Chapter #538

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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 1991-8 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) +
+  Peldor       20th level human thief                          (N) +
+    Tanya       5th/11th level female human warrior/thief      (N) +
+    Bosco      12th level halfling thief                      (CN) +
+  Date:        the 7th day of Needfest, 576 C.Y. (Common Year)     +
+  Time:        late afternoon                                      +
+  Place:       the Green Dragon Inn, in the Free City of Greyhawk  +
+  Climate:     cold outside, cozy inside                           +
+  "You'll be here?"                                                +
+  "I'm always here."                                               +
+                                              - from _Sleepers_    +

                    DXXXVIII.  New Year Dawning

  It is the seventh day of Needfest - the eve of the new year - and
celebratory preparations are in full swing.  Several busy souls have
taken a dinner break at their favorite watering hole...

Alindyar:  I thank you for this early supper - with all the work we
  have been doing for tonight's display, there has been little time
  for rest.
Peldor:  No big deal.  Hell, I'm in a good mood these days.
Lyra:  You should be, now that you're Guildmaster.
Bosco:  (to Lyra, slyly)  It took him long enough.  Heck, if _I_ was
  the mayor, I'd have made him Guildmaster years ago!
Tanya:  No you wouldn't, Bosco - you'd have been both!
Bosco:  It would be if I ran things.
Peldor:  Keep the dream alive, Bosco.
Tanya:  (to Lyra)  Where will you stage all of this magical pyro-
  technic bedazzlement?
Lyra:  We'll actually fire off the pyrotechnics from the roof of
  the Guild of Wizardry, but people will be able to see them for
  leagues around.
Bosco:  (babbling nonchalantly as he eats his meal)  I know I will.
Alindyar:  'Tis a complicated thing...numerous spells, all cast in
  quick succession.  Fortunately, I have a helper who knows how I
  think.  (he smiles faintly)
Lyra:  (smirks)  I think what he means is that he's glad to have
  someone co-ordinate everything for him, and double-check his work.
Alindyar:  (raises an eyebrow)
Tanya:  Heh.
Bosco:  Hey, I could help!
Alindyar:  Could you really, good Bosco?
Bosco:  I've started fires before...dropped burning bombs on foes
  from above...this wouldn't be that different.  (he looks up at
  them)  Would it?
Lyra:  It probably would.
Peldor:  Um, Bosco...don't you have another job to do tonight?
Bosco:  Do I?  Oh, yeah...I do!  The casino!
Peldor:  It'll be busy tonight, that's for sure.  A peak crowd.
Tanya:  (nods)  The entire staff is working like mad to ensure
  that we can handle it.
Alindyar:  In a way, I shall be glad when this night is over.
Peldor:  That makes two of us, my friend.
Lyra:  Three.
Tanya:  (wearily)  Four.
Bosco:  You know what would be really neat?  (he doesn't wait for
  an answer)  If you could see the fireworks from in here.
Peldor:  Bosco, that's why we have windows.
Bosco:  (stands on the table, spreading his arms)  No, I mean
  from _right here_!  If you could somehow make the walls of the
  inn disappear, so everyone could just look right up into the
  sky...(his eyes glint)
Peldor:  (has a brief mental flashback to the fire-gutted inn)
Alindyar:  (ESPing to Lyra)  Perhaps some permutation of the
  glassteel spell?
Lyra:  (ESPing to Alindyar)  Could work...say, is it just my
  imagination, or is Tanya looking...bigger?
Alindyar:  (throws a quick, unnoticed glance in Tanya's direction,
  then ESPs to Lyra)  I have no idea.  You are well aware that I
  never tend to pick up on such things.
Lyra:  (ESPing to Alindyar)  Hmm.

  After they were done eating, they moved to Peldor's private
booth, near the stage.  From its confines, they had a clear and
up-close view of the minstrels, jugglers, and other talented
guests Peldor had booked for the night.

Lyra:  They seem to be doing you think you'll keep any
  of them on a permanent basis?
Peldor:  Don't know.  I'd kinda like to have the inn be a proving
  ground for all kinds of talent, both local and visiting.  But
  we'll have to see how it goes.
Alindyar:  Hmm.
Tanya:  It would be nice to have a minstrel on retainer, though.
Peldor:  (lost in thought)  True...

  As the others talked, Peldor's mind drifted - understandably,
since he had a lot to think about these days.  He still had to find
new Master Thieves for the Foreign Quarter and the Thieves' Quarter,
those regions having recently been vacated by Simpkin and Sharyn,
respectively.  He had to do it soon, too, before things got mixed
up and out of order.  Peldor knew that Bosco wanted the Foreign
Quarter, but he also knew that having to deal with the accompanying
mess of bureaucratic crap would seriously crimp the halfling's style.
Peldor had pretty much settled down, and was prepared to deal with
the tedium of managing a large organization.  Bosco, on the other
hand, was still in his youth; his wandering, carefree ways wouldn't
mix well with the responsibilities of being a head thief.  Peldor
also didn't want to waste the best years of Bosco's youth (though
they had arguably been wasted already) and for all these reasons,
he hadn't made the final decision yet.
  Another matter that weighed heavily on Peldor's mind was the
ruling Oligarchy, and his new role in that powerful body.  He had
come into the council already knowing several of its members, but
most of them were either neutral to him or opposed to him, having
been allies of Sharyn.  He wasn't sure if the cold shoulders he
was getting were because certain Oligarchs had any great love for
the ex-Guildmistress, or because they simply didn't know if they
could count him as an ally.  He had to figure everyone out - learn
how they acted, how they voted, and what made them tick - and the
sooner the better.
  There was one other thing Peldor had been concerned with, of late:
the status of his imprisoned former rival, Sharyn Messandier.  While
he didn't want to have to kill her, he also wasn't comfortable
with the fact that she was still alive.  Peldor wasn't totally
ruthless, like Belphanior, but he did recognize the inherent
stupidity of leaving vengeful foes alive and kicking.  He would
have to talk with Nerof Gasgal about this...and soon.

  Peldor ceased these rambling thoughts, smoothly rejoining the
conversation in progress.

Peldor:  Well, you're certainly welcome to hang around here as
  long as you want.
Bosco:  Thanks, I think I will.
Lyra:  (finishes her glass of wine)  Ah.
Tanya:  Good stuff, isn't it?
Lyra:  Exquisite.
Tanya:  I can get you a case of it at cost.
Lyra:  Please do.  I'll pay shipping and-
Alindyar:  (wondering how Lyra can possibly drink all that wine)
Lyra:  (her gaze swivels to Alindyar as she makes a face)
Alindyar:  Ho-hum.
Peldor:  (spots some kind of commotion at a table in the open
  dining area, near the entrance)  Hey, what's all that about?

  A large, hulking man at one of the tables was standing and yelling
at another equally oversized fellow at an adjacent table.  One of
the waitresses tried to calm the first man down, but got shoved
aside roughly for her trouble.

Cecilia the waitress:  (falls)  Unf!
man #1:  (points at the other patron)  Now it's your turn!
man #2:  Oh, yeah?
man #1:  Yeah!  (he charges toward the other)
man #2:  (punches at the attacker, but in vain, as he gets tackled
  and goes down hard, smashing another table and scattering its
  patrons in the process)
man #1:  (stands up)  Ha!


Cecilia the waitress:  (gets to her feet shakily)  Whoa...

  The woman took an offered hand before she knew who it belonged
to; as she stood and looked squarely into a large, beefy chest,
she instantly knew who'd helped her up.

Vinnie:  Stand aside.  I'll handle this.  (he strides forth and taps
  the instigator on the shoulder)  Excuse me.
man #1:  (whirls about, fist drawn back)  Get your hands off me-
Vinnie:  (towering a full head over the other man, he crosses his
  arms)  I'm afraid I'm gonna have to ask you to leave.

next:      barfight...?!
ftp: in /pub/rpg/stories/adventurers
  in /pub/users/zac/rpg/adventurers/
mail:       (preferred)
notes:     Needfest is the 7-day festival immediately following
  the 12th month.  Thus, after 12/28, we have a 7-day period of
  festival (the end of which is the time of this story) and then
  we launch into 1/1 of the new year.
    Thanks to Wayne Rasmussen and Tom Vallow (among others - my
  file is incomplete) for the long-ago-submitted idea to have a
  barfight in the Green Dragon Inn.
    As I send this out (4/1/98) I regret to inform you that this
  year's April Fool's tale didn't make it in time.  I have been
  hit with a variety of personal problems that have precluded any
  writing in the last week or so, and the AF story just isn't done.
  Maybe next year.

    Last but not least, let's not forget the beautiful new Green
  Dragon menu that Leonard Bottleman designed.  It can be found at


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