Chapter #137

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                              +   +
                            +       +
                          +           +
                        +               +
                      +                   +
                    +                       +
                  +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                    +                       +
                      +      Epic II      +
                        +               +
                          +           +
                            +       +
                              +   +

+    The various characters contained in these writings are   +
+  copyright 1993 by Thomas Miller.  Any resemblance to any   +
+  persons or characters either real or fictional is utterly  +
+  coincidental.  Copying and/or distribution of these tales  +
+  is permissible only under the sole condition that no part  +
+  of them will be used or sold for profit.  In that case, I  +
+  hope you enjoy them...                                     +
+                                                             +
+                            Thomas Miller                    +
+                        +
+   THE PARTY:                                                +
+                                                             +
+   Alindyar      15th level drow elf mage              (N)   +
+      Lyra       12th level female drow elf mage       (N)   +
+   Belphanior    12th/13th/13th level high elf w/m/t  (CN)   +
+   Ged           13th/13th level grey elf priest/mage (NG)   +
+      Arnold     11th level human warrior             (NG)   +
+        ?             grey cat (familiar)             (NG)   +
+   Mongo         15th level dwarf warrior             (CG)   +
+      Flint      11th level dwarf warrior             (CG)   +
+   Peldor        18th level human thief                (N)   +
+   Rillen        15th level human warrior              (N)   +
+                                                             +
+   WITH SPECIAL GUEST STARS:                                 +
+                                                             +
+   Belphanior-2  15th level elven ranger              (LN)   +
+      Sparky          extremely large wolf             (N)   +
+   Peldor-2      18th level human thief                (N)   +
+   Rillen-2      13th level human ninja                (N)   +
+   Date:    several days after arrival                       +
+   Time:    midday                                           +
+   Place:   the fortress of the evil Ged, in an alternate    +
+              dimension                                      +
+   Climate: warm indoors, cold outside                       +
+   "Good judgement comes from experience, and experience     +
+    comes from bad judgement."                               +
+                                       - Barry LePatner      +

                 CXXXVII.  A Bit of Trouble

  The party has split into two groups, to facilitate their
invasion/search of the evil Ged's fortress.  Let us follow,
for a time, the paths and deeds of one of the groups...

Rillen:  (leading his group up some stairs)  Where are we
Belphanior-2:  Upward, into the fortress.
Ged:  We knew that.  I think what he means is, how will we
  know which way to go?
Arnold:  Who cares?  Ah-nold will cut dhem all down!  (he
  flexes his muscles for a moment, then resumes his spot
  in the front of the marching order)
Belphanior:  I feel safer already.  (feels a familiar buzz
  from his sword)  Hey-
Sparky:  Grr...
Belphanior-2:  Someone's coming.  Sparky _always_ smells
  these things.
Belphanior:  I was about to say, there are souls ahead.
  Err, upward.
Rillen:  (prepares his quarterstaff)
Ged:  (spellcasting)

  They emerged quietly from the stairway, and peeked into
a hallway, where a squad of armored gnolls was marching
their way.

Rillen:  (signals for quiet, and prepares his staff)
gnoll:  (the one in front of the group, walks in front of
  the opening in which everyone is hiding)  So, Gunther
  me boy, I says to her-
Rillen:  (smacks the gnoll in the chest, knocking it out
  and sending it sprawling into its fellows)  Talk is
Ged:  (lets his Sleep spell go, and three of the humanoids
  fall asleep instantly)  For Boccob!
Sparky:  Growr!  (leaps forth, bowling over another gnoll)
Arnold:  Aaa.  (he hacks a gnoll, slaying it)  Ah-nold!
Belphanior-2:  (strikes out with sword and dagger, and yet
  another gnoll - the last - falls)
Sparky:  (disembowelling his victim)  Rrrargh!
Belphanior:  (quickly slashes the throats of the sleeping
Ged:  You didn't have to _kill_ them!
Belphanior:  Sure I did.
Belphanior-2:  I have to agree with him.  And not just
  because he's me.  If even _one_ of these fellows got
  away, we'd be caught.  And they wouldn't show us any
  mercy at all.
Ged:  Hmm, I suppose you're right.
Arnold:  Yah.

  They dragged the bodies into the stairwell, and proceeded
on their way.  Following the hallway until it ended in a
chamber, the adventurers entered, closing the door behind
them.  They appeared to be in some kind of storage area,
for crates and barrels were stacked about in large numbers.
Another exit presented itself, a narrow stairway leading
upward; they took this, ascending.

Rillen:  (leading the way)  I hear odd noises ahead.
Belphanior:  Me too.
Arnold:  Aaa.
Ged:  Sounds like...animals?

  They emerged into a chamber that looked like a laboratory
for a wizard.  Bottles and jugs were scattered about.  On
a stone slab was a strange monster indeed.  The thing had
the basic shape of a man, but an extra pair of arms jutted
from its sides.  In addition, two extra heads sprouted from
its shoulders, one being that of a wolf, the other a red
dragon.  The head in the center scowled at the party with
human, yet evil, features.  The four arms, their hands
ending in great hooked talons, flexed and curled at the
thing's sides.
  To either side of the thing were wizards, one an elf in
black robes, the other a short human in red clothing.

evil elf mage:  (to three-headed thing)  Kill!  Kill them!
evil human mage:  Whoever they may be...
thing:  (fluidly rises and gets off the slab)
Ged:  By Boccob, what in the hell is THAT?!?
Belphanior:  I don't know, but it's big, mean, and ugly!
evil elf mage:  By the Dread Dargoth...look at that one,
  the elf in the odd garb...!
Belphanior:  (takes advantage of the shock element of Ged
  and becomes invisible, moving around for a backstab)
evil human mage:  Indeed.  He bears a resemblance to a
  certain one we know...(begins spellcasting)  We must
  assume the worst.
evil elf mage: illusion, or a doppleganger.
  (also begins spellcasting)
three-headed thing's human head:  Eeulp.  (snot drips from
  its nose)
three-headed thing's wolf head:  (glaring at Sparky)
  Grrowrf!  Snarl!
Sparky:  (snarls back)  Snarl!
three-headed thing's dragon head:  (turns to Ged)  Sss...
Ged:  (already spellcasting)  What the-
Rillen:  (whips out his bow and nocks an arrow)
three-headed thing's dragon head:  Bleargh!  (belches
  flames all over Ged and Arnold)
Ged:  Eeargh!  (his spell ruined, and his robe partially
  aflame, he staggers backward)
Arnold:  Aaa!  (somewhat better protected, due to his
  magical plate mail, he reels)
Belphanior-2:  (acting quickly, he grabs a jug of liquid
  from a nearby table and douses Ged, putting out most of
  the elf's flames)  Cool down!
Ged:  Eearg-  Huh?  Ptui!  Vinegar!  Where did this come
Belphanior-2:  Don't ask.  (he draws his sword and dagger,
  and advances on the three-headed thing)  And now for you.
Sparky:  (leaps at the evil elven mage, blood on his mind)
evil elven mage:  (casts Hold Monster upon Sparky and those
  nearest to him, namely Arnold and - unknowingly - the
  invisible Belphanior)  Hah hah!  Take _that_, invaders!
Sparky:  (succumbs to the magic, and falls, motionless)
Arnold:  (resists the magic)  Aaa?
Belphanior:  (also resists the magic)  ...?  (becomes
  visible, behind the two evil magi)
evil human mage:  (fails to see the newly-materialized
  elf, absorbed as he is in his spellcasting)
evil elven mage:  (likewise fails to see Belphanior, who
  has raised his sword and is quietly approaching)
three-headed thing:  (swipes at Arnold and Belphanior-2
  with its arms)  Grargh!
Arnold:  (hit by an arm, staggers)  Whaaaad?
Belphanior-2:  (manages to dodge both arms)  Whoa.
Rillen:  (fires four arrows in rapid succession, hitting
  the evil elven mage with all of them and pinning him to
  a bookshelf)  Stick around.
evil elven mage:  Argh!  Ugh!  Eyagh!  Ungh!
Arnold:  (hacks at the three-headed thing, hitting twice
  since the monster wears no armor and is rather slow to
  boot)  Ah-nold!
three-headed monster:  Rargh!  Urgh!  (reels)
Ged:  (staggering around, wiping vinegar out of his eyes)
evil human mage:  (casts Feeblemind upon the elf)
Ged:  (still staggering)  Huh...blork.
Belphanior:  (backstabs the evil human mage, striking a
  truly tremendous blow as he slices the man open to the
  waist)  Die!
human mage:  (complies, and in a most messy fashion)
Belphanior:  (absorb's the mage's life energy)  Ahhhhh.
three-headed thing's wolf head:  (snaps at Arnold, but
  misses)  Growl!
Arnold:  Aaa.

evil elven mage:  (trying to cast another spell despite
  the four arrows imbedded in his body)  Oh, this hurts.
Belphanior:  Not as much as _this_ will.  (stabs the mage
  in the throat, wounding him badly and ruining his spell)
evil elven mage:  Gahk!  (clutches his throat)
three-headed thing's dragon head:  Bleargh!  (breathes a
  blast of fire in the direction of Arnold, but the big
  warrior manages to duck under the flames)
Arnold:  Dudcked.
Belphanior-2:  (slashes the three-headed thing with his
  sword and dagger, hitting with both weapons)  Back, you
Arnold:  Yah!  (punctuates the elf's demand with a well-
  aimed sword blow to the monster's chest)
three-headed thing:  (staggers and falls)
Rillen:  (sends two arrows flying into the thing's head)
  And stay down.
three-headed thing:  (dies, its heads slobbering and
  spitting)  Glab glub gibber...
Rillen:  (hits the evil elven mage with two more arrows)
evil elven mage:  Urk.  (dies)
Rillen:  So much for him.
Belphanior-2:  Nice shot.
Rillen:  Why, thank you.
Belphanior:  (a little upset because he was about to slay
  the mage and take his life energy)  Grr...

  They rested and bound their wounds, and Sparky was made
to come around thanks to a Dispel Magic from Belphanior.

Sparky:  (licks Belphanior's hand)  Rrr.
Belphanior:  Aww.
Belphanior-2:  Make no mistake, he's a killer at heart.
Arnold:  (hears noises outside the exit on the far side
  of the chamber)  Uh, I tink someone heard the baddle...
Belphanior:  Roger that!  I sense a whole shitload of
  souls, coming this way fast!
Rillen:  I think we have a bigger problem.  (he points
  to Ged, who is babbling moronically and drooling all
  over himself)
Belphanior:  Feebleminded!
Belphanior-2:  Must have been that evil mage...

  The door burst open, admitting a whole slew of fire
giants and hell hounds.

next time :  a switch to the other group's exploits

notes     :  Plan B continues.

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