Chapter 11

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          Navero, male human cleric, 2nd level
          Dania, female 1/2-elf MU, 2nd level
          Rourk Ravensbane, male drow cavalier, 2nd level
          Kortul, male human fighter, 2nd level
          Razuli, male human fighter, 1st level
          Arlor, male dwarf thief, 1st level

     When last we heard from the party, they had engaged the Orc
Chief, an Ogre, and two Rust Monsters in battle.  In the resulting
brouhaha, Dania was seriously hurt, Razuli less than seriously hurt,
Kortul got his armor destroyed, and Rourk was liberally coated with
brightly glowing fungus juice.  (Whatever possessed him to jump in the
pool is beyond me, but it dissuaded the Rust Monster.)  Navero and
Arlor were unhurt.

     We were badly enough off that we decided to just take the Chief's
head and go back to Swamp Keep to rest, and maybe fix Rourk so he
didn't look like a 5-foot spiky tinker bell.  Kortul also expressed
interest in some new armor.  So we went back north, through the dead
crayfish room, north to the glowing fungus room, and west to the great
hall.  We walked in calmly, expecting no trouble.

Game Master: You're walking along calmly, expecting no trouble, when
     all of a sudden, this incredible stench surrounds you.  Will
     everyone please make a saving throw vs. Poison?

Party:  Rourk and Arlor make it.  Dania, Kortul, Navero, and Razuli
     fail, and immediately lose their respective breakfasts.  They all
     collapse to the ground and are helpless with nausea.

Game M: You see two vaguely cat-like creatures come out from behind
     the rock formations and attack the party.  (Witherstench, I

Rourk: "I engage both.  I shall soon deal with these rotten things."

Arlor: "I run up and backstab."

Rourk: "Coward."  (Swings twice, hits twice, does damage.)

(Generic fight.  Rourk is cut up, as they have big claws, but is not
too seriously hurt.  Other party members recover very slowly.)

Rourk: "Barbarian, I would have thought you were better at tolerating
     strong odors, seeing how you constantly acclimate yourself to
     them.  But your weakness is merely a product of your inferior
     background, and I do not begrudge you your lapses."

Dania: "Ooogg..."

Razuli: "Rourk, did you just cut one?  Man, I never smelled anything
     that bad..."

Rourk: "Silence.  Your ignorant, sophomoric insults do not amuse
     anyone but yourself.  Cease insulting your clear superiors."

Arlor: (Giggles.)

Rourk: "What's so funny?!"
Arlor: "Nothin'."

Navero: "I'll get rid of these." (Gets up, grabs the Witherstench
     bodies and runs into the room with the lava, planning to dump
     them there, so they won't smell anymore.)

Game M: You do it alone?  Anyone go with him?

Party: If he just runs off, he is alone.

Game M: Navero, are you alone?

Navero: I guess I am.  I didn't think to take anyone with me.

Game M: Well, the other stinker who was hiding in that entrance
     attacks as you approach.  I assume you make a panicked cry for

Navero: Uh, yes.  "Help!"

Game M: It attacks you, (rolls dice) and... Oh my.

Navero: What happened?

Game M: (Rolls more dice.)  Oh, dear.

Navero: May I intrude?  I have some interest in the outcome of this.

Game M: (Rolls still more dice.)  Oh my.  Sorry, you're dead.
     Critical strike to the head, skull pierced, brain scrambled,
     instant death.

Navero: (Thud.)

Game M: Well, the rest of the party hears this shriek from out in the

Razuli: "Hey, where's the priest?"

Rourk: "I believe he went to dispose of the bodies."

Party: We all go running up there.

(Another generic fight.  Witherstench bodies are eventually disposed
of in the lava, by Arlor and Kortul.  Party gathers around Navero.)

Kortul: (Examines body.) "Dead."

Rourk: "Are you quite certain?"

Kortul: (Examines body again.  Brain is dribbling out.) "Very dead."

Razuli: "Well, this is just great!  Where are we gonna get another

Arlor: "Shouldn't we bury him or something?"

Dania: "Maybe we can get him resurrected."

Razuli: "That costs some serious bucks, magic-user...."

Dania: "Maybe we can get a discount because he's a priest."

Razuli: "Right.  Step right up to The Late J. C.'s Body and Fender
     shop!  Special discounts to pure people."

     We got out of the cave with no further incident, except for a
swamp cat in the entrance hall, which meowered at us and ran away.
Navero was placed over his horse, and we rode back to the keep.  The
ride back was rather quieter than usual; everyone seemed preoccupied,
although Razuli did try to liven things up.

Razuli: "C'mon!  Why the long faces?  We got the chief, so maybe we
     can get them to resurrect Nav as our payment.  I don't think
     we'll get any more money out of them, anyway."

Arlor: "That'd be nice.  Great.  Yup, I guess."

Dania: "Razuli, shut up.  I'm not in the mood."

Rourk: "Indeed.  Do us all a great favor."

Razuli: "Kortul?"

Kortul: "What?"

Razuli: "Ok, ok!  Jeez..."

     We arrived back at the keep gate by late evening; Rourk and
Kortul gave the guards one look, and they opened the gate without a
word.  We went to see the official we had been seeing earlier; we
caught him just as he was leaving to go home.

Official: "You killed the chief, but one of your number died.  I see.
     Oh, it was that young priest?  Truly, this is a tragic loss.  He
     will be honored, of course, in the way of his faith."

Dania: "Actually, we were thinking of trying for a resurrection."

Official: "Well... that is a bit out of my field, but I shall see what
     I can do.  Give me the Chief's head - thank you, keep it in the
     box, and don't drip on the desk - to show to his lordship, and
     then... ah, let me see...."

Razuli: "If it's too much trouble, we can get another priest."

Dania: "Oh, please!  It's not like they grow on trees."

Rourk: "Your attitude disgusts me, mercenary.  Truly, you are beneath
     any sort of contempt."

Kortul: "May get competent one."

Official: "Hmm.  Truly, he had noble comrades.  But take this (hands
     Dania a ring) to Brother Guilern at the temple of Kiliy.  Ask of

Dania: "Thank you very much, for all your help.  You have been most

     Guilern, as it turns out, was the high priest of the main temple
in the keep.  The ring got us in to see him; he remembered having
spoken with Navero, whom he recalled as a well-spoken, if thick-
skulled youth.

Guilern: (Examining body.)  "Well, perhaps not so thick-skulled..."

Rourk: "Can you do it, o mighty holy one?"

Guilern: "I must consult the goddess in this.  He is not of our faith.
     And naturally, the price for the ritual, physically and
     monetarily, is very high.  By the way, most gentle knight; how
     did you come to be covered with Shimmer Fungus?"

Rourk: "An unfortunate accident.  Would you, most wise Cleric, know of
     any way in which the, uh, Shimmer Fungus might be cleansed from
     my armor?"

Guilern: "It is extremely tenacious in its adherence, but alcohol
     should prove quite sufficient in its removal."

Razuli: "I think it looks great as it is."

Rourk: "Do be quiet.  And thank you, noble Priest."

Arlor: "Go get soused, I guess.  Yup." (chuckles.)

Rourk: (Irritatedly leaves.)

     Navero did not reach his eternal reward; he was halted by a
gentle tug.  This gentle tug became a wind, unfamiliar but not
unfriendly, pushing his drifting soul back to where it once had been.
A strange and stoical voice said, "You are called.  Go."  And with
that, Navero opened his eyes, groggily sat up on the bed, looked about
him in bewilderment, and threw up.

Daniel Parsons
             "Navero, don't ever do anything that stupid again, hear?"

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