Chapter #465

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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   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Alindyar      17th level drow mage                           (N) +
+    Lyra        13th level female drow mage                    (N) +
+      Felicia    1st level female human thief                 (LN) +
+  Bosco         11th level halfling thief                     (CN) +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Date:        5/4/576 C.Y. (Common Year)                          +
+  Time:        morning                                             +
+  Place:       the Free City of Greyhawk                           +
+  Climate:     cool                                                +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's;         +
+   I will not reason and compare; my business is to create."       +
+                                                 - William Blake   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





               CDLXV.  Just Another Day in Greyhawk





  Several days after helping Belphanior, the drow are spending one
of Alindyar's off-days at home...

Alindyar:  (frowning as he re-stacks tomes in a wall-mounted shelf)
  Now where did that volume on teleportation end up...?
Lyra:  You left it in the bathhouse.
Alindyar:  (raises an eyebrow)  I did?
Lyra:  (nods)  I remember picking it up myself.  It's in the dining
  room.
Alindyar:  Hmm.
Felicia:  (helping with the chores, she carries an armful of scrolls
  into the room)  Where do you want these, Auntie Lyra?
Lyra:  Over there, on that desk, thanks.
Felicia:  (wanders in that direction)
Alindyar:  "Auntie"?
Lyra:  (shrugs and smiles)  What can I say?  She's taken to me.
Alindyar:  <sigh>
Felicia:  (to both of them)  What happened to that elf and his crazy
  friends?
Lyra:  They're gone...gone to do whatever it is they do.
Alindyar:  (frowns, wondering if they were successful)
Felicia:  Some of those guys were _weird_!  That big snaky one was
  scary...
Lyra:  Not really.
Alindyar:  What was that fellow, anyway?
Lyra:  Not sure...he might have been some lizard-man offshoot.  Or
  maybe an older race.
Alindyar:  For a lizard man, he was rather massive.
Lyra:  Yes.  I don't think he really wants anyone to know where he
  came from, though.  That much was obvious.
Alindyar:  But you are correct...he did seem polite enough.
Lyra:  So does an iron golem, when it's just standing there.  I'll tell
  you one thing, though - I wouldn't want to face him in a battle.
Felicia:  When are Peldor and Tanya gonna come back?
Lyra:  There's no way to know for sure, my dear.
Felicia:  But they just left!
Lyra:  They felt that they had to.  Don't worry, they'll be back.
Alindyar:  (wondering silently when they will return - if ever)
Felicia:  Can we go eat lunch at the Green Dragon Inn?
Lyra:  Hmm...(ESPing to Alindyar)  Didn't we just go there the other
  day?
Alindyar:  (ESPing to Lyra)  Aye, but I believe she wants to see Bosco
  about something.
Lyra:  (ESPing to Alindyar)  I wonder what?
Alindyar:  (ESPing to Lyra)  Who can say?  Perhaps we should dine out
  today.
Lyra:  (ESPing to Alindyar)  Until I decide to start cooking, that's
  our only choice anyway.  (to Felicia)  Very well, we'll go out to
  eat-
Felicia:  (smiles)  All right!
Lyra:  -but only if we're done cleaning this study by then.
Felicia:  (newly inspired, she dashes off to find a broom)
Alindyar:  So young...so full of energy.
Lyra:  (nods)  She'll be a fine young lady, when she grows up.
Alindyar:  (eyeing a nearby door)  Oh, incidentally, I completed the
  spells of protection for our windows and doors.
Lyra:  Good - I feel safer now.

  The drow had planned and executed a massive defensive strategy for
their mansion.  Now that it was fully implemented, the place was
quite deadly for any would-be burglars.  All of the windows opened
normally from within, but if tampered with, forced, or broken from
the outside, a powerful electrical shock - enough to kill a small
child - would be discharged.  In addition, a loud wailing voice would
then begin its ear-piercing keening cries of "THIEF!  THIEF!"
  The mansion had two exterior doors, one in front and one in back.
The latter was protected by a similar spell, one that spelled certain
doom to anyone who tried to pick the lock.  While unlocked, this door
was harmless to any and all; while locked, it was not to be tampered
with.  They made sure that Felicia understood, but the girl was rather
bright, and quickly vowed not to practice her lock-picking on that
particular door.
  The mansion's front door bore magical wards to keep it locked and
safe from thieves' picks.  In addition, their stone golem normally
stayed in the front hall, so any unwanted visitors would have to deal
with the massive construct.  The golem had orders not to permanently
harm or maim anyone it had seen with the drow previously.
  Certain portals within the mansion, as well, were guarded against
intruders.  One such doorway, that leading into their spacious bed-
chamber, was protected by a powerful rune.  Anyone but the drow who
attempted to pass would be blasted by searing mystical energy, and
a magic mouth would then begin screaming an alarm.  Within a secret
niche just inside the bedchamber's hall rested a scroll full of quick
and simple defensive spells, as well as a wand of paralyzation that
Alindyar had purchased from the Guild of Wizardry.
  The study was warded by an invisible magical mouth, its sole
purpose to yell loudly if anyone but Alindyar or Lyra (or Felicia)
removed anything from the chamber.  Neither dark elf wanted to have
any destructive spell effects in the study, given the nature of its
contents, so a simple alarm was all that was called for here.
  The drow had further defensive measures planned, but these were the
ones they had implemented in this phase.



  Shortly before midday, the two drow and their ward entered the
Green Dragon Inn, and found Bosco almost immediately.  The halfling
looked busy, but he greeted them with a cherubic smile and extended
arms.

Bosco:  Welcome!
Felicia:  Bosco!  (hugs him)  We're ready for lunch.  I'm so hungry
  I could eat a horse!
Bosco:  Well, I'll just have to see what I can do about that.  I'm
  afraid we're fresh out of horses, but maybe some bread and butter
  will do for a start...?  (he glances at the drow)
Alindyar:  Lead on, noble Bosco.
Bosco:  (seats them himself)
Vinnie:  (waves to Lyra)  G'day.
Lyra:  Hi, Vinnie.
Alindyar:  (to Bosco, as he leads them to a booth)  How is business?
Bosco:  Good, good.  I'm busy as heck, but it's worth it.  (he gets
  a serious look in his eye)  We're not gonna lose money while Peldor
  and Tanya are gone.
Lyra:  What about the casino?
Bosco:  What about it?
Alindyar:  A mage at the Guild told me that you had gaming every night
  of the week...?
Bosco:  (nods, breaking into a smile)  Oh, yeah.  _Every_ night is
  casino night now!
Lyra:  Cards?
Bosco:  Cards, dice, the wheel...you name it, we've got it.
Felicia:  (a slice of buttered bread crammed in her mouth)  Oh, can I
  play?
Alindyar:  (frowns)  Hmm.  (ESPing to Lyra)  She's sure to end up like
  the other thieves...maybe we should teach her some rudimentary magic?
Lyra:  (shrugs)

  Just then, there was a great commotion at the front door of the inn.

Bosco:  (climbs up onto a chair to get a better look)
Felicia:  (still chowing down on bread, she glances over in interest)
Lyra:  (alarmed)  What is it?
Alindyar:  Are we under attack?
Bosco:  (grinning broadly as he stands there on his chair)  Better than
  that - my brothers are here!

  Sure enough, six merry halflings were prancing and dancing toward
Bosco, mischief in their eyes and nothing in their stomachs.





next:      chaos reigns
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           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:     Following is the concert report:



                     The KISS Concert

  Sometime in late August 1996, my roommate Mitch and I had a
run of damn good luck - more specifically, second-row tickets
to the October 1 KISS concert in Atlanta's Omni.  After weeks
of anticipation, the time had come.  I was psyched, the show
was mere hours away, and good times were ahead.  In fact, we
were kind of worried that something could go wrong; when you
have tickets this good, things can't get any better, so it's
a good idea to make sure they don't get worse.
  Shortly after 5 pm, we got on a MARTA bus, and rode it to
the rail station, then switched to the train.  Time flew by,
and before we knew it we were in the CNN Center, right next
to the Omni.  It was barely 6 pm, and with the show at 8 pm,
we had time to kill.  Fortunately for concert-goers everywhere,
the CNN center's bottom floor contains a dozen fast-food
restaurants, at least four of which serve good, cold beer.
  After a glorious feast of pizza, nachos, tacos, and hamburgers
(and three more beers apiece) we were ready.  We headed over to
the Omni, checking to make sure we still had our tickets.  The
T-shirt stands were up, and I went ahead and got my concert
shirt, putting it on under my other one.  After this, we headed
down to our seats.
  It was really neat to walk down, and keep getting our tickets
checked, only to be pointed toward the stage.  We'd never had
concert seats this close, and probably never would again, so we
were determined to make the most of it.  The security between
front-row and stage was pretty tight:  a guard every four feet
or so, plus the occasional police officer.  We talked to them
for awhile, before the music started.  After several beers, and
several bathroom trips, the opening act came onstage.  It was
some group of kids with sideburns who screamed a lot, and while
they weren't bad, they weren't good either.  After five or six
songs, they left, and the ETA for KISS was 15-20 minutes.
  It seemed like a good time for another bathroom break, but
fifteen minutes later, while I was in line for the urinal and
KISS started playing, I realized the foolishness of filling
one's bladder too often.  Shortly after that, as I walked back
to my second-row seats, I vowed to drink no more that night.
  The band was into their second song by the time I got back to
my seat, and I wasted no time getting into it.  There were a
lot of women around us, but the most interesting ones were the
four who had front-row seats right in front of ours.  Each of
these girls had her face painted as one of the KISS members,
and the paint-jobs were of superior quality.  The women weren't
bad-looking, either; to quote Mitch, "Man, the least of them
was an 8."  They were dressed skimpily, though stylishly, and
it didn't take long for the band to notice them; by the middle
of the show, they had their backstage passes.  Since these women
were such prominent individuals that evening, I've included a
brief but concise report on them, omitting only the sorts of
details one might read about in Playboy:


face   hair                 outfit
-----  -------------------  ---------------------------------------------
Gene   long kinky blond     black spandex pants, tiny halter top, boots
Paul   short frizzy blond   silver spandex, silver bustier top
Ace    long straight black  silver miniskirt/top 1-piece deal
Peter  long straight blond  black miniskirt, halter top, high black boots


  It was a pretty good time:  no fights, no obnoxious people,
just 2+ hours of loud rock & roll.  I'm not just saying that,
either; KISS throws one of the best live shows in history.  It
had fireworks, gouts of flame, rising platforms for the band
to stand on.  The band - the original four members of KISS -
wore the same outrageous outfits and face-paint as they did
in the classic 1970s shows.  Gene spit blood (not very far,
but that was okay) and breathed fire (ditto) and pranced
around the multiple stages like a demon.  Paul did his usual
singing and acrobatic guitar-playing with a wild flair.  Ace's
guitar smoked and shot fire.  Peter's drum-set rose into the
air.  You could tell that this was one of those concerts that
wouldn't happen again, not with the original band members and
the facepaint - this was a one-time deal.  I'm glad I could say
I was there, as was Mitch, and I'm sure we weren't alone.  The
couple in front and to the right of us had their little (about
8-year-old) girl with them, and she was disguised as a miniature
Paul Stanley, complete with facepaint, black clothes, and frizzy
hair.  Somebody handed her a guitar pick during the show, and
she also got to sit on the front-row barrier.  It was good to
see that some security guards still have hearts.
  KISS played nineteen songs, I think (I'm glad I didn't get
an exact count, because that would have meant I wasn't enjoying
myself enough.)  Everything they did was from their first six
albums, aka the Alive I and II stuff.  Here's a rough song-list
from memory; the ones with numbers are the ones I'm sure about
the order of:



1   Deuce
    Shout It Out Loud
    Do You Love Me
    Let Me Go, Rock & Roll
    Cold Gin
    Calling Dr. Love
    Firehouse
8   Shock Me
    <Ace guitar solo>
    Strutter
    Love Gun
    I Stole Your Love
12  God of Thunder
    <Peter drum solo>
    Back in the New York Groove
    ?
15  100,000 Years
16  Black Diamond
    <break before encore>
17  Detroit Rock City
18  Beth
19  Rock and Roll All Nite

  "?" doesn't mean I didn't know the song, it means I can't
remember.  During the finale, they dropped thousands of balloons
on us, not to mention lots of confetti.  After the concert ended
and the lights came back on, the four young ladies headed back-
stage, and that was the last we saw of them.  Pity.  It took a
while, but eventually we got out of the Omni and made our way
to the MARTA station.  I was glad I'd bought a T-shirt, because
they were all sold out after the show.
  All in all, a great concert, one of the best I've ever seen,
in all areas.  Definitely the best seats I've ever had.  Second
row in the Omni is much more impressive when you're standing in
it, looking back, up, and around at all the thousands of lesser
seats!  Damn good seats.  My ears are still ringing...
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





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