Chapter #798

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                           +                   +
                         +                       +
                       +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                         +                       +
                           +      Epic IV      +
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+     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   +
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+   Rillen          18th level human warrior monk                         +
+   Songa           13th level human huntress                             +
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+   Date:           7/11/579 C.Y. (Common Year)                           +
+   Time:           evening                                               +
+   Place:          a small town in the southwest reaches of the Pale     +
+   Climate:        warm                                                  +
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+   "We're good, but this is getting ridiculous."                         +
+                                                  - from _Young Guns_    +
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                   DCCXCVIII.  The Drunk and Stupid





  Two weeks after leaving Arnold's home in Nevond Nevnend, Rillen and
Songa are in the remote reaches of the Theocracy of the Pale, in the
almost-no-mans-land between that land and Urnst.  After a long day of
riding, they have stopped for the night in a small town.  After securing
lodging, they now sit in an inn, having a drink while waiting for their
supper.

Rillen:  We're still wandering.
Songa:  So?
Rillen:  Just saying.
Songa:  Things will come together.  We did the first right thing by
  managing to avoid that whole fortress expedition.
Rillen:  It's not enough to avoid the bad things - we have to do the
  _good_ things too.
Songa:  (drains her beer, nodding to the serving-girl for another)  True.
  The question is, what will it be?  Settling down, perhaps?  If so, then
  where?  Or maybe you want to try and start a fighting school, to teach
  others your strange arts-
Rillen:  Nobody wants to learn such things.  Not in these parts, anyway.
  People refuse to accept - or even try to understand - the value of
  disciplined fighting skills.
Songa:  Maybe settling down, then?
Rillen:  (shrugs)  Show me the right place and it's a deal.
Songa:  Good point.

  Just then, the sound of a shattering glass caused them (and a number
of other patrons) to turn and look at a nearby table.  There, a half-
dozen men were being generally drunk and rowdy, with no manners and no
regard for everyone around them.  Even now, one of them raised his mug,
sloshing ale everywhere, including a nearby table.  Not one of the men
even glanced at that table, for these were not the sort of men who
acknowledged even the little things they did.

Rillen:  (quietly, to Songa)  Real hellraisers, those.
Songa:  Or at least they want to be.  They seem harmless enough.
Rillen:  Situations like these always seem to end up in great brawls,
  and yet, I must get rid of some of this beer.  Be right back.
Songa:  (taking the two full mugs from the serving-girl who is now
  passing by)  Thanks.

  As Rillen exited the room, he drew some attention from the drunken
louts, and inevitably, as their gazes fell upon the table from which
the big man had come...and upon Songa.

Songa:  (drinks her beer, ignoring the men as well as their glances and
  catcalls)

  As might be expected, though, that wasn't quite going to be enough...

dirty man:  (appears at Songa's table)  I saw you lookin' at me.
Songa:  You flatter yourself.
dirty man:  Aw, don't be that way.  You're much too pretty a girl to
  act like that.
Songa:  (takes another swig of her beer)
dirty man:  And you knows how to drink, too.  (he puts his hand on her
  shoulder)
Songa:  You'd better move that, or lose it.
dirty man:  Har!  (he laughs, as do several of his friends at the table)
Songa:  (stands suddenly, towering over the man by a good four inches)
dirty man:  Whoa.
Songa:  Leave me be.  Or else.
dirty man:  You may be tall, babe, but I like 'em that way too, and it's
  not gonna stop me-

  The man had been snaking am arm around her waist, not really paying any
attention to anything else as he gazed at her chest.  Therefore, he was
shocked when his outstretched arm was nearly yanked from its socket, as
the warrior-woman whirled around and launched him across the room.  She'd
actually aimed this so that he slammed into an empty table, rather than
an occupied one.

dirty man:  (dazed, he lays next to the table, which is now on its side)
  Ungh...
Songa:  Told you.
large man:  (saunters over to her)  Try that shit on me, bitch.
Songa:  (whirls)

  This fellow was a good six-foot-four, just about Songa's height, but he
didn't seem intimdated by what he'd just seen.

large man:  You're just my size-
Rillen:  (suddenly standing next to the man)  No, she's just _my_ size.
large man:  Says you, maybe.  (he suddenly takes a swing at Rillen)

  The man wasn't as drunk as he looked, and his speed was noteworthy,
along with his strength.  A normal opponent would probably have been
caught off-guard and floored.  To Rillen, though, the attacker might as
well have been moving in slow motion.  He took one step and avoided the
swing, grabbing the other's wrist and upper arm.  From there, it was
simply a matter of using the man's own strength and momentum against
him.

Rillen:  (spins the man about half a circle, letting go at precisely the
  right time to launch the other directly into the table he came from)

  The outcome was, of course, predictable.  The entire table was knocked
over, the drunken men sent sprawling as they cursed and grunted.

Rillen:  (loudly)  And if you have any sense, you'll stay there.
Songa:  I don't think that's going to work.
Rillen:  (cracks his knuckles)  Me either.
drunken man #3:  (charges)  I'll get you-
Songa:  (meets him with a solid kick to the groin)
drunken man #3:  Urrrrrrrrrrrk.
Songa:  (backhands him with a fist, knocking him away and out)
drunken man #4:  (brandishing a broken table leg, he swings it at Rillen)
Rillen:  (grabs the wrist that holds the makeshift weapon, then flips the
  man over, where he lands solidly and painfully on the floor)  Stay.
drunken man #4:  (bruised and stunned)  Owwwww...
drunken man #5:  (dashes forth, low, as if to tackle the big man)Yaaaaah-
Rillen:  (jumps up, causing the attacker to miss and crash into another
  table)
drunken man #5:  What?!?
Rillen:  (kicks out with lightning speed, downing that opponent)
drunken man #6:  (trying to sneak in from the side)
Songa:  You.
drunken man #6:  Wha-
Songa:  (punches him squarely across the jaw, sending him reeling into
  the floor and unconsciousness)
Rillen:  (looks around)  I figure that's all of them.  (he raises his
  voice)  Anyone else feel like being my punching bag?

  There were no responses.

Rillen:  Good.  (he returns to his own table)  A sure sign of a master:
  everything else around is smashed all to hell, but my own table is
  intact.
Songa:  (follows Rillen, clenching and unclenching her fist)  That guy
  had one solid jaw.
Rillen:  Doesn't matter now.  (he looks at the serving-girl, who is just
  standing there, gaping)  If that's the roasted lamb we ordered, let's
  have it.  I'm starving.

  The lamb was indeed that which they had ordered, and they dug into it
while the other customers gradually returned to their own business, if
not without looks of respect toward the pair.  It didn't take long for
a short, burly, hairy fellow to make his way over to their table...

Rillen:  Are you someone else seeking trouble?
man:  Hardly!  I own this tavern, and someone has to pay for the damages
  and also deal with those men when they wake up.
Rillen:  (sighs, draining his beer)  Fine.

  The warrior stood, looked around, then walked over to the mantle and
removed a large coil of rope that hung to its right.  One by one, he
dragged the six unconscious men outside, where he proceeded to tie them
together in a sitting, circular position.  Finished, he stepped back
and admired his handiwork.

tavern-owner:  (having come outside to watch)  Hmm.
Rillen:  And now, I will finish my supper.
tavern-owner:  Wait!  You can't leave them there like that!  They'll
  scare off the customers!
Rillen:  I got them out of your place and rendered them harmless.  It
  now falls on you, or anyone else who feels like it, to call your
  local law or constable or whatever.  (he looks around)  I would eat.

  The warrior went back inside and rejoined his woman at the table.

Songa:  Never a dull moment.
Rillen:  It's just like always:  good practice.





next:      Rob
ftp:       ftp.peldor.com
www:       http://www.peldor.com/download.html
homepage:  http://www.peldor.com/
email:     tmiller@peldor.com
released:  1/8/02
notes:     I had to do it...one last barfight.
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