Chapter 23

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Us vs. the DM's pet iguana.
		Dania, female 1/2-elf MU, 4th level
		Kortul, male human fighter, 3rd level
		Razuli, male human fighter, 3rd level
		Arlor, male dwarf thief, 3rd level
		Kory, male elf bard, 2nd level
		Topash, male elf druid, 3rd level

The Truly Awesome Reptilian Being gazed upon us with a contemptuous eye.
The other eye was full of righteous rage; together, they were more than enough
to tell us that here stood one of the Truly Buff Dudes of the world, against
whom we stood as much chance as Kory had of performing at the Met.  We tried
to scatter; the Truly Awesome Reptilian Being cut us off with great flashes
of lightning, and the earth trembled slightly.

Truly Awesome Reptilian Being: "Hold!  The offense is not sufficient for
     my Lords to end your pitiful lives at this time.  You must give

Dania: "Sure!  How much do you want?" (*big* grin!)

Razuli: "No goddamn way!!  FUCK OFF, ASSHOLE!  THAT MONEY'S MINE!"
     (Attacks Truly Awesome Reptilian Being.)

TARB: (Swings hammer once, bashes Razuli into next week.) "We are not
     interested in the gold you offer.  A service is in order!"

Kory: "A service?  No problem!  I do weddings and funerals.  Topash, start
     the ceremonies, and will somebody useless dig a hole for Razuli here?"

Razuli: "Fuuuccc..."

TARB: "Your service... is to obtain the Orb of Spheres!  This you will
     deliver to our temple, where we shall take it."

Arlor: "Why didn't I go home when I could?  I don't like you, yup I sure
     don't, you're mean, and (FLASH of lightning) really, um, um, help."

TARB: "I sense reluctance.  Is this so!?"

Dania: "Oh, uh, thank you for your great generosity, uh, snakely one!
     We'll get right on it!  Immediately!  I can see only one problem, oh
     mighty, uh... person of long teeth and scales of emeralds!"

Kortul: (sneers)

TARB: "You have a request, then?  Perhaps you wish to know its location?
     I have not time to waste seeking it. That is for lesser beings, who may
     with clear conscience spend their tiny lives in the search."

Dania: "No, no, it's about a companion of ours who we miss very much and
     who is an important, necessary part of our group but he's dead you know
     and this whole quest service thing would go a heck of a lot easier and
     more quickly if he were around can you godly-type beings do anything
     about that maybe?"

TARB: "Time is not an issue.  I am sure most of you will be dead by the
     time this minor item is to be used."

Kory: "Ok, how about this, bright eyes: without him, we simply cannot get
     it. It would just be TOO much for us.  Us little warmblooded things are
     just too bloody INCOMPETENT for such a task."

TARB: "That is true.  How, then, will having one more of you running about
     making messes help your assigned task?"

Razuli: "Uhhhh...."

Topash: (Sigh.) "Well... Navero was a member of the sect who worships The
     Lords of the Correct and Unalterable Way.  Does that mean anything to

TARB: "Hmmm... (mutters)  We do still owe them for that last... (notices
     party) Enough!  Here, and then be about your task! (*POOF* A whole and
     complete Navero appears in cloud of smoke, accompanied by the smell of
     roses and summer afternoons.  The Truly Awesome Reptilian Being

Topash: "Hello, Navero.  How was the afterlife?"

Navero: "Urk..." (Throws up)

Razuli: "Medicccc......"

Dania: "Oh, shut up.  He just got back.  Quit being greedy."

Kory: "Now, now.  He can't help himself."

Razuli: "I can't!  I'm a greedy, selfish bastard!  It's my hobby!"

Kortul: "Someone give him a robe."

Dania: "What?  Oh!  Yea, here." (Throws robe about Navero.)

Navero: "I don't feel good.  What happened?"

Kory: "Oh, you died.  Nothing serious."

	Navero was weak as a kitten, but he was there, and seemed to have no memory
of his painful death.  We gave him his pack and he got on his spare robes and
spent some time praying to the Lords to thank them for their infinite mercy in
giving him another try.  The rest of the party returned to the treasure pile to
resume the sorting.

	The pile contained a decent amount on coin, and a few magic items thrown
in. There was a suit of elven chain (only slightly torn), a mace, a two-handed
sword, a long sword, a ring, and some potions.  There were also some gems and
things.  Most of the hoard, however, was worthless to us; glass and pottery and
colored rocks and other things, so the hoard wasn't worth nearly as much as it
had first looked to be.  This upset some party members greatly; others took the
news better.

Razuli: "Idiot dragons.  Doesn't somebody have a healing potion?  Wait a
     minute, the magic-user does!  Give it!"

Dania: "Sorry, must have slipped my mind.  We really better save it for

Razuli: "Aw, come on!  This is a <censored> emergency!  We're all in this
     together, right, kids?  C'mon!"

Navero: (Stumbles over, Cures Light Wounds on Razuli)

Razuli: "C'mon, issat all?  After all the godamn shit I went through for
     you guys, this is the thanks I get."

The magic items, when identified:
	Elven chain mail, +1
	Mace, +1
	Longsword, +2, Luck Blade
	Two-handed Sun Sword
	Ring of Levitation
	Potion of Slipperiness
	Potion of Extra-healing
	Scroll - Protection from Fire Elementals

Kortul: "Great sword here."

Kory: "And I want that longsword."

Razuli: "Hey, I want it too, bard.  Keep your grimy paws off."

Kory: "Do not refer to my fine-tuned fingers in that manner, mercenary.
     Why, I can play many an instrument with skill that would leave you in awe.
     My own is out of tune only due to the prevailing dampness.  Besides, you
     already have a magic sword."

Razuli: "Leave my sex life out of it, bard.  I'll trade ya."

Kory: "Hell with YOU.  I like this sword!"

Dania: "Nav, take this."

Navero: "But I already have a mace.  With the symbol of the Order on it!"

Topash: "This one is better.  Trust us."

Dania: "Take the chain mail too."

Razuli: "Hey, I wanted that!  What is this!?"

Arlor: "Me too."

Dania: "Nav, here.  Put the armor on."

Navero: "Uh...  how does it open here?"

Razuli: "Waitaminute.  You don't unlace that.  Haven't you worn armor

Navero: "Uh... no."

Dania: "WHAT?  Nav, you idiot!"

Razuli: "Well, he doesn't wear armor.  I'll take it."

Arlor: "Um..."

Dania: "Give it!  Nav, (throws it in his face) get into that."

Navero: "But how can I preach peaceful relations among all peoples when I
     am going about prepared for war?"

Topash: (Sigh.) "Preparation is one thing.  But prevention is also
     admirable, is it not?"

Navero: "Yes.  'The one who sees what the Lords place before him is great
     in the sight of all men.'  But I... uh... it seems so... pessimistic,
     to walk about all armed."

Kory: "Little priest: we all are getting fed up with you dying.  It is
     highly inconsiderate of you."

Razuli: "Yeah!  Here you are, dying all the time.  Don't you ever think
     about what you put us through every time you go?  Sheesh, the pain and
     heartache and weeping just about kills me."

Navero: "I'm sorry, but I must follow...  I'm sorry I keep getting killed.
     I don't mean to, it just happens."

Dania: "Yeah, Nav.  Kortul!  Could you show him how to use a mace?"

Kortul: (sigh...) "Better." (stomps off with Navero.)

Dania: "Fine.  I want the ring."

(Continue dividing.  Dania gets ring, Navero the sliperiness potion, and Razuli
the extra-healing and scroll.  Arlor's player was not there to fight for his
share of goodies.)

Kortul: (To Navero) "Padding onto shoulders.  Must find them first.
     Right. Buckle that.  And that.  Now mace: hold by this end.  Good.  Swing.
     Put legs into it; try again.  (splash!)  Not that much."

Kory: "Oh, dear little Dania: have you looked at the chits yet?"

Dania: "No.  I figure we better just go back.  I can't dispel the spell,
     and I really don't wanna fight the city guards.  Besides, we'll have to
     find a sage in the city who can locate this Orb of Spheres thing."

Kory: "You think so?  I don't think so!  Have you noticed?"

Dania: "Noticed what?"

Kory: "I'm not wearing it anymore!  They just come off!  They're not
     magical at all!  Ha ha, that was a great joke!  I'd almost admire it
     if they all weren't such putzes."

(Other party members get rid of chits, look vaguely embarrassed.)

Kory: "So, my dear: in exchange for so cleverly getting us out of that
     little trap, I will be expecting a spontaneous display of affection from
     you at some point in the future.  Hopefully, late at night, by a dark
     reflective pool under the moonlight..."

Dania: "Where I will slit your noisy throat and toss you to the mud
     beasts. Kory, leave me ALONE!  You are obnoxious and arrogant and fucking

Kory: "Ah, you're singing my song.  How did a nice girl like you ever get
     to be such a rhymes-with-witch?"

Topash: "Here now, children.  Differences of opinion are fine, but I think
     this has gone far enough.  We should try and get back to that Troll cave
     by nightfall.  With this much dead meat lying around, many things will
     come here in the night, and we don't want to be here to meet them all.
     Let's get our things together and go."

	We made it back to the Troll cave by sunset.  That night, the swamp seemed
to come alive with night cries and rushing forms in the bushes, and ripples
traveling through the river.  Strange acrid smells and the sounds of animals
fighting wafted down the river.  Nothing came near the cave, with easier
pickings elsewhere; when morning came red to the east the swamp was quiet

Daniel Parsons       "Betcha 50gp a dragon's guarding this Orb thing."

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