Chapter #76

previous chapter (#75)                                                                  next chapter (#77)






                                +
                              +   +
                            +       +
                          +           +
                        +               +
                      +                   +
                    +                       +
                  +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                    +                       +
                      +                   +
                        +               +
                          +           +
                            +       +
                              +   +
                                +



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+    The various characters contained in these writings are   +
+  copyright 1992 by Thomas Miller.  Any resemblance to any   +
+  persons or characters either real or fictional is utterly  +
+  coincidental.  Copying and/or distribution of these tales  +
+  is permissible only under the sole condition that no part  +
+  of them will be used or sold for profit.  In that case, I  +
+  hope you enjoy them...                                     +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   THE PARTY:                                                +
+                                                             +
+   Alindyar      11th level drow elf mage              (N)   +
+      Lyra        7th level female drow elf mage       (N)   +
+   Belphanior     8th/8th/9th level high elf w/m/t    (CN)   +
+   Ged            9th/9th level grey elf priest/mage  (NG)   +
+      Arnold      7th level human warrior             (NG)   +
+   Mongo          9th level dwarf warrior             (CG)   +
+   Peldor        12th level human thief                (N)   +
+      Bosco       6th level soulless(?) halfling thief(CN)   +
+   Rillen         9th level human warrior              (N)   +
+   Rob           10th level human priest              (LG)   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   Date:   7/13/571 C.Y. (Common Year)                       +
+   Time:   morning                                           +
+   Place:  the fort-town of Lud, high in the Yatil Mountains +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





               LXXVI.  Bosco Makes His Move





  The party has been in the mountain town/fort of Lud for
more than a month.  They have woken up, and are eating a
hearty breakfast while the stableboy prepares their mounts
for travel...

Mongo:  (cramming bacon and eggs into his mouth)  Mmph!
Arnold:  (doing his best to mimic the dwarf, but still
  can't eat as much or as fast)  Ya!
Alindyar:  No manners.  No table manners whatsoever...
Ged:  It's the nature of the beast.  (munching on a loaf
  of fresh bread covered with honey)  Mmm.
Rob:  This is the best meal we've had in...in...well, in
  a long time!
Belphanior:  (silently eating, watches Rillen play with
  his food)
Rillen:  (juggling five eggs, whistling)
Peldor:  Five?!?  Is that _all_?!?
Rillen:  Here, you try it.  (tosses the eggs at Peldor)
Peldor:  Whoa!  (manages to keep all five aloft - for about
  two seconds, after which several splatter all over the
  floor)  Oops.
barmaid:  (appears conveniently)  Hey!  I don't run a pigsty
  here!  Keep yourselves out of trouble!  (bats Peldor with
  a wet rag)  Shame on you!
Peldor:  Sorry.  (sheepishly offers her the surviving eggs)
barmaid:  Argh!  (breaks into a fresh round of scolding)
Ged:  Heh.
Rillen:  (chuckles)

  Suddenly, a portly clergyman appeared in the tavern's
doorway, and quickly spotted the party, ambling over to
the party's table.  Four burly guardsmen accompanied him -
town guards, from the looks of them.

priest:  (blubbering)  You!
Rob:  (looks around)  Us?
guardsman:  Quiet, fool.
Mongo:  (keeps stuffing food in his mouth)  Grlmph mmph.
Peldor:  (offers a guard one of the eggs in his hand)
guard:  (declines the offer)
Peldor:  (deftly swipes a pouch from the man's belt in the
  meantime)
priest:  You people!  Are you the companions of the small
  halfling?
Rillen:  Are they not all small?
Peldor:  Small halfling?  Hey, where's Bosco?
Ged:  Err, yes.  At least, if we're thinking about the
  same halfling.
Alindyar:  Did this little fellow have any...distinguishing
  marks?
priest:  Yes, why, yes, he did!  Dark rings around his eyes,
  not unlike a raccoon!  That's the one!
Peldor:  Yep, that's our Bosco, all right.  Uh, what did he
  do this time, walk into the women's baths?
priest:  Worse!  Much worse!  This halfling, this "Bosco"
  of yours, is tearing apart the Tower of Magic!
Ged:  WHAT?!?!?
Peldor:  Whaaaaaaat?
Mongo:  (spits out a mouthful of food)  Come again?
priest:  You heard me!  Even now he floats in the air, at
  the tower, taunting our guards and wreaking havoc!
Alindyar:  Inconceivable!
Ged:  C'mon, guys, let's go check it out!  (they all get
  up and run for the door)

  Soon, they had arrived at the Tower of Magic, a bit out
of breath, since the place was across town from their inn.
Sure enough, there was Bosco, floating in the air about
fifty feet up.  He was sheathed in a glowing green nimbus
and was cackling loudly in an unfamiliar voice.  A number
of magi and apprentices were gathered about outside the
tower, watching in amazement.

mage:  He's been sailing around, blasting us to bits!
  (points to three smoking piles of red and black slop
  on the ground nearby)  See?  Those were three of our
  best!
Mongo:  Hmph.
Peldor:  (addresses the halfling)  Hey!  Get down from
  there!
Bosco:  (looks down at the thief, and speaks in a deep,
  resounding voice)  Who in the hell are _you_?  (points
  at Peldor, and a blue beam of energy sears the ground
  next to the thief)
Peldor:  (leaping aside)  Whoa!
Rillen:  (looking skyward)  I do not think the halfling
  is in his right mind.
Ged:  Yea, tell me about it.
Mongo:  (yells)  HEY, BOSCO!  What's going on?!
Bosco:  Bosco?  Bosco the halfling has departed this
  shell, and _I_ have taken over.  (casually waves his
  tiny hand, and a section of the tower's roof is torn
  away, revealing a laboratory)  Ahahahahah!  (flies
  through this new "door" and enters the tower, going
  out of sight)
Peldor:  What the hell's gotten into him?!?
Alindyar:  We must enter the tower.  Well, actually,
  _you_ must enter it.  I shall fly up there and have
  a look.  (casts a Fly spell)
Rillen:  Yes.  (runs for the tower's door, but is then
  repelled by a crackling energy field)  What?
mage:  Oh.  That's our protective spell.  Only magi of
  the Order may pass through it.
Ged:  Baloney.  (thinks about casting Dispel Magic)

  Meanwhile, Alindyar had flown up to the top of the
tower, and peered inside the hole.  He observed the
halfling inside, tearing a room apart, as though in
search of something.

Alindyar:  Hmm.  (casts a Color Spray at the halfling)
Bosco:  Yah!  (is stunned for the moment)
Alindyar:  Aha.  (swoops in, grabs the halfling by the
  scruff of his cloak, and pulls him out)  Look what
  I have found.  (flies toward the ground, and drops
  Bosco off near the party)
mage:  Watch out!  He's dangerous!
Ged:  (changes his mind, and prepares to cast another
  spell instead)
Mongo:  Bah.  He's just a flea.
Bosco:  (looks around)  Flea?  FLEA?!?  How _dare_ you
  compare me to a _flea_?!?!  (walks toward Mongo)
Mongo:  Ha, ha, ha.  Don't scare me, little guy.
Bosco:  (belts the dwarf, sending him sailing backward
  about twenty feet, with a dent in his armor and a
  cracked rib or six)  Ho, ho, ho.
Mongo:  (reeling)  Argh.  What the fuck?!?!  He's even
  stronger than _me_!!
Bosco:  Of course I am.  (grabs the onrushing Rillen,
  and holds him aloft, choking him)
Rillen:  (bashing the halfling with his staff, but
  apparently having little effect)  This is not even
  funny.  Gak!
Lyra:  (casts Magic Missiles at Bosco)  Taste this,
  small chaotic one!
Bosco:  Don't make me laugh.  (the missiles don't seem
  to faze him much at all)  Stupid bitch.  (hurls the
  flailing Rillen right at the drow, knocking her down)
Lyra:  Oof.  (falls in a heap, with Rillen)
Rillen:  (somewhat embarrassed)  Sorry about this.
Lyra:  Oh, think nothing of it.  It's not your fault.
Ged:  By Boccob, you must cease this!  (casts Polymorph
  Other upon Bosco)  Be an ant!
Bosco:  (saves easily - for he is no longer just a
  halfling thief...)  Bah.  You people are the ants.
  _I_ am the power!  (floats upward again)  Hahahahah!
Rob:  Geez.  (casts Detect Evil on Bosco)  Yes, he's
  definitely evil, all right.
Belphanior:  Thanks for that observation.  (casts Taunt
  at Bosco)  Hey, you!  We are much more powerful than
  you could ever be!  You are but rat feces in our
  shadow!  Once a halfling, always a halfling!  Nyah!
  You copulate with demons!
Bosco:  (turns)  Eh?  How did you know?
Arnold:  Aaaaaa.  (looks up into the sky, his sword
  waving uselessly)  Aaaaaa.
Peldor:  (invisible somewhere)

Bosco:  (scans the tall elf)  Hmmmmmm.  You, my friend,
  have great potential.  But, also, a big mouth.  (he
  points at Belphanior, and the elf grabs his eyes)
Belphanior:  Agh!  (blinded)  I can't see a thing!
Bosco:  Ha ha!
Ged:  Grr...he's making fools of us.  (casts a Slow
  spell at the airborne halfling)
Bosco:  (saves)  Huh?
Ged:  Argh!  Foiled again!  (thinking about using his
  wand, but hasn't wanted to chance destroying the
  halfling...yet)
Mongo:  (hurls his hammer at Bosco)  I'll smash you!
Bosco:  (dodges nimbly aside)  Yie!  Okay, that's it!
  Now I'm _really_ pissed off!  (waves his hand, and
  a wall of fire surrounds the party)  Hah!  (turns
  and flies away, yelling at the party)  Be thankful
  that I let you live!  It is the least I could do,
  since you idiots freed me!
Peldor:  No!  Come back, rampant Bosco!
Bosco:  Never!  I'm off to raze another town!  Soon,
  my power will grow to its full capacity.....(he is
  just a speck in the distance now)

Alindyar:  (in the air, not ringed by the wall of fire)
  I _could_ follow him...
Peldor:  Too risky.  He might destroy you.
Alindyar:  That chance does exist.

Ged:  Lbuzi.  (dispels the wall by sucking it into his
  wand)  Whew.
Rob:  That was hot.
Mongo:  (stumbles around, cursing)
Ged:  (casts Remove Blindness upon Belphanior)  There.
Belphanior:  (rubs his eyes)  Ah, I can see again.  My
  thanks.
Mongo:  What _happened_ to him?!?  He...changed.
Alindyar:  Aye.
Ged:  Possessed, would be my guess.
Rob:  Yes.
Rillen:  What did he mean by saying that we freed him?
Lyra:  Who can know?  Somewhere in that last dungeon,
  maybe.  Some errant devil or demon or lost soul took
  over his body.
Peldor:  Yea, and it said that it would get more and
  more powerful...
Ged:  Well, much as I hate to admit it, we've got to
  track him, or it, down!  It's sort of become our
  responsibility.
Peldor:  But how?
Rob:  Locate Object?  Divination?  Commune?
Ged:  We are unfamiliar with any of his possessions.
  But, the latter spells might send us in the right
  direction.
Rob:  We shall need time to prepare.
Alindyar:  Yonder Bosco was moving north...
Peldor:  (to mage)  You!  What towns or forts lie in
  that direction?  (points to the north)
mage:  Uhh, the small town of Targ is about a day's
  ride to the north.
Ged:  That is probably his next stop.  We must beat
  him there.
Mongo:  Then what?
Rob:  Then we cast an Abjuration, or maybe even the
  Dispel Evil...
Ged:  We must pray for these spells, though.
Rob:  Yeah.
Ged:  (to another mage)  Bring your highest-ranking
  mage to us at once!
mage:  (looks around at the puddles on the ground)
  Err...okay.  (wanders away)

soon...

Ged:  (to mage)  Can you give us your impression of
  the halfling and his powers?
mage:  I'm sorry, I don't do impressions.  I'm a
  wizard...
Ged:  Of course.

  Within an hour, they had debriefed the mage and
were on the road, headed for Targ, to the north.
An experienced mountain man from Lud accompanied them
as a guide.  They camped at night, not knowing if the
Bosco-thing would have to rest or not.  The priests
prayed for the spells that they would need, if the
party was able to catch up with Bosco and surprise
him.





next time :  Bosco is found!

ftp site  :  ccosun.caltech.edu, in pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers

notes     :  I knew that a mattock was a pick-type digging
           tool, not a shovel.  I really did, I just forgot
           or something.  Also, did you notice how TSR sort
           of slipped the "exorcise" spell out of 2nd ed.?
           Sneaky, sneaky...

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++






previous chapter (#75)                                                                  next chapter (#77)