Chapter #480

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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                    +
+                           +
+  Alindyar     17th level drow mage                            (N) +
+    Lyra       13th level female drow mage                     (N) +
+  Belphanior  (14th)^3 level elven fighter/wizard/thief       (CN) +
+    Otto        8th/9th level dwarven fighter/thief           (CN) +
+    the wispy thing                                                +
+  Ged          15th/14th level grey elven priest/mage         (NG) +
+    Arnold     13th level human barbarian warrior             (NG) +
+  Mongo        18th level dwarven fighter                     (CG) +
+    Gorin      10th level dwarven fighter                     (NG) +
+  Peldor       20th level human thief                          (N) +
+    Tanya       5th/11th level female human fighter/thief      (N) +
+    Bosco      11th level halfling thief                      (CN) +
+  Rillen       17th level human monk                           (N) +
+    Songa      13th level human huntress                       (N) +
+  Date:        6/22/576 C.Y. (Common Year)                         +
+  Time:        morning                                             +
+  Place:       elsewhere                                           +
+  Climate:     cool and foggy                                      +
+  "Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink..."           +
+       - from _Ryme of the Ancient Mariner_, by Samuel Coleridge   +

                   CDLXXX.  All Washed Up

  The party, complete and adventure-bound for the first time in a
long while, now rows their way into a fog-shrouded sea...

Songa:  (easily pulling the oars, she watches Mongo)  Feeling ill?
Mongo:  (completely nauseous)  Uhh...
Rillen:  (to Songa)  Something about that hammer he
  is his element, really.  Away from land, he gets like this.
Songa:  Oh.
Gorin:  (muttering)  He'll get better, when we reach land.
Otto:  I hope so - I get the feeling we'll need his hammer-arm.
Ged:  (steering the longboat masterfully)  By Boccob, where _are_ we?
Belphanior:  (peering into the mists as they roll over the water)
  I have no idea.
Peldor:  (looking back, behind the boat's stern)  I can't see those
  docks any more...
Tanya:  Or hear the sounds of the dockworkers.
Alindyar:  Aie.  Yonder city is gone.
Lyra:  As if it never existed...
Arnold:  Aaa.  This is not good.
Bosco:  Ah, lighten up.  We can't be nowhere - because we're somewhere.
wispy thing:  Frrrp.

  The boat moved through the water, propelled by its oarspeople.  For
her part, Songa didn't seem to tire, pulling the oars as the muscles
in her arms and shoulders rippled.  The adventurers didn't see or hear
anything; the vessel cut through the water, barely making waves.  It
was eerie, unnervingly so; the passage of time seemed to slow, making
it hard to tell if moments or hours had passed.  Even the small talk
they made didn't make any difference; only their own sounds, and the
lapping of water on the hull, broke the dead silence.  Just as Ged
was verbally pondering the possibility of using a spell to try and
illuminate the situation, Bosco perked up.

Bosco:  (cups a hand to one ear)  I hear waves...breaking on a shore!
Ged:  You're mad-
Otto:  No, I hear it too!

  Soon, everyone did.  The rowers pulled double-time, propelling the
longboat toward the sound, as Ged guided the vessel from its stern.

Belphanior:  We're getting careful...
Ged:  (arrogantly)  We're doing fine.  Just a bit farther-

  Without warning, the boat hit something with bone-jarring force!
Its bow was shattered, warm seawater pouring in through the shattered
wood, and those in the front of the boat were thrown into the water.

Belphanior:  Whoaaa-  <splash>
Otto:  (ditto)
Mongo:  (falls out of the boat, sinking like a stone)  Fuck!  (in
  desperation, he flails about, grabbing the rock outcropping that
  the front of the boat has disintegrated upon)  <glurg>  (he spits
  out seawater, coughing)
Bosco:  Heyyyyy...(he pitches forward, but then lands atop the sea's
  surface, skidding along for a few feet)  Yaaaa!
Arnold:  (walking on water as well, thanks to his magical boots)
  Hold on, Mondo!  (trotting along the water, he reaches the rocks
  and quickly anchors himself, grabbing Mongo and pulling him to
Songa:  (also pitched into the water, she dogpaddles along easily,
  looking around to see how she can help)
Rillen:  Songa!
Songa:  I'm fine, but the boat-

  The boat was sinking, and quickly.  Those who were not yet wet
would soon be.

Rillen:  (sinks with the boat's middle, and begins swimming around)
Gorin:  (grabs a large piece of wood and begins paddling along)  We
  need to get to shore!
Songa:  Right - that way!  (she points into the fog, toward the sound
  of the waves)
Alindyar:  (suddenly floating along, above the water, he grabs Lyra
  and holds tight)
Lyra:  (ESPing to Alindyar)  Nice save.
Alindyar:  (ESPing to Lyra)  Thank you.
wispy thing:  (flying above all the chaos, it gnashes its immaterial
  teeth)  Sprrd.
Ged:  (cursing as his feet get wet)  Water, water, everywhere!  Damn!
Peldor:  (he and Tanya follow Gorin's example)  Good steering, Ged.
Ged:  Quiet, fool.
Otto:  (cursing, he yet finds the time to thank himself for previously
  putting most of his possessions in waterproof containers or bags)
Belphanior:  (floating now, he produces a small wooden box and speaks
  a command word)

  Suddenly, a large boat had appeared among the floating and soon-to-
be-floating adventurers.  The elf grabbed its side and nimbly hoisted
himself over, then began pulling others into the vessel.

Belphanior:  (pulling the heavy, coughing Mongo as Arnold pushes)
  Up you go!

  Soon, everyone was in the magical folding boat...well, almost every-

Peldor:  Where's Bosco?!?
Rillen:  Songa!  (he looks around desperately)  Songa!
Songa:  (no more than a voice from the fog)  I'm on shore!  Don't worry
  about me, get yourselves ashore!  This way!
Belphanior:  (grabs his boat's rudder, glaring at Ged)  I'll steer.
Ged:  Bah.
Rillen:  (yelling to Songa through cupped hands)  Keep shouting!  We
  need you to guide us in!
Songa:  (still unseen)  Right!

  Slowly, carefully, the elf guided the boat toward the sound of
the huntress' voice.  Before they even knew it, the vessel grounded
itself on a sandy beach.  Ten feet ashore, Songa was standing, arms
folded.  As Belphanior and Otto hopped onto the sand, the huntress
walked forth and helped pull the boat all the way ashore.

Belphanior:  (admiring her lack of complaint and willingness to help)
Songa:  (grinning)  You're welcome.
Otto:  (looking around)  Where'd that Bosco get to?
Songa:  Oh, he walked over the water and onto the shore...(she points
  to the right and upward)  There he is.
Bosco:  (having climbed up a short tree, he attempts to cut a large,
  round fruit down)  Eh?  (he looks down, waving)  What took you guys
  so long?
wispy thing:  Aaarp?  (it heads for Bosco and his fruit)
Mongo:  (happy to be on land, as his nausea immediately ceases)  Ah!
Tanya:  (lies on the beach, still coughing up seawater)  Ghak.
Peldor:  (sitting next to her, he muses aloud)  What a good start to
  this adventure.
Alindyar:  (to Ged)  One question...where is your familiar, the grey
Ged:  Endymion?  Yea, I left him at home...figured I'd be back before
  too long.  (he frowns)  I hope that wasn't a rash decision.
Mongo:  (checking the contents of his portable hole)  Damn!
Otto:  What now?
Mongo:  There must've been a leak or something - everything in here
  is soaking wet!
Gorin:  We've got ruined supplies?
Mongo:  Yeah...some of them, anyway.  (he curses in frustration)
Arnold:  Aaa.  Not good.
Belphanior:  I'm sure we'll make do.  Improvise, adapt, overcome;
  that's my motto.
Otto:  (nods grimly)

  Though it was only late morning, the sun barely broke through the
thick, grey clouds.  These clouds, and the fog on the sea, completely
surrounded the island, blocking any view further than fifty feet or
so.  The beach that the adventurers had landed on was wide, perhaps
a mile, but to either side of this sandy cove were hundreds of sharp
rock outcroppings.  It must have been one of these that their first
boat hit and broke upon.
  Behind them, on the island itself, the beach rose sharply to merge
with steep hills.  To either side, these hills were a near-vertical
slope, impossible to climb.  However, close to where the group was,
a more passable trail wound, between the hilly terrain and up to the
level of the cliff-tops.
  Despite the cloudy skies, this place was _hot_.  Already, sweat
formed and dripped on their bodies, making armor uncomfortable and
sapping strength slowly but surely.

Belphanior:  I'd guess that's our ought to lead to a vantage
  point, where we can get our bearings.
Alindyar:  Aye.

next:      exploration begins
ftp: in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
  in /pub/users/zac/rpg/adventurers/
mail:       (preferred)
notes:     This one was written during World Series game 2, which
  the Braves won 4-0.  One question, though:  WHY DO ALL THOSE DAMN

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