Chapter 8

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          Navero, male human cleric, 2nd level
          Dania, female 1/2-wood elf MU, 2nd level
          Rourk Ravensbane, male drow cavalier, 2nd level
          Kortul, male human fighter, 2nd level
          Razuli, male human fighter, 1st level
          Arlor, male dwarf thief, 1st level

     The rest of the month passed rapidly.  Dania didn't turn into
anything more hideous than usual, and training went relatively well
for the rest of us.   Rested and fit, we decided to trek back to the
cavern and see what was beyond that big barrier that made the slovenly
Orcs put it up.  Razuli accompanied the group, despite Rourk's
assurance that his presence was not necessary, and Arlor came along.
Arlor was not treated very well, I am sad to admit; the humans
regarded him with indifference at best, and both elves very obviously
disliked him.  (In addition to being a dwarf hanging out with elves,
the player was also very quiet, and unused to our playing style, which
involves lots of squabbling and pointless bickering, as you may have

Rourk: "And another thing: you are to address me as 'Sir' at all
     times, unless circumstances demand the more appropriate title."

Arlor: "You mean, uh, 'madam'?"

Rourk: (Draws sword.) "If you insult me again, I shall feed you your

Arlor: "Sorry, sorry.  Um."

Navero: "I don't think that was very nice, Rourk."

Rourk: "YOU try being nice to this hairy little...  But you are
     correct.  I am losing my temper over a nothing.  I apologize for
     disturbing your composure, priest."

Arlor: "Thanks.  Thanks lots."

Dania: "Just be quiet, will you?"

Razuli: "What are you two getting so upset about, anyway?  It's OK,
     Arlor, they really don't mean it."

Arlor: "I think they do, yup."

Razuli: "No!  They just feel that way about anyone shorter than they
     are.  You see, Dania thinks you're gonna look up her robe, and
     Sir Snot-face over there once got beaten up by a rabid Chihuahua,
     and it left him traumatized.  We all love you."

Rourk: "Mercenary, my temper is short enough as it is..."

Razuli: "And that's not the only thing."

Rourk: "You are unworthy of notice.  Begone from my sight."

Dania: "And the shrimp too."

Razuli: "Who's talking about being a shrimp, little wizzerd?"

Navero: "I wish you didn't not like him so much.  It's kind of sad."

Razuli: "Kid, I've spent enough time here to know that those two are
     both idiots.  They are pretty sad.  Ignore 'em, and do what you
     need to."

Navero: "But why are they both being so mean to Arlor?  He hasn't done
     anything to them, or said anything mean.  He hasn't done anything
     at all."

Kortul: "Dragon to the left."

     There was indeed a Dragon in the misty distance.  We couldn't
tell if it was the same one, and frankly didn't want to find out.  At
least, most of us didn't; Rourk had to be told that by the time he
reached it, it would have flown away again.  He contented himself with
calling it a variety of unpleasant names for a while.

Navero: "I wish they wouldn't be so unkind.  Especially Dania; she's a
     very nice person, I don't know why she's behaving like this."

Razuli: "Dania?  NICE?  Kid, you're deluding yourself.  She is better
     built than most elves, but that's not what you mean, is it?"

Navero: "Huh?"

Razuli: "Never mind. (sigh) Where the hell did someone like you come
     from, anyway?"

Navero: "From the Chapel of St. Glajmir of the Glow, under Master
     Luminont.  And it's not good to use that name.  It might attract
     diabolical attentions, the likes of which thy soul would quake to

Razuli: "Right." (chuckles)

Navero: "And you shouldn't say such degrading things about others like
     you do.  'Others will see you as you see them.'  And you
     shouldn't drink of liquorous spirits.  Or fraternize with the
     evil and the undisciplined."

Razuli: "Navero?"

Navero: "And...  uh, yes?"

Razuli: "Shut up.  And do your job.  Ok?"

Navero: "But I must follow my faith."

Razuli: "Fine.  Do that.  But you've been pretty fucking useless so
     far, you know, and shouldn't be giving no sermons."

Navero: "But...  I'm sorry.  But..."

Razuli: "Fine.  Now shut up."

     We reached the cavern in due course, and went in to the great
hall.  As far as we could tell, nothing had been disturbed except for
the food, which had been taken.  The barrier was intact, although the
gummy resin on the stakes had degraded and flaked off in places.  The
barrier was made of large logs and branches, sharpened in places, with
long spikes run through it all, and bound together with rope.
Something the size of a human could scramble over it without much
danger, but anything much larger than that probably wouldn't make it.
The cavern beyond to the east was quite large; there were a few
interesting rock formations, most of them broken off at the base, but
the cave seemed empty and dead.

Rourk: "Priest!  I request of you a blessing before going in to battle
     the creature."

Kortul: "Find creature first.  Don't waste time sitting around now."

Dania: "Yea, as long as we're in here, we should keep moving."

Rourk: "You may explore ahead if you must.  I shall be prepared."

Navero: "Uh, kneel, and take off your helmet."

Rourk: "I have vowed not to show my face to others until I have proven
     myself worthy of it."

Navero: "Oh.  Well, uh...  O Lords of the Correct and Unalterable
     Way... The true shining path of servitude and right... Please do
     look down on this, thy... humble servant, and give me the right
     and the power to instigate thy will.  (Takes Rourk's head between
     his hands) Look down upon me, thy chosen instrument, and let your
     will flow through me into this, our... protector, that he may
     have the courage... and skill... to do thy holy works.

Rourk: "Very good." (Tries to rise, but Navero continues.)

Navero: "Yea, though thy flesh-and-blood servants be weak, O Lords, I
     do ask that you forgive us all, each and every one, for our
     failures, be they of might or of will.  Or both.  Please, O
     Lords, let our small and petty differences be settled among us,
     and may we unite to vanquish those who would move against your

Rourk: "Amen!" (Again tries to rise, but Navero continues.)

Navero: "If one of us do drag the whole down, O Lords, inspire that
     one with thine own strength, that he may better serve the needs
     of all!  Let that one smite down that which divides us!  Let
     petty hatreds and pointless greed be ended! (Shakes Rourk's
     helmet.  Rourk's head rattles around inside.)

Rourk: "Uh, priest..."

Navero: "Please, O Lords!  Forgive us all!  We are weak and blind and
     humble before your eyes!  Let us also cast aside old hates, which
     our own STUPIDITY drives on!  Yea verily, the scars of a thousand
     years can be healed with one act of kindness, if kind thought can
     but enter the tiny, petty minds of those who hold the hate!"

(Everyone is staring at Navero.  Rourk starts to feel uncomfortable.)

Navero: "Let the fear of the FIRES and PAIN of your punishments sit
     with us ALL!  Yea, illuminate us, and show us our follies!
     Though we be but as mortals, BLIND and STUPID, let it be within
     your infinite kindness to give us your wisdom, THAT WE MAY SEE
     OURSELVES!!  And let this discord CEASE!"

Dania: "Navero?"

Navero: "And look DOWN and...   Yes?"

Razuli: "Is your robe too tight or something?"

Rourk: "Perhaps it is." (Quickly jerks away and stands up.) "A good
     blessing.  Truly, a great blessing.  I thank you, priest."

Navero: "Uh... yes.  Uh..."  (Everyone continues to stare.)

Arlor: "Um..."

Navero: "Uh..."

Kortul: "Hope yelling didn't attract monster."

Razuli: "Oh, brother.  That's all we need.  A loudspeaker for a

Kortul: "All priests loud-speakers.  How they become priests."

Rourk: "Indeed.  This one can certainly make a helmet echo."

Razuli: "Of course!  It's easy with such a big hollow space!"

Rourk: (Fume...) "You are beneath contempt."

Dania: "Come on, Rourk, you walked into that one.  Lets go now."

Rourk: "I did not.  I insist on that fact."

Arlor: (giggles)


Arlor: "Nothin'."

     Our brave heroes climbed over and through the barrier and down to
the cavern below.  There, they were met by... absolutely nothing.  No
hungry dragons, no maniacally screaming slime monsters from the planet
Sh'rue'y*ed, not even so much as a rabid Kobold.  The cave was huge
and irregular, about 60 feet across, with entrances in the north-east
and the east sides.  It was plain, empty, and silent.

Dan Parsons            "I hope we meet some more interesting monsters."

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