Chapter #90

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                                +
                              +   +
                            +       +
                          +           +
                        +               +
                      +                   +
                    +                       +
                  +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                    +                       +
                      +                   +
                        +               +
                          +           +
                            +       +
                              +   +
                                +



+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+    The various characters contained in these writings are   +
+  copyright 1992 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...                                     +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   THE PARTY:                                                +
+                                                             +
+   Alindyar      11th level drow elf mage              (N)   +
+      Lyra        7th level female drow elf mage       (N)   +
+   Belphanior     8th/8th/9th level high elf w/m/t    (CN)   +
+   Ged            9th/9th level grey elf priest/mage  (NG)   +
+      Arnold      7th level human warrior             (NG)   +
+   Mongo          9th level dwarf warrior             (CG)   +
+   Peldor        12th level human thief                (N)   +
+   Rillen         9th level human warrior              (N)   +
*   Flint Firelips (guest)   dwarven warrior                  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   Date:   7/20/571 C.Y. (Common Year)                       +
+   Time:   morning                                           +
+   Place:  the Underdark                                     +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   "Hey, nine is a lot of drow."                             +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                         XC.  Salvation





  The party is ready to move once more, after escaping
the anti-magic zone, resting for a couple of days, and
bringing Flint Firelips back from the dead.  To summarize
recent events, they have spent the last four days in a
large, subterranean passageway, one section of the maze
of caverns and tunnels comprising the Underdark.  They
have encountered, fought, and run from monsters both
common and previously unknown.  Though they have gained
a good bit of treasure from their endeavors, the group
has grown weary of the dangers here, such as lava traps
and anti-magic zones.

Mongo:  (fuming)  I hate this place.
Alindyar:  Aye, I concur.  I once sought to escape this
  region, and upon doing so, I swore against returning.
Lyra:  Yet, here we are...
Belphanior:  Hey, _I_ like it here.  The loot we have
  found has been good...and the magical items...
Ged:  Bah.  Both Boccob and myself shall be most angry
  if we find another anti-magic zone.
Peldor:  (sharpening the new sword that no one has yet
  noticed him having)  Ho-hum.
Rillen:  Bah.  Enough talk.  Let us be on our way.

  The group resumed their journey, walking along the big
tunnel, which was illuminated by the eerie blue light of
the fungi on the walls.  After five minutes or so, they
spotted a large, murky puddle of fluid ahead.

Peldor:  What the...?
Ged:  It's blocking the entire passage.  Perhaps I shall
  evaporate it with a fiery spell of doom.
Belphanior:  Whatever it is, it's not water.  Water isn't
  black.
Mongo:  (walks forward to investigate)

  Suddenly, the pile of thick fluid welled up, oozing into
a gigantic shape in front of the adventurers.  The vaguely
humanoid form was fat and featureless, rather like a large
baby.

Mongo:  Yaar!  (hurls his hammer at the thing)  Take that!
thing:  (unaffected by the blow - and the weapon sticks in
  its syrupy mass)
Mongo:  Hey!
Belphanior:  (charges the thing, and slashes a mighty blow
  at it)  Huh?  (his sword is held fast by the creature)
Peldor:  Hey, that thing looks like it's made out of tar.
Ged:  Boccob's bloody bones!  A tar baby!
Rillen:  A sticky situation, this.
Mongo:  (stamping up and down)  Dammit!  It took my hammer!
  (begins looking for one of his other weapons)
Belphanior:  (ducks the clumsy blow of the tar baby)  Blast
  it, someone!
Ged:  Yea.  (points his wand at the thing)  Everybody, get
  out of the way!
Belphanior:  (he and Mongo scatter)
Ged:  Now, you ebon infant...Axui!
tar baby:  (spontaneously combusts)
Ged:  Hah!
Mongo:  You can say that again.
Ged:  Okay, hah!
Rillen:  Look, the baby still approaches.
tar baby:  (its blazing form stumbles toward the party)
Ged:  It cannot be!
Peldor:  (hefts his meteorite, and uses his ring to send
  the rock whizzing toward the creature)  So!
tar baby:  (belted in the head by the meteorite, pauses
  for a moment)
Alindyar:  (thinking about preparing an appropriate spell)
tar baby:  (falls to the ground, and melts into a flaming
  puddle)
Ged:  Ah, victory!
Belphanior:  (produces a wand)
Peldor:  (regains his meteorite, after all the tar on it
  has burned off)  That showed him.
Arnold:  Taaaa baby.
Belphanior:  (points his wand at the flaming puddle and
  speaks some command word)

  The elf's wand belched forth a cone of white foam, and
the stuff soon covered the tar baby's remains, dousing
the flames.  An unusual stench filled the air.

Ged:  Hey, why didn't you just let it burn?
Belphanior:  Aw, come on.  It's dead.  Besides...(recovers
  his longsword)...it was just a baby.
Lyra:  Albeit a lethal one.
Mongo:  Yeah.  No argument from me.  (recovers his hammer)
  Hmm.  Good thing this hammer was forged by the dwarves.
  Otherwise it might have gotten melted.
Alindyar:  Behold, there in the corner.  Treasure!

  Indeed, there was a large sack off to one side.  The
group quickly investigated, and found some treasure:  a
great number of golden coins, an iron rod, a scroll which
only Ged could read, and a thin book, perhaps a spellbook.
This loot was appropriated, and the party made ready to
move on, noting with some fascination that none of its
number had been injured in this battle.
  However, there was no relenting.  Within a minute of
leaving the tar baby's vicinity, the group beheld a huge
oblong shape, rolling rather unevenly toward them.

Rillen:  What in the hell is that?
Peldor:  By the gods...it's a huge _jellybean_!
Ged:  What nonsense...Boccob.  It is!  (begins spellcasting)
Arnold:  Bean?

  The gigantic thing, some 30' in breadth and perhaps 20'
in height, rolled incessantly toward the party, who saw fit
to scatter.

Ged:  Nothing so stupid shall menace one of Boccob's loyal
  servants!  (he casts a Lightning Bolt directly at the
  thing)

  There was a terrific noise, and the jellybean was knocked
back about twenty feet, a smoking crater etched in its pale
surface.  Then, it began to roll once more, much more slowly
this time...

Ged:  Boccob!
Peldor:  We're gonna need more than him to beat this thing.
  (becomes invisible...without touching his sword, though
  nobody notices)  I'll backstab it when it rolls by.
Belphanior:  Me too.  (since the bean seems fixed on Ged,
  who is standing in the center of the passage, he simply
  ducks to one side, and unsheathes his sword)  I'll cut
  that thing into little tiny bits.
Rillen:  (looks at his staff hesitantly)  I do not think
  this is the right weapon to fight the bean.
Alindyar:  I am amazed at the utter stupidity of this
  situation.  A jellybean?!?
Lyra:  It would seem so.  Maybe you should use a fireball.
  (they both begin spellcasting)
Mongo:  Hmph.  (hurls his hammer at the thing, and the
  weapon buries itself inside the pale white mass)  Oh
  hell!  Not again!
Flint Firelips:  (readies his axe, intent on meeting the
  bean head-on, beside Ged and Arnold)
Arnold:  Don't worry, I'll chob it up for you.
Ged:  Whatever.  (begins casting his next spell)

jellybean:  (rolls onward; the crushing of Ged and those
  near him is imminent)
Ged:  Everyone, behind me!  (puts up a domed wall of force)

  The rolling white mass collided with the magical wall
with great force.  There was a sickening sound as the big
jellybean hit the barrier and ricocheted directly upward.

Belphanior:  (looks up)  Holy shit!  (the jellybean hits
  the ceiling of the huge passage and rebounds, falling)
  Gangway!

  The gigantic jellybean fell from above, hitting the
floor with a sickening <thud>, exploding and spraying
white, smelly syrup everywhere.  All was silent...

Rillen:  (pops up from a puddle of jellybean guts)  Ptui!
  What is this thing?
Peldor:  (stands up, covered in gunk)  Hmm.  It sort of
  tastes like...coconut.  Yum.  (wipes some gunk out of
  his ears)
Ged:  (he, Arnold, and Flint Firelips are safe and dry
  inside the wall of force)  Ha, ha.  Haaaa!
Mongo:  (swims out of a mass of the stuff)  Where's my
  hammer?  Where's my friggin' hammer?!?

  After some time, those who were splattered with the
"guts" were cleaned up, and Mongo found his hammer.  A
large, grey ovoid leaned against a wall about a hundred
feet down the tunnel, noted by Peldor's ever-observant
eye.

Mongo:  What the hell's this?!?  (he storms toward the
  6' high object)
Ged:  Hey, wait...you don't know what's in that thing!
Mongo:  Bah.  (begins cursing loudly as he lifts the
  egg-thing)  Fuckin' eggs and beans!  (he hurls it into
  the wall, and it shatters, sending treasure everywhere)
  Hey, wow.
Peldor:  All right!
Belphanior:  Good job.
Mongo:  Hmm.

  Among the items released from the egg-shell were a
silver morningstar, a silver jug, a sphere of amber, a
jar of jellybeans, an iron goblet, a moldy old loaf of
bread, and some copper pieces.  The party collected the
loot, and made ready to move onward.  By now it was noon,
and a lunch break was had.  During this time, Ged spent
several minutes communing with Boccob, seeking to learn
when some exit from this tunnel would be found.  He only
divined that a great battle was ahead.  Also, Ged and
Alindyar debated whether or not a teleport would work to
escape this region (the drow was convinced that such a
spell would not work here.)  After lunch, everyone packed
their gear, and the march began anew.  Perhaps half an
hour later, a nearby presence was detected...

Belphanior:  Souls...I detect several souls.  A large
  group.  (casts Stoneskin upon himself)
Peldor:  Huh?  I can't see a damned thing up ahead.
Rillen:  Maybe they are above, or behind...or below.
Ged:  We had best prepare for the worst.
Lyra:  Interesting statement.
Ged:  ...yea, it was.  Hmm.  Maybe I should cast Haste
  on everyone.
Belphanior:  Ahead...that's where they are.  Look!  (he
  points to several very shadowy forms in the dim area
  ahead)
Mongo:  (hefts his hammer)
Peldor:  Uh...don't look now, but I think they're drow
  elves.  (squints)  Yep, that's it, all right.  Drow!
Alindyar:  Indeed?  Ged, now would be a...strategic time
  to cast Haste.
Ged:  I couldn't agree more.  (begins spellcasting)
Belphanior:  (readies himself)  I spy, uh, nine of them.
Peldor:  Nine?  (becomes invisible)
Ged:  (Hastes the party)  Boccob aids you all.
Rillen:  (observes his blurred movements with interest)
  How...speedy.
Mongo:  What do they want, these drow?
Alindyar:  Who can know?  But I would advise that we be
  ready for any trickery.  The drow - most of them - are
  not known for their good graces.
Peldor:  Hey, look.  They've spotted us.
Ged:  Of course they have.
Lyra:  They probably spotted us a long time ago...
Belphanior:  (yells to the drow, who are now perhaps a
  hundred feet distant)  Greetings!  (turns to the party
  and grins, obviously impressed with his own diplomatic
  finesse)
drow:  (they begin gesturing and muttering to each other
  excitedly)
Arnold:  Oh, shit.
Alindyar:  I think I can deduce their next step.  (begins
  spellcasting)

  Suddenly, the entire party was cloaked in darkness!  The
sounds of spellcasting could be heard nearby, as the drow
prepared to press their attack.

Rillen:  I can see nothing.
Mongo:  Damn!
Alindyar:  Hold.  I am prepared to erase this blackness,
  but since these foes do not know this, I would suggest
  that everyone prepare to attack, when the light doth
  re-appear.
Ged:  Yea.  Hear, hear.  (prepares his wand)
Mongo:  Just get rid of the darkness.  I'll handle the
  rest.
Alindyar:  Very well.  (casts Dispel Magic, negating the
  darkness and revealing nine drow, most of them about
  thirty feet away)  Behold!
drow A (a female) :  Iblith!  Sarn!  Sarn!
Rillen:  What is she saying?
Lyra:  She curses, and warns the others.  (whirls, and
  casts a Lightning Bolt into the midst of the drow)
Ged:  Hey!  Boccob was pre-empted!  (points his wand in
  the drow's general direction)  NDREK!  (a wall of flame
  appears, and moves toward the drow relentlessly even as
  several of them cast their own spells)
Belphanior:  Nice one-two punch.  (dashes to one side, his
  sword held high)
Mongo:  (leaps to one side clumsily as a bolt of acid hits
  him in the chest, sizzling as it eats his armor)  Yagh!
drow A : (waves her hand, and a dozen large spiders appear
  and scuttle toward the party)
drow B : (her arms ignite in blasts of black flame, which
  burn the clothes off of her arms, but don't seem to hurt
  her)  Ogglin!  (she hurls a ball of black fire at Rillen)
Rillen:  (hit by the eldritch flames, he is seared)  Aargh!
Ged:  (watches his flame wall advance upon the drow)

  All of the above events happened simultaneously (and also
rather spectacularly, it might be added.)  The lightning
bolt and flame wall sizzled as they encountered the magic-
resistant drow auras; Mongo and Rillen yelled in agony as
they were burned by magical effects; the spiders ran about
wildly, some being consumed by Ged's moving wall of flame.
When the smoke, acid, and ozone cleared, the two groups,
both damaged somewhat, squared off against each other.  The
whole scene





             A
         B       C
                                  key
        F  G   H  I                 A....F drow P/M
                                    B....F drow P
          D     E        *          C....F drow M
                   *                D....M drow W
              *      *              E....M drow W
                                    F....F drow P
Mongo    Belphanior   Rillen        G....F drow P
                                    H....F drow M
      Arnold      Flint             I....F drow M
                                    *    giant spiders
  Ged       Lyra                    (Peldor = invisible)
                  Alindyar



Mongo:  Hey, look, none of the dark elves got killed by
  your spells.
Belphanior:  Too bad, isn't it?
Ged:  Boccob.
drow A :  (begins spellcasting)
drow B :  (begins spellcasting)
drow C :  (brandishes a wand)
Alindyar:  (begins spellcasting)  There is no time for
  delay - we must be efficient here!
Rillen:  (moving lightning-fast, he uses his staff to
  vault over the spiders, and attacks drow E)
Peldor:  (invisible somewhere, he dashes about silently)
drow D :  (whips out a bow and nocks arrows)
drow E :  (defends himself against Rillen, wielding a
  longsword)
Belphanior:  (leaps into action, attacking the spider
  nearest him)
Ged:  (begins spellcasting)
Lyra:  (begins spellcasting)
drow F :  (holds up a red rod with three 8' tentacles
  and strides toward Mongo)
drow G :  (holds up a similar rod, a yellow one, and
  joins her companion in assaulting the dwarf)
Arnold:  (moves to intercept drow G)  Hey, no fair to
  gang up on Mondo!
Mongo:  (stomps toward drow F)  What the hell is that
  stupid-looking thing, you crazy drow?!?
Flint Firelips:  (raises his axe and charges a spider)
drow H :  (holds up a black wand)
drow I :  (holds up a pale yellow wand)

drow A :  (casts a spherical wall of force around Ged,
  sealing him off from the world)  Brorn, brorn.  (she
  cackles in glee)
Ged:  Hey!  Aaa!  (pounds on the magical barrier, to no
  avail)  You fu-  (realizes that his spellcasting is
  wasted at this point, and begins cursing)
drow B :  (casts a Flame Strike upon Mongo)  Xun!
Mongo:  (singed a bit)  Hah!  Stupid bitch!  Good thing
  I'm wearing a ring of fire resistance!  (hurls his
  hammer at drow B, scoring a hit)  Take that!
drow B :  Aie!  (she stumbles with the force of the
  dwarf's blow)
drow C :  (waving a strange wand, she mutters some words
  of command, and a small gray blob shoots out of the
  wand toward Mongo)
Mongo:  Yah!  (tries to dodge as he catches his hammer;
  the glob of stuff hits his feet and pins them to the
  ground)  Huh?
drow C :  Ultrinnan!
Mongo:  Shit.  (tries to walk away, but can't - he is
  held fast...fortunately, he was in a stable stance and
  isn't really in danger of falling down)  Fuck!  Fuck
  this!  (hurls his hammer again, beaning drow C this
  time)
drow C :  Urgh!  (recoils)
Alindyar:  (casts a Web upon drow C, H, and I)  How does
  that grab you?
drow C :  (held fast, she curses)  Igglith!
drow H :  (held fast, tries to begin spellcasting but
  can't)  Malla ogglin.
drow I :  (held somewhat, points her wand at the webs
  holding her, and a ball of acid begins dissolving the
  webs)  Heh.
Rillen:  (pummels drow E relentlessly with his staff)
  Put that sword away, fool, for the staff is a far
  better weapon.  See?  (whacks the drow again)
drow E :  Usstan tlu alur.  (speaks a command word, and
  his sword flashes with unnatural speed as he slashes at
  Rillen)
drow D :  (fires arrows at Mongo and Belphanior, at an
  alarming rate)  Fah!
Belphanior:  (slices a spider)  Shit, this is no fun.  I
  want to fight a _drow_!
Ged:  (fumes in his sphere of force, thinking of a spell
  to get him out)
Lyra:  (casts Magic Missile, blasting drow A, B, F, and G
  with one missile each)
drow A :  Ogglin faern!  Darthiir...!
Rillen:  (continues to trade lightning-fast blows with
  drow E, in a blurred dance of death)
drow I :  (frees herself from the webs, though the acid
  has eaten part of her boots, and works to free the
  other two drow)
Peldor:  (invisible, he backstabs drow B with an extremely
  well-placed blow, and becomes visible)  Take that!
drow B :  Gak!  (falls, her spine severed by the blow)
drow A :  Sarn!  Velkyn!
Peldor:  Whatever you say, babe.  (he closes with the very
  much infuriated drow A)
drow A :  (pulls out a large rod, with seven tentacles -
  purple, red, yellow, amber, black, jade, and violet)
Peldor:  Oh shit.
drow F :  (whips Mongo with her red-tentacled rod)  Elgg!
Mongo:  (hit by two of the flailing things)  Argh!  You'll
  pay for that!  Just 'cause I'm stuck in this spot doesn't
  mean I can't fight!  (hurls his hammer at drow F, twice
  in rapid succession, breaking some bones)
drow F :  Argh.  (shudders in pain)  Elgg!  (prepares to
  attack again)
drow G :  (whips Arnold with her own, yellow tentacled rod)
Arnold:  (hit by all three tentacles, he is magically dazed
  from his wounds)  Aaaaaa.  (stumbles as he tries to fight
  the drow near him)
drow G :  (chuckles, and prepares to flail Arnold again)
Belphanior:  (makes mincemeat out of his spider, and moves
  toward drow D)
Arnold:  Aaaaa.  (even dazed, he swings his sword in a
  deadly arc, slaying drow G with two powerful blows)  Aaa.
  (stumbles about, still dazed)
drow G :  (falls, her head cloven down to the sternum)
Ged:  (stuck inside the sphere of force, quietly notes
  Arnold's mightiness)
Flint Firelips:  (quietly, yet efficiently dispatches two
  spiders with his deadly axe and hasted speed)  Damn drow
  scum!





                 A
          Peldor         C
                        H
      F                     I
    Mongo    Arnold

                    D      E
             Belphanior   Rillen
                                     *
                                   Flint
                  Lyra
         Ged            Alindyar



(Ged in sphere/wall of force; drow C, H in webs)



Peldor:  (slashes at drow A, but misses...barely)
drow A :  Elgg!  (she whips the thief with her tentacle
  rod)  Elgg, wael!
Peldor:  (hit by _five_ of the seven tentacles on the
  rod, suffers strange magical effects)  Argh!  I can't
  see!  I can't hear!  I can't FEEL anything!  (falls
  to the floor from both the severity of his wounds and
  the aforementioned effects, and begins wailing)  Aie!
  Aiiiiiiiieeeeeeee!
drow A :  (moves in to finish Peldor)  Wael...
drow I :  (taunts Arnold while waving her tentacled rod)
Arnold:  (still dazed, but also furious, charges drow I
  while screaming in rage)  YaaaaaaAAAAAAA!
drow I :  Whaiee..!  (dodges one blow, but gets cut by
  another, interrupting her efforts to free her webbed
  companions, drow C and H)
drow C :  (curses at drow I for becoming distracted)
Ged:  Aha!  (begins spellcasting)
drow I :  (fires an acid glob at Arnold, point-blank)
Arnold:  AAAAARGH!  (dances in pain)
drow I :  (returns to her efforts to free her companions
  from the web)
Arnold:  (ignores the pain, and slashes drow I, slaying
  her with a heroic effort)  Argh.  (falls to the floor,
  the acid still at work upon him and his armor)
drow F :  (whips Mongo, this time hitting with all three
  tentacles, and shrieks in triumph)
Mongo:  Wha-  YARGH!  (his left arm suddenly loses all
  its strength)  What the HELL did you do to me?!?
drow F :  (cackles in glee)  Jivvin, jivvin!
Mongo:  Damn it!  (he hefts his hammer in his right
  hand, and hurls it right at the grinning drow)  Go
  fuck yourself, scum!
drow F :  Nau!  (she falls, her head crushed by the blow)
Mongo:  Stupid @%#$&*!  (begins grumbling and looking for
  another target, since his feet are stuck to the floor
  and he can't move about)  Huh?!?  (spots drow A about to
  finish Peldor off)  Hey!  (hurls his hammer at the female
  drow, knocking her over)  Stay away from Peldor, bitch!
Peldor:  (wallows ungratefully on the floor, in pain and
  confusion)
drow D :  (tosses his bow away frantically, since he is
  now being menaced by Belphanior)
Belphanior:  (stabs the drow)  Take that!  (stabs him once
  more)  And that!
drow D :  (weakly tries to parry the attacks)
Belphanior:  (presses his offensive)
Rillen:  (bashes drow E again, breaking more bones)  What
  speed!  It has been a long time since I have fought one
  who rivaled my attacks!
drow E :  (bloody and bruised, like Rillen, he slashes at
  the warrior again, drawing another line of blood as the
  adventurer ducks)
Rillen:  Whew!  (feels the fresh wound on his neck)  That
  was too close.  Talk about sticking your neck out...
giant spider:  (bites at Flint Firelips, but can't punch
  through the dwarf's armor)  Hsss!
Flint Firelips:  (demolishes the spider with several blows
  of his axe)  Bah!  (heads for drow C and H, trapped as
  they are in the webs nearby)
drow C :  Nau!  (hastily begins trying to cast a spell to
  get out of the webs)
Ged:  (casts Teleportation, and blinks out of the wall
  of force, though nobody really notices)
Lyra:  (casts a Wall of Ice around drow A, blocking her
  off from the combat)  That ought to slow her down...
Peldor:  (continues to writhe on the ground)
Arnold:  (likewise)
Flint Firelips:  (produces a torch, and sets fire to the
  webs holding drow C and H)  So much for you two.
drow C :  (as the webs around her go up in flames, she
  casts a Cone of Cold in a final act of attrition; the
  magical bolt hits Flint square in the chest and goes
  on to blast Rillen, the unfortunate drow E, Alindyar,
  and Lyra)  Pfugth!  (ignites, and begins to scream, as
  does the other drow in the webs)
Flint Firelips:  Argh!  (falls, comatose and frozen,
  perhaps even dead)
drow E :  (his magic resistance saves him from the cone
  of cold, but he staggers under its sheer physical force)
Rillen:  (blasted fully by the spell, he falls)
Alindyar:  What-?  (falls as well, buried in a pile of ice
  and snow)
Lyra:  (likewise)
drow E :  (looks around, pleased, and silently bows to
  the blazing drow C as he moves to decapitate Rillen)
Mongo:  (still rooted to the spot, he has become very
  angry)  Son of a f-  (hurls his hammer at the unmanly
  drow E, but misses)  Damn!
drow E :  (momentarily distracted)
Belphanior:  (slays drow D with a herculean blow)  Ah!
  (absorbs the warrior's life energy through his sword)
  Aaaaaah.
Mongo:  (catches his hammer, then hurls it once more,
  at drow E)  Keep your fuckin' hands off of him!
drow E :  (hit by the weapon, his head is smeared away,
  and he falls)  Urg...
Mongo:  Friggin' drow.  (catches his hammer, and looks
  around at the decimated remains of both parties)
  Shit...(everyone has fallen, except for himself, and
  the drow within the ice wall, and...)

< There was an incredible explosion, as the ice wall
  shattered from some mighty force... >

drow A :  (levitates into the air, looking extremely
  pissed)  Xun dos elgg!  (she points at Belphanior
  and speaks a word of power)
Belphanior:  (instantly falls to the ground)
drow A :  Xun dos ELGG!!!
Ged:  (standing behind the drow leader)  Not if _I_
  can help it!
drow A :  (whirls about, and begins spellcasting
  anew)


Ged:  (casting his own spell)  Boccob has spoken to
  me, foul one!  You must be defeated!
drow A :  Fah!  (casts Feeblemind upon Ged)  Bspa!
Ged:  Uh...(due to his priestly skills, and his high
  Wisdom, he barely resists the powerful spell)  You
  vile miscreant!  It shall take more than THAT to
  get rid of me!
drow A :  (brandishes her rod, the tentacles waving
  like evil snakes)  Ssss...
Ged:  (casts Evard's Black Tentacles upon the drow)
drow A :  Yie!  (eleven black, writhing tentacles
  surround her)
Ged:  You shall be defeated, foul one!  Boccob has
  spoken!
drow A :  (begins laughing, as the tentacles begin
  dissolving)  BWA HA HA!
Ged:  Shit!  (whips out his magical morningstar and
  faces off against the drow and her tentacle rod)
  Spells are useless against this scum.  I'll have
  to resort to physical violence.
drow A :  (stalks Ged, her rod's waving tentacles
  flailing about)  Usstan ultrin!
Mongo:  (chooses this moment to hurl his hammer at
  the drow matron)  Ahh, shaddup!
drow A :  ARGH!  (hit in the arm by the weapon)
Ged:  Yea Mongo!
Mongo:  (catches his hammer, and gets a few more
  shots off in the heat of the monent, hitting with
  one more while missing with two)  Yah!

drow A :  (immediately whips Mongo with her rod,
  scoring six hits with the seven tentacles and
  opening terrible bloody wounds on the dwarf's
  form)  Heh heh.
Mongo:  YEARRRGH!  (he is suddenly robbed of his
  sight, smell, and touch, and sinks to his knees
  from the agony of his wounds)
drow A :  (gloats silently, and turns to face Ged)
Ged:  (wallops the matron in the head with his
  morningstar, knocking her from her feet)  That's
  for Mongo!
drow A :  (recoils, stunned)
Ged:  And this is for everyone else!  And for Boccob!
  (smashes his foe with his weapon)
drow A :  (finally dies, cursing Ged loudly as she
  does so)  Glk...
Ged:  Whew!  Boccob!  (turns to survey the carnage)
  Holy shit...

  The elven mage-priest wandered around purposefully,
casting healing spells as needed.  Peldor and Arnold
were alive, though badly wounded.  The same could be
said for Flint and Rillen.  In fact, the same could
be said for everyone, though the two drow were quite
unconscious from the cold, and Mongo and Peldor were
at least temporarily deprived of some of their senses.
Ged used wine to dissolve the gunk holding Mongo's
feet, and the dwarf fell to the ground in relief.
Belphanior was merely stunned, and got up after a short
time.  Ged kept his fire wand handy, in case anything
or anyone tried to overwhelm the wounded party, but
nobody showed up to test his power.  In short order,
Peldor and Mongo regained their senses, and at this
point, Mongo used his magical rod of healing to bring
the two drow back to consciousness, and to heal some
of the others who were more seriously wounded (Mongo
insisted that his own wounds were not that serious,
although it was obvious that he was lying.)  Shortly,
the party was in such a state of readiness that they
searched the drow bodies, or what was left of them.
Many magical items were recovered...


6 x drow chain mail armor
5 x drow shields
2 x drow longswords
2 x drow maces
9 x drow daggers
9 x drow cloaks (two slightly charred)
9 x pairs of drow boots (two slightly charred)
yellow lesser tentacle rod
red lesser tentacle rod
amber greater tentacle rod
master tentacle rod
four identical black rings
wand of viscid globs
finely crafted longbow
bracers
wand
wand of acidic spheres
small sack
ring



  Needless to say, much debate ensued...

Alindyar:  Hmm.  The weapons and armor, 'tis sure, cannot
  withstand the radiations of your sun, above.
Mongo:  Why's that?
Alindyar:  The peculiar properties of the Underdark...
Belphanior:  Bah.  What about the other stuff?
Lyra:  We cannot know yet.  Anything of underdark make
  will most likely become useless outside of here.
Ged:  So?  So we take everything up and see what works
  and what doesn't.  Simple enough.
Rillen:  (examining the longbow)  Hmm.  This does not
  look like it was made by elves.
Alindyar:  (wanders over and takes a look at the bow)
  Indeed.  'Tis is no drow weapon, this.
Belphanior:  What about the tentacle rods?  Those seem
  like they'd come in handy.
Alindyar:  Such rods are innately evil.  Only priests of
  evil may make successful use of them.
Belphanior:  Darn.
Lyra:  These four black rings are control rings, used
  by such priests to wield the rods properly.
Ged:  So...we destroy the stuff we can't use, yes?
Mongo:  Sounds good to me.
Alindyar:  Hmm.
Belphanior:  What a waste.
Alindyar:  The items may prove difficult to destroy.
Lyra:  They're usually incredibly resistant to harm.
Mongo:  (ambles away and begins piling drow bodies up)
  Hey, I say just toss the shit on top of the carcasses
  and torch the whole thing.
Ged:  Yea.  I'll use my wand.

  Ten minutes later, Ged ignited the whole pile of drow
bodies and the arms, armor, and items deemed useless or
unusable for the party.  As everything burned, Rillen
noticed that the smoke wasn't filling the tunnel as it
should - it was escaping somewhere.

Rillen:  Maybe there is a way to the surface nearby.
Ged:  Maybe they have a lair nearby.  Their spellbooks
  have to be around here somewhere.
Alindyar:  Spellbooks?
Belphanior:  Yes, drow spellbooks would sure be nice to
  have.
Mongo:  Bah!  Who cares for such mummery and crap?  I
  say we go onward.  Only then can we find the way out.

  The adventurers realized that they needed to rest for
a few days or so, and began looking for appropriate areas
to rest in.  Since no side passages presented themselves,
the group forged on.  Five minutes later, they came upon
a large open area, an intersection of passages similar to
theirs.  There were seven such passages in all; all of
these were about the same size.  In the center of this
intersection was a huge, twenty-foot tall column of skulls
and bones.  Into each of the seven tunnels pointed one
large skeletal hand of the column-thing; crude signs were
hung from the seven bony arms.  As the signs were in a
language that few in the party could read, Alindyar and
Lyra read them aloud to the whole group.

Alindyar:  Hmm.  The way from which we just came says,
  "Nine Hells, 85 leagues"...fascinating.
Lyra:  Next to that is, "Skeva Ra, City of Vampyres,
  5 leagues"
Rillen:  Sounds like a place for suckers.
Alindyar:  Mayhaps.  The next sign reads, "Vrek Waxen,
  Liche Lorde, 1 league-"
Mongo:  At least we know he's close.
Lyra:  - and after that is, "Skull Gate, Flayer Town,
  7 leagues"
Ged:  Great.
Flint Firelips:  Mind flayers?!?  I'll _smash_ them!
Alindyar:  Next is, "Abaethaggar, 103 leagues"...
Belphanior:  Never heard of it.  Let's go that way.
Lyra:  Nay.  That is a drow city.
Peldor:  Drow _city_?
Alindyar:  Aye.  Perhaps ten thousand dark elves.
Mongo:  That's too many.  What else is there?
Lyra:  Hmm.  "Wraith Lords Three" is next.
Peldor:  No distance given?
Lyra:  What, do you think that everyone who makes
  these signposts knows all?
Peldor:  Uh...
Ged:  Wraith lords, eh?  I wonder if I could turn them?
Peldor:  Let's not be overconfident, here.
Alindyar:  Last among the seven ways is this:  "He who
  watches, 13 leagues"  Methinks it refers to a beholder.
Rillen:  A what?
Alindyar:  A huge floating sphere with numerous eyes,
  all of which bear deadly spell-like powers.
Rillen:  Oh.  Sounds like something to see.
Ged:  Well...which way did those drow come from?
Alindyar:  Hmm.  I do not think that any drow scouting
  party would be found 103 leagues from their city.
Lyra:  Maybe they were wandering far from home.
Peldor:  Yeah.  Or maybe they got here through some
  other passage that we didn't find.
Belphanior:  I say we go back to the ol' bonfire and
  check for hidden exits.
Ged:  I agree.  Even if we don't find an exit, we might
  find a hidden side passage that we could use to rest
  in.
Peldor:  Yeah, time to lick our wounds.
Alindyar:  I concur.  'Twould be wise.
Ged:  Yea.  None of these other options sound like
  ones we want to pursue...
Alindyar:  Verily.

  The party walked back to the blazing fire, where the
smoke continued to vanish, seemingly into the walls of
the colossal tunnel.

Belphanior:  Hmm.  Where to look first?
Mongo:  Who knows?  We'll just have to do the best we
  can.
Peldor:  (looks up suddenly, and heads for a section of
  the tunnel wall)
Ged:  Hey, where's he going?
Belphanior:  Maybe he found something.  Come on.  (goes
  over to the area where Peldor is tapping the wall with
  his sword)
Peldor:  (prods and pokes a section of wall for a bit,
  then slides it open)  Look, everybody, I've found a
  secret tunnel.
Mongo:  What's that?
Ged:  Ah, so you have.

  The group entered the narrow secret passage, and soon
found that it led upward, albeit steeply.  A draft of fresh
air could be felt from somewhere ahead.  After about ten
minutes of squeezing through the tunnel, light was visible
from up ahead.

Ged:  Sunlight!
Alindyar:  (covers his eyes)  Ow.  So it is, so it is...
Rillen:  The open sky!

  The group emerged from a small crevice within a rugged
mountain face.  The crack in the mountain was well-hidden
from view by some scrubby bushes.  The smell of the open
air and the mountainside flora was a great relief to all
of the adventurers.

Ged:  Let's move away from this accursed cave and find a
  road or trail.
Rillen:  Good idea.
Belphanior:  (decides that the party wouldn't want to go
  back down and challenge the city of vampires, or the
  beholder, or even the lich lord)  Ah, what the hell?
  Let's get out of here.
Mongo:  Yeah!  (he leads the party in doing so)

  The group headed down the mountain slope for hours,
until a trail was found.  At this point, it was late
afternoon, so they found a campsite near the trail and
made camp.  Rest, relaxation, and food were enjoyed by
all, and eventually the magical items were piled up in
the center of camp.  Ged and Alindyar used Identify
spells to help give the party an idea of the loot they
were all about to split.  Even though many of the party
members were sorely wounded, they wanted to split the
items at this very moment.



THE MAGIC ITEM PICKS (items listed in approximate order
  of their discovery) :

non-Drow items
  potion of extra-healing -  Flint
  potion of extra-healing -  Lyra
  potion of longevity     -  Arnold
  rod                     -  Rillen
  scroll of priest spells -  Ged
  thin mage spellbook     -  Lyra
  silver morningstar      -  Ged
  jug of anti-poison      -  Mongo
  amber sphere w/bee      -  Mongo
Drow items
  wand of viscid globs    -  Alindyar
  finely crafted longbow  -  Rillen
  bracers                 -  Flint
  wand of darkness        -  Peldor
  wand of acidic spheres  -  Belphanior
  small sack of holding   -  Alindyar
  ring                    -  Arnold



  Arnold immediately used his new potion to reverse the
evil aging that he had suffered in a recent adventure.
The others drooled over their new treasures, especially
the drow treasures.  Belphanior, who had secreted one
drow cloak and pair of boots just to see if the myths
were true, was disappointed to watch the drow garments
begin to unravel and decay already.
  The party camped for the night after setting up some
traps and deciding upon a watch order.  It was decided
that they would rest here for two days, to regain their
full strength and faculties.





next time :  the long trek to civilization

ftp site  :  ccosun.caltech.edu, in pub/adnd/fluff/adventurers

notes     :  Okay.  You demanded it, so here it is...the
           Adventurers' magic item list!  (drum roll...)



DISCLAIMER#1 :  The following list is for reference purposes
  only.  Any attempt to use it to question the stories will
  probably be ignored   :)

DISCLAIMER#2 :  This was indeed a high-magic campaign.



The Adventurers' magical inventories as of episode #90:
  * denotes unique & very powerful items or pseudo-artifacts


Alindyar, 11th level drow mage
 [20 Intelligence]
 [cursed to always have -3 on saves vs petrification]
  cloak of protection +4
  staff of striking
  ring of human influence
  wand of viscous globs
  bag of holding
  horn of fog

Lyra, 7th level female drow mage
  cloak of protection +3
  blanket of warmth
  thin mage spellbook
  2 potions of extra-healing

Belphanior, 8th/8th/9th level high elf warrior/mage/thief
 [has permanent intimidation effect & red eyes due to potion]
  Blackrazor *
  longsword +1 (luck blade, one wish left)
  quiver of Elhonna
  13 arrows +2
  bracers ac4
  staff of power
  wand of acidic spheres
  well of many worlds
  boots & cloak of elvenkind
  folding boat
  cube of force
  dice of chaos
  ring of wizardry
  periapt of proof vs. poison
  wand of foam
  Flask of curses
  potion of undead control
  potion of skeleton control
  potion of super-heroism
  potion of speed
  potion of poison

Ged, 9th/9th level grey elf priest/mage of Boccob
 [19 Wisdom]
  morningstar +4 (Lightbringer) *
  morningstar +3
  sling +2, of seeking
  chain mail +2
  wand of colorless fire *
  wand of conjuration
  libram of silver magic
  ring of shooting stars
  ring of spell turning
  torus/talisman of pure good
  belt vs. normal missiles
  Boccob's Blessed Book
  manual of golems (stone)
  figurines (golden lions)
  harmonica of gravity
  scroll of priest spells

Arnold, 7th level human barbarian warrior
 [hair & skin green due to recent breathing of strange gas]
  2-handed sword +2
  plate mail +3
  boots of ?
  ring of anti-venom
  potion of water breathing

Mongo Thunderhead, 9th level dwarven warrior
 [19 Constitution]
  hammer +4, dwarven thrower
  longsword +3
  crossbow of speed
  11 bolts +2
  plate mail +3
  shield +1
  girdle of fire giant strength
  helm of life
  ring of fire resistance (actually Fire Elemental Control)
  ring of regeneration
  portable hole
  chime of opening
  necklace of adaption
  amber bee of feather falling
  bowl of boiling
  cadeucus *
  hell cube *
  cornucopia of endless food *
  jug of extra-healing x5
  jug of anti-poison x3

Peldor, 12th level human thief
 [has permanent persuasiveness effect due to potion]
 [also has 18 Chr due to deck of many things card]
  longsword *
  short sword +1 (of Lyons)
  two daggers +3 of throwing
  leather armor +2
  cloak +2
  ring of telekinesis
  ring vs. insects
  eyes of the eagle
  luckstone
  rope of climbing
  hat of disguise
  boots of striding and springing
  adamantine meteorite
  pouch of accessibility
  everburning green torch
  bell of healing
  shield (traded to Belphanior later)
  FEATHERS * <see footnote below!>
  wand of darkness
  potion of longevity
  potion of extra-healing
  potion of flying
  potion of treasure finding
  potion of feather falling

Rillen, 9th level human monk/warrior
   quarterstaff +3
   longbow +3, of doubling
   longbow +2
   red & black sling stones
   bracers ac3
   robes of protection +4
   boots of speed
   gloves of missile snaring
   ring of djinni summoning
   ring of feather falling
   bronze horn of Valhalla
   wand of illumination
   Laertes' ointment
   rod of inertia
   potion of stone giant strength



feather footnote
  The ten tail feathers of the "jub-jub bird" were intended
to be split amongst the party, as each conferred some useful
power/ability upon its owner.  However, only Peldor thought
to take them, thus he got all ten.  Each of the feathers has
some magical power or property; after some owner has had a
particular feather for nine days straight, the item vanishes
from physical existence.  The owner will find a small tattoo
on his person, a feather tattoo of the color that his or her
feather was.  Henceforth, the powers of the feather are his
or hers to command.  And they are:

white.........feather falling
silver........invisibility (as the ring)
yellow........regeneration (as the ring)
orange........+3 on saves
red...........fire resistance (as the ring)
green.........+3 protection
gold..........wish (1/year)
blue..........cold resistance
purple........haste (3/day)
black.........poison resistance

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





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