Chapter #255

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

+    Many of the locations, non-player characters, spells, and      +
+  other terms used in these stories are the property of TSR, Inc.  +
+  However, this does not mean that TSR in any way endorses or      +
+  authorizes their use, and any such items contained within these  +
+  stories should not be considered representative of TSR in any    +
+  way, shape, or form.                                             +
+    The player characters contained in these writings are copy-    +
+  right 1995 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     16th level dark elven mage                     (N)  +
+  Arnold       12th level human warrior                      (NG)  +
+  Ged          14th/14th level grey elven priest/mage        (NG)  +
+  Lyra         12th level female dark elven mage              (N)  +
+  Mongo        17th level dwarven warrior                    (CG)  +
+     Gorin     8th level dwarven warrior                     (CG)  +
+  Peldor       19th level human thief                         (N)  +
+     Bosco     10th level halfling thief                      (N)  +
+  Rillen       17th level human warrior                       (N)  +
+  Date:        1/12/575 C.Y. (Common Year)                         +
+  Time:        morning                                             +
+  Place:       the Green Dragon Inn, in Greyhawk                   +
+  Climate:     cold outside, cozy inside                           +
+  "They say you are a good man."                                   +
+  "I try to be."                                                   +
+                                              - from _Hercules_    +

                CCLV.  A Day In the Life of Peldor

  After most of his fellow adventurers have departed Greyhawk,
Peldor has decided to attend to certain loose ends...

Peldor:  (having awakened at dawn this morning, he waits in his
  private room in the Green Dragon Inn)
Bosco:  (shows up)  They said you wanted to talk to me, boss?
Peldor:  Yes, Bosco.  Come in, and shut the door.
Bosco:  (thinking he's in trouble he begins to fret)
Peldor:  Have a seat.
Bosco:  (blurting out some nonsense)  Hey, I didn't _know_ that
  was the main rope for the chandelier...
Peldor:  It's about the recent battle...the one involving that
  monster from the stars.
Bosco:  (relaxing)  Oh.
Peldor:  If I'm not mistaken, did you, or did you not, use a
  wish to help the wizards send the thing away?
Bosco:  Hey, how'd you know?
Peldor:  Nothing escapes my notice, Bosco.  You should know that
  by now.
Bosco:  Oh.
Peldor:  Anyway, why'd you waste a perfectly good wish?
Bosco:  Err...I don't know.  I guess 'cause it seemed to be the
  right thing to do.
Peldor:  Really, now?  Explain.
Bosco:  Those stupid wizards!  They kept bumbling around, talking
  about their stupid ideas, but they were ignoring _my_ ideas!
Peldor:  So you decided to take matters into your own hands, is
  that right?
Bosco:  I guess you could put it that way...
Peldor:  I just wanted to make sure we were seeing eye to eye here,
  that what you did was no accident.
Bosco:  Nope.
Peldor:  Well, then.  (claps the halfling on the back)  Bosco, you
  very well may have saved the city...and my business interests
Bosco:  You're not mad?!?
Peldor:  Hells, no!  I'm damn proud of you.  You've always done a
  good job, and you're a good student and a quick-fingered thief.
  I couldn't have asked for a better henchman.
Bosco:  Hench-halfling.
Peldor:  Right.  Anyway, this recent stunt with the wish really
  took the cake.  Bosco, you deserve a reward.  (he hands the
  halfling a pink gemstone)  Take this magical luckstone.  It's
  already brought me all the good luck I could want.  I want you
  to have it now.
Bosco:  (his eyes light up in wonder)  Gee, thanks!
Peldor:  Now, you'd better go and get ready to go away with Mongo.
  If I'm not mistaken, he plans on leaving this very morning.
Bosco:  (jumping around happily)  Yeah!  Right!  (he bounds away)

  After the halfling departed, Peldor settled down to a breakfast
of omelets, bacon, sausage, toast with jelly, and other mouth-
watering treats.  After all, he did have some of the finest cooks
in the land.  He was soon joined by Tanya.

Tanya:  How'd Bosco take it?
Peldor:  (between mouthfuls of food)  How d'you think?  He was one
  happy little guy.  I think he'll really be able to help Mongo out
  on his quest.
Tanya:  Not to mention the collecting of ancient dwarven treasures.
Peldor:  Perhaps.  As you know, I've given Bosco a free rein when
  it comes to "appropriating" such things.
Tanya:  (helping herself to some of the assorted food)  Well, he
  did fairly well the last time he accompanied Ged.
Peldor:  (chuckles)  Yep.
Tanya:  What else is on today's agenda?
Peldor:  I've got to deliver a report to Org Nenshen.  The River
  Quarter's been quite prosperous of late.  Of course, some of that
  may be due to revenue that was previously being absorbed by that
  late, unlamented fool Tomas.
Tanya:  I bet.
Peldor:  Don't bet against me - you're bound to lose.
Tanya:  (deftly sends an omelet whizzing toward the thief)
Peldor:  (catches the thing in mid-air, using his TK ring, and
  floats it over and into his mouth)  Mmm, thanks.
Tanya:  You're incorrigible.
Peldor:  Yeah, so they say.  (he holds up a fork)  I've also got
  to check on a number of businesses.  I've made it a point to
  personally meet all the proprietors in my region.  It's important
  to be on good terms with them.
Tanya:  Shouldn't be a problem.
Peldor:  No, it isn't.  It's rather amazing what a little attention
  to detail, coupled with being a nice guy, will do for one's public
Tanya:  Since when are you a nice guy?
Peldor:  Oh, well, at least a year now, maybe two.  Ever since I've
  settled down.  Hmm.  (he looks wistful)  Settled down...
Tanya:  What's wrong with settling down?
Peldor:  Oh, nothing.  It's just that...sometimes I miss being able
  to wander the world...explore dungeons...have
  with kings...
Tanya:  Aren't you forgetting the "meeting beautiful women" part?
Peldor:  Why would I want to do that, when I've already found the
  most beautiful one there is?
Tanya:  I'm no pampered princess, to be flattered by your smooth
Peldor:  Beautiful, and talented to boot.
Tanya:  Oh, stop it.
Peldor:  (winds a curl of her bright red hair around one finger)
  You know how I feel about you.  My days of wenching are over now.
  I just miss the occasional
  you want to call it.  If I _did_ go on one, believe me, you'd be
  right there at my side.
Tanya:  (holding his hand now)  Hmm.  You won't get many vacations
  now that you're a ranking member of the Guild.
Peldor:  True.  Though...if I do a good enough job, I'll be able to
  take a break now and then.
Tanya:  From what I've seen, you're doing an outstanding job.
Peldor:  I think so too.  All of the proprietors in my area either
  respect me as a friend, or as a businessman.  Either way, they
  respect me.  That's the real name of the game.
Tanya:  You really think so?
Peldor:  I'm sure of it.  Fear...hate...those are the tools of the
  foolish, like Tomas.  Hell, just by avoiding his mistakes, I can
  do an above-average job.
Tanya:  What about the spy network?
Peldor:  I've been careful not to have them up to anything too
  ambitious or risky.  The key is to make sure that they all don't
  correlate their missions, and information.  I doubt that Org
  would object to a little intelligence work, but we've got to be
Tanya:  It's "we" now, is it?
Peldor:  Yep.  Org already knows that he can trust you if I'm not
Tanya:  Oh.
Peldor:  Back to the spy thing...from time to time, I go out myself
  to check on things.  The hat of disguise sure does come in handy
  for those little walks.
Tanya:  You don't impersonate anyone in power, do you?
Peldor:  Oh, of course not.  But just by _not_ being Peldor from
  time to time, I can learn things that Peldor could never learn.
Tanya:  (ponders this)
Peldor:  But enough about Peldors and anti-Peldors.  I'm having
  dinner at the Roc & Oliphant, with the mayor.  I believe I'll
  need a date.  (he cocks his head at her)  Know anyone who'd like
  to have a good time?
Tanya:  Hmm, well, let me think about it.  I'm sure I can find some
  lucky lady to accompany you.
Peldor:  Sounds good.  (he pushes himself back from the table)  Urp.
Tanya:  You're no Bosco when it comes to belching.
Peldor:  Hey, I taught him everything he knows.  (frowns)  Except

  Shortly, the master thief began his daily rounds.  He visited the
various businesses in the River Quarter, beginning with the inns.
These included the Low Seas Tavern, the Wizard's Hat Inn, the River
Rat, the Barge Inn.  There were also the temples, such as those of
Rao, Trithereon, and Pholtus.  There were warehouses, homes of
notable people, and merchants; blacksmiths, fruit vendors, and even
an undertaker's shop.  Then there was the Silver Garter, whose name
pretty well identified the type of business that went on there.
  Some of these places paid protection money to the Thieves' Guild,
while others didn't.  A few of the businesses' owners were aware
that Peldor himself represented the Guild; others were used to
dealing with mere agents.  In all cases, though, they at least knew
the man in some capacity, for Peldor tended to invite people over
to his inn for a free meal and mug of ale.

  After several hours of these visits, the thief headed to the great
hall that was the home of the Thieves' Guild.  The sheaf of papers
in his hand represented the weekly notes that Org Nenshen would want
to see.  Besides information concerning places of business and their
payments to the Guild, Peldor maintained a list of the registered
thieves in his area of the city.
  Greeting the sentries at the door, he made his way to Org's office
on the second floor, making small talk with the man's secretary for
a few minutes until the Guildmaster was ready to talk to him.  Their
meeting, as usual, lasted about an hour; they discussed various
matters, both legitimate and otherwise.  Of particular interest was
the shapechanger business...

Org:  We think we know who it is.  Based on the body you brought
  back, our spies were able to locate him.  It.  Whatever.
Peldor:  Definitely an "it".
Org: gets weird from there.  We sent six men to the
  official's house - he was one of the city judges - to apprehend
  him, err, it.  But there was no sign of the judge.  It was like
  he vanished.  Even magical means have proven useless - whatever
  the thing was, it's not in the city or the outlying areas.
Peldor:  It must have sensed that its fellows were destroyed, and
Org:  Perhaps.  It seems that the city owes you a debt, for your
  work toward that very destruction.
Peldor:  Hey, my friend Belphanior did most of the work.
Org:  Ah, yes.  The mad elf.  I've heard much about him of late.
Peldor:  He's practically innocent, you know - and with the recent
  battle with the great monster, that's two city-saving situations
  that Belphanior's helped with.  A little recognition on the part
  of the city would be in order.
Org:  But instead, the elf erupts in violence, and flees the city.
  (he spreads his hands)  What can we do?
Peldor:  Admittedly, he's got a bit of a temper...but someone should
  cut him a little slack.
Org:  I believe you, and I'll try to help the elf.  But he's got to
  come back first.
Peldor:  Not likely.
Org:  I think you should know that Sental Nurev is commissioning a
  group to track the elf down, and bring him back here to face
Peldor:  No...
Org:  I'm afraid so.  The elf will have a good week's headstart on
  the posse, but that may not be enough.
Peldor:  This is grim news.
Org:  Aye, especially for the "hunters", if what I've heard about
  Belphanior is accurate.  I get the feeling that he won't come
Peldor:  Not a chance.
Org:  Anyhow...we'll just have to keep an eye open for more of these
  shape-shifting creatures.  I plan to talk with the Circle of Eight
  about this, as well.  Magical protections against the monsters are
  in order.
Peldor:  Sounds good.
Org:  Well, I must be going - I have others to meet.
Peldor:  Okay.  See you next week.  (he stands, then leaves)

  Peldor then ventured to the Foreign Quarter, just for the hell of
it.  He often amused himself by observing the various people who
came and went in Greyhawk - adventurers, merchants, wandering riff-
raff, and who knew what else.  After chatting about the humanoids
of Iuz with a mercenary from Perrenland, he discussed the weather
with a priest of Celestian.  After these amusements were over and
done with, Peldor returned to his inn; he wanted to make sure that
he was well-rested for his dinner appointment.  Yes indeed, he mused
to himself, a nap was in order after a good day's work.

next:   we'll look at someone's quest...just don't know who yet
ftp: in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
notes:  I sure have written a lot of stories lately.  Must be the
  full moon...

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