fly another
  bolt of lightning as he gloats wordlessly)
Belphanior:  Oh shit.   <KRACK!>  (fails his save, and is stunned
  and floored)  Agh!  (the lightning bolt flies off into a wall)
Mongo:  Don't do that again!  (hurls his hammer at the mage,
  hitting him hard)
mage:  (screaming wordlessly)
Alindyar:  (blasts the mage with three magic missiles from his
  wand)  Why will he not fall?!
Ged:  Right behind you, pal.  I've had enough of this.  (raises
  his hand)
Mongo:  Eh?  (catches his hammer)
Ged:  (fires three more magic missiles at the mage, knocking him
  to the ground, where he does not get up)  Well, that got HIM.
  If he gets up again, I'm giving him the lightning bolt.
hill giants:  (emerging from the darkness)  Huh?
Halbarad:  Your evil master is slain!
hill giants:  Hmm.  We leave nicely, no fight.  Deal?
Belphanior:  (fingering his sword, but even he is not anxious to
  fight two nearly-full strength hill giants)
Halbarad:  Go now, and do not look back.
Alindyar:  Or you will meet the fate of your master.
Belphanior:  Yeah.  Stay and die.
giants:  Ho-kay.  (they run away)
Ged:  Hey!
Peyote:  No conflict...the peace of it all.
Halbarad:  Why should we fight them?  This way, they will go out
  there into the Pomarj and kill some orcs or something.  Whyever
  should WE care?
Ged:  Hmm.  Makes sense.  Hey!  HEY!  (looking at the dead mage's
  body)  I see that, Peldor!  I see that wand floating there!
Peldor:  (becomes visible)  I was just checking his stuff out,
  to make sure he was dead and all.
Ged:  Sure.  Sure!  Get back here before I blast you!
Peldor:  Geez.  (tosses the wand aside)  I can't even use that
  stupid wand anyways.

  The party recovered the wand, some robes, and a ring from the
slain sorcerer.  Alindyar and Peldor split Peldor's potion of
extra-healing (maybe he was feeling guilty) while Ged, Peyote,
and Rob cast healing spells on the four main fighters (who were
the four most injured, coincidentally).  The party was still in
sore shape, but searched the room.  Mongo and Halbarad decided
to move the statue, and it was good that they did, for it slid
aside (after some work) to reveal a rough-hewn passage.  They
all readied themselves and entered this new, odd-smelling
tunnel.  Most of the party was still hasted, too, and this
turned out to be a good thing...

Mongo:  (entering a huge cave)  Hey, Rob!  Bring that light up
  here!  There's something moving around ahead!
Belphanior:  Something big...
Ged:  (prepares a spell on a hunch)
Halbarad:  This cave must be open to the sky - I can see the
  starry night sky up there.
Mongo:  What the FUCK is that up ahead?!?
Rob:  (moving forward, mace held high)  Huh?
Halbarad:  By the gods...
Belphanior:  Fuck!  Fuck!  It's a dragon!

Dragon:  (lifting its huge, finned, green head)  GREETINGS, MORTAL
  WORMS.

Mongo:  Oh shit!

Dragon:  YOU ARE JUST IN TIME FOR DINNER.  (grinning as it rears
  its head back and opens its mouth)

Alindyar:  (backing up rather quickly)
Rob:  Gee, a dragon!  I've never seen one of these before!
Ged:  Out of my way!  Now!  MOVE!  (runs out and launches his
  lightning bolt at the dragon)  Boccob!

Dragon:  EH?  <CRACK!>  (the dragon...FAILS its save!)  REAAARGH!!

Ged:  Yes!
Mongo:  Just swell.
Peyote:  It's not so bad.  He's got a nice chunk burned out of his
  head, there.
Dragon:  RRRRRAAARGH!!!!  YOU SHALL ALL _DIE_ FOR THAT!!!
Peyote:  Of course, he's really pissed off now...

Mongo:  Fuck, no!  (throws his hammer, hitting the monster hard
  in the chest)
Belphanior:  (trying to find his thunder and lightning staff
  while running to one side)  Oh shit, oh shit!
Peldor:  (goes invisible and runs off)
Mongo:  (catches his hammer)  Somebody DO something!
Peyote:  (trying to find his wand of wonder)  Shit!  Shit!  This
  is definitely a desperate situation!
Halbarad:  (about to charge the dragon)  I will die fighting.
Dragon:  TOO LATE, MAN-CHILDREN.  <WHOOSH>  (breathes a cloud of
  greenish gas all over everyone but Peldor)
Alindyar:  (saves, now at -7 hp)
Belphanior:  (saves, now at -1 hp)
Ged:  (saves, now at 1 hp)  Uh-oh.
Halbarad:  (fails, now at -2 hp)
Mongo:  (saves, now at 9 hp)  Fuck!  FUCK!
Peldor:  (out of the cloud's range, going for a backstab)
Peyote:  (fails, now at -15 hp)
Rob:  (saves, now at 4 hp)
Dragon:  HAHAHAHAHA!

Rob:  (dragging the unmoving bodies back out of the way)
Ged:  Uh...
Mongo:  Now I'm REALLY pissed off!  (throws his hammer again, but
  it bounces off of the dragon's hide harmlessly)  FUCK!!
Peldor:  (invisibly moving in on the dragon)
Dragon:  (turns toward the thief)  OH, GIVE ME A BREAK.
Peldor:  Umm...(discovered, he runs madly at the huge monster,
  and slashes it, actually scoring a flesh wound)  Die?
Dragon:  YES, YOU WILL DIE A THOUSAND DEATHS FOR THAT, ROGUE.  (picks
  Peldor up in one giant claw)
Peldor:  (being crushed slowly)  Argh!
Ged:  (thinking hard)
Mongo:  Put him down!  (throws his hammer again, smacking the
  dragon in the head)
Dragon:  ARGH!  YOU WILL BE THE NEXT, DWARF.
Ged:  (steps forth and points at the dragon)  Burn!  (his ring
  creates a shower of burning sparks on the huge monster's head)
  Burn, you miserable son of a bitch!  Burn!
Dragon:  REAAARGH!  THAT HURTS, ELF!  AAARGH!
Mongo:  (catches his hammer)  Do tell.  Try this hammer again,
  you big fuckin' lizard!  (throws the hammer again)
Dragon:  (hit in the belly)  ARGH!  Argh!  argh!  argh.  ....
  (rolls over and hits the rock floor of the cavern with a huge
  THUMP)
Ged:  I don't believe it!  We killed the thing!
Mongo:  (exhausted)  Yeah.  But look at us...

  Alindyar, Belphanior, and Halbarad were at death's door, while
Peyote was a bit further in than that.  Rob did what he could
with his few remaining spells, but everyone needed to rest, and
they weren't even in a safe area yet.  Thus...

Mongo:  I'm going to check out this exit.  It looks fairly open -
  maybe it leads to a side room.  (goes wearily)
Rob:  (with Ged and Peldor, carrying the comatose over to the
  exit which Mongo just went through)  I guess we're the lucky
  ones, eh?
Ged:  I guess so.
Peldor:  Victory doesn't taste so sweet now, does it?
Ged:  It sure doesn't.

  Mongo came back shortly with news of a nicely decorated bedroom
(almost certainly the wizard's), and that was all that the others
needed to hear.  They retired to this sizable, defensible area
and barricaded the door, and set up a sort of camp.  In the bed
was a familiar, drugged princess; on a small table nearby were
a number of half-composed ransom demands.
  The next day, the priests performed much healing, and then all
of the adventurers (except Peyote) began taking careful and rapid
stock of their newly found treasure, with the help of Ged's detect
magic and identify spells.  The princess chatted with Peldor, whom
Ged did not want anywhere near the treasure pile.



THE TOTAL LOOT:

topaz, ~600 gp, ~3000 gp, ten corals, misc. other gems
~2600 gp, ~4400 ep, carving
~2200 sp, 83 small silver rings, 322 gp
~18000 cp, ~13000 sp, ~9000 gp, ~5000 ep, ~900 pp, 14 large gems,  \
   goblet, necklace, amulet, earrings, statues (3), bracelets (5)  /
                                                                \/
dagger of throwing, +3                                         /
human-sized plate +4, spear +2                               /
wand of lightning, ring, robes +3                          /
potion of fire giant strength              \             /
potions of extra-healing (2)                 \           |
potions, useless (4)                           \         |
potions, poison (2)                              \       |
scroll (druidic - 6 spells)                        \  DRAGON'S
rod                                                /    PILE
amulet                                           /
longbow +2                                     /
bottle                                       /
flute                                      /
two huge diamonds         \
crossbow                    \
spell book (12 spells)       > WIZARD'S CHEST
longsword                   /
ancient scroll            /



  The adventurers gathered what (all) they could carry and left
the fortress.  No one or no thing saw fit to bother them this
time.  Just over a week later, they trudged into the city of
Havenhill and into Baron Trevor's castle (the guards had been
told to let them in if they ever came back).

Halbarad:  (leading the party into the baron's conference room)
  Greetings, good Baron.  We have your daughter.  (she runs into
  her father's arms)
Baron Trevor:  Oh, thank the gods!
Peldor:  No, thank us.
Halbarad:  And thank Peyote here, who is still dead from our battles.
Baron Trevor:  We will have to see what we can do about that...





next time:  Training, Resurrection, Treasure, and Flashbacks

ANONYMOUS FTP SITE: tybalt.caltech.edu (in pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers)
***********************************************************************
NOTES:  This episode is dedicated to Dan Parsons, author of Navero,
for his stories which eventually inspired me to write mine.
***********************************************************************




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