Chapter #490

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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                    +
+                           +
+  Mongo        18th level dwarven fighter                     (CG) +
+  Date:        6/23/576 C.Y. (Common Year)                         +
+  Time:        late morning                                        +
+  Place:       somewhere on the Isle of the Ape                    +
+  Climate:     hot and humid                                       +
+  "After all, when you come right down to it, how many people      +
+   speak the same language even when they speak the same           +
+   language?"                                                      +
+                                                - Russell Hoban    +

                   XD.  Mongo of the Jungle

  As consciousness returned to his clouded mind, Mongo quickly became
aware of the foreign chattering:  several voices spoke in a strange,
crude-sounding tongue.  Long experience had taught the dwarf to be
subtle in situations like this, so he opened one eyelid, ever so
slightly, and tried to take in his situation.

dark-skinned savage:  (leaning over Mongo, a bone through his frizzy
  hair, his teeth filed to points, his face painted in bizarre and
  bright colors)  AAAAA!
Mongo:  (sits up, thrashing out wildly)  AAAAA!
savage:  Aaaaa-  (backpedaling, he hits the straw wall of the hut)
Mongo:  Right, pal.  (he looks around for his weapons, or any weapons,
  even as he notes that his armor and other protections seem to be
  intact)  Huh.

  Since the savages weren't attacking - but rather merely watching him
with awestruck expressions - the dwarf flexed his sore limbs and
struggled to recall recent events.  Slowly, memory returned to him:
the dinosaur's sudden attack in the night...being grabbed up in those
terrible jaws...then plummeting down a dark, wet tunnel...flailing
madly even as the world spun and shook...

savage:  (slowly, cautiously, he approaches, holding something out in
  his arms)  Die wanna wanga?
Mongo:  (reclaims his metal club as the man offers it to him)  Thanks.
savage#2:  (holds another item out in his hands)
Mongo:  (takes this item, a gigantic triangular object, as well)  The
  club I know, but what the fuck's this...?
savage#2:  Molar kabushki rah.
Mongo  (turning the thing over in his hands)  Hmm...looks like a big
  spear-point...or...a tooth!

  More scattered memories came back to Mongo then, and he realized
that he must have used this tooth to cut his way out of the monster's
stomach.  That would certainly explain the dark, wet place that he
half-remembered being in, not to mention the wild, frenzied stabbing
and sawing that filled his recent thoughts.

Mongo:  (raps the tooth on his chest-armor)  Of course!  The damned
  thing couldn't chew through my armor, and he broke off some teeth
  doing it!  (he looks to the savages, then tosses the tooth to the
  hut's dirt floor)  Thanks, but I won't be needing that any more.
savage#3:  (a woman, clad in straw and golden ornaments and not much
  more, she offers a jug of water)  Bree hydroo ncog?
Mongo:  (takes the jug, guzzling it thirstily)  Ah...urp!
savage#4:  (recoils from the belch as if stunned)  Agop!
Mongo:  (stands, but immediately feels the pain of several wounds,
  most prominently one on his torso)  Agh...

  The dwarf realized that he was covered in blood, both his own and
otherwise, as well as dirt and leaves.  Looking around, he studied
his current location:  a small, round hut of thatched straw, its
short pointed roof blocking out most of the rays of the midmorning
sun.  He struggled to remember where all of these natives had come
from, but he couldn't - the last thing he recalled was breaking free
of the monster's stomach, and flopping out onto the dirt like a fish
thrown out of water.
  Mongo could only surmise the rest:  these people had found him, and
brought him back here.  Why they hadn't killed him, or at least put
him in a cage or cell of some sort, he didn't know.  With a grunt of
pain, he removed his chain-link shirt, the one that had once belonged
to some holy man named Arnd.  Beneath the armor, the dwarf's chest
was one big bruise.  The mottled purple skin was visible even through
the thick hair that covered his chest.  The savages, witnessing this
terrible wound, chattered timidly to themselves.

Mongo:  (replaces his armor, wincing)  Damn, but that hurts like a
  motherf-  (he sniffs the air, smelling roasting meat)  What...?
savage#1:  (exits the hut)
Mongo:  (moves to do the same)  Hey, wait for me.
savage#2:  (suddenly alarmed)  Narg!  Diku olfa.
Mongo:  (ignores the man, walking out into the sunlight)  Aha!

  In a central area, in what was roughly the center of a number of
huts like the one he'd just left, dozens of the savages circled a
huge fire-pit.  The thing was shallow, but wide; a large spit above
it held several big chunks of meat, roasting as a fat tribesman
turned the spit.

Mongo:  Is that the thing that ate me-  I mean, that I killed?  (he
  points at one of his "guards")  Speak up, you.
savage#2:  (confused)  Gurk kenee!
Mongo:  (points to the spit, then makes a face and roars)  Grraaar?!?
savage#2:  (backs up a step, making strange signs with his hands)  Ak
Mongo:  Aw, hell.  (he looks around sullenly)  I bet Ged could do a
  whole lot better at this...

  By now, the assembled savages had noticed the bloody, beaten dwarf
in their midst.  They pointed at him and babbled incoherently among
themselves, excited.

Mongo:  (grips his metallic club tightly)  Someone tell me what the
  hell's going on around here...
savages:  (gathering around Mongo, touching and prodding him as if he
  were some strange animal that had wandered into the village)
Mongo:  (growing very uneasy)  Okay, that's enough-

  Suddenly, the crowd parted, admitting a short, hunched black man of
considerable age.  Frazzled white hair decorated his head at seemingly
random intervals, though it was hard to tell because of the brightly-
feathered headdress he wore.  In one gnarled hand, the wizened fellow
clutched a sigil-covered staff of dark brown wood; its top end was
carved into the shape of an ape's head.

Mongo:  Maybe you can help me, old-timer.  See, I got separated from
  my friends, and-
ancient one:  (grinning at Mongo)  Cuong ncog ha.  (he waves for Mongo
  to follow him, as he ambles away)
Mongo:  (sighs, and walks after the man)

  The old one led the dwarf to a larger hut, one that hadn't been in
sight from the fire-pit.  Most of the other savages stayed at the
center of the village, but a few rather large, strong-looking ones
accompanied Mongo and the old fellow.  Shortly, they were seated at
the edges of a large, shallow pit of sand within the large hut.

ancient one:  (grins at Mongo, exposing a mouth with few remaining
  teeth)  Bkor binzu, tyraa.
Mongo:  That's nice, but-
ancient one:  (begins drawing in the sand)

  At first, the scrawlings of the aged man made little sense, but
gradually, Mongo could see drawings begin to take form from the
lines and shapes.  Although the wizened fellow used only a stick
and his skinny, bony hands to draw, his sand-pictures were of an
amazingly higher quality than one would have expected.

Mongo:  What're you trying to tell me, Baldy?
ancient bald one:  (ignores the dwarf as he continues his finger-
  drawing)  Pthc.
Mongo:  Baldy...that's a good name for you, and I'm gonna use it.
Baldy:  (finishes his drawing for now, and points to it, looking at
  Mongo as if he expects a reaction)  Chthon.

  The old, bald fellow had created a crude representation of the
thing that attacked and swallowed Mongo.  Nearby it in the picture,
though in a distinctly separate area, were several stick-figures
with spears.

Baldy:  (points to these, then at himself, then to the pictures again,
  then to his warrior-guards)  Dbek crah?
Mongo:  (emulates the old man, pointing to the stick-people and then
  to the black-skinned people in the room with him)  Baldy and friends.
Baldy:  Bal-dee.
Mongo:  (points to himself)  Mongo.
Baldy:  (quickly draws a rough depiction of Mongo, placed between the
  dinosaur and the savages, in the sand-picture)  Monn-go.
Mongo:  Yeah, yeah, that's me.
Baldy:  (grins)
Mongo:  What about the other guys, the ones who attacked us?
Baldy:  (doesn't seem to understand)
Mongo:  (wishing that he could better visualize those assailants in
  his head, so that he might draw them)  Aw, hell...

  Suddenly, there was a hue and cry from outside, and fearful shouts
rang out.

Baldy:  (looks alarmed)  Nekra klutho cannab!  (he rushes outside)
Mongo:  Well hell, don't leave me here!  (he charges out after the
  old man)

  The problem was quickly apparent:  at the village's border, which
was a ten-foot high log palisade, a gigantic ape loomed, one savage
in its hand and another in its fanged mouth.  Even as the villagers
watched in terror, some clutching spears in limp, shaking hands, the
gargantuan ape kicked at the wall and knocked a large section of it
into flinders.

giant ape:  RRAAAAAAARGH!
Mongo:  He probably smelled the roasting lizard-meat and came for
Baldy:  (chattering to the others)  Nbogi, kuhlan gath!  Ocra!
Mongo:  Not without me, you don't.  (he wanders forth to face the huge

next:      Mongo shows the ape his mettle...and his metal
ftp: in /pub/access/dpm/rpg/stories/adventurers
  in /pub/users/zac/rpg/adventurers/
mail:       (preferred)
notes:     See "Ransom" - it's pretty good.
  A couple of readers have pointed out to me that no T-Rex was ever
25' tall.  The module said its size was 25' but it didn't occur to
me that they might have meant length, not height.  Oh well.

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