Chapter #203

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

+    The various characters contained in these writings are   +
+  copyright 1994 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 dark elven mage              (N) +
+   Arnold        11th level human warrior               (NG) +
+   Belphanior    12th/14th/14th level high elven w/m/t  (CN) +
+      small immaterial wispy thing                           +
+   Ged           14th/14th level grey elf priest/mage   (NG) +
+   Lyra          12th level female dark elven mage       (N) +
+   Mongo         16th level dwarven warrior             (CG) +
+   Peldor        18th level human thief                  (N) +
+      Bosco       8th level halfling thief              (CN) +
+   Rillen        16th level human warrior                (N) +
+   Date:    unknown                                          +
+   Time:    morning                                          +
+   Place:   an alien city called "New Orleans"               +
+   Climate: moderately cold                                  +
+   "The use of unnecessary violence in the apprehension      +
+    of the Blues Brothers has been approved."                +
+                             - from _The Blues Brothers_     +

                     CCIII.  Reunited!

  While the other adventurers are elsewhere, Peldor and
the wispy thing have made their way into a hospital, seeking
Belphanior's body.  Imagine their surprise when they found
the elf alive and walking, even fighting!  Of course, the
pair (trio, if one counts the wisp) didn't get far before
they encountered the hospital security guards...but we must
now turn our attention to the other adventurers, who are in
a plush hotel room, as yet unaware of the aforementioned

Alindyar:  (tinkering with the huge stereo on one wall, he
  causes a tray to slide outward)  Fascinating.
Rillen:  (picks a shiny, lightweight disk out of the tray)
Paula:  That's a CD.
Lyra:  "CD"?  What is its purpose?
Alindyar:  Information, perhaps...
Paula:  Music!  It plays music.
Ged:  Music?
Rillen:  (examining the CD)  It seems to have no value as
  a weapon.  (he flings the CD at a wall, but it bounces
  off)  None whatsoever.
Arnold:  (sitting in a reclining chair, he pulls the
  handle, and nearly falls backward onto the floor)  Aaa.
Bosco:  (sitting atop the coffee table, glued to the TV)
  Ahh.  (a commercial for the U.S. Army flashes by, showing
  tanks and helicopters)  Whoa!
Mongo:  Hey, I need a war chariot like that...
Bosco:  (accidentally sits on the remote control, causing
  the channel to change)
lady on TV:  ...and now we take you live, to Memorial
  Hospital, where an apparent group of terrorists is still
  holed up.  Though no positive identification is pending,
  police have released these pictures-
Bosco:  (grows bored)  I want the "U.S. Army" show back!
  (he grabs for the remote, which has fallen on the floor)
  There.  (before mashing buttons, he happens to glance at
  the TV screen)  Huh?
Ged:  (holding CDs in each hand)  What next?
Alindyar:  Try that one.
Paula:  Actually-
Bosco:  (his shrill voice drowning out all other noise in
  the room)  Come here!  Come quick!  They're on TV!
Mongo:  (looks as the screen, where a rough likeness of
  Belphanior's face is plastered)  Shit!
Ged:  Boccob!
Paula:  Belphanior...what's he doing on TV?
Arnold:  I thought they killed him.
Rillen:  They _did_ kill him.
Alindyar:  'Twould appear not...
Lyra:  ...and now he's involved in something at that place
  they're showing.
Mongo:  C'mon!  We've got to get over there and see what's
  up!  He may need our help!
Paula:  Let's go - I can get us there in about ten minutes.
Ged:  Yea!  (the party gathers its possessions and prepares
  to depart)
Bosco:  (left holding the TV remote)  Golly.  (he looks
  around)  Hey!  Wait for me!
Paula:  (remembers to grab the key to the suite)  Whew.

  Meanwhile, at Memorial Hospital, Belphanior and Peldor
were holed up in a service corridor.  About fifty feet
away, several security guards were lying about, unconscious
and bleeding.  Further down the hallway, a number of police
were crouched behind hastily overturned desks and shelves,
firing at will.

Belphanior:  (hiding behind the L-shaped turn at their end
  of the corridor)  Shit!  (he jerks his head back as a
  bullet zings off the wall)  If only I had my spell-stuff!
  Hmm, if only I had my other equipment...(his red eye
  glows brightly)
Peldor:  (uses his ring to TK a chair through the air, at
  the police officers)  Yeah...(he looks behind them)  Hey,
  is that door open?
wispy thing:  (looks at the door quizzically)  Sss?
Belphanior:  (leaps toward the door, and kicks it open
  with his bare foot)  It is now.
Peldor:  Let's go!  (he TKs a desk upward, into the ceiling
  panels, collapsing them, with a flash of shorted power
  cables, and blocking the hallway for now)

  They retreated into another hallway, but not before Peldor
propped the kicked-in door back up in its doorway, as an

Belphanior:  (regards the thief)
Peldor:  (shrugs)

  The corridor they were now in was wider, but shorter,
than the last one.  It also had a flight of stairs at the
far end - from which could be heard many footsteps, from
above, approaching fast even as the thieves stood there!

Peldor:  Quick!  (he somersaults over to the stairway,
  grabs a packet from a pocket, and tosses it up the
  stairway, where it breaks open, spraying thick dust
  everywhere and filling the stairwell)  Ha!
Belphanior:  What the hell was that?!?
Peldor:  Dust of sneezing and choking!  That ought to keep
  them for a while...
Belphanior:  But not forever...(he hefts the baton he took
  from a guard before)  I may have to kill somebody soon.
Peldor:  Maybe.  (he uses his hat of disguise to become a
  fellow dressed just like the police in the previous hall-
  way)  Maybe this'll fool 'em.
Belphanior:  I doubt it.  (he grabs a nearby table and
  begins pushing it over to the doorway through which they
  entered this hall)

  About this time, the sounds of sneezing and coughing,
from the stairway, began.

Peldor:  Hah!  That got them!
Belphanior:  Still got those potions?
Peldor:  Sure.  Err...which ones?
Belphanior:  Anything that can heal me - I'm not quite up
  to snuff right now - and anything else we can use right
  about now.
Peldor:  (hands his companion a potion of extra-healing)
  Here, drink this.
wispy thing:  (sails off, into the dust-filled stairway)
Belphanior:  (guzzles the offered potion)  Ahh.
Peldor:  Here, this other one might help us out.
Belphanior:  What is it?
Peldor:  Acid.  Concentrated acid.
Belphanior:  Excellent.  (he snatches the bottle and dashes
  over to where he moved the table)  Ah, I think I hear 'em
  coming...(he prepares to throw the acid)

  A few moments later, he did, shattering the container in
the hallway right in front of the charging policemens' feet.
The hallway filled with noxious fumes, as the powerful acid
quickly ate a hole in the floor.  The foes recoiled, yelling
and coughing.

Belphanior:  Hah!  (he hefts the baton)  Hmm, what next?
Peldor:  Don't know.  We're surrounded on both sides, and
  the dust and acid won't hold them off forever...
Belphanior:  (hops atop another table, and begins bashing
  ceiling tiles)  Hey, there's walkways up here!
Peldor:  Hmm, good idea.  (he leaps up and grabs a ceiling
  pipe that Belphanior exposed)  Whoaaa-  (the pipe breaks
  abruptly, and the thief falls to the floor)  Oof!
Belphanior:  Careful there...
Peldor:  (notices water spraying from the broken pipe)
  Geez, they need to get this place fixed.  (he aims the
  water spray at the stairwell, quickly wetting the lower
  steps)  Heh heh.
Belphanior:  What's that sound?  (he points at the stairs)

  The sounds of onrushing feet came closer and closer,
albeit only from the stairwell; the other doorway, through
which they had come here, remained unassailed.

Peldor:  (gets on one side of the stairway, as Belphanior
  gets on the other)
Belphanior:  (holding a scrap of cloth over his nose and
  mouth, to fend off stray fumes from Peldor's dust, he
  raises his baton)

  As they waited for foes to arrive, they heard a number
of loud crashing noises and grunts from above.

wispy thing:  (shoots forth from the gas-filled stairway)
  Sssssss!  (it orbits Belphanior's head)
Belphanior:  Not now!  (he swats at the thing)
wispy thing:  (gyrates wildly in midair)  Ffffffsss!
Peldor:  (hears loud footsteps and voices, and prepares
  to trip whoever comes out of the stairway first)

  As a short figure emerged from the gas-filled stairs,
Peldor stuck his foot out...

Mongo:  HEY!  (he slips on the wet steps and falls, but
  still punches at the thief, knocking him back against
  a wall, and quickly gets to his feet, hammer in hand)
Peldor:  Ooof!
Belphanior:  (staring in shock)
Rillen:  (emerges from the stairway, his nose and mouth
  covered by a thick cloth)  <cough>
Peldor:  (looking around)
Mongo:  What's the big idea?!?  We're here to rescue you!
Rillen:  And why are you dressed like that?
Belphanior:  (remembers that he's wrapped in a sheet)  Uh.
Ged:  (emerges from the gas, followed by the others)  By
  Boccob!  You're still alive!
Belphanior:  (muttering)  No thanks to you...
Bosco:  Hey!  It's the guys!
Peldor:  There you are.  I was wondering what happened to
Belphanior:  (to Lyra)  How did you get down here without
Lyra:  A fireball, in the air above this city...several
  complex illusions-
Arnold:  -and some good old-fashioned head-bashink.
Lyra:  Plus some help from the wisp here.
wispy thing:  (grins)
Peldor:  Hmm.  We've got to get out of this place.  You
  must know that by now.
Belphanior:  Yeah, it's swarming with idiots.  Armed ones.
Alindyar:  I know.  (he begins a Teleport spell)
Bosco:  (chimes in helpfully)  Armed idiots are the worst
Arnold:  (babbling)  Time to eggscape.
Belphanior:  Yeah...
Ged:  We've got a place to stay now.
Paula:  Yeah, that's an understatement.
Bosco:  A great mansion!  A suite!  A-
Mongo:  Do we have to link hands now?  (everyone begins
  to do so anyway, in preparation for the drow's spell)
Belphanior:  Hey, what about-

  Suddenly, everyone blinked out of the hospital, and re-
appeared in the hotel suite.

Belphanior:  -my weapons and equipment?
Peldor:  (looking around)
Bosco:  Home, sweet home!

next time :  re-organizing

ftp site  : in /pub/frp/stories/adventurers

notes     :  First, I have another excuse for the recent slow
  pace of stories, one that I haven't yet told you about...
  my car was the recipient of two factory recalls, and the
  dealer screwed up royally.  First they cracked my timing
  belt cover while performing that recall.  Then they fixed
  that, but messed up my idle speed, and couldn't get my
  oxygen sensor off to replace it.  Then my tensioner went,
  and that took quite a bit of arguing to avoid paying for.
  It's (supposedly) all fixed now, as of evening, 12 Sept.
  but this whole process has spanned more than a month, not
  to mention 7 separate trips to the dealer.
    Things like this slow down my writing, 'cause they upset
  my mind.  It's just the way I am, I guess.
    Well, by the time you see this posted, I'll be in
  Orlando, on my latest vacation (only 5 days this time)
  but I wanted to get one more episode out before then.

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