Chapter #183

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                              +   +
                            +       +
                          +           +
                        +               +
                      +                   +
                    +                       +
                  +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                    +                       +
                      +      Epic II      +
                        +               +
                          +           +
                            +       +
                              +   +

+    The various characters contained in these writings are   +
+  copyright 1994 by Thomas Miller.  Any resemblance to any   +
+  persons or characters either real or fictional is utterly  +
+  coincidental.  Copying and/or distribution of these tales  +
+  is permissible only under the sole condition that no part  +
+  of them will be used or sold for profit.  In that case, I  +
+  hope you enjoy them...                                     +
+                                                             +
+                            Thomas Miller                    +
+                    +
+   THE PARTY (those who stayed behind) :                     +
+                                                             +
+   Alindyar      15th level dark elven mage              (N) +
+   Ged           14th/14th level grey elven priest/mage (NG) +
+   Lyra          12th level female dark elven mage       (N) +
+   Date:    11/2/573 C.Y. (Common Year)                      +
+   Time:    afternoon                                        +
+   Place:   Ged's castle, outside Greyhawk                   +
+   Climate: cold                                             +
+   "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the       +
+    rich."                                                   +
+                                      - Napoleon Bonaparte   +

               CLXXXIII.  On the Home Front

  While the others have gone away on a quest, Ged and the drow
have remained behind, near Greyhawk...

Ged:  ...well, I _thought_ those drow were staying...
grey cat:  (watching Ged talk to himself)  Meow?
Ged:  Nothing.  I was just wondering where they went.

  After making some notes in a tome, the elf decided to take
a stroll around his lands.  With his cat trotting alongside,
he headed for the farmsteads which surrounded his castle.

farmer:  (to his son)  Boy, pay close attention.  That's Ged,
  the ruler of this whole area.
son:  Whoa...
Ged:  (greeting the farmers cheerfully)  How goes it?
second farmer:  Pretty good.  The crops are kind of low, but
  that's to be expected at this time of year.
Ged:  Of course, of course.
third farmer:  'Twas a good harvest, though.  We're well
  prepared for the winter.
Ged:  (shrugs)  Naturally.  Boccob smiles upon us all.
fourth farmer:  (scowling)  Oh, really?
Ged:  Eh?
fourth farmer:  My daughter's been sick for a week now...
  she might die!  No gods are going to be able to help her
  if that happens...
Ged:  Did you not bring her to the temple of Boccob?
fourth farmer:  This season's crops weren't enough for me
  and my family...we hardly have any money...
Ged:  (fuming)  Money?!?
fourth farmer:  Uh...
Ged:  Never mind that.  Take me to your daughter.

  The man led Ged through the maze of huts and farms, and a
few minutes later, they entered a small, dilapidated home.

farmer's wife:  Who's this?
farmer:  Err...this is the High Priest Ged...the ruler-
Ged:  Enough.  Where is the child?
farmer's wife:  (runs into a side room)
farmer:  (follows his wife)
Ged:  (follows the farmer)
grey cat:  (follows Ged)  Meow?

  Ged and the farmer followed the wife into the tiny room,
where an extremely pale young girl was laying on a mat.

girl:  (she croaks something in a weak voice)
grey cat:  (looking around the room)
Ged:  (checking the child's forehead, which is covered with
  sweat)  By Boccob, she's ill.
farmer:  Well, yeah...
Ged:  Any idea what might have brought this on?
farmer's wife:  Not at all.  She just got sick one night.
Ged:  Hmm.  (he begins spellcasting)
farmer:  What?!?
Ged:  Have no fear.  (he finishes his Cure Disease, and
  places his glowing hand upon the girl's head)
girl:  (falls asleep)
farmer's wife:  What have you done?
Ged:  She'll be fine...just let her sleep it off.
farmer:  But how-
Ged:  With Boccob's power, she has been cured.
farmer's wife:  Cured?
Ged:  Trust me.
farmer's wife:  (now hugging her sleeping daughter, who has
  stopped sweating)  It's a miracle!
farmer:  How can we ever repay you?
Ged:  Just tell everyone what happened here
  know, spread the word of Boccob's power...Hmm, that's it.
  Take me to the temple of Boccob that you spoke of.
farmer:  Uh, okay.  (he leads Ged out of his home)

  They walked for awhile, eventually stopping at one of the
two temples of Boccob that Ged had built in the community.

Ged:  (strides into the temple, followed by the farmer and
  the grey cat)  Greetings.
sub-priest:  (surprised as hell)  Aie.
Ged:  Who's in charge here?
sub-priest:  Err...that would be Ansalon.  Let me show you
  to him...
Ged:  That won't be necessary.  I built this temple, and I
  know where the high priest's quarters are.  (he heads
  deeper into the building)
grey cat:  (pads along behind)
farmer:  (following meekly)

  Shortly, they found the one known as Ansalon, sitting at
a desk making notes in a journal.

Ansalon:  (a middle-aged human)  Ged!  How nice to see you!
Ged:  Enough, Ansalon.  This fellow here (he indicates the
  farmer) tells me that his daughter couldn't be cured of
  disease, because he didn't have the money to pay for her.
Ansalon:  (looking worried)  Well, there is the fee...
Ged:  Fee?
Ansalon:  It's standard operating procedure.  That's how
  temples make money...
Ged:  Make money?!?
Ansalon:  They've got to be funded somehow.
Ged:  (rather angry)
Ansalon:  Say, if you don't mind my asking, how many temples
  have you ever been in charge of?
Ged:  None, but-
Ansalon:  Precisely my point.
Ged:  And a good point it is.  Well, I shall have a solution
  for you within the week.  (he turns and leaves)
Ansalon:  (somewhat confused by all of this)

  Four days later...

Ged:  (walks into Ansalon's office)  Ho, there.
Ansalon:  Hello...what news?
Ged:  Well, I've decided that any temples of Boccob in my
  domain shouldn't have to worry about money...or paperwork,
  or anything else.  So, I've taken the liberty of expanding
  your roster.
Ansalon:  Expanding?  Roster?
Ged:  In your lobby are three more sub-priests, who will be
  working here from now on.  I've arranged for an extra
  building to be added to your temple, too.  Expect my stone
  golem to arrive tomorrow, to help lift the heavier blocks
  of stone.
Ansalon:  That's excellent...but the funding?
Ged:  I'm getting to that.  From this day forth, healing
  and other magic will be provided to the needy without any
  charge.  Funding for your temple will now be provided from
  a central source - me.
Ansalon:  No taxes?
Ged:  I'll handle the taxes - you and Tirion, in the other
  temple, will handle the people's needs.  No paperwork, no
  money collections, no complications.
Ansalon:  Hmm.
Ged:  It's in Boccob's better interest, trust me.
Ansalon:  I's just a new concept.
Ged:  We'll have weekly meetings, instead of monthly ones.
  You, and I, and Tirion, and any priests of abbot ranking
  or higher, shall be at these meetings.  I want to make
  damn sure that nothing prevents us from doing everything
  we can to help the people.
Ansalon:  Sounds good.  And guess what else I've noticed?
Ged:  What's that?
Ansalon:  Attendance at the church has risen considerably.
Ged:  Hmm, word of my recent disease-curing must be going
  around.  Nothing helps like re-affirming the faith...
Ansalon:  Indeed.

  Ged had messengers spread the word of his new policies
around the farmsteads, and the people were much happier.
In fact, a startling report made its way to Ged a few days
after his talk with Ansalon.  As the priest-mage was in
his laboratory, working on a backup spellbok, there was a
soft knock at the door.

Ged:  Come.

  A slender, fair-skinned female elf entered the workroom.
She was dressed in a light blue cloak, and a longsword was
strapped to her belt.

Ged:  Oh, hi, Nenya.
Nenya:  Well, I took on the additional responsibility you
  asked me to.  As if being a student in the mystical arts
  wasn't enough...
Ged:  Well, I don't know too many people who are skilled in
  the ways of agriculture as well as magic.
Nenya:  It's no more than a hobby...
Ged:  Come now.  Let's face it, you're better qualified than
  anyone to appraise the current state of my lands and make
  recommendation as to new land to buy.
Nenya:  Hmm, basically, you're right.  Anyway...I've ridden
  around the farmlands and taken some notes.
Ged:  (expectantly)  And...?
Nenya:  And, you've got more people than you have land.  Two
  options suggest themselves:  one, shrink the size of your
  average farmstead.
Ged:  Out of the question.  In fact, I was hoping to give
  them some bonus land.
Nenya:  I know, and I agree.  For that reason, I suggest
  option two:  buy all the land to the south of your current
  holdings.  Besides being fertile, it is owned by the city,
  rather than a single person, and should thus be much easier
  to appropriate.
Ged:  You've checked?
Nenya:  Naturally.
Ged:  Excellent.  I shall head into Greyhawk today!
Nenya:  Here, take these notes I made.  They detail exactly
  what you'll need to know to deal with the city council.
Ged:'ve done well.  We'll get on with your
  training as soon as I return.  (he wanders out, musing
  about how Peldor isn't the only one who can surround
  himself with outstanding help)

  Meanwhile, in a place neither here nor there, Alindyar and
Lyra have taken a survey of the items that the former lost
while incarcerated in the drow city of Erelhei-Cinlu...

Alindyar:  'Twas fortunate indeed that my spellbook was safe well as the magical mirror.
Lyra:  Yes...too bad about the rings, though.  At least we
  had a spare cloak.
Alindyar:  Truly there is some benefit to hoarding away some
  portion of one's wealth.
Lyra:  Told you.
Alindyar:  Hmm, perhaps the time has come to check up on the
  fools.  (they both walk over to where the mirror of mental
  prowess has been set up)
Lyra:  I still can't get over what a useful item this is.
Alindyar:  A wondrous device, indeed.  (the mirror goes hazy,
  then clear, and a woodland scene appears, wherein Mongo is
  standing guard with Arnold, while the others sleep)
Lyra:  It seems that they're camped out in some forest.
Alindyar:  Aye.  They have not yet reached their destination expected.
Lyra:  Do you really think they'll need help when they get
  to their destination?
Alindyar:  Probably.  And we shall be ready for such a time.

next time :  back to the main group

ftp site  : in /pub/frp/stories/adventurers

notes     :  Consider:  in a world where it is possible to
           directly witness the power of gods, what better
           way to spread/keep the faith than to use your
           magic to help out the people?
             Don't get me wrong, though - I'm the most non-
           religious person you'll ever meet.  I was simply
           expounding on a theoretical case here.

Thomas Miller              
Systems Support Specialist II          Georgia Tech Network Services
  "Who are you?"
  "Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name..."
  "Oh, just a classical reference.  Nevermind."

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