Chapter #928

previous chapter (#927)                                                                  next chapter (#929)






                                     +
                                   +   +
                                 +       +
                               +           +
                             +               +
                           +                   +
                         +                       +
                       +      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       +
+   1991-2006 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 +
+   Jenna          9th level human female priestess of Istus              +
+   Otto           10th/13th level dwarven fighter/thief                  +
+   Razor Charlie  11th level human fighter                               +
+   Skektek        13th level human wizard                                +
+   wispy thing    strange, intangible sentient being                     +
+   Ys             14th level reptilian fighter                           +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   Date:          9/14/580 C.Y. (Common Year)                            +
+   Time:          late morning                                           +
+   Place:         a strange series of chambers, on the moon Luna         +
+   Climate:       moderate and dry                                       +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   "The attempt to combine wisdom and power has only rarely been         +
+    successful and then only for a short while."                         +
+                                                    - Albert Einstein    +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                   CMXXVIII.  Walking a Thin Line





  The adventurers have just awakened a strange, powerful winged being
from its forced slumber...

winged being:  FREE, AT LAST.  (he looks around, only seeming to notice
  the adventurers after a few moments)
Belphanior:  We just freed you from your imprisonment.
winged being:  (regards the elf, his eyes glowing with a golden light)
  YOUR WORDS RING TRUE, ELF...YET YOU ARE NO AGENT OF GOOD.  (he turns
  his gaze to all of them, in turn)  NONE OF YOU ARE, FOR THAT MATTER.
Belphanior:  I'm no agent at all.  I - we - are just explorers.
winged being:  THAT MAY BE, BUT YOU ARE ALSO READY TO ATTACK ME IF YOU
  DEEM IT NECESSARY.  (he regards Belphanior sternly)  THAT WOULD BE
  MOST...UNWISE.
Belphanior:  (shrugs)  We had no idea what would be within the bubble
  of force.  You could have been a demon or something - some trick by
  Xusia.  We're just playing it safe.
winged being:  THERE WOULD BE NO SAFETY FOR YOU, WERE I TO ATTACK.
  NEITHER YOUR WEAPONS NOR YOUR DEFENSES WOULD BE EFFECTIVE.
Skektek:  (smirks)
winged being:  (looks at him)  NO, NOT EVEN THAT WOULD HELP YOU, MORTAL.
  (looks at Jenna)  ESCAPE WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE AS WELL.
Jenna:  (wide-eyed)
Skektek:  Shit, he's reading our minds.
wispy thing:  (eyes the winged being, but keeps its distance)  pfsss?
winged being:  (regards the wisp)  HOW ODD.
wispy thing:  (makes an angry face)  eeeep.
Belphanior:  (holds both hands up, palms out)  We mean no offense - we
  just had to be cautious.  We freed you because it was the right thing
  to do.  Any enemy of Xusia's is a friend of ours-
winged being:  NOT NECESSARILY.  I SENSE A GREAT CHAOS ABOUT YOU, ELF...
  (he considers Blackrazor)  AND THE POTENTIAL FOR GREAT MISDEEDS.
Belphanior:  And I sense a distinct lack of gratitude.
winged being:  I THANK YOU FOR FREEING ME, BUT I CANNOT HELP YOU WITH
  ANY OF YOUR PLANS AND SCHEMES.  IT IS BENEATH MY STATION - LITERALLY.
Belphanior:  Well, perhaps you can tell us more about this place we now
  stand in...who built it, why Xusia was interested in it, what's behind
  that big thick door in the other room, and so on...?
winged being:  THIS IS THE MOON YOU MORTALS CALL LUNA, THOUGH YOU KNOW
  THIS ALREADY.  UNLIKE CELENE, THIS MOON IS DEAD; I WOULD NOT SUGGEST
  OPENING THAT PORTAL, AS IT MERELY LEADS OUTSIDE INTO A COLD, AIRLESS
  PLACE WHERE YOU WOULD NOT SURVIVE.
Belphanior:  Oh.  (to Skektek)  Good thing we didn't open it, eh?
Skektek:  (frowns angrily)
winged being:  AS FOR THE ARCH-LICH, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HIS PLANS WERE
  OR WHY HE WAS HERE.  AS YOU HAVE SEEN, I WAS A PRISONER.  (his gaze
  turns upward, as if he was suddenly thinking about something entirely
  different)
Belphanior:  How did Xusia manage to trap you?
winged being:  BASE TREACHERY.  (he stares at the elf, and Belphanior
  backs down first, somehow finding himself unable to meet that gaze)
  NO MORE QUESTIONS.  AGAIN, YOU HAVE MY THANKS FOR FREEING ME FROM MY
  FORCED SLUMBER...BUT WE SHALL NOT MEET AGAIN.
Belphanior:  Wait-
winged being:  (vanishes)
Belphanior:  Shit.
Otto:  Could he still be around, invisible or something?
Belphanior:  (scanning the room with his crystal eye)  No, he's gone.
Jenna:  (nods)  Agreed.
Otto:  No big loss there.  Do you know how hard it is to try and not
  think about anything at all, when you're in the presence of someone
  who can read minds?
Skektek:  (nods)  I hear you.
Belphanior:  Don't worry - I'm a little upset too.  You'd think that
  being freed from imprisonment would instill some gratitude, rather
  than attitude.
Jenna:  I get the impression that he's...above the sorts of things that
  we care about.
Ys:  Indeed, who can know the ways of angels?
Razor Charlie:  Was he an angel?
Belphanior:  (shrugs)  I'm not very familiar with that end of the
  "powerful creatures" spectrum.  Jenna, any idea?
Jenna:  Well, "angel" is a loose term that could describe any of those
  powerful beings of Good...avatars, planetars, solars, and probably
  other sorts we don't even know about.  But, given his power level, I'd
  say he was probably a genuine divine being.
Belphanior:  Well, at least we didn't piss him off.  (He remembers a
  certain attack on a certain cloud giant, more than ten years ago)
Skektek:  So do we believe him about the door, or do we try it ourselves?
Belphanior:  I think we should believe him.  Jenna, didn't you get a
  strong sense of danger from that door, the last time we were here?
Jenna:  (nods)  If there's no air on the other side, that would explain
  it.
Skektek:  I once read somewhere that the spaces outside our world, and
  between it and the moons, contains nothing but forces that can ravage
  bodies of flesh and blood, as if they were thin paper.
Razor Charlie:  Good reason to keep the door closed.
Belphanior:  Agreed.  We've seen, from the windows above, that there's
  nothing out there.  We can come back and try to go outside if we ever
  figure out a way to protect ourselves.  I'll put this on my list of
  things to research.
Elgon:  So what now?  We've already explored this entire place, and we
  took the magic items in the other chamber.
Belphanior:  Let's double-check the complex - every room, every nook
  and cranny.  There's a chance we missed something, so before we leave
  this time, let's make sure we found everything there is to find.

  In the past, there had been several times like this, where they did a
thorough search of one of these gateways but found nothing.  This time,
however, they were in luck.  Elgon found a metal scroll tube tucked away
in the upper chamber (the one with the windows.)  It contained a leather
parchment which held a wealth of information about Luna - some of which
made no sense to anyone present.

Skektek:  We'll have to study it further...or we could turn it over to
  Parekh and Pallin.
Belphanior:  (gets a strange look on his face)  No...let's see what we
  can get out of it.
Jenna:  But isn't Pallin an expert on stars and such?  His knowledge
  would be valuable for this-
Belphanior:  No.  (he shakes his head)  We don't need to go running to
  them every time we their help.
Otto:  We always have in the past.
Belphanior:  It...just doesn't seem right, somehow.  We need to do our
  own research, our own work.  (he looks around)  Okay, let's finish up
  here and get back home.  (to Elgon)  Good work.
Otto:  Good thing Bosco wasn't here.  He would have demanded three wishes
  from the thing for releasing it.
Belphanior:  (chuckles)  Okay, you made me laugh.

  As the others went about their tasks and prepared to depart, the elf
studied the leather scroll more carefully.  He wasn't sure about all of
the notes we was reading, but the document seemed to be a partial survey
of Luna.  It also contained some other measurements and calculations
involving the moon's distance to Oerth and other places...and this was
most intriguing.  Belphanior found himself wondering what plans Xusia
had held for this complex, for Luna, and for other such places.  This
seemed a mystery worth solving, to be sure.





next:       some downtime
gateways:   http://www.peldor.com/misc/gateways.php?chapter=928
ftp:        ftp.peldor.com
www:        http://www.peldor.com/download.html
homepage:   http://www.peldor.com/
email:      tmiller@peldor.com
released:   7/14/06
notes:      I've been putting it off, but sooner or later, I need to get
  back to the lost continent and make some progress on that plot line.
  It's not that I don't want to, it's that I have so much more fun with
  Belphanior and his group and his loose ends.  Judging from the fan mail
  I get and the postings on the forums, about 75% of you agree.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++




previous chapter (#927)                                                                  next chapter (#929)