Chapter #94

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                                +
                              +   +
                            +       +
                          +           +
                        +               +
                      +                   +
                    +                       +
                  +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                    +                       +
                      +                   +
                        +               +
                          +           +
                            +       +
                              +   +
                                +



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+    The various characters contained in these writings are   +
+  copyright 1993 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...                                     +
+                                                             +
+                            Thomas Miller                    +
+                            tmiller@cimmeria.gatech.edu      +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   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:    7/27/571 C.Y. (Common Year)                      +
+   Time:    shortly after dawn                               +
+   Place:   some plains somewhere northeast of the Yatils    +
+   Climate: quite chilly; grey skies                         +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   "They shall all drown in lakes of blood.  Now they        +
+    will know why they are afraid of the dark.  Now          +
+    they will learn why they fear the night."                +
+                                       Thulsa Doom           +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





               XCIV.  The Battle at the Tower





  The party has, in the last twelve hours or so, fought a
mansionful of evil monsters, a large pack of wolves and
werewolves, and a mob of undead.  Also, they have been
running during most of the time they weren't doing battle.
  Understandably, they are somewhat tired.

Mongo:  (snoozing against a wall)
Ged:  <yawn>  We'd better set a watch and some defenses.
  (casts a Wyvern Watch upon the tower's door)
Rillen:  Then those not on watch duty can get some rest.
Belphanior:  (already unconscious, due to his previous
  wounds)  zzz.
Alindyar:  (casts some defensive spell)  It seems most
  feasible that we may all rest.  Our magical warnings
  will alert us to any disturbances.
Peldor:  (yawns loudly)  Sounds good to me.
Lyra:  (looking upward)  This keep appears to have only
  one floor.  (looks into the rafters)  And a high roof
  too.  Most odd.
Rillen:  No windows, no ceiling-doors.  It should be
  safe to rest here.
Lightbringer:  (to Ged)  Since I don't have to sleep,
  I can warn you if I sense any foes approaching.
Ged:  Good enough.  (goes about casting his remaining
  healing spells upon those most in need of them)
Mongo:  (already well-healed thanks to his regeneration
  ring)  Zzz.
Flint Firelips:  Time to crash.  (unrolls a sleeping
  bag)
Arnold:  I am sleepdy.  (lies down on the ground, his
  sword still in hand)
Alindyar:  (along with Lyra and Ged, works to memorize
  the next day's spells before going to sleep)  'Tis
  not always easy being a mage...
Peldor:  (snoring happily, a line of drool coming out
  of his gaping mouth)  ZzzzZZZZZ.

  Thus, the adventurers finally got some well-deserved
(and well-needed) sleep.  It was late afternoon before
any of them awakened.  All was as before, except that
the group in general felt much better now that fatigue
had vanished.

Mongo:  Say, it'll be getting dark soon.
Rillen:  Those dead people will probably come back.
Belphanior:  (stands up)  Fuck 'em.  I feel great!
Alindyar:  We could flee this place, and search for some
  other shelter.
Peldor:  No good.  There's nothing in sight at all.
Mongo:  Yeah, it's not worth the risk.  Better to stay
  here, where we have a wall to help us.
Ged:  Well, the only thing we have to worry about is
  the door...
Mongo:  No problem.  Any two of us could defend that
  doorway against attacks from the outside.
Arnold:  (gearing up for battle)  I'm hungdry.

  The party ate a late lunch as they prepared for whatever
attackers might show up.  They waited for hours upon end,
but no one or nothing appeared to challenge them.  Before
they knew it, dusk had arrived.

Belphanior:  Where are these undead?
Rillen:  Maybe they found somewhere else to go play.
Ged:  Yea, or someone else to terrorize.
Flint Firelips:  Let 'em come!  My axe is ready for any
  of their slimy necks!
Mongo:  Yeah!  My hammer too!
Peldor:  Hey, to hell with that.  If they don't come back
  to fight, so what?  I for one could live without them.
  No pun intended.
Lyra:  None taken.
Alindyar:  (listening intently)  What is that sound?
Ged:  What?
Rillen:  A sound...like somebody moaning.
Mongo:  Hey, that's exactly what we heard before, when
  they attacked...
Belphanior:  (tying his sword handle to his hand with a
  strap)  Get ready, people.
Peldor:  (peers through the crack of the open door)  I
  see them!

  Everyone gathered at the door, looking to see what was
outside.  A horrifying sight awaited them:  a veritable
horde of rotting bodies swarmed toward the keep, from all
directions.  Some walked, others crawled, and a few were
being pulled by others, but onward they came!

Mongo:  Shit.  (slams the door, and Ged bolts it)  I'll
  defend the door, if they bust it down.
Rillen:  You mean "when" they break it down.  I am with
  you.
Ged:  Spell...hmm...I don't really have much of use to us,
  against the undead.  I am no necromancer.
Belphanior:  Don't sweat it.  Even the best spells for
  undead-fighting won't help when there are millions of
  them.
Peldor:  I wonder how many there really are?
Lightbringer:  I can sense the undead.  There must be a
  hundred, nay, hundreds of them!

  The first beating sounds came from the other side of
the door.  Momentarily, the sturdy door began to buckle
inward, as the adventurers knew it would.

Ged:  Aside!  I shall stem this tide of unsavory undead
  with a spell from the mighty Boccob!  (casts a Web at
  the doorway, blocking it utterly)
Mongo:  Hey, good move.  Now they can't pour in here
  like molasses.
Peldor:  To look at it another way, we have no exit...
Rillen:  Look!

  The web was slowly being forced inward, no doubt by the
collective weight of dozens of undead working in mindless
unison.  Strands of the sticky web-stuff began to snap.

Alindyar:  Never!  (casts his own Web, bolstering the
  first one)
Lyra:  (prepares a spell)  Maybe I can help.
Peldor:  The second web is holding.  No, wait!  It-
Mongo:  Shit!  They're getting through that one too!

  Sure enough, the second web only delayed the inevitable
for a short time.  Rotten limbs and heads began to poke
through rents in the web.

Lyra:  (casts a Wall of Ice, pushing back all of the
  undead intruders and sealing the doorway)  There.
zombie:  (not fast enough, gets crushed between the wall
  of ice and the tower's curved inner wall, a fate also
  shared by several of his companions)  <splurch>
Ged:  Most excellent.  I doubt that they can get through
  _that_.
Lightbringer:  Of course not, they're just undead.  What
  more can be expected of them?
Alindyar:  (suddenly falls as the ground shakes with
  some great force)  What in the hells...?
Ged:  (also falls, but Arnold steadies him)  Boccob!
Rillen:  (manages to keep his balance)  Something is
  shaky here...
Mongo:  (likewise keeps his footing)  Earthquake!

  Without warning, the tower's walls began to crumble,
the very stones groaning in protest as they were torn
by some great power.

Belphanior:  (cursing loudly)  Why in all the HELLS
  did someone have to make an earthquake happen at this
  very moment?!?!?
Alindyar:  Methinks the entire structure shall fall.
Mongo:  (ignores a small bit of stone that falls and
  bounces off of his helm)  What the hell's going on?!?
Rillen:  (dodges a falling flagstone)
Ged:  Some great evil is at work here, no doubt.
Belphanior:  Someone will die for this...

  The stones of the tower suddenly collapsed outward,
while the roof was whisked away, sailing through the
air and pelting various undead with rubble.  The party
realized the true enormity of their predicament as the
hordes of undead were revealed.

Belphanior:  Holy shit.  We may die here.  I mean, we
  may _die_ here.  (begins casting Stoneskin on himself)
Mongo:  Fuck it!  If I go, I'm gonna take as many of
  these undead sons-of-bitches with me as I can.
Flint Firelips:  And me too!  They won't get an easy
  fight!
Rillen:  (begins twirling his staff as the undead mobs
  close in)  Not an easy fight at all.
Arnold:  I have nevber seen so many dead people walking.
Lyra:  It's not a common sight, to be sure.  Stand fast,
  warrior.
Ged:  Spell support!  We need spell support!  (begins
  spellcasting)
Alindyar:  Aye.
Peldor:  (looks around, alarmed, and then uses his feather
  to haste himself)
Mongo:  (to Peldor)  This is it, kid.
Belphanior:  (puts away his sword and readies his staff
  of power, then changes his mind again and begins
  spellcasting)

  As the various sorts of undead attacked, the party met
them head-on!

Mongo:  (bashes a skeleton, smashing it apart with a single
  blow)  Chew steel, grave-breath!
Rillen:  (pops a zombie atop the head with his staff)  Keep
  away from me, rotten one.
Belphanior:  (casts a Flaming Sphere directly at a ghoulish
  thing)  Have some fire.
ghast:  Yeaaaaargh!  (runs around, blazing, somehow holding
  the sphere instead of letting it roll away)
Belphanior:  Hey, that'll work too.
Peldor:  Take that!  (slashes a zombie's leg off)
zombie:  (tries to walk onward, but falls, and is trampled
  by some of its fellows)  Uuuurgh.
Flint Firelips:  Yeah!  (decapitates a ghoul with a mighty
  blow)  How's that feel?  Huh?
ghoul body:  (wanders around in search of its head)
severed ghoul head:  (bites the ankle of a passing zombie
  and hangs on)  ssss.
zombie:  (ignores the ghoul head clinging to its foot)
Arnold:  (cuts down a zombie with a single blow)  Yah!
zombie:  (spasms wildly as it dies)
Ged:  (casts Evard's Black Tentacles at random undead in
  front of him)  By Boccob, taste ebon death, undead scum!
  (a dozen 10' long, black tentacles appear, and immediately
  wrap themselves around various undead)
skeleton:  (quickly crushed by a tentacle)
zombie:  (beset by two, gets squashed quite badly)  Uuuurp.
  (its brains squirt out of its nose and mouth)
ghoul:  (begins licking up the brains that spilled onto the
  ground; suddenly, a tentacle coils itself around its legs)
  Graaaar!  (slips in the brains and falls, crushed tightly
  by the magical tentacle)
skeleton:  (collapses, crushed by a tentacle)
ghoul:  (gets squeezed, then somehow saves, causing the
  tentacle to vanish)  Hsss.
zombie:  (constricted by one tentacle)  Errrruph.
ghast:  (nailed by two tentacles, falls to the ground,
  unable to move)  Ssss?
wight:  (assailed by three tentacles, struggles while they
  crush the life from it)
skeleton:  (crushed by a tentacle, perishes)
Ged:  Yea!  That sure got them!
Rillen:  Yes.  (swats a zombie, knocking it down, where it
  is summarily trampled by its fellows)
Belphanior:  (readies his staff)  Come on, motherfuckers!
Alindyar:  (casts Magic Missile at the nearest undead, a
  ghast, pelting it with magical bolts of energy)
ghast:  (five holes are drilled in its head and torso, and
  it looks down at one on them before falling)  Dugh?
Alindyar:  Bah.  I can surely find a more potent offensive
  spell to cast than that.
Flint Firelips:  (hacks at a ghoul, seriously wounding it)
  Taste steel, scum!
Peldor:  (slashes at a zombie, but misses)  Shit!
Lyra:  (casts a Lightning Bolt at a band of well-dressed
  leader-types among the undead ranks)
skeletons:  (about fifteen, give or take a few bones; they
  are in any case shattered instantly by the mighty bolt)
zombies:  (about a dozen; they are crisped by the bolt)
ghouls:  (seven; they are all roasted as well)
wights:  (three; all are seriously wounded by the bolt)
Lyra:  A mighty lightning bolt, that.
sub-vampire:  (wounded slightly by the lightning bolt)  Bah!
  Enough of this foolishness!  (sails into the air in bat
  form)  Scree, scree!
Mongo:  (slams his hammer into a ghoul, barely hitting and
  doing only superficial damage)  Die, you!
skeleton:  (claws at Mongo, doing minor damage)
skeleton:  (gropes at Mongo, doing no damage)
skeleton:  (claws at Rillen, but misses)
skeleton:  (gropes at Flint, but does no damage)
skeleton:  (claws at Arnold, but misses)
skeleton:  (gropes at Peldor, but barely misses)
ghoul:  (claws and gnaws at Mongo, ineffectually)
Arnold:  (swings his massive sword in a deadly arc, slicing
  a zombie into small bits)  Aaaaaa.
zombie:  (falls to the ground in parts, which writhe around
  on their own)
Rillen:  (looks over)  Rest in pieces.
zombie:  (reaches for Rillen, but misses)
zombie:  (gropes at Mongo, but can't damage the dwarf
  through his plate mail)
zombie:  (grabs for Arnold, and inflicts minor damage)
sub-vampire:  (in bat form, divebombs Ged)  Scree, scree!

Ged:  Aaaa!  (swings his flail, partly by instinct, and
  scores the vampire-bat a direct hit)  Boccob!
Lightbringer:  DIE FOUL SCUM!!!
vampire-bat:  Raaaargh!  (disintegrated by the power of
  the flail)
Ged:  All right!  What power I now possess!
Alindyar:  (notes some zombies passing through a gap in
  the warriors, headed for him; begins spellcasting)
Peldor:  (slashes a zombie, hitting it this time)  Never
  mess with the great Peldor, foolish rotten one!
Belphanior:  (uses his staff to cast a Fireball into the
  midst of the undead horde)  Eat that, shitheads!
Rillen:  (hits a skeleton, shattering it)  I wonder why
  someone has told all of these monsters to attack _us_?
Peldor:  Yeah.  What have _we_ done?
Alindyar:  Who can know?  (casts a Mirror Image, causing
  five duplicates to pop into existence nearby)
zombies:  (get confused and attack some of the duplicates
  instead of the actual drow)
Arnold:  Where did all of these drow come from?  (hacks
  at a wight, wounding it)
zombie:  (gropes at an Alindyar-image, as does another
  zombie; they end up hugging each other)
Belphanior:  Isn't that sweet?  (ducks a skeleton claw)
Flint Firelips:  (hacks at a ghoul, but misses)  Damn!
Lyra:  (casts Magic Missile, bombarding a zombie with
  four missiles)  I'm running out of offensive spells...
zombie:  (hit by the magical bolts, staggers backwards
  until it trips over a body and falls)  Glbh.
skeleton:  (claws at Rillen, but misses)
skeleton:  (claws at Peldor, wounding him)
Rillen:  (pops a ghoul in the face with his staff's tip,
  knocking it back a bit)  Out of my way, you.
Mongo:  (crushes a ghoul with two mighty blows of his
  hammer)  Get the hell away from me, flesh-eater!
Arnold:  (slashes a zombie, wounding it badly)
zombie:  (tries to hold its nearly-severed arm on, but
  fails, as the arm dangles to the ground, held on only
  by a few rotted tendons)  Burh?
ghoul:  (gropes for the arm, and gets it, ripping it off)
zombie:  Brrraaaaaugh!
ghoul:  (munches on the arm happily)
Peldor:  (slashes a skeleton, perchance slaying it)  We
  had better get out of here before they overrun us...
Arnold:  Budt where can we go?!?
Peldor:  I don't know, but we've got to do something!!
zombie:  (claws Rillen)
zombie:  (claws Mongo)
zombie:  (claws Peldor)
zombie:  (claws Flint)
zombie:  (misses Belphanior)
Rillen:  I agree with you, thief.

  Suddenly, there was a voice from somewhere within the
undead horde.  It boomed above all the racket of battle,
clearly announcing the arrival of a force to be reckoned
with.

vampire lord:  (floats above the undead on the ground;
  he is wearing fine clothes, and a black cloak swirls
  about his body)  ENOUGH OF THIS FOOLISHNESS!
Ged:  Who the hell is that?!?
Lightbringer:  Sounds like the leader to me.  Let's
  get him!  Smash him!
vampire lord:  (begins spellcasting)
Alindyar:  (begins spellcasting)  We must stop that one.
Mongo:  (has sort of wandered a bit away from the main
  party, but has also built up a pile of undead bodies
  around himself)  Fuckin' undead!  (blocks a swipe by
  a ghoul)  I'll kill you all!
Rillen:  (smashes a skeleton)
Peldor:  (misses a wight)
wight:  (misses Peldor, fortunately for the thief)
Mongo:  (creams a ghoul with a single blow, sending its
  broken body sailing over the heads of its companions)
other ghouls:  (turn and watch as the body hurtles by)
vampire lord:  (points at Mongo and casts a Power Word,
  Stun)  Icthar!
Mongo:  (instantly stunned, falls to the ground)
ghouls:  (hungrily swarm over the dwarf's body)
vampire lord:  (to the undead in general)  I said I
  wanted them ALIVE!  You idiots!  (swoops down and grabs
  a ghoul by the neck)  Alive!  (hurls the ghoul aside;
  but it is already dead, its neck crushed like a twig)
other ghouls:  (cower in fear)  No, master!  No!
vampire lord:  Take this one's armor and weapons, and
  prepare him for our journey.  And do NOT damage him
  further!
Ged:  (headed toward the vampire, swinging his weapon
  anxiously)  Prepare to meet Boccob, vile one!
vampire lord:  (waves his hand, and some ghouls heed
  his command, attacking Ged)  Not this time, priest.
Ged:  (bashes a ghoul, disintegrating it)  Get the hell
  out of my way, minion!
ghoul:  Aieeee!  (becomes dust)
Lightbringer:  Flee, vampire!  We shall destroy you!
vampire lord:  Interesting weapon you have there, elf.
  (floats up into the air)
Rillen:  (assaulted by six zombies at the same time,
  he in finally overrun, and loses his staff)  You
  creatures will not take me alive!  (punches one of
  the zombies, stunning it)
zombies:  (pummel and claw the warrior mercilessly)
vampire lord:  I said ALIVE, you mindless fools!
zombies:  (cease their pummeling of Rillen)
Rillen:  Ha!  (kicks two zombies in an amazing split
  kick maneuver)
zombie:  (grasps Rillen's throat and tries to choke
  him)
Rillen:  Aaaaargh.  (grabs the zombie's throat and
  begins crushing it)
Flint Firelips:  (hacks a zombie in half)  Damned
  stinkin' undead!
Alindyar:  (casts Feeblemind at the vampire lord)  It
  is time to lose your mind, evil one.
vampire lord:  (ignores the spell)  I think not.
Alindyar:  Impressive.  Most impressive.
Lyra:  (her spell gets ruined by the swipe of an
  undead claw)  Damn!
Rillen:  (holds his opponent in the air above him, and
  snaps its neck)  <cough>
Belphanior:  (fires Magic Missiles from his staff,
  obliterating a ghoul which stands before him)  Bah.
  Enough of this staff shit.  (hefts his sword)  Come
  and get it, suckers!!!
zombies:  (move to attack the elf)
Arnold:  (slices a skeleton in half merrily)
skeleton:  (claws the warrior)
Arnold:  Aaaaagh.
Peldor:  (misses the wight again)  Damn it!
Rillen:  (punches another zombie, erasing its face)
skeleton:  (claws Rillen)
Rillen:  Aaargh!

vampire lord:  (casting a spell)
Ged:  Shit.  (begins casting his own spell)  To me, my
  friends!
Belphanior:  (to himself)  What is he talking about?
  (to the zombies attacking him)  Do you know?  (slashes
  one's chest open, revealing a nest of maggots)  Ugh,
  never mind.
Rillen:  (to skeleton)  I have a bone to pick with you.
  (kicks the thing, shattering it)
Alindyar:  (casts a Wall of Fog around the vampire lord)
  Perhaps that will buy us some time.
Lyra:  Maybe.
Peldor:  (finally hits the wight)  Yeah!
wight:  (recoils in pain)
Peldor:  You'd better run!  (chases the wight, until he
  realizes that it's not fleeing)  Uh oh.  On guard!
wight:  (snarls and stalks Peldor)
vampire lord:  (emerges from the fog)  Bah.  I have seen
  more fog than you ever will, drow.  (casts a spell, and
  thick rolling vapors appear amidst the adventurers)
Ged:  (simultaneously casts his own spell, a Wall of Force,
  in sphere form; it encases those who happened to be in
  range:  Ged himself, Flint Firelips, Lyra, Peldor, and
  the wight too)  Aha!

  The rolling black fog quickly coalesced into several
thick, amorphous tentacles of huge size.  These wasted
no time in finding adventurers to grab; Alindyar, Arnold,
Belphanior, and Rillen were suddenly held fast!  Ged's
wall of force kept those inside safe, but they could
only watch as the gaseous arms assaulted their friends.

Rillen:  Urgh!  (struggles to escape, but cannot break
  free of the smoky appendage)  Argh!  It has me!

  The smoke-tentacles grew even darker, and totally
covered their victims.  Then, they vanished, as did the
people they held!

Lyra:  Alindyar!  (pummels the wall of force)  Alindyar!
Ged:  Boccob!  They're gone!
Flint Firelips:  We're fucked for sure now.
Peldor:  (slowly turns and looks at the wight inside the
  force-bubble with him and the others)
wight:  (slowly turns and looks at Peldor)
Ged:  (looks at both of them)  Hey!  Where'd that thing
  come from?!?
Flint Firelips:  (hacks at the wight, pushing it back
  somewhat)  Away, you!
wight:  Ssss!  (menaces Peldor and Flint)


vampire lord:  A wall of force, eh?  Child's play.  (he
  begins spellcasting while still floating in the air)
Ged:  Shit.  (hastily begins casting his own spell)  I
  must beat him on the draw, here.  Clasp hands, quickly
  now!  Boccob, grant me the power to pull this off with
  all these people
Peldor:  (grabs Ged's hand)  This doesn't mean we're
  engaged or anything, does it?
Ged:  (spellcasting)  Quiet, fool.
Peldor:  (grabs Flint Firelips with his other hand)
Flint Firelips:  Don't even say anything, thief.
Lyra:  (clasps Ged)  Alindyar!
wight:  (somewhat confused, reaches for Peldor)
Peldor:  Hey!  Aaaaa-
Ged:  (completes his spell)

  Instantly, Ged, Peldor, and Lyra vanished into thin
air.  A very surprised Flint Firelips was left in the
bubble of force with the wight.

vampire lord:  (disintegrates the wall of force with his
  spell)  So!  Some of them have escaped!  No matter.  I
  have more than enough with these others.  (gestures to
  the now-unconscious Mongo, and to Flint, who is beset
  by a dozen big zombies)  Troops!  We are going!  (flies
  to the ground, and walks away, slowly, followed by the
  undead and their prisoners)
Flint:  (quickly gets beaten into unconsciousness, though
  not before slaying several zombies)
hunchback:  (gapes and cackles as he follows on the heels
  of the vampire lord)  Master!  Massster!  Where are the
  other ones!  What did you do with them?
vampire:  Silence, Igor.  They will find themselves in a
  most unpleasant place when they awaken...my dungeons!
  BWAH-HAH-HAH!!!
Igor:  Ha ha ha!  (trips and falls over a small boulder)





next time :  Where are the last three adventurers?

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

notes     :  I was into stupid, comical undead long before
           _Army of Darkness_ came out.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++




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