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Library: Adventure in the Northern Swamps

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Author: Elric
Date:Nov 2 1995

Years ago, several months after the last big conversion of mortals in the
world of Batmud, three brave and stupid adventures set off to explore the
infamous hive of filth and evil known as the Northern Swamps.  Rumor had it
that the great and powerful duck wizard known as Yo had been exploring these
same swamps.  Burglefloogah, god of lizards and reptiles, reigned supreme in
the swamps and his mastery of the art of harming had not been challenged for a
great while.

Note: An evil and despicable player known as Crowe had somehow managed to
steal Burglefloogah's treasure.  However, when the all-powerful Gods of Batmud
found out about Crowe's actions all the treasure was destroyed and Crowe was
removed from the realm.

Getting back to the story, a beautiful lady named Pim was one of the
adventurers.  Pim was a young yet powerful mage who had all but mastered the
art of electricity.  Her spells were known to be deadly and she was a sought
after member for any adventuring party.  She was known to be brave and
fearless in battle; however, she also had wisdom beyond her years as a mage
(perhaps  because she had once been a very powerful healer in Batmud before
this time)  and would keep parties she joined out of dangerous situations.  I
was also in love with Pim at this time; however, that is another story which
will most likely never be told.



The second adventurer's name was Shadowjack.  Shadowjack had just become a
paladin of Faerwon.  Choosing the path of good, Shadowjack could and did
protect his party members expertly.  Feeling his healing touch was said to be
close to ecstasy.  His healing hand had saved my life more than once before. 
Upon his very word I found myself virtually immune to physical damage;
furthermore, my will was never weak.  No monster, no matter how terrible,
could break was able to break my concentration on the battlefield.

My name is Elric.  At the time, a proud young cyclops, learning the arts of
war in the Crimson Brigade.  Franco's servants had taught me well;
furthermore, the strong and experienced warrior known as Yari had passed on
much advice to me.  With my trusty comrades, I spoke about the chance of
exploring the Northern Swamps and finally the decision was made.  We would
enter the swamps and try out our powers on the evil disciples of
Burglefloogah!

We met to prepare our gear, taking food, water, ropes, flints, and all other
necessities.  Pim and Shadowjack took out their most prized and valuable
possessions so our party would be at its best.  I also took out my best
armour; we all knew that we would need every advantage we could get.

When our packs were ready we set off from Bat City and headed east.  We
traveled many days and nights, passing the Inn of the Four Winds, the prison
complex, and finally having to leave the road to move in the murky, gloomy
swamps which got darker and more dismal each mile we trudged.  The smell
became more and more horrible, putrid vapors filled the air and I had to cover
my nose at first to avoid losing my breakfast from that morning.

We stumbled into what I now know was the Northern Swamps almost totally
unprepared.  No protection spells had been cast and we were completely
visible.  Invisible warriors, huge lizard-like creatures, and slaads were all
around.  We quickly retreated and caught our breath.  Shadowjack chanted and
moved his hands around in the air and I felt stronger and more confident. 
Pim s eerie chants also filled the air and soon the three of us were
invisible.  So, better prepared for our enemies now, I lead us back into
Burglefloogah s demesne.  


The few monsters which we had stumbled upon before attacked us.  They smelled
our scent I presume.  They could not have seen us because, as I said before,
we were invisible.  Lightning flew from Pim s finger tips and soon nothing but
corpses remained of our enemies.  We searched the bodies and took what loot we
found and continued deeper and deeper into the darkness of the swamps.  
I lead us, if you can call what I actually did leading, through the muck and
passed more slaads and lizards.  We attacked several, but left the majority
alone.  Shadowjack and Pim both reminded me that Burglefloogah had greater
servants than what we had seen.  I said,  Let s just fucking wax everything we
see!  We might as well,  but luckily both my companions slapped me saying,
 Shut up!   It was just that time when a slimy rope ladder fell down on my
head.  It appeared that the lizard we had just killed had been a guard.  I
asked Shadowjack if he thought we should climb the ladder and explore.  He
said hesitantly,  Elric, I trust your judgment.   I knew he was lying but I
was pleased that he too wanted to find out what was up that ladder.


We climbed the ladder and suddenly caustic acid was flung all over us.  A
lizard attacked and I parried off his attacks as well as I could while Pim
waved her hands aloft and lightning bolts burned into the lizard s chest. 
Shadowjack put his hands on the three of us.  Condescendingly, Pim looked at
me.  I knew I was in for it.  I felt like I had just spilt my goat milk all
over the table or something.  She had been hit hard by the acid splash and she
looked a bit rough.  I tried to take the edge off, joking to her,  Well Pim. 
Looks like you finally did something!   She was not amused.
More carefully now we continued into what seemed to be a temple of sorts. 
Lizards paraded around, wearing thick black collars.  We slew many of these
taking the collars and putting them in a floating disc.  Pim had the feeling
that they would be worth a great deal back in the shops of Bat City.  

There was a grate leading down that we decided to leave alone.  Slime covered
every inch of stone in the temple and the smell here was worse than it had
been in the swamp itself.  A passage lead into what looked like the chambers
of a priest and we decided not to enter there either.  Honestly, I was very
afraid.  Never before had I been in such an ominous place.  We kept hearing
shouts.  Something about a princess I think.  Most of the shouts were about
the intruders in the temple.  I can t say how thrilled I was to know that all
the lizard men were alerted to our presence.  Happy Happy.  Joy Joy.  The
smell, the dim lighting, and the evil lizard men marching around all made me
feel sick to my stomach.  I tried not to show my fear though and suggested we
head up a staircase we came upon.

Suddenly we all heard a piercing noise and found we could not concentrate on
anything.  Pim attempted an short incantation but failed.  Again she gave me
the look.  This time I smiled and said,  Look honey.  We all decided to come
here.  You trusted me with your life and I have not gotten you killed yet! 
That was pretty close before but no cigar.   I snapped my fingers then as if I
had wanted her to die.  Pim just rolled her eyes and I knew that she wasn t
sore any more.

We continued up the staircase four flights.  I tripped over my boots  laces
and fell backwards knocking my two friends down the stairs and following soon
after them.  Luckily we were still invisible; we did not end up in the same
place from which we came.  The piercing noise subsided.  What we, or I, had
literally stumbled upon was the lizard captain!  He wore an incredible
breastplate!  It was black as night but shone like the sun.  I had never seen
anything like it and I wanted it badly.  Unfortunately, the captain was ten
feet tall.  We all knew that he was not just a stupid ogre type either.  He
was sure to have knowledge of harming spells. 
Pim, Shadowjack and I all looked at each other and one at a time nodded
consent.  I prayed to Anipa to protect me.  Shadowjack said a silent prayer to
Faerwon.  Pim waited until we were finished begging for help from the gods and
 said,  Ready?   I nodded again and in a second she had hurled a lightning
bolt into the captain s chest!  The captain attacked immediately and I knew at
once that our estimation was correct.  His trident bit deep into my flesh.  He
screamed the words,  PAF PAF PAF!  and I ran for my life.  My soul felt like
it had been ripped apart and I knew that if I had taken many more blows from
him that I would have been dead.
We regrouped and Shadowjack healed all our wounds.  While I had been busy
getting my ass kicked Pim informed me that she had hit the lizard with four
more lightning bolts and that he screamed in pain each time.  I sighed in
relief, knowing that we would be able to defeat him.  I was just about ready
to return to battle when what I thought was just our own shadows attacked.  I
swung at them connecting seldomly and Pim again sent sizzling electricity into
the enemy.  She managed to kill them rather quickly but I knew that I had been
poisoned and was in deep trouble.
The poison burned through my veins and I screamed in pain feeling my life
force draining away.  Shadowjack recognized the symptoms and yelled,  ZAP ZAP
ZAP!  at me.  I felt my wounds disappear yet the poison remained.  He
attempted several times to remove the poison before succeeding.  I mumbled in
pleasure,  Mmmm chicken.   I had no idea why I said that.  Neither did they. 
They looked at me like I was crazy and I looked at them like I was crazy.  I
grinned like the cyclops I was, my one eye gleaming brightly, and said,  Um. 
What say we go kick that captain s ass?   They laughed at me but concurred in
a second.
I climbed the stairs again and descended where I had fallen before.  The
captain was waiting for us and his trident bit into my arm.  I parried the
next couple attacks and swung with my mace knocking the trident from his hand.
 I heard Pim s chants and saw lightning flash around the room.  I thought that
since he had been disarmed that I could handle his physical attacks from now
on but I of course was wrong.  He grinned evilly, brandishing long sharp claws
which in a second raked across my face!  Shadowjack saw the wound and healed
me before my one eye fell out permanently.  I brought back up my guard,
guarding myself and parrying his attacks while Pim did her work.  The lizard
man screamed at me again,  PAF PAF PAF!  but Shadowjack was prepared and the
wounds which so quickly appeared were at once taken away.
After a grueling hour of combat we finally defeated him.  We grabbed the
breastplate and a large black key and thought it best to return to Bat City. 
Later we found out that the key the captain had held led to Burglefloogah
himself.  I was glad we had not used it.  We were all exhausted, but proud,
having entered the swamps and survived.  We came out with the breastplate and
many black iron collars which we sold.  After that we frequented the Great
Northern Swamps many times.  I don t think so, but some say that we were the
first people, besides the great mage Yo, to do so.


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