Chapter #88

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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:   afternoon                                         +
+   Place:  the Underdark                                     +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                    LXXXVIII.  Ogreland





  The party has become trapped in an area which negates all
magic and magical effects.  Forging ahead bravely, they are
walking along the huge corridor that they have been in for
several perilous miles.

Ged:  (muttering to himself)  Damned anti-magic zone!  I'll
  find whoever created it, and by Boccob, that person will
  feel my wrath...
Peldor:  (whistling merrily)  What was that?
Ged:  Quiet, you idiot.
Peldor:  (begins pondering the variety of pockets and pouches
  in the elf's clothing, still whistling)
Mongo:  What's that ahead?
Belphanior:  Dunno, but it sort of looks like a band of ogres
  from here.  (draws his now non-magical sword)  Too bad for
  them.
Rillen:  Maybe they can tell us about this zone of no magic.
Lyra:  What's there to tell?  We are within it, and may be on
  our way out of it.  Only time will tell for certain.
Mongo:  (pats his hammer)  Not just time.  Also blood.  And
  steel.
Belphanior:  You know, I couldn't agree more.

  Five hulking forms loomed in the darkness ahead - ogres!
The large humanoids were well-armed and armored, wearing
loose-fitting suits of chain mail and wielding gigantic
swords and axes.

ogre#1:  Hey!  (points to the party)  We's been watching you
  for a bit now.  Throw away yer weapons and come wit' us!
Mongo:  And just who the hell are you?  The "no-magic ogre
  tribe" ?  Ha-ha!
Belphanior:  (chuckling)  Heh heh.  That's a good one.
ogre#1:  (obviously the appointed leader of the group)  We
  am the tribe of the Busted Head!  (proudly holds up his
  huge shield - he is the only one of the five who has one)
Rillen:  Why do they talk about themselves that way?
Arnold:  Budsted heaaaaad.
Mongo:  I'll bust some heads, all right!
Alindyar:  Perhaps they have food and water which we could
  use.
Ged:  Perhaps they know a way out of this area.  (hefts his
  morningstar)  I sure hope so, anyway.
ogre#1:  Hey, no fair!  We not got nothing for youse but
  swordses!  (waves his sword meaningfully)  You gots five
  seconds to serrender!  (begins counting)  One!  Two!
other ogres:  (grin and babble to themselves as they fondle
  their weapons expectantly)
ogre#1:  Three!  Uh...uh...
Alindyar:  (to Lyra)  He can count no higher.
Arnold:  (sets his still-burning torch down)
Mongo:  Four!
Ged:  Five!  (he charges the ogres, abreast with Mongo and
  the other fighters, pleased to at last have something to
  vent his considerable anger upon)  For Boccob!

Arnold:  (slices an ogre, decapitating it with a mighty
  effort)  Yah!  (actually, he rolled a 20)
ogre#5:  (dies instantly)
Mongo:  Holy moley!  What a blow!
Arnold:  (holds up the severed head and yells at the other
  four ogres)  Ah-nold!  (beats his chest in triumph)
Belphanior:  (manages to nick ogre#2 with a feeble blow)
  Damn!  Outdone by a henchling!
ogre#2:  (swings at the elf, but misses - barely)  Grunt.
Rillen:  (holding his torch in one hand, his staff in the
  other; looks at the torch disdainfully)  I cannot fight
  while holding _this_.  (turns to Alindyar)  Here.  Hold
  this for a second, would you?
Alindyar:  Verily.  (grabs the torch, wincing at its glow)
Rillen:  Thanks.  (leaps into the fray, punching an ogre
  in its unhelmeted head)  Hi-yah!
ogre#3:  (head ringing)  Ugh!
Ged:  (charges the amused ogre#1 madly)  Boccob!
ogre#1:  (laughing)  One elf?  Whoa.  (tries to duck the
  morningstar's swing, unsuccessfully, and gets clobbered)
Ged:  Yes!  Boccob!  Never underestimate a priest of Boccob,
  o smelly one.
ogre#4:  (dents Mongo's plate mail with its sword)  Hunh.
Mongo:  (bashes the ogre in its genitals with his hammer,
  eliciting a cry of agony)  Yeah!  (dances in glee)
ogre#4:  (dances in pain)
Belphanior:  (slashes ogre#2 again, drawing blood)  Hah!
Rillen:  (dodges his opponent's clumsy swing, and hits it
  in the head again)  Ayieeeee!
ogre#3:  (its head caved in, dies)  Blblblblb.
Rillen:  (wipes his hand on the ogre's dirty tunic)  Ugh.
  And I thought this would be a no-brainer.
Belphanior:  What a blow you dealt him!
Rillen:  It is called the "iron fist".
Belphanior:  Uh-huh.  (returns to his own melee)  I can
  see why.
ogre#1:  (preparing to swing at Ged)  I'll bust you up!
Peldor:  (backstabs ogre#1, wounding it badly)  Peldor,
  oh Peldor, strikes again!  (almost singing now)
Ged:  Argh!  Peldor has stained the glory of my melee.
  Away, stupid thief!  (takes a glancing hit from the
  ogre, and his side explodes in pain)  Argh!
Peldor:  (taunts the ogre, to distract it from Ged)  Hey
  ho, the ogres lick elf butts...(incorporates this line
  into his song)  Elf butts, elf BUTTS, they lick...
ogre#1:  Argh!  (rains a flurry of blows upon the thief)
Flint Firelips:  (joins Mongo, and hacks ogre#4 with his
  axe, felling it)  These ogres suck!
Mongo:  Yeah.  Thanks for the help though.
Flint:  Any time.  We make a great team, you and I.  (claps
  Mongo on the back)
Mongo:  Yeah, I suppose so.  (they move to help Belphanior
  with his foe)
Alindyar:  (throws a dagger at ogre#2, but misses)  Agh.
  I have become too reliant on my magic.
Lyra:  And I have, too.  (doesn't even bother to get her
  dagger)

Belphanior:  (slashes ogre#2 again)  Fall, you big lug!
Mongo:  (bashes ogre#2 from one flank)  Ha!
ogre#2:  (dies)
Flint:  (wanders around with his axe, bumps into Arnold)
  Hi there, friend.
Arnold:  Hello.  Whad habbened to all the ogres?
Flint:  They're almost mopped up, I'd reckon.
Arnold:  Mobbed up.
Alindyar:  Almost...
Peldor:  (fails to injure ogre#1 with his blow)  How can
  it be?  Peldor never misses.  Not even as often as the
  sun falls from its lofty-
Ged:  Shut up!  (bashes the ogre again, finishing it off
  with a mighty blow)  Boccob!
Peldor:  See?  We defeated it.  The perfect combination
  of my sword, my lightning speed, my witty dialogue-
Ged:  And my blessed morningstar.  Which will likely bonk
  you in the head soon, if you don't cease your prattle.
Peldor:  Bah.  No appreciation for Peldor's skills.  (he
  strolls away)  What is the world coming to, anyway?
Belphanior:  (surveying the carnage)  Excellent.  No one
  from our party even got killed this time.
Mongo:  Well, what'd you expect?  After all, they _were_
  puny ogres.

  The ogres were found to have carried minor amounts of
gold coins, but even this paltry treasure was taken, for
the group's main stash was out of reach for now, locked
within the nonfunctional portable hole.  Who knew what
use the coins might have later?  More importantly, the
five ogres also had modest amounts of smelly food, and
stale wine.  Most of the hungry and thirsty adventurers
gulped these provisions down quickly (except for the two
drow, and Ged, who were not hungry at the moment, but
even then they did sip some of the wine).
  Belphanior and Mongo used the ogre's tunics, and one
flask of oil, to fashion crude torches, which were made
ready for the time when Arnold and Rillen's torches went
out.  Rillen saw faint tracks in the dirty tunnel floor,
and traced them a short distance to a smooth area of the
wall.  Belphanior, suspecting a secret doorway, rounded
up Peldor, and the two thieves began examining the wall
for such a portal.  Shortly, a section of wall swung out,
swiveling on an axis and revealing a twenty-foot wide
passage beyond.  The intrepid adventurers walked into
this new tunnel quietly.

Rillen:  (observing the twenty-foot ceiling in silence)
Belphanior:  (points to the walls about seventy feet away
  from the party)  Look.
Ged:  Hmm.  Spikes.  (one ten-foot long section of the
  corridor ahead has foot-long spikes covering the walls
  to the left and right)  Big spikes, too.
Belphanior:  Nasty.
Rillen:  Surely they do not think we will just walk into
  there.  Do they?
Lyra:  "They?"
Alindyar:  You know, the intangible "they"...
Peldor:  Hold up.  (gets down on his hands and knees and
  begins tapping the floor ahead)  This looks too easy.
Mongo:  Pit traps?
Peldor:  Exactly.  (suddenly, a ten-by-ten section of the
  floor drops down, revealing a twenty-foot deep pit with
  sharp spikes at the bottom)  Aha!
Belphanior:  Yikes!
Rillen:  This is really the pits.

  Peldor found two more pit traps ahead, and sprung them.
Since the pits were diagonal to each other, the adventurers
were able to step over them without much trouble, and soon
they had crossed to the other side.  Peldor continued to
check the floor ahead, but there were no more traps.  The
section of passage with the spiked walls did loom ahead,
however...



   pivoting         spiked walls
   entrance   pits    |
       |      /\      |    _--_   <--- door
       v    /    \    v   |    |
        __________________|    |                 N
      _|    ##  ##    ``       |                W+E
       |______##______,,__     |                 S
                          |    |
                          |_  _|
                            --    <--- door



Peldor:  I'm not too thrilled at the idea of walking in
  there.  You know, the spikes and all...
Belphanior:  Then why bother?  We have guinea pigs to use
  for this, anyway.  (begins walking back the way they
  came)
Flint Firelips:  We do?
Mongo:  Where are you going?
Belphanior:  To get an ogre body.
Alindyar:  Of course!  Why did I not think of that?
Lyra:  Don't ask me.
Mongo:  Hang on, I'll help.  (puts his hammer away and
  plods after the elf)

soon...

Mongo:  Ready?
Belphanior:  Yep.  (on a three count, they toss one of the
  dead ogres into the section ahead)  And a-WAY he goes!

  Not surprisingly, the deadly walls came together with a
tremendous <SLAM>, somehow fitting together perfectly even
with all the spikes.  There was a sickening crunch, and in
about five seconds, the walls slowly drew apart, exposing
a large red stain on the spikes, and the floor.

Belphanior:  Well.  That got him, didn't it?
Ged:  A terrible fate, even for an ogre.  A terrible fate.
Rillen:  Not one that I would want to get stuck with today.
Mongo:  Maybe we could run through while the walls are
  pulling apart...?
Ged:  Yea, maybe.  Are you volunteering?
Mongo:  No way!
Peldor:  Maybe it's operating on a floor trigger.  (gets a
  big stone from his pouch)
Belphanior:  Hey, what are you carrying rocks around for?
Peldor:  Why ask why?  (tosses the stone onto the floor
  ahead, and the walls slam together instantly, crushing
  it into powder)  Hmm.
Belphanior:  Awfully sensitive trap, that.
Mongo:  You think we could jump across, or something?
Peldor:  Not you.  You weigh too much.  I, on the other
  hand, have consummate jumping skill, and am lightweight
  to boot.  I think I could leap across without a problem.
Mongo:  Oh.
Belphanior:  Well...what are you waiting for?
Peldor:  (prepares himself, shedding all equipment except
  for his clothing and sword)  Hm.
Alindyar:  Perhaps you could find a way to deactivate the
  trap, once you are across it.
Peldor:  Perhaps.  (backs up, for a running start)
Belphanior:  Be careful, there.
Peldor:  Who, me?  (runs forth and leaps across the area
  of spiked walls, landing gracefully on the far side)
Mongo:  Way to go, Peldor!
Peldor:  (looking around)  Hmm.  (spots a small lever on
  the wall around the left corner, out of sight of the
  party)  Hmm.  (returns to the sight of the others, and
  makes strange hand signs and gestures)
Mongo:  What the hell is he doing?
Lyra:  It sort of looks like he is trying to cast a spell.
Ged:  Who, that fool?  Never in a million years could he
  learn even the most basic of mystical lore.
Belphanior:  No, it's thiefly sign language.  He's saying
  that there are other doors nearby - one is ajar - we
  must keep quiet while he checks it out.
Ged:  Hmph.  I should have known.
Mongo:  I can't just sit idly by while the thief risks
  his worthless hide!
Belphanior:  Shh!  He needs quiet.
Alindyar:  Why?  The trap made an exceedingly high amount
  of noise when we triggered it.  Anyone beyond must surely
  know of our coming...
Belphanior:  Huh?  Oh, yeah...shit!  Peldor!  (the thief is
  out of sight again, though)

meanwhile...

Peldor:  (eager for treasure, he decides not to try the lever
  just yet, and moves to the slightly ajar door to the north,
  listening intently, but hearing nothing)  Hmm.  (he opens
  the door slowly)
ogres:  (four of them, heavily armed and armored, grinning at
  the thief)  Hello there.  Weren't thinking of surprising us,
  now were you?
Peldor:  Whoa!
ogres:  (charge the thief)  Yaaaaaa!
Peldor:  Shit!  (slams the door and runs back the way he came)
  Shit!  (the lever on the wall springs into his thoughts, and
  he heroically yanks it)

  There was a low rumbling from behind the spiked walls, and
the party would have liked to believe that the trap was now
deactivated.

Ged:  But what if it isn't?
Mongo:  (bashes the floor ahead with his hammer, producing no
  effect)  Looks okay to me.
Peldor:  (runs toward the party, four mean-looking ogres in
  pursuit)  Aaaaaa!
Mongo:  Fuck!  (hefts his weapon and runs across the previous
  trap)  Hang on, Peldor!
Rillen:  (leaps into action, twirling his quarterstaff)  Time
  to show these ogres why not to threaten a helpless thief.
Peldor:  Helpless?!?  (backed up by the party, he bravely
  turns around and challenges the ogres with his sword)  Ha!
  You fell into Peldor's trap perfectly!
ogre#1:  Huh?  What the hell is he talking about?
ogre#2:  No talk!  Smash!  (they all charge)

  To make a short story even shorter, the adventurers quickly
decimated the ogre troop.  Rillen slew two this time, while
the other two were beset by the combined might of Belphanior,
Mongo, Flint, and Arnold.  During the melee, Peldor, followed
by the magi, checked out the door to the south.  It led to an
L-shaped area, which was empty but had another door at its far
end.  Listening at this door, the brave, skilled thief heard
loud snoring; the door was left alone for now.  Shortly after-
ward, the other adventurers joined Peldor, and were quickly
briefed on the situation - there seemed to be several sleeping
foes in the next room.  Surprise was a certainty...

Peldor:  In the face of such great odds, I hereby volunteer
  myself as a member of the attack team.
Belphanior:  I shall go too.  If they are asleep, we ought to
  have no problem dealing with them.



                                        ____
                        __________     |    |
                       | other    |____|    |
                       |  ogre              |
                       |   room    _________|
   entrance            |__      __|    ________
       |                  |    |      | vault  |
       |                  |_.._|      |___..___|
       v                  |    |        |    |
        __________________|    |        |_.._|
      _|    ##  ##    ``       |        |    |
       |______##______,,__     |        |_.._|
                          |    |        |    |
                          |_.._|        |_.._|
            N             |    |      __|    |__
           W+E            |    |__ __| sleeping |__ ____
            S             | empty :     ogre       :  to
                          |_______|__    room    __|__ lake...
                                     |__      __|
                                        |____|



Peldor:  (silently opens the door, revealing four very
  unfortunate ogres sleeping on the job)
Belphanior:  (motions Peldor to go in first, and then
  follows him)
Ged:  (follows Belphanior quietly)
Peldor:  (kills one sleeping ogre)
Belphanior:  (assassinates another)
Peldor:  (kills a third)
ogre#4:  (somehow wakes up)  Zzzzz...Huh?!?
Ged:  Boccob!  (bashes the surprised ogre over the head
  with his weapon, achieving a critical hit)
ogre#4:  (perishes)
Peldor:  Say, that ogre looked small and weak...a runt
  among its own kind, surely.
Ged:  Quiet, you.  You seek to downplay all of my mighty
  accomplishments, but you shall not succeed.
Peldor:  Not I.  (filches a few coins from the ogres'
  bodies)  These ogres were poor, anyway.

  Meanwhile, for some unknown reason, Mongo, Rillen,
Alindyar, Lyra, and Flint Firelips had gone back to the
northern room, from whence the other four ogres had
chased Peldor earlier.  They bravely forged ahead, but
were soon faced with a dead end.  No secret doors could
be found, and there was no treasure to be had here, so
the five turned around and headed back toward the
sleeping ogre room.

meanwhile...

Ged:  (looks around)  Where did those others go?
Peldor:  Who knows?  Maybe they got sick of your babbling.
Ged:  Hah!  You're one to talk!
Belphanior:  Actually, I think they went to check out
  another passage...
Arnold:  Another passadge.  (looks around)  Whidch of
  these two doors should we take next?
Ged:  (points to the northern door with his morningstar)
  Let's try that one.  Ok?
Belphanior:  Sure.  (finds no traps on the door, though
  it is locked)
Peldor:  (unlocks the door, and opens it, revealing a
  20' x 20' room with another door to the north)  Hmm.
Belphanior:  (checks this door, finding no traps)  Clear.
Peldor:  (picks the lock, and opens the door, revealing
  yet another 20' x 20' room with a door to the north)
Belphanior:  Huh?
Ged:  What kind of foolery is this?  (he and Arnold bob
  along behind the thieves)
Arnold:  Don'd worry.  When we find the monsters, I -
  Ah-nold - shall be ready!  (hefts his sword)
Peldor:  Oh, I feel safer already.

  After a series of three square rooms and three locked
doors in their north walls, the foursome entered a vault
to the north.  This slightly larger room contained some
treasure and weapons - a few hundred coins of gold, a few
thousand of silver, six small gems, a large gem, three
potion bottles (though they could not possibly work in
this anti-magic zone), seven two-handed swords, sixteen
large clubs, a huge bow, and a large quiver with eight
oversized arrows.  Greater than all of this treasure was
a wooden box in one corner, though - it held four large
bullseye lanterns, and twenty flasks of oil for them too!

Peldor:  All RIGHT!  (holds up a lantern happily)
Ged:  Hmm.  Arnold, check those swords to see if they
  might be unusual.  After all, we can't just carry them
  all around.
Arnold:  Why not?
Belphanior:  (examining the bow and arrows)  Rillen might
  be a better judge of these, but they seem to be made for
  ogre-sized users.
Peldor:  (examines the gems and potions)  We'll keep this
  stuff, though.
Ged:  (looking over the thief's shoulder)  Yea.  Let's see
  here - that's seven gems, and three potions.  See that
  you don't "lose" any of them.
Peldor:  Lose?  Me?  Nah.

  Shortly, they returned to the sleeping/dead ogre room,
and went through the eastern door, after the thieves got
it opened.  Peldor suspected, and confirmed, a pit trap in
the floor ahead, and leapt across.  A niche in the wall
on the far side contained a lever, which the thief pulled.
A metal plate slid across the gaping pit, allowing safe
crossing, and the four walked across, finding another big,
locked door.  It was opened to reveal a T-shaped section
of corridor.  Double doors stood both to the north and to
the south.  There was a commotion from behind them, and
they turned to see Mongo and the others headed in their
direction.  The party reunited, and decided to check the
northern door first.

Belphanior:  (checking)  No traps.
Peldor:  Then...no lock, either.  (picks the lock)  Those
  dumb ogres.  Can't build locks worth a flip.
Mongo:  Hey, the dwarves build the greatest locks in all
  the world.  Everyone knows that.
Peldor:  Actually, it's the _thieves_ who-
Belphanior:  Shh.  (opens the door, revealing a huge, dark
  cavern)  Hmm.  (the sound of lapping water is heard from
  the void ahead)  My infravision reveals nothing.  But...
  it isn't too accurate with all these torches around.
Ged:  Maybe we'd better light some of these lanterns.  We'd
  get better illumination that way.
Arnold:  Yea!

  Soon, Arnold and Peldor held bright lanterns; the torches
they had been using were put out in favor of the new, and
better, light sources.  They could now see that the cavern
was about a hundred feet long, almost that wide, and about
fifty feet high.  It was almost totally covered with a lake
of fresh, clean-smelling (and tasting) water.  The party
was standing on a stone outcropping next to the lake; there
was no way to get across except by somehow crossing the dark
waters.  A small passage was barely visible on the opposite
shore of the lake.

Mongo:  How in the hell are we going to get across that?
Ged:  We could swim...or maybe build a raft.
Belphanior:  Yeah, but we don't have the materials for a
  raft.  At least not yet.
Alindyar:  Perhaps those tables from the ogre room could
  be utilized to construct a raft.
Ged:  Yea, maybe.  (digging through his pack)  Aha!  (he
  pulls out some thin line and other small items)  Time
  to rest, for now.
Arnold:  (regarding his liege)  Whad's that stuff?
Ged:  Watch and see.

  The adventurers rested, and shortly Ged and Arnold were
fishing happily in the underground lake.  Belphanior soon
joined them, and it wasn't long before the three had a pile
of large, healthy-looking fish.  Mongo built a small fire
and began cooking the party's lunch.  Meanwhile, Rillen and
Peldor scouted the other door (the thief locked the door to
the lake cavern behind him, for the main party's security).
Behind this southern door, they found another huge cavern,
containing a huge dinosaur skeleton and a single exit.
  They returned and informed the others of this, and while
eating a delicious meal of fresh fish, the group decided to
explore the other cave before worrying about crossing the
lake.





next time :  various things that the ogres never found

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

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






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