Chapter #207

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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.          +
+    Due to the nature of the Internet, these stories have    +
+  been widely available since 1991.  I have given them to    +
+  the world freely, and have never intended to market them   +
+  or in any way make money.  However, due to TSR, Inc.'s     +
+  copyright restrictions, old episodes of the Adventurers    +
+  are no longer being archived on any ftp site anywhere.     +
+    The player characters contained in these writings are    +
+  copyright 1994 by Thomas Miller.  Any resemblance to any   +
+  persons or characters either real or fictional is utterly  +
+  coincidental.  Copying and/or distribution of these tales  +
+  is permissible only under the sole condition that no part  +
+  of them will be used or sold for profit.  In that case, I  +
+  hope you enjoy them...                                     +
+                                                             +
+                            Thomas Miller                    +
+                    +
+   THE PARTY:                                                +
+                                                             +
+   Alindyar      15th level dark elven mage              (N) +
+   Arnold        11th level human warrior               (NG) +
+   Belphanior    12th/14th/14th level high elven w/m/t  (CN) +
+      small immaterial wispy thing                           +
+   Ged           14th/14th level grey elf priest/mage   (NG) +
+   Lyra          12th level female dark elven mage       (N) +
+   Mongo         16th level dwarven warrior             (CG) +
+   Peldor        18th level human thief                  (N) +
+      Bosco       8th level halfling thief              (CN) +
+   Rillen        16th level human warrior                (N) +
+   Date:    unknown                                          +
+   Time:    afternoon                                        +
+   Place:   an alien city called "New Orleans"               +
+   Climate: moderately cold                                  +
+   "If at first you don't succeed, you're about average."    +
+                                                  - unknown  +

               CCVII.  Random Explorations

  While Ged and Alindyar explore the mysteries of the library,
Arnold and Paula have gone out for lunch...

Paula:  (to the hot dog vendor)  ...and another with everything
  on it...hmm.  (to Arnold)  Do you like onions?
Arnold:  Ondions?
Paula:  Relish?
Arnold:  Relbish?
Paula:  Nevermind.  (to the vendor)  Load it up, pal.
hot dog vendor:  Sure thing, kid.
Arnold:  I wonder how long Geb and Albindyar will need.
Paula:  Who knows?  All I know is that I don't wanna stay in
  there with 'em.  They're kinda geeks...
Arnold:  Yah.
hot dog vendor:  (hands Paula her hot dog)  Here you go.
Paula:  Thanks, pal.  (she hands the man some bills)  Keep
  the change.
hot dog vendor:  Hey, thanks!
Arnold:  (takes his hotdog from the vendor)  What's this?
hot dog vendor:  (regards the warrior oddly)
Paula:  It's a hot dog.
Arnold:  Haaad daaag.  (he bites off half of the thing)  Mmm,
Paula:  Yep.  Watch the onions, there...
Arnold:  (lets the loose onions drip off onto the ground)
  Aaa.  Messy.  (he wolfs down the rest of the hot dog)  Got
  any more?
Paula:  Uh...sure.  (she turns to the hot dog vendor)  Lemme
  have two more of those, would you?
Arnold:  (still chewing, he holds up four fingers)
Paula:  Make that _four_ more.

  Meanwhile, inside the library, Ged and Alindyar were busy
seeking new knowledge...

Ged:  (reading the library card policy)  Hmm.  Looks like
  we can't borrow these books.  Not legally, anyhow.
Alindyar:  Borrow?  (he looks at his bag of holding)

  The two wandered up to the librarian's desk, where an
elderly lady was sorting stacks of books.

Ged:  Excuse me, miss.
librarian:  Yes?  Can I help you, son?
Ged:  (considers that he's probably three times as old as
  this human woman)  Err...we need a "library card" so that
  we can...check these books out.
librarian:  Do you, now?
Alindyar:  Verily.
librarian:  No problem...(she produces a form)  Just fill
  this out...sign at the bottom.  (she hands Ged a pen and
  walks away)  I'll come process it in a minute.
Ged:  (waves the lady away)  Sure...hmm.  "Social Security
  Number?"  What in Boccob's name is that?
Alindyar:  (peering at the form)  Place of employment?  Are
  we employed, technically?
Ged:  One could wonder...hey, it says here that we have to
  have identification.  (they exchange glances)  We don't
  have any such thing, do we?
Alindyar:  Methinks not.
Ged:  Maybe you could use an illusion to-
Alindyar:  Who needs illusions?  I have a better idea.
Ged:  I'm listening...

  Somewhere nearby, outside, Arnold was working on his fifth
hotdog, and finally showing signs of slowing down.

Arnold:  (rubs his stomach)  Aaa.
Paula:  You shouldn't eat too many of those, you know.
Arnold:  Yah...Uuurp!
Paula:  C'mon, let's walk it off.
Arnold:  (consumes the rest of his last hot dog)  Sounds
  good to me.

  They headed down the street, passing various businesses
along the way.

Arnold:  (spies a pawn shop)  Hmm, some of the others would
  like to go in there.
Paula:  Maybe Belphanior...he seems to like guns and knives.
Arnold:  You just don't know...
Paula:  He's a creepy character, that one.
Arnold:  Just midsguided.  And he enjoys killink people.
  (staring at blockaded parade routes)  What's going on?
  Hasn't the paarty started yet?
Paula:  Tonight.  They're just getting ready a little early
  at the moment...some of the parades start in the afternoon.
Arnold:  Oh.  Maybe we can come and see, tonight.
Paula:  It's pretty cool.  They've had Mardi Gras for a long
  time, and it's always new and different.  I love living
Arnold:  I bet.  (they walk by a gym)  Whaat's this?
Paula:  Huh?
Arnold:  (spies various large men wandering about)  Some
  kind of warrior training camp?
Paula:  It's a gym, Arnold.
Arnold:  Gym?  What do they do there?
Paula:  They build big bodies.  I'm sure you know what I'm
  talking about.
Arnold:  Do they fight and kill each other there?
Paula:  No...well, at least I hope not...they use big iron
  weights to exercise and get huge.
Arnold:  (looks at some of those inside)  Bah.  I want to
  see this.  (he steps right in)
Paula:  Wait...(she dashes after the warrior)

  Inside, the desk attendant moved to stop the guy and girl
who had just strolled in.  He didn't recognize them as club
members, but they didn't seem to care.

dude:  Hey, man, you can't go in there without your pass-
  (he gets a good look at Arnold)  Whoa, you're a pretty
  big guy.  Maybe you could look around, you know...then
  see about a new membership...I'm sure you'd like it here.
Arnold:  Yah.
dude:  But the girl-
Arnold:  Stays with me.  (ignoring the guy, he enters the
  free weight area, Paula in tow)  Hmm.
weightlifter:  (lying on a bench, he pushes a weighted bar
  up and down, slowly)  Grrrgh!  (after three repetitions
  of this, the guy gives up, setting the bar back into its
  elevated notches)  Aaah!
Arnold:  Aaa.  Mind if I try?
weightlifter:  Go ahead.
Arnold:  (lies down on the bench)  Ah-nold will win every
  test of might.  (he hefts the weighted bar and begins
  doing bench presses)
weightlifter:  Holy shit.  That's four...five...six...
other weightlifter:  He doesn't even look tired.
third weightlifter:  Must be steroids.
Arnold:  (completes ten repetitions, the number he counted
  one of the other weightlifters do, and puts the bar back)
  Aaa.  (he lets out a victory cry)
weightlifter:  How much do you max, man?
Arnold:  Maaaaax?
Paula:  (to random weightlifter)  How much was that, what he
random weightlifter:, two, three, four, five,
Paula:  Whoa.  That's like five of me.
Arnold:  (to Paula)  Led's go.  We need to get Geb and see
  if he found a way home.
Paula:  Uh...sure.  (they leave the gym)
desk-attendant dude:  Like our gym?  Can I sign you up now?
Arnold:  No, thad's okay.  True warriors don't train with
  metal weights and bars.
dude:  (somewhat confused)  Warriors?

  They returned to the library, meeting the grey elf and the
dark elf as they were leaving.

Paula:  Find enough books to help you out?
Alindyar:  (looks at Ged)  Indeed.
Ged:  You could say that we...exceeded the normal check-out
Alindyar:  Geometrically.
Ged:  And in many categories.
Paula:  (to Arnold)  See?  I told you they were geeks.

  On the way back, Paula introduced the three adventurers to
something called "milkshakes"...

Alindyar:  A most joyous concoction, this.
Ged:  Yea.  Tastes good.  Real good.
Arnold:  You should try a "hod dog" then.
Paula:  I'm glad you guys are finding the food here good...
  Hmm, we need to go to one of the better Cajun restaurants
  while you're here...(she stops talking)  Say, how much
  longer are you gonna _be_ here?  I mean, did you find the
  way home?
Alindyar:  In a mannner of speaking, yes.
Ged:  With Boccob's blessing, we may have a way.
Arnold:  Aaa.
Alindyar:  'Twill require much in the way of research.
Paula:  Geez.  Well, we'd better get back to the hotel.  If
  Peldor and the others made it back okay, I'll be shocked.
Ged:  I know what you mean...

next time :  the plan

notes     :  I haven't yet discussed it, but this whole
  baseball strike thing really ticks me off.  We'd be having
  playoffs right now if the players weren't on strike.  The
  real reasons behind it don't matter - it's the _perception_
  of what's happening that matters.  Kinda like TSR and their
  copyright demands on the Internet, come to think of it...

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