Chapter #100

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                      +                   +
                    +                       +
                  +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                    +                       +
                      +                   +
                        +               +
                          +           +
                            +       +
                              +   +

+    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      11th level drow elf mage              (N)   +
+      Lyra        7th level female drow elf mage       (N)   +
+   Belphanior     8th/8th/9th level high elf w/m/t    (CN)   +
+   Ged            9th/9th level grey elf priest/mage  (NG)   +
+      Arnold      7th level human warrior             (NG)   +
+   Mongo          9th level dwarf warrior             (CG)   +
+   Peldor        12th level human thief                (N)   +
+   Rillen         9th level human warrior              (N)   +
*   Flint Firelips (guest)   dwarven warrior                  +
+   Date:    7/28/571 C.Y. (Common Year)                      +
+   Time:    late in the night                                +
+   Place:   the fortress of the vampire lord                 +
+   Climate: cold, especially in the light of the full moon...+
+   "I have not yet begun to fight."                          +
+   "Well, hurry up then, we're losing!"                      +
+                                  - variously attributed     +

                        C.  Victory!

  The party has finally reunited, albeit in the deep, dark
dungeons of the vampire lord.  While the healers work on
the wounded, others are building a defense - for the fell
one, and his retinue of undead and others, approaches fast
from the fortress above.

             (to stairs up)
                 |   |                 ________
                 |   |                |        |
                 |   |________________| main   |__
                 |                   /  cell       to more
                 |___________________\  block   __   cells
                                      |        |
                                      |__   ___|
                                         | |__
                                         |    |
              party members' cell --->   |____|

        (all ceilings are 30' and vaulted)

Flint:  (in the main cell block, hands Mongo his helm)
Mongo:  (armored and armed, with Flint's help)  Ah!  I'm
  ready to go!  (guzzles a swig of extra-healing potion
  from his jug)  Now let's get your armor on.
Flint:  Yeah!  (they begin doing that, speeding up a
  normally slow process by working together)  Good thing
  that the thief brought all our stuff!
Mongo:  Yeah!

Ged:  (in the main cell block, healing Rillen)  Ah, those
  broken fingers healed well.  Lucky for you that you have
  a strong physical constitution.
Peldor:  (ringing his magical bell, to assist in the whole
  healing process)  Bah.  I'm bored.
Rillen:  You will not be bored for long, since the vampire
  and his lackeys are coming to destroy us.  (puts on his
Ged:  Yea.  And I get the feeling that this time, they won't
  be taking prisoners...

Arnold:  (putting his own armor on)  No one to helb me...

Alindyar:  (furiously flipping pages in his spellbook)  I
  was certain that I put those drow spells in this tome,

Lyra:  (in the main corridor, passes Ged's fire elemental
  at its commanded post near the corner)
fire elemental:  (ponders the drow)
Lyra:  (moves up the passage a bit, and begins spellcasting)

Belphanior:  (already healed somewhat by Ged, straps his
  bracers on and begins spellcasting)  Dammit.  I need to
  find something to kill, so I can regain some of my lost
  strength.  (casts Stoneskin on himself)  Hey.  (grabs in
  his backpack for his potions)

Mongo:  (already feeling great, thanks to his ring of
  regeneration and the magical liquid he just drank)  I'm
  ready to take on those undead!
Flint:  (retrieves and drinks a potion of healing, from his
  pack)  Hey, where's my chainmail leggings?
Mongo:  Here.  (hands over the piece of armor)  I'll say
  this for Peldor:  he may have mixed all of the stuff
  together in one heap, but at least he got it for us!

Ged:  (casts his last healing spell)  That's it.  I'm all
  out of curative magic.
Rillen:  No matter.  I am much better now.  (flexes his
  fingers)  Ahhh.  Much better.
Peldor:  Blah.  (puts away his bell and begins scouting
  the other cells to the east)  I'll see if there's anyone
  or anything in these other cells.
Ged:  You do that.
Lightbringer:  (shrieks)  Undead!  Close at hand!  Closer
  every moment!
Rillen:  I recall that Lyra was going to do something to
  slow them down...

Arnold:  (gets his plate mail on, with Mongo and Flint's
  help)  Aaaa.

Alindyar:  (still reading, backs up to a position better
  shielded from the main cell block doorway - namely, the
  small cell that the six party members were held in)

Lyra:  (at the foot of the stairs up, hears noises coming
  closer)  Damn.  (casts a Wall of Ice, totally blocking
  the passage)  That won't hold them for long.  (backs up
  a bit, and casts a Web across the tunnel)  Then again,
  neither will that.  (retrieves a large flask of grey
  powder from her pack, and hurls it upward against the
  ceiling, where it shatters and sends dust all over the
  passage's floor, covering the web)  Still...(backs up
  again, around the corner and the elemental, and casts
  Shield upon herself, then rejoins the main group)
Ged:  What news?
Lyra:  They are atop the stairway, yonder.  I have cast a
  few spells to delay them, but we had better be ready.
Belphanior:  (drinks a potion of super-heroism)  I _am_
  ready.  Bring 'em on!  (slices the air wildly)
Rillen:  (drinks a potion of stone giant strength)  And I
  as well.
Arnold:  (looks at his potion of water breathing uselessly)
Ged:  I have more magic for us all.  (casts Haste upon the
  whole party)  Ah, I am just powerful enough to get all
  nine of us.
Alindyar:  (barely notices)
Belphanior:  (grabs his staff of power and heads for the
  corner, where the fire elemental waits)  Fuck spells.
  I have everything I need here.  (pats his sword)  And
  here as well.
Peldor:  (returns from the other cells)  There's nothing
  in those holes, except long-dead prisoners.  No allies,
  no foes, no treasure, nothing.  Including no exits.  We
  won't be escaping out the backdoor this time.  (drinks
  his potion of flying)  What's up, anyway?
Rillen:  The evil ones approach.  (gets his bow out, and
  heads for Belphanior's location)
Peldor:  Oh.  (goes invisible)
Alindyar:  (in some kind of meditative trance)
Flint:  What's _his_ problem?
Ged:  He has very little magical energy left, and must
  concentrate to be able to use it well.
Flint:  I never did trust mages.  (pats his axe)
Ged:  Oh?  (prepares a priestly spell)
Rillen:  I hope we are ready.  (holds his bow steady)

  Belphanior and Rillen stood ready at the corner, the
fire elemental towering above, but behind, them.  Lyra's
wall of ice stood firm, though much ruckus could now be
heard from beyond it.  Suddenly, the thing shattered,
spraying the passage with shards.  The vampire lord, and
numerous others, marched through the frozen rubble.

vampire lord:  (to the ghouls heading the troop)  Go and
  get them!
ghouls:  (charge, only to run across the concealed web)
  Ssss!  Aie!  (about a dozen of them get stuck)
vampire lord:  Fools!
Belphanior:  (uses his staff to fire a Lightning Bolt
  down the passage)  Banzai!
Rillen:  Whoa...(he and the elf duck back around the

  There was a tremendous CRACK! as the magical bolt
tore into the undead forces.  Those stuck in the web had
nowhere to run, and were incinerated.  Some of the other
evil attackers perished too - here a mummy blazed into
incandescence, there a wight was burnt in half.  A misty
smoke arose...and those foes who had survived advanced.

vampire lord:  Fool!  I have taken steps to protect
  myself from such attacks!  (casts a spell, and a thin,
  green ray lances forth)  Die!
Belphanior:  Yie!  (dodges swiftly, and the beam goes
  over his shoulder and into the wall, disintegrating
  a chunk of the stone)  Holy shit!  This guy's MAD!
Rillen:  Of course.  (being hasted, and wielding a bow
  of doubling, he fires eight arrows in the space of
  as many seconds)
ghoul:  (feathered by three arrows, dies)
zombie:  (hit by three arrows, also dies)
hairy savage:  (ignores an arrow that lodges in his arm)
Belphanior:  Nice shooting.  We'd better get back...
  (he and Rillen are hit by some magic missiles)  Agh!
Rillen:  So they have another wizard among their ranks.
  (they back up, leaving the elemental to fight the
  oncoming group)
fire elemental:  (strides out into the passage, and
  grabs a mummy)  Fwoooosh!
mummy:  GrlkaaaaAAAAAAAA!  (instantly bursts into flame
  and begins running around)  AAaaaGGGG!
ghoul:  (not fast enough to dodge its burning ally, gets
  involved in a fiery bearhug)  SsssssaaAIE!
vampire lord:  Move on!  Avoid the wounded!  Kill the
  prisoners!  Storm the cell block!
other undead:  (avoid the burning ones as best as they
  can, and move on, grunting)
vampire lord:  (casts an Ice Storm, centered right over
  the fire elemental)  That should cool it down.  And
  my troops are largely immune to cold!  What a genius
  I am!  (floats onward)
fire elemental:  (quelled by the powerful magic, ceases
  to exist on this plane)

Belphanior:  (he and Rillen run through the cell block
  doors)  Shit!  They got the elemental!
Ged:  Damn!
Mongo:  (he, and Rillen, and Belphanior, and Arnold,
  stand ready to block the doorway from any physical
  assault, while Ged and Lyra back them up)  Where are
  they?  I don't see anyone!
Belphanior:  Look!

  A thick, green fog materialized in the passage, and
began oozing into the cell block.

Arnold:  Looks familiar.
Mongo:  Argh!  It's burning me!
Belphanior:  Me too!  Aie!
Lyra:  Death fog!  Quickly, fire!
Ged:  By Boccob, this must be fate.  I had the right
  spell ready...(casts his Flame Strike upon the now
  obscured corner of the passage)  Burn in Boccob's
  holy flames, evil ones!

  There was a nearby scream as some foe was roasted by
the mighty spell, and the fog began to dissipate, sucked
into the flames with unnatural force.

Ged:  Boccob strikes!  Your evil mist is no more, foul
  undead vermin!
Mongo:  All right!  Good shot, elf!
Ged:  Thanks.  Hey, look.
zombies:  (about eight of them, they plod toward the
vampire lord:  How fabulous!  Since the elf was so busy
  casting his relatively useless spell, he is not even
  prepared to turn my zombies!  What strategy!  What
Mongo:  Here come some uglies...(hurls his hammer, and
  splatters a zombie's head into pulp)  Ah.  (catches
  his weapon)  Nice to know I haven't lost my touch.
Rillen:  Yes, it is.  (again fires eight arrows, due
  to his hasting, his powerful bow, and his skill, and
  few of the arrows go astray)
zombie:  (hit in each eye socket by an arrow, falls to
  the floor, dead)  Org.
zombie:  (trips over the fallen one, an arrow in its
  shoulder)  Ggg.
zombie:  (four arrows in its chest, dies)  Agg.
Mongo:  Nice shooting!  (hurls his hammer again, and
  pulverizes another zombie)
Arnold:  (notices a zombie getting too close, and
  strikes out, cutting it in half)  I, Ah-nold, have
  done it again!  Aaaa.
Flint:  (hurls a hand axe at the zombie wounded by
  only one arrow, and splits its head open, slaying
  it for good)  Yeah!
Mongo:  Way to go!
Belphanior:  (slices the last zombie twice, downing it)
  I need something _living_ to fight!

vampire lord:  Aaaargh!  How could they!  What shall I
  send them next?  Ah!  (points at three hairy savage-
  types)  You, go and get them!  Break up their defense
  at the doorway!  (begins spellcasting)  Meanwhile, I
  shall provide spell support...
vampiric mage:  (also begins spellcasting)
vampiric warrior:  (floats into the air as mist, and
  heads for the cell block)

hairy savages:  (as they charge the party's warriors,
  they change into bipedal, furry forms - werewolves!)
  Snarl!  Growl!  Howwwwwwl!  (they rip into the party
  with ferocious speed and power)
Mongo:  Fuck!  (bashes a werewolf as it bowls him over)
Belphanior:  At last!  A living opponent!  (slashes a
  werewolf as it claws at him)  Come and get it!
werewolf:  (sort of surprised that the elf seems glad
  to face him)  Snarl?
Rillen:  (encumbered by his bow and arrows, can't make
  a counterattack, but uses the large bow to guide the
  werewolf over his head, flipping it to the ground
  behind him)  Sai!
Arnold:  Hello, wolf-think!  (slices a huge chunk of
  meat out of the werewolf's side)
werewolf:  Magical weapons!  Aaaaargh!  (leaps to its
  feet and rakes Arnold with its claws)  Growl!
Arnold:  Urgh!  (backs up, blood flowing from gashes
  in his shoulder)  Aaa.
Flint Firelips:  (hacks Mongo's opponent twice)  Die!
werewolf:  Yaaaargh!  (turns to face Flint)
Mongo:  (rises, bloody)  I'm not done with you yet!
  (smacks the thing in the head so hard that its neck
  breaks)  Fucker!
werewolf:  (falls to the ground, its head lolling)
Flint:  (chops the body again, for good measure)
Arnold:  (slashes his foe again, and then again, due
  to his hasted state)
werewolf:  (dies, cut in three pieces)
Arnold:  (kicks one piece out into the hallway)  Hah!
  There is your monster, vambire!
werewolf:  (squares off against Belphanior)  Snarl!
Belphanior:  (snarls also, and then slashes the thing
  two times, gutting it on the second attack)  Yes!
  YES!  (gains several levels of life energy back,
  replenishing that depleted recently by the vampire)
  Ha ha ha!  (waves his sword around)  Who's next?
gas:  (unnoticed, begins clouding behind Alindyar)
vampiric mage:  (casts Summon Shadow, and four of the
  undead appear near Rillen and Arnold)
Rillen:  (pulls his horn from his pack)
Lyra:  (casts Magic Missile, blasting a ghoul into
  pulp right before it can claw at Belphanior, whose
  back is turned at the moment)
ghoul:  <blurp>
Belphanior:  Huh?  (whirls around)  Ugh.
vampire lord:  (casts a Symbol, which appears in the
  air over the party)  Ha!
Lyra:  (instantly falls to the ground)
Arnold:  (likewise)
Flint:  (likewise)
Mongo:  Shit!  (battle forgotten for the moment, he
  runs to Flint)  What the hell?
Ged:  (examines Lyra)  They're just sleeping.  But we
  cannot awaken them for a time - they cannot help us
  any longer, in this battle.
Lightbringer:  (glowing fiercely)  Slay undead!
Rillen:  (quickly drags Arnold's body to the side)  It
  would not be good to leave these ones amidst the
Mongo:  (does likewise for Flint)  Nope.
Ged:  (does likewise for Lyra)
vampiric warrior:  (materializes from his gaseous form,
  behind Alindyar, who is still apparently in trance)
  Ssssss.  (prepares to attack the unwary drow mage)
Peldor:  (backstabs the vampire with all his might, and
  becomes visible)  Hai!
vampiric warrior:  (the thief's sword sticking from his
  belly, he whirls about)  Aaargh!  Rogue!  Look into
  my eyes!  (staggers a bit; after all, his spine _did_
  just get nearly severed)
Peldor:  (resisting the charm attempt)
vampiric warrior:  Cease and desist.  (pulls the sword
  from his body and drops it)  Agh.  You are mine now.
Peldor:  (managing to avoid making true eye contact with
  the creature, and, since he was hasted by Ged, attacks
  again, hurling both of his daggers of throwing at once
  and at point-blank range)  To hell with you!  Eat this!
vampiric warrior:  Aaargh!  (physically slain, he goes
  into gaseous form and floats away)
Peldor:  (watches his daggers fall to the floor)  Damn.
  (picks them up, and then goes invisible once more)

Rillen:  (winds his horn of Valhalla, and five huge
  berserkers, armed with battle axes and spears, blink
  into existence in front of him)
berserker leader:  Who shall we fight, by Thor?
Rillen:  (points to the shadows)  Those things!
berserkers:  Aye!  Aaaaaaaaaar!  (they charge the
  shadows, and begins meleeing them noisily)
shadows:  (fall back before the assault)
vampire lord:  Aaa!  How could it be!  More importantly,
  why did I leave all of their items in one place?  I
  must be getting old...(begins casting a Prismatic
  Sphere)  Ah, well, after I cast this, I will be able
  to attack and retreat safely.  They shall never stop
  me now!
Mongo:  (draws a bead on the vampire lord, and prepares
  to throw his hammer)  Not if I interrupt your spell,
spectre:  (flits forth and gropes Mongo, draining two
  life energy levels and causing his attack to miss)
Mongo:  YOW!  (leaps back)  What the FUCK?!?!?
spectre:  (menaces the dwarf)
vampiric mage:  (casts a Polymorph Other upon Ged)  A
  rat, you will be...sss...
Ged:  AAAA!  (manages to resist this foul spell, but
  only barely)  You will perish, evil one!  (charges
  the vampiric mage, who is standing near the prismatic
Rillen:  (starts toward the vampire lord and his most
  colorful sphere)
Igor:  (pounces from the shadows)
Rillen:  (perhaps distracted by the prismatic sphere,
  he gets tackled by Igor, and his staff and backpack
  are knocked away)  Wha-
Igor:  (begins pummeling the warrior)  Massster saysss
  you mussst die!  Igor obeysss the massster!
berserkers:  (singing loudly as they melee the shadows
  with great gusto)
shadows:  (fighting back but losing)
Belphanior:  (knows that he can't attack the spectre
  facing Mongo, since it is a negative-energy-based
  creature)  Fuck!  (begins rummaging through his
Mongo:  Stay the hell back!  (bats at the spectre)
spectre:  (menaces the dwarf)
Peldor:  (materializes as he backstabs the undead)
spectre:  (staggers, as the thief's blow was indeed
  a mighty one)
Peldor:  Aha!  Peldor does what Peldor does best!
Mongo:  What's that, blabber?  (jumps forward and
  deals the spectre a great smashing blow)  Take THAT!
spectre:  (beaten, its form on this plane dissolves)
Peldor:  (he and Mongo clasp hands)  Well done!
Mongo:  Yeah, you too, thief.
Igor:  (pounds Rillen)  Die, die, die!
Rillen:  (hurls the hunchback aside)  Will you shut
  up?  (stands up)
Igor:  (grabs a huge poker from somewhere, and swings
  it menacingly)  Massster says die, heh heh!
Rillen:  (dodges the powerful, but clumsy, blow, and
  kicks Igor in the face)  Chew on that, toad.
Igor:  Nraaaaah!  (bashes Rillen in the hand with the
  poker, smashing bones)
Rillen:  Aaaargh!  (he leaps aside as another blow
  gouges bits of stone from the wall)
Ged:  (faces the vampiric mage)  Foul one!  Boccob
  has come a-reckoning!
vampiric mage:  Bah.  (floats into the air)  You will
  not reach me from down there.  Hah.
zombies:  (eight of them, they surround Ged on the
vampiric mage:  Even if you turn those before they
  overwhelm you, I shall still be casting my spell.
  (waves his hand aristocratically)  You will die.
Ged:  Oh.
Lightbringer:  Never, foul one!  (begins glowing more
  brightly than ever before)
Ged:  Boccob!
Lightbringer:  (begins to hum, and an incredibly
  bright ray of sunlight appears from nowhere, and
  shines directly upon the vampiric mage floating in
  the air)  YES!
vampiric mage:  NooooOOOOO!  (he is dissolved by the
zombies:  (likewise)
Ged:  How mighty!  (begins to shift the sunray over
  to shine on the vampire lord)  Indeed you are a
  great weapon!
Lightbringer:  Of course.  After all, I _was_ forged
  to destroy undead...
vampire lord:  (safe inside his prismatic sphere)  I
  don't believe it!  He slew my mage!  And the other
  ones slew my warrior!  Aaaa!

Belphanior:  (charges toward the prismatic sphere,
  sure that he can find some way to get through it)
Mongo:  (moves into the corridor too)
Rillen:  Ugh!  (recoils from a solid blow to his
Igor:  (waves his poker wildly)  Massster saysss to
  kill you!  Kill!  (he swings again, barely missing)
Rillen:  (leaps sideways, then grabs Igor's hand and
  breaks it at the wrist)  Hngh.
Igor:  YaaaaAAAA!  (drops the poker)
Rillen:  (grabs the powerful hunchback in a headlock)
Igor:  (strains to break out, but can't)
Rillen:  (strains as well)  Time to put you out of
  my misery.  Rrrrgggh!  (snaps Igor's neck with a
  sudden motion)
Igor:  (drops to the floor, drooling blood)
Rillen:  (picks up his possessions, and then turns his
  attention back to the vampire lord, grouping up with
  Mongo and Belphanior)
vampire lord:  (emerges from his prismatic sphere just
  long enough to cast a Transmute Rock to Mud spell)
  All lined up for me, eh?  Peas in a pod.
Mongo:  (he, Rillen, and Belphanior are trapped in the
  muck, and begin sinking; the mud, incidentally, is
  now blocking off the corridor to foot travel)  Huh?
Ged:  (looks around; he is now the only adventurer on
  the vampire lord's side of the muddy area)  Eh?
Rillen:  (tries to swim in the mud, to no avail)  Ugh.
Belphanior:  Fuck!  We'd better do something, quick!
Rillen:  I cannot believe this.  We may drown in mud.
Belphanior:  What a boring way to go.  (he begins to
  think of a way out of this)  What items do we have,
  which might be able to help?  Hey!  (begins foraging
  through his pockets and pouches)
vampire lord:  (ducks back down into his sphere)  Ha.
Ged:  (having no dispel magic spells left, either of
  the mage or the priest type)  Boccob!
Lightbringer:  What's the matter?
Ged:  They are trapped, and more, that vampire can pop
  up and cast terrible spells at them, at will.  There's
  no way we can get through that sphere - I don't have
  all the spells necessary to bring it down.
Peldor:  (due to the potion he drank earlier, he is
  able to fly over the mud...and he carries Alindyar
  with him)
Ged:  What's this?
Peldor:  I found him wandering on the other side of
  the mud.  (sets the drow mage down)
Alindyar:  (lands on the floor)  I am prepared.  (he
  looks at the sphere)  If I get you through yonder
  barrier, can you slay the foul one?
Ged:  Err, maybe.  With Lightbringer's power, maybe.
  But how- ?
Alindyar:  Worry not.  (begins spellcasting)  If I can
  cast this spell successfully, there will be a way.
Ged:  (by virtue of his spellcraft ability, notices a
  number of odd gestures and words being used in the
  drow's casting)  Um.  Never saw this spell before.
Lightbringer:  Did you not hear him?  Prepare to fight!
Ged:  Yea.  (assumes a fighting stance)
Alindyar:  (continues spellcasting; he is not casting
  from his store of memorized spells, but rather directly
  out of his drow spellbook)
Peldor:  (becomes invisible and floats upward, sure that
  he doesn't want to be next to two potential targets)
Mongo:  (curses while sinking in the mud)  Argh!

vampire lord:  (pops up and casts a Wall of Stone, right
  above those stuck in the mud)  You shall be crushed
  like insects!  Driven into the mud like the worms you
Mongo:  (looks up)  Shit!
Belphanior:  (as the wall, unanchored, begins to fall,
  he uses his cube of force to erect a magical barrier
  around himself, Mongo, and Rillen; the falling wall
  collapses atop the magical cubical wall of force)  I
  think that helped...whew.
vampire lord:  (ducks back into his sphere)
Ged:  Why, that...
Alindyar:  Take heed!  (casts his spell, and a huge ebon
  energy sword appears)  Behold - the Black Blade of
  Disaster!  (beams triumphantly)
Ged:  Wow.  Must be a drow spell.
Alindyar: Naturally.  (he guides the blade over to the
  prismatic sphere, and downward)  Observe.

  The magical blade moved slowly into the sphere, and
then, amazingly, began to slice through it as a hot
knife through butter!  Through the huge rent in the
sphere, the vampire lord could be seen, staring in
shock and disbelief.

vampire lord:  It cannot be...
Alindyar:  (guides the giant magical blade into the
  vampire lord)
vampire lord:  (struck by the thing, he suffers quite
  serious damage)  YAAARGH!  (he leaps out of the
  remnants of the prismatic sphere and staggers around
  near Ged, somewhat stunned)
Alindyar:  Now!  We must act before he escapes!
Ged:  Yea!  (runs forth, concentrating on dealing a
  single mighty blow)  Boccob guide my hand...
Lightbringer:  Strike first, and strike well!  (the
  grey elf leaps forth with great deftness and bashes
  the vampire lord with the holy weapon)
vampire lord:  NO!  NOOOO!  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooo....

  The vampire lord screamed and clawed the air wildly,
as his skin began to melt away.  Shards of light tore
outward from his body, piercing and burning his flesh.
His hair ignited with a flash, and skin melted and ran
to the floor in rivulets.  Exposed arteries and bones
became visible, before they, too, began to dissolve.
Chunks of flesh and gore fell away as the foul undead
creature perished.

vampire lord:  AaaaaiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!
  (now down to only a skeleton and some bits of pink
  flesh)  Aaaaa......(he suddenly shatters, exploding
  into small pieces)  <BLOOMF>  (the dust settles to
  the floor slowly)

Lightbringer:  Whew.
Ged:  Wow.
Peldor:  (appears, in the air)  You mean that's it?
  Just like that, he's gone?
Lightbringer:  Just like that?!?  That was one of the
  most extravagant undead death scenes I've ever had
  the pleasure of witnessing!
Ged:  I agree heartily.
Lightbringer:  Well, actually, there was that lich-
  king that one time-
Alindyar:  Whatever the case, we have companions who
  are inexorably sinking into the mud.
Ged:  Oh shit!  (they all turn toward the muddy area)

  However, the three warriors were busy brushing mud
from themselves.  Belphanior greeted Ged with a grin.

Ged:  How the hell did you get out of the mud?
Belphanior:  Easy.  (points to Rillen, who is holding
  onto a metal rod, which rests unwavering in the air
  above the mud, a rope tied to a grommet at one end)
  Rod of inertia.
Rillen:  I used this item of mine as an anchor, and was
  able to pull myself out.
Mongo:  And us too!
Ged:  Rod of inertia, eh?
Rillen:  Yes.  (speaks a command word, and the rod then
  drops from its perch in the air; he catches it deftly)
  A useful item, this.
Alindyar:  Indeed.  Well done.
Belphanior:  Yup.  Once he spoke the command word, the
  damned thing wouldn't budge from where he had been
  holding it, in the air.  Useful.
Rillen:  (looks up at the ceiling)  What is that?

  With the destruction of the vampire, the castle was
coming apart.  As rocks began to fall, those who were
still conscious moved to escape, carrying the three
who were asleep due to the earlier spell.  It was also
noted that all of the berserkers summoned by Rillen
were gone, though black spots on the floor seemed to
mark the remains of their opponents, the shadows.  The
adventurers fled from the dungeons, ascending as fast
as they could while avoiding falling rubble.  As they
reached the ground level, the castle walls and roof
began to crumble, revealing the light of the rising
sun - dawn had arrived!  They left the fortress behind,
fleeing on foot, and the place collapsed once and for
all as they left.  Only a huge pile of rocks and debris
was left to mark the site of the former vampire lord's
lair.  Though it was early yet, the sun shone brightly
upon the nine weary adventurers.

Alindyar:  I never thought I would be relieved to see
  the sun.
Mongo:  What now?  Which way should we travel?
Ged:  I'd say south.  I for one am sick and tired of
  this cursed land.
Rillen:  I agree.
Belphanior:  (thinks about protesting, but decides not
  to make an issue of it)  South it is!  Let's march!

  It was a cold and rainy autumn evening in the Free
City of Greyhawk.  The pair of guards on duty had just
enjoyed a dinner of cold, clammy roasted chicken leg
and were patrolling the South Gate to the city with
no great enthusiasm.  Then, from the darkness of the
road, a band of travelers approached on horseback.

guardsman:  Ho there!
big black guy in soggy robes:  Ho?
skinny elf in hooded cloak:  By Boccob, can it be?  We're
  finally home!
musclebound warrior with green skin:  Afder four and a
  half months of travbel, I would hope so.
stocky dwarf in plate mail:  Hey, let us in.  We've
  been riding all night, in this damned rain!
other guardsman:  Sorry, only city residents permitted
  without the visitors' fees.
stocky dwarf:  FEES?!?
more guardsmen:  (gather, anticipating a confrontation)
tall elf in soiled red cloak:  Dammit!  (digs through
  his pouches)  I've got it here somewhere...
skinny elf:  (looks on nervously)
tall elf:  Aha!  (pulls out and displays a silver badge
  of some sort)  See?  Registered member of the Greyhawk
  Warriors' Guild!  (pulls out another insignia)  And
  here's my Mages' Guild badge!
first guardsman:  (somewhat in awe)  A wizard...
other guardsman:  Well, I guess...
skinny elf:  (finds his own silver badge)  I, too, am a
  member in good standing, of your Mages' Guild.  Pray,
  open the gates.  We are residents here.
tall elf:  (sticks his tongue out and snares a raindrop
  or three)  Yeah.  Open the gates.
first guardsman:  (looking through a ledger)  Lessee, uh,
  number, please?
scruffy-looking rogue-type:  69?
tall elf:  Name?  My name, or his?  (points to the skinny
first guardsman:  His.
skinny elf:  I am Ged.
other guardsman:  Ged, yeah, that's what it says here in
  the book of registered citizens.  Hey, he's in really
  good standing, too.  (looks at the first guardsman)  A
  highly-ranked member of several guilds.  Maybe we'd
  better let him in.
first guardsman:  You may pass, O great mage.  You and your
tall elf:  (blubbers angrily)  Companions?!?  I am no mere
Ged:  (beams)  Ah...
scruffy one:  (as they pass through the gates)  How'd you
  buy your way past them?
Ged:  My mighty prowess, and my equally mighty funds.
dwarf:  Bah.  Where's our inn, anyway?

  They headed for the Green Dragon Inn, and were soon in
a conversation with the bartender.

Mongo:  Hey there, Ricard!
Ricard:  Huh?
Mongo:  It's us!  We've come back for our old rooms.
Ricard:  Rooms?
Ged:  Oh come now.  We paid you in advance to hold the
Ricard:  Yeah - you paid for one month.  It's been just a
  _little_ bit longer than that.  I've got a lot of other
  customers, you know.
Belphanior:  Bah.  I'm sick of renting.  I shall go _buy_
  a place in this city.  See you people at breakfast on
  the morrow.  (stalks out of the inn)
Ricard:  Well.  (regards the rest of the party)
Mongo:  Hmm.
Peldor:  (flips Ricard a gold coin)  Room.
Ricard:  (flips Peldor a key)  2A.  Upstairs to the left.
Peldor:  (walks up the stairs)  Boy, I'm beat!  Too tired
  for anything but sleep.  Yaaaaawn.

  The party thus broke up, somewhat, and retired for the
night.  The next morning, they met at the breakfast table
in the Green Dragon Inn for a huge gourmet meal and much
conversation and planning.  It wasn't long before the
adventurers realized that they each had their own goals
for the immediate future - goals that necessitated the
splitting of the group for a time.  So it was that they
broke up for a while, agreeing to regroup at the start of
the new year, in just over four months.  During this time
they would be doing many things - training, land dealing,
pursuing personal quests and goals, etc.  It was agreed
that they would meet on the eve of the new year, in the
Green Dragon Inn, for a feast of titanic proportions.

Mongo:  (to a sleepy-eyed Ricard)  And this time make
  sure you keep a table saved for us!

  And so they split, on the morning of 8/22/571.  Each
adventurer had a lot of his or her own training to do...

+   THE PARTY:                                                +
+                                                             +
+   Alindyar      11th level drow elf mage              (N)   +
+      Lyra        7th level female drow elf mage       (N)   +
+   Belphanior     8th/8th/9th level high elf w/m/t    (CN)   +
+   Ged            9th/9th level grey elf priest/mage  (NG)   +
+      Arnold      7th level human warrior             (NG)   +
+   Mongo          9th level dwarf warrior             (CG)   +
+   Peldor        12th level human thief                (N)   +
+   Rillen         9th level human warrior              (N)   +
*   Flint Firelips (guest)   dwarven warrior                  +
+   Date:    8/22/571 C.Y. (Common Year)                      +
+   Time:    late morning                                     +
+   Place:   the Free City of Greyhawk                        +
+   Climate: moderately cold                                  +

  Alindyar, along with Lyra, spent quite some time holed
up in the Guild of Wizardry's libraries, doing research
and studying old tomes and volumes.  Both gained great
amounts of magical prowess, though they first found it
necessary to befriend one of the city's foremost magi,
one Nystul, and convince him to persuade some of the
guild's other magi that all drow were not evil of mind.
Once this issue was cleared up, the pair of drow had no
further trouble while doing their research, and actually
made some new friends among the guild.

  Belphanior trained for all three of his professions,
further increasing his usefulness to the party as a
jack-of-all-trades.  He visited the temple of Olidammara,
to have his lost levels restored, and was much happier
after this process was completed.

  Ged spent a lot of time at the temple of Boccob in
Greyhawk (in fact, the Uncaring One's largest and most
powerful temple was the one in the Free City), praying
and meditating.  He emerged with more magical power
than ever before, both wizardly and priestly power.
The elf also visited the Union of Sages and Academics,
to seek help with his (apparently drained) fire wand.
The learned ones decided that the artifact had used up
its store of energy, and that the energy had to be
replenished with the willing consent, and assistance,
of any one of a variety of powerful fire-using beings.
Ged also took Arnold to the Alchemists' Guild, seeking
a cure for his henchman's green skin.  After no small
amount of gold and time was spent, the alchemists were
able to undo the effects of the noxious green gas,
returning the barbarian's original skin tone, much to
his relief.  Finally, Ged sold his old, nonintelligent
morningstar in favor of Lightbringer.

  Mongo trained for weeks in the Warriors' Guild and
its arenas, building his strength and skill further.
Of course, he first visited the priests of Boccob,
and paid them handsomely to restore his lost levels.
He also reached an agreement with Flint Firelips,
providing for the young dwarf to become his henchman
and protege.  The two sparred for hours on end.

  Peldor went to the Thieves' Guild and honed his fine
skills to finer levels.  He practically perfected the
art of backstabbing, and also found that the guild no
longer had any practice walls that he couldn't climb.
The thief also experimented with his (relatively) new
longsword, finding that, although unintelligent, the
weapon seemed to have a mind of its own at times, and
made its finest strikes from the rear flank.  Also, it
was extremely easy and light to wield, seeming to weigh
no more than a large dagger.  In favor of this weapon,
and in light of his acquisition of the ten magical
feathers, Peldor stashed his old shortsword (of Lyons)
in a safe place, for the time being, no longer needing
its invisibility power.

  Rillen practiced as best he could, given the limited
fighting skills of most monk-types in Greyhawk.  He
found it necessary to adopt a more rigorous exercise
and meditation routine, to keep his martial skills at
their peak during this time without sufficient sparring
partners.  Also, he traded his old longbow to Belphanior
for a potion and some gems.

+   THE PARTY:                                                +
+                                                             +
+   Alindyar      12th level drow elf mage              (N)   +
+      Lyra       10th level female drow elf mage       (N)   +
+   Belphanior     9th/10th/11th level high elf w/m/t  (CN)   +
+   Ged           10th/11th level grey elf priest/mage (NG)   +
+      Arnold      9th level human warrior             (NG)   +
+   Mongo         11th level dwarf warrior             (CG)   +
+      Flint       9th level dwarf warrior             (CG)   +
+   Peldor        13th level human thief                (N)   +
+   Rillen        11th level human warrior              (N)   +
+   Date:    9/571 C.Y. (Common Year)                         +
+   Time:                                                     +
+   Place:   the Free City of Greyhawk                        +
+   Climate: moderate to cold                                 +

  The adventurers, split into various sub-groups, now turned
their attention to what they wanted to do in the near future.

  In a fine dining establishment in the Foreign Quarter,
Ged and Arnold enjoyed an expensive meal of rare seafood
and fine wine.

Arnold:  So, whad do you wand to do?
Ged:  What else?  Arnold, my friend, we're going to buy
   some land and build a castle!

  While Mongo exercised in a field, by smashing rocks with
a huge hammer, he was approached by Rillen.

Mongo:  (pulverizes a boulder)  Hey!  What's up?
Rillen:  The sky?  Actually, I came here to invite you on
  a journey.
Mongo:  (pauses in his demolition, and perks up)  A trip?
  Where to?
Rillen:  Every year, there is a big weaponless fighting
  tournament in the lands to the north.  I intend to be
  a participant this year.
Mongo:  You mean I can come along and watch guys beat the
  hell out of each other with their bare hands?
Rillen:  Hands, feet, heads, whatever.  Yes.  And you can
  bring Flint too.
Mongo:  Shoot, yeah!  Count me in!  When do we leave?

  Alindyar and Lyra rested in bed one night after hours
of busy work...

Alindyar:  We need something to do.
Lyra:  (giggles)  Besides research and-
Alindyar:  Yes.  Besides research and that.  Have you any
  ideas?  (pinches Lyra's rear end)
Lyra:  Why, you...I'll show you an idea or two!  (they
  begin wrestling)

  In the deepest depths of the thieves' guild, Peldor
scrambled up a sheer cliff face with astounding ease.

guildmaster:  Most impressive.  (goes away to run a new
  background check on Peldor, in order to gauge his possible
  ambitions for the future)
Belphanior:  (shows up at the top of the cliff)  Hey there,
  old buddy, old pal.
Peldor:  (reaches the top and brushes himself off)  What
  do you want?
Belphanior:  Let's go steal something of great value.
Peldor:  Hey, good idea!  I've been thinking about the
  kidnapping of a princess...
Belphanior:  I'm listening.

next time :  the first of the four duo/trio (not solo)

ftp site  :, in pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers

notes     :  Ah, 100 is a nice milestone to have reached.  I
           can't say that it hasn't been fun.  Anyway, enough
           of that.  I have a few things to include in this
           section, things perhaps appropriate to a part 100.
           First of all, I figured that, after all this time,
           the readers might want to know what the various
           adventurers looked like, as discussed by myself
           and their players over the years.  Hopefully this
           will solidify whatever images readers have been
           drawing up in their minds since episode #1...

+                                                             +
+++                                                         +++
+                                                             +

  Male drow elf, 5'6" tall and slender (about 100 lbs).
White hair, sort of long (maybe shoulder-length) and violet
eyes.  Handsome face, suggesting maturity and great age.  He
constantly wears his heavy, black cloak and carries little
else (a staff and a bag of holding).  The cloak has a very
convenient hood, to protect the drow from the sun's light.
Overall, he could be described as unusual.

  Female drow elf, 5'4" tall and slender (90 lbs), rather
voluptuous.  Long, flowing white hair, down to the middle
of her back.  Pale violet eyes set in a fine, delicate face.
She wears a grey cloak with a hood, a bit heavier than
Alindyar's since she isn't as well-adapted to the sunlight
as he is.  Other than that, most of her heavier possessions
are in Alindyar's bag of holding - she carries only a dagger
at her belt.  To sum it up, she's cute.

  Male high elf, abnormally tall for an elf (6'1").  Wiry
and lean (117 lbs), very muscular.  Light brown hair, barely
shoulder-length; black eyes (they glow red due to an aberrant
potion he once drank; the effect is positively hellish).  He
looks as rough as any hardened criminal, and his face seems
twisted in a perpetual sneer.  He wears a matching set of
durable brown cloak and boots, and light bracers as well.
A slender longsword rests at his side, and he usually holds
his magical staff in one hand while traveling.  In one word,

  Male grey elf, of average build for an elf (5'8" and 101
lbs).  Not too strong, but quite healthy, and very quick.
Collar-length golden hair and green eyes tell of his grey
elf lineage.  Wears chain mail armor to important occasions
(like adventuring and battle), and favors the morningstar.
His armor is brightly painted with the symbols and runes of
Boccob.  A green cloak covers his backpack, which holds the
other possessions he owns.  A smug fellow.

  Male human, overpoweringly muscular.  An absolutely huge
member of humanity, at 6'3" and 270 lbs.  Light brown hair,
shoulder-length, and eyes of the same color.  Seldom found
without his plate mail armor and two-handed sword, he has
few other possessions.  Occasionally wears boots and cloak,
until he destroys them in battle.  Seldom bathes, and often
reeks, probably the only thing that keeps his boyish good
looks and huge body from attracting more fair maidens.  All
in all, could be termed as overpowering.

  Male dwarf, his stature (a mere 4'0") is overcome by his
strength and power (he packs 154 lbs, all of it muscle and
sinew, onto that small frame).  Robust as a bear, durable
as a steel ingot, tough as a badger.  A black beard covers
a red, puffy face, and blacker eyes stare out from beneath
bushy eyebrows.  Wears magical plate mail armor, shield,
helm, and girdle.  A large warhammer is usually in his
meaty, knotted hand.  Most of his other weapons and items
are in his portable hole.  Aggressive.

  Male dwarf, much like Mongo (4'0" and 149 lbs) though
not nearly as strong.  Also uses a battleaxe, not a war
hammer (though both are deadly).  Doesn't have quite the
charisma that his mentor does.  Determined.

  Male human, 5'11" and 161 lbs.  Doesn't look like much,
but is, actually, almost as strong as he is quick.  When
not using his magical hat to assume another identity, can
be seen with brown hair and eyes, complete with a well-
trimmed moustache.  A real charmer, is equally competent
at finding wenches and telling elaborate lies that others
believe.  Probably as smart as any mage.  Wears leather
armor and a brown cloak; his sword is on his right hip
while his two throwing daggers are on his left.  Usually
wears magical hat, boots, rings, and eyes as well.  All
other items are kept in his magical pouch.  Shifty.

  Male human.  Pretty big (6'6" and 250 lbs), not as
musclebound as Arnold, but much more toned and flexible.
Black skin, black eyes, and very, very short black hair,
cut monk-style.  Quite charismatic, more so after you
meet him.   Like Alindyar, avoids the use of contractions
in his speech.  Dresses simple - bracers, light robes that
allow him maximum flexibility (elbow-length sleeves and
knee-length pants), high boots, longbow on his back, six-
foot staff in hand.  His few other items are kept in his
small pack.  Intimidating.

+                                                             +
+++                                                         +++
+                                                             +

  So much for that.  The only other thing I want to say
is thanks to all the readers who send me mail, whether to
praise, criticize, or merely comment.  If you're reading
this and haven't ever sent me mail, by all means, do it!
I like to know who and how many my readers are, and I
always answer every piece of mail I get.
  Oh, another announcement.  Since the upcoming episodes
will be a bit different, having 2-3 people at most, it's
going to take a while to get them written the way I want
to write them.  Thus, I'll be taking a short break, let's
say until the end of April, to rest and recuperate from
the first hundred.  Also to concentrate solely on work,
since I'm starting several big projects right about now.
So......until May 1st, farewell, and take it easy.  Like
Peldor would.

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