previous chapter (#114)
next chapter (#116)
+ 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 +
+ firstname.lastname@example.org +
+ THE PARTY: +
+ Alindyar 13th level drow elf mage (N) +
+ Lyra 10th level female drow elf mage (N) +
+ Belphanior 9th/11th/11th level high elf w/m/t (CN) +
+ Ged 10th/12th level grey elf priest/mage (NG) +
+ Arnold 9th level human warrior (NG) +
+ Mongo 12th level dwarf warrior (CG) +
+ Flint 9th level dwarf warrior (CG) +
+ Peldor 15th level human thief (N) +
+ Rillen 12th level human warrior (N) +
+ Date: 2/26/572 C.Y. (Common Year) +
+ Time: shortly before dusk +
+ Place: the Forgotten City, amid the Sea of Dust +
+ Climate: hot +
+ "Death is just a distant rumor to the young." +
+ - Andy Rooney +
CXV. The Forgotten City
At long last, the adventurers have reached their goal:
the Forgotten City of the ancient Suel empire! Though
dusk is drawing near, they are too excited to camp right
now, and are preparing to land and explore the ruins
Ged: (brings the magical balloon down) Okay, now,
everybody out. (he goes out last) Time for a rest
now, great balloon of mine. (speaks a command word
and the balloon shrinks down to its miniature sphere
form) Blessed be Boccob.
Peldor: (to Belphanior) Look, he's talking to himself
Belphanior: Yeah, well, we're all crazy in our own
Mongo: What was it that Kiel told us, again?
Rillen: Seek the royal palace, which is the highest
building in the city.
Arnold: Roydal paladce.
Flint: Didn't he also say that the palace would have
the deepest dungeons and treasure chambers?
Belphanior: You know, he did. He did mention that.
Sounds good to me. Let's find the place.
Peldor: If someone can get me up into the air, I'll
spot that palace in a jiffy...oh wait. (sips some
of his potion of flying, and floats up into the
air) Hmm. (peers around up there)
Ged: (turns from putting away his balloon, only to
see Peldor rising into the air) What the hell is
going on around here?
Peldor: (yelling down to Ged) Peldor's mage powers
have arrived at last! Archmagi everywhere, take
heed, for- (his voice is drowned out by the wind)
Ged: Bah. The words of fools mean naught.
Lyra: Or less than naught.
Alindyar: Can there be such a quantity?
Rillen: Only for Peldor.
Belphanior: If anyone can spy the palace in this
dusty ruin, it'll be Peldor, though.
Ged: Yea, I guess so...
Peldor: Aha! (points to the east) I see it! It's
a few miles that way! (he drops down to ground
level once more) Let's get going, before night
Mongo: Yup. (he leads the way into the city, as the
wind picks up)
The great city had once been surrounded by a huge,
thick wall, but now that mighty barrier was shattered
in numerous places. Frequently, large patches of
sand and rock had been fused into a glassy substance,
no doubt by some terrible magical force during the
Rain of Colorless Fire centuries past. Despite the
carnage and the effects of seven centuries of time
and erosion, the dominant architecture of the ancient
Sueloise could be seen all around - high, angular
buildings with precise slopes and windows. Even the
highest of the old structures now rose only fifty
feet or so above the desert floor, for time had
covered the city in countless layers of dust and ash,
and its lower stories, and streets, were buried deep
below. What the adventurers were now looking at were
the top floors of the taller buildings and towers.
Ged: ...just like Kiel told us.
Mongo: Hey, this is good stuff. After all, the
architecture survived all this time. I bet they
had dwarven help.
Ged: Don't play the fool. The ancient Suel were a
cruel and violent people, shunned by dwarves and
Lyra: Probably halflings and gnomes too, from what
Belphanior: Yo! Something's moving up ahead in the
One of the twenty-foot worm-things slithered from
below, and burst out right in front of the party.
Mongo: Worm! (hurls his hammer at the thing, but
misses, scoring only a glancing blow that does
no damage to the thickly-armored monster)
Ged: By Boccob, that's a big one! (hefts his
morningstar and charges, as the magical weapon
comes to life and begins blabbering)
Lightbringer: It's been a long time, apparently,
since you entered into a combat...
Ged: Huh? Hey, I've been using a lot of spells
lately. It's not my fault if I didn't want to
enter melee. And anyway, there haven't been any
undead around in quite some time.
Mongo: (catches his hammer)
Flint: (hefts his axe)
Arnold: Aaa. (hefts his sword)
Alindyar: 'Tis an ankheg, no doubt. (begins his
Lyra: And a rather large specimen, as Ged noted.
(also begins spellcasting)
Rillen: (grabs for his bow)
ankheg: (snaps its mandibles at Arnold, the prey
with the most meat, and hits, inflicting terrible
wounds as it rears in the air, the human clutched
in its jaws) Reeaargh!
Arnold: Aaaargh! (bleeds, and tries to hack at the
monster, but finds that he dropped his sword due
to being bitten) Led me go!
Belphanior: (somersaults forth, as the worm's
attention is focused on Arnold, and slashes at
the creature's head) Hiya!
ankheg: (its head plates deflect the elf's blow as
Belphanior: Dammit! (rolls back a bit) That's one
tough worm, guys!
Peldor: I wonder if this is the same one that chased
us earlier. (becomes invisible)
Rillen: (lets an arrow fly, and the missile doubles,
and both arrows lodge in the monster's back) Hmm.
It may take quite a few arrows to fell that beast.
Alindyar: (casts a Phantasmal Force, of a huge cow,
near the monster) Perhaps this prey will distract
phantasmal cow: Moo! (runs around the ankheg)
ankheg: Rraaarrr? (ignores the illusion)
Alindyar: Alas, the creature must rely on vibration
rather than sight.
phantasmal cow: (runs away to do phantasmal things)
Lyra: You learn something new every time, eh? (she
casts Charm Monster upon the ankheg)
ankheg: (stops moving, and drops Arnold) Rrrrr.
Arnold: Ooof. Aaaaa. (looks around for his sword,
which is laying far to one side)
Ged: (stops his charge) What's going on?!? Did
you charm it?
Arnold: (stands up shakily, and prepares to slash
the creature in the head with a dagger) Ah-nold!
Ged: No, Arnold! (runs over and holds Arnold back)
Arnold: Whaat? I don'd undersdand!
Ged: We've got the beast under control now. You
don't have to attack it anymore.
Arnold: But it hurd Ah-nold! It must be slain!
Ged: No need.
Arnold: (grumbling) I don'd get it.
Ged: Here, let me cure your wounds and I'll try to
explain it to you.
Arnold: Woundbs? (realizes that he's quite bruised
and beaten, under his plate mail) Aaa.
Rillen: (puts his bow down)
Alindyar: (spots Arnold's sword, and tries to pick
it up and take it to him, but can barely lift the
Lyra: The weapons are best left to the warriors...
Belphanior and Peldor agreed with Arnold - they
wanted to gang up and slay the creature right then
and there. Lyra managed to persuade them that the
ankheg was more useful alive than dead, as it might
be able to lead them to a tunnel or something. The
monster wasn't cooperating, though, for it just
rolled around in the sand like a dog. Eventually,
the adventurers left it alone, and continued their
march toward the palace. About half an hour later,
they reached their goal; the huge palace's upper
floors were before them. There was no doubt about
it, when they saw the colossal structure - this was
a royal palace. Even in its eroded and decayed
condition, the building was quite grand, looming
over the party like a high mountain peak.
Unfortunately, the adventurers couldn't find an
opening that wasn't filled with sand. They were
all searching, now, and did so for another half
hour, until it became dark outside, but the best
they could find was a single room, whose doorway
to the rest of the palace was filled with sand.
Since it was dark, they decided to camp in this
chamber (it was more spacious than the balloon's
small cabin, too) and continue searching tomorrow,
in daylight. Mongo liked the room because he could
dig sand away and find a good, solid floor hidden
underneath; no worms would be burrowing up from
The party set their watch shifts, unpacked, ate
supper, built a fire, and piled some rocks from
outside in the windowframe (for that was how they
entered this chamber) to help fortify the room,
should that prove necessary.
However, nothing but strange dreams bothered
the adventurers this night. Some dreamed of a
great magical holocaust; others dreamed of wars
fought when the world was still young; yet others
dreamed of a great journey from a faraway land,
a journey fraught with great peril. Morning saw
the party somewhat confused, yet ready to explore
further. An entrance, some passage or tunnel to
rooms not filled with sand, would have to be found
first, though. The adventurers searched among the
various buildings, entering through gaping holes
where windows used to be and then checking the
rooms beyond. It was slow and frustrating going,
but finally, after an hour of laborious searching,
an opening to the buried chambers beneath the sand
Flint: Hey! Hey everybody! Look here! (he has
uncovered a loose floor stone that sounds hollow
when tapped) Tap tap. Someone help me get this
Mongo: (rushes over, and the two dwarves lift the
heavy stone and set it aside, revealing a dark
corridor below) Good work!
Belphanior: It's a good bet that nobody's been
this way before...
They made ready to descend into the lost depths
of the Forgotten City. Weapons were made ready;
armor buckles were double-checked; torches were
lit. There was no need for a rope, as rusty, but
sturdy, iron rungs lined the wall below the hatch.
With Mongo leading the way, the group descended
into the dark, dusty corridor...
Mongo: (leading the way, Arnold on his right) I'd
sure like to see what kind of stuff is down here.
Arnold: (bearing a torch) Yah, me too.
Rillen: (in the second rank, also holds a torch)
You will have your chance soon, I am sure.
Belphanior: (in the second rank, wondering why he
isn't in the first rank)
Ged: (in the third rank, bearing Lightbringer,
which lives up to its name, providing a good,
bright light) Think we have enough light here?
Flint: (in the third rank) Yup.
Lyra: (in the fourth rank) Maybe too much.
Alindyar: (in the fourth rank) Verily.
Peldor: (all by himself in the fifth rank) I feel
lonely back here. (wonders why there has to be a
\_____ location where party descended
Peldor: (turns around) Hey. (turns back) I don't
see any doors ahead.
Belphanior: Maybe this used to be someone's secret
escape hatch. (pushes his way to the front of the
marching order, as Mongo and Arnold reach the blank
stone wall) Let's just see. (he quickly finds a
catch, and the wall slides away, revealing a small
room with a single doorway to one side) Hah!
Mongo: Look, that door's long since rotted away.
Arnold: Yah. (enters the chamber, and pokes around
at some rotten barrels and dusty, decayed sacks)
Ged: Hmm, this must have been a food storage closet
once upon a time.
Mongo: Yeah, well, it's all dust now. (peers into
the next room)
The next chamber was an enormous hall, perhaps once
a dining room. A high, vaulted ceiling had half-
collapsed, filling a part of the room that they could
not see with mounds of sand. A second doorway, its
door long since rotted away, was near the one they
were entering through. Of more interest, however,
was the massive form that was standing in the center
of the room. Fully ten feet tall, and appearing to
be composed entirely of sand, it still had a roughly
humanoid shape. The thing shuffled in the party's
direction, leaving a thin trail of sand in its wake.
A strange scratching sound came from the place most
analogous to its head, and there could be no doubting
its intentions as it came closer.
sand thing: (raises a sandy arm as it bears down on
Mongo: Hey, what the hell's this?!? (raises his
Arnold: Sand mondster!
Arnold, Belphanior, and Flint charged the thing,
while Mongo and Rillen stayed back to use missile
weapons. Ged, Alindyar, and Lyra prepared spells,
and Peldor simply blinked out of visibility.
Arnold: (hacks at the thing, but his sword passes
right through its form) Aaaa?
sand golem: (swings an arm at Arnold, hitting with
a muffled 'thump')
Arnold: (knocked back, with hundreds of miniature
cuts on his skin) Aaaargh! (he dances about in
Ged: By Boccob! I've never seen Arnold dance in
Belphanior: Err...(deciding not to try and stop
his charge, he slashes at the thing, but like the
attack of Arnold, his weapon has no effect) Aie!
(he barely ducks a blow like the one which hurt
Flint: (slashes at the thing with his axe, but to
no avail - the weapon passes right through the
sandy body, doing no harm whatsoever) Damn!
Mongo: Obviously, something different is called
for here. (hurls his hammer at the golem, and
gets a direct hit, splattering sand all over the
sand golem: (stands still for a moment as grains
that were knocked off flow into its feet and
rejoin the main body)
Mongo: (catches his hammer) Fuck!
Rillen: (fires arrows, which hit, but don't even
seem to faze the thing) Not good.
Lyra: (casts Shocking Grasp, but is too far away
from the thing to make an attack right now) My
time will come...(circles around the monster)
Peldor: (invisible, and betting that Lyra would
like to be right now, too)
Mongo: (hurls his hammer again, but fails to hit
the golem this time) Damn and damn again!
Ged: (casts Slow upon the creature) Taste the
power of Boccob, dust demon!
sand golem: (shrugs off the spell)
Ged: It's not working...
Rillen: (hits with two more arrows, which have no
apparent effect) Not good at all.
Alindyar: (casts Web) Perhaps a good web will
keep yonder creature in its place.
sand golem: (its top half is covered by the web,
and it staggers about)
Mongo: Hey! All right!
sand golem: (flows out of the web smoothly)
Mongo: All- ...shit.
Flint: (chops at the golem again, doing no damage)
Belphanior: (slashes again, but misses) Crap.
Mongo: We gave it everything we've got - and didn't
even slow it down!
Peldor: (backstabs the golem, spraying sand in all
directions) Hah! The true might of Peldor has-
sand golem: (reforms, and turns to face the thief)
Peldor: (now visible) -eep.
Lyra: (finally dashes forth and delivers her spell)
sand golem: (a section of its body is fused into a
glassy substance, but it is largely unfazed, and
swats both Peldor and Lyra out of its way)
Peldor: (knocked back) Whoulf! (rolls into a wall
and looks around) Ouch.
Lyra: (wearing no armor, of course, she is wounded
a bit more badly) Aaaargh! (collapses, stunned
Mongo: (hurls his hammer again) Dammit!
sand golem: (ignores the weapon as it impacts and
sends sand spraying everywhere)
Flint: (hacks at the thing again) Maybe if we hit
it enough, it'll fall!
Arnold: (on his feet again) Maybe.
sand golem: (becomes still)
Rillen: What nonsense is this? (hits the golem in
the head area with two arrows)
Belphanior: (doesn't miss this opportunity to take
a free shot, and slashes the golem, scoring a very
solid hit that still does the thing no harm)
Mongo: Hey, look out! It's shaking!
sand golem: (quivers, then trembles violently, then
suddenly explodes, spraying everyone with a shower
of stinging sand which leaves them bleeding on all
exposed body parts)
Alindyar: Aargh! (his spell is ruined)
Belphanior: Yow! (jumps back) How the hell do we
beat this thing?
Mongo: (well-protected in his plate mail) I don't
know, but we'd better figure out something, and
Arnold: (similarly, avoids much damage due to his
plate mail) Aaa.
Flint: (wounded somewhat) Yargh!
sand golem: (already reforming into a single mass)
Rillen: (far enough back that he takes only minimal
damage from the sandstorm) Ouch.
Ged: (likewise) Enough, by Boccob! (casts Dig upon
the golem, on an inspired whim) Maybe if we hit
him while he's scattered a bit...
sand golem: (instantly collapses into millions of
grains of sand, and fails to re-form)
Ged: By Boccob, it _worked_! How mighty!
The party rested, bound wounds, and (in some cases)
were healed by Ged. Mongo pointed out that he still
had his rod of healing, the one with the strange carven
leaves and snakes entwined about its length, but for
now, Ged was able to handle the chore of healing those
who were seriously wounded (there were several).
Mongo peered through the doorway into the next room,
while Peldor searched for treasure. All the thief was
able to find, though, were a rusty, broken longsword
and a pile of smashed glass bottles. Shortly afterward,
the adventurers entered the next section, which Mongo
had already noted to be free of monsters. This new
area was a dead-end, blocked by tons upon tons of sand
that had probably fallen before any of the nine had been
born. A small side doorway led to another chamber,
however, so the group entered that area.
W+E | |
S | golem room |
_______________|____ _ _ ____| __ __
|____________________$__| | |______| |
^ | ______ |
| | | |______|
\_____ location where party descended
$ secret door
Mongo: (looking around) Hey, there's something here!
Arnold: In the shadows. (holds his torch higher, and
reveals four translucent shapes approaching from the
far side of the room) Aaa.
Lightbringer: (glows brightly) Spectres!
Belphanior: Geez, just go ahead and ruin it for us all.
(sheathes Blackrazor, as it will do no good against
undead such as these, and contemplates spellcasting
Lightbringer: The slaying of foul undead requires no
approval from living mortals! Attack them, Ged!
Ged: (holds his holy symbol high in his other hand) I
banish you apparitions, in the name of Boccob!
Lightbringer: What are you doing?!?
Ged: Turning undead...
spectres: (turned, barely, they back away)
Lightbringer: Now! (in Ged's grasp, it charges forth
and bashes a spectre, disintegrating it in a flash
of light) Ha!
Ged: Hey! (he finds that the weapon seems to have a
will of its own) Stop that!
Lightbringer: Disruption calls, evil ones!
For the next few moments, Ged and the holy morningstar
dashed about and destroyed the spectres, one by one. If
the elf had been using any other weapon, this would have
presented a problem, since by definition an attack surely
negated his turning. However, Lightbringer possessed a
level of holy power seldom seen, except by the highest of
priests, and one touch from the morningstar was enough to
disrupt the spectres once and for all.
Thus, the chamber was cleared, and quiet, a few moments
Ged: Holy...(addresses his weapon) Don't drag me into
combat like that!
Lightbringer: You should have attacked immediately, as
Ged: Spectres are dangerous foes, not to be trifled
with in melee!
Lightbringer: They are dark and foul vermin, to be put
to death. I have spoken. (goes silent)
Ged: Hrrrmph. (puts the weapon away, still visibly
upset with it)
Peldor: Aren't we fierce...
Belphanior: Sure...(ends that line of thought) Hey,
let's check out this room. (they all enter the place)
The chamber was square, and had a single doorway to
Peldor: (looking at a rusted picture frame on one wall)
Hey, If _I_ was going to hide something...(removes the
old metal frame from the wall, revealing the rusty yet
intact door of a wall safe) Aha!
Belphanior: (meanders over towards his fellow thief)
Mongo: (meanders after Belphanior, determined to make
sure the thieves don't steal any treasure)
Flint: (rubs the heel of his boot in the black smudge
where Lightbringer destroyed one of the spectres) Ug.
Peldor: (quickly gets the safe opened, and gingerly
pulls out some treasure) The mighty Peldor! What in
the world would you do without his talents?
Belphanior: They'd probably get me to do this...
The party gazed upon the items that the thief had
recovered: sixteen dusty, yet rather large, gemstones
as well as a potion bottle containing black liquid.
Mongo: Lemme see one of those. (snatches a gem from
Peldor, and rubs it with his sleeve) A ruby! (it is
quickly found that all the gems are rubies) Hey, I
bet these are worth some serious money!
Peldor: Of course.
Belphanior: (examines the potion bottle) No telling
what this stuff is, after all these years...
The items were put in a chest within Mongo's portable
hole, and the party headed for the doorway, which Rillen
had already been checking. It led to a T-shaped section
of passage, whose left fork was caved in with sand. The
right fork led eastward and turned around a corner about
forty feet away; they took this passage.
W+E | | ~~~ _______
S | golem room | ~\~ ____ *|
_______________|____ _ _ ____| __||__ | |
|____________________$__| | |______| spec | | |__|
^ | ______ tres | |____
| | | |______| |
\_____ location where party descended
$ secret door
* party's current location
The passage led to a huge hall, much more cavernous
than the other one. Its vaulted ceiling was at least
sixty feet high - it was truly a wonder that it had
not collapsed after all these centuries - and pillars
of a diameter greater than a man's height dotted the
chamber. Actually, perhaps the pillars accounted for
the ceiling's continued sturdiness.
Anyway, the more observant adventurers noted two
things at the same time. The first was the gaping,
rough-edged tunnel at the far end, that led out of
here. The second, and probably more important at the
moment, was the pair of enormous brown worms that had
just spotted the party, and were rapidly slithering
toward their end of the hall. These were not the
smaller, twenty-foot long worms seen in the desert
and fought in the city, but rather the much larger,
next time : ...
ftp site : ccosun.caltech.edu, in pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers
notes : In many ways, this adventure, and not the next
one (their last), was the pinnacle of the whole
campaign. Just thought I'd tell you all that...
previous chapter (#114)
next chapter (#116)