Chapter #501

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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 1991-7 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) +
+  Arnold       13th level human barbarian warrior             (NG) +
+  Belphanior  (14th)^3 level elven warrior/wizard/thief       (CN) +
+    Otto        8th/10th level dwarven warrior/thief          (CN) +
+    the wispy thing                                                +
+  Deryck       10th level half-elven ranger                   (NG) +
+  Halbarad     13th level human ranger                        (NG) +
+  Mongo        18th level dwarven warrior                     (CG) +
+    Gorin      10th level dwarven warrior                     (NG) +
+  Nenya         8th/9th level female grey elven warrior/mage  (NG) +
+  Peldor       20th level human thief                          (N) +
+    Tanya       5th/11th level female human warrior/thief      (N) +
+    Bosco      12th level halfling thief                      (CN) +
+  Peyote       11th/12th level half-elven warrior/druid        (N) +
+  Rillen       18th level human monk                           (N) +
+    Songa      13th level human huntress                       (N) +
+  Rob          15th level priest of Trithereon                (LG) +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Date:        7/1/576 C.Y. (Common Year)                          +
+  Time:        midday                                              +
+  Place:       a tomb on a hill overlooking Ged's castle           +
+  Climate:     warm and sunny                                      +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "One day you are going to lose everything you have.  Nothing     +
+   will prepare you for that day.  Not faith...not religion...     +
+   nothing.  When someone you love dies, you will know emptiness.  +
+   You will know what it is to be completely and utterly alone.    +
+   You will never forget and never, ever forgive.  For some        +
+   things there is no forgiveness...absolutely none."              +
+                  - John Bergan, from _The Crow_ trade paperback   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                         DI.  Rest In Peace





  At first glance, the funeral seemed little different from any
other.  A large throng of mourners surrounded the mausoleum, at the
steps of which two coffins rested, the first indication that all was
not ordinary. Although both coffins were elaborate, and of exquisite
workmanship, the size varied: one was two feet long, and the other
seven.
  The larger coffin, Ged's, was empty, though most of those present
were not aware of this. The smaller coffin held the earthly remains of
Endymion, which had died almost immediately following the passing of
its master.
  Far more important than the actual contents of the coffin were the
thoughts of the mourners, and the respects they had come to pay. As
with many funerals, those present would have an opportunity to speak
before the coffins were placed in the crypt.
  Said attendees were the second indication that this funeral was out
of the ordinary: by their composition, obviously the deceased was a
person of some considerable standing. They varied widely with respect
to race, occupation, social standing, and so far, but shared a common
trait: all had been family or friends of the deceased Ged.
  Present were his six siblings - Xandaria, Gilanthar, Talisantia,
Brilthasan, Leila, and Aristobulus - from the faraway Spindrift Isles.
Also here were various personages from the temples of Boccob:  Ravel
Disander, Demetrius from Ulek, Ansalon and Tirion (Ged's own high
priests) and yet others.  Friends from Greyhawk, such as Derider
Fanshaen, rubbed shoulders with friends from other places, such as
Olinstaad Corond, a king from the Ulek area.  Last, but certainly
not least, Ged's old adventuring companions, both active and other-
wise, had come to pay their respects.
  Ravel Disander, Boccob's chosen High Priest in this region, now
made his way to the front of the gathering.

Ravel:  (his shoulders stooped, he faces the assembled people)  It
  truly saddens me to be here today, presiding over this most grim
  of ceremonies.  Yet, we must press on with our lives and goals -
  that is surely what Ged would have wanted.

  Those present looked on and listened solemnly as the aged one
spoke.  Nearby, the coffins lay on the platform, their fine wood
and golden trim displaying the high level of workmanship and
quality; their beauty almost belied their sombre purpose.  No one
spoke, or even moved, until Ravel had finished.

Ravel:  Anyone who wishes to say something may come forth and do
  so now.

  Some of those assembled exchanged glances, and then a drow whose
skin was as black as the darkest night stepped forth.

Alindyar:  Ahem.  (he regards the crowd)
crowd:  (regards the drow)
Alindyar:  'Tis a sad thing that has brought us all together here.
  The loss of a friend is never an easy thing.  Ged and I were at
  odds, more often than not, yet we were able to cooperate and
  work together for the greater good.  As a multi-talented mage,
  he was without peer.  As a friend, he was irreplaceable.  He
  shall be missed.  (he descends the steps, making way for Rillen)
Rillen:  (scans the assembly, a bit nervously, but composes himself)
  Ged was many things:  wizard, priest, adventurer, even warrior,
  now and then.  I didn't know him as well as some of you, but I
  like to think that he lived his life the way he wanted...never
  backing down from his principles and beliefs.  For that alone, he
  has my undying respect.
Arnold:  (on the way up the steps, he passes Rillen)  Aaa.
Rillen:  (nods at the big warrior)
Arnold:  (turns to the crowd)  I'll make this short and sweed.  I,
  Ah-nold, was a rovink barbarian before Ged came along.  Over the
  years, we faced many dangers and trials.  He was always there to
  help me, to advise me, and to set an examble.  I can only hope
  to live up to his examble.  (he wipes a tear form his eye, and
  descends the steps)
Nenya:  (takes Arnold's place)  Ged wasn't my first teacher, but I
  daresay he was my best teacher...of that I have no doubt.  I didn't
  know him as well as I could have - should have - but I value the
  time we did have above all else.  I sincerely hope that, wherever
  his spirit is now, it's at rest.
Deryck:  (steps up, comforting Nenya)  Ged was more than an employer
  and a friend.  He knew what he wanted to do with his land and his
  castle, even if he never really told anybody.  He entrusted me with
  an enormous amount of responsibility, and never complained about my
  judgement...not once.  I can only hope that in the future, we can
  do what he would have wanted done.
Nenya:  (manages a small smile)

  And so it went...

Mongo:  I...uh, I'm not sure what I can say about Ged that hasn't
  been said.  He was with us, our party, from the beginning, and
  after that, through thick and thin.  I never was one for magic,
  but if I had to have a wizard at my back, he's the one I'd have
  wanted.  (he nods to Alindyar and Lyra)  No offense to my other
  friends who happen to be wizards, of course.
Lyra:  (smiles weakly at Alindyar)
Mongo:  As soon as I can, I'm commissioning a statue of Ged, to
  be mounted atop this tomb, so that none will ever forget who
  lies here and what he did.  (he coughs loudly, and steps down
  even as Chief Constable Derider Fanshaen steps up)
Derider:  (teary-eyed and quite upset)  Ged was a good friend to
  me...maybe more.  Who knows what the future might have held?  I
  shall mourn his loss like I have mourned nothing before, and...
  and...(she suddenly leaves the steps, rushing into the first
  arms that present themselves)
Arnold:  (hugs the woman, comforting her)  Aaa.  It's okay...shh...
Bosco:  (sheds a tear, despite himself)
Rob:  (standing nearby, he looks on sadly)
Halbarad:  (ascends, since nobody else seems to know what to do)
  Ahem.  This elf was one of the finest adventuring companions,
  and indeed, friends, that one could hope for.  I regret that I
  was not there to help him in his time of need.  The name of Ged
  shall live on, though, in legends and bardsong.
Peyote:  (takes the stand as Halbarad steps down)  Ged...a dude
  who shall always be remembered.  He might have been headstrong
  and arrogant, but it was always for a good cause - the right
  cause.  He always stood up for what he believed in, no matter
  what other people thought.  (having said his piece, he looks
  around for a moment, then heads back to the crowd as Belphanior
  prepares to address the congragation)
Belphanior:  (looks around somberly)  It is with great regret that
  I speak here today...I always figured I'd be the one to buy it
  early in life.  Instead, I'm standing here because Ged gave his
  own life for me.  (he pauses)  I didn't ask him to, but he did it
  anyway.  Given the circumstances, it was a needless and senseless
  death.  It probably should have been me instead.  (clenching his
  teeth bitterly, he steps down and returns to the crowd as Peldor
  moves to take his place)
wispy thing:  (eyeing the coffin wistfully)  Vrrrp.
Peldor:  Ged...my eternal rival, the butt of many of my pranks and
  jests.  For that, I hold him in the highest regard - he was one
  of those friends and companions the likes of which come along
  once in a lifetime.  We were good friends despite our constant
  bickering and taunting, and I knew it, regardless of how I may
  have acted.  And he knew it too.  (he sets his jaw)  This grave
  shall never be without flowers.
Tanya:  (tears roll from her eyes)
Peldor:  (as soon as he rejoins the crowd and gently hugs his wife,
  he, too, sheds tears for his fallen compatriot)
Xandaria:  (glances at Leila, and they exchange slight, almost
  imperceptible nods)
Leila:  (steps up and scans the crowd, red-eyed)  I speak for all of
  Ged's brothers and sisters when I thank each and every one of you
  for being part of his life, and coming here today.  My brother was
  many things, but in the end, he was the greatest of things:  a hero.



  With the condolences finished, and the final words spoken, the
funeral procession began to break up.  The gilded coffins were laid
to rest within the tomb, the latter building then sealed by means
both physical and magical.  A pair of animated stone statues flanked
the warded door, eternal guards who would watch the tomb and its
contents until the end of time.  The daylight waned, as the sun moved
across the sky.
  And yet, five people remained before the tomb, after all others had
departed.  Mongo...Peldor...Alindyar...Rillen...Belphanior; all of
these adventurers stood, without words, paying their last respects
to the memory of their fallen companion.  These five had been both
original and recent companions; whatever the thoughts of the others
at the funeral, these five felt a common sense of loss.
  Even they, too, eventually departed, leaving the tomb to cast a
lone shadow on the ground nearby as the sun set.





next:      ashes of the Green Dragon
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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:     I actually wrote this one right after #500 (late 12/96)
  when the death was fresh in my mind...but saved it so I could
  still take my sabbatical as announced.
    The issues of Ged's will and property, as well as attempts to
  contact his spirit, will be dealt with soon.
    Some of you have been asking about resurrection attempts and
  wishes and such.  The text for Disintegrate clearly states that
  its effects cannot be reversed.  That's why I chose it for this
  purpose.  Even if the other Adventurers found some way to bring
  Ged's spirit back, Boccob probably wouldn't allow it.  I thought
  this was obvious.
    I didn't want to break the mood of this episode, but the
  debates and discussions about attempts to bring back the lost
  spirit do occur in episode 503.
    Here are Ged's final stats:

---

Ged
  15th/14th level grey elf priest/mage of Boccob
  male, 5'8", 106 lbs, white skin, golden hair, green eyes
  114 years old
  homeland:             Celene & Isles of Spindrift
  patron diety:         Boccob, god of magic and knowledge
  alignment:            neutral good
  STR  11 (19 with girdle)
  INT  20
  WIS  20
  DEX  17
  CON  16
  CHR  16
  COM  16
  ac   -8/1
  hp   53
  thac0 5, morningstar +4, 2-7/2-8 +11
other:
  immune to:  Cause Fear, Charm Person, Command, Friends,
    Hypnotism, et al.
  unaffected by 1st and 2nd level illusions
items:
  Lightbringer   NG morningstar +4
    Int 15, Ego 26
    purpose:  to slay undead
    disintegrates undead upon successful hit (-4 to save)
    detects undead within 60'
    speaks Common + wielder's languages
    continual light 3/day
    sunray 1/week
    fly 1/day
  elven chain mail +4
  medium shield +5
  Baklunish fire wand
    wielder commands nine powerful fire-related powers:
      LBUZI  kills all flames within 50'                        (1)
      INZUS  magnifies all flames within 50' by a factor of 5   (1)
      BCIQ   dancing lights, pyrotechnics in front of wand      (1)
      KNEC   launches a fireball (10d6, no 1s or 2s)            (2)
      FBIZI  does 5d10 heat damage to target                    (2)
      AXUI   engulfs target in flames (3d10) for 2-5 rounds     (3)
      PSAFT  drains 10d10 hp from fire-oriented creatures       (3)
      CSPAN  launches one flaming sphere at each living being   (4)
             in a 90 degree arc
      NDREK  envelops a 10' wide path, out to 100', in flames   (4)
             (3d10 per round for 1 round)
    (the wand can use 18 charges per day)
  wand of conjuration
  torus/talisman of pure good
  belt vs. normal missiles
  Boccob's Blessed Book
  decanter of endless water
  figurines (golden lions)
  harmonica of gravity
  amulet of the planes
  small quantities of Gorka root & cloud dragon powder
other property/holdings:
  castle and land outside of Greyhawk
    (from Greyhawk city, go west parallel to Selintan for 1
     hex/10 leagues, then continue west rather than south with
     the river; go 10 more leagues toward dyvers, then turn
     north; castle & land are on the shore of the Nyr Dyv)
    - 3x3 league plot, opportunity for expansion
    - ruins just to west, and Nyr Dyv just to north
    - 40K for land originally
  stone golem
other companions/hirelings:
  Nenya (student & land surveyor; see below)
  Endymion (grey cat; familiar)
  Deryck (ranger) (in charge of castle in Ged's absence)
    (has ring of WEC)
  Scotty (engineer) (has the lyre of building)
  Calvin (page) (just a lad)

mage spells:
  1st (5) : affect normal fires
            alarm
            armor
            burning hands
            cantrip
            charm person
            chill touch
            color spray
            comprehend languages
            dancing lights
            detect magic
            detect undead
            erase
            feather fall
            find familiar
            friends
            gaze reflection
            hold portal
            identify
            light
            magic missile
            mending
            message
            mount
            protection from evil
            read magic
            shield
            sleep
            write
  2nd (5) : bind
            blindness
            continual light
            deafness
            detect evil
            forget
            invisibility
            knock
            know alignment
            Leomund's trap
            locate object
            magic mouth
            ray of enfeeblement
            rope trick
            scare
            spectral hand
            stinking cloud
            Tasha's hideous uncontrollable laughter
            web
            wizard lock
  3rd (5) : blink
            clairaudience
            clairvoyance
            dispel magic
            explosive runes
            feign death
            fireball
            flame arrow
            fly
            gust of wind
            haste
            hold person
            hold undead
            lightning bolt
            monster summoning I
            protection from evil, 10' radius
            protection from normal missiles
            slow
            water breathing
  4th (4) : detect scrying
            dig
            dimension door
            Evard's black tentacles
            fire shield
            fire trap
            ice storm
            Leomund's secure shelter
            massmorph
            polymorph other
            polymorph self
            remove curse
            wall of fire
            wizard eye
  5th (4) : airy water
            animate dead
            avoidance
            cloudkill
            cone of cold
            conjure elemental
            hold monster
            teleport
            wall of force
  6th (2) : anti-magic shell
            contingency
            stone to flesh
            true seeing
  7th (1) : Drawmij's instant summons
            Mordenkainen's sword
            power word, stun
  8th (0) : incendiary cloud

commonly-cast priest spells:
  1st (9) : command, clw, detect evil, detect magic, light,
            protection from evil
  2nd (9) : charm person or mammal, enthrall, find traps, hold
            person, know alignment, silence 15' radius, wyvern
            watch
  3rd (7) : continual light, cure blindness or deafness, blind,
            cure disease, dispel magic, glyph of warding, remove
            curse
  4th (9) : abjuration, csw, detect lie, divination, neutralize
            poison, protection from evil 10' radius, tongues
  5th (4) : air walk, atonement, commune, ccw, dispel evil, flame
            strike, plane shift, raise dead, rock to mud, true
            seeing
  6th (2) : blade barrier, heal, speak w/monsters, weather
            summoning
  7th (1) : symbol

---

  As a sort of memorial tribute, here are some of Ged's best lines,
taken straight from book I (episodes 001-015):



Ged:  Touchy, are we?  I'll be watching you, dark elf...

Ged:  Somebody get those fools!
Phantasmal force:  (returns to Alindyar)
Ged:  Phantasmal force, eh?  Hmm.

Krug:  Nice shot.
Ged:  Boccob will not forgive you your sins in the afterlife, o killer
  of the defenseless...
Peldor:  Boccob?  Prove that this Boccob exists, mage.
Ged:  Grr...

Belphanior:  Yeah!  I bind _my_ wounds too!
Ged:  You can't bind your wounds, fool.  You're _dead_!
Belphanior:  Oh yeah.

Halbarad:  I restrain Krug.
Ged:  Restrained, eh?  I attack him!

Alindyar:  We should be okay as long as you march in front of Peldor.
Ged:  (to DM)  I watch my back.  If that thief touches me, it'll be a
  fiery death for him.

Ged:  Puny zombies!
Belphanior:  They're chained to the wall.  You know what that means,
  don't you?
Peldor:  Target practice!
Halbarad:  Distasteful.
Peyote:  Most uncool.
Ged:  (taunts the monsters further)

Ged:  Egad!  Ghouls!  Foul abominations, I command you to LEAVE!
  (he rolls much too high, and fails)  Aaa!  Oh shit.

Rob:  I open the green potion bottle.
DM:  It's bubbling now...
Rob:  Okay, I drink it.
DM:  What?!?!?!?
Halbarad:  !
Peldor:  !
Ged:  (muttering)  You fool!

Ged:  Ho there.  What brings you here?
Belphanior:  The same lure as you, I would guess.  How goes the lore
  and arcana and all that mess?
Ged:  Well.  I have chosen the spell of feather falling, and in no
  time at all have mastered its use utterly.  What of yourself?
Belphanior:  Well at least we can use MY new spell.  I think I will
  try to learn the shocking grasp.
Ged:  Hm.  A wise choice.  Perhaps you will some day use it on the
  thief, Peldor.
Belphanior:  Perhaps.

Peldor:  Bah!  The mighty Peldor is pickings for no one.  Let the
  fools come, if they dare.  Any party that counts Peldor among its
  members has naught to worry about.
Mongo:  Except slit money pouches...
Rob:  Hey!  Where's my money?  Someone stole my purse!
Ged:  See there?  I knew it!

Peldor:  Ha!  Victory!
Mongo:  Who's gonna clean up this mess?
Ged:  Maybe Peldor should.

DM:  You have piled the loot from the giants into one big pile...
Ged:  Let's hope so.

Mongo:  (hefts the sack high)  I guess I'm the official carrier of the loot
  sack now?
Ged:  Better you than that rascal Peldor.
Peldor:  Thank you for the compliment.  I didn't know you had it in you.
Ged:  Grr...

Alindyar:  This Lunok Castle...what manner of place is it?
Shopkeeper:  Haunted, I tell you!  Only fools and crazy men go there!
Ged:  Well.  Belgar is a fool, to be sure.

Ged:  (looking at his mace)  This won't stop that monster!

Ged:  (steps forth suddenly)  Aha!  I KNEW it!  Evil!  Back, harlots!
Peldor:  Aw, come on...
Ged:  See for yourselves!  They glow red with my spell!  Evil, I say!

Ged:  Well, I don't believe it!  You did something useful...
Peldor:  Of course I did.  Let it not be said in the legends that
  Peldor was unkind to his companions!
Ged:  Hmph.  Boccob is watching you, rogue.
Alindyar:  Truly Boccob must smile upon even one so base as he.

Peldor:  (swatting open the small double doors as he enters)  The
  Rogues' Den!  This is just the kind of place I've been looking
  for.
Ged:  Undoubtedly it is. (he, and the others, enter)

Ged:  This is boring.  I liven it up.  (to DM)  I cast a command
  spell on the guy Mongo is fighting, trying to be subtle and say
  the word only to _him_.  I tell him, "Lose".

Ged:  Great!  Wonderful!  Now we can just add arson to our long
  list of crimes here...fraud, murder, interfering with the city
  guard, breaking and entering...
Alindyar:  This all started because of you, remember?
Peldor:  Don't forget grand theft.

DM:  Suddenly, naked women are running around everywhere, shrieking
  and shouting at you.
Ged:  Let's get out of this house of sin!  Back to the streets, you
  painted Jezebels!  Repent your vile ways!  There is hope yet!
whores:  Aaaaa!

Ged:  (to Alindyar)  Take us lower!  I need to see what I'm aiming
  at down there.
Alindyar:  By the looks of things, I would venture that the crazed
  elf has sufficiently illuminated the situation.  Besides, we need
  to stay out of their sight range, in case of missile fire.
Ged:  Bah!  They have better things to worry about right now than
  who's in the air above their heads.  Come on, fly us lower!

Ged:  I see that you people weren't idle, either.  Ogre magi?
Peyote:  Yep.
Ged:  Too bad we missed it.
Peldor:  Cowardly mages.  Who needs 'em?

---

                     ABOUT MY SIX MONTHS OFF

    If you haven't figured it out yet, I didn't exactly cease my
  writings entirely.  In addition to episode #0 and the April
  Fools' special, I tinkered (unsuccessfully) with some other
  series, and did extensive plot development for the Adventurers
  saga.
    Non-writing...Highlander's out, softball's in.  My social
  circle is broader and more robust than ever; it seems like I
  have something to do almost every night.  I've tapered off my
  weight workouts in favor of a regimen similar to what the Navy
  SEALs recommend before recruits arrive at BUD/S.  It involves
  a lot of push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups in succession, and
  also has running and swimming elements.
    I've lost a couple of good friends (to argument, not death)
  and made a number of new ones.  Work is going well.  I've seen
  a lot of movies in the first half of this year.  I became an
  uncle in early June '97.  I've gone on a couple of vacations
  that didn't quite do the job.  Still, generally, I'm happy at
  the moment.



                           BEYOND 500

    As anyone who's kept up with my sneak preview pages from 1/97
  to 6/97 knows, I've decided upon a weekly release format for my
  next works.  Beginning in July 1997, a new Adventurers episode
  will be released once each week, on Wednesday.  In addition, a
  Lost Tales episode will be released every other week, also on
  Wednesday, until I run out of lost tales to tell.  I can't commit
  to other works at this time, but if/when I write them, they will
  be inserted into the lineup.  I have (as usual) lots of ideas
  but little time to implement them.
    This new release schedule has advantages (regularity) and
  disadvantages (longer wait than you're used to for the next
  episode) but it's necessary in order for me to maintain a real
  life.
    That's all for now.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





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