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+ THE ADVENTURERS +
+ Epic IV +
+ Many of the locations, non-player characters, spells, and other +
+ terms used in these stories are the property of TSR, Inc. However, +
+ TSR has in no way endorsed or authorized their use, and any such +
+ items contained within these stories are not representative of TSR +
+ in any fashion. +
+ The player characters depicted in these stories are copyright +
+ 1991-2000 by Thomas A. Miller. Any resemblance to any persons +
+ or characters either real or fictional is utterly coincidental. +
+ Copying and/or distribution of these stories is permissible under +
+ the sole condition that no money is made in the process. In that +
+ case, I hope you enjoy them! +
+ Thomas A. Miller +
+ Alindyar 17th level drow wizard +
+ Belphanior 14th/14th/14th level elven fighter/wizard/thief +
+ Bosco 12th level halfling thief +
+ Lyra 14th level female drow wizard +
+ Mongo 18th level dwarven fighter +
+ Gorgo dwarven berserker +
+ Otto 8th/11th level dwarven fighter/thief +
+ Date: 1/6/579 C.Y. (Common Year) +
+ Time: shortly before dusk +
+ Place: the Free City of Greyhawk +
+ Climate: cold +
+ "You might know who we are, but we know who you are. Understand." +
+ - from _Goodfellas_ +
DCVI. Long Overdue Answers
Three days ago, Belphanior and Mongo came to Greyhawk for different
reasons. Belphanior sought insights into a number of varying topics,
while Mongo sought companions for perhaps the greatest quest ever under-
taken by mortals. Now, Belphanior and Otto are meeting for a private
comparison of information...
Belphanior: You sure picked a seedy place.
Otto: (shrugs) Less likely to be trouble.
Belphanior: (eyeing the scumbags that fill this seedy tavern)
Otto: I meant real trouble.
They had an adventurers' favorite: the shady corner table where nobody
could eavesdrop or approach without being spotted.
Belphanior: I may just have consulted every sage and diviner in this city.
Otto: So what's the deal?
Belphanior: Where should I start? (he produces a sheet of marked-up
parchment) Adamantine golem...we know where it is, and thus we can go
get it at our leisure.
Otto: Well, that's simplifying things a bit, but...
Belphanior: Cynder is definitely _not_ on this plane of existence. That
means one of two things: he's dead or he's stuck in the Abyss.
Otto: What if he allied himself with our pal the demon lord?
Belphanior: I'd count that as 'stuck in the Abyss' but good point. Next,
and this is maybe my favorite part: we now know the location of a genuine
temple of the big 'O'...
Otto: Okay...so that's attack option #1.
Belphanior: Baron Albert, in Blackmoor, is attack option #2. I know just
where he lives.
Otto: Attack option #3, those who sent Omak?
Belphanior: Nobb and Ranulf, slavers in Westkeep...we know where they are,
Otto: Too bad for them.
Belphanior: So, three possibilities. (he frowns) Of that vampire, Qurac,
there was nothing to be found. Nobody's even heard of him. Maybe I'll
ask Victoria when we get back to Helgate.
Otto: Makes sense.
Belphanior: If - when - we ever go after the vampires, we need to recruit
Otto: Agreed. His kind are useful when it comes to such undead foes.
Belphanior: I teleported down to see my friends, the deep gnomes...King
Grimlok, and the tinkerer, Sludj.
Otto: Anything interesting?
Belphanior: Sort of. They checked on my false eye, and seemed pleased
with it somehow. I gave them some of those weird items and devices we
picked up on that other world.
Otto: Let me guess: all the useless stuff we couldn't figure out?
Belphanior: Yep. I think those gifts made Sludj's day; he was speechless.
Otto: Well, that's good.
Belphanior: More importantly, the svirfneblin have been keeping an extra
eye out for any recurrence of the shapeshifters, but happily, they haven't
Otto: I think those monsters really are all dead.
Belphanior: Me too, but it's best to be cautious.
Otto: Better safe than sorry...or dead.
Belphanior: I also paid a call on the wizard Otiluke, but he wasn't home.
His butler said something about Otiluke being away for a few weeks. I
guess I'll have to revisit that one.
Belphanior: The weird spells in Kronos' spellbook were a little tougher.
In fact, a lot tougher. The best I could get was the possibility that
the tome's five unique spells had to do with either death or time - and
I knew that much already. It was suggested that I seek out an archmage,
or if I couldn't find one, a lich.
Otto: How about Alindyar? Isn't he an archmage?
Belphanior: Not technically, though I've no doubt that someday soon, he
will be. But it's a moot point - his specialty is illusion, and I doubt
that he could make much of Kronos' formulas.
Otto: Hey, I'd try it anyway. With really sharp people, you never know...
Belphanior: Good point.
Otto: Well, it sounds like Kronos and his spells will have to wait for some
Belphanior: (nods) As for a means of shielding myself from scrying, it
seems that just such a spell might exist, somewhere. Or perhaps some
sort of amulet. I've left a message with Tenser asking about this.
Apparently he's out of town too...probably adventuring with Otiluke,
for all we know.
Otto: Sounds like a fairly productive day.
Belphanior: It was. And you?
Otto: I looked into the work involved in finding, hiring, and maintaining
a garrison for Helgate. I don't think we should deal with this until we
have the time and energy to give it a full effort.
Otto: So...back to the main objective...we have three possible targets: the
evil temple, Baron Albert, and the slavers Nobb and Ranulf in Westkeep.
Belphanior: Ah, choices, choices...
Otto: (smiles thinly) Why not just attack all three targets and make a day
Belphanior: Damn! That's far and away the best idea I've heard all day.
Let's drink to it. (they raise their glasses)
Otto: All this aside...have you thought about Mongo's little treasure hunt?
Belphanior: Of course I have. Who wouldn't? It's only potentially the
hoard to end all hoards.
Otto: The fabled Lost Tomb of Panagaea...Emperor Hyperion...a map in the
form of an ancient stone tablet...
Belphanior: If he can just decipher those runes and learn the location of
Otto: If it isn't a hoax or a red herring.
Belphanior: Lots of 'ifs'...
Otto: Well, we'd best go meet at the drows' house as planned.
The entire group - all those who knew of Mongo's quest - had agreed to
meet at the mansion at dusk each day, to compare notes. Shortly...
Gorgo: So you guys are going with us?
Belphanior: Yep. This quest - even the admittedly small chance of it
actually yielding anything - is simply too epic to pass up.
Otto: Plus we were getting bored in Helgate.
Mongo: (examining the ancient tablet)
Lyra: Any luck today?
Mongo: Actually, yes. Sort of.
Gorgo: (in explaining mode) We found this place for lunch that had all-
Mongo: She's talking about the stone map-tablet, Gorgo.
Gorgo: Oh, yeah. Right.
Mongo: (proudly) I now know who the world's leading expert in Panagaean
Otto: So...who is it?
Mongo: Well, it's the Oracle of Espyria, at the end of the known world.
(he sees their worried looks) Oh, don't worry. I got a map.
Lyra: What is this oracle?
Mongo: Uh, that's a little hard to say.
Alindyar: And why is that?
Mongo: (shrugs) Nobody knows.
Otto: Maybe you should ask the Oracle.
Belphanior: Oh, great. (mockingly) Maybe he can help me with Kronos'
spellbook while we're at it.
Mongo: (shrugs) Sorry. The world's leading expert is the world's
Belphanior: (sighs) Okay, okay. What of Peldor? Is he coming along?
Mongo: Nah. We asked him, and I think he wanted to, but he's got that
Lyra: Little girl, actually.
Bosco: (appears) But it's okay, because you've got me instead! And I
represent the glory of Peldor as well as myself-
Belphanior: Enough, Bosco.
Mongo: So let's see...me, Gorgo, Bosco, Belphanior, Otto...
Gorgo: (trying to keep up, he fails)
Belphanior: Plus some of our marshals.
Mongo: ...okay, and then...(to the drow) Well? Joining us for this one?
Alindyar: (ESPing to Lyra) What think you?
Lyra: (ESPing to Alindyar) I think I agree with you. Tell him.
Alindyar: (to Mongo) Nay, we cannot.
Alindyar: We have...commitments here in Greyhawk.
Lyra: (ESPing to Alindyar) Not to mention that you want to find that
Lord of Illusions...
Mongo: Okay then, we're five, plus some marshals.
Gorgo: How many is that?
Bosco: Hey, what about Gorin?
Mongo: Gorin's busy, fighting the good fight, in Greyspire, as part of
a small army.
Mongo: (his mind drifting, he ponders others who could be asked to come
along - Rob, the priest Relmar, the paladin Drexel - and what it would
take to convince each that they needed to help with these quests) Um.
Mongo: Nothing...hmm, with this many people, we'd best agree on the
treasure shares beforehand...like right now.
Belphanior: You're absolutely right. Half to you and Gorgo, half to me
and Otto and whichever of my people I bring along.
Gorgo: (incredulous) You'd split your share with all of your henchmen?
Belphanior: A fraction of infinity is still infinite.
Gorgo: (frowns, obviously uncomprehending)
Belphanior: Besides, my marshals are both brave and capable. They
deserve, and will get, nothing less than an equal share to my own.
Otto: Damn right on that.
Bosco: What about my share?
Mongo: Hmm...we'll take your share out of me and Gorgo's half.
Bosco: (pouting) Why can't we just split it all up evenly?
Mongo: Because I said so, that's why.
Mongo: No buts.
Bosco: (shrugs) Whatever you say.
Mongo: Well, it's settled then. (to Belphanior and Otto) When do we
leave for the oracle who lives at the end of the known world?
Belphanior: We'll need a week or so first. We've got some business to
Mongo: Oh, that's okay. We'll come along.
Belphanior: Err...well, you can't.
Mongo: Why not?
Belphanior: Uh, well, frankly, because we're going to destroy a vampire
lord and his army, then demolish a temple of a demon lord, and finish
up the day by assassinating two slave lords.
Gorgo: Hey, sounds like fun!
Mongo: (frowns) Belphanior?
Mongo: I'm hurt. (he waves his arms about) How in the name of all the
bloody burning hells could you plan all that mayhem and NOT INVITE ME?!?
Belphanior: Well, it just sort of slipped my mind...
Mongo: Never mind. All that matters now is that we have some enemies to
go put a hurting on!
next: Belphanior and Alindyar talk shop
ftp.intertex.net in /pub/users/zac/rpg/adventurers/
notes: Updated survey count: 413, up from 397 last time.
Well, now Mongo's quest has been set up, so he joins the queue of
those who have story arcs pending:
Nenya/Deryck Temple of Elemental Evil or Suel museum troubles
Alindyar seek out the mythical Lord of Illusions
Belphanior et al destroy three different old enemies \
Mongo Lost Tomb of Panagaea /
More to be added shortly...
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