Chapter #753

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                                   +   +
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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       +
+   1991-2001 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        18th level drow wizard                                +
+     Lyra          14th level female drow wizard                         +
+   Belphanior      14th/14th/14th level elven fighter/wizard/thief       +
+     Otto          10th/12th level dwarven fighter/thief                 +
+     Razor Charlie 10th level human fighter                              +
+     Skektek       13th level human wizard                               +
+     Ys            14th level reptilian fighter                          +
+   Mongo           18th level dwarven fighter                            +
+     Gorgo          9th level dwarven berserker                          +
+   Peldor          20th level human thief                                +
+     Bosco         13th level halfling thief                             +
+     Tanya          5th/11th level female human fighter/thief            +
+                                                                         +
+   Boltar          high priest of Pholtus                                +
+   Drak            barbarian warrior                                     +
+   Parekh          dark-skinned female wizard                            +
+     Neera         female human sage/astrologer                          +
+   Date:           4/23/579 C.Y. (Common Year)                           +
+   Time:           midmorning                                            +
+   Place:          Alindyar and Lyra's mansion, in Greyhawk              +
+   Climate:        warm                                                  +
+   "Beggars can't be choosers."                                          +
+   "But I can!"                                                          +
+            - Jack Burton & Lo Pan, from _Big Trouble in Little China_   +

                  DCCLIII.  Riches of the Lost Empire

  At long last, all the blood, sweat, and tears are about to pay off...
for the plethora of items loaded from the Tomb of Panagaea into Mongo's
portable hole are about to be catalogued and divided.

Belphanior:  (arms crossed, he regards the sizable hoard)
Alindyar:  Why are you waiting?
Belphanior:  Just observing a moment of silence for our fallen comrades
  who died to help us get all of this.
Alindyar: apologies.
Belphanior:  Don't worry about it.  And know that I appreciate you letting
  us use your house for this.
Alindyar:  And we appreciate being able to witness it.  The pleasure is
  all ours.
Lyra:  If Nenya were here, she'd want to open up a new museum for these
Mongo:  Maybe some other time.
Alindyar:  (ESPing to Lyra)  Actually, Nenya is busy devising battle
  plans with the others.
Lyra:  (ESPing to Alindyar)  I know, but they don't need to.
Bosco:  (despite the fact that he's still healing, he tries to move about
  and see everything)  Wow.
Belphanior:  Settle down, Bosco.
Peldor:  Well, you've got to admit, there _is_ a lot of stuff here...

  While within the treasure chambers of the Tomb, a mere day ago (though
it felt like a week) designated party members had loaded treasure into
Mongo's portable hole.  Of course, there were the things that they might
have secreted in their own pockets, but that was each person's private
business.  Besides, there was enough treasure for all, and then some...
thousands upon thousands of coins, almost all of them gold or platinum,
as the adventurers hadn't bothered with the lesser metals.  Several dozen
mithril coins had been recovered as well, these being valuable due to
the rarity of that enchanted metal.  Each coin bore the stern visage of
Hyperion, long-dead emperor of Panagaea.

Peldor:  This coinage alone is enough to build a kingdom.
Gorgo:  Bah.  We left behind ten times this much in iron and copper coins.
  If they'd had gold as the coin of their realm, the haul would have been

  From the second hall, they'd recovered hundreds of gemstones, of every
shape and size.  Some had been taken in the urns and jars in which they'd
been found, but others were loose, mixed in with the other treasure.  The
third hall had contained raw ingots of unworked metal, and though heavy
and cumbersome, a number of these had been recovered.  Most were silver
or gold, though a half-dozen of platinum had been found and taken, as
well as a single, unique ingot.

Mongo:  If that's not adamant, I'm the grim god Moradin.

  None of the long-rotted items in that same chamber - silk, ornate wooden
furniture, and such - had survived the passage of time.  The great blocks
of unworked stone had been too large and bulky to take.  At this point,
a large portion of the portable hole had been filled, so they had become
more selective, more careful about what they took.  Jewelry of every type
had been carefully loaded into the hole, but some of it had been damaged
by the shifting contents of the magical space.  Still, dozens of valuable
items were intact (not to mention those stuffed into pockets and packs.)
  Although the books, tomes, scrolls, and such items had all crumbled
into dust, there had been a number of stone tablets stacked in a corner
of that particular chamber, hidden under inches of dust.  These had been
taken, though only after significant urging on Neera's part.

Neera:  These tablets are the only part of this treasure that I desire.
  I'm guessing that they hold key parts of the history of the Panagaeans.
Parekh:  It could be your life's work.
Neera:  (nods)
Gorgo:  Well, that's nice.  (he turns over a fist-sized ruby in his hand)
  How are we gonna divide all of this stuff?
Belphanior:  Since it would take years to have every gemstone and item of
  jewelry appraised, I suggest dividing all the coinage and jewelry into
  roughly equal shares.  Let Neera have the stone tablets, if that's all
  she wants.
Neera:  Well, some gems and coinage to help finance my research would be
Mongo:  No problem there, lady.  There's more than enough to go around.
Bosco:  But she said she only wanted-
Otto:  Remember the third bar on that door, and who opened it?
Bosco:  Oh.  Oh well.
Boltar:  (sternly)  She receives a full share of the coinage and a dozen
Neera:  Really, just the gems will be fine - more than I can ever spend.
Drak:  What about the ingots?
Belphanior:  We'll divide them up as well...though the mithril coins and
  the ingot of adamant should each count as a unique lot, to be chosen
  from along with the magic items.

  Ah, the magical items!  There had been hundreds, more than anyone
could ever use:  armor, shields, weapons...rods, staves, wands, rings...
all sorts of things, of every shape, size, and use.  Items of cloth and
weaker materials had decayed over the years, despite their enchantment,
but the sturdier stuff had survived the passage of time.  Skektek had
used his best judgement (and a bit of magic) to judge what was most
worth taking...and now, it was all here, nearly filling the drows'
spare dining room.

  The process for choosing and dividing all of these wondrous items
was far from simple - indeed, the process took hours - but the end
result was fairly cut-and-dried.  In addition to a king's fortune
apiece, those who had been on the Tomb adventure ended up with:

  figurine of 3-headed dog (from tomb entrance) *
  splendid golden crown w/inset gemstones
  ruby skull
  strange teardrop-shaped crystal
  pair of long silver strings *
Otto @
  high-quality shortsword with inscribed runes on blade
  metal rod
  43 coins of mithril
  pale bone flute *
Skektek #
  bronze ring
  sealed metal tube with intact scroll
  yellow wax candle
  wand #1 *
  wand #2 *
  gigantic battleaxe
  statuette of snake god
  simple wooden spoon
Razor Charlie
  human-sized elven (?) chain mail
  set of 3 fine knives
Bosco $
  metallic gourd
  empty green crystal bottle
  small metal box (opens to become playing board w/pieces)
  golden ring *
  small dagger *
  ingot of adamant
  sleek battleaxe
  crude torch
  hand axe
  footman's mace
  suit of dwarf-sized plate mail
  gnarled wooden staff
  round shield with sigils on outer edge
  ornate stone urn
  finely-wrought gauntlets of mithril
  glowing broadsword
  intricately-worked war helm
  large iron cauldron
  black stone sphere
  amulet with inset crystal carving of Hyperion
  numerous stone tablets

* pocketed on own, not part of divided treasure

@ Otto lost from fire spell
    cloak of the bat
    girdle of many pouches
    horseshoes of the zephyr
# Skektek lost from fire spell
    boots of levitation
    wand of frost
    staff of power
    2 potions
$ Bosco lost from fire spell
    cube of frost resistance
    shortsword sheath
    3 potions
    dust of illusion

Parekh:  A good day's work.
Belphanior:  So you're really going now?
Parekh:  (spreads her hands)  We must.  Many things remain to be done,
  some of which you aren't aware.
Mongo:  Well, thanks for your help.  We couldn't have done it without
Boltar:  (remains silent)
Drak:  (claps hands with Belphanior and then Mongo)  Well met, and take
Parekh:  (facing the drow)  With your permission?
Alindyar:  (nods)
Lyra:  You'll have to go outside - we've blocked teleportation into and
  out of the mansion proper.
Parekh:  Ah.  Smart.

  Shortly, outside...

Parekh:  (working a spell)  Perhaps we'll meet again someday.  Until
Belphanior:  Farewell.

  Just like that, the trio of one-time vampire hunters was gone.

Otto:  Well, that's that.
Lyra:  (to Belphanior)  Exactly how powerful a mage is that woman?
Belphanior:  Fairly powerful.  I think she's Circle of Eight caliber
  but just has no interest in such a position.
Alindyar:  A shame.
Mongo:  (looking around)  Is it just me or am I gonna have to lend
  people the use of my portable hole to get all this loot moved?

next:      Belphanior begins his machinations
released:  7/16/01
notes:     Did you notice that some of their levels went up?

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