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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. +
+ The player characters contained in these writings are copy- +
+ right 1995 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 +
+ email@example.com +
+ THE PARTY: +
+ Mongo 17th level dwarven warrior (CG) +
+ Gorin 8th level dwarven warrior (CG) +
+ Bosco 10th level halfling thief (N) +
+ Date: 3/15/575 C.Y. (Common Year) +
+ Time: early evening +
+ Place: the city of Punjab, in southern Furyondy +
+ Climate: cold +
+ "You're incredible!" +
+ "No...I am better than that." +
+ - from _Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins_ +
CCLXXXVII. Bosco on the Loose
Weeks after leaving Thunderdelve, Mongo and his two companions
are on their way back to Greyhawk. A one-night stopover in the
pathetically tiny city of Punjab, however, shall prove more than
Bosco: (looking around at the crowds) Boy, there sure are a lot
of people here! Maybe it's a convention of some sort?
Mongo: I doubt it, kid, but ya never know.
Gorin: He's right, though. From looking at this dump while riding
toward it, you'd never have known this many people could even fit
Bosco: (flags down a passing guardsman) Excuse me. Sir? Sir?!
guardsman: (looks around)
Bosco: Down here!
guardsman: Oh. What can I do for you, lad?
Bosco: I was just wondering why all these people are in your town?
I'd guess a sod-busters' convention, but I've gotta know for sure.
guardsman: You don't know?
Bosco: Nope. Not til you tell me.
guardsman: Well, the last thing I'd want is for you to be in the
dark. This here's the annual Dragon-Deck card-game playoff.
Bosco: (his eyes light up) Dragon-Deck? Cards? Playoff?
guardsman: Yep. The finest card players in the land, come to one
place to compete for the grand prize. (he looks around proudly)
Bosco: Prize? Hey, where's this tournament happening, anyway?
guardsman: (points) That way, but you'd better hurry.
Bosco: I sure will.
guardsman: Now if you'll excuse me, I've got somewhere to be. (he
strolls off briskly)
Bosco: Hey, why're you in such- ah, nevermind. (he examines a
moneypouch in his hand)
Gorin: (blinking) Slick...
Bosco: (darts away) C'mon, let's go check out this card game!
Mongo: Someday...(they dash off after the scampering halfling)
Bosco, after getting directions from several other locals, found
his way to the Silver Mine tavern, a sprawling place that was filled
to the windows with people. After checking his shortsword at the
door (a required rule of the house) Bosco navigated his way through
the legs of the crowd, finally arriving at a large table in the back
and center of the tavern's common room. Several men sat at the table,
various parchments and quills spread out before them. They appeared
to be rather busy, which of course meant little to Bosco.
man: (feels the table shake, slightly) What's that?
other man: I don't know. (he stands up, looking over the far edge
of the oaken table)
Bosco: (pulls himself up over this edge) Boo!
second man: Aie!
Bosco: (sitting atop the table) Is this where a fellow signs up
for the card tournament, guys?
first man: (regards the halfling humorously) It's not free, small
Bosco: Nothing's free - just close to it. So, tell me the cost,
why don't you?
third man: The entry fee is one hundred golden crowns. Plus a late
fee...fifty more in gold.
Bosco: No problem. (he opens a sack, spilling coins onto the table
and the floor) It's all there, you can count it if you want.
first man: (gasps)
second man: (sighs) Name?
Bosco: Bosco! Juggernaut warrior, dragon-slayer, Thunder-
third man: A simple first name will do.
Bosco: (muttering) Curses! Foiled again! (he hops from the table)
first man: (to second man) Lucky for us - now we have a nice, even
number of players.
second man: (nods)
third man: (to Bosco) You're at the Blue table.
Bosco: Right. Blue table.
It seemed that Bosco had arrived just in time, because mere moments
after he signed up, one of the men began making loud announcements.
announcer: Hear ye, hear ye!
announcer: If there be anyone else who wishes to compete - and has
the fee - let them come forth now!
crowd: (murmurs, but nobody comes forth)
announcer: All right, then! For those who don't know the rules,
here they are. Standard Dragon Deck, no variations, and you use
the house cards. (gestures to a number of stacks on a table next
crowd: (eyes the cards)
announcer: Each of you gets one hundred golden crowns, and each of
you gets to sit at one of eight tables. Each table now has eight
players - that's a total of sixty-four, for those of you who can't
add. More than six thousand coins of gold; after the house's fee,
that leaves the prize at five thousand golden crowns!
Bosco: (muttering to a nearby gnome) What's this "house fee" crap?
gnome: (shrugs) Dunno.
announcer: One hundred golden crowns - yours to begin with. The
first round of gaming ends when one person remains at each table.
crowd: (murmuring again)
announcer: After that...the eight winners will face off, each armed
with a hundred crowns once more - plus their skills and their wits.
crowd: (chuckling now)
announcer: And the playoff will then happen. I must also mention
that anyone caught cheating will, of course, be disqualified.
Bosco: (looks shocked)
announcer: Now, go to your assigned tables!
crowd: (begins dispersing, either to go to tables or to grab a seat
Bosco: (bumps into another halfling, an older fellow with a pipe
and a hat) Whoa, there.
other halfling: Sorry 'bout that.
Bosco: Hey, do I know you?
other halfling: I don't believe so. Maybe I'll see you in the
games...(he disappears into the crowd)
Bosco: (heads for the Blue table, examining the gem-studded brooch
he just acquired)
other halfling: (elsewhere in the room, he examines the scroll he
Shortly, there were eight tables, each with eight players, each
with a mound of coins and a deck of Dragon-cards.
announcer: Let the games...begin!
And they did. As was the custom, each player at a table took his
or her turn dealing, and after that round, the deck was passed on
for reshuffling and re-dealing. Mongo and Gorin had entered the
tavern by now (after paying a small spectator's fee at the door)
and managed to secure a seat near Bosco's table.
drunkard: Hey, thas' my seathts!
Mongo: Not any more. (pushes the guy over)
drunkard: (hits the floor and passes out)
Gorin: Cripes. A flint and steel by his mouth could be dangerous.
At Bosco's table, the action flew fast and furiously...
heavily scarred man: Let's see 'em, boys. (he lays down his cards)
other man: A pair of dragons, a king and queen, and a squire. (he
slams down his own cards) Shit!
other players: (similarly upset and cursing)
Bosco: Now, now. Don't be mad at him. (he lays down his own cards)
dwarf: I'll be damned! He's got the other four kings!
heavily scarred man: Fuck!
Bosco: Good thing I raised the stakes to two hundred crowns, isn't
it? (he scoops a huge pile of coins toward him)
man: Well, that's it. I'm broke. (he leaves, cursing)
other man: Me, too. Outta here. (leaves)
Soon, Bosco had whittled the competition at his table down to just
the scarred man and a gnome.
Bosco: (to the gnome) Your deal, friend.
scarred man: Gimme three more. (he lays three cards in the table's
Bosco: Bad move.
scarred man: Shaddup.
gnome: I'll raise the stake here to...eighty.
scarred man: Ninety.
Bosco: Hell, why not make it an even hundred?
gnome: Any other swaps?
scarred man: (shakes his head)
gnome: Show 'em, then. (all three lay their cards down, face-up)
scarred man: (eyeing Bosco's cards) Damn!
Bosco: Told ya.
Bosco: (to the scarred man) Well, pal, looks like you're down
to your last fifty or so...which would leave me with, oh, let's
see...(looks up) Seven hundred-fifty!
scarred man: (growling)
Bosco: My advice to you would be to just quit now. With this much
cash, I can keep raising the bets until you're in a do-or-die
situation, and then, it's all over for you anyway.
scarred man: Grr...
Bosco: And I'm not just saying that.
A very short time later, Bosco was the only one remaining at his
table, and he stood atop his chair, checking out the other action.
Five of the other tables had finished, and their winners were, like
the halfling, waiting. The other two tables were close, and would
be done soon. Bosco spied Mongo and Gorin cheering for him, and
grinned as he waved at them.
Eventually, each of the eight remaining competitors - as well as
a carefully-counted sum of one hundred golden crowns - was moved
to one central table. Besides Bosco, there was one other halfling,
four humans (one a woman), a shifty-eyed dwarf, and a half-elven
bard (judging by the harp across his back, anyway.)
announcer: And now...let the final round begin!
Bosco: (handed a new deck of Dragon-Cards by the announcer's helper,
he cuts the cards, his hands blurring) Okay, okay. (he eyes the
other seven players) I'm not intimidating you, am I?
dwarf: No, but although we've just met, I already don't like you.
Bosco: Impossible. Everybody likes me.
human woman: Enough prattle!
half-elf: Yeah, let's do it!
Bosco: Okay...(he deals the cards)
human: (scans his cards) Hmph.
dwarf: (likewise, his beady eyes shifting about)
Bosco: (scans the faces of his competitors)
Time passed. Cards changed hands, as did golden coins; every
round saw someone happy, and others who weren't. From their seats
nearby, Mongo and Gorin could only catch glimpses of the various
Dragon-Cards in play: the King, Queen, and Prince, which together
made up a Royal suit; the Knight, Squire, and Page, the Lower suit;
the Sword, the Shield, the Spear, the Axe - weaponry, lower-power
cards that yet, in the right combination, topped other suits; the
all-powerful, and singular, Dragon card, which raised the rank of
any other combination.
Bosco seemed invincible, winning much more often than not, and it
wasn't long before seven sat at the table, then six, then five. An
hour after the great final match had started, Bosco shared the table
with only the shifty-eyed dwarf and the half-elven bard. This was
more than a game of skill - it was a game of luck, something that
Bosco had always been blessed with. Of course, the fact that he was
a near-matchless Dragon-cards player didn't really hurt. His stack
of coins was about the size of his opponents, combined, and momentum
was on his side. His foes couldn't see through his bluffs, and he
constantly made larger and larger stakes, driving his foes out of
plays - for the halfling was an aggressive player.
Bosco: ...and I raise the bet to...one hundred!
half-elf: (frowns) I fold.
dwarf: Not me! (he decides that Bosco's bluffing) TWO hundred!
Bosco: Accepted. (he shovels over the coins)
dwarf: Now throw down them cards! (he shows his own cards)
Bosco: (lays his own cards down)
Bosco: That's _two_ kings, and _two_ queens. The infamous Double
Royalty hand. (he begins scooping coins toward his pile) How
'bout those apples?
dwarf: (staring at his nearly-vanished pile) Damn!
Soon, the dwarf was gone, and Bosco faced the half-elf, who was
(as could clearly be seen) down to his last hundred crowns.
Bosco: -raise to two hundred.
half-elf: You can't do that. I've only got a hundred.
Bosco: Oh, so you do. Okay, I'll raise it to whatever you've got.
half-elf: (sweating, but fairly confident with his cards, he decides
that Bosco might be trying a massive bluff, based on his behavior
earlier in this game) Accepted. Cards?
Bosco: (begins laying them down)
half-elf: Heh. My Royal Suit beats those...beats anything, in fact.
Bosco: Yep, you're right. That suit beats anything...except, that
is, for _my_ Royal Suit, plus this little Dragon Card here.
half-elf: (nearly chokes) Aiek!
Bosco: Calm down, it's only a game. (ponders for a moment) Well,
that plus five thousand pieces of gold.
half-elf: (walking away, queasy)
Bosco: (looking around) Where'd everyone go? (to the announcer)
Guess I won.
announcer: Yes...(he reads a scroll, then makes his announcement)
And the winner is...BOSCO!
Bosco: (parades around the card table, bowing to the spectators)
announcer: Bosco...from the city of Greyhawk. Let's hear it for
him, ladies and gentlemen!
crowd: (clapping and cheering)
Bosco: (his mumblings about "where's the money?" are lost in the
Later, after they had retired for the night, in a local inn...
Bosco: Ungh! (he drops a sack into Mongo's portable hole) That's
the last one.
Mongo: Your haul's all here now, eh?
Gorin: A very well-played game, Bosco. I had no idea you were a
world-class card player.
Mongo: Yeah, man. You made some great moves back there!
Bosco was actually wondering which particular great moves the dwarf
was referring to. There were, he had to admit, plenty to choose from.
Bosco: Well, all that's _really_ important is that the great name of
Bosco is spread far and wide, for all to hear, for all to know-
Mongo: You know, you remind me of somebody I used to know.
Bosco: Impossible! There is no one else like me.
Gorin: You're definitely one of a kind, pal. _What_ kind, I don't
Mongo: Well, we'll be back in Greyhawk soon.
Gorin: Back to the grind, eh?
Bosco: Grind! Grind! Grind! (he begins wondering where any local
halfling women might hang out)
next: the coda of Peldor and friends
ftp: ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
notes: Bosco's First Law: When the fans haven't had enough of
Bosco, more Bosco adventures will appear to fill the void.
And on a totally unrelated topic: more fan mail! This batch
covers some of the fan mail for episodes #256-268 aka the Mongo-
Bosco-Gorin adventure (should Bosco receive top billing?)
>> Nice story. Bosco, out and about with Mongo and Gorin. Hmmm
>> ...trouble brewing? :) I was a little sad to see the next story
>> go to Mongo and crew, but, we (your readers) all have our own
>> individual hopes as to which story you'll do next. Eventually,
>> we'll all get to see the segments we wish to...
>> It does bring an interesting thought, though: Bosco is the only
>> major henchman (it seems) to do any adventuring on his own, i.e.
>> as a full-fledged member of a party. He had a side-light with
>> Gorin, the adventure with Ged to the Lost City, and now this one.
>> Sure, others have had independant actions (most notably possibly
>> Nenya) but it seems as if the other major henchfolk (Nenya, Lyra,
>> Arnold, Gorin) dont do near as much 'on their own' as Bosco does.
>> Is this deliberate, or just the flow of the characters?
Fear not, all adventurers' tales will be told in time. As for
Bosco, yep, he's as deliberate as my writing of him. Whatever that
>> When all else fails... send in the dwarves!!
>> I love it so far! This has the hallmarks of being one of my
>> favorite stories.
>> Bosco made it IN to the treasure room, but didn't get back out?
>> I guess the lust for the treausre was just too much for the
>> little guy, which was rather obvious since he was "swimming" in
>> the coins like Scrooge McDuck in his money vault.
>> I am REALLY looking forward to the trek down into lower caverns!
>> I forgot to reply this morning. The tales you wove of the past
>> weekend, were marvelous...simply marvelous. It's been a real
>> treat seeing these characters weave plots of their own.
>> Jesus, Bosco's kicking some ass!
>> Good to see Bosco starting to get a little respect. It should
>> be interesting to see this story thread develope. What happens if
>> Bosco gets jumped? Or falls into a covered pit without the rest
>> of the armada behind him knowing? Hmmm...of course, we are all
>> awaiting what is behind door #2.... :)
>> There is one other side note here....the cliffhanger. Might be
>> interesting to develope the plot to a good point then devote three
>> or so episodes to another portion of the party, then come back to
>> the Yod plot....
>> Looking forward to the next one.
I've been doing this more lately, the switching from storyline to
>> Still a rockin' story. You ought to get a lot of compliments
>> on this one.
>> As to the story, well written, as usual. I was a little
>> disappointed in the manner it was solved, but none the less, a
>> good story still. I would have thought that the strength of the
>> orcs was in simple hit-and-run tactics. Of course, they _are_
>> orcs... :) It also seemed to me as if there was a minor
>> confrontation brewing between Yod and Mongo. Its bound to
>> happen, I suppose, when two fighters of their strength get
>> together and try to lead...kinda like Schwartzenegger and
>> Stallone both trying to lead the way in a Rambo-type movie.
>> Sooner or later, one of them has got to give....
>> Look forward to the next one.
>> Bosco is really a delight during this series: his self
>> proclaimed titles are hysterical.
>> It seems more realistic that the deeps have proven to be mostly
>> empty rather than choked full of nasties. It also adds to the
>> tension as the team moves through the tunnels and the surprise
>> when something is encountered.
>> Excellent. Excellent! A real dungeon crawl!
>> No towns, no cities, no wilderness. Just dungeon.
>> Cool. Waaay cool.
>> I really like this current story, the mines of Thunderdelve.
>> It shows how powerful high level characters really are, especially
>> in mass warfare. Gorin seems to be pretty much a tag-a-long.
>> Spikey and Sparkey have done more than he has. I never liked Gorin
>> too much so that's OK. Otto on the other hand is pretty cool.
>> When are we going to see Belphanior again? I'd like to see him
>> and Peldor team up for some high power thief action. Maybe a
>> retry at kidnapping that they flubbed so long ago?
By now, you should have seen plenty of Belphanior. And Otto.
>> Just a small (teenny tiny) complaint about Peldor. He has lost
>> his flambouant attitude. The All-Is-Right-In-The-World-That-Holds-
>> Peldor attitude that made him my favorite. Maybe settling down
>> does that to a person. I've always wanted my own characters to
>> rob the Greyhawk Thieves Guild but they are not skilled enough.
>> Maybe Peldor (even though he is an officer) and Belphanior would
>> like to take on the job. After all the Mayor is co-Guildmaster
>> and this would be a good way for Belphanior to get back at the
>> city. It would be just the impossible task that Peldor would like.
>> Enough rambling, keep up the good work.
Yes, I admit that Peldor's become too tame. That was one of the
motivations behind 284-286, which by now you've read.
>> Another well written story. Mortality? For Yod Ironbeard?
>> Cool. It is nice to see that the folk of legends dont always
>> have it as easy as one might think legends should. (It also
>> serves to show that folks are legends for a _reason_)
>> Spikey and Sparky on top of the spider was also interesting...
>> loyalty to a liege-lord. Impressive. Most impressive. Obi-
>> Wan has taught...oh, sorry, wrong storyline! :) :) :) Nice
>> But, actually, of all the things in the episode, I think the
>> one I liked most was the xorn. I havent run into a xorn (as a
>> DM, player, or bystander) in a long time. One of those creatures
>> you dont want to get mad at you.
>> Nice job.
Glad you liked that xorn. I, too, thought it was a nice touch.
>> These have been great... Looks like you ARE enjoying writing
>> them, and I'm enjoying reading them
>> Why didn't Mongo use his Cadeucus on the injured Dwarves after
>> the first Orc battle?
My bad - he definitely should have. I tend to forget about some
>> Wasn't Mongo being a bit of an asshole when he cut the deal with
>> Yod for only the armor, and no treasure for any of his helpers?
>> Bosco should really be pissed about this. As stated before, he
>> isn't a hireling of Mongo's, he is an independant contractor that
>> is taking a lot of risks.
Yep, I guess he was. I did that stuff to give Bosco good lines.
Anyhow, we all know that he'll end up with his fair share...
>> On a slightly different topic, I remember reading a story a couple
>> of years ago that included Kup Swiftfoot, a fighter named Marcus,
>> and a number of other high level adventurers. Did you write this
>> story, or are you just using the characters? If you wrote this,
>> could you please e-mail me a copy of it?
Yes, that was me, and yes, those are the cameo characters that have
been showing up in Adventurers. I'll have to dig up that story, I
may not have it on disk. Do you have WWW access? If so, there's a
subset of my Adventurers Web page that deals with this party.
>> Also, a humble suggestion:
>> In Rillen's solo story, I would like to see Songa show up again.
>> Rillen deserves someone to lighten him up a bit. Everyone else
>> has (or had) a follower, why not Rillen?
You've echoed the concerns of a number of readers. I can assure
you that Rillen won't go too much longer before finding someone to
share his life with. Let's see, we've got 2 Adventurers who've
found love interests (Alindyar, Peldor) and another who's found a
student of the opposite sex (Ged) and two with students but not
women (Mongo, Belphanior) which leaves just Rillen with none of the
>> Hey, it's been a great little story arc so far! Actually given
>> me some ideas for my gurps campaign. It really brightens up my
>> day when I find a new Adventurers story in my mailbox. Keep 'em
Glad, as usual, to hear this sort of feedback.
>> You Armenian! Did you at least watch Beavis? Arg! Why'd you
>> need a day off? No pathetic excuses. Mitch and I had a good
>> workout, but Ash didn't show either. Ill. That's what I am.
>> Just ill. No Bosco. No workout. I can't take it anymore.
What is it with the Armenians anyways?
>> Whew. The Thunderdelve story line turned out much longer than I
>> expected, but it was a good series. I thought the golem would be
>> reduced to rubble with no problems, only to find it kicking some
>> serious butt.
>> Another great batch of stories. Always interested in seeing
>> what adventurers do in their off time. :-)
>> Got any plans for the party as a whole yet ? What about Lyra's
>> birthday ? (or did I miss that one ?)
>> Regardless, I look forward to my weekly Adventurer's fix.
>> Keep it up.
No, you didn't miss it. It just hasn't happened yet...
>> I think Bosco is getting much better than Belphanor. Far more
>> fun with his antics. How about a reunion with his family and
>> getting his brothers into a bit of mischeaf.
>> Keep up the writing. The humour is great.
I'm glad Bosco's new attitude went over so well with so many
readers. I only wish I had started it back in episode 200...
>> Just finished reading Mongo's adventure, it was shit hot!!!!
>> I can't wait for Belphanior's misadventures!
>> It's good to see Bosco being played as a full-blown PC, he
>> really is very classy (well, halflings do make the best thieves!)
>> Keep it up,
Think of Bosco as Peldor's lost (found) youth.
>> Well. I've written a couple times, and I've just got a couple
>> more questions as to the series...as well as possibly the only
>> plot suggestion I'll ever come up with....
Okay, one at a time now...
>> 1) Did Bosco ever get rid of the Raccoon-Mask markings on his
>> face, or does he still look like that?
They mysteriously faded away while he was Silthis' prisoner on
the elemental plane of Water.
>> 2) How do you pronounce "Oerth" ?
Ask TSR. No, seriously, I'd guess (and I do) O-erth (flat second
>> 3) Any plans to bring back the Iron Dwarf? or Rob?
Yes times two. Entertaining characters such as those never stay
>> 4) What was in the scroll Cassius gave the party, anyway?
I have no idea.
>> 5) And how come Arnold's being listed as Ged's henchman in the
>> title again?
Should be fixed by now.
>> 6) Got an official party artist yet? I made an attempt at drawing
>> the party, but my ill-fated attempt at drawing Belphanior put an
>> end to that...
I had someone volunteer, but I haven't heard anything about it
>> 7) What is Tratherion god of? I can't find any reference ...
He's a Greyhawk deity, of common origin (meaning no specific race
first knew of him) and CG alignment. He is the god of individuality,
liberty, and retribution.
>> 8) Kup Swiftfoot, Yod Ironbeard, Lord Marcus...They're PC's from
>> a previous campaign, right?
>> Real Nit-picking questions:(I don't really care whether these
>> are answered or not...)
Sure you do! :)
>> 1) Bosco Remembers what happened to his body while possessed,
No. His soul was on another plane and had no way of knowing. I
bet none of the party's told him yet, either...
>> 2) What's Ged's 9-syllable elven name?
Did I ever mention it? (I can't honestly remember...)
>> 3) If Peldor kept his Hat of Disguise, What did they decide to
>> do to keep the mob of Paula's back?
Belphanior dealt with this. He lied to the mob boss/godfather
and told him that the girl was dead.
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