Chapter 36

previous chapter (#35)                  next chapter (#37)

The GM finally got some drinking rules together.  Everybody rolls a
d20 against constitution, with a drinking bonus determined by
constitution, size, and general personality.  Size was a new stat;
those who assigned their characters height and weight read it off the
table for their race; others rolled for it.  Dania was the smallest
person in the party, a Size 6 half-elf (4' 9", 80 lbs.)  Kortul was a
Size 15 human (6' 3", 220 lbs.)  What kind of life you lived also
affected matters - Meth had a bonus much larger than his size and
constitution would dictate, while Navero's was truly pitiful.

Navero, male human cleric, 5th level   (Size 10, 5' 9", Drink = -4)
Dania, female 1/2-elf MU, 4th level    (Size  6, 4' 9", Drink = -1)
Kortul, male human fighter, 5th level  (Size 15, 6' 3", Drink = +3)
Razuli, male human fighter, 5th level  (Size 13, 6' 0", Drink = +2)
Kory, male elf bard, 4th level         (Size 11, 5' 1", Drink = +1)
Topash, male elf druid, 4th level      (Size 10, 5' 0", Drink = +0)
Meth, male ? thief, 3rd level          (Size  9, 5' 7", Drink = +3)

     Topash left the city fairly quickly, as he had no great desire to
be there, and his talents were much needed elsewhere.  The vampire's
reign had done a great deal of damage to the world, even this far
away, and it needed help to repair itself.  Pockets of imbalanced
nature were everywhere; they were isolated now, and small, but could
not be allowed the chance to grow and spread their influence.  This
occupied him for a long time; strangleweed and vampire blossoms,
horribly mutated animals, and other unpleasant things were everywhere.
While he was on a deer path, tracking a pregnant doe, he ran across
someone else.

Person: (Oldish human with bow and arrow.) "Ho."

Topash: "My greetings, most respected elder.  I am Topash Raycin, of
     the brotherhood of the green wood."

Person: "And ahm Hubert.  Ah have a farm over yonder."

Topash: "Your care for the earth has been noted by those on high.  But
     what brings you away from your holdings?  The green is
     endangered, and no place should be left unwatched at this time."

Hubert: "Ahm gettin' dinner.  Move off my path, son."

Topash: "Certainly.  Have mind of the fragility of the worlds bounty,
     and the blessings of the highest ones will be with you."

Hubert: "Yep, yep." (Moves on)

Topash: "Hmmm..."  (follows him silently)

     Hubert moved along the path rather clumsily, Topash passing
without a trace behind him.  Hubert shot a rabbit; Topash left him at
that point and resumed tracking the doe.  He was not a poacher; the
world could not stand any human hunters at this time, and all
necessary steps would have to be taken to keep them out of the world.

     Kortul hated the city.  It stank of people jammed so close
together that they lived off each other like leeches.  The wilderness
wasn't any better; everything normal was there, but it was all wrong
in some way.  The animals were too quiet, the soil too dry, and the
leaves too dark.  It was probably the wizard that hid behind all the
illusions.  It would be better soon, now that he was dead.  Meanwhile,
Kortul decided to stay out of the unnerving wilderness and inside the
city, where it was ugly but he knew what to expect of it.

     It was still early in the afternoon, but Kortul decided to get a
drink in the inn and consider his future.  Things were not going well
at all.  He had not made his name great, or collected mighty tales to
tell his kinsmen when he returned, or gotten the wealth to start a
house and buy a wife.  Just one, he was still young; just not getting
any younger.  Adventuring did not seem to be such a good way to get
wealth; but being in an army was no position for a free man.
Sickening, officers thinking they can order people, and men let them
think that.  No option.

     But why am I here, parading around with those people?  Nerve-
wracking idiots, too loud or cowardly or just stupid.  Or all of that.
Going alone would almost be more sensible, except you need a wizard
and a priest along to take care of things unsuited to the blade.  But
why this wizard, and why THAT priest?!?  Could hardly imagine worse.
Yes, could; no one here steals from anyone else.  *sigh*  Cannot go
home, I am Kortul son of Korgur, of clan Hurilsti, and will not return
defeated!  Will not allow this to wear me down; will survive enemies
AND allies, no matter what.

     As the afternoon wore into evening, other patrons came into the
inn.  They were mostly dull and boring people, ants of the hill.
Kortul sat and watched for a while; no one came near his table, as he
was big, scarred, and obviously in a foul mood.  He eventually stomped
out and went down by the river, to one of the bars there.  He shoved
his way to the bar and ordered ale; no one objected, at least not
after they got a look at him.  He drank it and left, repeating at a
second bar; this time he was rewarded.

     He shoved a small, bald-headed man in strange clothes out of his
way, and the man spun about and fell into a fighting stance.
Strangely, he did not draw a weapon, and appeared unarmed.

Person: "I request an apology of you, filth."

(A space clears in the crowded bar, patrons look in with excitement.)

Kortul: "<obscene gerund deleted>" (throws flagon at person)

Person: "Heeee-Yoga!!" (dents Kortul's helmet with his fist)

Kortul: !  (Punches monk, with gauntleted fist)

(Much sound and fury, signifying nothing.  Eventually, the monk is
laid out and Kortul feels much better.  His armor is badly dented,

City Guards: (Walk in) "Here now, what's all this, then?"

Kortul: "Disagreement.  ALE!!"

Guard: "You look slightly familiar.  Have I arrested you before?"

Kortul: "No.  Saw at Ethilia, with lordling Bentwick."

Guard: "And what would you be doing with his lordship, you?"

Kortul: "Discussing succession."


Guard: "I would not speak of such things, if I were you.  Who was at
     fault here?"

Kortul: "Him."

Guard: "Of course.  Men, get him to jail.  As for you, disturbing the
     peace of our community is a serious offense.  Stop it."

Kortul: (grunt)

     Kory and Razuli found each other by chance, and not wishing to
pass on this golden opportunity to drink each other senseless, retired
into a quiet, respectable tavern and proceeded to give the place

Kory: "Yes, we'd like a table, and tell me, sir, what do you serve

Tavern Master: "We serve beers of all kinds, ale, mead, white wine,
     red wine, purple wine, green wine, whiskey and rum, sirs."

Razuli: "Hows about rum?"

Kory: "A drinking contest with RUM?  We'll kill ourselves!"

Razuli: "You've got a point.  But your hat covers it."

Kory: "Oh, har-de-har.  Now go get us some purple, and lets get ON
     with this!"

Razuli: "Purple haze..."

Kory: (Starts playing Hendrix) "God, I wish Dania were here.  She's so
     much fun to annoy."

Razuli: "Nah, I think she's just fine where she is."

Kory: "And where is that?"

Razuli: "Either howling at the moon or in the temple of Gothard.  BARKEEP!!"

Kory: "Hmmm...  Check this out."

(They look out the window, and see Navero across the street.  He is
being dragged by a frantic middle-aged woman into a house.)

Razuli: "Well, you knew he'd find somebody sooner or later."

Kory: "She has about as much chance with him as she does with me!
     He's probably curing a disease or something pure like that."

Barkeep: "Sirs?"

Razuli: "Two flagons of purple."

Kory: "And make it your best, I must insist!"

Round 1   * Ding! *

Kory: (rolls a 3) "Oh, yuck!  This is not a class establishment at
     all!  I insist we take our business elsewhere!"

Razuli: (rolls a 5) "C'mon, theres some nice-lookin' ladies waitin'
     outside.  Winner gets first pick!"

Kory: "You're on.  In fact, what are you on?"

Razuli: "I swear officer, none of it's mine!  It's Meth's!"

Round 2   * Ding! *  (Drinking is at -2)

Kory: "Aw, fuck you."  (Rolls a 12, barely makes it.)

Razuli: "Bard, just what is your orientation, anyway?" (Rolls a 6.)

Kory: (Pffhthhllough!) "What?  Just what are you implying?"

Razuli: "I was gonna go get the women outside.  Hey, look."

(Navero comes out of the house.  The woman is thanking him profusely.)

Round 3   * Ding! *  (Drinking is at -4)

Kory: "Gee, he's quick.  Young lovers, full of passion, but no staying
     power." (Rolls a 9, makes it.)

Razuli: "And how wou' you know?" (Rolls a 1.)

(One of the painted women outside approaches Navero.)

Whore: "Hi, cutie."

Navero: (Looks around.) "Huh?"

Kory: "Bwa-ha-ha ha!!  Good luck, lady!"

Razuli: "Yer gonna need it!"

Round 4   * Ding! *  (Drinking is at -5)

Kory: "Like gettin' water outa a rock!" (rolls a 4, makes it.)

Razuli: "Or sense outa a bard!!" (rolls a 6, makes it.)

Whore: "Are you looking for a friend, little one?"

Navero: "Uh, I have friends.  Don't you have any friends?"

Whore: "Not tonight.  Could you be a friend for me?"

Navero: "Well, yes!  I want to be a friend to everyone!"

Kory: (Momentarily too hysterical to talk.)

Razuli: "Hey, shuld we go rescue him from her nefariyus clutches?"

Round 5   * Ding! *  (Drinking is at -7)

Kory: "What?!  Schtop THIS?!  Are you outa yer MIND?!" (rolls a 7,
     barely makes it.)

Whore: "Oh, that's nice!  I want to be everyone's friend too."

Razuli: "Oh god, thish is tooo much." (rolls a 7.)

Navero: "Why don't you have any friends here?  Hey, I see some of my
     friends over there!  Would you like to go meet them?  Then we can
     all be friends together!"

Whore: (Blanches a bit) "Them?  Those two laughing in the window?"

Kory: "HI!!  O god, we bedder get ou' there!"

Razuli: "Yea.  Pay da barkeep an' I'll ge' out there."

Kory: "No, yu pay da barkeep!  You startud dis!"

Razuli: "ME!?!  Fuc yu, and yer instermunt!  You go' mor money!"

Kory: "You wer loosing!  I culd see it, wooda had yu under tha table
     in no time flat!"

Razuli: "Quit breathin' on me!"

Navero: "Hello.  Is there a problem?"

Razuli: "Oh, Hi, Nav!!  Nah, no poblms."

Kory: "Hoo wuz that ladee I saw you wit?"

Navero: "Why are you talking so funny?  Have you been DRINKING?!"

Razuli: "Nah.  Were jus...  real happee to see ya, das all."

Navero: "Oh, that's good.  Hey, where did she go?"

Kory: "Who, dear Navero?"

Navero: "Didn't you see her?  She said she wanted to be friends, but
     now she's left.  What happened?"

Razuli: "Uh, kid..."

Navero: (Looks confused.)

Razuli: "Yu tell 'im."

Kory: "Ahm not gonna tell 'im, YOU tell 'im."

Navero: (Looks more confused) "Is something wrong?"

Razuli: "AHM no' gonna tell 'im, YOU tell 'im."

Kory: "Ok.  Nav...  I'll try ta' pu' dis gentle.  She's a diseesed

Navero: (Looks confused, then shocked.  Turns bright crimson.  Turns
     and silently runs out of the tavern.)

Razuli: "Reel gently."

Kory: "Yea, bu' did yu slee his FACE?  Ha ha hA ha HA..."

Barkeep: "Excuse me sirs.  Have you decided which of you will be
     paying for your refreshments?"

Razuli: "Nah, we ain't finish' yet.  BRINGEM ONN!"

Barkeep: "You are finished, sirs.  Nunzio?"

Kory: "Wait, wait, sheesh sum pleeple ar so implatient..." (Forks over

Barkeep: "Thank you, sir.  Goodnight."

     Our sodden comrades-in-arms went staggering down the avenue,
filling the night air with joyous song.  People avoided them, and they
didn't much care.  After knocking over a vendor's cart and pissing on
a noblewoman's silk dress, they were suddenly brought to a halt by a
great flash of light.


Paladin 1: "Here now, here's some of them!"

Razuli: "Where how who aw shit"

Paladin 2: "You are a shame to the cause of good and order, the
     highest elements of the universe!  You have wasted our time and
     energies on a pitiful practitioner of tricks, hardly worthy of
     notice, and so distracted us from our great quests!"

Kory: "Wha?"

Paladin 1: "Do not call us unless it is something worth our efforts!"

Paladin 3: "Yea!  He was a total wimp, and didn't even have any good
     magic items!  We were killing another bunch of Demogorgons when
     you called us into this shithole!"

Razuli: "Look, we dinna mean to, it jus' slipped out, you jus' herd it
     all wrong, and..."

Paladin 1: "WHAT!  You insinuate that we make ERRORS!  Do you detect
     evil on him?"

Paladin 2: "No."

Paladin 1: "Damn!"

Paladin 3: "Anyway, you little wimps better not..."

Paladin 2: "I detect evil on him, though!" (Points out random person.)

Paladin 1: "Hah!" (Cuts random person in the street into tiny little

Kory: (Jaw drops)

Paladin 2: "No, the one on his left."

Paladin 1: "Ah yes, I see!  Sorry!"  (Reduces a second random person
     to a fine red mist.)

Razuli: "Uh, we didn' meen anything, yer studlinessesess!" (Huge grin
     of true desperation.)

Paladin 2: "I detect evil on several people here!  Why, it's a virtual
     nest of bad vibes!  Look!  There, in those government buildings!
     There are evil people in positions of power!"

Paladin 3: "Hey, it's a waste of time.  This is a stupid wimp

Kory: "Look, don' kill everyone!  Thas EVIL!"

Paladin 2: "But killing evil is good!  That is our great mission!"

Razuli: "Uhh..."

Paladin 1: "The town people here either willingly live with evil, and
     thus are evil themselves, or are in ignorance of it, and thus
     must be  punished for their lack of alertness."

Paladin 2: "Something...  MUST... BE... DONE!!!  Besides, as long as
     we're here..."

Kory: "Onlee priestss and palasins can just detec' evl!!!"

Paladin 3: "Hey, we can we kill 'em for not being paladins!  How much
     experience could we get for nuking a city?"

Paladin 2: "But nuclear devices are so tacky."

(Kory & Razuli sneak off.)

Paladin 1: "Silence!  It is not the way!  We must be more selective!"

Paladin 3: "C'mon!  Just nuke it from orbit!  It'll get everything
     real quick and we'll get gobs of experience!"

Paladin 2: "I must say, he has a point.  Just going through by hand
     will be terribly dull."

Paladin 1: "But we must!  We're paladins!"

Paladin 3: "Oh yeah, I forgot why they're so boring..."


Kory: "Say, do you think this would be a good time to leave town?"

Razuli: "Mmmmaybe, maybe.  What do you say we mosey on back to the inn
     and calmly discuss it with the others?"

Kory: "Certainly.  After you, sir."

Razuli: "Thank you."

(Both sprint screaming off into the night.)

Daniel Parsons    "shit shit Shit  SHIT  *SHIT*  *!SHIT!*  *>SHIT!!<*

previous chapter (#35)                  next chapter (#37)