Chapter #82

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



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+    The various characters contained in these writings are   +
+  copyright 1993 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)   +
+   Rillen         9th level human warrior              (N)   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   Date:   7/16/571 C.Y. (Common Year)                       +
+   Time:   afternoon                                         +
+   Place:  the Underdark                                     +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





         LXXXII.  Two Heads Are Better Than One





  The party had at last rid themselves of smelly swamp
mud, and were once more moving down the huge tunnel of
the Underdark, relieved to be out of the swampy area.

Peldor:  So much for creepy swamp monsters.
Mongo:  Yea.  Those things were weird.
Ged:  Boccob's mighty power put them in their place,
  though.
Alindyar:  (to Lyra)  He surely means the ancient wand's
  power...
Lyra:  You know his kind.  Always bragging when things
  go well, and whining when they don't.  Fools one and
  all.
Alindyar:  Perhaps.  Yet, he is not nearly as unpleasant
  as most of the grey elves.
Lyra:  Then again, I suppose that we, you and I, are
  not as bad as most of our race, either...
Alindyar:  I like to think not.
Peldor:  (eavesdropping)  Hey, I agree with you.  Ged's
  a whining weakling, powerless but for his magic.  (as
  Peldor and the two drow always make up the rear of the
  party, the thief is used to listening in on these sorts
  of conversations)  You know?
Lyra:  Yea.  (not really listening to Peldor anyway)
Mongo:  (peering ahead)  What's that?
Belphanior:  (concentrating)  No soul.
Ged:  Not evil.
Belphanior:  Not undead, either.
Ged:  Don't you love these spells of detection?
Belphanior:  Yep.
Mongo:  Well, SOMEthing's up there.  Look!
Lyra:  Whatever could it be?
Rillen:  It looks like a big statue.

  Ahead stood some kind of golem.  Fully fifteen feet in
height, the creature glared at the party with the stony
eyes of _two_ heads rather than one!  Two pairs of eyes
rolled around in stony sockets, finally focusing on the
group of adventurers.

stone golem:  (in some unknown language)  TUE VAYAL NOST
  GREF!
Ged:  What was that?  Better get a Comprehend Languages,
  and fast...
Alindyar:  No need.
Belphanior:  Why's that?
Alindyar:  Yonder construct spoke in a dialect not unknown
  to natives of the Underdark, such as myself.  It said,
  "You may not pass."
Mongo:  Well, wasn't that nice of him?
Ged:  Bah.  By the power invested in me by the almighty
  Boccob, I tell the golem to begone.  Begone, you!
stone golem:  (stands there impassively)
Belphanior:  It's not a plant, Ged.
Rillen:  I say we split up and run by the thing.  Then, if
  it chases us, we fight!
Mongo:  Yah!  Sounds like a plan to me!
Belphanior:  Hey, I'd go for that...
Ged:  (gets his wand out)  Okay.
Alindyar:  Madness!  The golem shall smash us like flies.
  Wait a moment...fly.  That is the answer!  (realizes
  that his Fly spell from earlier is still in effect, and
  drifts into the air)  Come along, Lyra.
Lyra:  (holds tight around Alindyar)  Is this wise?  What
  if the monster can reach us?
Alindyar:  Never.  'Tis perfectly safe.
Arnold:  Run or fighdt, Ah-nold stands ready!  (swings
  his sword in circles)
Ged:  Okay, let's go!  (they scatter and try to run by the
  golem)

  Like ants, the adventurers scurried around the golem.
The construct's twin heads looked around in confusion for
a few seconds, but then the thing groped for the nearest
target with huge, stony hands.  Reaching up into the air,
it plucked Lyra from Alindyar's aerial embrace.

Lyra:  Aaaah!
Alindyar:  (knocked aside, floats upside-down)  Uhhh...
Belphanior:  (stops running)  Fuck.  (charges the golem,
  who is preoccupied with the drow in his hands)
stone golem:  (about to pulverize Lyra)
Belphanior:  Yee-hah!  (leaps up and slices the golem in
  an amazing, acrobatic backstab)
stone golem:  (writhes in pain from the huge gash in its
  back, and more importantly, drops Lyra to the floor)
Alindyar:  (lands)
Rillen:  (charges the golem, and bashes it with his staff)
  Why do you not pick on someone your own size?
Belphanior:  How valiant.
Ged:  (wants to use his wand, but too many of his friends
  are in his way)  Boccob damn it!  I can't attack!
Mongo:  Don't worry, pal!  That's what I'm here for!  (he
  hefts and then hurls his hammer at the golem)
stone golem:  (one of its heads is cracked by the force
  of the dwarf's mighty hammer blow)
Mongo:  Hah!  Score one for the dwarves!
Rillen:  That ought to give him a headache.
stone golem:  (stumbles about, then faces Alindyar, the
  nearest target)
Alindyar:  (readies his staff of striking)  You have now
  threatened me as well as my woman, creature.  I shall
  smash you into dust.  (whacks the thing with his staff,
  striking it in the torso as he expends maximal charges
  and delivers incredible damage, for a drow mage anyway)
stone golem:  UHHR?  (suddenly shatters into fragments
  and falls apart, as it was already heavily wounded from
  the other attacks)
Rillen:  That really cracked him up.
Alindyar:  (grinning, raises his staff in triumph)
Lyra:  (hugs Alindyar)
Ged:  What a scene.
Peldor:  (finds a helm on one of the golem's heads)
  What's this?  (the helm suddenly looks like it would
  fit perfectly on the thief's head)  Wow, neat.  (he
  starts to put the helmet on)
Ged:  (spots the thief)  What?  NO!  You don't know
  what that might be!
Peldor:  (puts the helmet on, and a look of peaceful
  serenity covers his face for an instant)
Ged:  (yanks the helm off the thief's head)  Give me
  that!  (examines the helm, then casts a Detect Magic
  to discern its nature)  Non-magical?!?
Peldor:  (normal again)  Oh, well.
Alindyar:  While you are using the spell, you might as
  well check the other items that we found.
Ged:  Right.  (Mongo retrieves said items from his
  portable hole)  Wouldn't want to waste it because of
  a stupid thief...

  The grey elf found that the medallion, the melon, the
four blue vials, and the tiny bell were all magical.  Also,
from before, the tube of green paste and the blanket were
now revealed as magical.

Ged:  Just as I suspected.
Peldor:  Bah.
Ged:  Shut up, fool.  You wasted whatever magic that helm
  might have held!
Belphanior:  Who cares?  Maybe it was cursed.
Ged:  (grumbling)
Mongo:  Let's break for lunch, I'm starving.  (the dwarf
  immediately builds a small fire)
Ged:  Hmm.  (gets his wand out)  I want to try something
  on that fire...a little experiment, if you will.
Mongo:  (glares at the elf)  Not with _my_ cooking fire,
  you don't!
Ged:  This won't take long.  (points the wand at the fire)
Mongo:  Yah!  (leaps back with a leg of mutton in one fist
  and trips over someone's pack)  Wha- Oof!
Ged:  Inzus.  (the campfire suddenly grows in size and
  intensity, flaring up to a twenty-foot height)  Ahh.
Mongo:  For crying out loud!  We're cooking lamb legs
  here, not dinosaurs!  Put that out!
Ged:  Yea.  (points the wand at the fire again)  Lbuzi.
  (the fire instantly and totally dies)
Mongo:  Great.  (starts building another fire)  And don't
  go messing with THIS one, elf!  A warrior's got to eat
  SOMEtime!
Ged:  Testing is over for the day.

  Soon, the adventurers were enjoying a hearty meal of
rations augmented by goodies from Mongo's cornucopia.
Belphanior and Ged, neither one hungry at the moment,
stood watch while the others ate.

  Within the hour, the party was rested and well-fed.  They
continued on their way, under the dim blue light of the
Underdark.  The golem did apparently have a purpose, for
there was a small side passage within fifty feet of where
it had stood.  Mist obscured the dark, unlit side tunnel,
so Peldor and Arnold held their torches high, and the group
entered this new corridor warily.





next time :  myriad beasties...

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

notes     :  The helm that Peldor tried on was one of opposite
           alignment...but since he was True Neutral to begin
           with, it had no effect.  Of course, if he hadn't
           been neutral, the possibilities might have been a
           bit more interesting.  Likewise if, say, Belphanior
           had tried the helm on first...
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++






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