Chapter #83

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                                +
                              +   +
                            +       +
                          +           +
                        +               +
                      +                   +
                    +                       +
                  +      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)   +
+   Rillen         9th level human warrior              (N)   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   Date:   7/16/571 C.Y. (Common Year)                       +
+   Time:   late afternoon                                    +
+   Place:  the Underdark                                     +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                  LXXXIII.  Monsters





  The party stands at the entrance to a smaller side
passage into the main tunnel.

Mongo:  Enough ado about nothing.  Let's do it.
Belphanior:  Right.  (he, Mongo, and Rillen lead the
  party in, and they go through a long and extremely
  winding tunnel, barely wide enough for two people
  to walk through abreast)
Rillen:  (moves back to the second rank of the party,
  with Ged)  Hi there.

  The twisting passage soon opened into a large cavern.
The floor ended abruptly, for the cavern was covered
in dark water.  Opposite the party, however, could be
seen a passage leading out...

Rillen:  I remember the _last_ cave like this.
Ged:  Yea, the tentacles.
Mongo:  Bah.  This water doesn't look that deep.
Rillen:  (tests the water with his staff)  It is only
  up to my knee.
Belphanior:  We could move ahead slowly, testing for
  sudden drops and such.
Mongo:  I heard that.  (plods into the water)  Let's
  get going!
Rillen:  (joins the dwarf, and they go first, finding
  that the water depth increases to two feet, but no
  deeper)  Hmm.
Mongo:  (the water is up to his waist now)  Good thing
  I'm not a halfling.
Belphanior:  Yup.

  A short distance away, the giant leech moved silently
through its pool.  It smelled blood nearby, and a lot
of it, and immediately began swimming toward this long-
overdue food.

Mongo:  Hey!  Something touched my fuckin' leg!
giant leech:  (emerges from the water, attempting to
  latch onto its victim's face)  Slurp!
Mongo:  Fuck!  (swings his hammer in a deadly arc,
  scoring a mighty hit on the invertebrous parasite)
giant leech:  (pulped, dies, having chosen the wrong
  victim today)
Mongo:  Whew.
Ged:  Good job, Mongo.  You creamed him with one blow!
Rillen:  (regarding the messy remains of the leech)
  Yes, creamed is the right word.

  Mongo and Rillen reached the far side without any
further incidents, and soon the whole party was across.
Alindyar and Lyra flew, though, not wanting murky lake
water on themselves.  The adventurers moved along a
larger passage, which abruptly split.  They chose the
right fork, while Peldor, invisible and unnoticed,
silently took the left fork.

Mongo:  There's a room ahead...
Belphanior:  No souls though.
Rillen:  What is that?  (points)

  This fork led only a short way, and opened into a
large cavern.  The place was crawling (no pun intended)
with segmented green monsters - carrion crawlers!

meanwhile...

Peldor:  (leaves his tunnel, enters a room full of at
  least six carrion crawlers, who seem occupied with
  something in another tunnel)  Heh.  Peldor will show
  the worms who's boss.  (the thief lights two vials
  of Greek fire, a rare and expensive incendiary oil)
  Here comes trouble, wormies...(uses his ring to TK
  the flaming vials into the worms' lair, then smash
  them to the ground, spreading flaming goo everywhere)
Ged:  (pokes his head, and his wand, between Mongo and
  Belphanior)  Boccob!  (the roomful of carrion crawlers
  in front of him suddenly ignites)  Whoa.  (he points
  his wand at the flames)  Yea!  Inzus!

  The flames suddenly magnified tenfold, and the green
monsters within the room died a quick and fiery death.
Shortly, Ged used the "Lbuzi" command to extinguish all
of the flames, and the party entered the smoking room,
coughing, and found Peldor already in there.

Peldor:  Hi, guys!

  There were two exits.  One was at the cavern's opposite
end, and led away; the other was right next to the party.
This second tunnel was very short, and led to a chamber
full of green eggs.

Ged:  These must be young carrion crawler eggs.  Stand
  back, I shall burn them!  (raises his wand)
Belphanior:  (having preferred to leave the eggs be,
  to promote chaos, he slips away and takes the other
  exit from the crawler cave)
Rillen:  Green eggs?
Mongo:  Green eggs.  What would go with green eggs for
  breakfast?  Ah, I've got it!  Green eggs and ham!
Ged:  Not today, pal.  (uses his wand to roast the egg
  chamber in a miniature inferno)  Axui.

meanwhile...

Belphanior:  (follows the tunnel around a bend, and then
  stands in a large cavern)  Hmm.

  Suddenly, the ground in front of the elf exploded, and
an enormous, purple-mottled worm erupted from the remains
of the dirt-rock floor.  Its huge, round mouth was ringed
with sharp-looking teeth, and the elf knew that he was in
trouble.

Belphanior:  (yelling with all his might)  AAAAAA!  HELP!
  (charges the worm, hacking wildly)  HELLLLP!

Arnold:  (in the previous room, happens to be most distant
  from Ged's roaring inferno, and vaguely hears the cry
  for help)  Whad's this?  (races away)  I'll cheg it oud.
Mongo:  Where's he going?  (bored with the flames, he ambles
  off after the big warrior)
Ged:  (preoccupied with his wand's power)  Look at it!  My
  wand is truly a vessel for Boccob's infinite power!
Peldor:  (becomes invisible again, and begins sneaking here
  and there)

nearby...

Arnold:  (arrives just in time to see Belphanior get
  swallowed whole by the worm's huge maw)  Whaaaaaaat?
purple worm:  (rears back, pleased to see more food)
  Areeeeeeeeah!
Arnold:  Aaaaaaa!  (charges)  Ah-nold is coming to save
  the day!  (he opens a tremendous gash in the monster's
  side)  Yah!
Mongo:  (arrives, and quickly sizes up the situation)
  Shit!  (hurls his hammer at the worm's head, with all
  his might)
purple worm:  (reels from the mighty impact)  Snort!

inside the worm...

Belphanior:  (in the monster's stomach)  Fuck.  (listens
  to the echoes of his voice in the blackness, then is
  knocked off his feet as the worm moves about)  Argh.
  (digestive juices begin to eat away at the elf's flesh
  now)  Ouch!  (he begins looking for his cube of force)

on the outside...

Alindyar:  (he and Lyra arrive)
Mongo:  Watch it, drow.  (catches his hammer)
Alindyar:  Where is Belphanior?  (begins spellcasting)
Lyra:  (begins spellcasting as well)  Yes, wherever did
  he get off to?
Arnold:  He got swallowded!  Eaden alive!  (hacks the
  worm another time, slicing a chunk from it)
purple worm:  Euroooogh!  (bites at Arnold, but the big
  warrior jumps aside, saving himself from the bite)
Alindyar:  (casts Color Spray at the worm's head)
purple worm:  (not really affected by the swirling arcs
  of color)  Roooooorgh!
Alindyar:  Ah, I should have known that would have no
  effect...the creature is too massive.
Lyra:  (fires a Lightning Bolt at the monster, cutting
  it in half)  Yes!
Alindyar:  Good work.

in the previous room...

Ged:  (hears a thunderous blast)  What was THAT?!?
Rillen:  Beats me.
Ged:  (looking around)  Hey, where IS everybody?!?
Rillen:  (points)  They all went that way.  I was here
  waiting for you.
Ged:  Damn!  (he and Rillen run after the others)
Peldor:  (remaining behind, he waits until the flames
  in the egg room die out, and then ventures in there)

back to the battle...

Alindyar:  We must make all haste in cutting Belphanior
  out!
Lyra:  Yes, there's no telling how long the monster's
  digestive juices will take to dissolve the elf.
Arnold:  Ridht!  (he begins chopping up the worm's
  corpse, splattering blood and guts everywhere)  Dhis
  is fun!
Mongo:  Cripes, he's getting us all covered in blood.

  Shortly, they found Belphanior, inside of a faintly
glowing cube of energy.  He was very much alive, and
weakly waved his greetings as the party found him.
After turning off his cube's field, the elf fell
unconscious from his wounds.  Ged arrived just then,
as if on cue, and tended to Belphanior's wounds.
Peldor eventually reappeared, declaring that the egg
chamber was cleared out and that no further danger
lurked there.
  Rillen, fresh and ready for action, peeked into a
chamber which was placed next to the exit.  He then
yelled in surprise, and pointed into the chamber.
Mongo came running to see what was the matter.

Mongo:  Holy shit!  It's filled with worms!
Rillen:  Big worms.  (actually, they are only as big
  around as his thumb, not too big compared to the
  purple worm - but there are thousands of them)
Ged:  (leaps forth and takes a look)  Never fear,
  for Boccob's power is here.  (points his wand in
  and speaks)  Axui.  (the room ignites, and the
  huge colony of rot grub is no more)  Hah.  So much
  for _them_.
Mongo:  Yeah.
Rillen:  (looks at the exit passage longingly)  Hmm.
  (to Mongo)  Shall we take a look?
Mongo:  Sure, why not?  (the two warriors head for
  the tunnel)
Ged:  (he and Alindyar revive the healed Belphanior)
  Wake up, you.

nearby...

Mongo:  Can you see in here?
Rillen:  No.  (lights a stubby torch)  But now I can.
Mongo:  That's good.  (they move down a small, narrow
  passage, the dwarf leading)
Rillen:  Hold.  I hear laughing.
Mongo:  Huh?  (he forges ahead, and the torchlight
  soon illuminates something moving in the passage
  ahead)  Huh?

  In front of the two warriors stood a horde of small
humanoids.  They were about a foot tall, and their
skinny little limbs gave them a malnourished look.
Malevolent eyes and toothy maws betrayed a hostile
intent to the pair of adventurers.  The fact that the
minute menaces stood three abreast, and also atop
each other's shoulders (some also clung to the walls
and ceiling of the passage) made Mongo nervous.

Mongo:  Okay, back up, slowly.  Real slowly.
Rillen:  Right.
little vermin:  Bee-yah!  (they swarm toward Mongo
  and Rillen)  Cha cha!
Mongo:  Fuck!  (he begins bashing them with his
  hammer)
Rillen:  (backing up, but slowly, in the cramped
  passage)  Retreat!  This tunnel gives them the
  advantage!
Mongo:  Yeah!  (he has already pulped a couple, but
  their numbers are great, and several have bitten
  or clawed him)  Ouch!  Agh!  Ugh!  Damn!  Little
  shits!  I'll smash you all!
verminoids:  Eee-yah!  Hahahaha!  (they swarm at
  the dwarf again)

in the worm room...

Peldor:  What's that?  Where are Mongo and Rillen?
Ged:  (holds his wand up)  I thought they went to
  have a look at that exit passage.  But then, why
  do I hear screaming?
Alindyar:  Who can say?  (readies a spell)  We had
  best be prepared, though.

  Suddenly, Rillen ran out of the exit tunnel and
toward the party, breathing hard.  A second later,
Mongo stumbled out of the same passage, bleeding
from a dozen small wounds.  Something in the exit
tunnel was giggling and shrieking, and the sounds
grew louder...

Ged:  (points the wand, as the first verminoids
  appear)  I'll deal with these...things.  Observe
  my power and tremble, drow.  Ndrek!  (a wall of
  flame appears, and then moves away, toward the
  tunnel, leaving burning carcasses in its wake)
  Hah!  Boccob!  (his wand begins to sputter and
  hiss)  Oh, no!  Not now!  It can't be!
Lyra:  But it is.  The wand is empty, no?
Ged:  Damn.  Yea, but last time, it was okay after
  I let it rest for a day or so.  Hopefully, that
  will be the case now.
Mongo:  Don't worry about it.  The wand bit was
  getting to be old anyway.
Alindyar:  (moves up to the tunnel, which is now
  empty and silent, having been cleared by the
  wall of fire)  I still hear more of the things,
  back in this tunnel.  (aims his hands forward
  and steps into the tunnel)  They are coming
  for us!  (releases his Fireball spell and then
  leaps back with surprising grace)

  The fireball took off down the tunnel, and in
about four seconds, there was a tremendous blast
and a booming sound, and licks of flame spurted
out of the passage entrance, though not far enough
to concern the adventurers.  The noise of the loud
explosion drowned out the hundreds of tiny death
cries, and shortly, the tunnel was indisputably
quiet.
  Ged healed Mongo's wounds, and the group made
ready to explore the charred, smoke-filled tunnel.





next time :  "Glass?  Who gives a shit about _glass_?!?"

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

notes     :  ...
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++






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