Chapter #554

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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         14th level female drow mage                     (N) +
+  Peldor       20th level human thief                          (N) +
+  Tanya        5th/11th level female human warrior/thief       (N) +
+  Date:        3/27/577 C.Y. (Common Year)                         +
+  Time:        midafternoon                                        +
+  Place:       the Free City of Greyhawk                           +
+  Climate:     cool                                                +
+  "To every thing there is a season..."                            +
+                                            - widely attributed    +

                DLIV.  Guess Who's Coming to Lunch?

  In the laboratory, nestled deep within his mansion, Alindyar chuckled
to himself.  It was a rare sound for the dark elf - few had heard him
amused thus.  However, at least this time, he had good reason to be...
for he had just completed the first step in one of his greatest and most
dangerous experiments to date.
  Before the elf, on a workbench, rested a thick glass jar.  Between this
vessel and the wooden bench was a thick pad fashioned from the gummy wood
of a certain soft tree.  Within the glass jar - which was sealed tightly
by physical and magical means - danced a small cluster of sparks.  The
electricity jumped and arced as if alive, and indeed, it was alive.  This
small, seemingly harmless quasi-elemental lifeform was actually capable of
frying a man to death.  While alive, it wasn't sentient; it was, however,
dangerous, and it had taken Alindyar a week to find and trap.
  Now, he planned to use the lightning-burst to create a new and mighty
golem:  an electrical golem.  He'd actually thought of the idea while in
the City of the Gods recently, and a half-dozen tomes and librams, both
old and recent, had offered possible clues toward his goal.  After making
a basic plan and consulting several sages - among them one learned in the
ways of the quasi-elemental planes - Alindyar was on his way.
  But not any more, today.  It was time for him and Lyra to meet Peldor
and Tanya for a late lunch.  The two couples hadn't really talked since
the drow had returned, and Alindyar suspected that they had quite a bit
to discuss.  Eyeing the glass jar one last time, he tossed a black
sheet over it and left his laboratory.
  He collected Lyra (who was napping after a long night of research on
field spells) and together, they left and headed for the agreed-upon
tavern:  Hothgar's Hut.  A little, out-of-the-way place specializing in
northern cuisine, it guaranteed them a private table where they could
talk freely and at their leisure.  The drow found Peldor and Tanya
already there, sitting at a table waiting for them.

Peldor:  Good day, then.
Alindyar:  How goes it?
Peldor:  Not bad...
Lyra:  (inclining her head)  Tanya.
Tanya:  How's the teaching coming along?
Lyra:  Long hours, and a lot of headaches, but worth it.
Alindyar:  (nods)  Certainly.
Lyra:  Hell, in ten years we'll be vested; in twenty we'll begin
  gaining retirement benefits.
Tanya:  Advantages of being an elf, eh?
Alindyar:  Aye.
Lyra:  We just renewed our contract with the College.  They're
  happy, we're happy, everyone's happy.
Peldor:  That's good.
Alindyar:  And the benefits are extraordinary.  I have made much
  progress on my fact, I shall soon need fresh ideas
  for new spells.
Lyra:  (ESPing to Alindyar)  Show-off.
Alindyar:  (ESPing to Lyra)  Nonsense.  I have not yet begun to
  show off.
Peldor:  I've got some good ideas for spells.
Lyra:  Really?
Tanya:  Bosco probably does, too.
Alindyar:  (ESPing to Lyra)  No.  Absolutely not.
Lyra:  (to Peldor)  What sorts of ideas do you have?
Peldor:  I'll think on it a bit and get back to you.
Tanya:  (gives Peldor a knowing look)  Felicia might have ideas, too.
  I think she wants to be a wizard when she grows up.
Lyra:  (smiles)  If so, you know where to send her.
Tanya:  Yes...we'll see.  We need to have a talk with her and learn
  how serious she is, about that or whatever.
Alindyar:  Ah, youth.  Then again, I never knew what I wanted to do
  until I was forty or fifty.
Peldor:  Don't mean to interrupt, but here comes a waiter...

  After ordering their lunch, the friends' conversation turned to
more recent topics...

Tanya:  So how was the Lost City?
Alindyar:  It was the City of the Gods, actually...
Lyra:  Hasn't Bosco filled you in?
Peldor:  Bosco's been acting weird lately.  He talked a little bit
  about that adventure, but in general he's clammed up.
Alindyar:  The trip was...difficult.  Among other things, we fought
  a gigantic metal golem and a cloud of corrosive gas.
Lyra:  Belphanior lost one of his marshals, too.
Tanya:  (frowns)  Which one?
Lyra:  The tracker...Kinichi, I believe his name was.
Peldor:  (shakes his head)  That's too bad.  I can't say I knew the
  guy, but it's never easy to lose companions.
Tanya:  With Belphanior involved, I'd kind of expect some fatalities.
Alindyar:  It had nothing to do with Belphanior or any of his deeds.
  We somehow freed a deadly gaseous cloud, and it moved rapidly.
Lyra: was very fast.
Peldor:  I take it you ran?
Alindyar:  That would be an understatement.
Lyra:  Enough about that.  We were lucky to get away at all.
Tanya:  Did you get any treasure out of the deal?
Peldor:  Or magic items?  Bosco said something about a lot of money
  but no magic.
Lyra:  You have to understand that there wasn't much _there_, in the
  way of magic items.
Alindyar:  What little we did acquire came from those people who
  attacked us when we got back to Helgate.
Tanya:  People?  What people?
Lyra:  Some group of warriors, wizards, and such was waiting for us
  in Helgate.  They laid into Belphanior and crew, and since we were
  there, we helped out.
Alindyar:  It was somewhat unpleasant.
Peldor:  These people attacked Belphanior right there in his own town?
Lyra:  Right there in his own castle!
Tanya:  So what happened?  If you ended up with some of their magic
  items, the outcome of the battle must have been favorable...
Alindyar:  Most of them perished, but a few escaped.
Peldor:  Uh-oh.
Lyra:  (nods)  That's what we were thinking, too - they'll come after
  Belphanior again.
Tanya:  Unless Belphanior goes after them first.
Alindyar:  Aye.  Tis bound to happen.
Peldor:  So you got a couple of magical items...what else?  What did
  you find in the City of the Gods itself?
Lyra:  Weird monsters, as we said...strange devices and towers.  You
  probably remember...
Peldor:  Yeah, but we didn't ever explore much of the place while we
  were there.
Alindyar:  Neither did we, actually.  We were somewhat...pressed for
Lyra:  I'd have to say that the high point of the items we found was
  the chamber full of odd crates.  One of them contained bars of
  solid gold...another held bars of solid platinum...a third was full
  of large, uncut gemstones.
Peldor:  Ah.  Now that's what I'm talking about.
Alindyar:  If nothing else, we moved one step further toward becoming
  one of the wealthiest couples in the world.
Tanya:  (grins)
Peldor:  Hey, that reminds me - we're soon going to come into some
  wealth of our own.
Lyra:  (puzzled)  How's that?  You two have probably got more money
  stashed away than we do.
Tanya:  He's talking about a different kind of wealth.  (she clasps
  her husband's hand)  I'm with child!  We're going to be parents!

next:      Mongo and Gorin
ftp: in /pub/rpg/stories/adventurers
  in /pub/users/zac/rpg/adventurers/
email:       (preferred)
notes:     Thanks to Markus Hietava for the electrical golem idea.
  More for you WCW wrestling fans:  Wednesday 7/15 I used a coupon
  to begin a free one-week membership at Main Event here in Atlanta.
  This is the gym owned by Lex Luger, where all the wrestlers and
  Nitro girls work out.  Unfortunately, it was apparently their
  off-day; we only saw Riggs, Eugene Okata, a couple of minor ones,
  and the Nitro girl Fyre.  She was awesome up close.  I did a half
  hour on the bikes on level 6, then did arms for two hours.  I hope
  to get back next Wednesday and see some real action.

    If you read comics, you should take a serious look at the soon-
  to-be-cancelled series Stormwatch.  Here is an article which may
  may give you an idea of why I like the series so much:


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