Chapter #461

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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                    +
+                                  tmiller@cimmeria.ns.gatech.edu   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Peldor       20th level human thief                          (N) +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Date:        6/17/576 C.Y. (Common Year)                         +
+  Time:        the middle of the night                             +
+  Place:       the treasure vaults of the Sultan of Zeif           +
+  Climate:     pleasant                                            +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "You're very suspicious, Mr. Bond."                              +
+  "Oh, I find that I live much longer that way."                   +
+                        - 007 & XXX, from _The Spy Who Loved Me_   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                  CDLXI.  No Weenie, This Genie





  Through a combination of skill and luck, Peldor has discovered
the subterranean chambers that are home to the Sultan Murad's fabled
treasure.  There is only one problem...

gigantic bald fellow:  (floating several feet above the tiled floor
  of the vault)  NO ONE, BUT NO ONE, LOOTS THE SULTAN'S TREASURE
  VAULTS AND LIVES TO SPEAK OF IT!
Peldor:  (backing away)  Uh...can we talk about this?
giant bald fellow:  I THINK NOT.  (swooping in with a whistling sound,
  he swings a huge scimitar at the startled thief)
Peldor:  (leaps back, wondering where that scimitar came from, as the
  heavy blade crashes against the floor, giving birth to a shower of
  sparks)  Good gods!
giant bald fellow:  EH?  A QUICK ONE, YOU ARE...(he slashes at Peldor
  again)
Peldor:  (ducks, narrowly avoiding decapitation)  Damn!  (fed up with
  this, he draws his own sword)  Come on, then!
giant bald fellow:  (laughing at the puny, toothpick-like longsword)
  THAT TINY BLADE WILL AVAIL YOU NAUGHT, MORTAL.
Peldor:  Well, maybe it won't have to.  (having TK-ed a heavy golden
  chest into the air behind the foe, he sends it smashing into the
  back of the man's head)
giant bald fellow:  (staggers for a moment)  OUCH.
Peldor:  (tries the ring Tanya loaned him)  Stop right there, and I
  mean _now_.
giant bald fellow:  (regards the human)
Peldor:  There's no further need to fight.
giant bald fellow:  AN INTERESTING POWER YOU HAVE THERE, MANLING, BUT
  IT IS USELESS AGAINST ME.
Peldor:  Er...
giant bald fellow:  (lunges in, as fast as the wind, and slashes with
  his scimitar)
Peldor:  (in a move of pure desperation, he blocks the blow with his
  own sword, causing steel to ring loudly in the cavernous vault)

  Steel rung, sparks flew - and the larger combatant's curved sword
broke!

giant bald fellow:  (wide-eyed)  IT CANNOT BE!
Peldor:  (also wide-eyed, he recovers a moment faster, and with a flash
  his sword-point rests at the foe's throat)
giant bald fellow:  (purses his lips)  Oops.
Peldor:  Now, maybe you can tell me where I'll find the ruby.
giant bald fellow:  Ruby?
Peldor:  Tell me, now!  It's the least you can do-
giant bald fellow:  (vaporizes, leaving behind a thin mist)
Peldor:  Well, shit.

  The mist, however, did not go away, or dissipate.  Rather, it drifted
to the side...swirled...and coalesced, reforming the foe!

giant bald fellow:  HO, HO, HO.
Peldor:  You've _got_ to be kidding me...
giant bald fellow:  I KNOW NOT HOW YOU SHATTERED MY ENCHANTED BLADE,
  MORTAL, BUT THIS GAME BORES ME.
Peldor:  Sorry to hear that.  I'll see what I can do-
giant bald fellow:  YOU'LL DO NOTHING.  (gesturing, he summons into
  existence a dozen huge, yellow-skinned ogre magi)
Peldor:  Uh-oh.  (taken aback, he whirls, his sword poised)  Fight like
  a man, damn you!

  As the fearsome foes closed in, ringing the thief, he leapt suddenly,
vaulting over their heads and landing amidst a tremendous pile of coins.

Peldor:  (looks around, seeking escape)
giant bald fellow:  ANOTHER SLY TRICK, THIEF...BUT IT MATTERS NOT.
ogre magi:  (all twelve of them fly toward Peldor, growling and
  chattering)
Peldor:  Whoa.  (he TKs a flurry of coins at the foes, while sliding
  off the pile onto the vault floor)

  A strange thing happened then:  as the hundreds of whizzing coins
hit the foes, the ogre magi blinked out of existence.

Peldor:  (notes this out of the corner of one eye)  Huh?
ogre magi:  (those who remain, they close in, hovering over the loot
  scattered about the vast chamber)
Peldor:  No!  (he faces the foes)  I've figured it out - you're all
  illusions!
ogre magi:  (still advancing)
Peldor:  Bah.  (he points at the giant bald man as he begins dashing
  for a door he spotted)  We'll continue our fascinating conversation
  some other time, fellow!
illusionary ogre magi:  (disbelieved, they vanish)
giant bald man:  INCONCEIVABLE.  (sighing, he gestures again)  YOUR
  SKILL IS EXTRAORDINARY, AND THE SULTAN SHALL SURELY WISH TO KNOW
  YOUR BUSINESS HERE.  THUS, YOU MUST BE CAPTURED.
Peldor:  Not today, baldy.  (he tugs the door open)
giant bald man:  (waves his hand)

  A giant, cylindrical steel cage, its bars close-set, appeared around
Peldor, instantly trapping him!  Just like that, the thief was held
fast, only a moment before he would have made his escape.

Peldor:  (testing the bars, he finds them powerful indeed)  Damn.
giant bald fellow:  YOU SHAN'T ESCAPE THIS TRAP.
Peldor:  We'll see about that.  (he grabs one of the bars and slowly
  bends it out of place)
giant bald fellow:  DON'T YOU EVER GIVE UP?  (grabbing the cage easily,
  he bashes it against a nearby wall several times)
Peldor:  (dazed and bloody)
giant bald fellow:  YOU'LL POSE NO PROBLEM IN THERE.  COME.  (he hefts
  the cage, carrying it and its occupant as if they were a pillow, and
  ventures through an exit, down a hallway)

  Though Peldor took every opportunity to bother and slow his captor
(once tripping the fellow with a chair, as he ascended some stairs)
the huge man was undaunted.  He did, occasionally, knock the cage
against a wall or floor, to discourage his prisoner.  Shortly, they
arrived at a dungeon, and Peldor's cage was tossed inside a real cell,
the barred chamber's door slammed shut an instant later.  Then, the
cage created by the giant bald man vanished.

Peldor:  (scowling)  Another illusion?
giant bald fellow:  NOT QUITE.
Peldor:  (confused)  Oh.
giant bald fellow:  BE SURE NOT TO WANDER AWAY.  I MUST INFORM THE
  SULTAN OF YOUR PRESENCE...AND THEN HE CAN DEAL WITH YOU.  I TRUST
  YOU'LL FIND THE EXPERIENCE MOST UNPLEASANT.
Peldor:  Ah, go suck a lemon.
giant bald fellow:  (frowns)  WHY WOULD I DO THAT?  (he floats out of
  the cell block, and is gone)
Peldor:  (looking around)  Well, rats.

  The thief began checking all aspects of his prison, searching for a
way out.  There seemed to be none; the bars were crossed horizontally
as well as vertically, and were wrought of thick, sturdy steel.  The
cell door had no apparent locking mechanism, and there were no windows
or TK-able items in sight.  Still, Peldor had all of his weapons and
equipment, and thought it preposterous that they would put him in a
cell like this.  It was only a matter of time before he found a way
out.

Peldor:  (working at one of the hinges, he finally manages to tap it
  out using his TK ring, after it proves more than physical strength
  can handle)  Aha!  (he goes to work on the other hinge, muttering
  to himself)  There we go...hold still, baby, and before long I'll
  be out of here...
Vizier:  That's precisely why we'll have to kill you now.
Peldor:  Eh?  (he looks up)

  The tall, thin fellow was standing in front of the cell, along with
the twelve-foot tall, purple-skinned efreet Jafu.

Jafu:  Hi, remember me?
Vizier:  I don't know who you are, foreigner, but my plans have been
  stepped up a bit.  Even as we speak, Hakeem prepares to slay the
  Sultan, in his own bedchamber!
Jafu:  (stands there, massive arms crossed, an evil smile on his ugly
  face)
Vizier:  By the time the palace guards learn of the assassination, you
  will be dead - and the obvious culprit, slain by the loyal Vizier as
  you fled the scene of your vile deed!
Jafu:  (snorting smoke)  Hah, hah, hah.





next:      everything comes together
ftp:       ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
           ftp.nol.net in /pub/users/zac/rpg/adventurers/
           ftp.tas.gov.au/misc/stories
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:     This is being made up as I go.
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