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Chapter 2
The Puzzle Canal

After the training A-TEAM had some problems of deciding where they would go next to kill chaos. There in the North was the Chaos Goggle and in the Rubble there was the Puzzle Canal that needed some research. It took many evenings to get the decision made to first go to the Puzzle Canal and later confront the Chaos Goggle. Merlox started to collect information about Puzzle Canal. What he found out was that the Puzzle Canal is a very mysterious and very chaotic place. You should not try to take the whole Canal in one go because that would get you to an another plane. Also you should never ever enter Puzzle Canal under the Sacred Time, because it is then the Canal changes. If you find yourself in the middle of the changing of Puzzle Canal you are in BIG trouble. You will not get back where you started but might end up in a completely different plane or time. There was also some kind of a minimum size for the boats that had entered and had came out, so A-TEAM had to rent a boat big enough, from outside Pavis. They also hired some newtlings as oarsmen until they entered Puzzle Canal. A big amount of food, water and other gear was bought, just in case. Before they left Raven had let Arlatens illusions change his appearance to look more human. Merlox said it was not wise for a troll to enter Puzzle Canal because there were sea elves and they had killed almost all trolls who had entered. The illusion would last for two weeks.

The voyage was short and the newtlings wished good luck to the A-TEAM. When they entered the Canal it was an ordinary canal with high walls on each side. The walls were filled with green slime of some kind. There came a crossing and with Merlox advise A-TEAM took north. After a while the canal divided into two directions. The oarsmen Dolxx and Raven were of different opinion of the route, as were also the look-outs Kaid-aw and Merlox. The decision was then made in a democratic way by vote. It was the left side that was taken. Only about fifty meters further there was a canal coming from the left to the canal which A-TEAM had taken. From that canal there came an attack by a horrible looking monster. The canal itself was ten meters wide and the monster stood with one leg on each side of the canal. Otherwise it was not that big, but bigger than a man. The monster, a demon named Chorgshaphobs, threw a fireball against the boat and hit. There became a hole and water started to come in the boat. Dolxx managed to stop the boat and then A-TEAM tried to get the boat near the wall. Merlox tried first but it was Kaid-aw who got a hook thrown over the wall. Kaid-aw tried then alone to draw the boat near the wall but he was not strong enough even if Dolxx and Raven tried to help with the oars. Quickly Raven also took hold of the rope and together with Dolxx's help on the oars the boat came against the wall. Dolxx saw some kind of waves, which did not look natural, so he guessed a sea-monster was approaching, and prepared some spells. The boat then started to sink downwards drawn by something and at the same time on the wall just above the boat, the monster who had threw the fireball, emerged. The monster threw two severe spirits, one on Kaid-aw and one on Raven. It was nothing they could do, when they failed their resistance rolls, so they died. Merlox prepared a spell against the monster and Dolxx waited for the sea monster to attack because the boat did not sink anymore as it did earlier. Next round the monster threw a third severe spirit but this time it was against Merlox who was protected by a powerful type of spell resistance. The sea dragon attacked Dolxx first with a slimy spit that Dolxx had to break free from before he could do anything else. Then he had to parry the bite of the sea-dragon. On the next round Dolxx once again broke free of the spit and hit the sea-dragon in its right fin. The sea-dragon made a special hit against Dolxx and even if Dolxx parried it he was knocked out, because of 56 points of damage. Dolxx did not die for he immediately got a healing 6 spell boosted up with enough magic points from a healing spirit A-TEAM has. But he was out anyway from the fight for a minute, regaining his breath. The demon on the wall threw a fireball on Merlox but it was no problem for Merlox. On the next round the sea-dragon would attack Merlox and something special had to be done. Merlox saved the day by starting a spirit combat with the sea-dragon. The dragon tried to fight back but it could not use its deadly bite. The demon stood for a few rounds just looking down before it jumped on the boat. The spirit combat was going on but Merlox was winning. Of all the bodies the demon decided to eat Merlox first and started to take off Merlox's helmet. Merlox just in time possessed the sea-dragon and attacked the demon before it started to eat Merlox's head. The demon was surprised that his friend attacked him. Dolxx, who again was in fighting condition, made a surprise attack on the demon and killed it after a huge blow that chopped off the left leg and it went unconscious. Dolxx was ready to attack the sea-dragon believing it would attack him, but he saw Merlox and noticed that he is not in his body and casted a mind speech to the sea-dragon, which now was possessed by Merlox. They decided that Merlox would keep the boat floating while Dolxx resurrected the two dead friends. A little bit later they started to look for the hidden treasure of the demon, and found it. There was some money and a few swords. The boat would maybe float until Pavis but then Kaid-aw asked if they could sell the sea-dragon and the corpse of the demon. Merlox controlled the sea-dragon so he was able to take the boat on his back to Pavis where they would sell it.
When the boat came to Pavis, people started to gather around on the shores to see the monster A-TEAM had captured. Merlox kept the sea dragon underwater and out of sight. One member of A-TEAM stayed always on the boat while the others went to talk to different possible customers. It was decided that they would go to customers who were friendly towards their cult, so for instance it was Dolxx who went to Lhankor Mhy and not Raven or Kaid-aw. The offers they got were quite big, because, the objects they were selling, were so special.

Raven was quite mad even if they got money. It was because he had been killed before he could do anything so he wanted to kill someone or something. Then Kaid-aw, again, said lets be nice for a while and killed some nasty gangs in the Rubble, who are harassing the poor there. Dolxx's had for long been talking about conquering a territory of our own and call it A-TEAM country. To get the body that was made to look like Dolxx, A-TEAM had killed a street gang in the Rubble just inside the Wyvern Gate. They argued that why not make it from that piece of land, so they left for the Rubble to find harassing gangs there. After wandering around a few hours they found a group of five men, who started to ask what A-TEAM were doing on their territory. A-TEAM tried to ask a poor nearby if these men were harassing them but got no answer. The leader of the gang said that we know you are the A-TEAM, but keep yourselves on your land and do not come here or we will kill you. The A-TEAM started to laugh and the other guys got annoyed. The leader of them whistled and four other men came out of a nearby building. Then they said, "Now leave!" But A-TEAM just started to argue how to divide the enemies among themselves and agreed to that Raven and Merlox would take two men each and Dolxx and Kaid-aw should take the rest. Dolxx and Kaid-aw have formed a very effective fighting pair and both attacks on the same two enemies, in front of them. Because they are very quick, they both often hit once each enemy before the enemies even has a chance of attacking them. The second attack usually maims the enemies, so there will not come any attack from the enemies at all. The leader of the street gang said he will count to ten and in that time the A-TEAM should lay down their weapons and leave or die and when he came to ten A-TEAM attacked. On the first round Dolxx chopped of one arm, Merlox paralyzed one enemy and Raven killed one other. The leader started to look worried. After the next round Dolxx had killed one more, as did Kaid-aw. Raven had hit his opponent in the lower body so he fell on the ground. The leader started to run away but Kaid-aws hawk followed him. Kaid-aw started to run after the leader on the next round when Dolxx killed the last of the four guys who had been in front of him and Kaid-aw. Merlox killed his last opponent but the one fighting against Raven made huge efforts to keep himself alive. Unfortunately it did not help him for long for Raven killed him on the next round. Kaid-aw got soon the leader caught and then killed him. The one that was paralyzed was saved for questioning. A new question to the poor nearby gave the answer that the gang indeed had been harassing them. Then they questioned their prisoner. The gang was the North Gang and their leader was a rich merchant in the Real City named Halnas. Of the North Gang was nothing left but Halnas controlled about forty other thugs. It might be later necessary to kill Halnas if his thugs started to make something against the A-TEAM, for if he is dead the thugs will most likely split up in many small fractions. A search of all the gang members gave 187L which A-TEAM gave back to the leader of the poor who lived here. A-TEAM became heroes of the poor and the poor insisted that they had to stay for a big celebration this evening. Raven had too much to drink and went to the first building he found. There he fell on the first bed he saw and started to sleep. Merlox made some minor magic's to the children to find out if there were any boys who could make for apprentices when they got a little older. Kaid-aw gathered all the women around him but he is married and he did nothing except talk and drink. Dolxx gathered the men with him and started to tell about Orlanth and Orlanth's might. He got five new lay-members to Orlanth. The people in the Rubble could not come into the Air temple in Pavis. Dolxx did not want them to come to the secret shrines or temples in the Rubble. He simply founded a new shrine to Orlanth in the area A-TEAM called theirs.

The next day the made poles with A-TEAM's mark on and they had the citizens of the slum to put up the poles near the outer border of the area the A-TEAM wanted for themselves. In the south end of that area there were not many people living because of the troll harassment at nights. They had to stay there overnight to see if they could find out who the trolls were. After they had found a nice hut with all four walls, but no roof, A-TEAM made camp. They had double shift guards as they often do. Late in the night Dolxx heard something and looked through his shadow cat's eyes what there was. He saw many trollkins and there was also somekind of a mechanical spider, made of metal, which they followed. He woke up the rest of the group and said lets lie down very low and let us see what is going to happen. Soon one trollkin looked into the hut but the group pretended to be sleeping. The Trollkin went away and soon four trollkin came with mauls. The trollkins placed themselves in front of everyone of the A-TEAM and were ready to attack when the A-TEAM went to action. They lighted their hidden lamps and attacked. All spells which A-TEAM would need were thrown when the first trollkin was away so it was a slaughter. On the first round of the battle, three of the four trollkins were out and on the following the last. On one of the trollkins had to be healed so they would get it alive. Outside there was a great noise when the other trollkins were running away. When the one who was saved woke up, Raven started to question him. First he tried to pretend not understanding but when Raven started to press him and said who he was some answers was given. When they let him go, he pretended to be extremely courageous and walked at normal pace the first ten meters, even if A-TEAM made some noise with their weapons. Then he ran like hell. They got the following information from him. It was a small troll clan who wanted this area, to be able to trade it to the Loracek clan. Instead they would get an other piece of land in the Rubble, the area where the Armpit of Pavis is located. The Loracek clan is a medium sized clan and Raven is a member of the clan, or at least an associated member of the clan. A-TEAM can count on that the Loracek clan is on their side. Raven went there the next day to talk to them, while Dolxx went to Arlaten and told all he remembered about the spider he had seen. There will be some kind of negotiations later.

Do you want to read how the A-TEAM coped with the Trollclan that wanted their land?
Did you read how the A-TEAM managed to save the Orlanth Holy Items?

Copyright © 1999-2005 by Kim Englund. All rights reserved. How to contact me. Last modified 01.01.2005.

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