Chapter #67

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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:   12/25/570 C.Y. (Common Year)
Time:   afternoon
Place:  southern Ulek, northeast of Gryrax

                   LXVII.  The Coming of Bosco

  The party is travelling through some hills in Ulek, after having
an adventure involving the small town of Tragidore.  Before they
know it, the city of Havenhill looms ahead, in the distance...

Peyote:  Wow, man.  (to hawks)  Squawk!
hawks:  Squee!  (they fly away, to scout ahead for the party)
Peyote:  Cool birds.  Much better than those boars, if I do say
  so myself.
Alindyar:  I agree on that count.
Peldor:  (wondering what thieving opportunities await in the city
  ahead)  Hmm...
Halbarad:  We had best stock up well in Havenhill, for the lands
  that await us beyond yonder city are hostile indeed.
Peyote:  We'll survive, dude.
Lyra:  (wondering if Alindyar is going to let her memorize her
  more useful spells)

  Soon, they had entered Havenhill, and decided to take lodging
for the night.  Halbarad went to bed early, while Peyote talked
to his hawks.  Alindyar and Lyra looked over the spellbooks
gained in the last adventure.  Peldor, though, went out into the
city to see what mischief he could make.

Peldor:  (wandering along a busy street)  Ho-hum.  This city is
  ripe for the picking!  Ah, if only Belphanior were here!
halfling:  (covertly following Peldor)
Peldor:  (stops to look into a bar)  To drink or not to drink,
  _that_ is the question.
halfling:  (sneaks up to Peldor amid the crowds, and filches an
  item from his pocket)
Peldor:  (watching some whores with great interest)
halfling:  (scurries off)  Hah!

  Into a dimly-lit alleyway dashed the halfling.  He looked back
into the street, but there was no sign of pursuit.  He had gotten
away with his prize - an engraved potion bottle!

halfling:  Yes!  (looks the bottle over)  Good stuff, good stuff!

  Suddenly, the small demi-human was lifted into the air, where
his tiny, hairy feet kicked uselessly.  He glanced up at the
powerful arm that held him there.

halfling:  Aaaaa!  Let me go!
Peldor:  (holding the little guy aloft with one arm)  If you're
  going to steal something from me, at least get something GOOD.
halfling:  (looking at the potion bottle)  Huh?
Peldor:  Ah, what to do with you?
halfling:  Um...
Peldor:  Cut off the ears?  Or maybe the feet?  No, no, the hands.
  That's it!  The hands!  Now where's that knife I had?
halfling:  (squealing)  No!  No!
Peldor:  (regarding the halfling thief)  Hmm.  Maybe I can make
  some use of you.
halfling:  What's that?
Peldor:  Well, obviously, you dared to try to steal from the
  mighty Peldor.  So, you are no stranger to risk.
halfling:  Yeah!  That's right!
Peldor: were unsuccessful.  Which is fine, considering
  the unblinking eye of Peldor, which of course misses nothing.
halfling:  Ulp.
Peldor: was a pretty good try.  So you have skill.
halfling:  Yes.  Yes!  Great skill!
Peldor:  So...although not in the same class as Peldor, you are
  not lacking for cunning and experience.
halfling:  Nope!  Not me!
Peldor:  Ah, maybe I'll kill you anyway.
halfling:  No!  No!  I'll go with you, help you.  Surely you
  have some great quest which needs the skills of Bosco!
Peldor:  Bosco?
Bosco:  Yeah, Bosco!  Thief, lockpicker, scout.  Greetings!
  (extends a hand)
Peldor:  Okay.  (clasps the halfling's hand)  I am, of course,
  Peldor.  (sets the halfling down onto the ground)  Have my
  legends spread to this city?
Bosco:  Not yet, anyway.
Peldor:  We'll have to do something about that.  Anyway, you
  will be my henchman, accompanying me on adventures of great
  danger and fame.
Bosco:  Okay!  Sounds like fun!
Peldor:  But I warn you - you had best behave yourself.  Those
  whom I travel with have no tolerance for thieves.
Bosco:  Then how do they tolerate _you_?
Peldor:  I am more than a thief, I am a hero.  They respect me
  for that, I think.
Bosco:  Whatever.
Peldor:  I shall guarantee you a fair share of loot - a henchman
  sized share, of course - but you must remain loyal, and do not
  steal from the party.  Only I can do that.
Bosco:  Sounds good.
Peldor:  But, I will tell you this:  I can detect lies.
Bosco:  Really?
Peldor:  Yep.  So don't even think about lying in my presence.
  If you don't screw up, you'll have the adventures of your life.
Bosco:  Understood.
Peldor:  Come, let us find a bar and talk further.  Do you play
Bosco:  Only the basic thirty-seven card games...
Peldor:  Excellent!  (claps the halfling on the back)  Oh, and
  by the way...
Bosco:  Hmm?
Peldor:  ...Give me that potion back.
Bosco:  Potion?  Oh, _this_ potion...
Peldor:  Ah!  A man after my own heart!  (they head for a sleazy
  bar)  Heh, heh.

  The next morning, the party had regrouped at a table in the inn
they chose the night before.  A sly-looking halfling was sitting
next to Peldor, though, a fact which did not escape the others.

Halbarad:  Who, pray tell, is _that_?
Peldor:  This is Bosco, everyone.  He's my new manservant!
Alindyar:  Manservant?
Lyra:  A valet?  What need has Peldor for a valet?
Peyote:  (to hawks)  Squark!
Peldor:  He will be accompanying us for a bit.
Halbarad:  I trust him like I trust you, Peldor - not at all.
Bosco:  Oh, come on!  I'm a swell guy!
Peyote:  I hope my hawks don't eat you, dude.
Bosco:  Ulp.
Halbarad:  Whatever.  But you two had better not do anything
  questionable.  Like robbing us, or people in cities we may
  be in, etcetera.  No misbehavior!
Peldor:  Who, me?
Lyra:  Heh.

  They left Havenhill shortly, and traveled for three days
in a northeastern direction.  The Suss forest loomed ahead,
and without many second thoughts, they entered its gloomy
expanse.  Upon finding a southern fork of the Jewel River,
they turned northward, intending to follow this river as it
wound through the forest.  Eventually, this course would lead
them to the Gnarley Forest, roughly a hundred and thirty
leagues to the north.  From there, it was only a few days'
journey to the free city of Dyvers, and then they would go
east, toward Greyhawk.

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)
Halbarad, 8th level human ranger (NG)
Peldor, 10th level human thief (N)
  Bosco, 5th level halfling thief (CN)
Peyote, 7th/8th level half-elf fighter/druid of Obad-Hai (N)
Date:   12/31/570 C.Y. (Common Year)
Time:   afternoon
Place:  the southern Suss Forest, alongside the Jewel River

  As they journeyed through the Suss, it quickly became apparent
that the place was very dangerous...

hawk:  (returns from its scouting, lands upon Peyote's shoulder)
  Squawk!  Scree!
Halbarad:  What is this?!?
Peyote:  Scrak?  Rouk!  (to party, in common)  This dude says that
  there is a band of big humanoids ahead, preparing to ambush us!
Halbarad:  Oh, really?  (hefts his axe)
Alindyar:  (prepares a spell, and causes his carpet to float a few
  feet higher)  Lyra, be ready.
Lyra:  (prepares a spell also)
Bosco:  Oh boy!
Peldor:  I'll go invisible, and you should too, Peyote.  We'll
  stick to one side, and get behind them once they spring their
Peyote:  Right on.  (becomes invisible)  Sqrak!  (gives new orders
  to the hawks)
Peldor:  (becomes invisible)
Halbarad:  So, now we are bait.
Alindyar:  Fear not.  We have spells at our disposal
Lyra:  Thanks to Zara...
Alindyar:  Aye.
Peldor:  (he and Peyote move far to one side, invisible)
hawks:  (fly overhead, waiting silently)
Halbarad:  This should be interesting.

  Soon, the evildoers made themselves visible, as they sprung
their ambush!

ogres:  (eight of them, they emerge from the woods and surround
  the lone ranger on the ground and the two drow in the sky,
  and Bosco)  Har!  We has youse surrounded!
Alindyar:  Observant ogres, these.
Bosco:  Bah!  Get away, or I'll have to hurt you!
ogre:  Heh heh.  Fat chance o' that, shrimp!
ogres with blue skin:  (three of them, they float out from the
  trees nearby to join the normal ogres)  Desist.  Especially
  you, wizards.
Lyra:  What are _those_?
Alindyar:  Ogre magi!  (murmurs silently)
ogres:  Har har!
Halbarad:  Uh-oh.  (waves his axe menacingly)
ogre mage:  (to fellows)  The male dark elf is casting!  Hurry,
  get him!  (they frantically prepare to attack)
Lyra:  (blasts each of them with one magic missile)  There!
  That should distract them long enough for-
Alindyar:  (casts Confusion on all opponents)  Heh.
ogre#1:  (fails save, stands confused)  Duh.
ogre#2:  (fails save, attacks ogre#1)  Arr!
ogre#3:  (makes save, watches his companions in shock)  Whas'
  you guys doin'?!?
ogre#4:  (fails save, wanders away)  Duh?
ogre#5:  (fails save, stands confused)  What is me doin' here?
ogre#6:  (makes save, charges Halbarad)  Die, human!
ogre#7:  (fails save, attacks ogre#8)  Arr!
ogre#8:  (fails save, attacks ogre#7)  Arr yourself!
ogre mage#1:  (makes save, blasts Alindyar and Lyra with a cone
  of cold)  Heh heh.  Shake _this_ off.
ogre mage#2:  (fails save, floats in air confused)
ogre mage#3:  (makes save, prepares to cast a spell)
disembodied voice nearby:  SQUARK!
hawks:  (both divebomb ogre mage#3, attacking him)
Peyote:  (still invisible, watches the hawks in action, then
  grabs one of his javelins of lightning)  Hmph.
Peldor:  (somewhere nearby, invisible)
Halbarad:  (chops and stabs ogre#6)  Back, you!
ogre#6:  (misses the ranger with its clumsy swing)  Shit!
ogre#2:  (slashes ogre#1, wounding it grievously)  Ha ha!  This
ogre#1:  Argh!  No fun!  No fun!
ogre#3:  (dodging various melee, heads for Bosco)
Bosco:  (charges ogre#3)  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
ogre#3:  You is noisy little runt.
ogre#4:  (about to wander into the forest)  Duh, duh.  Me dumb.
Peldor:  (backstabs the unfortunate ogre, slaying it)  You dead.
  (becomes visible)  Idiot.
ogre#5:  (confused)  Duh.
ogre#7:  (meleeing ogre#8)  Yah, yah!
ogre#8:  Blah, blah!  (slashes ogre#7)
Alindyar:  (he and Lyra are blasted by the cone of cold)  Argh!
  (they both fall, as does the carpet, and land about eight feet
  below, on the ground, frostbitten)  Agh.
Lyra:  Ouch.  (goes unconscious, and collapses)
Alindyar:  Lyra!  (crawls over to her)  Lyra!

Peyote:  (hurls his magical javelin at the first ogre mage)
ogre mage#1:  (hit by the weapon, which explodes in a blast of
  lightning)  ARRRGH!  (hovers, bleeding and stunned)
Peldor:  (throws his magical dagger of throwing at the wounded
  ogre mage)  Take that!  (the dagger imbeds itself in the
  humanoid's eye)
ogre mage:  (fatally wounded)  Agh...shit...(dies, and falls)
Peyote:  Good shot, dude.
ogre mage#3:  (trying to fend off the hawks which are clawing
  and biting at his face)  Argh!
hawks:  (tearing the monster up)  Scree!
ogre mage#2:  (still confused)
Peldor:  (retrieves his dagger from the corpse of ogre mage#1)
Halbarad:  (chops ogre#6, slaying it)  So!  (moves to the next
  and nearest opponent, the confused ogre#5, who is now about
  to stab ogre#3, who is trying to step on Bosco)
Bosco:  Hah!  Stupid ogre!  You'll never get me!  (dodges an
ogre#3:  Fuck!  Stand still!  (misses the halfling)
ogre#5:  (chops ogre#3 in its confusion)  Duh?
ogre#3:  ARGH!  You doofus!
Halbarad:  (stabs ogre#3 instead)  Hmph.
Bosco:  (stabs ogre#3 in the knee)  Yee-hah!
ogre#3:  Geez...(dies)
Bosco:  (to Halbarad)  What a team we make!
Halbarad:  Err...right.
ogres 1/2:  (meleeing with one another)
ogres 7/8:  (meleeing with one another)
Alindyar:  (tending to Lyra, who is near death)  You shall
  live, I promise.  (feeds her his healing potion, and she
  stabilizes)  Whew.  Close call.  (turns to the ogre magi
  in the sky, and scowls)
Peldor:  (invisible once more, stalking ogre#2)
Halbarad:  (to Bosco)  Little friend, let us now take care
  of _him_.  (points his axe at ogre#5)
Bosco:  Right on!  (they charge the ogre)
Alindyar:  (to Peyote)  Druid!  Tell your birds to desist
  and leave!
Peyote:  Huh?  (sees that Alindyar is really pissed)  Okay!
  (to hawks)  Squawk!  Scree!  SCREE!
hawks:  (fly away, one badly wounded by the ogre mage)

Peldor:  (backstabs ogre#2 right after it kills ogre#1)
ogre#2:  Huh?!?  (dies)
Peldor:  Peldor the mighty sees action yet again...
Alindyar:  (to ogre magi in air)  YOU!  (casts Feeblemind
  at ogre mage#3)
ogre mage#3:  (fails his save)  Blerp.  (floats upward into
  the sky, devoid of a mind)
Alindyar:  Just desserts, for what you did to Lyra.  (prepares
  another spell)
ogres 7/8:  (kill each other)
Halbarad:  (he and Bosco slay ogre#5)
Peyote:  (casts Summon Insects near ogre mage#2)
ogre mage#2:  (confused, about to fly down and attack the
  nearest party member)  Eh?  (attacked by the swarm of bees
  and wasps)  ARGH!  Ptui!

ogre mage#2:  (trying to swat the insects, rather unsuccessfully)
  Agh!  Ouch!
Alindyar:  (casts Dispel Magic on the ogre magi)  Down you go.
ogre mage#2:  (his Fly spell cancelled, he sinks to the ground;
  also, his confusion is cancelled, and the insect swarm dies)
Peldor:  (charges the monster)
Bosco:  (right on cue, also charges the monster)
Peyote:  (charges the monster)
Halbarad:  (charges the monster)
Alindyar:  I have done my part.  (cradles Lyra in his arms)
ogre mage#2:  (doesn't last long)

  In the aftermath of the battle, minor wounds were tended to.
Lyra was not dead, just badly wounded, and healing fast, thanks
to Alindyar's prompt care.  The party set some traps, and also
Peyote cast a spell of alarm to warn of attacks yet to come.
He tended to the wounded hawk, with Halbarad's help - the
ranger was quite adept with animal lore and handling and was
at least as good with the grouchy, wounded bird as Peyote.
  The beings had several treasures on their persons.  The ogres
were carrying a lot of coinage and gems.  One had a strange
black metal ring on, too.  The ogre magi (at least, the two
still here - the third was no more than a distant, receding
speck in the sky) yielded two beads, a wand, a potion, and a
javelin.  There was also a map, ruined by a lightning blast,
and three other potion bottles, shattered in battle.  The
party rested for the rest of the day, and into the night, and
were left alone by whatever beings might have been nearby.
None of the party noted the passing of the new year, though
a full moon shone upon the forest, which Peyote found to be
utterly fascinating.
  In the morning, Peyote greeted a trio of wolves that had
responded to his latest summoning.  Lyra was feeling much
better, and the party was rested and reinforced now as well.
It was a good thing, perhaps, because later that day, they
were assaulted by dozens of orcs.  The battle went well for
the party, though, because they were forewarned by the hawks
and wolves.  Various spells and weapons were brought to bear
against the orcs (mainly a cone of Fear courtesy of Alindyar),
and they all perished before too long.

  The next day, they entered an area of forest which held no

Peyote:  Something is wrong here, dudes.  And dudette.  The
  animals of the forest are all gone.
Halbarad:  Aye.  This appears to be a dead zone, so to speak.
Peldor:  I wonder why?
Alindyar:  (raises the carpet up to a new height of 10' above
  the forest floor)  Beware, Lyra.
Lyra:  Right.  (she eyes the forest nearby suspiciously)
Bosco:  Gee, it sure is quiet here!
wolves:  Grrrrrr!
Peyote:  Uh-oh.  Someone or something is nearby...(hefts his
  bastard sword)
Peldor:  Hey, look!
small green humanoids:  Yaaar!  (they emerge from the brush
  of the forest floor, and attack immediately)
Peyote:  Kobolds!  (chops one in half)
Halbarad:  (cuts a kobold in half, and impales another one
  with his dagger, lifting it high into the air)  Get off
  of my knife, you!
Alindyar:  (spellcasting)
Lyra:  (Magic Missiles three kobolds with tiny spears, who
  perish)  Bah.
Peldor:  (chops a kobold in three)  These guys are shrimps.
Bosco:  (slays a kobold)
Peldor:  See what I mean?
Alindyar:  (casts Fear in a cone at the main part of the
  kobold swarm, causing perhaps two score of the small
  humanoids to drop their weapons and flee shrieking...
  this leaves only six or so still fighting the party)

  Needless to say, the six or so didn't last long.  The party
headed in the direction of the fled kobolds, curious as to
their motives and lair.  After about ten minutes of tracking
by Halbarad (it was even easier since the humanoids had fled
in terror, and had left a trail that even a feebleminded ogre
could follow), the party came upon a clearing.  A large hill
rose above the forest floor ahead.  The wolves and hawks were
going berserk, baying and screeching insanely, but nothing
could be seen...

Alindyar:  Hmmmmmm.  (casts Detect Invisibility)
Lyra:  (watching Alindyar gaining the enchanted vision)
Alindyar:  (eyes bulge)  By Lolth!
Halbarad:  What?!?
Alindyar:  (pushes Lyra off of the carpet)  Run!  Scatter!

  Suddenly, as the party just began to move, something huge
and invisible shifted on that hill.  There was a deep sound,
a WHOOSHing, and then, as they scattered like ants, a large,
green, winged form materialized atop the hill, as it exhaled
a monstrous cloud of greenish vapor at the party.

Peldor:  Holy SHIT!!!  A green dragon!

next time:  Aftermath

FTP SITE: (in pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers)
NOTES:  Go see "Under Siege", it is awesome!

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