Chapter #431

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                                +   +
                              +       +
                            +           +
                          +               +
                        +                   +
                      +                       +
                    +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                      +                       +
                        +      Epic III     +
                          +               +
                            +           +
                              +       +
                                +   +

+    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                    +
+                           +
+  Belphanior     (14th)^3 level elven fighter/wizard/thief    (CN) +
+    Otto           8th/9th level dwarven fighter/thief        (CN) +
+    Victoria        11th level female vampiric human fighter  (NE) +
+  Date:        4/15/576 C.Y. (Common Year)                         +
+  Time:        dusk                                                +
+  Place:       Belphanior's castle, above Helgate                  +
+  Climate:     chilly                                              +
+  "I try never to be where I'm thought to be."                     +
+                                 - from _The Quick and the Dead_   +

                   CDXXXI.  Spring Cleaning

  Only half a day after Peldor and Tanya's wedding, Belphanior has
returned to Helgate with his companions, one of whom is rather
puzzled at the moment...

Otto:  I don't get it.
Belphanior:  (heading toward his study)  Pardon?
Otto:  (following the elf)  I mean coming back here.  I thought we
  were going to take care of some stuff in the Greyhawk area, then
  take the long way back.
Belphanior:  Oh, that.  Well, there're two reasons.  One, I changed
  my mind about the anti-magic sphere.
Otto:  How so?
Belphanior:  It would be nice to have it here, but it's even nicer
  to have it there.
Otto:  Hmm, that way, if you ever get into really deep shit in
  Greyhawk, you have an ace up your sleeve.
Belphanior:  Right.  And reason number two:  Victoria can't travel
  long distances by land.
Otto:  Why n-  Oh.  Oh, yeah.
Belphanior:  So, that's why I teleported us straight here from our
  room in the Green Dragon.
Otto:  Where'd Victoria get to?
Belphanior:  She's in her new bedroom...resting, I suppose.  (he
  glances at the setting sun outside)  Though not for much longer.
Otto:  Yeah...hey, what'd you think about what the thieves' guild
  did to Peldor?
Belphanior:  Hell, they plucked him and fucked him.  He was more
  deserving than that bitch they made guildmaster.
Otto:  That's too bad...a damn shame.
Belphanior:  Yeah.  Big-city politics...what a mess.
Otto:  Really.  That's why I left Perrenland's arm-
Belphanior:  (nearly trips over something)  What the hell?  (he picks
  up an arm bone, the flesh all but gone)  Hmm, battle residue.
Otto:  Yo!  Here's another one.
Belphanior:  Another human?
Otto:  (kicks at a bone shard)  Hard to say.  He's kinda thin.
Belphanior:  Good gods, what a mess.  Who were these idiots?
Otto:  One of 'em said "the Company of Nine"...this must be number
Belphanior:  Eight.  One survived, remember?
Otto:  Right.
Belphanior:  (snaps his fingers, and the air near him shimmers)  Get
  to work.
unseen servant:  (begins picking up the mess)
Belphanior:  So much for that.  (he sighs as the invisible servant
  sweeps up the bone shards)  We're going to have to get some real
  servants, though.
Otto:  Why?
Belphanior:  These unseen ones aren't working out.  They're fine and
  dandy, but they
Otto:  Sounds like something Victoria would say.
Belphanior:  She did.
Otto:  Oh.
Belphanior:  See, Victoria's used to having servants, when she's in
  a castle.
Otto:  Vampires stay in castles a lot, don't they?
Belphanior:  Apparently so.  And while she's here, I want her to be
Otto:  Yeah, she needs to be happy.  Otherwise she might bite me or
  Charlie or Kyros.
Belphanior:  You think so?
Otto:  (shrugs)  I think maybe, I hope not.  'Course, if we've got
  servants around, she could always bite them instead.  (he grins)
  Yeah, let's get some real servants...
Belphanior:  Also, the quality of the food the "fake" servants have
  been preparing has been...abysmal.
Otto:  Now _that_ I agree wholeheartedly with.
Belphanior:  See, the things do what they're told...but no more, and
  they don't have any motivation.  So the food is bland, and nothing
  I tell them will change that.
Otto:  Real servants...from where?
Belphanior:  (shrugs)  I'll find some, somewhere.  Hey, maybe I'll let
  Victoria find them.
Otto:  Yie.
Belphanior:  So, that's that.  (he rubs his eyepatch)
Otto:  Yeah.  What's next on the agenda?
Belphanior:  I'm not sure.  We need to see how things are in town.
Otto:  I'll be chatting with Eduardo soon.
Belphanior:  Good, that kid knows everything.
Otto:  I'll also talk to Razor Charlie, and Kyros, and Herbert.  The
  mines are still producing silver, as far as I know, so all of the
  riffraff is still in town.
Belphanior:  Probably causing trouble...we're not going to get away
  with leaving them alone for much longer.
Otto:  (nods)  And then some blood will flow.
Belphanior:  You're right.
Otto:  Speaking of blood, I've been thinking about the intruders we
  had recently.
Belphanior:  Yeah, me too.
Otto:  Oh?
Belphanior:  I think about this kind of stuff in the back of my mind
  all the time.
Otto:  Hmm.
Belphanior:  It's not like we had a lot of problems, but still, we
  can't just have monsters running loose.  There's got to be some
Otto:  Well, the gargoyle was a good idea, but some of the other
Belphanior:  Like the giant scorpion, for instance?
Otto:  Yeah, I'm sorry about that.  He just got away from me, and ran
  down the hall-
Belphanior:  No big deal, we were safe upstairs.
Otto:  I say we install more traps, and keep less monsters.
Belphanior:  In the common rooms, at least.
Otto:  I like all the secret passages, especially the second spiral
  stairway.  I was watching those idiots constantly, and they never
  knew it.
Belphanior:  Your trap worked well, though we'll need others, in the
  more...strategic locations.
Otto:  Agreed.  I think Angus would have been better used right at
  the front door, like usual.
Belphanior:  Well, I wanted to give them a chance...
Otto:  This isn't a game.  You of all people should know that.  Next
  time it might be more powerful adventurers.  We might not get away
  so easy.
Belphanior:  Hmm, I guess you're right.  I'll see what I can do.
Otto:  The trick is to be able to live here, but at the same time
  make it lethal for any unwanted guests.
Belphanior:  Shouldn't be too hard.
Otto:  And what happened to all the webs and fog and bats and such?
Belphanior:  Uh...
Otto:  I mean, this place is sinister enough, but all those little
  effects would help a lot.
Belphanior:  I'll take care of it.
Otto:  Cool.
Belphanior:  Whew, that's a lot of things to do.
Otto:  Yeah.  Servants, scumbags, security...what else do we need to
  deal with?
Belphanior:  I've got one idea, but if I told you, you'd be surprised.
Otto:  Believe me, man, nothing could surprise me anymore.
Belphanior:  Wellllll...what I'd like to do is find some way to cure
Otto:  What?!?
Belphanior:  You know, cure her vampirism.
Otto:  Uh, are you sure she'd want that?
Belphanior:  Probably.  If I find a way, at least she'll have the
Otto:  That's pretty bold, and ambitious.
Belphanior:  Yeah, but if anyone can find a cure, I can.
Otto:  So how're you gonna do it?
Belphanior:  I've got some books, tomes, and such that discuss some
  of this stuff.  I'll have to do some research, and expend some
  magic, but I _will_ find a way.
Otto:  Worth a try.
Belphanior:  I think it is.  I figure I'll have an idea of where and
  how to start within the week.
Otto:  Okay.  I'll go find out what's been happening down in town.
  (he exits)
Belphanior:  (mumbling to himself)  Vampirism...hmm, where to start?
  (he looks up)  The study.  That'd be a good place.  Yeah.  (he
  wanders in that direction)
Victoria:  (flies by the window, outside, in bat form)

next:      trouble in town
ftp: in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
  in /pub/users/zac/rpg/adventurers/
mail:       (preferred)
notes:     I hate to jump around again, but I'll be consistent this
  time.  You got 5 for Peldor and Tanya, and now you'll get 5 for
  Belphanior and company, and then maybe Mongo, and so forth.

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