Chapter 12

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          Navero, male human cleric, 2nd level
          Dania, female 1/2-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

Navero was resurrected, but needed time to recover, so the rest of the
party decided this would be a good time to take a break and heal.
This was not to be a leisurely break, however, as most of our money
was gone.  The resurrection had cost nearly all of the party's
combined resources, leaving us with enough to live on for a couple of
months.  We didn't have to wait that long, thankfully - Navero
recovered at a surprisingly good pace.  (The money for Kortul's new
armor did not come out of the party fund; we did not have a party fund
except in the special case of Navero.  We all paid for our own
equipment, so Kortul had to borrow from the other players.  Only
Razuli wanted to charge interest.)

     As poor as we were, giving the townspeople their money back, as
Navero had wished to do, was entirely out of the question.  Navero
still wanted to return something to them, and so was in favor of going
out to get some more money, as he felt rather guilty about getting all
that money spent on him.

Razuli: "Sure, we would have given them back all their money.  We were
     going to, but you had to wander off and get yourself killed."

Navero: "I'm sorry.  You shouldn't have spent so much on me."

Dania: "Forget it.  No problem."

Razuli: "It was your own stupid mistake that got us into this mess.
     Now, kiddy, promise me you won't ever do that again."

Navero: "I promise, upon St. Glajmir.  We will go to get more
     somewhere to pay the townspeople back, won't we?"

Razuli: "Sure.  No problem at all.  I knew you had a larcenous streak
     in you somewhere.  Now lie still, and don't let any more of your
     brain fall out.  You need what you've got."

Dania: "Razuli, can I talk to you outside a minute?"

Razuli: "Sure.  You think she's hot for me, kid?"

Navero: "Uh..."  (They leave, go out into hall.)

Dania: "If you talk to Navero like that again, I'll fry your face

Razuli: "Hey, whatsa matter?  Just a joke."

Dania: "You're a joke, human.  Let's get out of here."
Razuli: (mutters) "Boy, she is a witch today, isn't she?"

     Rourk and Razuli spent many nights in the tavern, Razuli
enriching the place with his meager supply of funds, and Rourk letting
him.  The little cavalier was not above a good ale, but he never had
any in the common room, as he would have had to take his helmet off;
instead, he and Razuli sat and insulted each other for hours on end.
Rourk also stopped by the temple to ask about the Shimmer Mold.

Rourk: "Greetings!  Honored cleric, you have the pleasure of
     addressing Rourk Ravensbane, of the clan Kuirt'yhiasdall.  I wish
     to partake of your knowledge, concerning a substance I have
     lately encountered which may be of potential use to me."

Generic Cleric: "Oh?  And how may I help you?"

Rourk: "What do you know of Shimmer Mold?"

GC: "I know something of it.  It is rare, but not so rare as to make
     it of great value.  Its light will coat nearly anything except
     flesh, living or dead, and cling tightly.  It can also serve as a
     heat insulator, but not so effectively as it does a light source.
     It decays rapidly, in less than a day.  It is also a carcinogen."

Rourk: "Ah.  I had felt that my armor was unusually warm.  Thank you
     for your services, gentle priest, I am eternally grateful."

GC: "20 gp for sage advice.  Payable now."

     Kortul proved quite asocial - he spent his days and nights
prowling the marshes, hunting, foraging and living off the land.
Apparently, he felt the keep smelled very bad, his companions only
slightly less so, and the marshes slightly less than that.  He never
was very friendly.

     While she was in town, Dania went back to her master, so as to
keep up with her studies.  She didn't like him (who would?) but he did
keep a great library, and if you didn't mind the things you had to get
out of the glassware, it wasn't bad.  Usually, she avoided him if
possible, and he seemed content to let her. One day, Dania was washing
up after Master had supped with a guest she had been VERY careful to
avoid (it was the one with 7 forks and 12 knives again) when space and
time screamed, and she found herself in her master's workroom.

Master: "I have work for you."

Dania: "Sure!"  (*Big grin*)

Master: (Faint smile.) "I want you to go out and collect some brains."

Dania: "Brains?"

Master: "Yes.  Hominid will do, for now.  You should be able to find
     some appropriate specimens nearby."
Dania: "Brains?"

Master: "YES.  At least three, from individuals with some variation
     between them.  And no diseased specimens.  Place them in this
     box, and they shall be teleported here."

Dania: "Brains?"

Master: "You have ears, I perceive.  Have you used them recently, or
     are they filled with dish-soap?"

Dania: "You mean, living brains?"

Master: "By the time they got here, I would be quite surprised if they
     were alive.  But they should be reasonably fresh.  Now hop to

Dania: "Uh... go out, and... PROCURE, uh... brains.  Cerebral matter.
     The grey-and-white stuff?"

Master: (pauses.) "If you insist upon not using it, as you seem to be
     doing, there is always your own."

Dania: "RIGHT!  Bye!  I'm going now!  Chop, chop!"  (scampers out.)

Master: "Apprentice?" (sounds slightly peeved.)

Dania: "Huh?  Oh yeah, right."  (Comes back, gets box, scampers out.)

     Dania went wandering down the sunny streets, the utter
possibility of her errand high in her mind.  Where, oh where could one
find a loose brain lying around?  Maybe some calves brains from the
butcher?  No, no, Master would never go for that.  Ummm...  Does this
town have a morgue?  She wandered distractedly about the town, when
whom should she meet, but Razuli.  Razuli seemed quite inebriated, but
was otherwise intact.

Dania: "Raz!  Fancy meeting you here!"

Razuli: "*Hic!*"

Dania: "You drunk already?  Jesus.  What's the occasion?"

Razuli: "Schtoopid K-nigut flied to outdink me.  Me, the Mashter!"

Dania: "Out-dink you? Trust me, no one could do that.  Where's Rourk?"

Razuli: "In dere.  *I WON ALL HIS MONEY!!*  Ha haaa ha hee hee hee..."
     (Lands SPLOT in a horse trough.)

(Dania goes in, finds Rourk in his room, passed out.)

Dania: "Ummm...  No, maybe I'd better not."  (Leaves)
     And so she continued down the city streets, wondering where she
could find a likely candidate.  They abounded - beggars and orphans
and other expendable people of all kinds; but how exactly did one
broach the subject?  "Hi there, I'd like to get to know you better.
Trust me, I'm only interested in your mind."  She didn't dare go back
empty-handed; things were looking grim when a leper was run down by a
merchant's wagon in the street right in front of her.

Merchant: "What is that?  Get rid of it before my family is infected!"

Dania: "Sure!  No problem!  Have a nice day!" (Drags body away.  Finds
     empty alley, hides behind some barrels, takes out knife.)

Dania: "Sorry about this, guy."

     Later, she got a bum who collapsed in the street and hit his head
on a paving stone.  Unfortunately, she got both of them back later,
with a short, terse note.

Note: "Quality matters, apprentice.  These are unacceptable."

Dania: "Shit.  We were going back to the Orc caves tomorrow."

     And so we did.  The party rode through the swamp, walked into the
cave, through the great hall, over the barrier, into the entrance
hall, past the shimmer mold cave, over the meadows, and through the
woods, to grandmother's house we... ahem.  Past the crayfish cave, and
into the Orc Chief's ambush cave.  There were two entrances, one in
the south and one in the west.  All the bodies had vanished.

Navero: "What's that box on top of your pack, Dania?"

Dania: "Never mind, Navero."

Navero: "I don't like it; it's... wrong.  Evil."

Dania: "Nav, trust me, Ok?"

Navero: "Well... ok."

     The western entrance led to a long, narrow passage, terminating
in an exit to the surface.  It was reasonably well hidden with brush,
and quite unnoticeable unless you knew where to look.  The southern
entrance (the one the Orc Chief had come from) led to a small pair of
caves; one had a pile of matted vegetation, several large clubs, and a
box (opened and empty, of course.)  The other cave had a couple of
wooden cages.  Some rusty bits of iron were in a sack on the wall;
this was probably where the Rust Monsters had been kept.  A long
search turned up nothing of any value.  We returned, and got as far as
the Shimmer Mold cave when Rourk stopped us.

Rourk: "Gather some is this fungus extract will you?  I have a plan."

Razuli: "Hoo boy.  Here we go."
Rourk: "Silence in the presence of your betters, mercenary."

Dania: "Want to be painted again?"

Navero: "Here, I have some in this sack.  What is your plan?"

Rourk: "Follow me, and see for yourselves."

     We walked up to the cave with the boiling lava, and Rourk flicked
a drop into the lava.  A small portion of the lava solidified, and
sank.  Apparently satisfied by this, with a flourish Rourk emptied the
sack onto the lave; it formed a narrow, rough bridge across to the

Rourk: "Now do you understand, my fellows?  I realized this from the
     moment I was coated with it.  Now, we may go across easily."

Razuli: "About how strong is the bridge, Rourk?  Wanna walk out and
     test it?"

Arlor: (Toddles out onto bridge.)

Rourk: "I will not have you..." (Plants armored foot on bridge, breaks
     through.) "...attempt to fight anything you might find on the
     other side of that entrance, dwarf.  Scout ahead and come back
     quickly." (Examines foot; it is not too badly burned.)

Arlor: "Um... Ok."  (Walks to other entrance.  He is gone for a short
     time when cracks start to appear in the bridge.)

Navero: "Please hurry, the..."

Arlor: (Appears, staggering) "Duh...  duh... duhhh....  Yeek!!"

Razuli: "Arlor, get your ass over here."

Arlor: "Droi... drou... droggy...  DRAGON!!  BIG!!  RED!!  SMOKY!!"

Dania: "Oh, fuck.  Get back here!"

(Party retreats all helter-skelter over the barrier.)

Kortul: "Tell what you saw."

Arlor: (Quivering slightly.) "Dragon.  Big.  Red."

Rourk: "Was it asleep?"

Arlor: "Don't think so.  It looked at me."

Rourk: "Ah.  Perhaps we had better leave, then."

Kortul: "Yes."
Dania: "Yes!"

Rourk: "We can come back later and kill it."


Rourk: "We have a means of reaching it.  And a heat insulator that
     will render it's feared breath useless.  And when it has gone to
     sleep, what possible threat could it represent?"

Daniel Parsons               "I think he's been getting too much sun."

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