Chapter #7

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THE PARTY:

Alindyar, 2nd level drow elf mage (N)
Belphanior, 1st/1st level high elf fighter/mage (CN)
Ged, 2nd/1st level grey elf priest/mage (NG)
Halbarad, 2nd level human ranger (NG)
Mongo Thunderhead, 2nd level dwarf fighter (CG)
Peldor, 3rd level human thief (N)
Peyote, 1st/1st level half-elf fighter/druid (N)
Rob, 2nd level human priest (LG)
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                           VII.  Perspectives



  The party has been buried alive by the traitorous Belgar.  They light
a lantern again and survey their prison:



                         %%%%%  __
                        %%%%%%%|  |     KEY: - _ | = wall
                         %%%%% |  |              \ = door
                          | |__|  |          %%%%% = rubble
                          |  __\  |
                          | |  |__|
                        __| |
                       %__  |                   N
                          | |                  W+E
                          | |                   S
                          % %
                         %%%%%
                          %%%


DM:  Dust pervades the air around you, making it difficult to breathe.
Alindyar:  I do believe we have been betrayed.
Mongo:  I'll kill that motherfucker!  I'll rip out his heart and feed
  it to a dog!
Belphanior:  That's not good enough.  First skin him alive, then pour
  salt all over him...
Peyote:  Well, look at it this way.  He wasn't doing much anyway, and
  now we don't have to give him a share of the treasure.
Ged:  Yep, that's one way to think about it.
Peldor:  Hah!  That was classic!  I couldn't have done a better job
  myself!
Rest of Party:  (glaring at Peldor)
Peldor:  Err...I wouldn't have done it to _you_ guys, of course.
Belphanior:  So, I wonder how long we will last here before we run
  out of air?
Rob:  (gasping)
Mongo:  I have no intention of staying down here for much longer.  I
  examine the cave-in, using my mining proficiency to try and gauge
  its depth.
DM:  The fallen rubble is comprised of mostly large rocks...it's at
  least ten feet thick, if not more.
Alindyar:  What of the other side, to the south?  As I recall, there
  was some space at the top of the collapsed section...maybe we could
  dig through it.
Mongo:  (checking it out)  Yup.  This is definitely less congested.
  We could get through this in a few hours.  'Course, that would put
  us deeper in the mine...
Belphanior:  So?  Who cares about that?  Let's start digging!
Mongo:  (fortunately, Mongo carries a great assortment of things in
  his backpack, among them a folding shovel and a pickaxe)  Well, I've
  got a few tools here.  I guess you all can just dig with your hands.

  Mongo and others dig for a while.  After a few hours and much sweat,
they have cleared a three-foot gap below the ceiling.  Mongo peers into
the darkness beyond, seeing nothing.  He then lights a torch, as does
Halbarad, and they climb through the hole first to check it out.
  Beyond the wall of rubble, the two warriors see the first thirty feet
or so of a huge hall.  Their lantern casts dark shadows upon old and
dusty pillars, and at the edge of the light, a broad stairway is faintly
visible, descending into the darkness.



***  NOTE:  EXPERIMENTAL NEW FORMAT FOR THESE STORIES STARTS HERE  ***



  Mongo slid down the rocks, landing with a clunk on the floor of the
newly discovered chamber.  Right behind him came Halbarad, brandishing
his lantern.  Mongo thought it unfortunate that humans lacked the often
useful ability of infravision, having to resort to artificial sources
of light to see underground.  Besides, the bright light ruined Mongo's
own chances of seeing anything in the dark.  Grumbling, the armored
dwarf wandered around the chamber, examining the stonework.  It was
most definitely dwarven in make, and Mongo felt his heart stir with
pride as he viewed the work of his race.
  Halbarad was cautiously approaching the stairs, axe drawn and ready.
The stout ranger was never one to take chances, and he held his bright
lantern high and peered into the huge chamber at the foot of the wide
stairway.  He heard faint scraping noises from the darkness; it almost
sounded like something was slithering down there.  The noises became
louder, and Halbarad sensed that whatever was at the foot of the stairs
was on its way up.  "Mongo!", the ranger shouted, "We've got trouble!".
  Suddenly, a large, tubular form crashed out of the darkness, slamming
into Halbarad.  The lantern sailed off, shattering against the stony
floor, but not before its light was extinguished.  Halbarad managed to
maintain his grip on his axe, even though he was knocked over by the
impact.  He got in a couple of swings with the weapon before his
assailant backed away, and knew that one of them had struck a wounding
blow.
  Mongo had turned when he heard his companion's warning, and it took
him a few seconds to adjust to the darkness after the lantern went out.
When he could see again, in the infrared spectrum, he witnessed a long,
snakelike monster with many legs stalking Halbarad.  The ranger could
obviously see nothing, and was swinging wildly in front of him with
his hand axe.  The dwarf unslung his battle axe - a REAL axe - and
charged the thing.
  Back at the mound of rocks, chaos reigned.  Those who could see with
infravision were trying to figure out what was going on in the room
beyond, while the humans were stumbling about blindly.  Belphanior was
over the wall in a heartbeat, landing, rolling, and running for the
monster with sword drawn.  Peyote, not as swift, made his way over the
wall.  Alindyar and Ged had to wait for now, since only one person
could get through the laboriously cleared opening at a time.  The dark
elf watched as Rob, the human priest, ran directly into a nearby wall.
Peldor, robbed of his usual speed and cunning by the darkness, crouched
in a corner, waiting for visibility to reoccur.
  Halbarad slashed at the beast again, opening another bloody gash in
its side.  Then the thing lunged at him, and a number of wet tentacles
from its mouth slapped against his arms and torso.  Every place they
touched went immediately numb - poison of some sort, the ranger
realized.  His vision blurred, and though he tried to fight off the
impending paralysis, it was no use.  He collapsed on the floor, the
axe slipping out of his suddenly weak grasp.
  Mongo closed the distance between himself and the tentacled thing
with all the speed his stubby legs could muster.  If the monster
thought that Halbarad was its only opponent, it had not tasted the
gleaming axe of Mongo Thunderhead!  The dwarven warrior's first
blow sliced a huge wound in the thing's bulbous hide, and slimy
blood sprayed everywhere.  The foul stuff did nothing to dampen
Mongo's fury, and his axe again bit into the monster.  He shrieked
with rage, it shrieked with pain, and then Belphanior leaped upon
the thing, hacking relentlessly at its head.  His blood-crazed
eyes shone with glee as he pressed his attack, heedless of any and
all consequences.  The monster managed to lash at Mongo with some
of its tentacles, but they didn't affect him through the quarter-
inch of steel plate that was his armor.
  Mongo's reply was more effective.  He buried his axe in the
monster's lumpy head, and shortly thereafter, it stopped thrashing
about.  Belphanior sat wearily atop the thing, awash in gore.  The
stench of blood and guts was everywhere.  Someone lit a torch then,
and as his eyes adjusted, Mongo looked around the room.  Peyote
and the two elven spell-casters were now in the chamber as well.
Peldor climbed over the rocky wall to the north of the room, and
surveyed the situation, deeming that his talents were not needed
anymore.  Soon after, Rob slid from the same wall to the ground,
landing with a thump and looking somewhat confused.
  Ged immediately began checking the stricken ranger.  The grey
elf, skilled in the healing arts as well as those of wizardry,
could see that Halbarad was suffering from a temporary paralysis,
nothing more.  He put some salves on the places where the monster's
tentacles had made contact, and moved the ranger into an upright
position, propping him up against a wall.
  "What in the nine hells was that thing?", Mongo was wondering
aloud.  "All of ten feet long and as mean as a wild boar!"  Ged
turned to look at the dead monster, adding, "And with tentacles
akin to an octopus on its mouth, too."  Mongo was wondering what
an octopus was when Alindyar spoke up.  "That was a Pguthoid, as
we call them in the Underdark - a carrion crawler.  Against less
opponents", the drow glanced around the room, "or weaker ones,
such a beast is highly feared.  I see that this group had nothing
to worry about, though."
  Belphanior replied to that, "Let's hope there's no more of them
slinking around this cursed place.  I have had enough slime for
one day."  The tall elf was trying to wipe the green blood off of
his armor, a futile effort.  Peldor chimed in then.  "A hundred
of them would not be enough to stop a group that named the mighty
Peldor among its members!  Let them come, we are ready!"
  Halbarad was slowly regaining the use of his limbs, so Mongo
and Belphanior fueled and lit another lantern and explored the
large room they were in.  There were two exits to the far south;
one went southeast, the other southwest.



MASTER MAP OF DUNGEON (party has only seen northern room):


                             % %
                            %% %%          KEY: _ | / \ = wall
                             % %                    !   = door
                             | |                %%%%%   = rubble
                            /   \                   o   = pillars
                           |     |
                           |     |
        broad stairs -->   |- - -|                 N
                         __| - - |__              W+E
                        /  o  -  o  \              S
                       |             |
                       |             |
                       |          .`,|  <-- carrion crawler lair
                       |          `~.|
                       |             |
                       |             |
           ______      | o__o___o__o |     ______
          |      |    / /           \ \   |      |
          |      |__/ /  ______      \ \__|      |
          |       _  |  |      |      |  _       |  <-- piercer room
          |      | | |__|      |      | | |      |
          |      | | !__!      |      | | |____  |
          |  ____| | |  |      |      | |  ___ | |
          | |  __  | |  |______|      | |_|   || |
          | | |  | | |                |  _    || |  <<-- old forge
rat       | |_|  | | |                | | |___|| |
 lair-->  |  _   | | |   __________   | |      | |
          | | |__| | |  /          \  | |      | |
          | |______| |/              \| |______| |
          |_________                    _________|
                   /                    \
                 /           __           \  <-- throne room/wererat lair
  _________    /  __________.--.__________  \
  __       |  |  |                        |  |
    |      |  |  |                        |  |%
    |      |__|  |                        | %%%
    |       __!  |  <-- troll lair       %%%%%%%  <-- cave-in
    |      |  |  |                      %%%%%%%
    |      |  |  |
    |______|  %%%%
             %%%%%%  <-- cave-in
              %%%%



  The carrion crawler had a messy pile of things, all sorts of things,
to one side, so naturally Peldor went to have a look.  Mongo trundled
along after him to keep him out of trouble.  Meanwhile, Belphanior was
searching the rest of the room for anything even remotely interesting,
a wasted effort.  The chamber, while roomy with a 20' ceiling, had
virtually nothing of interest, except maybe to a dwarf obsessed with
architecture.
  Mongo kicked at a moldy sack, and was rewarded with the clinking of
coins.  Golden disks cascaded around his boot, and the crusty dwarf's
eyes lit up.  Now THIS was treasure to be appreciated!  Hundreds of
pieces of gold!  Peldor grabbed greedily at the coins, but checked
himself when he realized that some of the others were keeping an eye
on him.  Especially that damned elf, Ged.  Someday he would have to
get rid of that one.  Peldor sighed, and resigned himself, pocketing
only the occasional coin as he scooped the pile into a stronger sack
for the party.  Mongo suddenly yelled with glee, and held aloft a
shining golden ring that had been buried amidst the coins.  Damn,
thought Peldor to himself, I would have found that any second now!
He started sifting the coins more carefully in the hopes of finding
another such bauble.
  Alas, there were no more hidden treasures to be found, and within
the space of ten minutes the party was ready to move again.  They had
a brief discussion and opted to try the southeastern passage first.
As the tunnel was barely five feet wide, Mongo led the way, his sharp
magical axe theoretically the best deterrent to any attackers.  The
group moved only a short distance before finding a barrier, made of
spears set into the ground, aiming toward them.  Peldor nimbly leaped
over the spears, then set about moving them.  It was no easy feat,
for the weapons were deep in the ground and their tips were quite
sharp.  "'Twould seem that someone or something wants to keep the
carrion crawler out of this area", theorized Alindyar aloud.
  Soon enough, though, the spears were cleared away, and the group
next found an entrance to a good-sized room ahead and to the left.
Mongo took a quick peek in, but saw nothing, so he led them into this
new room.  Old tapestries were hung across the walls, and not a one
of them was in decent shape.  Oh well, though Peldor, tapestries were
too bulky to lug around anyway.
  Without any warning, there was a _whoosh_ of air from above, and
something had fallen on top of Rob.  Belphanior looked up (none of
the party had thought to since entering this chamber, stupid STUPID)
and his blood froze in his veins.  The entire ceiling was covered
with stalactites, both great and small points of jagged rock, and
some of them were FALLING!  Rob had a particularly long and narrow
specimen imbedded in his right shoulder and was screaming senselessly.
"Piercers!", yelled Alindyar.  "Back, or we are doomed!"
  The different adventurers acted in different ways.  Halbarad was
urging Ged and Alindyar, the unarmored ones, back the way they had
come, using his own body to protect them in case of further hits.
Mongo had his shield raised above his head, and was trying to figure
out a way to strike back at the falling rock-things.  Peyote was
alternately trying to drag Rob to safety and pull the spike from
his arm.  A gigantic piercer narrowly missed the half-elf just then,
probably due to luck more than anything else.  Belphanior also had
his shield above his head, though his was still intact, unlike the
dwarf's, which already had two piercers imbedded in it; Mongo's
shield was practically ruined.  Nearby, the thief Peldor, in one of
his more reckless moves of late, was sprinting for the passage at
the southeast corner of the room.  A number of piercers of all sizes
were detaching themselves and aiming for the thief, but his speed
enabled him to dodge them.  So far, anyway.
  Peldor saw the safety of the tunnel close ahead of him.  As he
made a final leap, sliding deep into the dark passage and out of
the piercers' lair, he wondered how the monsters got themselves
back up to the ceiling after they had fallen.  Then he stood up,
waving cheerfully to his companions and commending himself on his
daring and skill, and set out to the south, after first lighting
a large torch with flint and steel.  The sputtering, oily wood cast
flickering shadows on the cavern behind him as he left.
  "That IDIOT!", yelled Ged in an uncharacteristic fit of anger.
The party was all clear now, with only Belphanior and Halbarad
sustaining wounds (albeit only minor scratches) after the initial
attack.  Rob was bleeding profusely, however, and he was in bad
shape.  Belphanior had pulled the piercer out of his shoulder (and
smashed it to bits with someone's mace), but the wound was horrible
indeed.  "Dude", Peyote was saying, "you must relax.  Let us bind
the wound first."  He was using herbs to cleanse the jagged hole.
  "EEARGH!", screamed the priest as the leaves and spices touched
his shoulder.  Ged began moving his hands in arcane gestures, and
they were momentarily limned in a blue glow.  He touched the awful
wound, and almost instantly, Rob went slack, the pain lessened to
a great degree.  The wound was still serious, but the edges were
now sealed, and the natural healing process has been hastened.
  Peyote added his healing magic to that of Ged's, and the wound
all but closed then.  Rob felt much better, and the party moved
on.  Belphanior reasoned that the main passage, which continued
south, would parallel the tunnel that Peldor had taken out of the
piercer room.  They followed this until a small room appeared on
the left - an old forge.  Inside were long-unused smithing tools
and a number of half-finished weapons and pieces of armor.  Mongo
examined the room most happily and thoroughly, but could find
nothing of use here that was portable.  They moved on southward.
  Meanwhile, Peldor had followed his dark passage for perhaps
eighty feet, when it turned sharply to the right.  He rounded the
turn, and saw light and figures ahead.  And the noise!  They were
making all kinds of racket!  As they saw him, Peldor saw them
more clearly.  It was of course the party.  Did they always make
this much noise in dungeons?  No wonder they needed his services
so badly!  He walked toward them.  "Greetings, comrades.  I have
checked the passage yonder", he said, pointing behind him, "and
'tis clear.  Let us move on, now that I have rejoined you!"  His
torch light merged with that of the brighter lantern, held by
Ged, and the shadows retreated somewhat.
  Ged swore beneath his breath.  That foolish and reckless rogue
was going to get them all killed someday.  The elf wondered if
Peldor had filched any treasure from the passage he had been
through by himself.  The party turned westward, and entered a
huge room - a throneroom, by the looks of it.

  "Sssss!  What have we here?  Fresssh travelers, it seemsss..."
The speaker stood nearby a large throne.  He (it?) was a large
rat, but with a sword grasped in one furry paw.  As they watched,
three others like it scampered out of the shadows to join their
companion.  All of the things hissed and snarled at the party.
  "Oh my", exclaimed Alindyar.  "Wererats!"  The drow's long-ago
lessons in monster lore were proving to be time well-spent, not
that he had had a choice in the matter.  In drow society, an
unwilling student often soon became an unwilling corpse.  The
wererats closed in on the party.  "Such nice humansss!  And
elvesesss too!", hisses the one with the sword.
  Quite frankly, Mongo was offended.  "So you don't like the
taste of dwarf, eh!  Let me show ya worthless rats why!"  With
that, the short warrior hefted his axe and charged the nearest
wererat.  Not one to be outdone, Belphanior ran after him,
sword swinging in vicious arcs.  The other fighters in the
group also advanced, while the magi frantically sought the
spells for the occasion.  Peldor, eyes shifting craftily,
snuck off in a random direction.
  Mongo met the first wererat axe first.  The sharp weapon bit
deeply into foul flesh, evincing a scream of terror from the
monster.  It had been so long since they lycanthropes had
battled anyone who had enchanted steel, and they were not used
to prey who could fight back.  The wererat clawed at Mongo,
but barely scratched his armor.  Nearby, Belphanior was having
a harder time of it.  He had landed a solid blow, but the
thing hadn't even seemed fazed.  The realization came to him
as his opponent bit his sword arm.  "Aie!  We need magic to
hit these creatures!"
  Halbarad had already deduced this, however, and tossed his
axe aside, drawing the enchanted dagger he had claimed as loot
from their last adventure.  As he dived in, a third wererat
swiped at him, but missed due to the sheer speed of the ranger's
attack.  Halbarad sunk the gleaming blade to the hilt in the
monster's neck and twisted.
  Peyote was stalked by the fourth wererat, who emitted a shrill
squeal of suprise when its opponent suddenly vanished, right
before its eyes!  The thing clawed at the air uselessly, but
the half-elf was nowhere to be found.  It then turned its gaze
on the human priest nearby.  Rob tried to cast his spell faster
as the monster neared him.
  Ged was looking out for his fellow priest's best interests,
though.  A fiery red bolt of magical energy launched from his
palm and blasted the wererat, sizzling hair from its filthy
hide.  About the same time, a similar bolt, though blue in hue,
issued from Alindyar's wand, striking the same wererat.  The
thing shrieked in pain at the attacks, but Ged was steadfast.
"Foul spawn of murderers and rats!  Boccob pronounces his holy
judgement upon you!"  Rob completed his spell, and conferred a
blessing upon his party.  Unfortunately, they had to listen to
him chant all the while, but it was better than ending up as
rat food.
  Mongo was relentless in his attack.  He smelled dwarf sweat,
and dwarf blood - for his opponent had scored several deep claw
wounds - but again and yet again the enchanted axe sunk into
corrupted flesh, and the wererat's grip weakened, then ceased
altogether.  Hefting the gory weapon high, Mongo turned and
surveyed the situation.
  Belphanior, having nothing better to do, punched the wererat
on his arm with all the strength his free hand could muster.
That damned beast had locked onto him good!  He couldn't seem
to dislodge it.  The punch had bloodied its nose, but that was
all, and this sort of close combat would not go well for the
elf.  Suddenly, the monster shook.  Out of nowhere, there was
Peldor.  He had stabbed the wererat right through the brain.
The vile creature quivered for moments more, then was still.
Peldor withdrew his sword and wiped it on the thing's fur.
"I like this sword", said Peldor, admiring the edge on the
weapon.  "Yeah, me too", answered Belphanior, remembering that
Peldor had also managed to secure a magical weapon for himself
at the last dividing of loot, a fact that had possibly just
saved his life.  He decided that he owed the thief one.
  Halbarad's single strike, uncanny in its precision, had been
good enough to fell his opponent.  He gazed about, then hurled
the well-balanced dagger at the wererat facing Ged and the
others.  The weapon bit deeply into its shoulder, as another
blue bolt from the drow struck the creature, and it reeled to
the ground, bloody and smoking.
  Belphanior, weak from loss of blood, also collapsed to the
ground.  Ged rushed over to him, immediately beginning a spell
of healing.  Belphanior was wondering in a remote corner of
his mind what the chances were of him contracting the wererat's
dreaded disease.  Now, being a were-bear might be useful, but
a RAT?  The idea appalled the warrior/mage, and he made a note
in his mind to seek out some temple when the group returned to
civilized lands.  That was, IF they ever got out of this damned
place.  What if he became a wererat right here in this dungeon?
These and other ideas flashed through Belphanior's mind as he
was healed by his companion.
  Peyote was similarly aiding Mongo, who had several wounds as
well, though given the tough dwarf's stamina, it seemed quite
unlikely that he stood any chance of succumbing to lycanthropy.
Rob finally ceased his blessing (and chanting), much to the
relief of the others.  He was thoroughly convinced that his
holy words had paved the way to victory.
  The party searched the wererats' lair, finding a number of
gems, a sack of gold coins, and a scroll tube containing, of
course, a scroll.

  The group next moved north, exploring the opposite side to
the areas they had already searched.  They first ignored a
branch to the west, and went north, finding a room behind
not one, but two doors, both of them trapped.  Peldor managed
to disarm the traps, with the help of some ideas from Mongo
(for these were dwarven traps).  Beyond was a barracks for a
number of dwarves, long unused.  Within they found eight small
gems, of fine quality nonetheless, Peldor insisted, and two
fine shields and a stone tablet with a single word engraved
upon it.  No one could decipher the word, so the party moved
on, heading north and then east into a storage room.
  The musty chamber contained long-rotted food and burst kegs
of ale, and a lot of small bugs.  To the south was a room
mostly empty, except for several giant rats.  These savage
dungeon denizens were quickly dispatched, at the cost of a
number of minor wounds and several healing spells.  Peyote
assured those bitten that his treatments would prevent any
chance of disease from the rats' teeth.  Also, perhaps more
importantly, in the rat's dirty nest the group found a sack
containing platinum coins, and a sealed metal tube full of
fine, fine arrows.

  The party then rested for a bit, and ate, in the wererat
room.  Much refreshed, they moved south, but found the way
blocked by a cave-in.  Mongo inspected it and thought it to
be a useless digging venture, so the group decided to try
the door they had passed, to the west.  Peldor opened the
door, very carefully...
  ...and was grabbed by a huge green troll!  The savage
beast, over nine feet in height, hurled the thief into a
wall, where he hit with a sickening _crunch_, landing on
the floor below.  He did not get up.
  "Hey!", shouted Mongo.  "He may be a thief, but he's OUR
thief, and only we can do that!"  The dwarf chopped at the
monster, sinking his axe deep into its leg.  The resulting
scream of rage and pain seemed to shake the very walls of
the mine.  The troll backhanded Mongo, almost casually,
sending him reeling off to one side.  Belphanior poked at
it with his longsword, but it seemed to laugh, and slashed
him across the chest with a clawed hand.  The elven warrior
looked in shock at his ruined leather armor and the bloody
gashes now cut into it, and fell to the cold stone floor.
  Halbarad moved in on the monster with a dizzying flurry
of axe chops and dagger thrusts.  He was using two weapons
now because he thought this tactic might work to more
effect on the troll.  It did, to some extent, for the big
monster actually gave some ground and backed up before the
onslaught.  Halbarad continued to press the attack, even
after his opponent had bitten one arm with its foul fangs.
  Alindyar moved in dangerously close to the combatants,
and launched a spray of blinding colors into the ugly face
of the troll.  It seemed dizzy for a moment, but then
snarled with newfound rage.  Ged cast a spell at it also,
hoping perhaps to put it to sleep, but the monster ignored
this magic also.  Peyote moved in behind it, as did Rob
at about the same time, though the priest lacked the
protective invisibility that Peyote now had from his ring.
  Halbarad launched another series of slashes and parries
at the troll.  The great beast took a few cuts, but hit
the ranger solidly with a claw, driving him back for the
moment.  Peyote chose this moment to strike, and he was
very lucky, even with the invisibility, for he split
open the troll's scaly head with his huge bastard sword.
The thing fell to the floor, twitching.
  "Burn it!  Get a fire going!", Halbarad managed to
gasp from lungs surrounded by cracked ribs.  Alindyar
complied almost immediately, starting a small blaze.
Then Ged moved closer.  "Perhaps this will help", the
elf stated, and poured an entire flask of oil onto the
small fire.  The flames raged high, as Ged doused the
still-quivering troll with another oil bottle.  The fire
seemed to leap over onto the monster, and the stink of
burning flesh pervaded the room.  Soon, though, the foul
monster was no more.  Only a greasy black smear remained
on the dungeon floor.

  Rob used his last spell, and one from his scroll, to
heal Halbarad and Belphanior.  Peldor was still alive,
as it turned out, though he also asked for magical aid.
After all, he HAD tried to listen at the door for the
party.  Halbarad used his potion to heal the noble and
heroic thief.  Mongo, with the constitution of a boulder,
asked for no healing despite the beating he took from
the troll.
  They searched the room soon after, and found a number
of wondrous things:  a large diamond, a small but heavy
chest of gold coins, a flail of good quality, and a wand
inside a bag.  The party also found an exit from this
room, and following it, soon smelled fresh air ahead.
They had found a way out!  The troll's lair led to the
side of a grassy hill, and the exit was blocked by a
patch of high grass (and most likely, the vicious nature
of the troll).  The group camped nearby for several
days, regaining their strength.  Nobody or nothing saw
fit to bother them.  At one point, Ged used a spell to
detect magical energies on the items they had found, and
shortly thereafter, they divided the spoils, both magical
and monetary...

THE LOOT (magical stuff only is listed):
  potion of healing    -> Ged
  hammer               -> Mongo
  longsword            -> Peldor
  ring of protection   -> Halbarad
  arrows (11)          -> Belphanior
  shield               -> Mongo
  scroll (mage)        -> Ged
  flail                -> Rob
  wand                 -> Peyote
  bag                  -> Alindyar



  Also, the stone with the rune carved into it was nonmagical,
but the word was written in magic and so a read magic spell
revealed it to Alindyar.  He could make nothing of it, but when
he read it aloud, Mongo recognized the word as the name of a
legendary dwarven hero.  Then the word faded from the stone.
  The party pondered their imminent return to Courwood and the
possibility of retribution against Belgar.

*****************************************************************
  This episode is my try at writing these stories up in a
different manner.  Please let me know what you think of the
old style, and/or this new style, via email.
  The bulk of this was written before I checked my email, so
only as I am about to post it have I found out that about
11 out of 13 who replied to my request for preferences do
indeed like the "old" format.  Let's see what everyone
thinks of this one.
*****************************************************************




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