Chapter 15

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The dragon was dead...

(Note: chp = current hit points)
          Navero, male human cleric, 3rd level, chp = -4
          Dania, female 1/2-elf MU, 3rd level, chp = 2
          Rourk Ravensbane, male drow cavalier, 3rd level, chp = 1
          Kortul, male human fighter, 2nd level, chp = -3
          Razuli, male human fighter, 2nd level, chp = -6
          Arlor, male dwarf thief, 2nd level, chp = -1
(We play that you must reach -10 to die; otherwise you are unconscious
and bleeding at 1 hp/round.)

Dania: (stares numbly at dead dragon)

Rourk: (stares numbly at dead dragon)

Dania: (stares numbly at dead dragon)

Rourk: (stares numbly at dead dragon)

Dania: "Rourk?"

Rourk: (stares numbly at dead dragon)

Dania: "Are you alive?"

Rourk: "What?  Oh... yes, I believe so."

Dania: "Is anyone else down there?" (Starts limping forward)

Rourk: "I shall see.  Are you injured, mage?"

Dania: "Yes.  Ow.  Nav was carrying the bandages, wasn't he?"

Rourk: "I believe so.  Check him, he looks hurt."

Dania: "Everybody does.  Ow..."

     Wounds were cleaned and bandaged as quickly as could be managed,
Razuli's shredded torso was tightly bound, and splints made for
Arlor's legs.  Rourk tried to wake Navero for his healing spells, but
Navero was beyond his efforts.  Then Dania and Rourk went to inspect
the dragon and the hoard.

Dania: "Can I have the head?  It's for my studies."

Rourk: "Hmm...  It is a bit too damaged for display.  I suppose that
     it could fall into your share of the booty."

Dania: "Great.  Thanks."  (Gets head, starts cutting out brain.)

Rourk: "What are you doing there?"

Dania: "Dragon parts are valuable.  Scales, organs, all kinds of

Rourk: "Indeed.  But I am one to dissect my dead foe.  It is enough
     that my deeds be recognized."

Dania: "Uh-huh."

Rourk: "I shall inspect the treasure.  I am Dragonslayer; my new
     status demands an improvement in my monetary position."

Dania: "Right."

     The treasure pile was as impressive up close as it had been far
away.  Most of the coinage was silver and copper, but gold was present
in significant quantity.  There were also some interesting items;
swords and rings and necklaces, a staff and a book, and an odd glass
ball, that seemed to have three glowing shapes moving within it.

Rourk: (Inspecting sword Razuli used.) "Mage, come here and look at
     some of these things.  I wish your opinion."

Dania: (Extracts brain.) "Just a minute."

Rourk: "Patience is a virtue of mine.  Finish your task."

Dania: "Yes, Rourk.  I've always admired your restraint."

Rourk: "Of course you have.  Many do."  (Picks up glass ball.)

Dania: (Stuffs brain into box.) "Alright, now... what is that thing?"

Rourk: "I have no idea.  It seems to have three spirits of some kind
     imprisoned within it."

Dania: "Let me see."

Rourk: "Hold.  I have not completed my own examination."

Dania: "Rourk, give it to me.  It's magic, you shouldn't mess with

Rourk: "You think me incapable of understanding magic?  Where I come

Dania: "I don't wanna know about where you come from.  Just give it

Rourk: "No.  I expect an apology from you." (walks off)

Dania: "Rourk, you asshole, that thing might be dangerous!  Give it!"

Rourk: "Why?  Do you think it might be especially valuable?  You have
     given me a great insult, magic-user, and I refuse to speak to you
     until you have apologized for yourself."

Dania: (snarl...) "Alright, I apologize!  Now hand the fucking thing

Rourk: "You seem *somewhat* insincere."

Dania: "Jesus CHRIST, Rourk!  What the fuck do you <censored> want?
     Alright! I apologize, I'm sorry I ever crossed you!  I'm
     <censored> sorry I ever even MET you!  Now gimme the godamned
     glow-ball or I'll sock you!"

Rourk: "Oh, very well then.  Catch!" (Tosses glow ball.)

Dania: "NO, YOU IDIOT..."  (Ball slips out of her bloody hands, hits

     The hollow glass ball virtually exploded into tiny fragments,
each of which faded into a wisp of smoke. The wisps silently collected
into three blobs, which slowly solidified into three warriors, each in
full plate covered with exquisite carving, with great swords at their
sides. They looked majestic, awesome, enough to take your breath away.

Paladin 1: (Looks about) "Right!  Well, then.  Thanks for killing the
     dragon, and all that.  *Harumph!*  Terribly sorry, but we must be
     going now."

Rourk: "Hail, great warriors!  I am Rourk Ravensbane.  You are...?"

Paladin 2: "We are The Three Who Do!  Our great mission is to rid the
     whole wide world of everything evil!"

Dania: "Who Do what?"

Paladin 3: "Uh..."

Paladin 1: "Here now!  Don't confuse him!  It's impolitic!"

Paladin 2: "Look, everyone!  A lady in distress!"

Paladin 3: "WHERE? I want the experience!" (Draws Chainsword.

Paladin 1: "A lady in distress?!  Here now, can't have that!"

Paladin 2: "She's the one over there who looks distressed."

Paladin 1: "How can she be in distress?  Her captor is dead and her
     rescuer stands right there!"

Dania: "Hey!"

Paladin 3: (Still whirling about, looking.  Careless swipe of
     chainsword takes out a rock column.)

Rourk: "I'm afraid there has been an error."

Paladin 1: "We are The Three!  We are the ultimate embodiment of all
     that is essential to Paladinhood!  We do not make errors!  Only
     the evil and the ignorant insult us so!  Do you detect evil on

Paladin 2: "No."

Paladin 1: "Pity."

Paladin 3: (Still looking.  Cuts dragon in two and looks inside.)

Paladin 2: "She's over there."

Paladin 3: "Oh?  Ah!"  (Grabs Dania and charges for the exit.)

Dania: "Put me the fuck down, you <several derogatory terms>."

Paladin 1: "Here now!  She's already been rescued!"

Paladin 3: "Damn!  Hey, look at all those people on the floor, with
     negative hit points..."

Paladin 2: "Sorry.  He gets carried away sometimes."

Dania: (snarls)

Paladin 1: "Right!  Well, then...  Since you were good enough to let
     us out and all that, old chap, perhaps there's something we can
     do, by way of returning the favor, dontcha know."

Rourk: "If you would be so kind.  My companions have been injured in
     the recent battle with this dragon, as you can see."

Paladin 2: "What, all these people?"

Rourk: "Yes.  Do you possess any healing arts?"

Paladin 1: "All of these men for one dragon?"

Rourk: "Well, yes."

Paladin 2: "But it's such a little dragon."

Paladin 3: "Aw, these guys are wimps!  Heck, I once had a character
     that killed 23 Bahumats!"

Paladin 1: "Nothing to brag about, old sport."

Paladin 3: "Well, that was before I got my Nuclear Chainsword +50."
Dania: "Uh, MIGHTY warriors, I am most distressed that my brave
     rescuers are lying in puddles on the floor." (Bats eyelashes.)

Paladin 3: "Do we wanna spend spell points on them?  I mean, they're
     not even in our party."

Paladin 1: "Tut!  Least we can do."

(Flash!  All unconscious characters now have 1 hit point.)

Razuli: "Owwwwww....."

Kortul: "Is it dead?"

Rourk: "Yes, and may I introduce you to The Three Who Do?"

Paladins: (Stand upright and look majestic.)

Navero: "I got soot in my eyes."

Dania: "They aren't very healed."

Paladin 1: "Here, now!  We must conserve our energies for the upcoming
     battle with our great nemesis!"

Rourk: "Who is...?"

Paladin 3: "Alive, but we'll do something about that!"

Paladin 2: "He imprisoned us within the globe!"

Paladin 3: "We never even got the experience for killing Asmodeus that
     last time!"

Razuli: "It's dead!  Yippee!  I killed it!" (Brandishes new sword.)

Paladin 3: "With that?  That's just +1, +4 vs. Reptiles.  Why would
     you want such a wimp sword?  Hah! No wonder you guys got
     thrashed; how long have you been playing, anyway?"

Razuli: "Plus WHAT?  Playing?  What are you talking about?"

Paladin 1: "Your sword's special purpose is the slaying of reptilian

Razuli: "Oh, neat."

Paladin 1: *Harumph!*  "Well, we must go to prepare for the upcoming
     battle!  Good luck to you, brave souls!"

(*POOF!*   They vanish.)

Dania: "Good riddance."
Rourk: "Indeed.  From the looks of all of you, their healing truly was
     the least they could do."

Navero: "Who were they?"

Dania: "The three morons.  Now lets..."


Paladin 1: "Yes, what is it?"

Dania: "Huh?"

Paladin 2: "The Three appear whenever The Three are called!  Do not
     call us again unless we are needed!"  (They look displeased.)

Paladin 3: "Neat, huh?  The DM said we could do that when we hit 50th


Razuli: "Those looked like some very powerful idiots."

Rourk: "I'm afraid I find myself agreeing with you.  This is truly a
     dark day."

Razuli: "Of course you agree with me!  I mean, it's the only sensible
     thing to do.  How much money did we get?"

     We counted the loot; it came to a very large amount.  In
addition, we found three necklaces (none magical), four rings (one
magical), two swords (Razuli's and a two-handed sword, both magical),
the staff and book, and a lot of non-magical gems.  Right then it was
early afternoon; with luck we could make it back to the keep by
nightfall.  Placing the most valuable items in our pockets, we filled
our packs with as much of the most valuable coinage as we could carry,
and left.  Or at least, we tried; the source of that cracking heard
during the dragon battle was the bridge over the lava pit breaking up.

Kortul: "Shit."

Rourk: "This is highly annoying."

Dania: "Ok, guys, what do we do?"

Razuli: "Simple!  We take the lightest person in the group, and throw
     her across with a rope around her waist, then..."

Dania: "Shut up, Raz."

Navero: "I suppose we'll have to climb over.  Unless there's some way
     out from in here."

Kortul: "Doubt it."
Arlor: "Umm...  Can we look?  At least?"

Dania: "Fine.  Let's look."

(Prolonged search.  Prolonged mainly by Arlor.  No entrances found.)

Razuli: "I wonder how the dragon got any food in here?"

Dania: "Who knows.  Well, Arlor, hop to it."

Arlor: "Um...  Did you look on the roof?  Bet it's there, yup."

Dania: "It probably is, but we can't fly.  Now get going."

Rourk: "I would expect this cowardice from a dwarf."

Arlor: "Then YOU go!  I don't wanna!"

Razuli: "Arlor!  If you do it, you can have first choice of magic

Dania: "No!  He'll take the staff, and I should have that!"

Arlor: "I can't use it, ya know."

Dania: "You'll sell it.  It's the most valuable thing.  You know how
     greedy these little hairballs are."

Rourk: "I am inclined to agree.  But the sword is obviously worth far

Arlor: "I don't like that either..."

Kortul: "Stupid.  Priest!  Get rope, iron spikes."

Arlor: "Umm.. I still don't wanna..."

Kortul: "Yes, you do."

Arlor: "Umm..."

Rourk: "You do.  Now go to it!"

Arlor: "Why do *I* gotta climb across!  It's dangerous!"

Dania: "Because..."

Razuli: "Hey, where's Navero?"

Dania: "Oh, no."

     They all ran to the lava pit.  Sure enough, there was Navero,
about halfway across, sliding along the southern wall, on the little
bit of crumbly ledge which was all that was left of the bridge.
Kortul: "Doing pretty good."

Rourk: "I hope he doesn't get himself killed again."

Razuli: "Watch out for that next step, Nav!"

Dania: "Keep going!"

Navero: (Reaches entrance.)

     The treasure, and the party, were ferried over on ropes until all
were on the safe side.  Once there, we got the horses (which were
still waiting for us) and rode back to town with as much speed as our
ruptured bodies could take, arriving just after sunset.  Navero went
up to the temple, and everyone else went down to the tavern, and we
all had a nice long uninterrupted sleep.

Daniel Parsons
          "I hope I never see another dragon again as long as I live."

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