Chapter #553

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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                    +
+                                  tmiller@cimmeria.ns.gatech.edu   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Deryck       11th level half-elven ranger                   (NG) +
+  Nenya        9th/10th level female elven fighter/wizard     (NG) +
+                                                                   +
+  Alindyar     17th level drow mage                            (N) +
+  Lyra         14th 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:        3/15/577 C.Y. (Common Year)                         +
+  Time:        late morning                                        +
+  Place:       the Free City of Greyhawk                           +
+  Climate:     cool                                                +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "You people, you do not see the grandeur in the wind and stone   +
+   and stars, in the blood and fire and iron - but paint only      +
+   the flowers."                                                   +
+                                                       - unknown   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                      DLIII.  Exhibit "A"





  The sun shone through the arched windows, bathing the triple halls
of the Suel exhibit in dazzling light.  Housed within Greyhawk's
Guild of Wizardry, the collection of unearthed items and relics was
priceless, both in monetary and historic value.  There was little
risk of thievery here.

Peldor:  No, let me rephrase that.  There may be risk, but there is
  very little _probability_ of thievery here...and no probability of
  sanctioned thievery.
Tanya:  I would think so, this being the Guildhall of Wizardry, and
  filled with the best magi of the Free City.
Bosco:  And some of the best thieves too.
Peldor:  Behave, Bosco.  (he nods in Nenya's direction)  The Guild,
  the Oligarchs, and I have guaranteed the safety of this exhibit.
Nenya:  (walks over with Deryck)

  The elven woman was dazzling in a light green dress that contrasted
nicely with her pale skin.  She was in very good spirits today, for
the Suel exhibit was open to the public, or at least those who were
members of the Guild.  Of course, there were always exceptions...

Bosco:  (spots a grinning warrior-statue)  Hey!  I think I found that
  one, back in the Lost City!  (he darts off in that direction)
Deryck:  (to Peldor)  Tell me again how you got Bosco in here?
Peldor:  The same way I got all of us non-Wizardry-Guildmembers in...
  because I'm an Oligarch.
Deryck:  Ah.

  The exhibit was every bit as grand as they'd anticipated.  Bits and
pieces of Sueloise culture were on display for all to see.  Here was
an intricately carven statue older than any elf present; there was an
oil painting depicting a battle that wasn't documented in any history
book.  The Guild had committed wholeheartedly to this project, for
many of its members had at least some interest in the lost culture of
the Sueloise people.  All in all, there were more than a hundred
pieces of history gathered here.  Those Guildmembers with sagely or
divination experience were bound to be back every day for the next
month.
  In addition to the wizards in attendance, Greyhawk's elite - mighty
priests and warriors, high-ranking Oligarchs and learned historians -
were also present.  Some of them didn't comprehend the value of what
they saw here, but at least they could appreciate it.  Such were the
perks of knowing the right people or being an expert in historical
matters.

Tanya:  (looking around)  I wonder where Alindyar and Lyra are?
Peldor:  (points)  Here they come now.
Tanya:  (wondering how she missed them)
Nenya:  (rushes over)
Alindyar:  Things worked out well, no?
Nenya:  This is great!  I can't thank you enough - either of you!  I'm
  so happy!
Lyra:  You're happy?  I just learned Forcecage!
Nenya:  Really?  Congratulations!
Lyra:  All the recent adventuring hasn't given me much time to study
  and research, but I've finally mastered it.
Alindyar:  A most useful spell it is, too...much more versatile than
  that delayed blast fireball.
Lyra:  (nods)  That's why I picked it.
Alindyar:  Aye.

  While they all chatted, Deryck was left to his own thoughts.  He'd
been thinking a lot lately, for he had a lot to think about.  Both he
and Nenya wanted children, but Nenya seemed to have forgotten about
the problems that their racial differences might bring.  He was in his
twenties, while his wife was in her nineties.  Both were still young,
but the difference was that when Deryck hit middle age, Nenya would
still be young.
  The half-elf sighed.  He'd known of such potential problems when he
got involved with Nenya, and he valued her companionship far to much
to let age differences cause problems.  The course of action seemed
clear:  start their family as soon as possible.  Besides, there were
always magical items, spells, potions, and such to perhaps extend his
lifespan.  Only time would tell.
  Deryck was quite content lately.  While Nenya dealt with political
issues, the ranger was free to handle the military affairs.  Their
lands' defense was his responsibility; though Greyhawk wasn't in much
danger from bandits and battles, Deryck had been in places that had
such problems.  His philosophy was "better safe than sorry" and with
that in mind, he'd worked hard to mold the soldiers on the payroll
into an experienced, effective, well-equipped force.  In addition,
their ranks could be bolstered if needed by the local militiamen -
farmers who spent a weekend each month training and practicing.  Such
reserve forces enjoyed slightly better benefits at tax-time; that was
the advantage of being willing to fight for your own welfare if the
need arose.  All in all, Deryck was pleased with his efforts.
  The half-elf's thoughts were interrupted by the unveiling of the
memorial plaque.  Fashioned of steel and mounted in a thick, squat
stone column, it stood in the center of the entrance to the first
exhibit-hall, such that people could pass by either side to enter
the hall.  Its design was as simple as its message:

  IN MEMORY OF GED, LEARNED WIZARD AND HIGH PRIEST OF BOCCOB.
    HIS HARD WORK AND SACRIFICE MADE THIS EXHIBIT POSSIBLE.

Nenya:  (beaming)  Wow.
Peldor:  I wish Ged could see this.
Alindyar:  Perhaps, somewhere, somehow...he can.
Tanya:  (wanders away to find some more finger-food, as she is
  quite hungry)

  As they continued to mingle, Nenya felt a slight tug on her dress.
It was Calvin, the lad who had served as Ged's page and was now in
Nenya and Deryck's employ.  He'd been given the day off, provided he
did one single task; the fact that he was here now suggested that
his work was done.

Nenya:  It is arranged?
Calvin:  (nods)  The sages and wizards have all gotten the message.
  The ones who want to see will be at your castle at midday tomorrow.

  To a passerby, the elven woman and the young lad might have seemed
to be discussing the Suel exhibit, or perhaps some item belonging to
it.  However, they were actually talking about something perhaps
rarer and more valuable:  the eggshell of the beast from the stars.
That monstrous foe, slain years ago by Ged, Alindyar, and others, had
landed in a gigantic, alien egg.  The fragments of that egg, being on
Ged's land, had become his property.  While cleaning out the vaults
last week, Nenya had found them:  dozens of fragments, most of them
the size of a small boat, each one weighing as much as ten small
boats.  Ged had had them all moved into his castle for safekeeping,
but the fact was, the fragments were valuable beyond reckoning.  Who
knew what alloys they contained, what great armors could be forged
using their metals and minerals?
  To answer these and other questions, Nenya had sent sealed scrolls
to the city's great wizards, sages, and armorers.  Tomorrow, those
who were interested and had something to offer would meet at her
castle, hopefully to delve into the mysteries of the alien shell-
fragments.

Nenya:  Ah.  So, where are you off to now?
Calvin:  Me and Hobbes are going to the carnival.
Nenya:  Hobbes?  Peldor's errand boy?
Calvin:  Yep.  He's my best friend, you know.  (he dashes away)
Nenya:  Hmph.

  As the lad darted away, Nenya went back to her husband and
friends.  After all, she had some more socializing and promoting
to do...today and for many days to follow.

blue-clad mage:  Look at this!  A depiction of the Rain of Colorless
  Fire!
brown-clad mage:  You idiot, the Suel were wiped out by the Rain of
  Fire.  How would they have time to make a tapestry of it?
green-clad mage:  Magic!
brown-clad mage:  (rolls his eyes)  Oh I see, so you're both idiots!
Lyra:  (to Nenya)  I think it's a success already.





next:      Alindyar, Lyra
ftp:       ftp.myths.com in /pub/rpg/stories/adventurers
           ftp.intertex.net in /pub/users/zac/rpg/adventurers/
           ftp.tas.gov.au/misc/stories
www:       http://www.myths.com/pub/rpg/stories/adventurers
           http://www.shobaki.org/adventurers
homepage:  http://www.gatech.edu/oit/oe/design/thomas/adv/adv.html
email:     tmiller@cimmeria.ns.gatech.edu       (preferred)
           thomas.miller@oit.gatech.edu         (emergency)
notes:     Thanks to Tom Vallow and Matt Hurd for ideas contributed
  to this story.
    Look at the characters' levels in the headers - some of them
  actually went up levels     :)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





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