Chapter #866

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                           +                   +
                         +                       +
                       +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                         +                       +
                           +       Epic V      +
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                               +           +
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+     Many of the locations, non-player characters, spells, and other     +
+   terms used in these stories are the property of Wizards of the Coast  +
+   which has in no way endorsed or authorized their use.  Any such       +
+   property contained within these stories are not representative of     +
+   Wizards of the Coast in any fashion.                                  +
+     The player characters depicted in these stories are copyright       +
+   1991-2005 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!                                          +
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+   Bosco           13th level halfling thief                             +
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+   Date:           4/1/580 C.Y. (Common Year)                            +
+   Time:           nighttime                                             +
+   Place:          the land of dreams                                    +
+   Climate:        dreamy                                                +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   "I don't use drugs, my dreams are frightening enough."                +
+                                                        - M.C. Escher    +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                  DCCCLXVI.  Being Bosco





  Deep within the realm of his own subconscious, Bosco was having a rather
bizarre dream...

Rob:  (drunk as a skunk, he sits on a throne with a jug of wine in one
  hand)  Urp!
Bosco:  Hey, I thought you didn't act silly anymore...
Rob:  (gestures in a random direction, wine sloshing out of the jug)  I
  can do anything I want - I'm the high priest!  (he waves his free hand,
  and a miniature castle, about five feet high, appears on the ground)
  See?
Bosco:  (looks around)  Where are we, anyway?
Rob:  Somewhere between everywhere and nowhere, my dear boy.  (he offers
  the wine-jug)  Care for a sip?
Bosco:  Err, I'd better not.
Rob:  (floats out of his chair and over to the miniature castle)  Mustn't
  let it go dry.  (using the wine-jug, he waters the castle, as if it was
  a plant)
Bosco:  But-
Rob:  Quiet.  (he points to the castle as it begins to grow)  Isn't that
  special?
Bosco:  Hey!  (alarmed, he backs up, and falls off into a chasm that
  wasn't there a moment ago)  Whaaaaaaa...

  The halfling fell for a short while, and then suddenly seemed to be
floating, rather than falling.

Bosco:  (looks down at his winged boots, which aren't flapping at all)
  What's wrong with you?
winged boots:  Shh!  Boots don't talk...not even winged ones.
Bosco:  Oh.

  He floated down toward a cloudbank, then landed on it, finding it to be
as soft as a pillow.

Bosco:  Aaahhhhhh.  Hmm, that's weird.  (he begins walking on the soft
  surface)  Bosco, cloud-walker!
cloud giant:  (standing there, arms crossed, a stern look on his face)
  Who are you?  How did you get here?
Bosco:  Well, I-
cloud giant:  Never mind.  (he leans over, frowning)  Where's that elf,
  the one who dared to challenge me?
Bosco:  What elf?  You mean Belphanior?
cloud giant:  Do you know him?  (he cracks his knuckles)
Bosco:  No, not really...I wasn't even around back in those days!
cloud giant:  Well, begone then.  (he waves his hand at Bosco, and a
  strong gust of wind picks the halfling up and moves him toward the
  edge of the clouds)  If you see the elf, tell him not to ever come
  back here!
Bosco:  But I don't think he's ever been here-  Aaaaaaaaa!

  He was falling again, but this time he landed in a gigantic trampoline,
and began to bounce, up and down, up and down.

Bosco:  Wheeeeee!  (he spins about in the air)
Belphanior:  Stop that.
Bosco:  (lands deftly on a cool stone floor, looking around)  Where am I
  now?
Belphanior:  This is my old castle, in Helgate.  (he waves as an iron
  golem rides by, atop a hydra)
Victoria:  (nods to Bosco, her white fangs flashing)
Bosco:  Ack!
Victoria:  Don't be scared - you're barely a shooter in a long night of
  drinking.
Bosco:  I don't want to be a drink at all!  (he turns to flee, only to
  find himself facing two attractive young girls)
Daphne:  (smiles, displaying her own vampire fangs)  Hi there, small one.
Phoebe:  (takes a step toward the halfling, her red eyes boring into him)
  Blood...Bosco's blood...
Bosco:  Aieee!  (he turns back to Belphanior)  Make them stop!
Belphanior:  I can't.  (he turns to Otto, Skektek, and the rest...who
  suddenly start changing into werewolves)
Otto:  (his form shifting and changing)  Grrr...
Skektek:  (rather skinny for a werewolf, he begins howling anyway)  Awooo!
Ys:  (grins toothily)  I don't need to be a werewolf.
Bosco:  Well, that's a relief.  (he turns back to Belphanior, whose eyes
  are blood-red now as he's changed shape into some kind of demon)  Whoa!
  What's _wrong_ with you?!?
Belphanior:  Join us, Bosco...
Bosco:  (passes out)

  He next seemed to be floating through total darkness, which was very
disorienting...until he saw a tiny speck of light, and began moving that
way.

Bosco:  How am I moving through here, anyway?

  The speck of light turned out to be a window, which was locked.  Bosco
produced his lockpicks, and had the thing open in no time.  He stepped
through it, and found himself on the deck of a gigantic ship.

Halbarad:  Bosco?!?  What are you doing here?
Peyote:  Hey, little dude!  (he slaps Bosco's hand)
Bosco:  I'm...uh...err...
Daffodil:  Never mind, it's great to have you.  (she points at the clear
  blue waters that surround them on all sides)  Isn't this wonderful?
Bosco:  Yeah, sure, I guess.  Where are we?
Rillen:  (passes by, walking on his hands)  We're in the middle of
  nowhere, Bosco.
Songa:  (hefts her spear)  Where did you think you were?
Bosco:  I dunno.  (he suddenly spots a large wave approaching)

  The wave stopped just before hitting the side of the ship; the water
shifted as a mouth and two eyes formed in it.

Silthis:  Bosco...
Bosco:  Ack!  (he leaps back)  What do _you_ want?!?
Silthis:  I want my money, Bosco...the money you cheated me out of...
Bosco:  I don't have it!  (he turns his pockets inside-out)  See, I don't
  have anything!  (he frowns)  Wait a second...who picked my pockets?
Peldor:  (walking away, whistling)
Bosco:  Wha the heck?  (he turns to find everyone else, including Silthis,
  laughing at him)  Argh...

  Just then, a large green dragon flew down from the clouds, circling the
ship in ever-descending loops.  As he watched the majestic wyrm approach,
Bosco had the strangest feeling that there should have been music playing.

Rob:  (in a saddle atop the dragon's back, he waves to the halfling)
Bosco:  Do they make saddlebags for that?
Rob:  Climb aboard, Bosco - we're going for a ride!

  A second, much smaller saddle magically appeared behind the main one,
and Bosco leaped into it, grinning exuberantly.

Bosco:  Finally!  It's time for...Bosco, dragon-rider!

  The halfling found himself holding on for dear life as the dragon took
to the sky, rising fast and steeply.

Bosco:  Whoaaaaaaaaa!
Rob:  Hush now.  Everything will be fine.
Bosco:  Then who are those?!?  (he points to a quintet of five bronze-
  colored dragons that are now chasing the green one, and gaining fast)
Rob:  Hmm, that's not so good.  (to the green dragon)  Any ideas?
green dragon:  I AM BAYTOR!
Rob:  Oh.
Bosco:  What are we going to do?
Rob:  I guess we'll stop and talk to them.

  As the five dragons approached, Bosco's sharp eyes could see that two
of them were being ridden by Peldor and Halbarad.

Peldor:  I cannot tell a lie.
Halbarad:  And that's the truth.
Bosco:  (to Peldor)  Why did you pick my pockets?
Peldor:  Well, someone had to.
Halbarad:  (nods)  He's telling the truth.
Bosco:  I'm confused.
Rob:  Sorry, Bosco, but this is where you get off.

  Bosco's saddle disappeared, and he began falling again, the dragons
above quickly out of sight.

Bosco:  I wonder where I'll end up this time?

  Just then, Bosco landed on a barstool in the Green Dragon Inn, where
Tanya was busy serving drinks.

Tanya:  Welcome back, Bosco!  (she puts a goblet of ale in front of him)
Bosco:  (downs half the glass)  Thanks, I needed that.  What's up?
Tanya:  Oh, the usual.  (she gestures to a nearby table, where a pair of
  paladins, identical down to their armor and weapons, are engaged in a
  mighty arm-wrestling contest)

Sir Drexel:  I'll beat you yet!
Sir Dremel:  Never!
Peldor:  Place you bets, place your bets!
Bosco:  Give me ten gold pieces on...err, which one's which?
Peldor:  Beats me.

  Suddenly, Mongo walked in, arm-in-arm with a giantess, despite the
differences in their height.

Mongo:  Everyone, meet Titania.
Bosco:  Huh?
Mongo:  Do you know how long I've been looking for a woman without a
  beard?  (he cracks his knuckles)  Never mind.  We're here to show some
  _real_ arm-wrestling.
Titania:  (picks up Drexel and Dremel, each with one hand, and relocates
  them to another table)
Mongo:  Now that's love.  (he pulls up a chair, flexing his arm)
Bosco:  Uh...I think you're going to need a stronger table.

  As the perhaps ill-fated arm-wrestling match began, Bosco couldn't
help but notice a new arrival to the inn - an eight-foot tall minotaur
(not counting the horns.)

minotaur:  I've got the winner.
Bosco:  Who are you?
minotaur:  I'm stronger than Mongo, that's who I am.  Plus I'm taller.
Bosco:  Huh?  (to Peldor)  Do we know this clown?
Peldor:  I hope not.
minotaur:  (continues to babble)  Isn't there another Green Dragon Inn,
  in the city of Fax, in the Wild Coast?  That's really strange.
Bosco:  You're really strange.
minotaur:  Maybe I should have been a paladin.  (he eyes Mongo)  Or a
  dwarven thrower.
Otto:  (appears from another room, hefting the hammer he got from the
  Fortress of the Nine)  I've got your dwarven thrower right here.
minotaur:  What good is it being a hammer if you can't find a deserving
  nail?
Otto:  Who the hell _are_ you?
minotaur:  Some call me a lone wolf...others call me a dragon warrior.
  It's not really my fault...the demon made me crazy, all the time.  (he
  looks around)  Is someone calling me names?
Peldor:  (to Bosco)  Go get Vinnie - we're going to have to ask this
  guy to leave.
Bosco:  Right.  (he wanders off through a doorway...only to emerge in
  a large field outdoors, on a warm sunny day)  Huh?
Ged:  Step aside, foolish one.
Bosco:  I thought you were dead?
Ged:  Of course I am.  I just came back to officiate this tournament.
Bosco:  What tournament?
Ged:  (annoyed)  Jousting.

  Just then, a huge green dragon landed on the field, and began prancing
around in circles.  A familiar figure rode the dragon...

Rob:  Whoa, there!  (he almost falls off, but manages to right himself
  just in time)
Ged:  (to Bosco)  You see, the more things change, the more they stay the
  same.
Bosco:  It's Rob again...what the heck's going on around here?
Ged:  I told you, it's a jousting tournament.  You really should try
  harder to listen the first time.
Bosco:  Joust?  Who's Rob fighting against?
Ged:  Look and see.

  Belphanior had appeared, riding a many-headed hydra onto the field.

Belphanior:  (smacking various of the hydra's heads as they turn around
  and snap at him)  Settle down!
Bosco:  There's something you don't see every day.  (to Ged)  Who do you
  think's going to win?
Ged:  Neither of them...(he points to a new arrival on the field)

  It was the juggernaut - that massive construct of wheels and armor,
battering rams and spikes - and atop it was a smaller armored figure
that was instantly recognizable.

Bosco:  By the gods...the iron dwarf's riding the juggernaut...



  At that moment, the halfling mercifully woke up from his dream-filled
slumber, his eyes wide.

Bosco:  Whoa!  (he looks around in the darkness)  I have _got_ to stop
  drinking that illegal rum before bedtime!





next:      finally...the return of Belphanior
ftp:       ftp.peldor.com
www:       http://www.peldor.com/download.html
homepage:  http://www.peldor.com/
email:     tmiller@peldor.com
released:  4/1/05
notes:     The time wasn't right to to a full-blown, in-canon comedy
  episode, so instead I strung together various ideas and characters
  and put them into the context of a Bosco nonsense world.
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