Chapter 52

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          Navero, male human cleric, 5th level
          Dania, female 1/2-elf MU, 4th level
          Kortul, male human fighter, 5th level
          Kory, male elf bard, 4th level
          Topash, male elf druid, 4th level
          Serga, male half-ogre fighter, 3rd level
          Lao Tsu, male human monk, 3rd level

Dania made a few more noises about getting her staff back, but she was
soundly shouted down by most of the assembled party.  Kortul kept his
pack on and did not leave his back to her as we went out to track down
our horses.  Dania's horse had slipped its hobbles, and had to be
chased down, but after that was done, we took off down the road back
to Lorin's house.
     Snow was falling lightly, and the road had not been cleared at
all, so our progress was a little slow.  By nightfall, we'd made it
back to clearing where we'd seen the Will o' the Wisps earlier.  We
posted a double watch, and Dania and Topash sat down to count out the
loot we'd gotten away from the temple.

Topash: "Hundred and five... hundred and ten... 523 platinum.  And how
     much gold was there?"

Dania: "Uh... 450.  Not bad seven ways.  Wish we had time for the rest
     of it.  That place was pretty rich."

Navero: "Temples of evil often are.  They exploit the land and honest
     tradesmen around them, and only agree to call off their god if
     they donate money and other things to their temples.  But that
     only makes the god grow stronger, and they must give up more and
     more to keep his blight off of their land."

Dania: "Yeah, yeah.  Ain't religion terrible.  What about the magic

Topash: "Well, I am quite happy with this scimitar.  Serga?"

Serga: "This sword is nice.  It has a real sharp edge."

Topash: "Good.  The scrolls are already in the hands of the people who
     need them.  After we make a positive identification on the
     potions, we'll divide those up too."

Dania: "That's not what should be in the hands of the ones who need

Kory: (Groans from lookout post in tree) "Dania, are you gonna start
     that up again?"

Lao Tsu: "Rittre medium, why do you need this thing?"

Dania: "I don't need it.  It just makes life easier, and it's MINE!"

Lao Tsu: "Then it shourd be bloken in two, and frowers wirr grow."

Dania: "WHAT!?!"

Kortul: (Glares at Lao from his watch post.) "Shut up."

Lao Tsu: (Smiles enigmatically, and sits down under a tree.)

Dania: (Grumbles and glares at Lao.)

Navero: "Um... maybe it's time we went to sleep.  And everyone should
     be careful about the swamp lights from last time."

Dania: (Whispers to Topash) "That is the stupidest idea I've ever
     heard.  Are you sure this guy is reliable?"

Topash: (Whispers) "Not at all.  He is certainly eccentric, but I
     believe I understand some of his reasoning.  Simple practicality
     does not seem very important to him."

Dania: "No shit.  Do you think he'll want a share of the money?"

Topash: "I can't imagine that he wouldn't.  Money is not important,
     but it is good to have some, and I don't think he has any."

Dania: "If he doesn't, fine with me."

     When we got back to Lorin's house, no one was home.  We did see a
tramp sitting out in the road, and asked him if he'd seen him.

Topash: "Excuse me, my friend..."

Kortul: (Grabs tramp by collar.) "Where's the guy who lives here?"

Topash: (sigh.)

Tramp: "Hey, hey, watch tha material!  Father Lorin is consecratin' da
     fields for da winter!"

Kortul: (Drops tramp.) "He's priest?"

Topash: "I would guess that he is, if he's consecrating the fields.
     You haven't any idea when he'll be back?  We would very much like
     to speak to him."

Tramp: "Nah.  He been runnin' around like crazy since yesterday, doin'
     da fields and blessin' da cows, ever since they ran out o' da
     Temple o' Gutrun."

Kory: "Oh, has he?  I wonder why that could be?"

Topash: "Yes, what exactly is his relationship with the, ah, temple of

Tramp: "You stupid?" (looks at Kortul) "Eh, what I mean is, dey hate
     each other's guts!  Lorin's in charge o' here, but when da
     Gutrunners moved in, dey started layin' coises and blights
     ever'where dey go!  Now dey gone, he's cleanin' up!"

Kory: (Starts laughing.) "In more ways than one!"

Navero: "Excuse me, but have you ever heard of the Orb of Spheres?"

Tramp: "Huh?"

Topash: "Never mind.  It appears that we have been misguided."

Kory: (Is still laughing.)

Kortul: (Fumes, fingers sword.)

Dania: "But the Orb of Spheres has to be around here somewhere?"

Kory: "And what... snrmmmf! And what is your reasoning on that?"

Dania: "We never told him we were looking for it.  How the hell would
     Lorin know to mention it to us?"

Navero: "Well, we did talk about it in front of his son, and those
     other boys."

Dania: " ... "

Topash: (Grins, in spite of himself.) "Oh, dear.  I think we have been
     more than misguided."

Kory: "I think we just got royally suckered!"

Dania: (Fumes...)

Navero: "Well, I'm glad we got them to abandon their temple.  I wish
     Lorin hadn't lied to us."

Topash: "I suspect he didn't think we'd do it out of the goodness in
     out hearts.  Oh, my..."

Serga: (To Lao) "Do you know what just happened?"

Lao Tsu: "I berieve oul new fliends have discoveled that they have
     been foored into doing a good deed, but I may be mistaken."

Topash: "Oh, dear... (shakes head)  Well, what should we do now?"

Dania: "Let's track him down and kill him."

Kortul: (Grunts approvingly.)

Kory: "Oh, sure!  Somebody makes some farmers happy, and you want to
     go and kill him because you got upset!"

Dania: "Since when did you give a shit about farmers?!"

Navero: "I think we should resume our quest.  Lorin's behavior was not
     very honest, but I don't think it will be necessary to reprimand
     him for them.  We should go looking for the Orb of Spheres

Kortul: "Don't want to reprimand him."

Kory: "No, you want to help him swallow his own leg.  But I, for one,
     am impressed enough with that 'dumb farmer' act of his to let
     this one go.  He sure got me!  I'll just come back later and pull
     something on him my own way, that's all."

Dania: "But he... and he... he had the fucking GALL to... aw, shit...
     let's just get out of here."

Kortul: "No."

Topash: "No?"

Kortul: "Honor must be avenged."

Topash: "Why don't we try the 'voting' thing again.  All those who
     want to go feed Lorin his eyeballs, raise your right hand."
     (Kortul raises his hand.)

Topash: "All opposed?" (Topash, Dania, Kory, Navero, and Lao raises
     their hands.) "Motion is carried.  Let's get out of here."

Kortul: (FUME... then rides off to catch up with the rest of the party
     as they leave.)

Tramp: (Smiles, and dispels the disguise he was wearing.) "Ok,
     everybody can come out now."

Lorin's family: (Looks out of the cellar.) "You okay, paw?"

Lorin: "Sure, those idjits never knew what hit 'em.  Heh!  Gotta get
     up pretty early in the morning to catch me!"

Daniel Parsons

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