There Ain't No Justice Number 061

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OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO oOOOO OOOO. OOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" .OOOOOO OOOOOo OOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOO oOOOOOOO OOOOOOO. OOOO oOOOO OOOO .OOOO OOOO OOOOOOOOo OOOO OOOO" OOOO oOOOO OOOO OOOO "OOOO. OOOO OOOOo .OOOO' OOOO .OOOO" OOOO OOOO OOOOoOOOO "OOOO. oOOOO OOOO oOOOOOOO..OOOO OOOO "OOOOOOO OOOOoOOOO" OOOO .OOOO"""OOOOOOOO OOOO OOOOOO "OOOOOOO' OOOO oOOOO ""OOOO OOOO "OOOO OOOOOO |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------| | | | There Ain't No Justice | | | | #61 | | | |-----------------------------------------------------------------------------| - Throckmorton of Amber 01 - by Tal Meta (A story based entirely on an evening's AD&D play gone wrong!) Here is a tale of long ago, of three men, a drow and a gnome. They were known as The Five, and they battled great evils in their day. The leader, one Eric of Timal, was a Knight of Orange, a Torchbearer;his most trusted lieutenant a wizard from the Isle of Amber, one Throckmorton by name. The drow came next, on the rolls of their charter, called Psycho, Mistress of the Mind Arcane, and after her Waldo, of good Greyhawk stock, a wizard-priest of Boccob the Uncaring. Lastly came Heebie-Gebe, the gnome, a jouggler and rouge, given into their care as a reminder that they still owed a debt to the lords of that fair city. It was to the range known as the Dagger they travelled, an inspired quest laid upon them by Brand of Amber, to retrieve a tome of great power from the tomb of a once powerful wizardess, Iggwilv. So southwards they travelled, into the depths of the Triad, into Drynn itself, at the very beginning of the Change Years, unknowing they would return to an outside world greatly, well, changed. Yes, the ladies still ruled there and so our heroes travelled by night, not knowing the years and centuries that sped by as they travelled. Armies they avoided, and they did wonder if the wars were fought o'er the prize they sought. In due time they came to the end of their search, the Dagger Mts. , stretching away in the distance. In scouting the hills they encountered a community of gnomes, whom they befriended and gave succor to from a band of bugbears who had long ravaged the gnomish mines and farms. They chased the goblinoids far into the hills, finally burying them beneath an avalanche created by Throckmorton and Waldo. But the hillside they'd chosen was the backside of an ancient dragon's lair, and much ired was that elder worm at having his horde cascade down the side of a mountain. So ired in fact, that he took exception to the act, and attacked the Five where they stood. But unfortunately for that worm, the Five were no novice adventurers, as Electrolux the Ancient Blue Dragon might have noticed, had not the dust of the avalanche occluded Eric and Throckmorton's Dragonskin Cloaks, the traditional reward given to dragonslayers in those ancient days. Oh, Electrolux would still have attacked, mind you, as those dragonskin cloaks often drew the worst kinds of attention at similarily bad times, but at least then he would have had an idea what he faced. So the battle was joined, and even with its foregone conclusion, was a spectacle to behold. Energies were exchanged between dragon and wizard, blows and battle-cries passed between knight and wyrm. But in the end, the dragon was cut to pieces by wizard, knight and psionicist. And the riches!It would have taken a train of horses and wagons a mile or more long to have carted all of it away, but the Five were limited to what sensibly mobile adventurers might carry away on their packs and on their mounts. So it was gems and jewelry that they gathered, as well as a strange blue metal sword that Eric hefted high in his hand, leaving a national debt in coins and objects'de art behind. That night, in their shelter, they laughed at the picture of the first hapless souls to find all that wealth, and then even harder at the restless, greedy souls who had perished in its downpouring. At long last, it seemed they had come upon the entrance they had sought, only to see the obvious signs that some other group had discovered it first. A lone guard stood before the caverns opening, lightly dozing in the afternoon sun. About him milled four restless horses as well as two strange beasts somewhere between reptiles and horses. Psycho took the lead, doing nothing more than gazing intently at the guard. When at last he took notice of the group's approach, he met her eyes, and immediately collapsed to the ground. After checking the area right inside the tunnel, they awoke their prisoner and began questioning him about the strengths of his companions. Once having determined all the important facts concerning their opponents to be, Psycho adjusted the guard's memory, about several facts. He rode away then, in great haste, convinced that he had received a letter from his wife, saying she was leaving him. A terrible fate indeed for a man who had never married. It was hours later when they came upon not five but six bodies lying in pools of their own blood at the end of a dead end cave. One of those bodies, however, a female knight, still lived. They spent a small amount of their healing salves so that they might question her about what had befallen her party. They were cautious however, because their informant had not mentioned any female knights. And it was a great battle tale she told, full of marauding trolls and a strange, inhuman sorcerer. She broke off her tale, however, when she noticed the hilt of Eric's new sword. She showed great interest in seeing it, and even more when when he drew the now brightly glowing blade from his scabbard. Throckmorton, on seeing that blade now, began feeling a great unease. He grew more and more detached as Eric and the Lady Knight discussed the properties and history of that sword. But when the Lady named that blade as Demonbane, Throckmorton knew then what he must do. He stepped back, and hastily began the casting of his favorite spell. As the fireball blossomed behind him, he leaped as high as he could and curled into a ball, letting the explosion throw him further back down the corridor than his running leap could have alone. When he landed, he quickly stood and began running, running until he'd changed directions three times. Coming to another dead end, he cast a spell he'd learned early in his career, climbing the magical rope to the pocket of nowhere above, got inside, pulled up the rope and held his breath for a good long time. After a few minutes, things still seemed quiet, so he held his breath a little more. Demonbane. It would have to have been Demonbane. There had been no trolls, no sorcerer. Throckmorton knew that without a doubt. All the legends around that blade told long stories of death and dismemberment. Of, course, it was the demons who always suffered at first, but eventually they would come in force to reclaim the blade, as well as the heart of its wielder. And one other thing Throckmorton knew only too well, was that old Iggwilv had been a demonologist without par, and had summoned and bound numerous demons, as well as two demon princes. On just the chance they were still about, he had acted, and survived. For a little while at least. Demonbane. It was said to glow only in the presence of that which it was made to destroy, and the brighter the glow, the stronger or more numerous the demons. And that glow had been fiercely bright. A few hours later, he crept from the place he'd been hiding, and returned to where he'd almost certainly killed his friends. He felt no remorse, for death at his hands was certainly more mercifull than leaving them to the thwarted attentions of a captive demon prince. They were all there, burned beyond recognition. The blade was gone, naturally, so he gathered together their bones and made his way outside again. He made his way home again, across the new and different lands, coming at last to the city of Greyhawk, where he sought passage to Amber. Once home, he carried his burdens to the Grove of the Unicorn, and petitioned the druids there to clothe the bones once more with flesh and give them life again. That being within their power, (and with the donation Throckmorton made on their behalf), the Five were reunited once more. And what of the tome the Five had been sent for? Well unless some other group has looted that tomb, it lies there still. As does, perhaps, the sword Demonbane. But what of the Prince who guards it? Only the brave and the strong shall ever know for sure. ۲ Phoenix Modernz Systems: 908/830-TANJ ۱ The Syndicate: 908/506-6651 ۱ The Matrix BBS: 908/905-6691 First United Church Kalisti: 602/753-3784 The Cell: 817/870-1060 ۲

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