Chapter #87

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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)   +
*   Flint Firelips (guest)   dwarven warrior                  +
+   Date:   7/18/571 C.Y. (Common Year)                       +
+   Time:   noon                                              +
+   Place:  the Underdark                                     +

                    LXXXVII.  Negation

  The party has found a large metal door, fifteen feet high
and eight feet wide.  The strange rune engraved in the door
has been found, through divination, to mean "danger".  Being
intrepid explorers, the adventurers have made ready to move
through the doorway and discover what lies beyond.

Mongo:  (preparing to kick the portal in)  Stand back.
Belphanior:  Try opening it first.  (opens the door, which
  swings inward without the slightest sound)  See?  Works
  every time.
Rillen:  (silently notes that the door is six inches thick,
  probably enough to stop a battering ram)  Hmm.  That ought
  to keep out any unfriendly neighbors.
Mongo:  Bah.  (he strolls through the portal, followed by
  the others)

  Contrary to expectations, there was nothing different on
the other side of the door.  Well, actually, one thing had
changed - the blue glow which had been emanating from the
very walls of the huge tunnel was no more.  The walls and
ceiling looked the same, but there was no artificial glow
to light this section of the tunnel.  The adventurers had lit
several torches already, and began to walk forward, into the
unknown.  Just then, several things happened simultaneously.
First, the large metal door abruptly and silently swung shut,
producing only a soft 'click' when it finally sealed.  Second,
all four mages suddenly felt dizzy and weak, especially the
two drow and Ged, who fell to their knees.  Third, Peldor's
magical green torch suddenly blinked out, leaving only the two
torches held by Rillen and Arnold to shed any light.  Fourth,
those who wore magical armor (Mongo, Arnold, Ged, and Peldor)
noticed that their armor suddenly seemed to increase in weight.

Belphanior:  What the hell?  (realizes that his empathy with
  Blackrazor has ceased to exist)  What the hell has happened?
Ged:  (gasping on his knees)  Boccob!
Alindyar:  (still dizzy, helps Lyra to her feet)  ...Something
  is...very, very wrong here...(staggers again)
Mongo:  (just became a lot weaker)  Ugh!  (realizes that his
  girdle of giant strength isn't functioning anymore)  Boy,
  this armor sure is heavy all of a sudden.
Arnold:  (wandering around, clanking, in his plate mail armor)
Peldor:  (looking at his formerly green torch in wonder)  This
  damn thing never went out before!  That was the problem, it
  just wouldn't extinguish.  Never before!
Lyra:  Well, it just did.
Peldor:  Yea, I guess you're right.
Rillen:  (notices that his boots of speed aren't so speedy now)
  What is going on?
Ged:  (has a terrible thought, and begins spellcasting)  Oh no.
  Oh,!  (nothing happens)  My spell didn't work!
Alindyar:  (quickly tries a spell of his own, with no success)
  My own magics fail, as well.
Ged:  (tries a priest spell)  Boccob!  (nothing happens this
  time either)  Boccob!  Why hast thou deserted me?!?  (wails
  upward in a screeching voice)  Aaaaaauuugh!
Lyra:  (looks around)  Can you feel it?  This place is sucking
  the very magical energies from us...
Belphanior:  The door!  (spins, and begins trying to pull the
  door back open)  Shit!  (not even the slightest crack is now
  visible where the door used to be)  No door!
Peldor:  Hey, I thought it looked a lot like a one-way door as
  I walked through.  Didn't seem important at the time though.
Mongo:  We've got to break it down!  (hurls his hammer at the
  place where the door was, but there is only a muffled CLANG
  which results in no damage to the metal surface)  Fuck!
Rillen:  Do not waste your time.  The door was this thick (he
  holds up his hands, about six inches apart) and I doubt we
  have the means to break it down.
Belphanior:  Perhaps we can pry it open.  (he and Peldor look
  carefully over the entire area of wall, examining it for any
  cracks or other useful attributes)
Mongo:  (realizes that his hammer didn't return to him, and
  goes to pick it up, near the door)  Argh.  This sucks.
Ged:  (sobbing in miserable terror)  No magic.  No magic!
Alindyar:  (developing a headache from all of this)
Ged:  No magic!  No magic!  No magic!
Lyra:  (tries to console Ged)  At least you can use a weapon
  with decent skill.  Unlike myself.  It could be worse...
Ged:  Weapon?  (looks at the morningstar on his belt, which he
  hasn't used in a long while)
Belphanior:  (turns from the wall in frustration)  It's no use.
  There's _nothing_ here.  We're trapped.
Peldor:  (nods)  Yep.
Rillen:  Not so.  (points into the gaping darkness of the tunnel
  ahead)  We can still go _that_ way.
Mongo:  (halfheartedly)  Yeah.
Belphanior:  Are things like this normal down here?
Lyra:  I wouldn't suppose so.
Flint Firelips:  (looking around)  What does this mean for us?
Alindyar:  We have been tricked into entering an anti-magic zone
  which has sealed us in.  On the bright side, nothing we may
  encounter will be able to use any magic.  On the dark side,
  neither will we...
Rillen:  (not really bothered by any of this)  So?  (twirls his
  staff)  I need no magic to fight with this weapon.  (holds up
  one clenched fist)  Or this one.
Ged:  (smashes a wall with his morningstar, in anger)  Aaarrgh!

  The adventurers went through a quick inventory of their items,
and were depressed further.  Not only were all of their weapons,
armor, and protective items now merely normal ones, but Mongo's
portable hole would not open, thus preventing access to anything
within.  The same effect applied to all bags, pouches, and other
magical containers.  Also, the group had already run out of food,
but now, the dwarf's cornucopia didn't work, so there was neither
food nor water.  Not a speck, not a drop.  On top of all this,
the party no longer had any means of healing themselves of damage.
Much argument and bitching ensued, as tempers flared, stomachs
began to growl, and wounds itched.

Ged:  (points to Peldor)  This is all _your_ fault!  You should
  have propped that door open!
Peldor:  Who, ME?!?  Don't blame this mess on me!
Ged:  That's your job - to deal with doors and traps.
Peldor:  Bah.  Don't bitch at me for Boccob's impotency.
Ged:  Grr...(he and Peldor begin to yell at each other)
Belphanior:  (thinking about slaying the grey elf in order to
  shut him up)
Alindyar:  (snaps at Lyra about something meaningless)  Damn!
Lyra:  Don't cut an attitude with me, mister!  (they begin to
Mongo:  (smashing stones with his hammer, in frustration)  Gods
  be damned!  Hell!  Shit!  Fuck!
Arnold:  (dozing against one wall)
Flint Firelips:  (trying to talk to Mongo, unsuccessfully)
Rillen:  (getting fed up with all of this, he hefts his torch
  in one hand and his staff in the other, and begins walking
  down the tunnel)  Later.
Mongo:  (stops smashing rocks for a moment and looks at the
  warrior)  Hey!  Where are you going?
Ged:  (also regards Rillen, who is already fifty feet away)
Rillen:  If you people want to sit around and argue and waste
  energy - not to mention valuable torches - then go ahead.  I
  am going to do something productive.  Find food, or water,
  or torches.  I will do _something_, though.  (turns away and
  resumes walking)
Mongo:  Fuck.  (hitches up his belt and plods in the direction
  of Rillen)  I'm with you.
Flint Firelips:  (silently follows Mongo)  Yeah, me too!
Ged:  Aw...(he, and the others, one by one, gather their items
  and follow Rillen)
Rillen:  (muttering to himself)  I love it when a plan comes


 Alindyar   : staff; knowledge of Underdark and the monsters
                within; nigh-godlike intelligence
 Lyra       : dagger; ancient languages & history; herbalism;
 Belphanior : longsword; thief skills; swimming; tumbling;
                hunting; set snares; fire building
 Ged        : morningstar; seamanship skills; fishing; rope
 Arnold     : two-handed sword; swimming; climbing
 Mongo      : hammer; mining; dwarven abilities; cooking
 Flint      : battleaxe; ?
 Peldor     : longsword; thief skills; appraisal; jumping;
                tightrope walking; swimming
 Rillen     : quarterstaff; martial arts; swimming; running;

next time :  "mere" ogres

ftp site  :, in pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers

notes     :  I actually made versions of the character sheets
           which represented life in an anti-magic zone.  They
           listed all magical items as normal ones.  In some
           cases, the players didn't know what the things even
           were (e.g. a "gem" that used to be a "periapt".)  I
           cheerfully suggest pulling this trick on any party
           which you DM - it really makes the players think.
             The challenges within the anti-magic zone were
           tailored to allow use of the adventurers' skills
           and abilities described above.

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