Chapter #476

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                                +   +
                              +       +
                            +           +
                          +               +
                        +                   +
                      +                       +
                    +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                      +                       +
                        +      Epic III     +
                          +               +
                            +           +
                              +       +
                                +   +

+    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                    +
+                           +
+  Alindyar      17th level drow mage                           (N) +
+  Date:        6/21/576 C.Y. (Common Year)                         +
+  Time:        morning                                             +
+  Place:       Alindyar and Lyra's mansion, in Greyhawk            +
+  Climate:     temperate                                           +
+  "Someday, I will come to you and ask you for this favor...       +
+   whatever it is, you will do it."                                +
+                                                     - Stingray    +

                    CDLXXVI.  The Summons

  Alindyar sits in his study, transcribing spells onto scrolls,
unaware that his day is about to take a drastic turn.

Alindyar:  (humming to himself, he makes a mental note to look into
  finding a way to create a magical music source)

  Suddenly, a shimmering glow appeared in the room, causing the drow
to leap to his feet, already working a defensive spell.

glowing form:  (materializing)  Have no is I.
Alindyar:  Rary?!?
Rary:  (nods, his wispy white hair flowing despite a distinct lack
  of wind)  I apologize for dropping in like this, but trouble lies
  on the horizon.
Alindyar:  So?
Rary:  So, we need a capable and proven group of explorers to under-
  take a daring - and quite dangerous - quest.
Alindyar:  (shakes his head)  I can only speak for myself, of course,
  but most of my adventuring friends do not hire themselves out these
Rary:  Be that as it may, we must still find a way.
Alindyar:  What exactly is going on?
Rary:  The Circle of Eight seeks a wand...a rare and dangerous wand.
Alindyar:  (shrugs)  But what wand could be worth the collective time
  and efforts of a group of experienced adventurers?
Rary:  The wand...of Orcus!
Alindyar:  (suddenly wide-eyed)  Aie!
Rary:  That's right, the demon lord.  I do believe you've had a run-
  in or two with him.
Alindyar:  That was Belphanior's fault, truthfully, but-
Rary:  No matter.  The wand, lost for decades, is now poised to be
  a major factor in a power-struggle within the Abyss.
Alindyar:  (folds his arms)  Explain.
Rary:  Without his wand, that fell demon-lord lacks much of his
  full might.  The last time he possessed his unholy relic, he bent
  many of the Abyssal legions to his will, and was poised to enter
  our world!
Alindyar:  But he failed in this endeavor...?
Rary:  Right.  Some great band of legendary heroes stole the wand,
  fought their way out, and hid the thing far from the Abyss, quite
  safely concealed from even demonic sight.
Alindyar:  (guessing the next chapter in this particular story)  But
  the wand has now been found?
Rary:  (sighs)  It has, and the demon lord isn't far from learning its
  precise location.  Should he seek, and recover, the terrible item,
  the balance of power in the Abyss will surely shift...and when it
  has shifted enough, the foul one will likely attempt another planar
Alindyar:  (still slightly baffled by all of this, he nods)  That would
  be most unpleasant.
Rary:  Yep, and that's why we - you - have to find the wand first.
Alindyar:  He does not have it, then...good.  So where is it?
Rary:  (looks about, as if ensuring that no form of scrying will hear
  this conversation, then nods to himself)  An island...a mystical,
  long-lost island.
Alindyar:  How odd.
Rary:  There's nothing odd about it.  No one who's ever been there
  has returned - we know nothing about it.
Alindyar:  Does this get any better?
Rary:  I'm afraid not.
Alindyar:  What about you and the others of the Circle?  Why not
  deal with this yourselves...why us?
Rary:  Three reasons.  Firstly, if we all disappeared like that, many
  people would notice...not all of them allies.  Secondly, most of
  us have responsibilities, while your group is primarily comprised
  of wanderers and rogues.  Thirdly, we are all wizards, and while
  that is a mighty thing, it still doesn't give us swordsmen and
  thieves and priests.
Alindyar:  Hmm.
Rary:  So, will you undertake the quest?
Alindyar:  Well...
Rary:  I probably don't have to point out to you that aiding the
  Circle of Eight is a prerequisite for someday joining it...?
Alindyar:  Is that an offer?
Rary:  No, it's a fact.  (he points one gnarled finger at the drow)
  We need your friends - and for that, we need you.
Alindyar:  (sighs)  I shall have to talk it over with Lyra, but I
  have the feeling we will be helping you.
Rary:  Excellent.
Alindyar:  Bear in mind...some, such as myself and Mongo the dwarf,
  are here in Greyhawk now, and will be easy to enlist.  Others,
  however, will be more difficult to convince.  Peldor is gone, to
  parts unknown.
Rary:  We'll find him.
Alindyar:  Rillen has...relocated, far to the frozen north.
Rary:  We'll find him, too.
Alindyar:  Ged, too, has departed these lands.
Rary:  Then we'll find him too!  Can't you see that this is much
  too important to let minor details get in the way?
Alindyar:  Aye...I can see that, now.
Rary:  Excellent.
Alindyar:  What of Belphanior, whose motives are solely his own?
Rary:  (shakes his head)  He owes Drawmij, does he not, for a recent
Alindyar:  Hmm, he does, at that.
Rary:  Then he'll go along on this quest.
Alindyar:  (not particularly caring for the execution of this plan,
  he merely frowns)
Rary:  I'll get cracking, then.  Shall I bring your various companions
  to the Green Dragon?
Alindyar:  Um, no...bring them here, if you must.
Rary:  (casting another spell of teleportation)  Very well.  (like a
  ghost, he vanishes from sight)
Alindyar:  (shaking his head, he sends out a mental call to Lyra)

  Later that morning, in some noisy tavern in Greyhawk...

Mongo:  -me get this right:  you're telling me that Lord Marcus, of
  Greyspire, is offering me a job?!?
tall, lean warrior:  Correct.  I've come many leagues to deliver the
  message.  It isn't often that someone gets a direct recommendation
  from Yod Ironbeard himself, but you did.  Lord Marcus feels that
  you have a place in his army.
Mongo:  Is that a fact?
tall, lean warrior:  Yes, it is.
Mongo:  Well...hmm...
tall, lean warrior:  (hands the dwarf a scroll)  Here's a map of the
  route to Greyspire, amidst the Riftcanyon area.  Think about it for
  a while, and if you think you'd like to lead some dwarves into
  battle, make the journey.
Mongo:  (takes the scroll)  Okay...
tall, lean fellow:  I must leave now.  We've a campaign coming up,
  and I'd prefer to be there.  (he drains his mug and leaves)
Mongo:  Thanks for the offer.  I'll think about it.
tall, lean fellow:  (exits)
Mongo:  Well, how d'you like that?  Wonder if I'd enjoy fighting in
  an army...?
Rary:  (materializes, a full mug in his hand)  You'll have to put
  that question aside for awhile, great warrior.
Mongo:  Huh?!?  (he puts his hand on Stormcrest's handle)
Rary:  Relax, good Mongo.  I simply come bearing a message from your
  friend Alindyar, and others...

  Not long afterward, in a faraway mountain town...

Belphanior:  An island?
Rary:  That's right, an island.
Belphanior:  (frowns)  What kind of island?  Tropical ones are so
  much different-
Rary:  Yes, a tropical island.
Belphanior:  (thinking that Victoria should stay behind, given the
  climate and sunlight on such islands)  Guess you're calling in my
Rary:  That we are, my good elf.
Belphanior:  Okay, tell the others that we'll be in Greyhawk within
  the day.
Rary:  We thank you...(he blinks out)
Belphanior:  (unwilling, but bound by his own code of honor)  Damn.

  Elsewhere and elsewhen, in a high, fine palace...

Rary:  You did WHAT?!?
Despotrix:  (irritated)  I sent him to Zeif, and he never returned.
  Why is it such a big deal?
Rary:  Because the Circle says so.  (he prepares to teleport away,
  then turns back and points a finger at her)  Peldor and his wife
  are well-liked and respected in Greyhawk.  Don't you _ever_ bother
  them again, or the wrath of the Circle will descend with a fury
  you couldn't possibly dream of!
Despotrix:  (taken aback, and not entirely unfrightened)  Sorry...
Rary:  (vanishes, bound for the far West)

  And so it went, Rary finding and approaching each of the scattered
adventurers, explaining the quest and the circumstances.  Of all the
companions, only one had serious reservations about the mission...

Rillen:  I don't think it's a good idea.
Rary:  They need you.
Rillen:  Still...
Songa:  An island, eh?  (to Rillen)  They may need my wilderness and
  tracking skills.
Rillen:  They can find somebody else.
Songa:  Perhaps...(she looks around)  But the village can do without
  us for awhile, surely.
Rillen:  (somewhat shocked, though he is getting used to her willful
  behavior and straightforward manner)  You _want_ to go on this
Songa:  (nods)  I do.
Rillen:  (sighs resignedly)

  Fate willing, it seemed likely that the old companions would soon
be reunited, to face perhaps their greatest and most dangerous quest

next:      regrouped
ftp: in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
  in /pub/users/zac/rpg/adventurers/
mail:       (preferred)
notes:     I haven't gotten many comments about the Bosco-brothers
  story arc, and I've gotten nothing at all about Ged and his family
  in the Spindrift Isles.  I guess you people didn't like those.

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