Chapter #192

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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:                                                +
+                                                             +
+   Arnold        11th level human warrior               (NG) +
+   Belphanior    12th/14th/14th level high elven w/m/t  (CN) +
+      small immaterial wispy thing                           +
+   Mongo         16th level dwarven warrior             (CG) +
+      Gorin       6th level dwarven warrior             (CG) +
+   Peldor        18th level human thief                  (N) +
+      Bosco       7th level halfling thief              (CN) +
+   Rillen        16th level human warrior                (N) +
+   Rob           15th level human priest                (LG) +
+   Date:    12/8/573 C.Y. (Common Year)                      +
+   Time:    early evening                                    +
+   Place:   the juncture of the Hool River and the Azure Sea +
+   Climate: cold                                             +
+   "The use of unnecessary violence in the apprehension of   +
+    the Blues Brothers has been approved."                   +
+              - from (you guessed it) _The Blues Brothers_   +

                     CXCII.  Pursued!

  The adventurers, plus over a thousand ex-slaves whom they
liberated, have arrived at the banks of the Hool River, in
the Hold of the Sea Princes.  However, they have found that
a large naval force has also arrived, off the coast, and is
even now preparing to send ships ashore.

Belphanior:  Holy shit...I bet they plan to land and cut
  off our northward march...
Rob:  Hmm.  Maybe it's time to make a show of Trithereon's
  power.  (he begins setting out strange objects and
  components, and chanting)
Peldor:  What are you up to?
Rob:  Shh.  Go away, I'm concentrating.
Peldor:  Well, good luck.
Mongo:  Hmm, I don't know near as much about naval action
  as Ged, but I'd betcha those ships are too big to land
Belphanior:  Yup, they'll have to send boats ashore if they
  want to get at us.
Gorin:  Really?  (he looks toward the ships at sea)
Peldor:  (squinting)  I think they're lowering some boats
  even as we speak.
Rob:  (looking slightly irritated)  That's why I'm about
  to put a stop to it!
Bosco:  (to Gorin)  Yeah, he's got it all under control,
  don't you worry.  (he sits upon an old crate and begins
  chewing on some bread)  Mm-hmm.
Peldor:  Bosco!  This is no time to rest.
Bosco:  (his mouth stuffed, rather like a squirrel)  Oh.
Arnold:  (looking at the people gathered around the small
  community on the banks of the Hool)  I think they're on
  to us...
Belphanior: doubt about it.
Rob:  (looking away from his spellcasting for a moment)
  I'd suggest that you get all the slaves across the river.
Mongo:  Why's that?
Rob:  (frowning)  Because I'm about to bring down the
  biggest thunderstorm you've ever seen.
Rillen:  Good reason.  (to Garth)  Get them all across the
  river, as fast as you can.
Garth:  But that river's ten feet deep in the middle!  They
  can't ford that!
Rillen:  Hmm, you're right.
Belphanior:  (trying to think of a spell that would help)
  Hmm, we may have a problem here.  I can't get them across
  that river...
Lyra:  (appears from thin air, along with Alindyar)  But I
Alindyar:  Greetings.
Bosco:  (nearly chokes on his bread)
Mongo:  Hey!  where the hell'd you two come from?
Lyra:  Greyhawk, where else?  (she begins spellcasting)
Rob:  (to Alindyar) Peldor, you can't fool me with this gag
Peldor: (behind Rob) It's always worked before...
Rob:  (whirls about)  Aie!
Lyra:  (chuckles)
Alindyar:  We have been watching your...exploits from afar.
Lyra:  We almost came to help when you were beset by the
  three magi, a few days ago...
Alindyar:  But you resolved that matter nicely.
Belphanior:  Thanks for the compliment.  (watching Lyra)
  What have you got in mind?
Lyra:  (completes her spell)  Let it speak for itself.

  Suddenly, a massive stone bridge appeared, spanning the
river.  It was anchored on either side, and appeared fairly

Lyra:  Walls of stone have other uses besides barriers.
Mongo:  Huh.  (turns to the ex-slaves)  C'mon, go for it!
Garth:  (begins shepherding the people across)
Rillen:  (to Arnold)  Let's go first, in case someone on
  the other side gives them trouble.
Arnold:  Right.  (they charge across the bridge of rock)
Gorin:  (still somewhat amazed)  I'll be damned.
Belphanior:  Maybe, before it's all over.  (he turns to
  the drow)  What now?
Alindyar:  Now?  Now we shall accompany you for a while,
  in case you need more help.
Lyra:  (nods)
Peldor:  Cool.  (he turns back to Rob)  I'm sure you remember
  Rob here...?
Lyra:  Who could forget?
Alindyar:  Aye, we watched Rob find you, too.
Lyra:  Wonder what he's up to at the moment?
Belphanior:  Uh...

  The sky darkened considerably just then, and the rumbling
of thunder could be heard far above.

Rob:  Soon now...
Mongo:  Okay, let's get across and keep moving!  Belphanior,
  you should go with Rillen and Arnold, in case they need
  spell support on the other side.  You others too...hell,
  everyone should go, to pave the way.  I'll stay behind
  with Rob until his spell is done.
Rob:  Gee, thanks.  (he resumes his chanting)
Belphanior:  Gotcha.  (he dashes across the bridge, joining
  the flow of ex-slaves)
Peldor:  (follows)
Bosco:  Seeya!  (he, too, follows)
Lyra:  (along with Alindyar , she floats into the air)
Mongo:  Flying?!?
Lyra:  We came prepared.
Alindyar:  Aye.  (he begins spellcasting)
Mongo:  Good, good.  (to Rob)  How much longer?
Rob:  Momentarily...(a light drizzle begins)
Mongo:  Is this it?
Rob:  Oh, no.  Not hardly.
Lyra:  (to Alindyar)  We need an umbrella.
Alindyar:  Verily.   (he casts a quick spell)  As you said,
  we came prepared...(a shimmering dome appears above them,
  blocking the raindrops)

  Meanwhile, across the river...

Arnold:  Aaa.  (finds himself facing three soldiers from the
  riverside town-area)  What do you want?
soldiers:'re to remain here until the boats land.
other soldier:  (glancing at the ex-slaves who continue to
  pour across the bridge of stone)  Yeah...remain here...
Rillen:  Don't make us set these angry hundreds of people
  upon you.  They'd probably tear you limb from limb.
Arnold:  Yah.
soldier:  Hmm...
Peldor:  (strolls forth)  Face it, the boats are never
  going to land...look at the sky.
Belphanior:  (runs up to join the others)  It's about to

  Indeed, a massive deluge began right then, drenching all
present in torrents of cold water.  The rain was so thick
that it was difficult to see more than ten feet in front of
one's face.

Rob:  (behind the mob, with Mongo)  Okay!
Mongo:  (finds himself forced to shout)  Come on, let's get
  out of this place!
Alindyar:  (drops a Darkness 15' radius upon a group of
  ten or so soldiers who were moving to meet Rillen and
  the others below)
Lyra:  Good move.
Arnold:  (picks up a soldier charging from another direction
  and hurls him into a tent)  Ah-nold!
soldier:  Aieeee-  <crash>  (the tent collapses upon itself)
Rillen:  I wonder where all of these soldiers came from?
Gorin:  Maybe these few were sent here, like an advance
  squad or something.
Bosco:  Or something...
Peldor:  (uses his ring to TK a log over, then roll it at
  some more soldiers, bowling them all over)  Let's get
  out of here before we're forced to kill someone.
Belphanior:  (cuts down a sword-wielding soldier)  Oops.
Arnold:  (soaking wet, like everyone else, he looks around
  wildly)  Which way?!?
Rillen:  (points to the north)  Go!

  They left the banks of the Hool, by land and by air, and
marched northeast as fast as they were able, considering
the downpour.  The massive storm made things difficult, not
to mention uncomfortable, but it did its job, keeping the
ships off the coast from sending boats ashore.  With the
ex-slaves, the adventurers left the Hool River behind, and
also moved a bit westward, so that they couldn't be sighted
from the sea anymore.
  As they moved, and hours passed, they left the storm
behind, and gradually began to dry out.

Rob:  Well, I did keep the storm centered on those ships
  back there...
Belphanior:  Good job, too.  (he coughs)
Peldor:  I think a lot of people are going to have colds
  before long...
Rillen: is winter, after all...
Alindyar:  I wonder if anyone else is still following us?
Bosco:  Who'd be stupid enough to do _that_?

  Back on the banks of the Hool River...

woodsman:  (looks up, revealing a face with a scar running
  down across one eye)  No way to track them through this
  rainfall...but they must be close.  We'll get them once
  this storm dies out.  On foot, they won't be able to out-
  pace us.
large warrior:  Good.  I'm ready to smash something.
mage:  You should be, for what we're being paid by Westkeep.
half-elf:  Like, really.
blue-robed priest of Heironeous:  Aye.  These villains must
  be put out of their misery, once and for all.  The many
  victims of their crimes cry out for justice!
centaur with longbow:  Shouldn't be long now.
huge earthen creature:  (looks on silently)
woodsman:  (rubs his scarred, stubbled cheek)  Not long at

next time :  another battle, perhaps?

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

notes     :  No comments about the umbrella anachronism...
           anybody who lives on their own demi-plane has
           access to all sorts of arcane knowledge.
             More from the bragging department:  About 9K
           through the writing of this episode, I decided
           that it was time for a run.  Since my usual
           running partner was indisposed, I went for the
           longer course, the 6.6 mile one.  Well, not only
           did I complete the run without much trouble (my
           usual runs are 3-milers) but I did it in just 48
           minutes flat!  That's a 7.27 minute/mile pace,
           which equates to a 45-minute 10K time.  This is
           far and away the best overall run I've _ever_
           had, in ten years of running.  Things are looking
           good for the Peachtree on July 4th.
             When I get in really good moods like this, I
           tend to write 3-4 episodes in a single day.  The
           fact that it's Sunday doesn't hurt, of course...

Thomas Miller              
Systems Support Specialist II          Georgia Tech Network Services

"What good is being a hammer when you can't find a deserving nail?"

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