Chapter #484

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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) +
+  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:        midday                                              +
+  Place:       the Isle of the Ape, within some demi-plane         +
+  Climate:     hot and humid                                       +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "I hurt, therefore I am."                                        +
+                                                       - unknown   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                    CDLXXXIV.  The Savages





  After stopping for rest and sustenance, the party has spotted a
primitive village in the distance.  Now, they slink through the
grasslands, approaching the village as stealthily as possible.

Mongo:  I don't-
Songa:  (leading the party, she puts her finger to her lips angrily)
Belphanior:  (wondering if any of Blackrazor's powers still function
  here)
wispy thing:  (notices something, and sails through the high grass)
  Pfsss?

  The next moment, the grass all around them suddenly burst into a
flurry of activity!  Dozens...scores...hundreds of tall, muscular,
dark-skinned warriors rose to the attack, hurling crude spears or
firing arrows from a range of no more than a hundred feet.

savages:  Awoowoowoowooeeeeeyah!

  The sky was dark with spears and arrows, the missiles tearing into
the party and wreaking great havoc.

Songa:  (hit in the arm, shoulder, and leg by arrows)  Argh!
Mongo:  (protected, for the most part, by the coat of Arnd, he still
  takes an arrow in his forearm, and a spear opens a wide gash in one
  leg)  Ow!  Dammit!
Arnold:  (tall and wide as he is, he feels numerous arrows bounce off
  of his plate mail)  Aaa?  (a spear deflects from his helm, making a
  slight dent)  Aaa!
Rillen:  (using his boots of speed to dodge about, and his gloves of
  missile snaring to catch or deflect arrows, he yet suffers several
  nicks and cuts)  Ungh!
Belphanior:  (realizes at the last instant that Blackrazor didn't, in
  fact, warn him of all these souls)  Uh-oh.  (a good target in his
  broad red cloak, he is hit by a number of missiles, and actually
  falls to the ground, bleeding from countless wounds)  Argh...(in
  rage, he tears an arrow from his leg)  Damn primitives-  (he takes
  another shaft, in his chest)  Agh!
Gorin:  (uses his shield to protect himself from many missiles, and
  his fine chain mail keeps most others from wounding him)  Where'd all
  these clowns come from-  (he takes an arrow in an armor-joint)  Arg!
Peldor:  (wearing only leather armor, he is pierced by numerous shafts,
  much like Belphanior though not quite as bad)  Aaaargh!  (he falls to
  the ground, rolling in the dirt and blood)
Otto:  (braces himself, but watches in amazement as dozens of missiles
  bounce away before they can hit him)  What the fuck?!?
Ged:  That would be my belt - its range is slightly greater than my own
  person.  (he begins spellcasting)  By Boccob, we've got to do some-
  thing, and fast!
Tanya:  (saved from deadly harm by her fine leather armor and boots of
  speed, she still gets hit by several arrows)  Ungh!  Argh!  Oh!
Lyra:  (just out of the protective range of Ged's belt, she is riddled
  with arrows, and takes a spear through the shoulder)  Aaaaaie...(she
  falls)
Alindyar:  (like Otto, he was close to Ged; like Otto, he enjoys the
  protection of the enchanted belt)  Lyra!  (ignoring the hail of
  missiles, he dashes out of Ged's protective field, grabs Lyra, and
  drags her close to Ged - taking an arrow in the leg and a second in
  the arm as he does so)  Argh!
Bosco:  Wow, that was heroic!  (somehow, he manages to avoid the rain
  of missiles as he astutely moves right behind Ged)  Somebody do
  something - they're killing us!  (it occurs to him that he should
  have been invisible and scouting ahead, before the ambush)  Heck...
wispy thing:  (watching in alarm as his tangible, all-too-susceptible
  companions are torn and bloodied by this merciless barrage)  Sprrd!

  Things looked bad.  Belphanior, Peldor, Lyra were down and out of
action; Songa, Rillen, and Tanya were seriously wounded; the others
either had minor injuries or were close to Ged.

Otto:  (grabs Belphanior and drags him over by Ged)  Whoa.  (an arrow
  sinks into his bicep)  Arg!
Ged:  Don't pile everyone up around me, or I won't be able to move
  about.
Otto:  Tough shit.  (he breaks the arrowhead off, then pushes the
  shaft through, his teeth gritted all the while)  Grr...
Alindyar:  (trying to keep the blood from flowing out of Lyra)  Aie...

  To make matters worse, the grass-clad, jewelry-bedecked barbarians
were nocking more arrows, or hefting more spears.  In addition, five
huge, snarling apes had been released, and now charged the beleaguered
adventurers.

Ged:  Not to worry...(he completes his spell)  Soon now, I'll...
Otto:  (looking around)  You'll what?
Ged:  Boccob!  It didn't work!
Otto:  Shit.  (he raises his crossbow, takes aim, and kills a savage
  with a bolt to the forehead)  You spell-casters had better blast
  those guys, and soon!
Alindyar:  (bent over Lyra, he is rather distressed)
Ged:  Alindyar...
Alindyar:  (mumbling to Lyra)
Ged:  Alindyar!
Alindyar:  Eh?
Ged:  If you don't start helping, we may _all_ die.
Alindyar:  (looks around, remembering that he's in the calm of the
  storm)  Aye...aye.  (he begins spellcasting)
Bosco:  (produces a sling, loads a glass globe into it, and spins the
  weapon...then lets the missile fly)
savages:  Grnk?  (they recoil as the thing shatters in their midst, its
  vapors filling the air they breathe)
Bosco:  (watching grimly)
savages:  (fall to the ground)
Otto:  Good deal, halfling!  (he turns to Ged and Alindyar, both of
  whom are working spells now)

  Meanwhile, the apes had reached the party's ranks.  The new front
line, given the casualties, consisted of Rillen, Songa, Mongo, Arnold,
and Gorin.

ape#1:  RAARGH!  (it swipes at Rillen)
Rillen:  (easily ducks the blow, then bashes the animal in the head
  with his staff)
ape#1:  (barely fazed)  RRRGH!
Songa:  (swipes at another foe with her spear's razor-edged tip)
ape#2:  (with feral speed, it avoids the deadly point, and swipes
  at the huntress)
Songa:  Argh!  (her arm slashed by the ape's fingernails, she staggers
  back)
wispy thing:  (orbits the ape's face, distracting it from the dazed
  warrior-woman)  Sssss!
ape#2:  (bats at the immaterial being)  GRRRR!
ape#3:  (leaps at Mongo)
Mongo:  (waits, then swings the metal club, connecting with the ape's
  face right as it pounces)  Hah!
ape#3:  (with a sickening crunching sound, its face implodes, and it
  falls to the ground, screaming and spasming)  RAAARRR!
Mongo:  (looks at the club)  Nifty...
Arnold:  (slashes at the fourth ape, severing an arm)
ape#4:  (too enraged to fall just yet, it punches at the warrior with
  one huge arm)
Arnold:  (takes the blow on his plate mail)
ape#4:  (every bone in its hand broken, it howls in pain, then drops)
Gorin:  Dammit!  (he blocks the fifth ape's hammering blows with his
  shield, then chops at its feet with his axe)
ape#5:  (its left foot nearly severed)  AAAARGH!  (it falls, clutching
  the tattered foot)

  Things weren't looking good at all.  In fact, the only thing in the
party's favor was that the savage warriors had ceased their missile-
fire, ostensibly to avoid hitting their apes.  However, they now moved
in, bows ready for more selective attacks.  Others hefted great war-
clubs as they approached the melee, whooping and chanting madly.

Bosco:  Cripes!





next:      will they survive?
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:     I've gotten a lot of comments about certain items'
  functioning while on the demi-plane.  It's true:  the module does
  say "Artifacts and relics, as well as special magical items with
  powers granted from some great being or deity, do not work at all
  on this island."
    Thus, the following items should not be functioning at all on
  the Isle:  Stormcrest, Invulnerable Coat of Arnd, Blackrazor,
  Ged's fire wand.  There's also another one or two that you may
  or may not know about.   :)
    I depicted Stormcrest influencing Mongo (the part about being
  ill while on sea, and better while on land) because at the time,
  he had just arrived on the island.  The powers of Stormcrest
  pretty much faded as he landed on shore, within moments.
    Bear in mind that the Coat of Arnd is still invulnerable, no
  matter what other powers don't work.  You'll see this soon.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





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