Chapter #891

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                                   +   +
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                           +                   +
                         +                       +
                       +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                         +                       +
                           +       Epic V      +
                             +               +
                               +           +
                                 +       +
                                   +   +

+     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!                                          +
+   Belphanior     15th/15th/15th level elven fighter/wizard/thief        +
+   Elgon          8th/9th/11th level deep gnome priest/illusionist/thief +
+   Otto           10th/13th level dwarven fighter/thief                  +
+   Razor Charlie  11th level human fighter                               +
+   Skektek        13th level human wizard                                +
+   wispy thing    strange, intangible sentient being                     +
+                                                                         +
+   Alindyar       18th level drow wizard                                 +
+   Bosco          13th level halfling thief                              +
+   Eduardo         3rd level human thief                                 +
+   Felicia         3rd level female human thief                          +
+   Lyra           14th level female drow wizard                          +
+   Peldor         20th level human thief                                 +
+   Tanya           5th/11th level female human fighter/thief             +
+   Vinnie          8th level human warrior                               +
+   Date:          7/6/580 C.Y. (Common Year)                             +
+   Time:          early evening                                          +
+   Place:         the Green Dragon Inn, in the Free City of Greyhawk     +
+   Climate:       warm and dry                                           +
+   "Little friends may prove great friends."                             +
+                                                             - Aesop     +

                   DCCCXCI.  A Long-Overdue Reunion

  After arriving outside Greyhawk, Belphanior and his crew have wasted
no time finding the best source of information in the Free City...

Peldor:  Damn, it's good to see you!  (he clasps hands with Belphanior)
  It's been a while.
Belphanior:  We've been...busy.

  As was usual when he had visitors from the old days, Peldor had put
the group in a private booth, far from prying eyes or ears.  While Otto
and the others sat and had a drink, Belphanior went to the bar to chat
with Tanya; Peldor had joined them there after seeing that the table
had a dedicated barmaid.

Belphanior:  Actually, we're looking for some help with an upcoming
Tanya:  (tending bar, she eyes Belphanior and his people warily)

  The warrior-turned-thief-turned-bartender-turned-wife-and-mother was
always wary when Belphanior came knocking.  She knew that, years before
she and Peldor met and married, the so-called "old crew" used to travel
the world, having adventures and facing dangers beyond the understanding
of normal people.  Between the stories Peldor had told her and what she'd
figured out on her own, Tanya knew that Belphanior made life dangerous.
  On the bright side, she knew that there was no chance of Belphanior
convincing Peldor to go somewhere and do something risky.  Many people
didn't comprehend this attitude - they might wonder why an ex-adventurer
couldn't just drop everything, take up arms once more, and venture forth
into the realm of mystery and monsters.

baby Ariel:  Mama goo food!
Belphanior:  What?  (he peers over the bartop, spotting the baby girl
  strapped into a wooden high chair)  Ah.
baby Ariel:  (stares at the elf, making a strange face)  Elp.
Belphanior:  (analyzes the baby, using his crystal eye)  Hmm.
baby Ariel:  (flicks a spoonful of mushy food at the elf)  Whee!
Belphanior:  Heh.
Peldor:  Babies - aren't they wonderful?
Belphanior:  I suppose so.  How old is she now?
Tanya:  Coming up on two and a, it's amazing how time flies.
wispy thing:  (hovering nearby, it regards the baby in the high chair)
baby Ariel:  (stares at the wisp)  Bah boo!
wispy thing:  (grins)  brrrp.
Belphanior:  Though we all know better, it's still interesting to wonder
  whether some sort of primal communication is going on there.
Tanya:  (frowning)  I certainly hope not.
Eduardo:  (strolls into the chamber and toward the bar, a wrapped brown
  package in his hands)  Here you go.  (he sets the bundle atop the bar,
  in front of Tanya)  He says you owe him some of that rare Velunese wine
Tanya:  Heh...thanks.  (she rips open the package, revealing several
  fine bottles of ale)  Of course, he owed me from the last time he ran
  out of liquor.
Felicia:  (strolls in)  Anything else today?
Tanya:  No, that should do it.  Have you finished your training and the
Eduardo:  (smirks)  All done.
Felicia:  Hours ago.
Tanya:  Go have fun, then - but be back in time for supper.
Eduardo:  (nods, and turns to Belphanior)  I must thank you for bringing
  me here - I'm really happy.
Belphanior:  No problem.  I'm glad to see that you're thriving as you
  grow up.  Helgate wasn't exactly the best place for that.
Eduardo:  (looks at Felicia, smiling)  No kidding.
Felicia:  We're training to be thieves, you know.
Eduardo:  Though I've been training to be one, without knowing it, since
  I was a small lad.
Belphanior:  Like I said, Helgate wasn't the best place, though it did
  teach us all something.  I'm glad this city is better for you.
Felicia:  (kicks Eduardo lightly)  Time to go.
Eduardo:  Yeah.  (he extends his hand, and Belphanior shakes it)  Thanks
  for everything you and the others did, especially back in the Helgate
  days.  I owe you a lot, and someday I'll repay you for your help.
Belphanior:  Hopefully, you won't have to...but you're welcome.
Eduardo:  (departs, with Felicia)
Tanya:  We use them for important errands, and also see to it that they
  get training and stay on track.  They're good kids.
Belphanior:  They actually want to be thieves?
Peldor:  (looks around, at Tanya and Belphanior, and also thinks of
  himself and Bosco)  What else did you expect they'd aspire to be?
Belphanior:  Hmm, good point.  With role models like us...
Tanya:  Heh.
Peldor:  (sighs happily)  Anyway, back to business.  If I know you,
  you're not after just "help" - you need a definite person, with a
  definite skill.  (he grins)  Though I'm still retired.
Belphanior:  Fear not, I'm not asking you.  Actually, I need Mongo.

  Meanwhile, at the private table...

Skektek:  I feel like we got stashed here so they could talk in private.
Razor Charlie:  (grimaces, then ponders the dark beer in his glass)
Otto:  We're not being excluded.  They're just catching up on old times.
  (he takes a deep drink from his mug of ale)  Ahhhhh.
Elgon:  Who's this Peldor guy, and what's his link to Belphanior?
Otto:  They used to adventure together, maybe ten years ago.
Razor Charlie:  (wonders if, someday, the current crew of Belphanior
  will be in the position that Belphanior and Peldor are now, their old
  adventures having to be explained to some new crew)
Skektek:  (regarding Peldor as he talks to Belphanior across the room)
  That guy's the guildmaster of thieves, eh?
Razor Charlie:  He doesn't look like much.
Otto:  Don't be fooled just because the guy has a wife and kid.  In his
  day, he was the best.
Elgon:  He probably still is.  You don't remain the head of the thieves'
  guild by letting your skills go rusty.

  No reunion or gathering would be complete without a certain obnoxious
halfling, of course.  Belphanior had known that it was only a matter of
time before they were graced with the presence of...

Bosco:  (walks into the room as if he owns the place)  Everybody relax,
  I'm here.
Skektek:  (groaning quietly)  Oh no, not him.
Otto:  It could be worse.  He has a bunch of brothers, you know.
Skektek:  (grimaces)
Razor Charlie:  (grimaces)

  Nearby, Bosco had already made his way to the bar, and was climbing
up on a barstool while weaving a tale...

Bosco:  -and then we slew the main demon, and-
Peldor:  Bosco, this isn't exactly a happy story to tell.
Bosco:  Well, it could have been worse.  We won, and at least some of
  them made it.
Tanya:  Bosco.
Bosco:  Eh?
Tanya:  My daughter is behind this bar.  She doesn't need to hear about
  what happened in Greyspire.
Bosco:  (stands up on his stool, spotting the baby)  Oh.
baby Ariel:  (waves at the halfling with one tiny hand)  Boscaaaa!
Bosco:  Aww.
Belphanior:  (in a low voice)  Enough about Greyspire.  I'll have to
  tell Otto in a bit...he may not take it well.  (helpfully)  He used
  to work for Lord Marcus.
Peldor:  Aie.
Vinnie:  (walks through the room, a huge crate of supplies held firmly
  between his gigantic arms)  Hi, everyone.  (he heads out through a
  door to the basement)  Bye, everyone.
baby Ariel:  Vinn-eee.
Tanya:  Yes, dear, of course.
Alindyar:  (appears from thin air, with Lyra)  Greetings.
Bosco:  Aie!  (he looks around)  I wish you wouldn't do that.
Lyra:  (shrugs)  It's the way of things, Bosco.
Alindyar:  Aye.  Those such as us do not just walk in the front door.
Lyra:  Sometimes, we don't walk anywhere.
Bosco:  If it's not teleportation, it's flying or levitating...hmm,
  maybe it's time I started learning the wizardly ways.
Tanya:  Please don't.
Bosco: would be time for Bosco the Archmage.
Alindyar:  (ESPing to Lyra)  It will never happen.
Lyra:  (ESPing to Alindyar)  You've got to hand it to him, at least he's
  got ambition.
Peldor:  Bosco, thanks for finding Alindyar and Lyra so quickly, and for
  letting them know to come here.
Bosco:  (takes a bow)  I'm the best!
Alindyar:  Why have you asked us here?
Lyra:  (quickly)  Not that we don't like to see old friends...we were
  just in the midst of some very important research.
Belphanior:  I'm sorry, and thanks for coming.  All I want to do is
  find Mongo; I need to talk to him, and soon.  I was hoping he'd be
  here in Greyhawk, but apparently not...?
Alindyar:  That is all?
Lyra:  This is an easy one; Mongo's at Greyspire, helping Lord Marcus
  deal with the carnage.

next:       to Greyspire
released:   9/23/05
notes:      This feels like a catchup episode.  I'm sure some of you
  would like to see more of these non-central characters, but there's
  just not enough time and energy to write about everyone.  Still, an
  occasional appearance - which shows how they have changed since the
  last one - is better than nothing.

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