Lost Chapter #2

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                      *    THE ADVENTURERS    *
                    *                           *
                      *     Lost Tales...     *
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*    Many of the locations, non-player characters, spells, and      *
*  other terms used in these stories are the property of TSR, Inc.  *
*  However, this does not mean that TSR in any way endorses or      *
*  authorizes their use, and any such items contained within these  *
*  stories should not be considered representative of TSR in any    *
*  way, shape, or form.                                             *
*    The player characters contained in these writings are copy-    *
*  right 1991-7 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.ns.gatech.edu   *
+  Peldor       18th level human thief                          (N) +
+  Tanya         5th/10th level female human warrior/thief      (N) +
*  Date:        12/20/572 C.Y. (Common Year)                        *
*  Time:        midday                                              *
*  Place:       the Free City of Dyvers                             *
*  Climate:     cold                                                *
*  "What should I say to an invitation from a strange gentleman?"   *
*  "You should say yes!"                                            *
*                             - Honey Rider & James Bond, _Dr. No_  *

                   II.  When Peldor Met Tanya

  Peldor knew that there was something special about her the instant
he laid eyes on her.  It might have been her blazing red hair, which
contrasted the pale skin of her face and shoulders.  Or maybe it
was the way she carried herself - no weak and pampered city-dweller,
this woman.  Probably, though, it was the look in her eyes...both
confident and mischievous at the same time.  He hadn't seen a look
like that in...well, he just couldn't remember.
  He wouldn't ever forgive himself, he suspected, if he didn't at
least try...

Peldor:  (strolls up to the bar as if he owned the place)  My, they
  sure don't make bartenders like they used to.
bartendress:  Pardon?
Peldor:  The last dozen bartenders I've seen were all big, ugly,
  and hairy.  You're a most pleasant and surprising change.
bartendress:  (looking slightly miffed)  I should hope so!  But I'd
  better warn you, my friend:  flattery will get you nowhere.
Peldor:  What else can I try, then?
bartendress:  (smiles despite herself)  Try ordering a drink.  I
  can't stand here and talk to you all day, you know.
Peldor:  Uh...vodka martini on the rocks...shaken, not stirred.
bartendress:  (frowns)  Only what you see, pal.  What the hell's
Peldor:  Er, just something I heard about once.  Figured I'd try.
bartendress:  Try again, then, because I've never heard of it.
Peldor:  Okay, then...might you have any Celenean wine of recent
bartendress:  Now that we do have...every year from the last decade.
Peldor:  What do you recommend?
bartendress:  If I had the money-  (she looks him up and down with
  sparkling blue eyes)  -I'd go with the '69.  It's got a more
  pleasant taste, and goes down more smoothly.
Peldor:  Deal, then.
bartendress:  (wipes the bartop in front of the thief with a rag)
  Hang tight.  (she wanders over to a wine-rack and eyes the scores
  of bottles there)
Peldor:  (eyeing her)

  The woman was young, in her early twenties.  Though her skin was
pale, it didn't appear all that soft.  She had a certain suppleness
about her, suggesting that she was more than a simple barkeep.  Her
shirt was a thin, well-worn leather jerkin; breeches of the same
material covered her legs.  The high, scuffed boots she was wearing
seemed to confirm Peldor's suspicions - she was no complacent city-
dweller.  Her flowing red hair was downright fiery, such was its
luster and contrast with her beautiful face.

bartendress:  -your wine?
Peldor:  (breaks out of his trance)  Wha-  oh, of course.  Forgive
  me, I was daydreaming.
bartendress:  Happens a lot, I'd bet.  (she fills a glass and sets
  it before him)  Gold coin for a glass, five for the whole bottle.
Peldor:  (quickly plunks down several coins of gold)  Care for a
  glass yourself, since I've bought the bottle?
bartendress:  (smiles)  Don't mind if I do.  (she pours one for
  herself, and sips it)  Mm.  My thanks.
Peldor:  I don't mean to be forward, but I like to know who I'm
  drinking with.
bartendress:  What's wrong with being forward?  (she extends a hand)
  Tanya...pleased to meet you.
Peldor:  (takes her hand, finding it soft yet strong)  Peldor, of
  Greyhawk.  The pleasure is all mine.
Tanya:  You're a bit of a way from home, Peldor of Greyhawk.
Peldor:  Well, I only recently got back from a weird dimension-
  hopping adventure in which our entire group met our otherworldly
  likenesses, wandered a bit, then saved the world.
Tanya:  Uh...riiiight.
Peldor:  (shrugs)  Besides, I got tired of Greyhawk...found it too
  easy to win there.
Tanya:  Win?
Peldor:  Gambling.  I had a good run going-
Tanya:  (smiles knowingly)  And now you're here in Dyvers, to cause
  some more mischief?
Peldor:  Something like that.  (he smooths his mustache)  Problem is,
  I find that I have a better time when I'm not alone...
Tanya:  (smirks)  That tends to be the case with everyone.
Peldor:  Well, then, what do you say to-
Tanya:  'Scuse me a moment, I have customers down at the other end.
  (she hurries over toward several dirty, unshaven fellows who have
  just arrived at the bar)

  Peldor wondered why she didn't have some help, to run the bar.
This tavern (what had it been called?  Ah, yes, the Spinning Silver,
an odd and entirely foolish name for a tavern, to be sure) appeared
upscale enough that its owners could afford enough hired help.  That
was, unless Tanya owned _and_ ran the place?  Peldor reminded himself
to make sure he was careful not to accidentally say something that
might offend her, until he could find out.
  Speaking of Tanya, she was now engaged in conversation with the
new arrivals...

Tanya:  -have no grog here.  We don't serve horsepiss.
scruffy fellow#1:  (weaving as he stands there)  And why not?  (he
  takes a seat, shakily)
scruffy fellow#2:  (looking Tanya over appreciatively)  What're you
  doing after work?
Tanya:  (her eyes dart over to Peldor, for only an instant)  I'm not
  sure yet.
scruffy fellow#3:  (losing interest in this tavern, he gazes at the
  door and yawns)
scruffy fellow#1:  (grips the bartop to keep from falling over)  Urp.
  How 'bout beer, then?
Tanya:  Beer we have.
scruffy fellow#2:  (to Tanya)  How about spending the night on the
  town, with me?
Tanya:  I don't think so.
scruffy fellow#3:  (claps fellow#2 on the shoulder)  Time to leave-
scruffy fellow#2:  (ignores his friend, and leans close to Tanya)
  And why not?  I can show you a good time...a real good time.
Tanya:  (glares at the man)  I've seen your approach; now, let's see
  your departure, okay?
scruffy fellow#1:  (muttering to himself drunkenly)  Ale, then?
scruffy fellow#2:  (angrily)  Nobody blows me off and-

  Suddenly, the fellow somehow slipped (although the floor was well-
mopped and rather clean, as anyone with half a mind would easily have
noticed) and fell, his head hitting the floor, hard.

scruffy fellow#2:  Uh...(he falls unconscious)
scruffy fellow#3:  That's it.  (he gestures to the other man, and
  together they lift their friend to his feet and carry him toward
  the door)  Good day, all.
Tanya:  Bye now.
Peldor:  (watches, amused)
Tanya:  (wipes some drool from the bartop where the first fellow was
  sitting, then slowly makes her way toward Peldor, still shaking her

  For Peldor's part, he wasn't too sure if he should make his play
or not.  On the one hand, she was friendly enough, and might indeed
be interested.  She also seemed to be flirting with him, though an
awful lot of women flirted with men for no good reason.  On the other
hand, she had been nice to the three fellows who'd just arrived and
left, and in the blink of an eye she'd turned the one down.  Peldor
wondered if Tanya was married or otherwise unavailable; so many of
them were, even if they wouldn't admit it.
  Definitely a tough call; however, he had nothing to lose, and the
success rate for things one never tried was precisely zero.

Peldor:  Nice job, there.
Tanya:  Hmm?
Peldor:  Getting rid of them...the drunken buffoons.
Tanya:  Nah, they weren't that bad.  I've seen worse.
Peldor:  Oh?
Tanya:  One time these four goons thought it would be a fun idea to
  rob the bar.  I had to persuade them otherwise.
Peldor:  (wide-eyed)  Four goons?  No way!
Tanya:  (pulls back her left sleeve, exposing a long, white scar
  that runs across her shoulder)  I shit you not.
Peldor:  (leans closer)  Wow.  All this and you can fight, too.
Tanya:  All what?
Peldor:  (bites his tongue)  Uh, listen...do you think you might be
  interested in going out on the town tonight-
Tanya:  (shakes her head, smiling)  I don't think so.  You've been
  polite and kind - a complete gentleman - so I'll be nice when I
  tell you there's just no way.
Peldor:  (frowns)  But we were getting along so nicely!
Tanya:  (smiles)  I know - and let's keep it that way.  (she spots
  some more customers, noblemen this time, and walks down the bar in
  their direction, without another word)
Peldor:  (muttering dejectedly)  Damn damn damn...(he chugs the rest
  of his wine-glass, takes his bottle of wine, and heads for the door
  without looking back)  Played my hand, and lost...

  A few moments later, after serving the well-dressed gentlemen their
ale, Tanya looked back toward Peldor - and saw only an empty barstool.
She felt a little guilty; as she had pointed out, he'd been a perfect
gentleman during the entire time he'd been talking to her.  Still,
she wasn't ready to get involved with anybody, least of all someone
she'd just met.  What a lot of people didn't realize was that pretty
barkeeps (and barmaids too) got hit on and flirted with by dozens of
men each day.  You never really got used to it, but it got easier if
you just turned them all down.
  Still, there was something about him...she couldn't quite put her
finger on it.  She thought to herself that it was too bad he didn't
live here in Dyvers...and then she turned back to her work, and
forgot about the handsome, mustached customer for the time being.

  That night, Peldor set out intending to embark on a gambling spree
of colossal proportions.  He didn't really need the money; he was a
rich man now - richer than usual, at any rate.  A recent side trip
to a weird alternate world had paid off well, and he'd almost doubled
his money over the last week, while in Greyhawk.  In fact, he'd just
bought an entire inn from the old geezer who owned it.  Renovations
were in progress, but for some reason he couldn't comprehend (and
probably wouldn't admit) Peldor had left the work in the hands of
his contracted help, and then left Greyhawk entirely.
  Anyhow, his gambling spree didn't even reach moderate proportions.
Try as he might, he couldn't get in the mood.  The few attempts he
made to win some money ended in losses; it was as if he couldn't
concentrate.  Of course, he knew the reason why, even if he didn't
want to acknowledge it.  It was _her_; her of the flaming red hair,
the sharp blue eyes, the figure that a leather jerkin and breeches
couldn't hide...Tanya's image burned in his mind like she was here
right now.  He couldn't explain the attraction; it was simply there.
And apparently not mutual.
  That was a shame, because no matter what he did, or how much wine
he consumed, her face and voice wouldn't go away.  Forgotten were
the recent adventures on Oerth-2; forgotten was the tragic death of
Mongo's henchman, Flint Firelips; forgotten was Peldor's plan to get
the halfling Bosco's soul back from wherever the hell it was.  Only
one thing rose to the surface of his thoughts, again and again, and
her name was Tanya.
  Fortunately for Peldor, he passed out in the gambling-hall beneath
the fine inn he was staying at, and a benevolent barmaid had one of
the bouncers carry the thief's limp, snoring form up to his room.
He awoke late the next morning, hung over but still thinking of the
one woman he'd ever been attracted to for more than one day.  Tessa,
of Ulek, had been a mere fling (if a dangerous one.)  The assorted
noblewomen in Greyhawk whose company he'd been keeping of late...
these, too, were as nothing.  But Tanya...now, _she_ was different.
Then again, he hadn't shared a bed with her yet, either, so maybe
that explained it.  Somehow, though, he doubted that she could be
a mere one-night-stand.
  Whatever the reason, Peldor couldn't keep from going back to the
Spinning Silver.  Had an entire regiment of Dyvers' finest guards
stood in front of the tavern's doors, the thief still would have
found a way to get in.  Of course, no such blockade was in effect,
so he had an easy time walking through those double doors around
midafternoon, whistling to himself and bearing a large bouquet of
colorful and rare seasonal flowers...

bartender:  No, she's _not_ here.
Peldor:  But...but...
bartender:  She's off today, pal.  Must be your lucky day.
Peldor:  Well...if you tell me where she lives, I can just deliver
  these myself, and that'll be that.
bartender:  I don't think so.
Peldor:  Could I leave them here, then...so she can get them when she
  comes back to work?
bartender:  You could.  (he notes Peldor's wan expression)  Look, you
  seem like a nice enough kid.  Take my advice and leave her alone.
Peldor:  (jarred, he turns to regard the man)  Huh?
bartender:  She's too old for you, kid, and she's been through hell
  in her lifetime.  Leave her be, or you'll end up disappointed...
  maybe even heartbroken.
Peldor:  I...I can't.
bartender:  (frowns)  Your call, kid - but don't say I didn't warn
Peldor:  (hands over the flowers)  Tell her Peldor sent his regards,
  if you would, please.
bartender:  Sure, kid.
Peldor:  (leaves, dejected)

  It was all the thief could do to resist hunting for her home,
wherever it might be.  To be honest, he actually couldn't resist;
he knew that if he decided to look, it would only be a matter of
time.  That was the problem, of course:  time.  By the time he was
able to use his hat of disguise and his well-honed spying skills to
learn what he wanted, several days would have passed.  Also, there
wasn't really any way to track her down without turning some heads.
No, better to just wait and talk to her in person, rather than rush
into it.
  Still, he had to kill some time, and he was having a good bit of
trouble concentrating.  Thus, he went to the marketplace of Dyvers,
hoping to lose himself in the allure of new and foreign goods...and
perhaps amuse himself seeing what he could filch from unsuspecting
pockets.  Years might have passed since the young, foolish, needy
times - but he was still Peldor.

  Later, amidst the hustle and bustle of the markets and their
countless merchants and buyers, it was with some surprise that he
spotted a familiar, and most intriguing, red mane.  Tanya was at
a tailor's wagon, haggling over the price of some black garment.
Peldor took cover behind a fruit-seller's wagon, and watched and
waited.  She concluded her business quickly, and to her advantage,
judging from her smile and the expression on the tailor's face.
He followed her, discreetly and at a fair distance, as she walked
down the busy street.  Intrigued, he lost track of time; had some
rogue halfling reached into his pocket, he might not have noticed.
He watched Tanya examine some horses; he spied her testing the keen
edges of a half-dozen throwing daggers.  At one point, he gasped
and drew back behind a wall, fearful that he'd been spotted.  She
didn't seem to notice him, however, and shortly, he continued with
his surveillance as she moved on.
  Peldor was quite surprised when he rounded a corner, a good ten-
count after Tanya had, and found himself mere inches from the sharp
tip of her longsword!

Tanya:  Well, well.  I'll get right to the point-
Peldor:  Don't rush - I'm in no hurry.
Tanya:  Then why are you following me?
Peldor:  I stopped by the Spinning Silver, but you weren't there.
Tanya:  Of course I wasn't - I'm not working today.
Peldor:  I know that now.
Tanya:  But I did stop by there, a short while ago.  (she grimaces)
  Flowers?  You thought flowers would win me over?
Peldor:  Not necessarily.  In fact, I wasn't sure.  But it couldn't
  have hurt, right?
Tanya:  (frowns, and sheathes her sword)  Why do you persist so?
Peldor:  (smiles)  Because the alternative would be unthinkable.
Tanya:  Oh?  Is that so?
Peldor:  I'm afraid it is.
Tanya:  What can I do to make you stop chasing me, then?
Peldor:  Go out with me.
Tanya:  Out?
Peldor:  Just one time.  If you don't have fun, or if you decide you
  don't like me - or even if I collapse drunk in the street - I'll
  never bother you again.  One chance, that's all I ask.
Tanya:  (sighs)  You just don't give up, do you?
Peldor:  I'd rather not.  (he takes a step toward her)  Not when the
  treasure is in sight...
Tanya:  Whoa, there.
Peldor:  Don't tell me you didn't feel something between us...
Tanya:  My sword's sheathed, though that can change...
Peldor:  (advances another step)  I certainly felt it...a spark...
Tanya:  (smirks)  Spark?  What spark...?
Peldor:  This spark.  (he steps forth again, and sweeps her into his
  arms, planting a kiss firmly on her lips)
Tanya:  (wide-eyed)  ...

  Strangely enough, she didn't resist - though Peldor hardly noticed
that, in his excitement.  After a short time that didn't seem very
short, the kiss was broken off, leaving Peldor gasping for air and
Tanya flushed.

Peldor:  Whew...see, the spark.  Told ya.
Tanya:  H- how dare you...?!
Peldor:  (shrugs)  Peldors dare many things.
Tanya:  (looking slightly bedraggled)  You're a bold one.
Peldor:  When I want to be.  (he looks into her eyes)  Or when I
  have to be.
Tanya:  What you have to be, right now, is going.
Peldor:  (frowns)  But things were just getting interesting.  Why
  would I want to leave now?
Tanya:  (smiles)  Because I've got tonight off, and if you're going
  to pick me up, I'll need some time to get ready.
Peldor:  Yes!  (he pumps his arm in the air)  Yes!  (he looks at her
  and grins)  Yes!
Tanya:  Calm down, Peldor.  It's just a date.

  As it turned out, it was much more than a date.  Tanya, who had
gone a long time since meeting somebody who interested her, was
quite taken with Peldor.  He hadn't been lying when he mentioned
that spark - indeed, she couldn't deny it any longer.  Not only
was she physically attracted to the man, but they had quite a bit
in common.  He made her laugh.  He treated her like a princess,
which although inappropriate was still nice.  He seemed to get along
with anybody and everybody, and was damn good company.  He knew how
to gamble, and he knew an inordinate amount about thievery and the
related arts.  It was no time at all before they found themselves
discussing past escapades as if they had just happened.
  Tanya said yes to a second date, and that night - the next night,
and one when she had to work - flew by for her; that was how much
she was looking forward to going out.  Her doubts about Peldor now
seemed like long-fled whims now; he was almost too good to be true.
They had even more fun the second night than the first, and woke up
together the following morning.  And the next one, too.  Tanya was
quite surprised to learn that Peldor had purchased an inn recently,
and was about to re-open it for business...

Peldor:  I'll need a head bartender there...someone who can take
  care of herself and knows her wines...(he smiles)
Tanya:  (smiles right back)  You want me to just pack up and leave
  here, then?
Peldor:  (innocently)  The thought had crossed my mind.
Tanya:  Welllll...(she grasps his hand)  This is a good job, but I
  suppose I _could_ be talked into leaving...
Peldor:  My stock of booze will be double what the Spinning Silver
  has...as will my nightly income.  I can throw in accommodations,
  and a signing bonus, and offer a higher salary...
Tanya:  You're independently wealthy, then?
Peldor:  Not independently, but yes, I am.  And it's only going to
  get better.
Tanya:  You've got that right.
Peldor:  Eh?
Tanya:  I'm coming with you.
Peldor:  (smirks)
Tanya:  To Greyhawk!
Peldor:  (kisses her lightly, and relaxes, stretching)  This has
  been a damn fine week.
Tanya:  Really, now?
Peldor:  A _damn_ fine week.

next:      Otto, before he hooked up with Belphanior
ftp:       ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
           ftp.nol.net in /pub/users/zac/rpg/adventurers/
www:       http://www.access.digex.net/~dpm
homepage:  http://www.gatech.edu/oit/oe/design/thomas/adv.html
mail:      tmiller@cimmeria.ns.gatech.edu       (preferred)
           thomas.miller@oit.gatech.edu         (emergency)
notes:     This tale took place between episodes 144-145.

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