Chapter #65

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*  The 8 player characters contained in these writings are copyright
*  1992 by Thomas Miller.  Any resemblance to persons or characters
*  either real or fictional is utterly coincidental.  Copying and/or
*  distribution of these stories is permissible only under the one
*  condition that no part of them will be used or sold for profit.
*  In that case, I hope you enjoy them.

THE PARTY (temporarily split up; this is the "land" group):

Alindyar, 9th level drow elf mage (N)
  Lyra, 5th level female drow elf mage (LE/N)  [pseudo-prisoner]
Halbarad, 8th level human ranger (NG)
Peldor, 10th level human thief (N)
Peyote, 7th/8th level half-elf fighter/druid of Obad-Hai (N)
Date:   12/20/570 C.Y. (Common Year)
Time:   early evening
Place:  a circular building hidden within some forest

                   LXV.  Invading the Complex

  The party has found and entered a stone building, and defeated
a pair of drow guards.  They are now prepared to open a door and
explore further...

Halbarad:  Here is the plan.  Peldor checks the door, and then
  opens it.  I shall go through first, followed by Peyote, and
  then the mage, err, magi, and Peldor last.
Peldor:  Great.  I open the door but go last.  Ah, well, the
  life of a good thief has its ups and downs...
Halbarad:  Who ever said that you were a _good_ thief?
Peyote:  (unsheathes his bastard sword)  Sounds good to me, dude,
  let's do it.  Just one question - where do the boars fit in?
  (points to the snorting boars, who have done a good job of
  tracking mud from outside into the room)
boars:  Snort!  Grunt!  Slurp!
Halbarad:  Hmm.
Peyote:  I say let them go first.  That way, they'll provide
  cover for us to charge.
Halbarad:  This sounds unusual, but we could give it a try.
Peldor:  Whatever, let's just get the ball rolling, okay?
Halbarad:  (shrugs)  Get the boars to the door, then.
Peyote:  (does so)  Cool.
Alindyar:  I am ready.
Peldor:  (listens at the thick door)  I hear some people having
  an argument.  The door is not locked, also.
Halbarad:  Prepare yourselves.  (hefts his axe)
Peyote:  Check.
Peldor:  (sheathes his sword, becoming invisible)
Peyote:  (slips on his ring, also becoming invisible)
Halbarad:  (irritated)
Alindyar:  (readies his wand of missiles)
Lyra:  (nervous about having to combat her former companions)
Peldor:  Here goes.  (opens the door and gets out of the way)

  Beyond the door was a large kitchen.  Therein stood a trio
of orcs in leather aprons, being scolded by a female drow.
All four of them turned in surprise when the door opened.

Peyote:  (to party)  I bet she screams "Intruders!" any second
drow female:  (draws sword)  Intruders!  Kill them!
orcs:  (grab meat cleavers)
Peyote:  Hah!  (prods the boars, speaking to them in boar-ish
  grunts and squeals)  Go!
boars:  (charge into the room, intending to trample)
orcs:  Yaaaa!  (turn and flee in random directions)
drow female:  Damn!  (casts darkness upon the party)
Halbarad:  Curses!  Foiled again!  (tries to get through the
  magical hemisphere of darkness)
Peyote:  (trying to do the same thing, bumps into the ranger)
Peldor:  (follows a wall into the room, by touch)
Alindyar:  (fires magic missiles from his wand at the last
  visible location where he saw the drow female)

  The four bolts of energy flew into the kitchen, missing the
drow and the orcs but shattering some jars of slop.  One missile
hit a row of hanging knives and cleavers, knocking them in all
directions.  Meanwhile, the boars had each gored an orc to death
already, and the last of the piggish humanoids had leapt up onto
a counter and was throwing cleavers at the boars.  The drow
female had retreated to one side and was opening an door.

Peldor:  (emerges from the darkness, still invisible; spots the
  drow about to escape)  Uh-oh!  (uses his ring of telekinesis
  to push the door shut before she can get through it)
drow female:  (pulling ineffectually at the door, which won't
  budge)  What sorcery is this?!?!  (wheels, sword ready, but
  can't see Peldor)  Damn, damn, damn!
Halbarad:  (runs out of the darkness and trips over a table,
  falling in a heap near the drow)  Ooooooops!
drow female:  Aha!  (takes a few steps and chops at the fallen
  ranger with her shortsword)  Die!
Halbarad:  (manages to block with his axe, just in time)  Not
  so fast, base villainess!
orc:  (still atop the counter, hits a boar with a hurled knife)
  Hah hah!
boars:  (trying to get to the orc, unsuccessfully, since the
  counter is too high above the floor)  Grrr...
Peldor:  (uses his ring to trip the orc, causing him to fall
  amidst the pair of wild boars)  Heh heh.
boars:  (quite enraged, rush upon the orc)  Snort!
orc:  AAAAAUUUGH!  (meets a timely end)
Peyote:  (emerges from the darkness, looks around)  Hmm.  Much
  has happened since we entered.  Wild, dude.  (realizes that
  he's talking to himself and shuts up)
Alindyar:  (somewhere within the darkness)  Come, Lyra.  We must
  get through this infernal spell and help the others.
Lyra:  (wondering in her NPC mind why she, like Alindyar, cannot
  use the innate drow spells)
Halbarad:  (parries another slashing attack and leaps to his
  feet)  On guard, woman!
drow female:  (in common)  I shall enjoy cutting your liver from
  your belly, warrior!  (they close and begin melee anew)

Halbarad:  (dances around an overturned chair, stabs with his
  dagger, cutting the drow)  Aha!
drow female:  (slashes the ranger, inflicting a shallow cut
  across his chest)  Bah!  You shall perish!  (subtly backing
  toward the narrow passage to the south, which leads into some
  other area)
Halbarad:  Agh!  (looks down at his wound, then at the drow)
  You missed the liver...(chops at her, missing narrowly)
Peyote:  (corrals the two wild boars, which have started running
  around the room destroying everything they can)  Whoa, there!
Alindyar:  (emerges from the darkness)  Where is the drow?  Oh,
  there she is.
Lyra:  (in common)  Beware that one, she is a great warrior!
Peyote:  (turns)  Eh?!?
Alindyar:  (looks quizzically at Lyra)  You can speak common?!?
Lyra:  (in common)  Of course.  Now that I see that I can
  trust your companions, I need not resort to our own tongue.
Alindyar:  Hmm.
Lyra:  (to Alindyar)  Except, of course, in personal discussions.
Alindyar:  Hmm.
Halbarad:  (exchanging blows with the drow female)  Your skill
  is great - but nowhere near my own.  Surrender!
drow female:  Don't make me laugh.  (backing toward the passage
  behind her)
Peldor:  (already in place behind her, though; backstabs with
  great force)  Good night.
drow female:  AUGH!  (whirls and slashes at Peldor, drawing a
  line of blood across his arm; then falls, dead)
Peldor:  Damn!  (wipes his wound on the woman's tunic)  No one
  has _ever_ lived through one of my backstabs long enough to
  attack me...
Halbarad:  Nice job.  With you around, though, we may never get
  a prisoner to question.  You are a toned-down Belphanior...
Peyote:  Not so fast, dude.  (bends over the body, and touches
  its forehead with the Rod of Life and Death)  Speak to me, O
  dead drow woman!
drow female:  (animated by the Rod's magic, speaks in drow)
  Go to hell.
Peyote:  In _Common_, dammit!
drow female:  (in Common)  Go to hell.
Peyote:  Tell me of this place.
drow female:  It is a round stone tower.
Peyote:  Enough of this back-talk!  How many drow are here?!?
drow female:  Too many for you to defeat.
Peyote:  We shall see about that.  Where are the missing men
  from the town of Tragidore?
drow female:  In the depths of the earth...(becomes still)
Peyote:  I guess she had no more to say, dudes.
DM:  Guess so.
Alindyar:  She has said enough, though.
Lyra:  We had best be on guard.
Halbarad:  I was not aware that you spoke Common, mage.
Lyra:  What, did you think that all of these other drow did,
  but not me?  That would make no sense, now would it?
Halbarad:  I suppose not...
Peyote:  (puts his Rod away)  What next?
Halbarad:  We must explore this area, quickly, before more
  guards arrive.
Peldor:  Makes sense to me.  (begins exploring the pockets of
  the slain drow)

  They looked around, finding that the kitchen had two storage
chambers to the south.  One contained dishes and food, while
the other was a holding cell, and contained two human males.
To the south was a richly (though tastelessly) decorated dining
room, with deep red and black hangings and furniture.

Halbarad:  (freeing the men)  Who are you?  What do you know
  of this place and your captors?
man:  Ugh.  We were part of a group that broke in here a few
  days ago.  They've been keeping us here, without food or
Peyote:  (on cue, casts Create Food & Water)  Here, feast away.
man:  Oh, thank the gods!  (begins cramming food into his mouth
  at a rapid clip)
other man:  (likewise)
Halbarad:  They remind me of Mongo when he eats...
Alindyar:  Hmm.  'Tis time to check on the others again, perhaps.
  (gets his crystal ball out, and looks into it while thinking
  of the other party)
Peyote:  (to men)  What else do you know?
man:  <glmph>  There's a secret stairway in the dining room.
other man:  It probably <munch> leads to the mines.
Halbarad:  Mines?
man:  <gulp>  Yea, that's where the men are being put to work.
other man:  <burp>  Mining gold for the drow.
Alindyar:  How insidious.  (sees the sea party sailing merrily
  along a river)  Hmm.  They remain bored, still.
Lyra:  We should help the humans.
Halbarad:  We shall.  (looking around)  I spy one door out of
  here, in addition to that possible secret stairway.  Peldor?
Peldor:  (poking around the dining room)  Yep, here it is, all
  right.  (brushes aside a hanging tapestry to reveal a passage
  going downward)  One stairway down, as ordered.
Peyote:  Why don't you dudes come with us?
man:, we can't.
other man:  We can barely _walk_, we are so weak.
man:  We would just get in the way.
other man:  Yea.
Halbarad:  All right, then.  You stay here and come out if you
  hear us later.  Only then.
man:  Okay.

  The party decided to check out the door first, since most of
this floor seemed discovered already, and they did not want to
get ambushed by potential attackers after descending the stairs.

Peldor:  (listening at the door)  I hear nothing.  (opens the
  portal, revealing a long north-south hallway with two visible
  doors, and a chest at the far/south end)
Halbarad:  (points at the nearer of the two doors)
Peldor:  (becomes invisible, listens at the door)
Peyote:  (remembers to slip his ring on, also goes invisible)
boars:  (pawing the ground mindlessly)
Halbarad:  (prepares to go in once Peldor opens the door)
Peldor:  (has finished his examination, whispers)  No traps.
  (opens the door)

  Beyond this door was a small room, holding four bunks, each
with a pair of small supply chests next to it.  The chamber
had only one occupant, a drow sleeping deeply in his bunk.
Peldor moved to slash the warrior's throat, but was stopped
suddenly as Halbarad grabbed the scruff of his neck and held
him in place.  Obviously, the ranger did not want to see wanton
bloodshed - but it was impossible for the party to communicate
while they were all trying not to wake the sleeper.
  Unfortunately for them, the decision was taken out of their
hands, as one of the boars bit down hard on the other's haunch,
eliciting a loud squeal of pain...

boar:  SQUEAL!!!
drow warrior:  (awakens, grabs his sword)  What?!?
Halbarad:  Damnation!  (unslings his axe)
Peyote:  (scolds the boars)  Snort!  Squeal!  Oink!
boars:  (fighting amongst themselves)
Alindyar:  (he and Lyra are forced out into the hall by the
  boars underfoot)  I cannot believe this...
Peldor:  Greetings.  I am Peldor.  (slashes at the drow, nicking
  him on one leg)  Damn!
drow warrior:  Then you are a fool.  I shall gut you, human!
  (moves to melee Peldor, who is somewhat closer to him than

  Just then, the other door to the south opened, and two more
male drow warriors ran out into the hall, exclaiming and pointing
at the party.  Actually, they could only see Alindyar and Lyra,
and the boars, who were in the hall by now.  Perhaps the sight
of two unfamiliar drow took them aback, giving Alindyar the mere
second he needed to come up with a plan and implement it.

Alindyar:  (kicks one boar, causing it to look up and spot the
  two drow warriors)  Yah!
boar:  Snort!  (charges at the two drow)
other boar:  (follows the first boar's example)  Grunt!  (they
  both tear down the hall toward the surprised drow warriors)
male drow warriors:  (in drow)  Holy shit!
Lyra:  Heh heh.

next time:  A rollicking good time

FTP SITE: (in pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers)
NOTES:  Peyote didn't see why it might be a bad idea to bring
along boars on a "stealth" mission, so I conveniently forgot to
remind him that he forgot to tell them to be quiet...
  Tonight is game 5 of the NLCS.  If and when the Braves win
this series (they're up 3-1 so far) I shall post a 30K episode
in celebration of this greatness.  Furthermore, if/when they
win the World Series, I shall post a 50K+ episode...

                            GO BRAVES !!!

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