The Memoirs of Father Shiron



Part 3 - Life's a Beach

"Gosh it's just like Mr. Ben on the telly," exclaimed Presto excitedly.  "I've always wanted to do that and now I have, just wait till I tell my Mum."
        "Funny," said Shiron thoughtfully. "I thought it was a bit like Star Trek.  You know, when Captain Kirk and Dr Spock beam down from the Enterprise, it all goes funny then suddenly they're in a different place."
        "You get used to it when you've done it as often as I have," joined in Dick.  "It's still quite an experience though I must admit.  It always gives me a funny feeling in my tummy, like going over a hump bridge in my XR3i."
        "I've had to buy an ordinary wind up watch since I took up this lark," said Feanar.  "My Casio digital packed up when I came through the interface on adventures, it's never been the same since.  Even my magic spells couldn't get it to work properly so I got rid of it.  One thing I am happy to say hasn't suffered at all is my Sony Walkman.  You'll be pleased to know I've brought a good selection of tapes with me."
        "What made you take up D&D Feanar?"  asked Falamir inquisitively.  "I did it for the excitement, the challenge, the glory,  you know."
        "I did it for the money," answered the MU (magic user).  "I've got a whacking great mortgage and this seemed the best way to earn the readies.  MUs are pretty well paid you know.  And above the basic rate there's always a fair bit of treasure, valuable  items, magic charms and weapons etc. etc.  You can get a good price for them if you know where to go."
        "Brill," said Falamir.  "I'd love to find a legendary magic Fender Stratolute.  Have you ever seen one?"
        "No chance," answered Feanar.  "There's no such thing, it's just rumour I'm afraid.  However I did hear once of a very rare and valuable item that you might be interested in, although I doubt there's any chance of coming across one in this adventure."
        "Really?  What's that?" inquired Falamir, fascinated.
        "A magic Gibson SG," answered Feanar.  "Or to give it it's more dramatic magical item catalogue name- a Gibson of Destruction.  I know only of one person who can control it.  He plays it like a demon, a man possessed.  Legend has it it does actually possess him.  Who knows?  maybe it does.  You can never be too careful with these powerful magic items, some of them can take you over completely."
        "Wow," dreamed Falamir - dreamily.
        "Forget it kid," said Erendil.  "That guy's been Shot Down In Flames,  taken on the Highway To Hell and is forever Back In Black.  That magic SG has taken him over completely.  Perfectly normal beforehand, he was drawn towards it's long slender neck and High Voltage glowing pickups.  After he made contact with it for the first time all he could hear was Hell's Bells.  It was definitely a Touch Too Much and he's been doing the Bad Boy Boogie in a badly fitting school uniform ever since."
        "How do you know all this?" asked Shiron.
        "Oh, a Fly On The Wall told me," answered Erendil.
        "Quit gassing you lot," interrupted Dick leaning on his long sword.  "A C de C is rising swiftly.  Let us depart lest we get our new white trainers wet."
And so the intrepid adventurers picked up their equipment and made their way up the beach and into the next bit of this epic tale.

T'was a light, warm, spring evening in Middle Earth, fragrant with a heady mix of the scent of new flowers and traffic exhaust, when the young Shiron ....... er ........ oops, sorry - we've done that bit already ......... Ah, here we are ........

The group proceeded up the beach towards the line of imposing high rise hotels ringing the seafront.  It was only now that they realised they were being scrutinised very closely by numerous holiday makers.  They seemed to have materialised on the beach of a popular holiday resort and were being regarded with astonishment and amusement by the sunbathers, many of whom were attractive young ladies in very fetching beach wear.  Not surprisingly, this was something that the group noticed very quickly, especially the young Falamir.  All thoughts of the adventure in hand flew from his adolescent mind as he switched seamlessly into chat up mode.  He sauntered up to the nicest looking girl in the vicinity to try his luck.  He was doomed to failure however as he had only scored 7 points for charisma on his creation and on a scale of 1-18 that's not too good.  The girl was most unimpressed, both by his line of banter and his BO which was exacerbated by the heat and his heavy armour.  His youthful enthusiasm undeterred, he moved on to try his luck with another - no luck there either.
        Whilst Falamir was trying his utmost to pull, the rest of the party decided to take a well earned break!  They sat down on the warm white sand.  Unlike Falamir they did not try the old chat up routine.  They were professionals and had to keep their minds on the task at hand.
        "I must say it is very pleasant here Presto," said Feanar.  "I'd quite like to spend the morning here in the sun before setting off properly, charge the old batteries.
        "What do you need to charge them for?  I thought you put some fresh ones in before we left."
        "No you twit.  I mean soak up some rays in preparation for the perils ahead.  After all, we weren't given any specific time limit to do this job were we?"
        "Oh.  Right.  No I guess not," replied Presto.  "But I'd still like to get going as I'm looking forward to it."
        "We'll let Falamir have his fun.  After a while he'll realise he's going to get nowhere and he'll give up.  He's got to find out for himself what it means to have a charisma of 7.  Ha Ha, poor kid.  Still, we may as well make the most of it while we're waiting.  I'll stick a tape on.  I think the 'Best of the Beach Boys' will do nicely."
        A thoughtful expression swept across Feanar's face.  "Hang on a minute.  It is me who's got the Walkman isn't it?"  he asked in general.  "It was several  paragraphs back now and I can't remember who's supposed to have it."
        "Yeah, I think so," answered Dick.  "Anyway, you have now so get it going.  Have you got any of those little external speakers with it.  Connect them up so we can all enjoy it."
        "Sure thing Dickie baby," answered Feanar, pulling them from a side pocket of his pack.

And so the party played it cool, relaxing on the beach in the sunshine, admiring the view and chatting amongst themselves whilst Falamir stubbornly refused to admit defeat.
        "Hey, are you lot going to a fancy dress party?" enquired a pretty brunette lying near to Erendil.
        "An easy mistake to make but no," replied Erendil trying hard to be cool but barely hiding his annoyance at the unintentional insult.  "We are professional adventurers at the start of an important quest."
        "What do you mean 'professional adventurers'?" asked the girl amused, noticing the strange bloke was trying hard to look cool despite obviously being annoyed.  "You mean you do it for a living, tramping around in all that funny gear, going on adventures?"
        "That is correct," answered Erendil.  "Have you ever heard of D&D?"
        This bloke was just begging to be wound up so she carried on to see how long it would take for him to snap.
        "What.  You mean that silly role playing game where people pretend they're knights and wizards and elves and go off fighting goblins and monsters and find treasure and stuff?"  She could see him turning a reddish colour and it had nothing to do with sunburn.  She imagined she could almost see steam beginning to come out of his ears.  Encouraged, she pressed on.
        "Yeah, my little brother plays it with his gang of mates, shutting themselves away for hours on end in a darkened room when they should be outside playing in the fresh air.  It's pretty sad if you ask me.  Say, are those ears for real?  They look just like that bloke's off Star Trek."
        She reached over to playfully tweak Erendil's right ear.  It was at that moment that Erendil did his best impression of an exploding stick of dynamite.  Pulling his head away to evade her he shrieked,  "GET OFF ME.   SAD?  SAD?!!  How dare you talk about me and my profession like that.  I've never been so insulted in all my life, and I'm a lot older than I look."
        She had successfully achieved her objective but still flinched back with the strength of his reaction.
        "I am an Elven warrior and part of an adventuring party,"  he continued, fighting really hard to regain his composure.  "I am what I am."
        The others looked round at Erendil's outburst, as did many nearby.  The girl could see from his manner that he was serious.  She could hardly contain herself.
        "You're an actual real D&D character, not just someone dressing up as one?"
        "That's correct.  We all are," Erendil replied, his temper gradually fading as realisation began to dawn on the girl's face.
        "That's absolutely amazing," said the girl.  "Quite ghafflebette."
        "Gafflebette?  What kind of expression is that?" enquired Erendil.
        "You must have heard of that," answered the girl.  "My brother uses it all the time.  It means 'out of this world.'  It comes from a silly comic he reads called 2000AD."
        "Never heard of it.  I'm a Beano man myself," said Erendil haughtily.
        "Oh sure, 2000AD.  I get that every week, it's great," joined in Shiron.
"Slaine's my favourite as it's all sword and sorcery, much like what I do.  But I've not really done much of it yet, this is my first real adventure."
        "So you're sort of a virgin then," said the girl cheekily.
        "Well.  Erm.  Yes, I suppose so," answered Shiron a bit embarrassed.  As his head moved the girl caught a glint of sunlight from below Shiron's left ear.
        "What's that in your ear?" she asked in a puzzled kind of way.
        "Oh that's my Holy symbol," answered Shiron proudly.
        "Hey, that's really cool.  What a great idea.  So you must be a cleric then."
        "That's exactly right" beamed Shiron.  "It is rather nifty isn't it.  So much more original than a plain, boring hand held cross and much easier to use as it's always out and flashing, if you'll pardon the expression," he added with a grin.
        "And it keeps both your hands free for weapons or spell casting,"  she added helpfully.
        "Exactly."  Shiron liked this girl, especially as she had done such a good job of annoying Erendil.  He needed bringing down a peg or two.
        "So, do you have any other symbols?" she enquired.
        Shiron was about to answer when he stopped himself.  Should he tell her? It had seemed a good idea at the time but now he found himself feeling rather silly.
        "Well," he deliberated. I have got another one but Iíd rather not say what it is and what itís for, if you donít mind."
        "Oh go on, do tell," pleaded the girl." Just between you and me. Please?"
        "Oh alright then but you must promise not to tell anyone else. Iíd be very embarrassed", resigned Shiron.
        "OK, sure," said the girl.
        Shiron bent over and whispered in her ear.
        "A what?" cried the girl, putting her hand over her mouth in a vain attempt to stop the gale of laughter that wanted to escape.  As she lost the fight, Shironís face turned bright pink and he departed with haste.


Dick De Danger found himself sitting near a particularly shapely redhead who, he noticed, was giving him a real eyeful.
        "Well Hi there big boy", she mouthed at him in a sultry fashion.  "My name's Conny Tation.  What's yours?"
        "Dick," said Dick.
        She giggled.  "Of course it is.  Judging by the size of you I bet they call you Big ---."  At that moment Feanar's Walkman blared out 'Good Vibrations' and the end of her sentence was drowned out.
        "Sorry I didn't catch that," apologised Dick.
        "Never mind," said the girl, edging closer.  She reached out a sure hand to Dick's side and ran it along his longsword scabbard.  "Oh my, that's a big long one you've got there Dick.  Do you know how to use it properly?"
        "I am a master swordsman Conny and wield my weapon with grace, power and precision."
        "I thought as much.  You look like a hardened warrior," she breathed at him.  She edged even closer still and Dick began to feel uncomfortable as she wrapped her perfectly manicured hand around the hilt and began to slowly draw the sword out.
        "Be careful Conny," said Dick with growing concern on his face.  "Don't put your hands on the blade.  It's very sharp."
        Looking up through her eyelashes, Conny breathed into Dick's ear extremely suggestively, "Oh Dick, how can I possibly come to any harm as your big shaft is safely inside a protective sheath."
        Despite being a man of the world Dick was an old fashioned gentleman at heart and this was all too much for him.  He blushed, made his excuses and went to join Presto, Shiron and Feanar who were playing Frisbee with Falamir's buckler shield.
        At that moment Falamir returned, by now universally rejected and totally dejected.
        "Let's go guys," he said in a depressed manner.  "I'm not having any luck here at all."
        "Good idea.  You won't get any argument from me," answered Erendil, still rather put out.
        "Me neither," agreed both Shiron and Dick fervently in unison.
        "But we're having a great time," disagreed both Presto and Feanar fervently in unison.
        "We've wasted enough time already.  Remember we've got a job to do here," chided Erendil.  At that point Feanar's tape finished and so he reluctantly agreed too.
And so they gathered all their equipment again, said their goodbyes and made their way up the beach and into the next part of this adventure.


Here endeth Part 3.
Don't miss the next episode 'Home Truths'
It's here now.  Click on Next



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Copyright © John Angus Walker 1986, 2003.  All right reserved.