Yet more fan mail...

Some Fan Mail from episodes #451-475...




hey thomas,

i like the way this adventure is introduced.  it's the way high-level
adventures should be introduced.  the only other way would be from a
god or king...

now, are you going to have an equally strong adventuring force on the side of
orcus to seek the wand and then a battle royale on the island or what?  the
suspense is killing me!

matt h.



And so it begins! There were a lot of good things about this episode, even
though nothing really happened:

	Rary and the Despotrix - I could only think "Grovel, bitch!"
	when I read this interaction, and smiled. I'd really love to
	see how the Greyhawk Thieves Guild is doing without Peldor
	and Norg. They lost their two best people within a few weeks,
	and ought to be realizing the magnitude of their loss by now.

	Mongo getting offers from other powerful leaders. His reputation
	has to be growing, and rulers need quality people! It also
	shows how the team doesn;t follow up on every chance they get
	to seek and explore, although Mongo is quite an exception.

	Songa wanting to go on the adventure, but not Rillen. This makes
	perfect sense: Rillen left the group because he tired of that
	sort of life, while Songa's never really experienced it before.

	I think there's a tie in with this story and the demon thing that
	Peyote, Halbared, and Mongo encountered, but didn't stop, and I'm
	anxious to see it all come together.

Leonard



The brothers didn't really do much.  A future feature of foolishness
would suit them better.  I liked Ged's tale though it wasn't a edge of
your seat adventure.

Rance



Untrue!!!  I loved them all!

Bosco and his brothers were a pleasant diversion, but it is true that the 
storyline was plain.  It does add a bit to Bosco's history, and for that 
it was a wonderful addition to the collection.

As far as Ged goes...it was a funeral...  Usually you don't talk about it
much afterwards... :]  It was well written though and once again fleshes 
out and brings even more to life one of the adventurer's that we all love.

Patrick



Most of the time, I'm just too busy to write comments. Before you go and kill
the Ged storyline, though, I want to tell you that I for one liked it and am
curious to see what will become of his family next.

Oh, and is there a long form of Ged's name?

-- 
Lars



Ahh, the story 500 plot begins.  I'm looking forward to it.  


I was once in a party trying to stop a bunch of evil priests from
summoning Orcus to this plane.

We didn't quite stop them in time. 

We rolled up new characters the following session.

Jim


It wasn't a matter of not liking them, it was more that there wasn't so much
action/adventure in the stories or something readers could put their finger
on as a surprise or definite *active* plot development.  Ged's father dying
gives you lots of room to work with his character, but the immediate payoff
wasn't there.  Of course, that's the nice thing about an extended serial --
you have the time to make it pay in later stories.  The same goes for
Bosco's family.  You don't need to kill one of them off to make it engaging,
but I kind of hoped they would pick a target and compete to pull off the
best robbery.  Or perhaps hold a family-only card tournament?  Surely Bosco
isn't the only player in the clan and the invective could be quite amusing
as the chip stacks fluctuate.

Curt




Not true, I thought the Ged story was very good. I just didn't
know if you were going to come back to it or not.
In fact I think you are still improving as a writer. I have meant
to say something to you, but I have not had much time as of late.
You stories are still diligently searched for every time I
open my mailbox!!!

I look forward to your trip to the abyss. Ahhh brings back fond
memories of my group.....

Greg



Sorry..... Actually the brother's idea is very good, just nothing really
happened, put them into an action story and a lot could be done with them,
imagine trying to take on them ....
And in regard to Ged's family I was expecting this story to pan out more...
--
   Kerry
   
   

I was waiting for something to happen on the Bosco-brothers story arc. I 
really like Bosco and having him and his brothers do something would be 
cool. But where you left them, well, they haven't done anything except be 
introduced to us. I think when you continue that story arc and have them do 
something people will comment.

As for The Ged/Spindrift Isles stuff, it was a very open/shut story. Cool 
and descriptive but not real exciting. 

Both of these story arcs, the little we have seen of them,  seem to be great 
jumping off points for stories while not being strong stories in their own 
right.

I enjoyed the Peldor story arc a lot. And Belphanoir's motley crew is coming 
along nicely, especially Ys. He rocks.

Arcane



Well, one Bosco is more than enough, IMHO.  A nice diversion, but not
a huge issue.  Imagine the chaos when each of the siblings adopts
a few ferrets...

The Spindrift story was a nice departure -- excellent writing, and
very moving.

Even though you might not get as much feedback from stories that
are exceptions from normal adventures, we'd definitely miss them if
they weren't there.  It's what sets The Adventurers apart from just
an AD&D campaign journal.

Keep up the excellent work!

- Edward


I liked both of them. But I seem to like everything you write...

//Christer



Thomas,

	I, for one, was looking forward to the Bosco thread.  I figured 
that the Green Dragon was about to be transformed into a full-blown 
casino.  I also liked the Ged story, mostly because of the description of 
the island.  Which of the sisters was the captain of the ship during the 
Rune quest?  I hadn't bothered to go back to the old stories yet to find 
out, figuring it would come out in one of your current stories.

-Tony

p.s. Are Peyrote and Halbarad included in this current quest?  How about 
Yod or the others from his party?  It seems like something this big would 
be of real concern to druids - what with it upsetting the balance and all...
It would be cool to see Ys, Mongo, and Yod fight together.  I don't think 
there is much that could stand up to them for more than a couple rounds.

Tony


I dont think it is so much that people didnt like the Ged family story, or 
the bosco brother story, but more likely that those two paths didnt " go" 
anywhere. You introduced BOsco and his brothers in one episode - that's 
nice, so what? not much to comment on it.

Same with teh Ged family - ged goes home, dad dies - not a lot of room for 
comment - I thought the story might lead somewhere else - more 
reconciliation with his family, some sort of politics involved after dad 
dies - none of which you wrote about.  Therefore not a lot to comment on.

On a side note about episode 475 i think - I thought flamestrikes only 
worked outdoors - I don't have any way to check this, but just wanted a 
clarification.

Note that none of these comments are bad, just thought I'd point out why 
maybe you hadn't gotten any feedback - I kept thinking both story lines 
would develop into something.

Damon



Not so.... Ged's sojourn was an interesting peek into an otherwise solitary character..   The Bosco-brothers .. well I've never been a big fan of halfings so I'm a tad biased.

P.S.   476+ proves to be an entertaining arc.  Glad it was the Wand of Orcus and not the Wand of Seven Parts (which was a truely stinky TSR novel BTW).

Wayne



Actually, I think that if you had done something with the brothers, more
comments would have been forthcoming.  We've all known that he cam from a
large family, so there was no surprise there, but what adventures did he
and his brothers get into when they visited?  As far the Ged story goes,
well, I've always liked him (even at his most annoying), so seeing a bit of
his family was interesting to me.  But again, not much was done while he
was there.  He went, he talked briefly with his siblings, and we learned a
great deal more about his background.  Not that this kind of character
development is unwanted, but that type of story pales next to the other
arcs that you were writing at the time.  If I were to comment on a batch of
stories, I would comment on the ones most interesting to me, or the ones
that I felt needed the most clarification.

In short, they were worthy episodes in the saga - and even necessary if you
care to view these chronicles in a certain way - but they lacked some of
the action of parallel arcs.  I think some of us were waiting to see what
you did with the brothers, and most of us were satisfied with the facet of
Ged's story that you revealed and thought it needed no comment.  Don't let
this discourage you, all characters need development if they are to remain
the lifelike people we've come to expect.

As I'm sure everybody is writing to you, you do a more than adequate job of
writing the saga, and we really do appreciate it, even the non-action
parts.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
George



YES YES YES!!! Finally, all the group back together again and headed
for a doozy of a place.  My guess is the Isle of the Ape, with a 
slight modification concerning the wand.  If we are lucky enough
then maybe you could extend the line to encompass H4 the The Throne
of Bloodstone (or whatever it's called), the one where they go into
the Abyss and take on Orcus in his own home.

I'm very eager to read how you are going to handle this, it was a great
set of modules to go on as players and it should be exciting to read
about how the adventurers handle it.

I'm hoping Peyote and Halbarad are going to be included in the summons
by the circle of 8. They would be a definite advantage on a tropical
Isle.

I look forward to you next episodes with great anticipation!

			Keep up the good writing

				Marc




Well, the Bosco brothers one was alright, but not too terribly interesting.
I assume that it will someday become important.  Same with Ged & kin;
important someday, but not as yet.
  I love this one so far, mostly because aught that requires all of the
adventurers must be interesting, cool, dangerous, fun & most definitely
exciting.  I remain

Yours,
Robert Uhl



Actually, I liked the Ged story very much. Bosco's brothers weren't
developed enough to become deeply intriguing, and lacked the same aura
of mystery Ged already had going for him. That isn't to say that they
couldn't work very well for you if given a sustained storyline some time.

Joe



I wouldn't go that far. I happen to like most things you write.
In particular

+  Aristobulus  grey elven warrior/mage/thief                  (CN) +

I noticed this character that I read about a couple of years ago
(not by yourself I think) but whose story had never been finished
(to my knowledge) was brought back by you I thought that was
pretty neat.

Keep up the good work I have been following your stories since
the beginning.

-Joe



To reply to your latest notes:

The Bosco-brothers seemed humorous, but you really didn't do much with
them, nor is there a feeling of "knowing" them like we know bosco.  They
added a bit of color but I was waiting for some action other than an
intro.

The Ged family story arc was nice, a bit of depth to his personage.    Yet
again, the individuals introduced were interesting but no story was developed
beyound an intro.  What happen to Peyote and company continuing the chase of
the evil that escaped them?

The Mines with Bel was a nice story.  I'm very pumped about the new quest
requiring the entire team.

Vic



I liked 'em just fine. Spindrift was good solid stuff. I just 
couldn't think of much relevant to say about it or Bosco's 
siblings.

This one looks like it is shaping up to be interesting.

Glen



Here's some comments on recent storylines.

Ged's journey: Ged was my favourite character when you still played, but
he's not very active anymore (quite understandable). I still enjoy the
stories where he appears. Quite a family he has.

Monster in the mines: What started out as a typical monster bash in
dungeon ended up having an excellent ending. I loved 'The Thing' movie
and that combat was superbly done.

And this Wand of Orcus storyline has started out great.

Eagerly waiting for the next episode

ElfLord



Well, shucks.  I was going to comment, but didn't get around to it.  I'll
tell you this: I got a big kick out of seeing Aristobolus show up as Ged's
brother as I thoroughly enjoyed the series of stories about that grim elf!
Do you know what ever happened to the author of that series?

 - Peter
 
 
 
Oops, this fan better send some appreciative email. :)

While I found the Bosco-brothers arc fun, I thought some of the names
a bit, um. But then, I guess part of Bosco's charm is how surreal life
gets around him!!! :D

Ged's family was good fleshing-out material for him. Aristobulus was a
nice touch (wonder who remembers him these days - never did manage to
find out if more than the 18 or so episodes I've located have been
written about him). 

--
Shane



I actually liked this storyline very much. Especially the fact, that
_Aristobulus the Dark_ was one of Geds siblings struck me as a funny
thing :)! Also, the power structure at the isles was interesting and the
point that Geds father had been one of the leaders. I was left to wonder,
will one of Geds siblings take Geds fathers place at the council or not...

Kaitsu

Email: kakimppa@utu.fi
   or: kakimppa@kirja.tku.fi

P.S. Did you contact the writer of the Aristobulus saga about making Ari
Geds brother (Or was it _you_ who wrote it)? Is it possible, that there
will be more stories about Ari? It kind of ends in the middle of the
story...



Ho, Thomas,

Sorry for not writing, but after reading this, I knew it was time.  I've 
been meaning to write you each time the Braves won another (although they've
had some bad turns the past two nights...).. Anyway,

I looooved the Bosco/brothers and Ged family stories.  I thought they were 
interesting and meaningful in different ways: One provides great comic 
relief (which is always welcome from Bosco) and the other shows how well you're
starting to flesh out each of the characters.

I think you must find Ged nearly the hardest to handle for two reasons: his
piousness, which I suspect you don't really share (as I don't) and because 
you've stated that his player intended for him to be arrogant and haughty,
which I imagine is quite difficult to portray in writing... much easier to be
an asshole in person, I say! :)

Anyway... the new story arc has me very excited about getting to #500!  I'm
looking forward to having the whole group together again.

One final note: Doesn't Belph have 5th, 6th and 7th level spells??? He always
seems to use Blackrazor, a handy wand, or perhaps 'Fireball'.  What about 
the big boomers??? :)

Cheers, and keep on writing! (Please!)

Dave



My favourite character is Ged actually, and I was a little dissapointed
he hasn't seen much of your attention of late. His short trip to see his
father die wasn't quite as exciting as the other adventurers stories
perhaps.

However now we have a quest for good on the cards, I imagine he will take
more part in the action as he "is" the priest, and Orcus is master of
undead.

It might even be wise to take the paladin Ged accompanied previously with
them.

Bosco I find amusing in short bursts, maybe I'm getting too old :)

I do very much enjoy your stories and when the Co8 appear it makes my day
to be quite honest with you. Thanks.

Jonathon



I saw that in 476, you noted that you hadn't gotten much in way of
comments on Ged's father dying, and interpreted it as if "we", your
readers (so to speak) didn't like it. Well, I can only speak for myself,
but I must admit I've always felt that Ged was the person with the least
prominent personality - he's this elf, you know, and he can cast spells
and stuff. ;) I felt that the background on Ged was ... comfortable,
knowing that he had siblings, and that he did have somewhat strained
relations with at least some of them, and so on. It's just that there
wasn't much to comment, if you know what I mean ;) My favourite character
is (not very original, but still) Belphanior, with Mongo as a runner-up ;)
I like Mongo because he's so tough - you just gotta respect a guy that can
get his arm chopped off, and then hold it in place with his other arm
while his regeneration powers work their magic ;) I would have been scared
witless (and quite probably dead) if something like that happened to me ;)
And Belphanior's ... Belphanior.

Jens-Arthur




Hiya Thomas

Yiiiiiippppppiiiiieeeeee!!!  Yaaaarrrrrhhhhhoooooooo! Whhhheeeeeeeeeeee!

Big demon problems, the wand of Orcus, Orcus himself, the Adventurers
rejoined. You have made me sooo happy, . (a tear rolls down one
cheek)

I don't know if I'm flattering myself, but if you threw in the ol' skull
head wand due to my earlier whimsical remembrances then thankyou very, very
much.

(Maybe I should start the subliminal references to Tiamat now... ;-) )

I am so happy that I'll just say that I really liked the 'Tiny Terrors' ie
the Bosco brothers. It would be nice to see all of them in action together
doing their own quest. Unfortunately I can imagine that they are
exceedingly difficult to write for. One man's brain can't contain all that
creative chaos!!!

It's a shame but I think it would be too much work to include them on this
upcoming major epic. Although you could have Peldor tearing his hair out
when he sees what they've done to the Green Dragon Inn!?

The part in 476 where Rary leans on the Despotrix gave me a laugh too. It
just goes to show that no matter how powerful you are, there is always
someone bigger than you who can make you roll over like a puppy...

Pete



     I have to apologize for not letting you know, but even if no one else 
     liked the below mentioned story arcs, I did.  The Bosco-brothers has 
     me wondering what kind of trouble will befall the great Green Dragon 
     Inn, but the one of Ged and his family was very good.  It gives us a 
     small look at what helped make Ged what he is today, and also helps us 
     to understand why he is as solitary with his feelings as he is.
     
     The Dawg



Hi Thomas!

I am a firm fan of your "Adventurers" series of stories.  I originally
found the first hundred or so on the "Giga Games" CD-ROM, which I think you
have heard of.  Having read up to #106 or so, I was desperate to find the
rest of the episodes.  My search has now come to an end, and I am settling
down to read Adventurers #107 onwards.

I just thought I would email you to say what en excellent set of stories
these are, and that I have thoroughly enjoyed them.  I have passed them on
to a friend of mine, and he and I are in agreement: Belphanior rules
OK...but Peldor is a close second.

Regards
Matt


Well, there was not much to say about them. In fact, I only remember them
showing up and drinking at the Green Dragon. Hmm.. Mabey Im missing
a few epsiodes.

As for Ged. What can anyone say? "I really liked the episode where Ged's
father died. It was uplifting and made me smile?" :_)

However, I did like the background on both families, perhaps we will
see more of them? Plus, are we ever going to find out Peldors background?
All I see to remember is that he woke up outside of Fax with no memory.
Oh Well...

I think people are quiet because there is not much to say.

-Jeff




Hello,

As a follower of your stories since the first, let me congratulate you on
having not only much better stories now than then, but for continuing to
share them with us :)

I sometimes qualify as a "lurker" in the various story newsgroups, and 
sometimes am broken out of that as I should be once in a while.

I think that you might be surprised at how many people did enjoy the sections
on the "Brothers of Bosco", and the Ged family sections as well.  Though they,
for me at least, seemed more like tie together stories that work very well
at allowing you to broaden not only the depth of the characters, but also 
give you whole new areas for plot and story development.

I for one, never mind flashback sequences if done tastefully and with
relevance to the current story.  You now have the chances to show both Bosco
and Ged while experiencing new adventures, how they were molded when they
were younger in ways that allow them to act the way they currently do. 
Granted, flashbacks in the middle of major action can be annoying if not done
correctly or overdone, but say after a battle or a trying day, Bosco or Ged
are doing something quieter, say Bosco is cleaning up around the casino, and
he finds either a ball, or some item left behind that would remind him of
his childhood with his brothers.  Or Ged would be getting ready for bed and
or preparing to start something similar, and remember something.  

Sections like you did for Bosco and Ged are better than some of the plots
you have used for other story parts, for most stories all you can hope for is
that the parts fit well, the story flows with just the right amount of
action and suspense, and there is a good ending for that adventure.  But, for
the sections where character development is the main focus, you gain so much
more even after the story is over with new possibilities and options for the
characters :)

So I guess all I have to say is, Yes I did enjoy those sections, and I also
look forward every day to checking if another story part is on the ftp site :)

May your electronic pen also double as a chisel +12 against writers block,
and may all your dreams be good ones :)

Thanks for the stories :)

        Joe



Greetings,
  Just throught I'd add my two cents into this as well, i throught those 
two sstory lines werer interesting but the other peldor and mongo etc 
story lines were more interesting.  You've been doing some damn good 
writings of late.  Keep up the good work. Here's some ideas I've gotten 
recently while rereading all the storys again, :)
Of course, you've probably got these ideas already
- Mongo and some others go back to suel city to investigate the grey dragon
- Belphanior decided to investigate underdark (he seemed to like it in 
earlier stories)
- The guy who they got instructions off to go to the suel city gives 
rillen or a henchling a task to do.

Anyway, just some suggestions. I can't wait for this new story line.  It 
looks like a hell of a adventurem, I wonder how peldor will go without 
invisibility ;) Oh and a throught that occured to me, death for the 
adventurers doesn't mean everything, I mean a number have died before and 
have been resurrected by magic. But then again, there was the infamous 
Flint Firelips incident :)

Regards
Stefan



Could you please tell Rary my thanks for bringing our old friend
together? BTW, the town of Nexus is a fit place for high level
adventurers (level 20 or so) and a good starting point for a 
high level storyline. Just think what magical resources are
available in such a place...

I was surprised that Aristobulous is Ged's brother.

Best regards,
Costas



	It's not so much that they weren't enjoyable as the fact that ...
okay, it was sad that Ged's father died, but all the information about his
family was just dumped on us.  We don't have any emotional connection to
these people, and so there's no reason to be upset by the death, or moved
by the bonding between Ged and his siblings.  If you'd introduced them a
long time ago, and had been making references to them, and to Ged's family
situation, it would have been a lot more affecting, I think.

Chris



I really enjoyed the Bosco-brothers and the Ged family spin, but I'm
not sure they went far enough for most people to appreciate. I
hope you consider them to be a cornerstone for other stories and
continue them further.

I find I like a little 'background' to the characters, it makes them
more human(oid?). 

Geoff



I just finished reading Story:476.  After reading the notes at the end I am
forced to come in the defense of Ged.  I *really* enjoyed those stories.  I
hesitate to say but I was a little moved by them; especially the part where
the father is speaking to each of them before he dies.

I know I never written before.  But as I said before the Ged stories were
great.  In fact Ged is one of my favorite characters, next to Halbarad.

I sorry to say I never been a big Bosco fan, or Peldor for that matter.

That said I must now depart.  I give you my best and may all the stories
write themselves.

T M H



On the contrary, the deathbed of the ancient one was excellent.  

As for Bosco's brethren, I was waiting for more info to flesh them out.
Could be an interesting troup of "micro" adventurers.  heh heh.

Miq



No, don't assume that! I enjoyed them both. I don't send you comments 
on any of your stories (although I did once or twice back when you
used to post on the old rec.games.frp). Maybe there just wasn't enough
action to catch people's attention. Personally, I like a bit of
non-combat time in my games and my stories.

-Vince



  This is a belated comment on the side story with Ged.  I actually liked 
it.  It was a definite departure in tone from the usual mayhem, but I
liked that.  I thought you did an especially good job of conveying the mood
of the scenes.  And I won't protest if that island or its inhabitants 
pops up again sometime.  In the meantime, I await the battle with the critter
that's spawned a 'Tarrasque vs. Ape from Isle of the Ape:  Who'd Win?' 
thread on the D&D newsgroup. :-) If I'm not mistaken, the Adventurers
have already tackled Mr. T.  This should be fun.

-- James




477

I'm glad to see you got everybody grouped together before they head
out: they've not all gone out on a quest together for quite sometime!

The wispy thing is cool, and I'm glad to have it back.

Leonard



478

The more hints that are dropped about "The Isle of the Ape", the sooner I
want the adventure to begin. Good job.

Leonard



Can't wait to read this Isle of the Apes adventure...should be good!

Pity that Rob, Peyote and Halbarad didn't go! :)

Cya,
Adam


     Hiya Thomas

     Why is it that the mention of a tropical island named the "Isle of the
     Ape" suddenly reminds me of the old black and white version of "King
     Kong"...?

     Pete



	I believe you ... that damn deathtrap is the most frightening
thing TSR's ever published, with the possible exception of the Labrynth of
Madness ...

Chris




479

Nexus sounds like a cool place.  In fact, when its all over, maybe
Peldor could open shop there!  :-)

Richard



 Actually Nexus intrigued me quite a bit. An interesting place.
 I don't know what the island will be like but this arc is off to
 an auspicious start. I especially liked the fortune-teller. Nice Touch!
 Now I just have to guess who dies.
 
-- 
Rob



Nexus is a great creation, and a potential new resource for the team for future
trips (Peldor seemed very intrigued by the place). The description of The
Maelstrom's Eye is first rate: what a wonderfully bizarre and yet enticing
establishment!

Leonard




Some random thoughts:

Ged:	His story, when he visited his dying father,
	while not long or world-changing (I think you 
	know what I mean), was one that I actually
	enjoyed.  And after reading the latest few
	episodes, it seems to have made a profound
	change on the demeanor of Ged.  This seems
	like even more of a change to me since I
	have just reread 1-200 (not all at once).
	Whether a good or a bad thing is yet to be
	seen, but so far I like the new Ged.

Isle of the Ape:  Looking forward to this one.  It just
	screamed "Danger!" as I read the latest group
	of stories.  The fortune-teller's warning of
	death has put me on edge.  I'm dying to read
	the next 21 episodes (pun intended).

Random Image #1:  Belphanior alone and chained to Orcus' 
	throne, bruised and bloody, yet defiant.  I
	don't know where this image came from, but I
	thought I'd try to get some input in :)

Random Image #2:  Small groups of the Adventurers 
	seperated on the Isle and fleeing in seperate
	directions from some beast (or group of beasts)
	they cannot defeat while firing (lightning bolts,
	arrows, etc.) blindly over their heads.

The Peyote & Halbarad Story:  This one I also enjoyed
	tremendously.  Although after the current 
	storyline ends, I have a feeling that it will
	be hard to top it with a mere lich :)

Anyways, just some food for thought.  Keep up the great
work.  When is the 5th anniversary of the first story
posting again?  Is it close enough yet far enough away
to post 500 on the day?  I seem to remember it being 
in November some time.

A reader with no clear thoughts at this point,
Mike


475+ is really shaping up nicely...  The fortune teller's prediction
of a death  has got me wondering who is going to get killed off......

Wayne



Greetings Thomas

I have not written for quite some time, 'though I have definitely 
been appreciating and anticipating each episode of the Adventurers.
I thought I'd take the time, inspired by the excellent prelude to the 
Isle of the Ape.  

Interesting that Rillen is the only reluctant questor - possibly the
only one who does not feel a burning desire to risk everything he
has for material gain (he is a monk, after all ...) or indirect
goals.  Maybe it's because he is the least materially powerful of
the bunch (a good fighter, yes, but hardly in Mongo or the
spell-thrower's class).

Belphanior's reactions to the Wand are going to prove interesting 
....

Nexus - nice place to travel through.  Quite a few of my favourite 
tales have featured places rather like it - bazaars, ports, cities, 
enormous halls; places where the strangeness and mystery of the 
multiverse is emphasized, where beings and events exist entirely 
independent of the passing-though characters, and at the same time 
tantalizing hints of connectivity and relation are dropped.

Is Ys a denizen of the Nexus?  I guess Otto will be asking around 
when (if) he gets back to Helgate.

Hmm, muse-passage quotient is getting rather high, so I'd better sign 
off.  Thanks for the tales.

Vale
Nick



hey thomas,

this one answered many of my questions: endymion, mongo's hammer and the isle,
how brutal you were going to be on them, etc.

as i see it now, you've pulled the plug entirely.  no stops.  no mercy.

this is what most players do not think of when they play.  gary made it very
nasty on this isle and it definitely wakes the players up when they suddenly
realize life on the isle is not going to be fun...

have fun,

matt h.



A good description of losing track of time and location, as the group drifts
toward the unknown and disconnected.

Leonard



Hey Thomas,
Not written any comments back to you for a while. Just to say thanks 
again for spending the time to do this. Something like this takes a lot 
of time - and a lot of creative energy - but it's definitely appreciated.
And it _does_ keep getting better !

Just like the characters get more 'complete' as you write more, the battle 
in the mines of Helgate also had more depth to it somehow, seemed more 
'real' as if the scene was clearer in my mind than some earlier battles.

The latest storyline looks a really good one - nice to see the wispy 
thing back ! Any clues as to what it is (or was, once upon a time), or 
what its motives are ?

Nice touch on bringing in more political figures and power struggles -
excellent fodder for future adventures.

Have you given up on the idea of the party achieving God status ?
-- 
Colin



thanks for the story;
I always enjoy the way Mongo's all at sea whenever he's at sea :)

Glen

Hi Thomas,

It is a bit sad to see your happy comments about the first two
Braves matches (12-1, 4-0), when I know by now that the next
three were won by the Yankees. Sorry for you. :(
Maybe next year will be better.

The new storyline (find the wand of Orcus on the Isle of the Ape)
is beginning very promising. I've read upto 481.
I have the module myself, so am very interested to see how you
convert it to catch/hook in the wand search.

Probably all magic armor and weapons will have less plusses I guess,
due to being on another plane of existence? Poor Mongo will have a
hard time without his hammer functioning `normally'! :-0)

Greetings,

Jan



The first scene of the team huffing and puffing up a steep slope in a terribly
hot and humid environment reminded me of the month I spent at geology field
camp: Hot, humid, and forever hiking up steep slopes, through bracken and
underbrush, and along river beds (both wet and dry) carrying 50+ pounds of
gear. It's funny I should remember it now, some 15+ years later (it was in
1978).

Mongo is without his hammer: what a bitter blow, but a good idea. What weapon
did he select as an alternate? Damn, but I've left the equipment lists at home!

Heh, Ged and his flying! If it's foggy below, then flying above the fog is
only going to reveal a layer of fog below! Ditto for clouds - as you
illustrated.

Leonard



hey thomas,

good call with belphanior giving mongo the aluminum bat, i wonder if belph
will use some of the other stuff from new orleans as well seeing as he
can't rely on blackrazor...

matt



 Dunno why but this arc has piqued my interest more than any in the
recent past. I'm glad I never read/played Isle of the Ape.

Rob



A good episode, which has a lot of foreshadowing of problems to come. I
especially liked the loss of magical weapons and equipment. I also liked
Songa a lot in this episode: much better than Rillen. It seems she has taken
his place as a main adventurer, with him relegated to the roll of a minor
character. The old Rillen would have scoffed at the loss of enchanted weapons
and pushed on, rather than hanging back and whining about not really wanting
to be there - leave then, dammit!

Leonard



What an amazing collection!  I am completely speechless.

One quick question: Your site and others seem to be in violation of TSR's
hideous, draconian "internet policy".  Have they threatened you at all?
Do you think they will ever?  My own impression is that it is a bunch of
hooey.  They just want to be dictatorial.

Keep up the amazing work!

--Sid



Good stuff, Thomas. I'm glad that you didn't resort to having a catastrophe
in Helgate in order to do the Hallowe'en episode.

Vince



boo!!

thanks for leaving Victoria's story to last, while Ys's was 
_definitately_ the most scary, it would fuck with your mind to sit around 
that table and listen to Victoria recount her own death!!

this Orcus story is having a hell of a build up!! can't wait!

ben



Whoa, a group of savages almost take out the party! It just goes to show that
surprise and superior numbers do make a big difference in combat. It also shows
how dependent our team appears to be on magical items protecting and warning
them of potential danger.

Leonard



TM>  Kudos to the following, the first person who (on their own)
TM>  actually remembered the Adventurers' collective birthday.

Happy B-day to the Adventurers!

Regarding Ged's trip home.  It was a fine story.  What I found interesting is
that none of the king's children possessed his leadership skills.  They all 
seemed, to me, to have their little weaknesses (especially GED!).  It was great
how the king was able to find the good in ALL his children. I hope some of 
Geds sisters and brothers appear in future episodes.

Isle of the Ape. 
My guess was going to be Mongo or Tanya... 

Keep up the great job!

wayne



Die, scum, die! Ha! Ha! Ha! I love it when the Adventurer's kick ass! Still, as
Otto pointed out, they were in deep shit for a while, and the natives knew it.

I loved Otto's interaction with the wispy thing.

The abandoned village: sometimes nothing is more scary than something.

Hmm, Alindyar's illusion spell worked flawlessly. Was this intentional, or did
you forget that illusion type spells could be affected by the island? Or maybe
this was just misinformation about the island that Tensor didn't weed out? Or
maybe this specific spell can work on the island? Or maybe Alindyar's expertise
with illusions allows him some success where others might fail? Or maybe I
should shut my trap? ;-)

Leonard



hey thomas,

great job.  i think you played their lack of scouting/guarding/caution
perfectly with respect to the ambush.  many players get cocky with their
high level PCs and forget to use the caution they have to use when they
are low-level for survival.

the first group i took to the isle was using a scout and so they didn't lose
surprise and were able to protect themselves with a hemi-sphere wall of
force, thereby defeating the barrage of arrows and spears easily...

but that's the way wityh high-level play, if you make an error, it could be
your life!  excellent.

and i've got to say that 5 years of story writing is a grand accomplishment.

here's to many more!

have fun,

matt



First of all, congratulations on the anniversary, and on producing such fine 
work all that time.

So, I've been thinking about the comment on an earlier story that said 
(if I remember this correctly) that one of the main characters was going to 
die this time out.  Or maybe I'm misremembering this; but if I'm not, the 
unlucky winner's going to be Rillen, right?  The foreshadowing from his 
reluctance to go on the mission in the first place (perhaps a little 
cosmic enlightenment there, letting him know that some seriously bad 
karma was waiting for him) seems to suggest that he might be on his way 
offstage.

Which, actually, wouldn't bother me too much; a lot of the time, Rillen 
comes off as lacking something.  This isn't a fault in writing, it's just 
part of who he seems to be...a ridiculously well-trained martial artist 
whose philosophy and desires simply don't match the world around him.  
Retreating to the semi-frozen northlands is a good symptom of that, but, 
y'know, heroes just make lousy hermits when it comes right down to it.  
And reluctant heroes usually succeed in their goal but suffer badly 
because of it (often dying), so it'd be an appropriate climax for 
Rillen's life if it ended with him being instrumental in accomplishing an 
important duty but dying in the act.  It would, in short, be a Good Death 
for the character, one that wouldn't be unsatisfying.  

(Also, a lot of Rillen's goals seem to have been resolved, either 
normally or by him just pulling out of normal society and setting those 
goals aside, whereas most of the other Adventurers have quite a lot on 
their respective tables to deal with...so from a plot standpoint, Rillen 
seems to be the most ready to die, having arranged most of his affairs in 
preparation for it.)

--
just a thought/random guess

Ryan



Thomas,

Congratulations! And thank you very much for the epics.

George



Congratulations...

  I've been following the Adventurers for over four years and I'm just
as eager to see the next episode as I was when I started.

  485 is a damn fine number for five years and I can only hope you've
got enough ambition to keep it going for another five years....

  Looking forward to episode #1000........

Wayne



Hi Thomas,

Great stories.  Sorry to hear about your computer troubles.  Congradulations
on making it to your fifth anniversary.  It has been very enjoyable to read
your stories and make the occasional suggestion.  I'm not looking foreward
to one of them dying, though.  It was bad enough when I finally saw
Desperado and Razor Charlie got killed.  When he finally got gunned down, I
truely thought "It can't be!  He's one of the heroes!"  Then I paused and
had a chuckle about how your stories have warped my point of view. :-)

Thanks for the stories,

Marcus



Congratulations on 5 years... Hmmm have I been reading these 
stories for that long?  No wonder I'm addicted. *grin*  Please
keep up the great work.
Vic



 Congratulations on five years of fine stories. I'm just waiting for
King Kong to show. :)
 Say, are you the Thomas Miller who wrote the Netscape Editor?

 Hannes



Happy fifth birthday. 

Just thought I'd let you know that although I didn't make any
comments about the smaller scenarios you've been writing I did
find them useful background.  

I guess, htough, that as seeds, you weren't getting enough feedback
to make them worth developing.  

Like the current story - it's always fun to twist the way characters
have to work - usually by selectively removing their toys.  Usually in
campaigns people don't have them long enough for it to be worrying, they 
don't get attuned to the uses of the items before losing its powers.  

It's always best if the characters don't just lose items, but lose their 
powers, as well.  Losing an item you actually have got used to can be 
depressing personally, not just scary in the game.  

george

PS There was some mention a few episodes ago, that the isle did not 
permit illusions - didn't Alindyar just use one on the savages, or 
was it a phantasm, or even is the limit only on lower level illusions?

TM>   As stated in the module, illusions won't be efective, in general.
TM> This is because most of what's on the isle is dinosaurs, which don't
TM> have brains advanced enough to comprehend illusions.  Other animals
TM> are also immune due to "using senses other than sight".
TM>
TM>   Human savages, however, are not immune.  This is inherent in the
TM> module DM notes, and to me.


PPS I'd guess that we'd all like to know what the module you referred
to was - that's the module containing the information about the isle.  

TM>  WG6, Isle of the Ape (circa mid-1980s)



Congratulations on five years of great storytelling, Thomas.
Your stories have been something to look forward to and
I'm looking forward to reading them for at least another
five years.

              Greg



My congratulations on such a long running and extremely entertaining body 
of work.  

To your future and continued creativity.

TA




     Hiya Thomas

     Just a quickie to say well done for surviving 5 years of writing the
     Adventurers. My thanks to all your hard work in keeping us all
     entertained. You don't know how often you've prevented me from going
     mad at work! ;-9

     By the way, I think the reason your computer broke down was because
     you didn't give the "evil fog" star appearance in the halloween story.
     Be careful, it'll get its revenge one way or another...

     Pete (worriedly looking out of his office window at the thickening
     mist in the dark streets... gulp!)




I am very pleased with this current line of adventure for the group.  It
has so many possibilities in it.  I do hope that they will meet the great
ape soon, he's a riot.  Nearly cleaned out my group when we went through 
it.  The vampiric T-Rex is cool as well.

Marc



You may or may not be intending this, but I love the fact that there appears to be strife and uncharacteristic bickering, second guessing etc... with the Adventurers.  They have
each gone their own way and the initial implicit trust of being together and depending on each other day in and day out and left each of them.  They are getting to a "comfort" zone where the
risks aren't so necessary, and where the blinders do not preclude them from noticing that 
"so and so" is being stupid.

Very, very nice,,,

Patrick



Just catchin' up, as I save 'em for when I need a good pick me up.  Lotsa 
fun, this one, I can dig out my olde module from wherever the heck it 
is...  Anyways, I realize Alindyar was distracted by Lyra being hurt, but 
he should've noted at least that the Large Drum is a noisy drum, and 
therefor most likely a signalling device suggesting that...  He might 
also have pointed out that the unknowledgable savages, as Ged called 
them, have lived on the island for quite awhile, and probably know a bit 
more than nothing about it.

Rob



The recent thread has been quite good...but one thing bothers me.
Songa..as she's not fond of magic (is any barbarian?), she always will be
distrusting of it. But when someone of the wizards grows irritated of her
inability to see the uses of it..a little schism goes a long way ;)

BTW, the T-rex was a good choice. Kick their butt!

	- VP



I've now been reading the Adventurers actively since something like 120 or
so, and I'd just like to express my thanks again. The 'net needs people like
you, those who create excellent material and are ready to distribute it free
- with no cost. Unlike one T** thing I happen to know...

Towards the 500th episode the series has been getting better all the time.
OK, the way you brought them together before this great adventure was maybe
a little bit overdramatic, but served its purpose - and it most certainly is
nice to see them all together.

Keep up the good work and congratulations for 500 great stories!

  -- jth

Ps. The Adventurers have been distributed to a Finnish BBS called MBnet,
incidentally one of the largest BBSes in the world (about 10000 calls per
day), where they have made some people really addicted. Now all they want is
more more and more Adventurers. As one of the admins of the system, I just
have to give in to them and give 'em what they want... MORE ADVENTURERS!

(this is just a poor excuse why I'm always waiting for the next episode so
eagerly)



Tomas,

Congratulations on a very cool current storyline!

BTW, excellent STARWARS reference, with the savages : Die wanna wanga?

Keep it up!

Eagerly awaiting #500,

Hew



I can hear the hundreds of natives beating the drums and chanting 
Mon-go, Mon-go, Mon-go.  
I can also see Mongo becoming interested in one of the native's weapons
which when thrown, returns to the thrower.  It appears to be a strip of
triangular wood...

Jim



I have to admit it, but I loved this episode. Mongo is one mean mother, even
after he's had the hell beat out of him, and Baldy is developing into more than
the two-dimensional cutout I thought he'd be.

Leonard



hey thomas,

velociraptors are cool.  the upcoming fight should be fun.

matt



Once again, "The Adventurers" brings light into my life. It's about a
year since I started reading, a year of (in this regard) much pleasure,
for which I thank you.

Just spotted in the feedback that you're proposing to kill off one of
the Adventurers permanently in episode 500.

(I note you explicitly said killing, so Divine Ascension is ruled out,
which would have been ideal for Mongo or Ged)

I appreciate you've probably already thought it out and have something
wonderful in store, but herewith my thoughts:

Alindyar: a secondary adventurer now, probably a prime candidate.
Doesn't 'do' Necromancy, so probably hasn't got a clone or two
prepared.

Arnold: a definite candidate for a heroic death.

Belphanior: a logical choice and the one which would have the most
reader impact.

Bosco: high reader impact, but little other reason.

Ged: for some undefinable reason I don't think so. Unless he
sacrifices himself for the rest.

Gorin: we've already had a death scene with him, but this might be the
thing to get Mongo to start building a kingdom.

Lyra: you seem to have been laying the groundwork already. Had you
made Alindyar 18th level, then it would have been a flashing beacon.

Q: what's more dangerous than an Archmage? 
A: a REALLY P*SS*D OFF Archmage. . 

But you've done that storyline already.

Mongo: you've been building him up as a sacrifice so far. (See Ged,
above) I note that he doesn't actually have a weapon that will affect
enchanted creatures. Unless that 'club' is the shotgun... :}

Otto: no opinion

Peldor: even a Peldor's time must come.

Rillen: another minimal impact candidate.

Songa: a prime candidate if you want to do an 'emotional impact'
followup.

Tanya: don't think so, but qv Songa.

The totally unexpected: it's the Wispy Thing that gets it, shortly
after it's true identity is revealed.

But does the Wand Of Orcus actually work on the Isle? After all, we've
had Lightbringer and Stormcrest fail - or will they start working (esp
the former) once they get near Orcus.  Then again, perhaps the two
will merge into Stormbringer and a glowing tube of toothpaste. :}

Hmm...

Of the primary adventurers, my money's on Alindyar, Belphanior, or
Mongo, in that order.

Of the secondary adventurers, it's got to be Arnold, probably saving
Ged.

Mind you, I'm looking forward to the story of one of the Adventurers
becoming an ArchMage.

Have you given any thought to the rewards granted to the Adventurers
by grateful Powers? (Or in a magical backlash after Orcus's death.)
Some thoughts:

Arnold: Paladin-like powers.
Belphanior: something FUN
Ged: Divine Ascension???
Mongo: Paladin-like powers.
Peldor: The truth of his origin - I liked the Demi-god idea someone
had - which melds nicely with the Finder's Stone sequence of Ad&D
books.  Rillen: Some sort of mystic mastery.

The byplay between the characters just gets better and better!
Further, the description of Mongo's bluntness with the old shaman (or
chief) in #490 was just wonderful.

BTW #1 Is the strong characterisation of Songa a reaction to the
accusations of sexism?

BTW #2 Are the Adventurers going to meet any of the old party who
couldn't get off the Isle?

QTS





TM>  Now for a slew of death predictions (they appear sporadically
TM>  throughout this chunk of fanmail)

I haven't mailed you in awhile so let me just say that all of the stories
lately have been great.  I especially liked the invasion of Belph's castle
by those "overmatched" adventurers.  Belph's new "town guards" are neat too.
 I especially like Ys.  He remind's me a little of Dragonbait (from Azure
Bonds).  Could he be a Saurial?

Ged's little family reunion during his father's funeral helped us learn more
about his family and, I think, strenghtened his character.

I also tremendously enjoyed "Peldor the Great does Zeif".  All of the
stories were great and I could go on, but then this mail would be unbearably
long.

How about having an Adventurers death pool survey before you kill one of
them off during the Isle of the Ape adventure.  Here is a list of  who I
think will "be offed" (#1 is most likely to die, #2 nd likely, etc.):

1.  Rillen -  Didn't really want to come anyway.  Retired to get away from
this
                      and hasn't been involved in many stories lately.
2.  Songa -  Her head strong traits may get her into trouble.  Her death may
make
                       Rillens character more interesting and generate more
stories involving
                       him.
3.  Arnold -  Although I like him, he has always been more of a supporting
character.
4.  Gorin -  Not a terribly well developed character right now and Mongo has
a habit of
                     his henchmen dying, anyway.
4.  Tanya -  Hope this doesn't happen, but could prove to be an interesting
change in
                       Peldor's life or ascension to Greyhawk's Guildmaster
position.
5.  Lyra -  Similar to Tanya, Lyra's death could cause a dramatic change in
Alindyar's

     attitude and position in Greyhawk's social community.
6.  Otto -  May be too tough and mean to die.  Although he is one of the
best
                 developed henchmen characters, I could possibly see you
doing this.

Now for the least likely to die list:

1.  Belphanior -  Your most popular character.  You couldn't.
2.  Peldor -  You wouldn't.  It's too hard to kill a god anyway.
3.  Mongo -  You shouldn't.  He's too tough to die anyway.
4.  Ged -  You probably won't.  Even though he doesn't generate quite as
many
                  stories, he has become very well developed as a character.

I noticed you haven't made any World series references since Atlanta won the
2nd game.  Did you think the series sucked as much as I do?  I hate the
Yankees and understand if it's too painful for you to write about.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings.  L8er.

Curtis J.



Yeah. Actually, I prefer the role-playing episodes - well, a characters
of a level so high can really do very good role-playing. Some action
adventures are also very good. Now I've read up to #480, and I've enjoyed
very much the parts about Ged's family and about Peldor in the city of Zeif.
But I don't like as much the more powerful and less exciting adventures.
Actually, I don't think that sending the party for the Wand of Orcus was a
really good idea. (Well, I understand that it's the only item that could
be interesting for such a powerful party, but still... The idea is too simple).

Dmitry



hey thomas,

nice fight indeed.  you've got my mind racing to try and second guess
who you plan to kill during this quest (if indeed you still plan to
kill someone).  i don't know if it's good or bad that you made that
comment about definitely killing someone permanently.  good because it
allows for many suspenseful periods, bad because we shouldn't really know
the future.

>  Realistically, I'd figure that a raptor would have 4 HD or so
>and to be able to kill a 1st level warrior with no problem.

ya, maybe:

mv:  12 (jump 3)
HD:  4
AC:  5
att: claw/claw/bite [2-7/2-7/3-9] (1d6+1/1d6+1/2d4+1)

have fun,

matt



Nice battle with the raptors: they kicked some serious hiney before our gang
pulled together. Speaking of which, I've noticed a lot more personality
conflicts this time out than in any previous story line. This is to be
expected, considering that this is the first time in a long, long while that
all of them have journied together (and the very first time for Songa). That,
plus the heat and humidity of the island, which is enough to make Mother
Theresa bad mouth the Pope. Personally, I like it!

Leonard



This is a bonus episode: it's lengthy, and contains both a lot of interactive
dialogue (including some great introspectives from Peldor and Tanya), plus a
battle scene.

This exchange in particular stands out:

>Alindyar:  (lays a hand on the elf's shoulder)  My thanks, for
>  saving Lyra.
>Belphanior:  Ah, don't sweat it.  We're all well beyond that point these
>  days.

And that pretty much sums up our team. Despite the differences and squables
we're seeing, each one of the Adventurer's would risk it all to save the other,
without even thinking about it. There's no tallying up of who owes whom: they
are beyond friends: they are family. Comparing the recent Ged story line, where
his father dies, you see his family acting much the same way as our group here.
This has definately evolved over the years, and it certainly wasn't an
inevitable outcome: I've been playing with the same AD&D group now for 4 years,
and while a few characters remain as the basic core of the group, most come and
go - it's more like an "at work" relationship than a group of real friends.
The Adventurer's certainly started out this way, but in 5 years, they've grown
beyond it (to quote a particular elf ;-).

This episode stands out in my book as one of the very best.

Leonard



This recent storylike, in the island, has been ... well ... 
different. When the adv's have been just about everywhere,
it's refreshing to see them to get in a place where their
power is almost cut in half - Mongo's hammer, illusions
near-uselessness etc... But for some reason I can't enjoy
these as much the older (pre-shapeshifter) episodes. Probably
it's just me, dunno, but as I read 495 I caught myself skipping
some long descriptive chapters...

And a word about Peldor; definitely my favorite character
(as the one he was in ep's 100-250)! Though, lately he
was a bit 'boring' character, doing nothing unexceptional
and so on. But last ep surprised even me, Peldor is back!
And just as he was a long time ago, before that shapeshifter
mess (maybe that's what I didn't like in that storyline;
Peldor being a 'normal', with no 'what can I say, I'm 
Peldor' etc lines). I definitely hope that it wasn't 
just in this ep, but for now all the time... Does this
mean that he will now take the responsibilities as the
owner of The Green Dragon again? I surely hope so...

And in general, from all the episodes I've liked single
ep stories best. Alindyar slaughtering orcs, Peldor's
night before getting married etc. I just love to see
them doing something really crazy, as Peldor (did I 
mention him being my favorite character? :) getting
completely drunk and so on. More ep's like them! :)

Toni



> Lyra:  (nearby, she is busy piling leaves, rearranging empty sacks,
>   and otherwise working tirelessly to make sure the wounded, sleeping
>   Alindyar is comfortable)  Wake up soon, would you?  Talking to the
>   others is driving me batty.
> Alindyar:  (ESPing to Lyra)  I...am awake.
> Lyra:  (shocked, she ESPs back to Alindyar)  You're conscious?!?
> Alindyar:  (ESPing to Lyra)  The flesh may be weak, but the mind is
>   infinitely more powerful.
> Lyra:  (ESPing to Alindyar)  Actually, I take it back.  You should be
>  resting.

This exchange really worked for me. Lyra's change of heart when she
got what she wanted felt "real".

Glen



Wow, another long episode!

Oh no, a chain of Green Dragons?  A Beast Western chain, with an associated
food joint, McPeldor's? Noooo!

Another good episode, with lots of insight into Ged's troubled mind. I was
wondering when he'd decide to leave his castle and lands to head off on more
adventures. Sounds like he's trying to justify it to himself, or rather to
his friends? It was well done.

I loved the scene between Songa and Tanya. The tension was so thick you could
cut it with a knife (if even a knife could cut through it).

Leonard



I was just wondering.  Has any of the Magic using Adventurers tried using
comprehend languages or Tongues on the Wispy thing?  While I enjoy the Wispy
Things little unknown interjections, it might be useful to be able to
communicate with it.

I must also say that your little disclaimer that 1 of the adventurers will
not be coming back from this adventure, certainly gets the interested peaked
everytime you almost kill one of them off.

My congratulations to you, you have been excellently showing the tension
between the group, and how the heat and humidity have been effecting them.

Paul



Just wonderful! It's getting such that a day without 'The Adventurers'
is a bad day.

QTS



It's great to see our team out classed by an ape. I'm also glad to see that
common sense prevailed, and nobody went for a suicide run against Oonga.

The complete and utter surprise of the mages when the realized that Oonga
was immune to spells was priceless! They were way overconfident, standing
out in the open, unprotected like that. All in all, this was a fun battle
to read, because you could sense the frustration of the party: Oonga was
virtually unharmed by spell or blow.

It seems that more than the Circle of Eight are concerned with this wand,
so there are multiple groups trying to retrieve it. Makes sense, Oerth is
a big world, and our group isn't the only band of talented adventurers.

Leonard



hey thomas,

ok.  i have to say it.  your style flares to life when you are writing about
something that i'm not familiar with.  what i mean is that when you are
writing about the adventurers going through a module i've read, then i seem
to feel more excitement from seeing how the adventurers handle certain
obsticles.  but when they are in something you have made up, i feel a grander
element of ...  you know, it must be that i have an effect from the handful
of unknown thrown in for a feeling of anticipation and this heightens all of
my nerves or something.  i don't know, i guess i'm different that way.

matt



Bosco's reaction to the huge gemstones was priceless.

Leonard



I just wanted to tell you, and I should have before, the transition to
the ABYSS, where you described Mongo holding on and then letting go at
the last minute, describing his arrival was very professional and well
done.  IMHO.  You've come a long way baby!  I wish I was as good.

Patrick



Okay, this is shaping up to be G R E A T !!!

Cynder, Orcus, the Abyss... what more can one want?  :-)

Richard



Thomas,

 I dont know who suggested Cynder, or if it was from you yourself, but it
was a _damned good_ idea.

 An old tale---the enemy of my enemy---but a good one still.

Tom



*excellent* plot twist...The Dragon was a nice touch. :-)

TTYL,
Ted



I have just finished reading 498 and I'm squirming with excitement.
Ashe was a bit of a surprise, a very welcome one though. The name was
a clever hint, but I failed to figure out that it was Cynder. A
wonderful character and a tough ally (for now).

So the Adventurers are going to face Orcus directly, and on his home
plane too. Yipee! Ouch..! Infinite numbers of fire-proof, magic
resistant demons. This will be the hardest fight _ever_. Without some
serious help I think the party is doomed. Are we going to see some
deaths here?

Pete



Thomas,

I gotta say that I love this current thread.  It's great to see
them slugging it out with no holds barred.

Very interesting to see Cynder show up again.  The adventurers have
a long history with that dragon.  I'm wondering if they're gonna
make a new friend with him or just an uneasy ally for the time
being.

Just something I've been wondering about, the metal club that
Mongo was using in place of his hammer, was it a baseball bat?
It was one of the things they got on Earth, but I just can't
picture a baseball bat being used again a Dinosaur. Oh well..
live and learn.

Things I'm hoping for in this thread:
Death to Bosco.
Death to Tanya, She has killed the old Peldor. 
Death to Sonja, same complaint as with Tanya.
Belphanior surrplanting Orcus, but that is a bit much to 
expect.

Keep up the good work.

    Marc



Hi Thomas -

I have been enjoying the stories on the isle of the ape. Good stuff, and
interesting to see how fairly "mundane" things like jungle and mold can
make the adventurers' lives difficult. 

This latest turn of events is even more interesting! I really enjoy
reading this stuff. Your stories often have unexpected turns that really
grab my attention. I just hope that there will be some explination of
the treasure cave of Oonga...

Thanks for all the fun,

Ted



Thomas,

Well, I've finally gotten around to catching up on the last 50 or so episodes 
and I just wanted to let you know how great they were.  Some examples of things 
I really liked:

1.  Brought back the Wispy Thing!  My favorite comic relief semi-character!
2.  In Episode 491 I loved some of Baldy's phrases such as...Tula Jitt!  Tula 
Jitt! (Tula Jitt takwit?) and Addis Ababa.  I wonder how many things like this 
I missed...
3.  I'm loving the current story line.  I'm not familiar with the module but it 
seems to me (could I be making this up?) that this island bears some small 
resemblance to King Kong's little home?

I'm amazed that your almost to 500.  I feel like I've accomplished something 
just reading 500 episodes.  What you've done is nothing short of fantastic!  
Keep up the great work!

Jay



The Abyss - great episode!
I was falling asleep through the King Kong bit, 
but this really woke me up!!

{and I was happy to have seen through "Ashe" }

Adrian



Awesome! This is one of your best stories ever. Excellent dialogue
between the characters. I don't even dare to guess what's going to
happen next. I hope you have made something really epic for story 500.

Toni



Congratulations on the 5th anniversary! Keep it up... I'm sure there are
a lot of people like me, who keep up with the series but don't comment
often. I can't speak for the others, but I, at least, appreciate what
you're doing and hope you keep going for _at least_ another 5 years.
Great stuff!

Roger



Cynder is an absolute riot!

This episode was excellent for re-enforcing the mood and setting the stage
for the ultimate (?) showdown.  I am EAGERLY awaiting episode 500.  Can you
believe it?  500 episodes?  I wonder what the volume of your writing has
amounted to?  How many standard size books?

I keep wondering through it all - is the wispy thing more than it seems?
I have always thought so, and now would be an interesting time to have it
show itself as such, although that probably isn't in your plans.

Hoping for another 500!  :-)

Richard



hey thomas,

bravo to the idea of having cynder come along on this joyous quest.
it really throws in that extra spice.

matt



Am I a sucker for powerful, multi-talented guest characters, or what? I love
Cynder, and how he's interacting with the team. Ged's response is perfect!
Well, well done, all the way around. Once again we have a nice, long story
with no serious combat (oh, another highlight was in the one skirmish where
Cynder sits on a demon, thus killing it, and saying "oops"), but it was
both fascinating and fun to read.

The argument between Belphanior and the rest of the group over the fate of the
wand was excellent: a lot of the Lord of the Rings type of logic, with the evil
wand corrupting all that is done to it to evil and slowly taking control of its
bearer, much like the One Ring did. Otto would have stuck up for Belphanior,
just like you have him doing.

Rillen really is no longer part of the Adventurer's, really, He and Songa are
obviously going to retire for good, once this is over, if they survive. This
is just as well, as I've said before, because I'm tired of Rillen's constant
complaining about each quest the party takes on.

Belphanior's observation on impaling was quite humorous as well.

Leonard



Hey, just wanted to take the opportunity to say "the same to you",
and also thank you for writing those most excellent stories.
If you suddenly got allergy to electricity (if that's the proper
english name for it) or something, I don't know what'd I'd do...

The current storyline's really interesting, and I can hardly wait
for episode 500 ... in fact, I can hardly wait for...

>  Story 499 is almost ready, and should be released Monday.

...so, well, I wish you merry christmas and a happy new year,
and keep up the good work! I certainly wouldn't be able to
devote enough time to such a project without getting paid, so
you deserve a heartfelt (sp?) thanks!

Ronny



That episode ROCKED! Excellent work.

Wright



Thanks for the little summary at the end.... I have really enjoyed reading these stories.   I might note that you had mongo hit chasme #1 with his
hammer, and then had Cynder ram into the same chasme...  but your description
had it travel abit away from the group....  Perhaps for the archives you could
correct the creature numbering.   A very minor error to a great story line.  

An avid reader...

Vappel



Just like to say that congratulations are in order for about to be reaching the
milestone 500. I've been reading your episodes one at a time as they come since
about episode 30 or so, back in the slave lord days. And its been wonderful to
read these for the past x number of years as they come out 3 or more episodes
sometimes a week. Have a Merry Chistmas and Happy New Year, and hopefully the
next year will be as prolific in your writing as the last years have been. 

-Josh



Having Cynder turn up is a wonderful plot twist! The pseudonym you
gave him, Ashe, was cute too :}

Have you considered Cynder getting desouled and one of the Adventurers
ending up in his body? (qv the Ad&D comic strip where they had a female
dwarf's spirit inhabiting an iron golem)

Merry Christmas!

QTS



Yo, Thomas you master wordsmith you!

i'm currently wending ym way thru the adventurers(im at about 260 atm),
and i'd just thought i'd say that i love your stuff.  Your stories are
inspirational stuff, and i value it all greatly.  You deserve to be
proud of the acheivement that The Adventurers is...its an institution. 
Oh, and, if you could, would you thank all your players for their
vreations - especially Ged and Belphanior:-).. thanks again, and nevr
stop writing.

An avid fan, 

	--->Smedley<---



>The road ahead was lined with thick wooden poles, somehow set in
>the rocky ground.  Upon each of these poles was an impaled corpse.
>Some were fresh; others were rotting; still others were skeletal.
>A wide variety of races and species were represented on the poles,
>and they were contorted in a wide variety of death-poses.
>
>Belphanior:  (regarding the various victims)  I knew it!
>Peldor:  What?
>Belphanior:  Impalement is more effective if you use the existing
>  holes, rather than make new ones.
>Cynder:  It certainly is.
>Ged:  (shaking his head)

Absolutely beautiful! Belphanior's reaction is amazing. The subject is gory 
and evil, but his comments are precious!

Arcane



Thomas,

I gotta say that I love this current thread.  It's great to see
them slugging it out with no holds barred.

Very interesting to see Cynder show up again.  The adventurers have
a long history with that dragon.  I'm wondering if they're gonna
make a new friend with him or just an uneasy ally for the time
being.

Just something I've been wondering about, the metal club that
Mongo was using in place of his hammer, was it a baseball bat?
It was one of the things they got on Earth, but I just can't
picture a baseball bat being used again a Dinosaur. Oh well..
live and learn.

Things I'm hoping for in this thread:
Death to Bosco.
Death to Tanya, She has killed the old Peldor. 
Death to Sonja, same complaint as with Tanya.
Belphanior surrplanting Orcus, but that is a bit much to 
expect.

Keep up the good work.

     Marc





500



	i definitely didn't see GED buying it; i was sure that
        belphanior had something up his sleeve, either to fool
        orcus (i know, it'd be *very* difficult to write that up
        convincingly) or to destroy the wand in the abyss after
        the rest of the group was safely back in greyhawk (quite
        likely requiring his own destruction, since it's an
        artifact).  

        all of ged's possessions were disintegrated?  i can see
        lightbringer failed his own saving throw (he's an artifact
        himself) but doesn't he get a death scene, or at least
        a wail?  i suppose it might seem anti-climatic, but hey,
        that's how the spell works, instantaneously.

	i was not a little pissed that they gave the wand to orcus!
        the whole point of the adventure was to keep him from
        getting his hands on it, and they hand it over?  doesn't
        ring true, especially for ged ("never, by boccob!") and
        mongo ("death first!").  the collusion with cynder was
        nicely handled, but giving the wand was just too much.
        i don't remember ever having such disbelief reading your
        stories; i kept waiting for the other shoe to drop.
        i have no problem with the utter and final death of a
        major character, but it was for nothing, and we don't
        get to see the huge repercussions for six months :-(

        nobody seems upset at belphanior for being *directly*
        responsible for dragging them down to orcus's home plane
        in the first place . . .

        i'll be surprised if belphanior doesn't change his life
        drastically due to ged's action; donating huge amounts
        of gold & magic, helping the temple and/or tenants,
        maybe even shifting alignment to take over ged's place.
        he might be chaotic neutral, but he's always honorable.
        it might take the form of plotting orcus's death; he's
        gotta be obsessed with revenge.

ok
dpm



I was really excited when this expisode arrived in my mailbox last night, and
it filled me with mixed emotions. I was eager to find out how the Adventurer's
would get out of the abyss, somewhat worried about who would die at the end,
and kind of sad that this would be the end of the stories as we currently know
them.

The story had a number of surprises, both small and large, and progressed in
one of the few logical ways it possibly could. Our team lost, and lost big
time, but there wasn't much else they could do, but bargain with snot-face to
escape. And as Orcus pointed out, even this loss cost them dearly.

I wasn't sure who would die until near the end, when Belphanior made the
bargain, and then set it up such that he'd be the last to escape. At that
point, I figured it was going to be Belphanior who got it in the end, by
pulling off some impossible feat to save his friends, and keep the wand away
from Orcus. As soon as Orcus had the wand, I was once again full of doubt, but
then when Ged saw what was coming, and I knew he'd be the one.

It was handled perfectly: no big over-acted melodramatic scene of self-
sacrifice: Ged just did it, and died. And with Ged went Lightbringer, and,
eventually, his familiar.

I thought Epilogue was the most appropriate one that you could have included:
I was expecting a reaction scene from the survivors, but the brief, sketchy
hints at what awaited Ged in the after-life was just right.

I think Ged wouldn't have been able to live with himself had he survived, and
known that they had delivered the wand to Orcus.

For some strange reason, the loss of Cynder saddened me. Like Belphanior, I
too had grown fond of the dragon.

And as far as the future goes... as much as I want to see everyone else's
reactions and immediate actions after they return to Greyhawk, I much prefer
the idea of skipping forward a number of years for episode 501, whenever you
start writing for the Adventurer's again. Flashbacks and rememberences can fill
in some of the gaps, but I like the idea of keeping the readers guessing on a
lot of what's gone on since then.

For some reason, once again the image of Arnold, sitting on a throne in a great
hall, dispensing judgemnet, comes to mind. I get the feeling that he'll become
a wise ruler, perhaps uniting the ice, snow and frost barbarians into a single
kingdom. How odd.

Peldor and Tanya want to go home... now! Heh.

The biggest surprise was how the Wispy thing took control of the one demon! I
didn't know it could do things like that - way cool! I thought the
generalization of most of the battle was a good idea, otherwise we'd have
a lot of fighting descriptions that would have distracted us from the important
parts of the story. We knew it was a huge battle, and our guys were kicking
ass, but that it was hopeless, and a different strategy was called for.

Leonard



WOW..... What an episode.

Really like the Boscos/Carey comment on the moat.  ;)

Loved the way the whispy thing took over the deamon's body!

Very nice conclusion to quite the run of stories that I have
had the good fortune to read.   Seems one more ep on the funeral
and a wrap-up would be loved by the readers, but any longtime
fan could mentally conclued the story, as one does with any fine
novel.

Thanks for the hours of enjoyment over the years.  I look forward
to reading the final version, and any future writings in this genre.

Victor



Wow

Wow.  That probably sums it up best.  Wow.... fantasic eposide
Wow... episode 500

Congratulations and enjoy your time off.  I'll miss my weekly fix of
Adventurers but I understand your need for a break and a well earned
rest.

Hope to see more in the future...... (yeah, keep me on the list :-))

Wayne



  Bravo!  Very well done!  I could almost feel the pervasive terror and
gloom of the Abyss, and the sense that even such an incredibly powerful
party felt railroaded and helpless.  Cynder was vividly characterized, and
the wispy thing has gained new respect.  Ged died a hero's death.  I agree
with your rationale for deciding who dies (I'd have been far more saddened
to see one of the drow die, and Mongo's death would have broken my heart), 
but have to say I'll miss him. 
  However, the real point of this mail is to thank you for all the 
enjoyment you've provided for all this time.  You ended your maniacal 
writing streak with a bang, and the break you're taking is richly 
deserved.  Perhaps with Ged gone, the Green Dragon fried into ashes, and 
the other adventurers drained, demoralized and terrified, it's time for 
Epic IV?  On another note, I've been considering an attempt at writing 
(it seems to run in the family) and the fact that I won't be able to get 
my Adventurers fix for six months might be the spur that gets me going.

>     But it was Ged who I finally decided on...Ged, whose attitude
>   and outlook changed every so often, if never for long.  This elf,
>   the character with the longest natural lifespan by far, was my
>   final choice.  Why?  I don't know, and I'm not sure I want to try
>   to know.  But once I chose, I was sure I'd made the right choice,
>   for me, the writer.

  Allow me to offer a possibility:  Ged spent all his time trying to 
figure out what he was good for.  Despite his incredible intelligence and 
awesome power I got the impression that he was always frustrated with and 
disappointed in himself (the huge ego he had only confirms that for 
me).  His went out courageously and decisively defending a comrade from 
an awesome and treacherous evil and it occurs to me that this is an 
unmistakable affirmation of his faith and goodness, and so a fitting 
closure to his restless and (emotionally) difficult life.
  That said, I'd like to see him come back Obi-Wan style once in a great
while, maybe only as an affirming shade or voice when Nenya's in really
deep shit; or perhaps more subtely: every so often the answers to 
divinations the party attempts are phrased in Ged's inimitable style.  I 
won't complain if he's simply gone for good, though. 

>   And with that, I'm outta here.  You'll hear from me again sometime in
> 1997, and at that time, I'll have a better idea of what the future will
> hold. 

  The Adventurers:  The TSR novel!

  Mongo:  Screw you, you darn rassin-frassin little bugger!  I'm gonna beat 
the pants offa you!
  Mongo hurls his hammer, and the foul villain appears to be severely 
injured.

  Naaah.

--James



Good episode.  One question though, and a request.

1) Did Belphanor really give _THE_ Wand of Orcus to Orcus?  In the text
	when they were speaking, I don't think it was ever said that 
	Belphanior would give him _THE_ Wand, just said 'the wand' and
	Belphanior does carry many wands.  I guess its just a hope, cause
	I'd love to see it turn out that Belphanior actually kept it, and
	I think it'd make one hell of a plot line.

2) Please don't take that long a hiatus, I LOVE the adventuerers.  I'll
	read your other stuff prolly, but I much prefer the adventuerers.

Adios, and keep up the excellent work.

Wright



...yow.  Ged?  Right when he was going to get back into adventuring?  
Right when he'd settled a lot of attitude problems, and was on the edge 
of an interesting personality change?  Y'know, I'd really figured on it 
being Rillen (admittedly, partly because I felt he'd be missed the least, 
but also because he just seems doomed).  Ged, though, that's a major 
surprise.  I wonder (after the hiatus, of course) how Belphanior would 
react?  Someone who never really got along with him, who would have 
outlived him under any circumstances (long lifespan and is infinitely 
less reckless), died to save his life.  That, and the weirdness of the 
wispy thing, would give Belphanior six months of stuff to ponder.

--
good story!
ryan



Hey Thomas,

Just read episode 500 as I sit and eat lunch in front of my computer at home
during my vacation from work on the last day of 1996.  I guess it's fitting
to read this episode on the last day of the year.  I'm sorry to hear you are
taking a hiatus from the adventurers, but you definitely deserve it.  I think
I enjoyed reading the Adventurers stories more than the Forgotten Realms
novels I used to love so much. 

I really hope you will begin to write Adventurers stories again soon, even if
the frequency is less.  I think the ending of episode 500 left plenty of new
plot lines for you to explore in your writing (such as who assumes Ged's
position of Lord?.....Arnold?.......also, will Belphanoir experience a change
of direction in life because of Ged's sacrifice?.....just some thoughts....).
 I'm already on the mailing list and want to stay on it.  I might also like
to see some writings about the first group you DM'ed (Dup, Eyer, etc.)

Now, for something really weird.  I had just finished my lunch and reading
episode 500, Ged's death was just sinking in, the TV was on
VH-1.............Just as I started to read your comments, an old video came
on VH-1, Seasons in the Sun, I forget the artist's name.  If you're not
familiar with this song, the first line I heard which made me notice it was "G
oodbye my friend, it's hard to die....", then of course the chorus was, "We
had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun".  When I heard that I knew I
had to email you immediately.  I would like to dedicate the song "Seasons in
the Sun" to Ged.  

I agree that Ged was the best choice to go, but I really thought it would be
Rillen or Rillen and Songa both.  As usual, you surprised us all somewhat.  I
thought you might spare Ged, since you had taken the time to really
strenghten his character and build his backgroud during the last several
months.  Did you do this because you had his death in mind a long time ago,
or is it coincedence?  I'll leave you with that thought.

Curtis



Wow, what can I say.

Although Ged was one of my favorites, I am not unhappy to see him exit the
story thusly.  One of the hallmarks of a good writer is the way they know
that the story must turn a certain way, be that the death of major
characters or less drastic measures.  I look forward to your next project,
whatever that may be.  Should my email address change, I'll send a bit of
mail to you.

Thanks for the Epic, it was quite a ride.

George



This truly ranks as the greatest, deadliest, and best of
the quests of the Adventurers, as it was promised to be.
And after such an epic episode, nothing short of an epic
response would be fitting.  Hopefully this will come
close to qualifying.

Last things first.  Out of all of the adventurers, I guessed
that it would more than likely be Ged to die.  Of course, I
wasn't sure, but Ged was the only character to not have any
plans for the future, while all of the others seemed to still
have stories to tell.  I must say it saddened me to see him
go, but the way that you carried it out was exceptional.  I'm
anxiously waiting to see how the others will react to his
loss, especially Belphanior's, Peldor's, and Arnold's.

I enjoyed Cynder's appearance in these recent episodes.  
Interesting to see him go as well.  But perhaps Orcus wasn't
referring to Cynder's death, but to his enslavement or 
something?

Bosco's whole attitude while in the Abyss was amusing.  Trying
to play cards with the Demon Lord Orcus.  Now that's a card 
game worth playing.  I almost expected a game of poker to
decide the characters' fates :-)

Another thing I was expecting was to see Orcus' power over
undead displayed by having Victoria a captive of his.  But I'm
no expert on what he can and cannot do, so it wasn't significantly
disappointing.

The battle for control in the Abyss will be most interesting
now.  I'm curious to see how the Circle of Eight will react
to the way the crisis was resolved.

Just a strange thought that came to me as I wrote the proceeding
paragraphs.  I realized that I was interpreting the stories
of the Adventurers as canon for the World of Greyhawk.  Hmmm...

Finally, I'm interested to read anything that you write in the
next little while or so, be it fantasy, sci-fi, or whatever, 
so I guess that means keeping me on the list as is.  Good luck 
with your sabbatical from the Adventurers and all that, and I'll 
be ready and waiting for the next time you decide to set your 
fingers to the keyboard.

Here's to 1997!

Cheers,
Mike



>    I'd like to say a few words about the death of Ged.  Someone

Actually, so would I. :)

It felt so ... unecessary. Like you'd written up the whole story, and
then, at the ending point, you though something along the lines of
of "whoops! righty! Ged was going to die! I forgot that!" and added
a few lines. It gives the impression of an "unimportant", "sudden" death
more suitable for a ... uh ... sub-character? (sorry - English isn't
my native language, so I'm not sure of what word to pick. A character
who's not one of the "big stars", anyway).

I should add, however, that I wrested with my mind for a long time
before deciding to write this message. It feels rotten sending a
message to somebody who's written 500 episodes of great fantasy - without
even getting paid for it - complaining about one of the few things I haven't
liked...

---
Tharkon



Number 500 was great!  You are really very talented.  I'd like very much
to be on your mailing list so that I can receive copies of whatever you
decide to write next.

Thanks again for all your effort!

Jonathan



Hmmm... what can I say? Absolutely superb effort! Bravo!

It's been a real pleasure to have been one of your many fans for the
last five years (and hopefully many more). Congratulations on finally
reaching 500 episodes, a feat that should (IMHO) make the Guiness Book 
of Records. If it doesn't, we'll boycott them in protest!  ;)

Enjoy your break from writing, you've certainly deserved it!

Take care.

Philip



Greetings Thomas

I've not been a vocal Adventurers supporter in so far as Letters to 
the Editor go, but that's not from lack of interest, or appreciation.

500 episodes, the vast majority of which I have thoroughly enjoyed - 
there've been characters I loathed and characters I was extremely 
fond of - and thats the mark of good tale-telling, bringing 
strong emotions out in complete strangers.  Forget this 
amateur/professional writing thing - you're a damn good story-teller 
no matter what you choose to do with your output.

I'd hoped Ged would go down a bit more spectacularly, but on 
reflection, putting his life on the line for someone he was not 
exactly too happy with at the best of times is perhaps the ultimate 
good act.  I hope he's happy, wherever he ends up.  By the bye - have 
you considered Speak with Dead, Contact Outer Plane and the like if 
the remainder of the Adventurers wanted to find out the last Will & 
testament, so to speak?

Still, thats an aside.  Take a break, take a long break - but don't 
stop writing!

Have a great year.

Vale
Nick



hey thomas,

epsiode 500 was well beyond my expectations.  awesome.

many, many enjoyable moments and many surprises.  wow.

i was guessing mongo was going to die saving the party, but i was also
thinking that was too stereo-typical and so you'd come up with some other
way to kill him.  ged did cross my mind but you kept giving hints that
you were going to do some adventuring stories with him so i took him off
the list.  boy was i fooled...and shocked!

no the loop hole in the contract, that was a good one.  i was looking at it
differently, i was thinking that belphanior was going to stay behind and try
and kill orcus, seeing as orcus agreed not to attack them again, but as for
the real hole, i overlooked it's use.  i should have studied it better.
and so shouldn't have ged.  but it was definitely epic.

now, if boccob has a use for ged, then there is no way for the other
adventurers to wish him back.  so in fact you've got a good candidate for
eternal death.  i was wondering how you'd get a character dead permanently
without it looking cheesy (like another sphere).

matt



Wow, 500 episodes. That's amazing. I've been reading the Adventurers since I
discovered them on a dying FTP site (thanx to TSR...) back in the fall or early
winter 1993. Since then I have quit school, lived a year in Sweden and have now
started my second year as a Team Leader at the Norwegian desk at the European
Apple Assistance centre, and throughout these three years, new episodes of the
Adventurers have poured in more or less regularly. I can't really believe it's
been three years, it seems like yesterday I discovered a few files I believed
contained AD&D adventures I could run my players through. Oh no, they contained
some kind of write-ups of someone's old game. I was slightly disappointed and
stored them away on my HD for later. When later came (during an exeptionally
boring day at school) I checked out the files, and was immediately caught. I
quickly downloaded everything up to episode 130-something and read them all
that night and the following days. The antics of Peldor, the cool Belphanior,
clumsy Rob, Arrogant Ged, Tough Mongo, Goody Two-shoed Halbarad, Peyote the
magic mushroom eater and the mysterious Alindyar and the Barbarian Krug. Later
on we got, the dark beauty Lyra and Flint Fireforge, the first permanent death
in the party... those were the days.... I remember the feeling of dread and
emptiness I got when I realized the FTP site went away (I didn't have e-mail
access at that time...), and the sense of peace and completeness I felt when I
ended up on your mailing-list at a later time.
 
I must admit I've relied heavily on the Adventurers for inspiration for my own
characters. I played a thief called Peldor for a while, and the character I'm
playing in this wonderfully detailed campaign I recently joined, is heavily
influenced by Belphanior and his chaotic, yet determined personality.
 
So, I would like to thank you for hours, even days of entertainment in front of
my computer screen (Save the trees and all that...) and a story I will remember
as how AD&D will turn out if played 'properly'. Whether or not it was played
like you wrote it or not. And I'd love to read anything else you decide to
write and distribute over the net, for even though moving from Scandinavia to
England has enabled me to delve down into a great amount of wonderful Sci-Fi
and Fantasy, I'll always want to read more from the guy who brought us the
magnificent adventurers.
 
Again, thank you very much for the adventurers, happy new year and may all your
hopes come true and your pen never run dry (or your keys never get stuck or
whatever....).
 
Stig



What an ending! Totally unexpected on all counts.

Thank you; I'll give you a month - two at the most - before the
writing bug hits again . I'll be waiting.

QTS



Thanks for all the great times, Thomas.  I'm looking forward
to reading anything new that you might come up with.  In the
meantime relax and refill the tank.  We'll be waiting when
you're ready to send out new stuff.

                    Greg



I found Ged's death a little sudden - no dark foreboding, no heroic
giving his life for the party kinda thing, or standing by his morals :(

Perhaps a bit more blow-by-blow would have helped give the impression
of an epic battle?  Such as the fight against the eye, and countless
others...   Maybe a few henchmen and adventurers being knocked down,
having to be carried out by others, a few desperate spells, etc.
I didn't have the feeling that the Adventurers "pulled out all the stops".

Adrian



I noticed that Thomas Miller has reached 500 Episodes!  I'd like to take this 
opporunity to congratulate him on a job well done and wish him all the best in 
his next venture.  (His stories inspired me to get my campaign up in text).

cheers,

Tim



Thomas,

     Just wanted to drop a note to say that I've been reading your 
stories for quite a while now and love them!  Although I started reading 
around episode 250, I'm sure to go back and read the beginning of the  
Adventurers' adventures!

     Anyway, reading your webpage, it was mentioned that you had put your 
stories in book format.  I was wondering where that was located and if 
it alright to download.  I know you mentioned something about T$R 
copyright infringements, so I'm not sure if you had them on an ftp site.

     Anyway, thanks for your time.  Personally, I hope you don't take that 
hiatus you mentioned after episode 500.  But ya gotta do what ya gotta 
do! ;^)  Later...

-Nolan



A good finale!  Although I would liked to have seen Bosco, Tanya, and
Sonja be the ones to die, I enjoyed reading it.  Kinda sorry to see
Belphanior give up the wand but them's the breaks.

I am sad to hear that you are taking a hiatus from the adventurers. I
first got ahold of them when the group was fighing the vampire lord,
and I have avidly followed them ever since.  It was a long day of reading
for me when I finally found an ftp site that contained the episodes that
had gone before.

Leave me on you list, I'd like to read whatever you come up with.

Thanks for many enjoyable stories.

                   Marc



Hi Thomas,

Curtis here again.  Just wanted to send another round of congrats to you for
the great ending to the Orcus storyline.  The more I think about it the more
I think your choice to "off" Ged was the best choice.  Heck, if you go by
the Neilson rating system, Ged was consistantly one of the lowest rated
characters of the "Adventurers saga" (just another strange way to justify
your choice).

At the next EGG awards show, everyone should be wearing a ribbon in Boccob's
colors (or Boccob's symbol) in rememberance of Ged.  Perhaps Ged could get
the first Adventurers "Post-mortem Achievement Award" for outstanding
sacrifice in the line of duty.  Belph, of course, should be the presenter of
the award.

I checked out the updated Rogues gallery and other files and noticed some
references to story501.  Has that story already been written, or are the
references just describing what story501 will be about.

I like the fact that you changed the picture on the Adventurers page and
also your personal picture on your home page.  If no one has told you, your
new personal picture has very bad contrast which makes you very hard to see.
 Thought you might like to know.

L8er.

Curtis



Hello,
     I just saw and read the notes for 500 (though i haven't read up to 400 
yet).  I just wanted to say I love your stories very much.  I was hoping you 
wouldn't mind this bit of email and would put me on your mailing list to 
receive *any* of your writing.
     I just started reading these stories a bit ago when a dm in a PBEM 
campaign told me that it was probably best to read them to understand the 
theory behind his turns.  Grumbling, I started to read number one.  By 
number fifty I was addicted and I started caring about the characters.  By 
three hundred, I was praying that the stories would continue.  
     I'll admit that my favorite character definitly changed through the 
stories.  I started out fiercly admiring Peldor.  No one could have 
convinced me my favorite character could have ever changed.  And I kept 
thinking that until I read about Belphanior taking over Helgate.  Peldor at 
that time seemed to have toned down and Belphanior's pure insaneness was 
terrific.  When I reached episode 400, I went back and reread everything 
from the point of view where Belphanior was my favorite Adventurer and it 
seemed to change the story slightly.
     I hope you don't end the adventurers permanently, but I'd like to read 
your other writing too.  Sorry if you don't want this fan mail, but I knew I 
had to write you after reading in one note that you disliked needles and 
bugs the most.  You managed to name my two greatest fears and I inspired to 
write you.
                             
jenn



Well, congratulations are in order.

Thanks for years of great stories. The 500th episode (which I put off
reading until I could do it in one piece, so I could really enjoy it)
was great.

Just a small point about the story itself; if Belphanior was fighting
only undead due to the demons avoiding the wand, wouldn't Blackrazor
have been a liability with most (or at least many) of them? Or was
the effect different due to being in the Abyss?

Anyway, I can think of explanations for it, so it is no big deal.

regards,
Glen



Hi Thomas,

I guess the ending was inevitable, you don't enter a Demon Prince's lair
and expect to leave it unscathed.  It was also probably the only way you
COULD actually kill a character permanently given the amount of magic
floating around the story.

I have to wonder just whether Orcus would leave the adventurers alone.
It only mentions Orcus in the pact, I'm sure one of his minions may take
it into it's head to attack the adventurers at some future point.

Good luck with the other projects, take a bow and hope to see more of
your stuff in the new year.

Thanks,

--
Denby.



i,

Just to let you know I've enjoyed the Adventurers series a lot, and
thanks for writing it!  I really liked the showdown with Orcus.  Ged
buying the farm is fair enough, though I would like to put in a word for
Cynder if there's a chance of him coming back, I loved the scene with
him and Orcus going at it :)

Russell



Thomas,

I'm sure you'll get heaps of mail for this one. Anyway, here's mine...

That was a fantastic  way to end this 
saga and you pulled it off very adroitly. I was completely blown away by 
Ged's death (not expecting it *at all*) but upon reflection a bit later 
and on reading your notes, it added a great deal of depth to the stories. 
So many loose ends...so many knots - ahh, satisfaction :-)

Ged was certainly not an "expendable" character which makes his departure 
far more significant than if say, Gorin or even Rillen had died. I'm sure 
many people will want him back, but I'm of the opinion, as I know you are 
that his death should be permanent. I reckon the party did quite well to 
achieve what they did with Orcus, who was a very formidable foe indeed. 
They did have the help of Cynder (loved him) which they certainly needed.

I must also say that Belphanior's actions in this episode were very in 
character, keeping me on the edge of my seat thinking "will he, won't he 
give in to the dark side this time?". Someone with a will like his takes 
a lot of persuading. I think he is square with Orcus now...

In closing, thanks for an excellent 500 episodes! If you do decide to 
stop at that number, then it was a great way to end the series. If you 
don't, then I would be very interested at the effect Ged's death has on 
the rest of the characters. Congratulations and best of luck in whatever you 
intend on doing this year!

Jeff



Wow, I just finished reading that last story (I just got back from
vacation) and I sure am shocked!  I'm curious, though, wouldn't Peldor
use his feather tattoo's wish ability to bring Ged back?  Even if he
already used it and had to wait a year, wouldn't he?  Also, what happened
to Lightbringer?  Did it also get disintegrated also (I don't know if it's
considered to have artifact status or not)?  Will we ever hear from Ged
again, even if it's in spirit form?  I also think it's interesting that
Ged didn't die in a glorious battle, in the service of his God, or even
in a quest that was successful.  In fact he died protecting the most
'evil' of the group.  Perhaps that's what was needed to turn Belphanior
around, maybe we'll see more of what I liked about him in earlier
episodes.  :)
Anyway, I'm babbling.  Please do NOT stop writing Adventurers episodes...
I don't know what I would do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

--Alice




For us, it's a pity you've decided to take a sabatical, but for yourself,
after seeing the stat's you most probably need one.... Anyway, I've greatly 
enjoyed with the stories and will look forward to reading any of the stuff 
you produce...

Kerry



Hi Thomas,

I was just browsing the FAQ and was wondering how the players
of the characters (Ashley, etc.) have reacted to the death
of Ged, or if they have at all.

Later,
Mike

TM>    Mike raises an interesting question here.  I've been pretty much
TM>  out of touch with most of the players.  Marc (Peldor) crashed at
TM>  my place with his girlfriend, during the Xmas break, and I showed
TM>  him Ged's death-scene after I wrote it.  He seemed amused.
TM>    Marc had a choice comment about the burning-down of the Green
TM>  Dragon Inn:  "Orcus?  He can't burn it down.  It's burn-proof...
TM>  protected by spells cast by Peldor."
TM>
TM>    That Peldor!



   Dear Thomas,

   Happy New Year !

   I was a keen reader of the Adventurer's series since 1990-93 when I was in 
   Holland (stories 1 to 115). Recently (4 months ago), I have rediscovered 
   your stories and have been happily catching up on what I have missed and am 
   about to read story 499 today. I would like to heartily congratulate you on 
   the really epic tales that you have woven and am extremely grateful for the 
   opportunity to read them for free. My few comments are :

   - I love reading all the stories (some much more than others)
   - I like the old Peldor, the present Mongo and Belphanior
   - I would HATE to see any of the main Adventurer disappear forever
     although I think you should allow some of the powerful opponents to have
     Wishes as well to make things more interesting

   Many thanks.

   Philip.



  Hi Thomas,

      Just wanted to send you belated good wishes for Xmas and the new year.
I was down in Florida for the holidays and just got back.  Traveled through
your stompin' grounds of Atlanta, twice.  Shesh, I don't see how you can
handle driving there every day!
      I really enjoyed the Orcus storyline and the conclusion.  The ending
was especially good.  I was sorry to see Ged die, but it makes the story
have much more punch.  It will be interesting to see the effect this has
on Belphanior, since Ged died saving him.
      I'm going to miss the adventurer stories, but I can understand the
need for a break.  I really think your writing has matured over the course
of the stories, to the point where I think you could consider getting
published.  Obviously not with TSR, but something more your own.

  All the best.

--
Michael



TM>  Here's a message I sent out to the Adventurers mailing list on
TM>  1/6/97, and the resulting mail:



    I've been taking it easy, planning future projects, spending a
  lot of time in the gym, watching too many movies, cooking meals
  rather than eating out, saving money, and reading many old and new
  comics alike.  A relaxed lifestyle, but the urge to write is going
  to be back by February or March, I think.

    Here are my decisions regarding the post-500 adventures.  I've
  done some thinking, and I've realized that episode 1000 isn't
  really a goal of mine.  If it happens, it happens, but I'm not
  going to race toward it or look for it.  Reaching 500 episodes
  was the only real writing goal I ever had, and now that it's been
  achieved, I'm quite happy; I have no further numerical goals.
    I am, however, becoming involved in a lot of real-life things
  which will curtail my time and motivation to write.  I will lose
  all of my weekends if I pursue whitewater rafting guide-school.
  If I start back up at Aikido, I'll lose several hours on most
  of my evenings.  If I begin police academy in preparation for a
  second line of work, I'll lose ALL of my nights.  I don't know for
  sure what I'll do.  No promises, and no threats.
    My short-term goal is to produce longer, higher-quality episodes
  with less frequency than in the past.  This means that, rather than
  see two 10K episodes every week, you'll more likely see one 25K
  episode every two weeks.  I'm going to try to create episodes which
  have more complete, self-contained plots.
    I'll also be doing a series of "Lost Tales" which will detail
  past, previously unchronicled deeds and exploits of the adventurers.
  This will be a supplemental series to the main one, though less
  frequent.
    In addition to the continuing Adventurers and the "Lost Tales",
  I've planned two other projects, both of which will appear randomly
  along with the others.  One will be a sci-fi/military series done
  in prose format, kind of a mix of the A-Team, the adventures of
  Richard Marcinko, and Epic Comics' Alien Legion; it will be loosely
  set in, and use the background material of, TSR's old 1980s "Star
  Frontiers" gaming system.  While this limits my ability to ever
  market/sell this work, I don't much care.  I'm doing it to fulfill
  a whim of mine, no more.
    The second project will be a fantasy-type adventure, hopefully
  also in prose, without the all-too-familiar constraints of the
  AD&D gaming system.  This will probably be the more challenging of
  the two new projects, since I've done so many FRP-type characters
  already that new ones will be tough to create.  We'll see.

    The main point is this:  while I'm still interested in writing,
  real life will now be taking a larger share of my time.  I'm not
  rushing to produce any of the above-mentioned items.  I may offer
  you previews and such, but generally, when something's posted,
  it's posted.  All I can say for sure is that I won't quit writing
  altogether.







Thomas



Greetings,

I just want to say that it sure sounds like you have a cartload of plans 
and ambitions to deal with there.  Better to drink deeply of the cup of 
life than sip shallowly I think.  Good luck and have fun with what you 
choose to do (I'm sure you will).

Looking forward to see what you come up with in the the other writing 
areas you have mentioned.

-A (mostly) silent reader,
	Trevor.




>  All I can say for sure is that I won't quit writing
>  altogether.


Thomas that is good news.  I know i have a inside look because i see matt
everyday but alot of people would have been really scared if you didn't write 
for 6 months.  I am glad that you still have a earge to write and good luck
with your other "projects" you have in mind.  All you need to do is throw
in a significant other and you'll be all set.
	Take care and feel free to send me anything you write.

				later,
				   andy



Well you could alway do a couple of hundreds years have passed and see what
people are still around, descendants of poeple and stuff like that. I
personally would think that would be cool. You have done a great job of
writing and I am pleased to have started reading your stuff starting at the
15th or so story when you started.
                Good luck in whatever
                        Brian D

p.s.
I am looking for a copy of the Old Greyhawk War game. Do you have it, or
know of someone who does ?
Also you were right about the Hitman comic, it is killer. I still suggest
that you get Poison Elves and check it out. 
I have a friend in Atlanta doing some work now, if I go down to see him I
will drop you an email, it would be nice to meetcha if possible.

Later



Hi Thomas -

>   Subject: (Adv) status report from the sabbatical shelter
>   ...Here are my decisions regarding the post-500 adventures. 

It was good to get your status report. It sounds like you are taking a
well deserved rest. There are a lot of worthwhile activities out there:
the only thing we are short of is time (and money...) Anyway, I'm glad
you took a break before you burned out.

Following your suggestion, I wrote a simple filter for the "adult"
words. So far I have read 150 episodes to my kids (ages 8.5 and 10).
They love them. Every 50 episodes I take a break and read some "classic"
literature. Currently we are reading Sherlock Holmes stories. They put
up with the classics, but they always look forward to returning to The
Adventurers.

Keep up the good work. I continue to look forward to whatever news from
Oerth (or wherever...) you send.

Ted Manahan



Thomas,


That would be great - I liked most of the stuff you've talked about.

When did you do Aikido ?

Thanks,

Ady



>One will be a sci-fi/military series done
>in prose format, kind of a mix of the A-Team, the adventures of
>Richard Marcinko, and Epic Comics' Alien Legion; it will be loosely
                                    ^^^^^^^^^^^^

you too?  excellent. 

i look forward very much to this series; hope you find time for it.

ok
dpm



Thomas,

First I want to say yu have written a wonderful series. The only thing I
have been waiting for is the origin of Peldor. Especially since
there was a likeness of him in a mural or painting in the Jaugernaut
series. Do you plan on tying up this loose end?

Thanks for the stories.

Scott



>     I've been taking it easy, planning future projects, spending a
>   lot of time in the gym, watching too many movies, cooking meals
>   rather than eating out, saving money, and reading many old and new
>   comics alike.  A relaxed lifestyle, but the urge to write is going
>   to be back by February or March, I think.

You've got to put your own life first (much as I enjoy reading your work)

>     I'll also be doing a series of "Lost Tales" which will detail
>   past, previously unchronicled deeds and exploits of the adventurers.
>   This will be a supplemental series to the main one, though less
>   frequent.

This is a great idea.

Glen



I'm not sure there is much to be to said that has not already been 
said many times over, but I'm sure you won't mind yet another voice 
shouting its support!

I read my first Adventurers episode many moons ago (it almost seems 
like another lifetime).  I think it was somewhere in the 100's, where 
the party is fighting the Balor.  That was a truly rockin' episode.  
I was pretty captivated, but other  (unfortunately more important) 
things called and I didn't read  another Adventurers for another year 
and a half.  A lot had changed so I wasn't even sure it was the same 
thing I had enjoyed so much earlier, but my doubts were soon cleared 
when I saw the name Peldor, a name and a character not soon 
forgotten.  At this point I discovered the ftp site and the mailing 
list (to which I eventually subscribed) and went on an Adventurer's 
binge fest, reading some 200 (or so) episodes in about a week!  
Obviously I enjoy your work.

Enough of this personal history, though.  I'm not trying to say 
that your work has changed my life in some fundamental way, given me 
the strength to bear my burdens, yadda, yadda.  What you have done is 
provide a significant amount of quality entertainment.  I always 
awaited with eager trepidation your next instalment in the series.  
I can't remember an episode I didn't like, either.  I'm a little sad 
that the Adventurers chronicle has finally come to end, but it had to 
come some day.  Frankly, I like the way you ended things.  There seem 
to be several minor loose ends, but I think its better to end 
remembering the Adventurers doing what they do best-- doing the 
impossible against seemingly impossible odds.

I hope you enjoy your very well-earned vacation from writing and I 
look forward to seeing your new material, whatever it may be.  I am 
intrigued by the Star Frontiers stuff.  I remember playing that stuff 
a bit as a wee laddie.  I think it was a pretty good system, 
unfortunately it seems not too much was done with it by TSR.

This turned out a little longer than I was anticipating (that only 
serves me right for keeping my mouth shut for so long), but again- a 
hearty congratulations, good luck in your future.

John



You know it really is a bummer that a few days after I got back on the 
list I got a message from ya saying yer on hiatus :)  I thought I could 
hold it in but I can't, I just wanna tell you it was cool how you had a 
major character die the true death.  It was well done, and unexpected.  I 
immediately found myself wondering how the rest of the adventurers would 
take it, namely Mongo, Arnold, Daryck, Nenya... who will Peldor have to 
blasphemize?  What'll happen to the lands of Ged?  Will Belphanior be 
affected?  That could easily have been him, and it's the first real death 
in the party since ... what, Krug?  If you don't mind, maybe this could 
be a time where people on yer list can write some stories based on your 
world (as it most assuredly is!)  I for one itch to write a bit of 
fanfic, or do some RPGing every time I read one of your stories!

Take care,
Gabe



Hi Thomas,
I was away over Christmas but I just got back and found Episodes 499 and
500 in my mailbox, so I thought I'd give you some comments:-)

I really liked these two episodes, 'cause most of it was pretty
unexpected - I reckoned Orcus would get killed using some power of the
wand. I didn't think the party would give the wand to Orcus, nor that
Ged would permanently die - I didn't think anyone would permanently die
(would a Wish be able to bring him back?).

The desciption of the Abyss in 499 was exciting and interesting, as was
Orcus' palace - really conjured up a feel of being out of this world.

While I'm sorry that we won't be seeing any more Adventurers for the
immediate future, I realise that you need a break after 5 years and I'll
be interested to know what you'll be doing instead, so please keep me on
the list. One thing though, my workplace is moving to a different site
over the next couple of weeks, which will include the internet machine,
so there may be a little trouble getting mail through, but if you are
taking a break from writing for a while then this shouldn't be a
problem.

Live long and prosper,
-- 
Sean



Hi Thomas,

I've just finished reading episode 500, very powerful, I'd actually forgotten
the fact one would die, I'd sort of assumed a henchman would be the obvious
choice at the time.

I quite agree Ged is 'the' choice (even though he is my favourite character)
and I think it exceedingly fitting that he died to save Belphanior of all
the characters.

Thanks, thanks for everything, have a good sabbatical, I seriously look
forward to continue receiving your stories in 6 months time.

My regards, Jonathon



Keen.  Take care of yourself.  However, there are those who eagerly await
your next episode/story/projects, whatever they may be.  Personally, I'd
like to see the lost tales and the futuristic projects.  You've got enough
prose under your belt to go ahead and do stuff that doen't have a game
master's handbook, so the new adventure stuff shouldn't be too difficult
for you -- you just have to decide how things work.  Heh, ok, thats the
hard part.  I'm sure that you can figure out how magic works and what scope
of skills the different characters have (has?).  The character development
is something you have already done without actual players, and storylines
are something that you've dealt with successfully.  Whatever you come up
with, I'm sure that we'll appreciate it.

George









TM>  That's it for the -500 fanmail.  Now for something else; here
TM>  are a couple of postings people forwarded to me from the D&D
TM>  newsgroup...

>Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
>Subject: Re: Anybody remember this module?
>Date: Thu, 07 Nov 1996 18:26:46 +0100
>Organization: Groningen University (NL)
>Lines: 33
>Message-ID: <32821BD6.49C8@cs.rug.nl>
>References: <3276B552.4915@earthlink.net>
<55t4mp$m2u@grapool30.rz.uni-frankfurt.de>
>NNTP-Posting-Host: rug103.cs.rug.nl
>Mime-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>X-Mailer: Mozilla 2.02 (X11; I; HP-UX A.09.01 9000/735)
>
>prasad@grapool23.rz.uni-frankfurt.de wrote:
>> 
>> I was wondering if anyone could remember a particular module.  It was the
>> World of Greyhawk and it was called "Isle of the Ape."  Although, I
don't think
>> I ever actually played it, it was very interesting to read.  The
adventure was
>> meant for ultra high-level characters (18+) and it was VERY challenging.
>> 
>> I remember that the main monster was a King Kong type ginat creature who
was
>> immune to a ton of magic.  Also, the last battle was against a group of
>> mezzodaemons and and their archodaemon boss.  Before I continue my
ramblings
>> does anyone know what I am talking about?
>> 
>> - Gautam Prasad
>> Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universitaet
>> Frankfurt, Germany
>Yes, I am. I have that module too. Only read / skimmed it though.
>My PC's are not high level enough.
>
>You might have a look at Thomas Miller's The Adventurers stories,
>since that has begun with the module at the moment. Try out
>story480.txt and up. Thomas Miller's stories I can recommend to
>anyone interested in *D&D, he is a very good writer. 
>I even put my players through the first 20 stories of his making,
>and my players loved it. Several other TSR modules where included
>in subsequent stories, and now the characters of Thomas are being
>challenged with the Isle of the Ape.
>




Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Dark elves as pc's
Date: 24 Nov 1996 14:49:33 GMT

Fran Hughson (franhugh@pop.erols.com) wrote:
: timeasterly wrote:
: > 
: > Why is it not possible, to have a Dark elf as a party member?  I
: > would think that a neutral magic user would be likely, as long as
he was
: > played in character, only doing something if there was some
personal
: > gain involved!  Could someone please explain why this is not
possible?


	The best drow elf PC out there may be Alindyar, from The
Adventurers....check out r.g.frp.archives...

					---JWH III





TM>  And some ollllllld story related mail...



Hi, I got your email address off an old file i came across recently, so
if you have absolutely no idea what im on about, please tell me to go
away as i have the wrong person.  Anyway, im trying to track down the
author of a series of adventure like stories that were posted around
1992 I think.  If you're that person, please reply telling me so.

Thanks, Ack



        Hi!

I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Mikael "Maukku" Viitala, and I'm
a Finnish male at age of 15 (16 in feb -97). I started reading
"Adventurers" in spring -96, When I Downloaded whole adventurers up to book 17
from local BBS of one computer magazine. Starting from episode 1, I just read
episode 309. So I Don't know anything about alterations after that in your
series. Sorry for all grammal problems in my writing.

This writing is not meant to be insulting, and I would lie, if I said, that
"Adventurers" is bad. I Like your stories a lot, but there are few things,
that I would chance in "Adventurers".

1) The characters are too good. They seem to always be the best of all, some
kind of masters of their races. There never seems to be any one better than
"adventurers"

2) They manage too well. Isn't it odd, that Green dragon inn has done better
and better, Ged has just expanded his territory and so on, without any major
problems? I mean, that times should be hard, Shouldn't they? Where are all
those orcs and other bad guys. It would be nice to see little invasion against
Ged's castle... :)

3) "The Adventurers" never fail in their missions. I think, that some of the
rumors should be just what they are: Rumors. What would have happened, if
Mongo had killed all orcs, and found that the armor he was after, had
disappeared. Maybe someone else had taken it with him... (In one of our
missions in D&D, we
were looking for some mithril, to be delivered to good ol' Khelben of
Waterdeep, but we never found any)

4) There is problem, for these adventures aren't really played. How about
giving each of your proofreaders one or many of characters, and they would
read the stories, and tell you, how their character would have done things


And after complaints, into few suggestions:

1) How about putting one (or more) fan letters at end of each episode instead
of putting them in mass. I found myself skipping those messages several times
'cos I just got bored...

2) How about instead of quoting movies and comics, quoting players and their
characters. Instead of what "mr. x" said, it would be nice to see what Peldor
said...


I hope you read this, 'cos I think of you as the other one of my idols
(the other is Lars Ulrich of Metallica). That is because you show me the way
to keep on writing my fantasy role-startegy game ROTWE. And you show
incredible gifts of a writer. So keep on writing, and BTW, I really like all
the
things you have told about yourself (all those things about your girlfriends
and all), they have helped me to think of you as a human, not something distant
person of some alien race :)

     I hope you keep on writing. The biggest thing I want to chance, is their
     rate of succesfulness. Nobody is perfect (not even me, ASS you see :) ).

       Like the commercial of Philips said, let's make things better.


                                                Maukku


P.S. This wasn't BTW sent by me, But instead by Iiro, a very friend of mine
P.P.S. I surely hope, that you are still writing adventurers.

-------!!!!!!!!-_-_-_-_...... ... ... .. hehe.

B.B.S. From here starts a new letter, a letter from Immortal...


Hi...

I guess I could say that I'm just beginner at reading your "stories".
I'm at chapter ... wait, I must go and see :)...

... Yes, I'm at chapter XIII. Maukku gave me these marvellous books, and
I must say I like them.

That wierd "story telling style" sucks.... You MUST use
the original style, not any "New experimental" styles :)
I think that it takes years to read all these books, but I'll try...

Hmm.. Like Maukku, I'm not so marvellous at english either. If you even
are interested to read this stupid little letter, I could tell something
about myself.

My true name is Iiro Hietala, and I live in Muurame, Finland. I'm 15 years
old, but my birthday is January 13. so you could say that I'm 16.

(Now I'm 16... <-- 14.01.97)

Well that's that about myself... Now, to the point:

You really could tell more about the player characters, and what kind
of dudes you all are. And your favourite music (HEAVY RULEZ!!!) and
favourite TV-Series and Movies and...
Of course more these great texts


What book are you writing right now, or are you even writing anymore?
You could really start to make money by writing! You could publish these
stories and get some serious money with them ;) Really!

Btw. I still laugh sometimes at that story about those two car robbers :)
Maukku told me about that and I read it...

Heh, I wrote this letter 1.1.97 and time was 12:00. There's nothing
special about that except that, that I had been awake almost 30 hours...
That's a really good excuse for these enormous grammal errors (hmm, what
means "grammal" anyhow {I borrowed that from Maukku's letter :D })

Heh.. I guess there's nothing more for now... KEEP ON WRITING! :-)





Well, you said you were going to do it, and you did it in style.

500 episodes is a heck of a lot of text, but you've done a brilliant job -
I've been glued to the stories from 1 to 500, including a whole week back
in October 1996 when I read stories 107 thru 450.  Having done this, I can
confirm that the stories showed no sign of becoming poorer once you ran out
of notes for the games and started creating the situations from
imagination.  The way you slowly removed the game-specific elements was
truly excellent, leaving the items that mattered without destroying the
previous history of any of the adventurers or making the narrative seem any
less real.

As far as the characters go, my original statement stands: Belphanior rules
(in fact, he rules Helgate!) and as for Peldor - what a guy!
I felt that Ged was becoming a more sympathetic character when he lost his
religion and then his father, and the way he sacrificed himself for Belph
was exactly what I would have expected of him.

The individual story lines always had interesting plots, forcing the
characters to grow and progress.  There were so many good ones:
shapechangers, alternate Oerth (how much fun can one thief have with a hat
of disguise?), our Earth, Belphanior's troubled leadership of Helgate, the
list seems endless.  A special mention for the awards ceremony - truly
excellent.

Moving on to episode 500, my friend Andy Horsfield and I often speculated
on your likely choice for the chop before the final revelation, and we came
to the conclusion that the candidates were Rillen (who seemed to have lost
his way a bit), Ged (who seemed to have nothing left to do), or Mongo (who
can't seem to settle down, despite the example set by the others).  It is
pleasing to think that Ged will be serving Boccob in the most direct way
possible from now on.  If he isn't going to be adventuring with the party,
maybe he can put in an appearance when Nenya next communes with Boccob...

Well, I've waffled on long enough, so I'll just conclude by saying that I
hope you come back to the adventurers eventually - please put me on the
mailing list for new material of this kind.

Thanks again for hours of enjoyment, suspense and laughter.  Have a good
sabbatical.

Best regards,
Matt Willing
Andrew Horsfield



Wow!  It took me quite a while, but I made it through the 500 stories!  I
planned on sending you a bit of email, but I decided to get through the
stories first.  It really only took me about 4 weeks, but it seems like
forever!  I loved them!  Excellent!  I feel like I know the group as well
as one of my own characters from gaming.  
Well, you are on a hiatus, and that is good.  As far as a mailing list, I
would love to be put on one when you get back off of the hiatus.  I'll be
happy to get whatever you write, but especially that of the Adventurers.
*grin*
Well, enjoy your break, you deserve it.  I'll be looking forward to the
next story, whenever it comes.  :)

Aaron



First of all, thanks a lot for 500 golden moments and 5 years (!) of 
story reading!

I started reading "The Adventurers" early in 92. Your stories have been 
read regularly, except for some frustrating periods without 
Internet-access.

The two last months of 96 was such a period, so entering Internet again 
just to discover the end of this Epic was a mixed blessing.

But after all, 500 episodes is awesome and you deserve a break. I look 
forward to see your pen produsing stories again. (Please put me on your 
mailing list.)

BTW: There are som hints in your Index about story 501 (Ged's funeral and 
Endymions death). Is this an already written history or just a cast?

Reards,
Sverre



Very much appreciated Adventurers 500. I'll miss Ged.

Joe



So this is how the Adventurers comes to an end: not with a bang but with
a wimper: an act of such monumental folly and evil as to more than wipe
out all the good they had done in their lives so far.

Please take me off your mailing lists. Thanks.

			Martin



TM>  I'm sorry you didn't care for the choice they made.  The adventurers,
TM>  like real people, aren't perfect, and don't always make the best or 
TM>  the right decision.  This was a lesser of two evils situation that
TM>  they didn't ask for and really didn't have a way out of.  Good does
TM>  not always win over evil.  If they had held out, Orcus would have
TM>  probably gotten the wand anyway.  Beating a demon lord on his home plane
TM>  is an impossibility, not a heroic feat.
 




I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how much I have
enjoyed reading the adventurers stories you posted (no doubt over a HUGE
period).  I stumbled on them during a search and have become addicted. 
You did a great job transferring D&D to a story format.

	I haven't read nearly all of the stories yet, but they are great so
far.  I just wanted to congratulate you on a phenomenal job.

Helicopter


Hi Thomas -

Just a note on the stuff you outline in the sneak preview. It makes a lot of sense. Of course there will be lots of changes and character development as a result of the monumental action in #500. The thought of Bosco searching for Cynder's hoard is especially appealing. It's just what he would do!

While I hate to see Ged gone, it may turn out to be for the best in terms of the story line. You're right, the rest of the Adventurers are lucky just to get out of the Abyss alive! It was a great story, and there are a lot of loose ends that need to be followed up on as a result.

Ged's relationship with Baccob has always been a mixed bag. Someone as egotistical as Ged has a hard time submitting to any will other than his own. It may be possible to take a peek at the way Ged fits into the afterlife?...

Keep up the good work. I like the redesigned home page, too!

Ted

Glad you enjoyed the sneak preview. It's kinda neat to plot many months ahead and know that I still have all that time to do the writing.

The search for Cynder's hoard should be epic in scope - especially since Peldor and Belphanior will be along for the ride!

Ged's gone, but the loose ends you describe will be addressed in 501-505.

I doubt we'll see anything of Ged nowadays; I'm not saying yes, and I'm not saying no...


I think that Isle of the Ape went quite well, considering. The aftermath in Abyss was memorable, and the death of Ged quite satisfactory (bwhahaa..just kidding). What catched my eye was the sneak previews: episode #506. will the drow come along with Bosco? They'd be interested, I'm sure.

VP

So you did or didn't like the climax in 500? The main thing people seem to be mad about is that the whole quest was for nothing, never mind Ged being lost.

Still, not all fiction is high epic fantasy - sometimes real-life types of things happen too.

Sorry to say the drow won't be coming along with Bosco etc. - they have their own problems to deal with.



>  Still, not all fiction is high epic fantasy - sometimes real-
>life types of things happen too.

And things are better for it too. High fantasy can become quite boring after
a while. The thing I like in your stories is that people live and die, they
are not etched in stone. This is forgotten in some sagas, as the heroes go
blazing away from one problem to next and no stopping between..






I am writing simply to say here! here!  Too many super heros around, 
for my liking.  Just getting to the Abyss and back should be reward
enough.  I shall keep an eye on r.g.f.archives for the next installments. 
You have my vote on a great ending.  Then again, I woulda preferred 
Darth kill Luke, Ada drown with her Piano, Raistlin destroy Krynn
regardless of the warnings, etc... :)

Tim



     I was browsing the web in late December of last year (1996) looking 
     for back issues of certain "classic" TSR modules when I stumbled 
     across the Adventurers stories.  I started with the Slaver modules 
     because I was looking for a complete set of the series and that's how 
     it began my 3 month trek to finishing all 500 adventures.
     
     It is refreshing to see that you used the old 1st-edition modules.  I 
     personally believe Gary Gygax wrote by far the best of TSR's work and 
     with him gone, so has TSR's creativity.  I was very pleased to read 
     the Adventurers trip through the Tomb of Horrors.  I actually went 
     through this module as a player (my character was a thief much like 
     Peldor...although there can be only one Peldor) and it was actually 
     the first time I had a character permanently die.  Actually Acerack 
     killed my entire party with the exception of our mage who teleported 
     away.

     Your stories have inspired me to put a little more realism into the 
     characters I play by providing them with detailed backgrounds, 
     personality quirks, and other things just you or I would.  I find that 
     I have a new zealous for playing the game and it gives me a new sense 
     of purpose in my existing campaigns.  Right now I have a medium level 
     fighter who is a combination of Mongo's and Peldor's personality (he's 
     a glory hound who will _only_ stand and fight...a scary combo to be 
     sure).  
     
     You certainly loaded down the players with innumerable magic items.  
     You actually handled it very well and were just as judicious 
     destroying magic items as giving them.  I would say the only drawback 
     would be that you forget they have certain items.  In one of the more 
     recent adventures on the Isle of the Ape, Lyra almost fell...but I was 
     sure she had some kind of flight magic (besides the spell).
     
     Oh, and most importantly, I applaud the use of Orcus as an 
     arch-nemisis.  He was my favorite demon prince as a kid (actually the 
     thief that got killed by the demi-lich was an unwilling worshipper).  
     You played Orcus fairly well.  I would have been a bit more liberal 
     with the gore and blood in the Hall of Bones.  (I don't think that was 
     part of any module was it?)

     Anyway, I would like to be added to your mailing list (but just for 
     future Adventurer episodes).  For those of us out there who don't get 
     a chance to play D&D as often as we like, the stories are a welcome 
     release of that energy.  So thanks and keep up the great work.
     
     ...Eric



Hi,

Just thought I'd drop a line to say well done.  After finishing Book12
in early 95, when I was finishing  my degree, I sorely missed reading
about the gangs adventures.  However in the last 2 weeks I've read from
Book 13 to the end of Book 500.

Wow, I must be hooked.  I enjoyed every single bit of it.  Please please=

keep up the excellent work.  I just hope that you can make it to episode=

1000.

Would it be possible to add me to your mailing list so I dont miss any
of the episodes.

Thanks once again

Andrew



Hi there.  I just wanted to tell you how busy I've been for the last
four weeks reading your fine work.  And I'm only halfway done.  *sniff*

  It's been real fun watching the characters 'grow up' so to speak, and
come to be serious powers in your campaign world of Grayhawk.

  I original read your story as part of rec.games.frp/storyteller
series, but had an urge to see the lastest, forgetting you were taking
some time off.  Thankfully, there's Yahoo out there and I was able to
find Kal Shobaki's website for a fix.

  Thanks much for your hard work.

mayla



Hello,
	I would like to say your stuff is great.  I looked at the writings on 
the Adventurers, TOP QUALITY MATERIAL!!!!!  Though I am a bit upset 
about Ged kicking the bucket, I think I'll get over it, also liked 
putting Cynder smack dab in the middle.

Hope to read Episode 501 and beyound!!!!!!

Preferring to remain Annonymous



Dear Thomas,

     First, congrats on *the* most entertaining piece of fantasy work I've
found, beyond even Tolkien. I've just read Ep. 500 and must admit I'm totally
shocked. I do have a few questions/comments/concerns. First, why didn't
Belphanior use the eye of Elik on the Tarrasque?  What happened in the drow city
that thing got sent to? And, why did *Ged* get hit by the Disintegration bolt? I
got the idea that that is pretty much a faster than the speed of light thing, or
that it tracks it's target... Next, would a wish bring Ged back? I know you've
said it wasn't going to happen, but wouldn't the group have tried? Speaking of
the group, what do *they* think of these stories? And have you read the high
level handbook? Some of the stuff you've wrote reminds me of some stuff in
there, ex the distinction between running vs still water re vampires... Also on
Ged, when that fortune teller said someone would die I thought of Peldor. I can
just _see_ Orcus ripping him in half. (again) Ged came as an almost complete
surp[rise, although slightly predictable. Each of the rest (except Rillen)still
had stuff to do, but he was settled down, retired, and not _quite_ that active
anymore. Of course, it might have been Rillen, but I don't think you'd kill off
a married man. BTW, when these stories get back to regular production, how are
they going to be distributed?

Ben



I am writing in reguards to your adventures campain. I would like to be
able to join it. If you could give me the information needed it would be
very much appreciated. I'm really interested and hope you will email me
soon. Thank you for your time.

Derek



Hey. 
 I've only just recently started reading your write ups, but I was quite
impressed. They'd probably make good stories too. Anyway, I'm just about
to start a new set of adventures with my friends and have thought about
writing our adventures up as you have. My question is: How did you
manage to keep all those notes on the adventures? Like all those notes
on what the players said. I imagine it can't have been to difficult to
record the hits and such, just how'd you manage the rest. Oh, where'd
you get those quotes from?

T. Ernstzen 



Hiya. I've been an avid fan of the Adventurers ever since I stumbled
upon a batch of them in a bbs (episodes 1-250, I think) at least a year
or so back. I've been meaning to drop you a line for a about a while,
but haven't really gotten up to it until now. I've really got only two
things to say, so here they are:

	Thing #1: Episode #500 was great, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
(Or let them, but don't believe them.) Ged's death was done tastefully,
without any unnecessary pompous heroics. He died, pure and simple. Also,
the loss of the wand to Orcus is perfectly reasonable. (Although I admit
it would've been nice to see what Belphanior would have gotten up to if
he'd been able to keep it for himself.) I mean, hey, things just don't
always go your way. Of course, they might have some explaining to do
later on...
	
	Thing #2: I would very much like to be added to your mailing list, if
that is in any way possible. (Boy, this was alot shorter than Thing #1.)

	That's about it. Have a happy hiatus, and after that, keep 'em episodes
coming.

	An admiring fan,
	Janne.



Fav Adventurer: is sort of a tie.

 Maybe Rob: reminds me of a quote from the TV series Aladdin:
  Man to Genie: " What *are* you???"
  Genie to Man: " Comic relief, mostly."

 Maybe Mongo: I think the line after he's eaten by the tyrannosaur says
it all (paraphasing here) " Last I heard, he's got indestructible armor,
an amulet that lets him breathe, and a ring that regenerates any wounds.
He's probably asleep!!" these, along with the hammer+, make him the most
powerful adventurer in terms of items. (One question, though. Wouldn't
digestive juices count as acid and thus, nonregenerateable?)
(+: I still like the time he got confused by the Umber Hulks:
Mongo: Hammer! Hammer!)

 In the end, Belph: The sword makes him the most interesting (morally)
characters, and, well, Mongo may be a better fighter, Peldor a better
thief, Alindyar a better wizard, but Belph is the only one who can do
them all. If I was dropped in a dungeon with only one Adventurer to
watch my back, it would be Belph. Besides, who else would be in love
with a vampire? And not care?

426_benyee



Hi there.  Just a note to say I am very impressed with the 250+ I've
read so far. Like all DMs I don't agree with everything that another DM
rules on but that's the beauty of the system and especially Greyhawk.

For info I'm 32, English, work for Ford Motor Co, have a BSc in
Managerial Sciences and have been playing AD&D for 15 years, I know I
started late.  I've been passing on your stories to my group and they
are very impressed. One of my players has a nutty fighting dwarf who
loves cooking, go figure!

I still play 1st edition with Unearthed Arcana, NWPS and character
points and a few other bits from the 2nd edition but all spells are as
first edition.

Back to the stories, my favourite character is Belphanior because when I
played T1-4(the best ever module in my opinion) my character, Dilthanas,
was a Grey elf F/M/T who is CN and has a lot of similarities to
Belphanior,  Peldor is a very close second.

If you ever want feedback or there a distribution list please count me
in.  By the way TSR are bastards for dropping Greyhawk but as I hear
Wizards of the far Coast have bought them out so they may bring it back.

All the best

Simon



I see that you're on sabbatical, so I don't expect an answer any
time soon.

     I found out about your epic(s) from Eric Boyd and downloaded the
book version.  He mentioned your stuff because I've been writing a story
set in the Forgotten Realms and posting it on my web page.  Yours and my
epics are very different:  I use the traditional book narrative style,
but my tone is light.  I thought that my work was large because I'd been
doing it for one year, and gotten to 50 episodes.  Now I know better.

     Also, my story wasn't originally a gaming session.

     Anyway, it's an impressive opus.

Alan



"Q: f3.  Can Belphanior and Victoria have children?

A: Yes."

What?! Did you really mean this? By when have undead been getting children?!

- Antti



Well, I finally did it!  I just finished the 500th episode.  I know many
have said it already, but The Adventurers has been one of the best Fantasy
works that I have ever read.  And it doesn't hurt that I tend to like the
D&D type of works either.

Although the death of Ged actually kinda hurt (eventhough he wasn't my
favorite character: that's reserved for Mongo), I thought about it for a
while and he really did make the best choice.  And I suppose that he could
still come back, though not in an entirely corporeal or Oerthly form.
Hmmm.  Might make for an interesting story.

I went back and re-read the first 10 episodes, mainly since I didn't have
any new episodes to read (hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink) but also
because I wanted to see how much your writing, as well as how much the
characters have changed over the years.  The writing as well as the
characters have developed greatly.  And I actually enjoyed the stories even
more this time.  They said a lot of things that they would do one day and
it was kinda fun knowing the outcome of their words (at least for the first
500 stories).

And I also recently discovered your sneak preview area of the web page and
am greatly relieved that you will be continuing the stories, albeit not as
frequently as before.  But that's OK.  You need time for other things as
much as anybody else.

Well, I think I have rambled on enough.  Can't wait until 501!

later, joe.



Hello.  I just finished reading all the episodes of The Adventurers that
were posted on Kal Shobaki's web site.  It took me a few weeks, but I
eventually read them all.  Extremely funny at times, very entertaining all
the time.  I am writing to request that I be placed on your mailing lists 
for both for Adventurer-relate and other material.  I look forward
to any future writings that you may put out.

I would like to, while I'm able, mention a few things about The
Adventurers story that I have comment/question about.  Since I forget
exactly when in the very long storyline these points pertain to, please
forgive any vagueness and/or error.

*  Alindyar is mentioned using his carpet of flying to AFTER he lost all
his magical items due to the Deck of Many Things.

*  Rillen (I think) is mentioned using his Bow of Doubling BEFORE he is
given the bow by the famous explorer (I forget his name) prior to the
group's journey into the Forgotten City [Ged got the sky ballon,
Belphanior got the magic compass, etc.].  Also, he is usually seen as fire
only one arrow per round (which, of course, doubles to two) when he
should fire (at least) two per round.

*  Where did Bosco originally get his 3 wishes (of which he still has
one)? [This leaves the possible of Ged's return...though you already
mentioned that Ged would not return.]

*  One party member (Rillen I think) had, at some point, a ring of Geni 
-summoning.  If I recall, the bearer of the ring still had two wishes
left [Another possibility of Ged's return].  Who originally had the ring?
Does it still exist?  Who currently has it?


While these above points are trivial in the big picture of The
Adventurers, they were annoying questions that keep reappearing while I
read the episodes (i.e.- 'Ok, they're in the Abyss.  Why doesn't Bosco
just wish them home?  Where's that ring...').

It's funny how those people who would have killed to get a wish (i.e.
Belphanior, Ged) never received any whereas those people who would
never have been bothered by and/or misused them (i.e. Mongo - 3 wishes,
Bosco - 2 wishes...) received several. 

If you ever think about stopping the series, I have one request.  Tell us
the mystery of Peldor's origins!  Don't leave us hangin'!

Dave



  Thanks for taking the time and energy to write up the Adventurer stories.  It 
helps me to keep the insanity factor down when working.
  One question that comes to mind is  the section where Mongo and Gorin help 
Peyote and Halbard take care of the problem in the forest, will this lead to a 
further adventure or thread that indicates what the lich was after and got.
  
John Fox

This has been a fairly common question lately...and the answer is yes! That lich will appear again, and I can guarantee you that it won't be pleasant for our heroes...


I've assembled fanmail for post-500 stuff and put it here for your enjoyment.