Chapter 55

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          Navero, male human cleric, 6th level
          Dania, female 1/2-elf MU, 5th level
          Kortul, male human fighter, 6th level
          Kory, male elf bard, 5th level
          Topash, male elf druid, 5th level
          Serga, male half-ogre fighter, 4th level
          Lao Tsu, male human monk, 4th level

A horse trader was at the inn, so Kortul was able to get another
horse.  But not for a very good price, as any merchant worth a damn
knows what to do with a customer who has no other options.  The horse
wasn't even a very good one, certainly not worth what Kortul paid.
Topash, in an attempt to be helpful, suggested to Kortul that he not
go charging into danger so quickly in the future, it would put both
himself and his mount at less risk.  Kortul seemed to be in an even
worse temper than usual, but Topash got Navero to heal his nose.
     The only other discovery of note was that Serga, when sleeping on
a flat surface instead of propped up against a rock or tree, snored.
Loudly.  VERY loudly.  Loud enough that the innkeeper, who was unhappy
to have him under his roof anyway, threatened to throw us all out into
the snow unless something were done to silence him immediately.  We
tried turning him over, but Kortul wouldn't help, so that was no good.
We tried levering him up to prop up his back with pillows, but we
could only get a few under him, and he just squashed them flat when he
came back down again.  His ability to remain asleep through all this
was also a matter for some speculation.  Dania suggested casting a
Silence spell, but Navero told her it would only last a few minutes.

Dania: "Shit.  He's going like a freight train."

DM: Dania, they don't have freight trains in this universe.

Dania: Oh, yeah.

Topash: Well, we'll wait until someone invents one, and then we can
     say it sounds like Serga.

Navero: "The innkeeper has every right to complain; I can feel the
     floorboards vibrating.  We have to do something."

Kory: "Kortul, what do they do with snoring people in your family?"

Kortul: "Nothing.  Everyone snores."

Navero: "Even the women?"

Kory: "I'd probably guess ESPECIALLY the women.  Good thing no one in
     MY family snores.  Of course, that leaves me at a loss what to do
     in this particular conundrum."

Topash: "Dania, why don't you wizards invent spells to keep people
     from snoring, instead of yet another version of Instant Hideous

Dania: "And why haven't the Druids invented it, hmmm?"

Topash: "Dania, I'm amazed; your reply didn't have any profanity in
     it.  Are you well?"

Dania: "Pash, shut the fuck up and get your goddamn pointy ears out of
     my life.  Feel better?"

Lao Tsu: "Honolabre tlee pelson, I berieve you may be mistaken.  The
     rittre medium does not arways use plofane ranguage."

Kory: "Of course not.  Why, I can remember a time three months ago
     when Dania was able to express herself in a manner suitable for
     children or Navero, and I'm sure the rest of you can recall other
     such incidents.  But that's not important right now.  What are we
     going to do about this ogre here?  It's getting on my nerves."

Serga: (rolls about a bit.) "mmmrgmf... mraagh...  mmaaaa, I wannnna
     ride the horsie..."

Kory: "Not to mention a little embarrassing."

Topash: "Maybe we should try rolling him onto his side again."

Kory: "No thank you, one hernia is enough for one night."

Lao Tsu: "The sorution to this plobrem is simpre: an ointment, made
     flom the glease of a suckring hedgehog boired ovel a file of yew
     balk, the reast head-feathels of a gleat Ki-lin, and a prentifur
     handfur of junipel bellies, lubbed into the fifth chakla whire
     the sun is high."

Kory: "Me and my hernia thank you.  But what about snoring?"

Lao Tsu: "No, that is for snoling."

Kory: (stares in disbelief.) "You have GOT to be kidding.  What do
     they do for hernias where you come from?  Kill a Balrog to get
     the smallest toenail off its left foot, boil it in an Elixir of
     Longevity while stirring widdershins with a rod made of pure
     diamond, then sprinkle with lark's vomit?"

Lao Tsu: "What solt of nonsense is that?  You have no knowredge of
     medicine, and no appleciation of my realning!  Begone flom my
     sight, ol I sharr thlow you down the stails!"

Topash: "Yeah.  What you were describing would probably be good for

Serga: (Looks up) "What's all the noise?"

Party: "Shut up and go to sleep!"

Serga: "Ok."

Navero: "Uh..."

Dania: "Will you clowns be serious?  I don't care how you can cure
     snoring with hedgehog grease and Basilisk feathers -"

Lao Tsu: "Ki-lin!  That is vely impoltant, because -"

Dania: "SHUT UP!  We don't have any Basilisk or Ki-rin or hedgehogs or
     Balrogs or Dragon's teeth or any of that shit.  We need to go
     with what we have here and now."

Navero: "Uh..."

Kortul: (Listens to Serga start snoring again, rolls his eyes, and

Topash: "Perhaps you'd suggest a lightning bolt up his nose?"

Kory: "Oh, that'd take care of it real good, but I don't think I'd
     wanna be around when she does it.  She might miss and hit me."

Dania: "I don't miss.  I hit what I aim for, you just keep getting in
     the way."

Navero: "Uh..."

Kory: "I do not!"

Dania: "You do too!"

Topash: "Children..."

Kory: "She started it!"

Dania: "I did not!"

Navero: "Uh..."

Dania: "What?!"

Navero: "There was a thing we used to do with Father Embroxius, back
     at the monastery.  He snored very loudly too, though he was never
     as loud as Serga.  We pinched his nose until he woke up and
     turned over, then he'd go back to sleep and not snore anymore."

Topash: (Grins slightly.) "You'd just pinch his nose."

Navero: "Yes."

Kory: (Guffaws.) "And he'd wake up... roll over... and go back to
     sleep without any more snoring."

Navero: "Yes.  Exactly.  Father Embroxius snored a lot.  We always
     called him Father Esophagus."

Dania: "Bleach.  Ok, pinch the nose, wait 'till he wakes up." (Pinches
     Serga's nose.)

Serga. (Snrks.  Twitches.  Snrrfs.  Rolls about, making Dania worry
     about her footing.  Finally blows Dania's hand away with a
     titanic SNORT! and rolls over onto his side.)

Kory: "Thar she blows!"

Topash: "Thar he blows, rather.  Help Dania back up."

Dania: "Never mind." (Looks at her hand) "Oh, gross." (Hurriedly goes
     downstairs to the washbasin.)

Serga: (Resumes sleeping quietly.)

Navero: "There.  They can't throw us out now."

Topash: "And another problem is solved through informed debate and a
     willingness to take the bull by the horns.  Or the ogre by the
     nose.  Congratulations.  We'll work up to slaying dragons in no

Kory: "Been there, done that."

Topash: "Oh yes, we have.  I'd forgotten already."

Kory: "Just don't forget never to use the downstairs washbasin."

     It snowed all night.  When it finished, it was three feet deep in
places.  Everyone trapped at the inn was thoroughly fed up with the
place, so there was a general exit that started even before dawn.  Or
maybe they were just fed up with us; I'm afraid we were probably the
least mannered of all the groups there, on average.  We got up late;
by the time we were ready to go, a path had been trampled out to the
main road, which was covered with only a moderate depth of snow.

Topash: "What a lovely day, seeing the earth at rest.  Did you sleep
     well, Serga?"

Serga: "Mostly, but I had a really weird dream.  A bunch of gremlins
     were sitting around me arguing about Basalisk toenails and Balrog
     vomit, and then a little mean one tried to steal my nose."

(Short pause.)

Topash: "Yes, it is lovely seeing the earth at its peaceful, natural
     rest.  Yes indeed, very lovely.  So: anyone have any suggestions
     as to which way we should go on our quest?"

Kortul: "This way."

Topash: "Kortul, I thought we went over this before we went to the
     inn.  We should have a better plan than just riding in a random
     direction from city to city, hoping we get lucky."

Dania: "I thought that's the way all the great quests went."

Kory: "And who says this is such a great quest?  I think it sucks."

Navero: "You know, none of the people we asked at the inn had heard
     anything about the Orb.  Maybe if we were to head down to the sea
     shore, we'd meet people coming from far and distant lands, and we
     could ask them."

Kory: "You know, that sounds suspiciously like a good idea.  But it's
     been so long since anyone had one, that I really can't be sure I
     recognize it."

Lao Tsu: "O most wise and honolabre pliest, I berieve youl suggestion
     has melit.  If we go to the sea, we may sair to many fal and
     distant rands, whele the object is mole rikery to be found."

Serga: "Would they want us to go look for it if it wasn't around here?
     That doesn't seem like a very nice thing to do."

Dania: "Serga, it was a god.  I don't think gods think about things in
     terms of continents.  If we're lucky, it'll be on this planet."

Lao Tsu: "Then we must reave fol the coast, and find a ship to tlaver
     fal away, and sealch in a mole hospitabre crime."

Kory: "Oh, so you just want to get out of the snow!  In that case, I'm
     with you.  Where's the nearest ocean?"

Kortul: (Frowns.)

Dania: "I think it's about 500 miles that-a-way.  Hey Topash, how well
     does your magic work out of the forest?"

Topash: "It's not exactly magic, it's a manifestation of the power of
     nature.  And nature is everywhere.  Though many of the prayers I
     know are appeals to specific nature spirits, who would not be
     found in or near the ocean."

Dania: "Great.  So get out there and meet the local water spirits or
     something.  Anybody else got any problems with the ocean?"

Navero: "I've never been there.  Will we be going on a boat?"

Kory: "No, we'll tie big bladders filled with air to our feet and walk
     over.  First, we wanna ask around.  After that, we decide whether
     or not we get a boat."

Navero: "Uh... all right."

Serga: "It'll take a long time to get there, won't it?"

Kory: "It's time well spent.  Unless I miss my guess, we can ride up
     to a small village, and take the Old North Road up to some city
     on the coast that has a port."

Dania: "Is it open in winter?"

Kory: "Uh... I don't know, I've never been there in winter.  It'd be
     miserably cold up there."

Topash: "Then the port is probably closed.  I think they need to be
     where the water is warm."

Navero: "Why?  Sea water doesn't freeze."

Topash: "I'm afraid I don't know.  I don't know anything about how
     ships or ports are run."

Dania: "Does anybody know of a nearby port that isn't snowed in?"

Kortul: "Have to go south.  Back towards Propyla."

Kory: "Hmmm... we may want to go around that particular city."

Dania: "No shit.  Any convenient roads?"

Topash: "I hadn't seen any."

Dania: "Ok... do we want to take a risk, and gamble that they either
     won't recognize us, or the city won't be there any more?"

Serga: "What's this place called Propyla?"

Navero: "It's a city we visited, and then three pal... Those Who Are
     More Than Two And Less Than Four came and destroyed a lot of
     things, and the citizens think it was our fault."

Serga: "Why?"

Kory: "That's a story so long, even I don't want to tell it."

Serga: (Scratches head, looks very confused.) "Hey, are these guys
     you're talking about The Three Pala -"

Party: "STOP!!!"

(Serga is jumped upon by 3 people.  All elves, so it really doesn't
     matter, but he gets the idea.)

Serga: "Uh, ok, I gotcha.  They turn up when you say their name?"

Topash: "Yes.  And they are very, very, very, very righteous."

Kory: "Indeed!  Terrible dinner guests.  Sit and talk about nothing
     but politics and religion for hours on end.  Don't bring them
     here, we'll be bored to pieces."

Topash: "Tiny little pieces."

Kory: "Tiny itsy bitsy little pieces."

Dania: "Yeah, yeah, yeah.  So don't say their name.  Ever."

Serga: "Ok."

Daniel Parsons                "I thought that only worked for demons."                    "Pelhaps they ale demons."
                                      "Wouldn't they show up as evil?"
                          "Has anyone ever lived long enough to look?"
                                                         "Good point."

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