Chapter #209

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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:    early evening                                    +
+   Place:   an alien city called "New Orleans"               +
+   Climate: cold                                             +
+   "Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what     +
+    you like and let the food fight it out inside."          +
+                                                - Mark Twain +

                  CCIX.  Dinner Time

  Seeking a magical relic that supposedly has the power to
help return them to their own universe, the adventurers have
ventured to a vast museum.  However, the place has turned
out to be closed for the day, and the group has decided to
experience the sights and sounds of Mardi Gras this night,
and worry about getting home tomorrow.

Alindyar:  I still claim that this is unwise.  We need to
  devote our attentions to finding a way home.
Bosco:  Ah, who asked you?
Alindyar:  (glares at the halfling)
Bosco:  Yie.
Paula:  Come on, let's get over to one of the parade routes
  so we can get a good spot.
Rillen:  (not quite sure what the girl is talking about,
  he still gets the basic gist)  I'd think we can _make_
  a "spot" if we so wish.
Paula:  Well, yeah...
Ged:  How long until this parade you want to see?
Paula:  (consults her newly-acquired watch)  Uh...three
  hours.  Why?
Ged:  Th-
Mongo:  Food!
Arnold:  (feels his stomach rumbling)  Yah!
Paula:  (remembering the four hotdogs that the warrior ate)
Rillen:  Food?  (he begins salivating)  An excellent idea!
Alindyar:  Aye.
Bosco:  Food?  Where?
Paula:  Alrighty then.  Hmm, now where can I take you guys?
Ged:  Won't our attire - some of our attire - be a problem?
Bosco:  (truly unaware that he's wearing what amounts to
  pajamas, and baby blue ones at that)  What's wrong with
  our attire?
Paula:  Not a problem, folks - even the nice places here are
  pretty laid-back.  I just want to eat somewhere really
  _good_, seeing as how we have all this money, and I've
  never had a chance to eat out nice before.  Ever.
Mongo:  Makes let's get going.  (they begin to
  walk down the street, toward a noisier section of town)
Peldor:  It might look...suspicious, Paula, if you flash
  all that money around.  I'll hold onto it for you.
Paula:  Hmm.  (she regards Peldor, as does Ged)
Peldor:  (looking around innocently)  What?

  They headed toward the area that only Paula knew as the
French Quarter, taking in the sights as they went.  Some
of the buildings featured strange architecture, rather
like that found in the more distant corners of Oerth.  The
scenery gradually became more upkept, the various shops
and restaurants nicer.

Lyra:  These all seem like fine establishments.
Paula:  (spies different restaurants)  Hmm...let's check
  this one out.

  They entered a large restaurant, with vaulted ceilings
and a lot of wooden arches and paneled walls.

well-dressed fellow:  Yes?  How many for dinner?
Paula:  (looks at the party)  Ten.
wispy thing:  Sssss.
well-dressed fellow:  (regarding Rillen and Arnold, who both
  tower above everyone else in sight)  Err...ten for dinner.
  Smoking or non-smoking?
Belphanior:  Smoking?  (he begins thinking of fireballs)
Paula:  Non!

  The man led the adventurers to a large, ornate wooden
table, with plush chairs and shining silverware.

fellow:  Will this be fine?
Paula:  Yup.
Peldor:  (eyes the silverware)
Ged:  (berates the thief)  For crying out loud, we're here
  to _eat_!

  Soon, an elegantly dressed waitress appeared.  She was
young, a brunette, and quite attractive.

waitress:  Hi!  I'm Susan, and I'm your waitress tonight!
Peldor:  Nice to meet you, my dear.
Ged:  (gets a disgusted look)
Susan:  Can I get you some drinks while you look at the
Paula:  Uh...
Mongo:  Beer!
Susan:  Yes, sir, we have a wide selection of beer.  (she
  eyes Lyra and Alindyar, who seem more upscale than the
  others)  Also wines, by the bottle, carafe, or half-
Alindyar:  Of course.
Peldor:  (looking on the menu)  Beer?  Where?
Bosco:  (points out the printed selection of beer brands)
  See there?
Peldor:  Oh, yeah, I saw that.
Alindyar:  (quietly, almost unnoticeably, orders a bottle
  of white wine for himself and Lyra)
Susan:  Gotcha.  Now, what about-
Belphanior:  (reading)  Bud-weiser?
Bosco:  Killian's?  Rolling Rock?  Hey, I saw a rolling
  rock once...
Arnold:  Rollink rodck.
Mongo:  Hmph.  Can't make heads or tails of these beers.
Peldor:  (to Susan)  What would you recommend?
Susan:  Amstel?  Or maybe Heineken?
Rillen:  (reading from the menu)  Molson Ice?
Paula:  Uh...
Mongo:  Tell ya what, miss Susan.  Just bring us a few
  bottles of each of these, and we'll sort it out.
Susan:  Err...are you sure?
Mongo:  Sure I'm sure.
Ged:  Yea.  (he waves the waitress off, almost arrogantly)
Susan:  Okay...(she runs off to get a portable cart or some-
  thing, to carry all that beer to the table)
Mongo:  Whew.
Peldor:  Beer...this is like a beer-sampling contest.
Paula:  Yeah, no kidding.
wispy thing:  (disappears into the flower vase in the center
  of the table)

  They perused their menus, discussing various foods with
Paula.  A few minutes later, Susan returned, pushing a cart
laden with bottles of various colors.

Susan:  Here's your beer...(she begins unloading all the
  bottles, at the same time wondering if the people seated
  at the table can afford all this)
Peldor:  (picks this moment to flash a few hundred-dollar
  bills)  Hi there.
Susan:  Aie.  (she almost drops a beer from surprise)

  Soon, everyone was happily drinking something that they
liked the taste of, whether it was beer or wine.

Susan:  So...made up your minds about dinner yet?
Paula:  I think we'll Cajun sampler...and I'll
  have the shrimp fettucine.
Susan:  (begins taking food orders from the adventurers,
  most of whom have little idea what they're ordering)

  With extensive questioning and answering, everyone had
eventually ordered something that they at least thought
they'd like...

Susan:  (to Mongo)  You want _two_ of these dinners?!?
Mongo:  Yup.
Arnold:  Bedder make that two for me, too.
Rillen:  (holds up a finger)  Three.
Bosco:  Huh?
Rillen:  Three pairs of respective dinners.
Susan:  Each of the three of you wants two of the dinner
  you ordered?
Mongo:  Yeah.
Susan:  Got it.
Bosco:  I don't...

  By the time the meals came, almost half an hour later, all
at the table were happily engaged in drinking and various
conversation, save Paula (who wasn't drinking) and the wispy
thing, which was amusing itself by darting in and out of
various lamps in the dining room.  It seemed to be playing
some sort of game, daring the other restaurant patrons to
catch a glimpse of it before it flew out of sight.
  About an hour later, every dish and plate was clean, every
cup and goblet empty, and ten very full diners sat back in
their chairs, satiated.

Bosco:  Uuuurp!
Susan:  (walks to the table)  Any dessert for you tonight?
Alindyar:  A rhetorical question, at best.
Susan:  Huh?
Paula:  No dessert.  (takes the check an glances at it)
Arnold:  (suspecting danger, he looks around)  Whaaat?
Paula:  God, that's a big tab!
Susan:  (having conveniently made herself scarce)
Peldor:  Here, I'll get it.  (he pulls out his roll of cash)
Paula:  Hey, wait a minute!  Where'd you get that?
Peldor:  (looking around innocently)  Surely you're not
Ged:  (glaring at the thief)
Peldor:  Hey, you can count your money if you want.  I bet
  it's all there.

  They left the necessary money, plus a considerable tip,
and made their exit from the fine restaurant.

Mongo:  (patting his stomach)  Now what?
Paula:  Now we go fight the crowds and see the parades!

next time :  the parades...and beads

notes     :  One Mardi Gras, I'm not sure which, we stumbled,
  purely by accident, upon a wonderful restaurant.  Though it
  looked kind of shabby from the outside, it was really nice
  inside.  Elegant, good food, all that - and they didn't care
  that we were dressed in jeans and t-shirts.  We had a great
  time, running up a $300 tab among eight or nine people.  I
  never thought to get the name of that place, and I sure don't
  remember where it was in the French Quarter, but I'll never
  forget the food and the service.  The place the party just
  ate at is based on my memories of the place I ate at that
  one time.

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