Chapter #28

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*  The 8 player characters contained in these writings are copyright
*  1992 by Thomas Miller...copying and distribution of these stories
*  is permissible only under the condition that no part of them will
*  be used or sold for profit.  In that case, I hope you enjoy them.
*    The dungeons and non-player characters contained herein are from
*  TSR's module, A3, and are copyright 1980 by TSR, Inc.  Specific
*  text and maps from them have been avoided, and I encourage anyone
*  who enjoys reading about them to buy and play the whole "A" series.


Alindyar, 6th level drow elf mage (N)
Belphanior, 5th/4rd/5th level high elf fighter/mage/thief (CN)
Ged, 5th/5th level grey elf priest/mage of Boccob (NG)
Halbarad, 6th level human ranger (NG)
Mongo Thunderhead, 6th level dwarf fighter (CG)
Peldor, 7th level human thief (N)
Peyote, 5th/6th level half-elf fighter/druid of Obad-Hai (N)
Rob, 6th level human priest of Trithereon (LG)

                      XXVIII.  Closing In

  The party recently mowed through the slavers' stockade, eliminating
the leaders of that operation and in the process freeing scores of
slaves.  They led most of these back into "safe" lands, then spent
a short time restocking their supplies and training.  Next, following
the documents they had found in the fort, they journeyed again into
the Pomarj.  There were signs pointing to the existence of a secret
base that the slavers used, somewhere deeper in the Drachensgrab
Hills, and the party meant to find it.  Besides, the nobles and
other sponsors of this mission paid them a handsome sum for their
efforts thus far, and more funding was surely forthcoming.
  They have been traveling into the Pomarj for well over a week,
following the information they had.  Some tribe of hobgoblins tried
to make trouble no less than three times in the course of a two-day
period, but were repelled (permanently the third time...).  Right
now, the eight adventurers are within a mountainous peak.  They
have explored the numerous caverns and found that they all lead to
the same four passages, all carved from the surrounding rock (i.e.
man-made rather than natural).  It is obvious that one of these
passages leads to their goal...

Mongo:  Good.  I'm ready to bust some more heads, dammit.  Those
  dumb hobgoblins were no fun at all.
Halbarad:  Let us take the rightmost passage.  That way we can go
  with the right wall and minimize our chances of getting lost.
Ged:  Lost?  Us?  Never!
Rob:  I'm lost right now...
Belphanior:  Fuck this.  I'm going in.  (draws his sword and wanders
  into the leftmost passage, just to annoy Halbarad)
Mongo:  Right on!  (lumbers after the elf)
Alindyar:  Well...(he, and everyone else, follows them in)

  After further examination, the party found that the leftmost three
passages converged at a large square room with a single exit.

Ged:  Well.  Really clever.  I bet that SOMEone thought this would fool
Belphanior:  Not a chance!  Say, what are these?  (holds up one of a pair
  of long strips of some cured hide-like material)  Phew!  They're rotten!
Peyote:  Truly, they do reek, whatever they are.  Meat, maybe?
Alindyar:  They look like dragon tongues to me...
Mongo:  Just great.  Dragons.
Rob:  (to DM)  I examine the tongues.
Peldor:  Quit playing with that garbage.
Belphanior:  Bah.  I wonder where this passage leads?
Rob:  (sticking his fingers in his mouth)  Hey guys, it's salt!
Mongo:  Huh?
Rob:  These tongues have salt all along the bottoms.  It looks ground into
Ged:  How interesting.  Mongo, maybe you could cook them for us?
Mongo:  Yeah!  It's been a hell of a long time since I've had a chance to
  cook anything unusual!
Halbarad:  Later, maybe.  If you want to keep those, then you can carry
  them.  We need to move on.
Belphanior:  (heads off down the passage, with the other seven following)
Rob:  (discards the thing he was examining and lights a torch)  Hey, wait
Mongo:  (second in line)  There's a door ahead!
Belphanior:  So there is.  Maybe something interesting will happen now.

  Suddenly, the floor fell out from beneath the leading adventurers, and
Belphanior, Mongo, Halbarad, and Peyote landed on a mountain of some white
powder and slid down out of sight...

Mongo:  What the f...aaaagh!!!  Shit...
Halbarad:  @$%#&^*!
Belphanior:  Someone will pay for thissssss.....
Peyote:  Aaaaaaa......(disappears somewhere below, as do the other three)

Ged:  Holy Boccob!  What happened?
Rob:  The fl-
Ged:  Nevermind.  Alindyar, let's get that carpet of yours and follow them.
  I have no desire to sink into a pile of powder.
Alindyar:  Certainly.  (unpacks his carpet of flying and begins unrolling
Peldor:  There's no way in hell that I'm going blind into that sand.
Ged:  Don't desert us now, O mighty and faithful thief.
Rob:  They may need our help!  (leaps down and slides away)  Wheeee...!
Peldor:  What a dope.  Hey, I have an idea!  (runs back the way they came)
Ged:  Get back here, you coward!  Damn!  Thieves!  I never trusted that moron
Alindyar:  Who knows what he is up to?  Ah, here's the carpet.  Let us go.
Ged:  Check.  (climbs on, and they sail down into the darkness)  Good thing
  we have infravision...


Mongo:  Oof!  (lands on his butt at the foot of a pile of salt, inside a
  large, high-ceilinged room)  What in the HELL?!?!
Belphanior:  (also lands, beside the dwarf)  Something's wrong...
gnolls:  (about ten of them, they aim crossbows at the warriors)
Peyote:  (lands)  Uh-oh!
Halbarad:  (lands; miraculously, his lantern remains in hand and lit)
  Ugh!  What are those humanoids aiming weapons at us for?
gnoll leader:  Heh.  Not much, for an invading party...all warriors...
Belphanior:  I guess they mean to kill us...(starts to rise)  Hey, why is
  everything so slow all of a sudden?!?  I can barely move!
Peyote:  Indeed...we are afflicted by evil magic!
Mongo:  As if I wasn't slow enough already!
gnolls:  Heh-heh.  Die, intruders!  (they open fire)
Halbarad:  (hit by two bolts)  Agh!
Peyote:  (hit by two bolts)  Ugh!
Mongo:  (pierced by one bolt, while three bounce off his armor)  Huh?
Belphanior:  (hit by two bolts)  Fuck!  You shall pay for that, slime!
gnoll leader:  Har har!  I doubt it, elf!  Reload, everybody!
Rob:  Whoaaaaaa......Uff!  (rolls out from the chute and into Peyote)
  Hi guys!
Peyote:  Watch it, dude.  We've been slowed...
Rob:  Hey, you're right.
Mongo:  We're gonna be pincushions!
gnoll:  Hey, look!  A priest!

gnolls:  (some of them fire again, mostly at Rob)
Rob:  Ouch!  Agh!  Ugh!
other gnolls:  (four of them have drawn swords and are approaching the
Alindyar:  (he and Ged sail from above, flying over the heads of all
  the gnolls)  What in Lolth's name...?
Ged:  Boccob!  (leaps from the carpet, and starts incanting)
Alindyar:  (stops the carpet and begins spellcasting also)  I wonder...
gnoll leader:  Wha...!  Mages!  Get them!  Kill!
Belphanior:  (swings at a gnoll, but misses)  Shit!
Halbarad:  (chops at a gnoll, but misses)
gnoll:  (slashes Mongo, and hits)  Die, dwarf!
gnoll:  (slashes Halbarad, and hits)  Har har!
Ged:  Sleep, by the power of Boccob!  (casts a sleep spell at the gnolls
  who are approaching him and the drow)
gnolls:  Zzzz...(three fall fast asleep)
gnoll leader:  Whoa!
Peyote:  (slices a gnoll, wounding it)  Back off, evil one.
Rob:  (his spellcasting interrupted already, he swings his flail at a
  gnoll, but misses)  Too slow!
Alindyar:  Let the magic be undone!  (casts a dispel magic at everyone)
Mongo:  (fires his hammer at a gnoll, hitting and wounding it)  Hey!  HEY!
  I'm not slow anymore!
Belphanior:  Me neither!  It worked, mage!
Alindyar:  I thought it might.
gnoll:  (approaching the two magi, turns around and tries to figure out
  what its best course of action would be)
Mongo:  (catches his hammer)

Belphanior:  (slashes a gnoll, wounding it)  Ha!  Perish, scumsucker!
Peldor:  (flies from the slide above, riding one of the "tongues" found
  earlier; he hits a gnoll square in the chest)  AAAAaaaaaa!  Peldor is
  here!  And just in time, too!  (jumps off of the cursing gnoll)
Ged:  The fool returns...(casts heat metal on two of the gnolls)  Ha!
  Let's see you hold on to those swords now!
gnoll:  Huh?  Whassa elf talkin' about?
other gnoll:  I dunno.  Let's get 'im!
first gnoll:  Yah!
Halbarad:  (chops and stabs a gnoll, wounding it badly)
Peyote:  (hacks the gnoll he hit before, slaying it)  Good riddance!
gnoll:  (stabs at Halbarad, but misses)  Huh?
gnoll:  (slices at Peyote, nicking him)
gnoll leader:  Get them!  Kill them!  (two of his gnolls are beside him)
Alindyar:  (taps the leader on the head with his staff)  Excuse me...
gnoll leader:  Eh?  (turns around)
Alindyar:  (blasts him, and the others, with a color spray)
gnolls:  (all three pass out from the stunning display of bright lights)
Ged:  Hey, nice job there!
gnoll:  (attacks Mongo, but his sword bounces off of the dwarf's armor)
Mongo:  Stupid humanoid!  Now I'm REALLY pissed!  (bashes the gnoll over
  the head with his hammer, injuring it)  Get the hell out of my way!
gnoll:  (looks around for a place to run to)
Peldor:  (backstabs the gnoll, slaying it)

gnoll:  (approaching Ged)  Hey!  Agh!  My sword!  (drops the weapon, as
  it is blistering his hands)  Aaa!
Ged:  Stupid fool.  (prepares another spell)
Belphanior:  (slays the gnoll he wounded earlier)
Mongo:  (hurls his hammer at the blistered gnoll, slaying it)  Hah.
Peldor:  (slitting the throats of the sleeping and unconscious ones)
Peyote:  Hey, watch it with the pocket-picking there, rogue!
Halbarad:  Sigh...must you kill them?
Belphanior:  Yes!  (steps on the throat of a prone gnoll, crushing it
  beneath his boot)  It's the only way.
Rob:  (heals himself)  Aaahh!
Halbarad:  Friend Ged, could you assist the wounded?
Ged:  Sure.  (casts a healing spell on the ranger, and on Belphanior)
Rob:  I'll help too!  (heals Mongo and Peyote)
Peldor:  (stacking coins from the gnolls in a pile)  Treasure...
Peyote:  You're not trying to pocket it...?!
Peldor:  Of course not.  Let's see...twenty electrum, and sixty gold.
Ged:  What's he up to?
Halbarad:  I know not.  He is worrying me.
Peldor:  ...and this nice amulet, looks like gold.  What's this, a
  paper?  Bah.  Here.
Ged:  (examining the piece of paper)  This is awful thick.
Alindyar:  Mayhaps there is hidden writing on it, or magic...?
Belphanior:  (inspecting the room)  Say, there are six exits from here.
Mongo:  Let's check them out.  (they begin doing so)
Halbarad:  Wait-
Ged:  Aha!  I knew it!  (pries the thick sheet of paper apart, into two
  thin pieces covering a third in the middle)  A map!
Peyote:  Bogus.
Alindyar:  What does it depict?
Ged:  Uh...this chamber.  See, this exit is marked.
Halbarad:  Hmm.  They didn't go that way.  Let us wait on those two
  would-be scouts to return.

  Soon after, they did.  All exits but the marked one were dead-ends.
The valid exit led to a large cavern lit by strange fungi; it was of
indeterminate height and over a hundred feet in breadth.  Stalactites
and stalagmites were visible everywhere.

Rob:  Hey!  I remember the last cavern like this that we were in!  I
  got stabbed by one of those spikey things that stick to ceilings!
Ged:  They call them PIERCERS, Rob.
Rob:  Whatever.  I don't want to get hit again, and this room looks
  like a prime candidate for a piercer community!  So let's be careful!
Halbarad:  Of course.
Belphanior:  There's a door, on the far side, directly opposite us.
Halbarad:  Why don't a couple of us scout, while the rest stay back and
Belphanior:  Sounds good to me.  (dashes for the far door)
Halbarad:  ...I will go as well.  (follows the elf)
Mongo:  I should go too.  My armor-
Ged:  You're too slow.  They'd get you for sure.
Alindyar:  IF there are indeed piercers here.

inside the room...

Belphanior:  (about halfway to the door)  Hmm.  Awful quiet in here.
Halbarad:  (Having caught up to him, they are both jogging along)  Yes.
piercer:  (drops, almost hitting the elf)  Thunk!
Belphanior:  Yah!  (runs faster)
Halbarad:  (missed by a piercer)  Whoa.
piercer:  Thunk!
Belphanior:  Fuck!  This door is false!
Halbarad:  More are dropping...
piercers:  Thunk!  Thunk!  Thunk!
Belphanior:  Hey!  There's light coming from behind that big boulder
  over there!  (points to it)
Halbarad:  Indeed!  Run for it!  (another piercer misses him)
piercer:  Thunk!
Belphanior:  Good idea!

at the entrance...

Rob:  See!  I told you so!
Ged:  Good boy.
Alindyar:  Look yonder.  They have vanished behind that large rock.
Peldor:  As shall we.  (runs toward the boulder)
Ged:  Let's go, everybody.  (they all run)
piercers:  Thunk!  Thunk!  Thunk!  Thunk!  Thunk!
Ged:  Boccob's holy hands!  They're everywhere!
Rob:  (manages to dodge a piercer attack)  Yeah!
piercer:  Thunk!
Mongo:  (slower than everybody else, gets nicked by a falling piercer)
piercer:  Snick!
Mongo:  Agh!  Damned rock!  Take that!  (slams the thing with his hammer,
  and keeps running)

  They all made it through the cavern, entering a largish chamber which
contained five more gnolls and three large, slobbering dog-like beasts.
The gnolls were pelting Belphanior and Halbarad with bloody meat from
buckets, which was probably why the dog-things were slavering so.  They
barked loudly as they charged the party.  The gnolls hurled the entire
buckets toward the adventurers and drew longbows.

next time:  the fire goo; the acid goo; a monster; the evil lord

ANONYMOUS FTP SITE: (in pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers)

NOTES:  I love this module!  After the last two, a relatively straight-
forward dungeon crawl was welcome.  Now Mongo can do what he does best!
  Well, school here at GT starts back this week.  But, since I'm not
really in school, I should be able to put out more than one episode per
week...hopefully I'll be up to the frequency I was this past fall, that
is, 2-3 per week.  Posting times will vary - Sunday night is no longer
the designated time.  However, they should come more often than they
have been...they will simply appear whenever I write them up.

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