Chapter #98

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                                +
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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:    7/28/571 C.Y. (Common Year)                      +
+   Time:    shortly after dusk                               +
+   Place:   the fortress of the vampire lord                 +
+   Climate: chilly                                           +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   "Getting caught is the mother of invention."              +
+                                          Robert Byrne       +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





              XCVIII.  Good Invaders, Bad Place





  As most of the party lies imprisoned within a vampire
lord's castle, the trio of Ged, Peldor, and Lyra have found
the place and snuck in, searching for their lost companions.
However, they just entered a trap, a glasteel dome that was
lowered over the room they stood in, trapping them.

Igor:  (prancing around)  Where's the lever to make the
  gasss come?  Where did massster put it?  (finds a second
  lever in the wall, jumps up to grab it, but misses, as
  he is too short)
Ged:  Someone do something!
Peldor:  I'm on it.  (uses his ring to pull the lever
  that Igor pulled, raising the dome)  Ha!
Ged:  Attack, by Boccob!  (charges toward Igor)
Igor:  No!  no!  (jumps up and down in anger)  No fair!
  You weren't supposed to esssscape!  (points at the trio
  and looks at his ghouls)  Get them!
ghouls:  (begin loping toward the three adventurers)
Ged:  (brandishes his holy symbol of Boccob)  By the power
  vested in me, I turn you back.  BACK, foul slime!
ghouls:  (cower, and the closest nine of them dissolve
  instantly)  Aie!  Arrgh!  Sss!
Ged:  Let that be a lesson of Boccob's holy power!

other ghouls:  (about eight of them)  Sss!  (advance in
  the direction of the priest)
Igor:  (makes another grab at the lever, but hits his
  face against the wall and bounces back)  Ugh!  Damn!
Peldor:  (uses his ring to telekinetically trip the
  hunchback)  Whoops.
Igor:  (falls and hits his head)  Ow!
Lyra:  (casts Web upon the approaching ghouls, catching
  most of them)  Hah.
Ged:  (casts Burning Hands upon the webbed ghouls, and
  ignites them all)  Ah, what I wouldn't give for my
  trusty old fire wand to be charged up...
ghouls:  (burn, producing a horrible stench)  Raaaargh!
Igor:  Aiee!  Too much!  (flees in cowardice)
zombies:  (entering as Igor exits)  Ehr?
Igor:  (points to Ged and company)  Get them!
zombies:  (shamble toward the elf)  Rrrrhk.
Igor:  (runs out of the room)

Ged:  (casts Conjure Elemental)  By Boccob, I'll show
  you not to mess with me!
zombies:  (advance mindlessly)
fire elemental: (appears amidst the burning, webbed
  mess of ghoul bodies, and looks around)  ...?
Ged:  (points at the zombies)  Clear us a path through
  those things, pronto!
fire elemental:  (obeys, mowing through the zombies and
  igniting every one it touches)  ...!
Peldor:  (tk's a fleeing zombie back into the burning
  webs)  Nope.

  The trio followed the elemental's swath of fiery doom,
and entered the corridor by which Igor fled.

Ged:  (to elemental)  Stay.  (casts Wizard Lock upon the
  door, sealing it)  That should delay pursuers.
Lyra:  We've alerted the local undead for sure now.
Peldor:  Yeah.  We'd better get our rescue in motion,
  pronto, while we still can.
Ged:  Yea.  (to elemental)  Advance before us.  Fry any-
  thing that challenges you.
fire elemental:  (obeys, moving down the corridor)
Ged:  (he and the other two follow in the elemental's
  stead)

  The group descended another set of steps, and were then
faced with a choice:  three side passages branched away
from their current location.

Ged:  Hmm.
Peldor:  Which way to go?
Lyra:  Perhaps a spell?
Ged:  Exactly what I was thinking of.  (casts Locate
  Object)  Fortunately, I studied Arnold's sword for a
  time, before he came along and I gave it to him.  So...
  (concentrates)  Aha.  AHA!  (points to one passage)
  That is the way we must go.
Peldor:  For their items, anyway.
Ged:  Yea.

  They prepared to embark down that passage, when,
suddenly, fell cries were heard.  All three passages
swarmed with undead - ghouls, zombies, skeletons, and
other sorts as well.

Peldor:  Shit!  Attacked on three fronts!
Ged:  Boccob!  (to fire elemental; points to the middle
  passage)  Go forth and incinerate, great one.
fire elemental:  (obeys, and heads down that passage)
Lyra:  Perhaps we have the time...(begins spellcasting)
Ged:  (likewise)
Peldor:  (still hasted from before, whips out his wand
  of darkness and points it down one passage, shrouding
  it, and its undead, in inky darkness)  Hah!  Observe
  the magical might of Peldor, sufficient to usurp any
  of the so-called magi!
Lyra:  Shut up, you.

Ged:  (casts a Lightning Bolt into one passage)  Burn,
  foul undead!
Lyra:  (casts...Lightning Bolt, into the opposite
  passage)  Good choice.
Peldor:  (goes invisible)

  Both of the lightning bolts flew down their target
passages, burning to death any undead who were in the
way.  The elemental took the third passage, clearing
undead away slowly but effectively.

Peldor:  (invisible, dodges a ghoul and dashes down
  the passage that Ged indicated earlier)
Ged:  Ghoul?  (swats at the ghoul with his weapon)
Lyra:  Where did that thing come from?
Ged:  It must have slipped by the elemental...
ghoul:  (claws Ged, inflicting minor damage)  Sss!
Ged:  (backs up, and brandishes Lightbringer again)
Lightbringer:  Prepare to be destroyed, foul undead!
ghoul:  (blinks)

Ged:  (bashes the thing with the holy weapon, scoring
  a mighty hit)  For Boccob!
Lightbringer:  DIE!
ghoul:  (disintegrates)  Aaaaiiieee....
Lyra:  (looks around)  You might want to recall yonder
  elemental.  The passage is almost cleared.
Ged:  Yea.  (calls to the fire elemental)  Come back!
fire elemental:  (turns, tossing a blazing zombie husk
  aside, and begins to head back toward its summoner)
Lyra:  Say, where's Peldor?
Ged:  That idiot!  He must have gone off on his own.
Lyra:  Wonderful.  (looks down the two blackened,
  lightning-blasted passages)  Which was the one that
  you detected your henchman's sword in?
Ged:  This one.  (points to the left passage)  Come on!
  (they run into that passage)  Whoa.  (to the fire
  elemental)  Follow us!
fire elemental:  (obeys, keeping up with the pair, at
  a distance of about thirty feet)

meanwhile, somewhere below...

Rillen:  (in his chains, perks up as a distant sound,
  rather like that of an explosion, is heard and felt)
Mongo:  What was THAT?!?
Belphanior:  (rolls over, as another explosion goes
  off)  Wha...?
Arnold:  Baddle is happenink somewhere.
Flint:  And we can't join in!  Arr!
Rillen:  If there was ever a time to escape, now is
  that time.  (grips his chains and slowly begins to
  pull them, concentrating and mustering energy)
Mongo:  (yanks his chains, trying to pull them out of
  the wall too, but to no effect)  Grr...

somewhere, perhaps nearby...

Peldor:  (disguised as a ghoul, comes upon a ghoulish-
  type thing in front of a thick metal door; this is
  the only door he has encountered along this corridor,
  though he has passed several side passages, some of
  them filled with undead, which he evaded)
thing:  (turns, sniffing the air)  Sss?
Peldor:  (without hesitation, backstabs the thing in
  a mighty slash)  Hai!
wight:  (wounded grieviously, turns to face the thief)
  Weeeeeeiiii...
Peldor:  (becomes visible)  Shit.  (prepares for melee)
wight:  (charges)  Waaaaaa!
Peldor:  (deftly dodges, and hacks wildly, scoring a
  hit right in the thing's head)  Hah!  Take that!
wight:  (falls, dead)  Glurk...
Peldor:  (examines the door)  What's this?  No keyhole?
  (sheathes his sword and begins examining the door
  carefully)  A thick door...hmm, this could take a
  while.  Which I don't have...

meanwhile, somewhere above...

Ged:  Look!  Ghouls!  (points ahead)
ghouls:  (six of them, blocking the passage) Ssss!
Lightbringer:  Kill them!
Ged:  (raises his holy symbol)  Back, abominations!
ghouls:  Aieeeeee!  (all of them disintegrate, turned
  by the priest's mighty power)
Ged:  So much for them.  (they continue, the elemental
  having caught up by now)
Lightbringer:  I sense more undead nearby...
Lyra:  Beware!  (points ahead, to three mummies in the
  passage)
mummies:  Rrrrr!
Ged:  (not even pausing, raises his holy symbol again)
  Away with you, bandaged servants of evil!  Away!
mummies:  (all are turned, and flee, heading back the
  way they came)
Ged:  Heh.
Lyra:  Look, they went down a side passage...
Ged:  Nope!  My location spell points straight ahead!
  It is there that we must go; the side passages are
  nothing.  (they continue)
Lightbringer:  Ahead lies a-
spectre:  (appears)  Prepare to die, elves!
Ged:  (raises Lightbringer)  I think not.
spectre:  (backs up slightly as the morningstar begins
  to glow brightly, then sails toward Ged)  Woooooooo!
Lightbringer:  What are you waiting for?  Smash that
  undead!
Ged:  Yea!  Boccob!  (smashes the spectre with the holy
  weapon)
Lightbringer:  (shrieks in victory, and lights up with
  bright sun-rays)  Yes!
spectre:  (disintegrating)  AaaaaaaiiiiiEEEEEEE......
Lyra:  Excellent.
Ged:  Yep, I agree.  I wonder how Peldor made it by all
  these things, anyway?
Lightbringer:  Who can know the ways of fools?
Lyra:  Actually, he was either invisible, or disguised
  as a ghoul.  Or both.  Perhaps he has updated his
  disguise, to match the appearance of these latest,
  more powerful undead.
Ged:  Or perhaps it was just blind fool's luck.  Let's
  get moving again.
fire elemental:  (beginning to feel useless, follows
  the two elves)

meanwhile, somewhere below...

Peldor:  (having found that an illusion masked the key-
  hole of this door, he is hard at work picking the
  lock)  Aha!  (he detects, and disarms, a deadly gas
  trap, and then gets the door open after another minute)
  Eh?  Wha-  HOLY SHIT!





next time :  the rescue climaxes!

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

notes     :  2nd Edition maces of disruption don't turn the
           undead as 13th level clerics, they _disintegrate_
           them with success rates equal to those of 11th
           level clerical turning.  Technically.  That was
           my ruling - Lightbringer is a powerful weapon, as
           you will soon see.
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