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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 1991-6 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 +
+ Alindyar 17th level drow mage (N) +
+ Belphanior (14th)^3 level elven fighter/wizard/thief (CN) +
+ Bosco 11th level halfling thief (CN) +
+ Lyra 13th level female drow mage (N) +
+ Mongo 18th level dwarven fighter (CG) +
+ Otto 8th/9th level dwarven fighter/thief (CN) +
+ Peldor 20th level human thief (N) +
+ Tanya 5th/11th level female human fighter/thief (N) +
+ Whisper the deadliest assassin in the Greyhawk area +
+ Date: 4/4/576 C.Y. (Common Year) +
+ Time: dawn +
+ Place: the Free City of Greyhawk +
+ Climate: chilly +
+ "There's nothing wrong with revenge - it's the best way to +
+ get even!" +
+ - Archie Bunker +
WHAT HAS COME BEFORE:
Peldor, Mongo, Belphanior, Otto, and Bosco descended into the
sewers of Greyhawk on a mission from Org Nenshen. Unbeknownst to
them, however, Org had been killed and replaced by a shapeshifter,
and an ambush awaited in the sewers. After being joined by the
strange dwarven miner, Darek Halfplow, the party explored some
sections of sewers before encountering the shapeshifter ambush.
The evil ones' plan was shattered when Belphanior caused a great
explosion and a cave-in. At this point, the party was forcibly
split; Peldor and Otto went one way while the others, minus the
slain Darek, plummeted through a collapsed floor into a deeper
section of the underworld. Each group thought the other lost.
Peldor and Otto struggled toward the surface, destroying the
shapeshifter nest en route, and finally emerged from the sewers.
They stopped by the Green Dragon Inn, but Tanya was gone; fearing
the worst, Peldor headed to the thieves' guild to confront Org and
find out what was happening. Unknown to Otto, he also left Tanya
a note - just in case. While Otto sought the drow to enlist their
help, Peldor fought the shapeshifter Org, in its true form, and
was slain with his own sword. The thief was stripped of all items
and weapons, and his body was dumped in the sewers. The false Org
sent the assassin Whisper to take care of Otto, and took steps to
have the Green Dragon shut down and Peldor condemned as a traitor.
Otto found and broke into the drows' mansion, only to be confronted
by Whisper. At the last possible moment, the drow intervened, and
Otto explained to all present what had happened.
Meanwhile, deep below the sewers, Mongo and Bosco, in addition to
the badly-wounded Belphanior, encountered a colony of deep gnomes.
After some initial misunderstandings, Belphanior was healed, and
the adventurers proved their worth in an underground battle against
the evil kuo-toa. Elsewhere, in the depths of the sewers, Peldor
returned to life, healed by his magical feather tattoos. After a
grim and seemingly hopeless struggle, the master thief escaped from
the sewers, half-naked and exhausted, but alive.
And now, all of these persona dramatae are about to come together
in one place, at one time, against one of the more diabolical foes
they have ever encountered...
All was silent in the common room of the Green Dragon Inn...until
a motley crew appeared, the trio materializing from nowhere.
Alindyar: (looks around) Nothing seems amiss.
Otto: Quick, to their bedroom!
Lyra: If Tanya _is_ here, she's going to be surprised.
They rushed upstairs, arriving at Peldor and Tanya's bedroom
door, at the end of the hall. Otto unconsciously pulled out a
lockpick before pausing, then knocking at the thick portal.
Lyra: (knocking anxiously) Hello? Tanya? Anyone home?
Otto: (listening at the door) I think I hear something...
Alindyar: Perhaps assassins are already within?
Lyra: I don't hear much...no talking, but someone's moving in
Otto: Fuck. (he backs up, preparing to try to kick the door down)
Alindyar: No, allow me. (he conjures a huge force-fist with his
magical rod, and it pounds the door once, blowing it through the
frame) Knock, knock.
Otto: (rushes into the room, sword drawn)
The drow followed him, and all three couldn't have been more
surprised at what they found: Tanya was sitting up in bed, rubbing
sleep from her eyes, covers pulled around her apparently naked body.
Tanya: (looks shocked) Otto?!? What in the hell are _you_ doing
breaking into- Lyra? Alindyar?
Otto: (scanning the room) No Peldor. (sheepishly) Err...excuse
Alindyar: (just stands there, looking embarrassed)
Tanya: What's going on?
Lyra: Dear, I think you'd better get dressed.
Tanya did so (the gentlemen having discretely departed) and
shortly, the four adventurers were gathered in the common room
below, around a table. Tanya found various drinks for her guests,
and the real discussion began.
Tanya: I'll ask you again: what's going on?
Otto: Well...there's bad news, and there's bad news.
Alindyar: (nodding sadly) Aye.
Tanya: (not one to be slow-witted) It's Peldor, isn't it? Some-
thing's happened to him!
Lyra: Probably...(she moves to comfort Tanya)
Tanya: (flings Lyra's arm away angrily) He can't be dead! He's
Alindyar: We are not certain that he has been slain.
Otto: Though he _should_ have been back here, long ago, if he was
Lyra: (to Otto) Were you born sensitive, or did you have to work
Otto: (shrugs) Sorry. I was just giving her a no-shitter.
Tanya: He went down into the sewers, with Mongo and Belphanior and
Bosco and...(she begins to realize what must have happened)
For the second time in the last day, Otto related the complete
story of what happened, from the entry into the sewers to Peldor
going to the thieves' guild. Tanya sat through it all, frowning
Otto: ...and that's how it went down.
Tanya: This is bad...real bad...
Alindyar: We must go to the guild of thieves and determine what-
voice: There is no need.
Everyone turned to note the new arrival: the assassin Whisper.
From whence he had come, none knew, but here he was. The dark-clad
figure glided across the room, and ended up standing near the table,
his back to a wall, facing all four adventurers.
Otto: Um, what do you mean, exactly?
Whisper: Peldor has been slain in some sort of power coup.
Whisper: They say he was stealing money from the guild, working
side deals, and such things. Org Nenshen had him in his office,
and called him out on it. A fight ensued, and Org won, though
he hurt one eye in the process.
Tanya: (just stands there, gaping)
Lyra: Not good...not good at all.
Alindyar: Peldor cannot be dead!
Whisper: He is, and he's gone. (to Otto) And I still have no
evidence of your story.
Otto: You want evidence? We'll find it! (to the drow) Couldn't
your spells expose the shapeshifter for what he is?
Lyra: Possibly...but there's no telling.
Whisper: I grow weary of this bickering-
Tanya: Shut up! All of you just shut up! (she stands up, dashing
upstairs, tears welling in her eyes)
Lyra: (bites her lower lip)
Alindyar: The issue of Org aside, if Peldor has been slain-
Otto: Sounds like he has.
Alindyar: -then we must venture there, and find more details. (he
looks around, at all of them) Agreed?
Whisper: (mumbles something)
Tanya: (running down the stairs, various armor and weapons in her
hands) You're damn right it's agreed! (she finishes buckling
her armor on, and draws her sword, examining its razor-sharp edge
critically) Even that other time, on the island, I didn't think
he was really dead...but now we have a _witness_!
Whisper: I have witnessed many things.
Lyra: (to Tanya) But-
Tanya: I'm going to pay Org a visit - and any who stand in the way
will regret it.
Otto: Uh, shouldn't we think about this a little first?
Tanya: Think? (she swings her sword, then sheathes it) Peldor's
dead! No more thinking! Someone dies today. (she turns to go)
Alindyar: You intend to go forth and confront Org Nenshen?
Lyra: Then we're with you.
Otto: Damn right.
Whisper: (shrugs mentally, and follows, bringing up the rear as he
Otto: (watches uneasily as the assassin assumes the form of a normal-
looking human merchant)
However, as the five opened the front door of the inn, they were
met by a dozen unsavory-looking characters. Tanya recognized most
of them as thieves, from the city's guild.
lead fellow: Hold.
Tanya: Who the hell are you, and what the hell do you want?
fellow: I'm Vilos, of the thieves' guild. In fact, all of these
people with me are from the guild. We-
Tanya: Vilos! I've heard of you! You're a greedy, power-hungry,
worthless, lying sonofabitch. Peldor told me all about you.
Vilos: Yes, Peldor! What hypocrisy...and now he's dead. And that's
why I'm here. The River Quarter is under lockdown, as of this
Vilos: Locked down. And all of Peldor's staff - including you - are
under arrest. You're to come with us to the guild. (he eyes the
others) That goes for the rest of you as well, I suppose.
Otto: Fuck that.
Tanya: No kidding. (to Vilos) I'm going to the guild, but for my
own reasons, and not under guard.
Vilos: (smiling evilly) To defy the Guild is to defy Org. You
must lay down your weapons and come along.
Tanya: Well, I'm not, so get lost.
Vilos: (turns to his companions) Men! Arrest these miscreants-
thief: (grabs the disguised Whisper, who is nearest to him, by one
arm) C'mon, fatso.
The assassin reached over, his other hand brushing the man's neck
lightly. The thief crumpled as if clubbed, dropping limply to the
Whisper: No one touches me.
Vilos: (outraged) Argh! Men...!
Alindyar: Enough. (he hurls a small glass globe into the midst of
the thieves, and it explodes, sending green gas billowing forth)
Most of the victims fell to the ground; one staggered out of the
smoke, coughing, only to be bashed across the back of the head by
Otto's sword-pommel. Tanya quickly followed the dwarf's lead,
similarly decking another who had withstood the smoke.
Tanya: (realizes that she just knocked Vilos out) Bastard. (she
kicks the unconscious man in the ribs, hard) Oops.
Otto: If he's such a scumbag, why not just slit his throat now?
Tanya: No...he certainly deserves it, but it's not for me to judge.
Alindyar: (seemingly occupied by the clouds drifting overhead) Eh?
Tanya: What did you do to these men? What was that gas?
Alindyar: 'Tis merely potent sleeping gas. They shall awaken...at
Otto: Good thing we didn't kill them, I guess.
Lyra: (nods) Then we'd have serious legal trouble on our hands.
Whisper: As if you didn't have enough already.
Tanya: Come on, let's get where we're going. My patience wears
thinner with each passing moment.
With that, they left the Green Dragon, Tanya leading the way toward
the Thieves' Guild, within the section of Greyhawk known as Old City.
From the shadows of a nearby bush, unseen even by Whisper, a lone
figure observed all of this. Peldor, now clothed in stolen garments
and disguised with soot, appeared to be a common bum, perhaps a lost
drunkard. He had cleaned himself up somewhat, then found clothes to
wear, en route to his inn. However, he had done some thinking, and
concluded that he couldn't let anyone know he was alive and in the
city. Org - the creature masquerading as Org, he corrected himself
bitterly - no doubt had eyes everywhere. For his revenge to truly
have a chance, he had to remain completely anonymous, even from his
friends. Even from Tanya.
The master thief wanted to go into the inn, and perhaps pick up a
few useful items, but the risk was too great. Already the minions
of Org (probably serving the shapeshifter unwittingly) had come to
shut down his inn and lock up his friends. No, Peldor had to remain
autonomous, at least out here in the open. If only he could corner
his friends in some closed-off room...! But no, it was not to be;
he watched sadly as Tanya led the other three away from the inn...
Peldor started, as he realized where they were going. The thieves'
guild! Org! This was trouble upon trouble, and promised a great
deal of chaos and death. Rushing, yet trying to remain unobtrusive,
he moved away, in the same direction as the others.
Just then, within the common room of the Green Dragon Inn, a trio
of figures materialized from nowhere...
Bosco: (somewhat wobbly) Whoa.
Mongo: What's wrong?
Bosco: Teleporting always makes me a little dizzy...
Belphanior: (looks around) No one's here.
Mongo: Hmm, wonder why?
They saw several mugs, and a pitcher of cold water, on a nearby
table. Several chairs there were in disarray, as if a meeting had
Belphanior: (examining the table's contents) The water's still got
ice in it...someone was here, not long ago.
Bosco: I'll run up and check Peldor and Tanya's room. (he does so)
Mongo: What do you think's going on?
Belphanior: I don't quite know, but I get the feeling the party's
started without us...
Mongo: Well, we'd better fix that.
Bosco: (dashes down the stairs, three at a time, a great feat given
his height) Fix what?
Belphanior: Where's Tanya?
Bosco: (shrugs) Beats the heck out of me - but the lock to her door
was picked by an expert, I'll say that. You can hardly tell it was
picked at all. Funny, though...(he trails off)
Belphanior: (impatiently) Is there something more, Bosco?
Bosco: (scratching his head) Why would anyone pick the lock of a
door that's off its hinges? I mean, if its broken down, you don't
_need_ to pick the lock, right?
Bosco: (speculatively) Or maybe it got kicked down _after_ it was
picked...maybe even by someone else. Heck, who knows?
Belphanior: Well, whatever happened here, we missed it. The real
question is, who was here, and where'd they go?
Bosco: Hey, I'd probably go to the thieves' guild.
Belphanior: (his lone eye swivels to lock upon the halfling) What
did you say?
Bosco: I said, I'd-
Belphanior: Never mind. (to Mongo) He's got it! The thieves'
Bosco: (babbling to himself) I got it, I got it...
Belphanior: It's simple, if you think about it. If you're Tanya
and you want to find out why Peldor didn't come back, who do you
Mongo: I give up. Who?
Belphanior: You ask the one who sent him on the mission in the
first place: Org Nenshen, guildmaster of thieves.
Belphanior: On the other hand...if you're Peldor, and you escape
the sewers alive, where do you take your anger?
Mongo: (his eyes widen) Org Nenshen.
Belphanior: And if you're Otto, and you escape, who do you lean on
to find out what you want to know?
Bosco: Org Nenshen! (he smirks) This game is easy.
Belphanior: (glares at the halfling, eye glowing) It's no game,
Bosco. People are dying.
Mongo: Seems pretty damn cut-and-dried to me, then. We go pay
Mr. Nenshen a visit.
Belphanior: Exactly. (he goes behind the bar, gets a bottle of
something strong, and pours himself a drink)
Bosco: Hey, I don't think Tanya-
Belphanior: Can it. (as an afterthought, he pours both Bosco and
Mongo a glass of the brandy) Drink up. We've got work to do.
Shortly, the three companions left the inn, using the front door.
However, they were surprised to find a dozen unconscious men right
outside the inn.
Bosco: (points at one of the fellows) Hey, that's Orvis! I know
him from the guild!
Mongo: Guild? The thieves' guild?
Bosco: (nods) And there's Mervin...and Vilos...heck, guys, I think
_all_ of these people are thieves at the guild.
Belphanior: Well, now they're sleeping thieves.
Mongo: Maybe they ran into someone who didn't like them.
Belphanior: If it'd been me...(he looks up) Ged, or Alindyar, or
Lyra. It had to be.
Bosco: Yeahhhh. (he rubs his hairless chin thoughtfully)
Mongo: Man, we have _got_ to get to the guild.
Sidestepping the sleeping thieves, they headed for the street.
Bosco: (whistling some merry tune to himself, he pauses to relieve
Vilos of his money-purse)
Mongo: Come on, Bosco. No time to waste.
Bosco: Who said anything about waste? (he trots along, catching up
with the other two) Waste is exactly what I'm trying to avoid...
A short while later, five individuals came a-knocking at the doors
of the Thieves' Guild. Well, knocking wasn't really the appropriate
Tanya: I said we'll see Org _now_!
guard: (pressed against the wall by the angry woman's sword-tip)
other guard: He's not gonna be happy about this-
Otto: Fuck him.
Alindyar: (looking around) Perhaps we should have brought the
Lyra: You think so?
Alindyar: I am...not sure.
Tanya: Come on, boys, open those gates. I know the drill here, and
we haven't got all day.
An "escort" of six thieves accompanied the adventurers as they were
taken to Org's office. The robbers, all experienced and relatively
brave fellows, were yet intimidated - especially by the two drow.
Alindyar: (glares at one thief intently)
thief: (drops his gaze, almost _feeling_ the dark elf's power)
Indeed, a casual observer might have wondered who led who in this
procession. Tanya headed straight toward Org's office, not caring
whether the escorts followed, led, or stayed behind. Otto was almost
as angry, but he also noted things of interest: doors, passages,
the placement of windows, and anything else that might help him and
his companions, should worst come to worst. For his part, Alindyar
silently prepared some incantation as he walked. Behind the foursome
the guards whispered to themselves...
guard: (pointing at the ordinary-looking fellow who accompanies
Tanya, Otto, and the drow) Who's that?
other guard: No idea, man. Must be one of their servants...
Meanwhile, from his office within the depths of the guildhall,
the creature that masqueraded as Org Nenshen was just getting the
news from a subordinate.
thief: -five of them, and they're coming here to see you!
Org: (somewhat concerned) Oh, really?
thief: The guards tried to stop them, but...(he trails off)
Org: I see. Very well...(he jots something on a page of parchment)
Take this to Nolger Karvakian, at the City Watch.
thief: Yessir. (he dashes from the room, set on this all-important
The false Org checked his weapons, items, and assorted traps. If
those coming for him were some of Peldor's powerful friends, it would
be necessary to kill them quickly and efficiently. It should be easy
enough to stall them for a while, until the trap could be sprung.
And now, help was on the way...the trick was to bring help that he
Outside the massive building that housed the guild, Peldor watched
the activity with interest, and more than a little dread. Various
guards hustled and bustled about in excitement and confusion. Some-
thing was going on here, and he'd just missed it. The master thief
headed down a side alley, leaving the front entrance for the other
thieves, and perhaps, the city guard. After all, he had his own,
lesser-known means of entry.
A short while later, the guild had yet more visitors; a tall, red-
cloaked elf, a rather broad dwarf, and a jubilant-looking halfling
walked up to the front entrance.
Belphanior: (to Bosco) You'd better do all the talking, Bosco.
I'm not exactly a registered member here.
Bosco: Gotcha, no problem.
Mongo: (dubiously) Do we have a plan?
Bosco: I've always got a plan!
guard: Ho, there.
Bosco: Hey, what's up, Fred?
Fred: Oh, it's you, Bosco. Hey, man, what happened at the Green
Dragon? We've been hearing all kinds of things...
Bosco: Uh...well, it's a pretty crazy situation there now. I think
Peldor'll get it all straightened out soon, though.
Fred: Peldor? How's he gonna do that? He's dead!
Fred: Yeah. He attacked Org, and Org killed him.
Mongo: (grips his hammer with white knuckles)
Bosco: Killed him? When did this happen?
Fred: Only hours ago...say, shouldn't you know this?
Bosco: Uh...sure. I mean, yeah. Hey, I only know what they tell
me, which hasn't been much, lately. Well, Org's still here, right?
Fred: Yeah, he sure is.
Bosco: Good, 'cause I have to see him. Talk about the, err, inn and
Fred: Peldor's woman's already here for that.
Bosco: Who, Tanya?
Fred: Yeah. She just came and, well, forced her way in. Her and
those weird dark elves. And that other guy, the dwarf.
Bosco: What dwarf? (he looks at Mongo)
Fred: Dunno. A wiry, mean-looking sonofabitch with sideburns.
Belphanior: (his eye widens in recognition of Otto's description)
Bosco: (sees this) Okay, Fred, well, we have to go join Tanya.
Fred: Sure thing, Bosco, but I can't let your friends in. They're
not Guild members, and all that. (he looks at Mongo and Belphanior
as if embarrassed by this rule)
Bosco: Fred, these are my...enforcers. Brutus and Bluto. I'll need
their help, and so will Org, if we're to run the inn properly.
Bosco: C'mon, Fred. We've gotta talk to Org, and I mean right now.
Fred: Err, okay. I'll take you-
Bosco: That's okay, Fred, we know where his office is. C'mon, guys.
(he heads down a large passage)
Mongo: (he and Belphanior follow the halfling)
Belphanior: (glances back discreetly, to ensure that they're out of
hearing range) Clear.
Mongo: Peldor, dead?!? What the hell's going on?
Bosco: (rather concerned) Hey, don't ask me. I just found out too,
Mongo: Dead. Oh, man.
Bosco: (to Belphanior) That was Otto he described!
Belphanior: I know. So he made it out...as did Peldor, apparently.
Mongo: Only to get killed by Org!
Belphanior: (grimaces) Blood shall flow for this...
Back at the front entryway to the building, chance now intervened
as Fred's co-worker, a guard who had watched without saying anything,
finally spoke up.
Ed: Y'know, I know that elf from somewhere...
Fred: He's Bluto, Bosco's enforcer.
Ed: Nah...somewhere else...(he thinks, hard) Uh...um...oh, shit!
Fred: (alarmed) What?
Ed: That elf, he's the one who killed that noble, a few years back.
Sliced 'im open, and two of his guards - right in front of a whole
bunch of city officials!
Fred: Whoa, Ed - are you sure?
Ed: Positive! I remember, 'cause I was in the room! Quick, we've
got to summon the city guard!
Fred: Uh, you really think that's a good-
Ed: Fred, that elf's a powerful wizard! (he grows even more alarmed)
Org'll kill us if we let him into the guild...get my drift?!?
Fred: Oh, crap...
Ed: You stay right here! I'll go get help! (he runs away, down the
Outside the Guildmaster's office...
Lyra: Should we knock...?
Tanya: No. (she checks the door, finds it unlocked, and pushes it
Otto: (shrugs, and strolls in after Tanya, as if he owns the place)
Lyra: (ESP-ing to Alindyar as they stand in the doorway) Um, how
are we going to learn whether this thing is human or not? We don't
have any true seeing spells!
Alindyar: (ESP-ing to Lyra) Fear not, my dear; I have already
pondered this problem. Now listen carefully...
Lyra: (ESP-ing to Alindyar) I'm all ears.
Inside Org's office, Tanya and Otto faced the guildmaster, who was
quite relaxed as he sat behind his desk.
Org: May I ask what the purpose of this impromptu visit is?
Tanya: You know as well as I do!
Org: I'm afraid not. Perhaps you'd care to explain it to me?
Otto: (puts his hand on his crossbow) I sure would.
Tanya: Where is Peldor? What have you done with him?
Org: (sadly) Peldor...such a waste...
Tanya: (draws her sword halfway from its sheath) Talk, damn you!
Org: Peldor had such ambition...too much ambition, as I'm sure you
know. He tried to murder me, earlier this morning.
Tanya: No! (almost screaming now, spittle flying from her mouth)
Bullshit! You two were the best of friends!
Org: Apparently not, given his actions. (he cocks his head) You're
supposed to have been arrested for conspiracy already, you know.
Tanya: Forget it - I'll die first!
Org: Now _that_ can be arranged.
Alindyar: (steps forward) Excuse me.
Org: Who are you?
Alindyar: I am Alphonseus Diatribus, of the clan Diatribus, recently
moved into Greyhawk from such a place as most will never see...(he
goes on with his meaningless, wordy babble)
Otto: (listening in confusion, wondering what the drow is up to)
Lyra: (spellcasting, out of sight in the doorway)
Whisper: (still disguised, he simply stands away to the side, almost
blending into the shadows, and looks on with curiosity)
Org: (waves his hands at the dark elf before him) Stop, stop.
Alindyar: But why?
Org: Because- (he spies Lyra's shadow in the doorway) Who's that?!?
Lyra: (steps forth and casts a Hold Person spell on the guildmaster)
Org: (doesn't even flinch) What are you about?
Alindyar: (to Lyra) He never felt the spell's touch.
Otto: Would somebody please tell me what's going on?
Tanya: Me too.
Alindyar: 'Tis simple. The common spell of holding a person in
place affects humans...even those with the will to resist must
Lyra: ...and this "Org" didn't even notice the spell. Didn't even
Org: What foolishness! Who are you to come in here and-
Otto: (raises his crossbow) Shut up.
Tanya: (to Org) Don't even think about trying that acid-pit trap
on us. You may notice that we're spaced around its hatch...Peldor
told me about that trap, you know.
Org: (surprised) Oh, he did, did he?
Whisper: (still doing nothing, one way or the other, though he
watches and listens intently)
Otto: (growing weary and irritated) Enough. We know what you are,
shapeshifter. The Circle of Eight is on the way, to force your
true form to come forth. Man, I sure wouldn't want to be you when
Org: (inadvertently winces) Cease this nonsense at once! (he
stands) You're fabricating lies to try and further some misguided
Otto: (shoots the man in the chest, with a sharp, wide-bladed bolt)
Org: Ungh! (he staggers back a step)
Otto: (points to the guildmaster's chest) Look, everyone, no blood.
Org: (covering the wound with both hands) Ughk.
Tanya: Come on, let's see that wound, Org.
Org: (stands there, looking confused)
Otto: Hurts, doesn't it? I planned ahead - coated that bolt with
a potion that kills plants. Looks like it's working.
Otto: (to the drow) Clever, eh?
Lyra: (hears something in the hallway) Look-
Just then, the doorway filled with armed men - members of the
Org: Help! These...assassins...!
thieves: (look shocked)
Otto: (whirls to face the new arrivals) Now, boys, let's not-
Org: Get them! NOW!
thieves: (rush in to defend their guildmaster)
As the thieves sprung to the attack, swords and daggers drawn,
each of the adventurers reacted in his or her own manner. The first
to act was Alindyar; a dazzling spray of color flew forth from his
outstretched hands, stopping several charging foes in their tracks.
Five thieves slumped to the floor, unmoving. Lyra backed away,
already casting her next spell; Tanya and Otto moved quickly,
trading places with the drow in order to protect their spellcasting
As for Whisper...he was nowhere to be found. Or was he?
Org: (looking around, he sniffs the air) What...?
Otto: (notices this, out of the corner of one eye)
There was no time to ponder whatever it was that the shapeshifter
was up to, for Otto and Tanya had their hands full keeping the foes
at bay. It would have been easier to fight to kill, but these men
were innocents, most likely, completely unaware of the monster for
whom they fought. As such, even Otto felt compelled to show them
Otto: (swats a foe with the flat of his blade, knocking the fellow
back with a bleeding ear) Hell, Tanya, I don't know if I can keep
this up. I fight to win...and if we don't, they'll kill us.
Tanya: (parries an attack, then kicks the thief away) Just hold
out a little longer! We've got to get to Org!
Alindyar, waving his Bigby-rod, brought a giant force-fist into
being. In one fell swoop, the thing swept away most of the foes
who assailed Tanya and Otto.
Tanya: Heh. (she breathes a sigh of surprised relief)
Lyra: (covers Org with a web) Let's see you get out of _that_.
Org: (struggling with the sticky fibers, he manages to pull a
A large piece of the floor opened up, exposing a pit below, in
which green acid bubbled and smoked! Otto, Tanya, and several of
the guild thieves had been standing atop the plate, and they all
slid down, toward the deadly pit...
Elsewhere, Bosco led Mongo and Belphanior through the halls and
passages of the guild.
Bosco: This way...no, this way! (he marches down a new corridor)
Mongo: (exchanges glances with Belphanior)
They had just begun to wonder if the halfling really knew where
he was going when a flurry of footsteps drew near. Several dozen
thieves passed, going both ways in an obvious hurry.
Bosco: Hey guys, what's going on?
passing thieves: Fight in Org's office - city guard's invading the
guild - it's a raid!
Belphanior: Oh man, you gotta love this...
Mongo: Look there - city guardsmen!
Momentarily, confusion reigned supreme. City guards mixed with
thieves; the former weren't quite sure why they were here, while most
of the latter thought they were being raided. After all, they would
have been informed by Org if the guards were planning a visit. Of
course, Org didn't even know, himself, since he hadn't called these
Bosco: Org's office! Follow me, I know a shorter way! (he dashes
Mongo: (huffing, puffing, and sweating) I'm getting sick and tired
of all this running around...
Belphanior: Don't sweat it. (he sprints after Bosco)
Meanwhile, in Org's office, a contingent of city guards had just
arrived to find quite a mess. The guildmaster himself was clutching
a chest wound, and various thieves were scattered about, most of
them unconscious. An open section of floor dropped into a pit, and
at the edge of this gaping hole, a dwarf clung by his fingernails.
Not ten feet away, a red-maned woman helped a fellow climb over the
edge of the pit. Across the room, two drow, cloaked and hooded,
watched the whole scene with interest.
Alindyar: (uses his force-hand to grab two thieves, as they fall
into the pit, thereby rescuing them)
thieves: (looking around in astonishment as the hand lifts them
clear of the pit)
Tanya: (leaning over, she pulls the thief all the way clear of the
thief: (collapses on the floor) Whew! Thanks...
Tanya: (moves to help Otto, and as she grabs his hand, she notices
the guardsmen who have just arrived) I'm sure glad you're here!
head guardsman: (to Org) What's going on?
Org: Nolger! These people are all deadly assassins - they tried
to kill me!
Nolger: (smiles evilly) Soldiers! Get them! Strike to kill!
guardsman: But sir-
Nolger: No mercy, boy - they'll kill you, if they can!
Tanya: (gaping in astonishment) What?!?
Lyra cast a spell upon some of the attackers, slowing them down.
Alindyar immediately followed with another sweep of the force-hand,
pushing back a half-dozen guardsmen. Nearby, though, Org had somehow
freed himself from the webs, and he now turned to face the drow.
Alindyar: (brings his force-hand, now a fist once more, toward the
Org: (using Peldor's ring, he concentrates upon a heavy end-table)
Alindyar: Wha- (he is plowed into a wall by the rapidly-sliding
piece of furniture) Argh!
Org: (sends a flaming torch her way) Burn, assassin!
Otto: (chops the fiery missile in half, in midair) You may have
his ring, shapeshifter, but you're no Peldor!
Lyra: (moves to try and help Alindyar)
guardsman: (swordfighting with Tanya)
other guardsman: (moves around, intending to attack Otto while his
back is turned)
Suddenly, the man fell to the floor, unmoving. If something
invisible had struck him, it didn't reveal itself.
Org: (looking around) Hmm.
Nolger: Men! Finish these assassins! (he slashes at Tanya, opening
a cut across her arm)
Tanya: (having barely dodged the attack, she drops and rolls) Argh!
Nolger: Heh, heh...(he advances, blood dripping from his blade)
Abruptly, the guard-captain stopped in his tracks; a gaping wound
then appeared in his chest.
Whisper: (still invisible, he pulls his sword out of the foe)
Nolger: (instead of dying, he spins about, grabbing the assassin's
wrist in one hand and his neck in the other) Sssss!
The thing known as Nolger wasn't as skilled as its companion (also
known as Org Nenshen) and its features began to slip and shift. A
bulbous green head, complete with pointed ears and sharp fangs, now
stared Whisper in the face.
guardsman: (pauses in his combat) Look! Look at the captain!
other guardsman: (grabs the kid and snaps his neck) Sss!
remaining guardsmen: (regarding each other suspiciously, weapons
poised, about half of them hissing in low tones)
At that moment, three more combatants burst into the room.
Mongo: (takes one look around, then hurls his hammer at the thing
that just killed the guardsman) Die!
shapeshifter#3: (knocked back into the acid pit) Sssss- <blub>
Mongo: Slimy green fucker.
Bosco: Hey, your hammer...
Mongo: Not to worry, kid. (he catches the weapon as it flies back
to his hand)
Bosco: Should've known.
Otto: (spots Belphanior) By Set! The dead walk!
Belphanior: I'm not dead yet. Neither are you, I'd say...
Otto: Nope! (he slashes the Nolger-shapeshifter in the back, and
green stuff spills out as the thing falls to its knees)
Whisper: (invisible) Thanks.
Tanya: (to the new arrivals) You're alive! Is Peldor with you?!?
Belphanior: Afraid not...just who you see.
Tanya: (suddenly remembers Org) Get Org - he's the main one!
Mongo: Right! (he hurls his hammer at the shapeshifter, smashing
him back against one panelled wall)
Org: (one leg smashed, badly) Ungh! (he hisses at them) Hssss...
Lyra: (trying to free Alindyar) Damn, he really _is_ a monster!
Otto: What, did you think we were making all this up?
Mongo: (spotting Alindyar, who is pinned behind the table, he runs
over that way, catching his hammer as he goes) Hang on, Lyra!
Lyra: Hurry! He's hurt!
Alindyar: My legs...argh...
Whisper: (drops his foe, its bulbous green head newly-separated from
guardsmen: (fighting other, half-green guardsmen, and mostly losing)
Bosco: Man, what a mess...(looking around, he finally backstabs one
of the shapeshifter-guards, setting it up for a guardsman's attack)
Tanya: Enough!! (she leaps up, across Org's desk)
Belphanior: No! They're stronger than-
Tanya: Die! (she buries her sword in Org's heart)
Org: Ssss. (he looks up, hissing, and stabs Tanya in the stomach)
Tanya: Urgh...(she crumples, amidst a growing pool of blood)
Org: Like man, like mate.
Bosco: TANYA! (abandoning the foe he was fighting, he takes to the
air, winged boots flapping madly)
Bosco: (slams into the evil foe, simultaneously punching with his
one magically-gauntleted hand)
The false Org was pounded back, crashing into a bookshelf with
sufficient force to shatter the shelves. Even the powerful shape-
shifter was dazed...allowing Bosco to shear a chunk of its face off
with a mighty sword-stroke.
Org: AARGH! (it clutches its face, which is gushing black ichor)
Bosco: Serves you right, scum! (he prepares to strike again)
Belphanior: Here, let me help. (he releases a volley of small,
fiery meteors into the shapeshifter's green face)
Org: (blasted numerous times) Argh! Ungh! Urgh!
Belphanior: (moving in, his sword gleaming blackly) Now to finish
this once and for-
Yet more combatants suddenly burst into the room: a fresh squad
of city guardsmen, led by Derider Fanshaen herself!
Derider: (quickly scopes out the situation, although she can't make
much sense of it) What's going on here? What's that square pit?
Who cast that web? Why are you men fighting each other? What's
that glowing fist over there in the corner? Why is there a green
monster wearing Nolger's uniform...?
Belphanior: Lady, you wouldn't believe us if we told you.
Derider: (instantly recognizes the elf, and makes a bad assumption)
You! You're wanted by the city! Men, get him!
Alindyar: (newly freed by Mongo, he sits up painfully, helped by
Lyra; able to concentrate once more, he regains control of the
Bigby's hand) Ungh...
The force-hand swept Derider's guardsmen back, allowing Belphanior
a chance to leap forth, which is exactly what he did.
Belphanior: (pins the guard-captain's hands behind her back and
yells in her ear) Look! Those green things are shapeshifters!
They caused all of this trouble - and they're killing your own
city watchmen! _Look_, dammit!
Derider: (does, and her eyes widen)
Belphanior: (releases her) Arrest me later if you want, but right
now we've got work to do! (he punctuates his statement by jumping
forth and slashing a shapeshifter, thereby saving the life of the
wounded guardsman it was about to slay)
The chief constable of Greyhawk, second in command only to Sental
Nurev himself, also happened to be a high priestess of Pelor, and
as such, she tended to have certain spells in effect when she was
on the job. One such spell now confirmed her gut instinct, namely
that Belphanior spoke the truth.
Derider: Shapeshifters? (to her guards) Men! Kill those damn
guardsmen: (rush to obey, this time unhindered by the force-fist)
shapeshifters: (badly outnumbered now, they fight a losing battle)
Org: (telekinetically pushes Belphanior away, and swats Bosco with
one arm, knocking him aside) Fools!
Belphanior: Whoa...(he barrels into Mongo, who was about to hurl
his hammer at the false Org)
Org: (leaps up, snarling)
Alindyar: (brings the fist around, smashing the shapeshifter into
the floor) R- retribution...(he passes out)
The wooden floor of the office cracked, then shattered, taking the
foe with it.
Bosco: Hey, now what?
Belphanior: (standing again) Now we have to go after him.
voice: Not without me, you don't.
In the room now stood Peldor! At a casual glance, he looked like
a common street bum, but there was no mistaking that voice, or the
tone of it. His face was smeared with soot, and his clothes were
common and unfamiliar, but he was definitely Peldor.
Peldor: (steps forward) It's me, all right.
Otto: Well, I'll be damned.
Peldor: You can't keep a good Peldor down.
Belphanior: Uh, where'd you come from?
Peldor: I have my ways. (he looks around) Is Tanya...?
Derider: (tending to Tanya's horrific wound) I'll do my best, old
Peldor: (dashes over, squeezes Tanya's hand, then stands) The false
Org must pay. (he picks up a guard's sword and heads grimly for
the hole in the floor)
Mongo: Wait. I've got a better one for you. (quickly unfolding his
portable hole, he pulls out an extraordinary longsword) Try this.
Peldor: (examines the blade) Nice sword. What's it do?
Mongo: Just magical, far as I know. But it's forged from adamantite,
and bears a pretty strong enchantment.
Peldor: (smiles) What more can a guy ask for? Thanks. (he jumps
down into the hole)
Lyra: Shouldn't someone go with him?
Belphanior: I'm on it. (he leaps down after Peldor)
Mongo: Hey, wait for me! (he heads for the hole too, but gets stuck
as he jumps, due to his broad build) Aw, dammit...!
Below, and already some distance away, the shapeshifter ran for
its life. Badly wounded, it was also alarmed by the recent turn
of events. Its entire colony - even the false Nolger, third in
command of the city guards and a valuable infiltration - was now
exterminated. Years of carefully-laid plans, power struggles, and
accumulated information had been rendered useless in mere hours.
Targets of influence would never be slain and replaced. Everything
had fallen apart, and now it was forced to run through this secret
passage, toward the sewers. It probably would have taken the trap-
door sooner or later, but the magical fist had negated the need for
that particular hatch.
The creature's limping gait slowed as its keen hearing detected
someone approaching from behind. Whirling, it snarled as a figure
slipped from the shadows.
Peldor: I'm back.
shapeshifter: You! I slew you!
Peldor: It's not that easy. You wouldn't know anything about the
will to live anyway.
shapeshifter: You can die again!
Peldor: And I'll keep coming back, until you're dead. You've killed
Org, and maybe Tanya. I won't rest until your rotten corpse feeds
the vermin. You'll never kill me.
shapeshifter: You are no mere human...
Peldor: I'm Peldor. (he leaps to the attack)
The master thief had hasted himself, and other tattoos provided
some measure of protection, as well as healing. In fact, he was
almost up to full strength now. The shapeshifter, on the other
hand, looked badly wounded, from weapon, pummeling, and spells.
Half of its face was ruined and bleeding; one of its arms seemed
broken; its left leg was smashed; several charred pits dotted its
chest. Still, he would have to be very careful; he knew all too
well what these monsters were capable of.
Peldor: (slashes at the thing, shearing off half of one hand) So
it begins...I'll kill you a piece at a time, if I have to.
shapeshifter: Ssss...(it draws Nightfang) Does this blade seem
Peldor: Stolen...you didn't earn it.
shapeshifter: Or this ring? (he uses the ring to slam Peldor into
shapeshifter: Hah! (it slams Peldor into the opposite wall)
shapeshifter: (slams Peldor into the ceiling)
Peldor: Oooh...(he hangs limply)
shapeshifter: (brings the battered form closer, moving it easily
through the air) This time, I shall tear your heart from your
Peldor: (springs to life, stabbing the foe in its good eye) Fuck
shapeshifter: AARGH! (it lets Peldor go, by slamming him against
the ceiling again, and clutches at its bleeding eye)
Peldor: (lands, hard, but staggers to his feet, moving in slowly
shapeshifter: (all but blind, it snarls and sniffs the air)
Peldor: (calling upon all his training, experience and willpower,
he stays perfectly still)
shapeshifter: (pawing the air and swinging Nightfang as it wipes
gore from its face) Sssss!
Peldor: (backstabs the creature perfectly, shearing off one of its
shapeshifter: AARRRRGH! (it whirls about, bringing its sword down
on Peldor despite the pain)
Peldor: Argh! (slashed along his side, he backs up, blood flowing
heavily down his leg)
shapeshifter: I shall not die easily...sss...(it lurches toward
him, swinging Nightfang in deadly arcs)
Peldor: (waiting patiently for the precise moment to strike)
shapeshifter: (swings and misses)
Peldor: (swings...and misses!)
shapeshifter: (having faked Peldor out, it bats his sword aside and
then brings its own blade arcing around)
Peldor ducked, his sword sparking on the stony ground as he swung
it around and up with all his might. The longsword collided with
Nightfang, the weapons both driven by great strength and fury, and
with a loud, ear-splitting metallic sound, one of them shattered
into a thousand pieces.
shapeshifter: (stands there dumbly, looking in amazement at the
shard-tipped hilt it now holds) What?!?
Peldor: It's called death! (he reverses his swing, his sword
connecting with the monster's thick neck)
shapeshifter: (falls, great gushes of black blood pouring from its
Amazingly enough, the thing could still talk, despite its rapidly
shapeshifter: (lying amidst a puddle of what looks like black syrup)
Peldor: I'll give you the same mercy you gave Org. (he chops down
at the foe, finishing the decapitation)
The master thief stood back, eyeing the slain foe in amazement,
hardly able to believe that he had actually killed it.
Belphanior: (emerges from the shadows, clapping) Well-done!
Peldor: Thanks. I just hope that's the last we've seen of these
Belphanior: You want to torch the fucker? (he brandishes his wand
Peldor: (nods) It's the only way to be sure.
Belphanior: Better recover all your items first...
Peldor: (wipes his brow) Right. Thanks.
One command word later, the fate of the shapeshifter that had
assumed Org's identity was sealed, as its body burned to dust within
a blazing ball of fire.
Peldor: That's it...the end. Everything has come full circle.
Belphanior: (claps his friend on the back) C'mon, let's go home.
next: next? Thomas takes a well-deserved break!
ftp: ftp.digex.net in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
ftp.nol.net in /pub/users/zac/rpg/adventurers/
mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred)
notes: Myriad things...
1) You'll notice another ftp site above...thanks to Doug Swarin
for making this available!
2) I'm still working on the Adventurers Oscars - I really am!
You'll see them sooner than you think.
3) If you can tell me any details about the Walnut Creek CD-ROM
which contains some of my stories, please send me email right
now. I need to deal with these people.
4) As requested, here's a current timeline:
TIMELINE FOR THE ADVENTURERS EPISODES:
Common Year Event
396 C.Y. Alindyar born in drow city of Dril'ithzan'abaar
452 Belphanior abandoned in Badwall at the age of 2
462 Ged born in Celene
467 Alindyar flees Dril'ithzan'abaar, begins a 90+
year journey through the Underdark
475 Lyra born in drow city of Rilauven
482 Nenya born in ?
501 Mongo born in the Flinty Hills
505 Belphanior begins his apprenticeship under Nerkon
510 Belphanior kills Nerkon, leaves Badwall
519 with some relatives, Ged sets sail for the Spindrift
Isles, to visit other relatives there
522 Ged decides to stay at the isles for a lot longer
than originally planned; his other relatives return
to Celene without him
527 Peyote born in the Vesve forest
530 Mongo's grandfather slain in battle with humanoids;
young Mongo begins his fighting days
531 Flint Firelips born in Lortmil Mountains
534 Otto born in ?
537 Gorin born in ?
540 wars end; Mongo settles back down to peaceful life
543 Halbarad born in Jharek, in northern Furyondy
545 Peyote's rebellious ways begin, much to the chagrin
of his parents
548 Peyote falls in with the Traveling Ones, and begins
worshipping Obad-Hai; he soon leaves the Vesve to
wander with the outcasts (this ends up lasting for
Tanya born in ?
549 Arnold born in tiny village in the lands of the Frost
Rillen born in ?
550 Rob born in Keoland
551 orcish attack wipes out the town of Jharek; young
Halbarad survives and makes his way to a nearby
city, where he is adopted and begins training
553 Bosco born in ?
557 at the age of seven, Rob begins his clerical training
560 Alindyar arrives in Barr'Bazithan, where he will
remain for the next 9 years
564 Mongo leaves the Flinty Hills along with some other
dwarves, seeking adventure; he will spend the next
six years wandering the land
1/ /566 Belphanior returns to the Wild Coast, specifically
to Fax, and begins setting up his operation there
4/ /566 Ged first experiences the wonders of Boccob, and
quickly becomes a priest
567 Halbarad's mentor dies of old age, and the ranger
packs up and leaves for parts unknown, where he
will eventually meet Peyote
568 Ged leaves the Spindrift Isles to see the world
12/ /568 Peyote leaves the outcasts, somewhere in the Wild
Coast area; he is next seen in Fax, with Halbarad
9/ /569 Rob completes his clerical training and is sent to
Nyrond by the elders; however, he loses his way
10/ 3/569 Mongo arrives in Fax, and lingers, relaxing
10/19/569 Alindyar leaves Barr'Bazithan for the surface world
10/21/569 Alindyar arrives on the surface world
10/25/569 Halbarad and Peyote arrive in Fax
10/27/569 Alindyar manages to join some bandits, and rides with
them into Fax
10/28/569 totally lost, Rob wanders into Fax
11/ 1/569 Belphanior decides that he wants to join a party
of like-minded adventurers, and begins keeping an
eye open for an opportunity
11/ 2/569 Ged arrives in Fax
11/ 3/569 Peldor wakes up in a field outside of Fax
11/ 4/569 PARTY FORMED in Fax 001
5/ 1/570 party finishes off Slavers 038
10/16/570 Rillen joins the party 050
12/18/570 Lyra encountered/captured by land group 062
12/25/570 Bosco tries to pick Peldor's pockets 067
3/25/571 Arnold is introduced as the party regroups 069
7/17/571 Flint Firelips found in Underdark 086
9/20/571 individual quests begin 101
6/ 3/572 climax of Zagyg dungeon 125
6/ 6/572? Flint Firelips dies on Oerth-2 143
12/ 6/572 party returns from Oerth-2 144
3/17/573 Gorin saves Mongo's life 148
6/10/573 pact for solo quests is made 149
10/25/573 party rescues Alindyar from drow city 175
1/18/574 party explores the City of the Gods 199
6/20/574 party returns from Earth 212
7/10/574 Alindyar & Lyra's lair destroyed 240
7/11/574 Belphanior and Rillen meet Otto 217
7/17/574 Ged and Mongo return to the Lost City 226
9/ 1/574 Peldor begins his entry into the Thieves' Guild 245
9/20/574 Rillen fights in Lao Khan's tournament 225
9/25/574 Peldor and Bosco enter Greyhawk's sewers 247
12/28/575 The beast from beyond the stars lands 250
1/ 5/575 Belphanior leaves Greyhawk for the second time 251
2/ 3/575 Rillen arrives at his destroyed monastery 275
2/ 6/575 Peldor and Tanya steal the jewelled crown 286
2/11/575 Mongo et al arrive at Thunderdelve Mountain 256
2/14/575 Belphanior and Otto arrive in Helgate 277
4/14/575 Lyra's 100th birthday 300
6/ /575 Necros and company capture most of the party 311+
6/10/575 The second string party rescues the others 325
1/ /576 Belphanior is possessed by the evil eye 349
1/15/576 Belphanior returns to Helgate, out of sight 376
1/21/576 Ged's quest to Maure Castle begins 361
1/22/576 Peldor pops the question to Tanya 374
2/ 3/576 Ged's quest to Maure Castle ends 373
4/ 1/576 Nenya and Deryck are married 380
4/ 3/576 The fateful sewer/shapeshifter saga begins 381
Last but not least...some kind of 400th anniversary speech, maybe?
Hell, I don't know what to say. The rambling I did at the end of
#300 pretty much summed everything up. I guess what I'll do is give
you a brainstorm of my plans and ideas for the next hundred episodes
or so...in no particular order, here are some of the things I'd like
to do between episodes #401-500:
some low-level adventurers seek out Belphanior, the evil warlock...
Rillen and Songa get tied up in barbarian intrigue...Ged returns
home, in the isles to the far east, for his father's funeral!...
Belphanior gets an artificial eye...the preliminary events of the
Greyhawk Wars begin...Lord Marcus of Greyspire makes his second
appearance...Mongo goes back to Thunderdelve...the wispy thing
returns...Otto's past is revealed...Peldor and Tanya get married...
Belphanior discovers a new race in the mountains around Helgate...
someone undertakes a great quest, only to then get screwed by the
authorities...Greyhawk's thieves' guild gets badly shaken down...
Belphanior and Victoria take a bath together...a ship that sails
through the air is found...old enemies seek revenge...the drow
beef up security at their home...Bosco competes in another card
tournament...the Adventurers Oscars finally get published...
Just stuff off the top of my head...so you don't think I'm running
short on ideas.
Please don't send me suggestions to further detail any of these;
it's too early for that right now.
previous chapter (#399)
next chapter (#401)