Chapter #551

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                                  +
                                +   +
                              +       +
                            +           +
                          +               +
                        +                   +
                      +                       +
                    +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                      +                       +
                        +      Epic III     +
                          +               +
                            +           +
                              +       +
                                +   +
                                  +

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+    Many of the locations, non-player characters, spells, and      +
+  other terms used in these stories are the property of TSR, Inc.  +
+  However, this does not mean that TSR in any way endorses or      +
+  authorizes their use, and any such items contained within these  +
+  stories should not be considered representative of TSR in any    +
+  way, shape, or form.                                             +
+    The player characters contained in these writings are copy-    +
+  right 1991-8 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                    +
+                                  tmiller@cimmeria.ns.gatech.edu   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Deryck       10th level half-elven ranger                   (NG) +
+  Nenya         8th/9th level female elven fighter/wizard     (NG) +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  Date:        3/1/577 C.Y. (Common Year)                          +
+  Time:        late afternoon                                      +
+  Place:       southwest of the Free City of Greyhawk              +
+  Climate:     cool                                                +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+  "Reason is a harmonising, controlling force rather than          +
+   a creative one."                                                +
+                                             - Bertrand Russell    +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





                    DLI.  Moving Forward





  While various others have been traveling the world, meeting new
foes and defeating them, Nenya and Deryck have been taking care of
business on the home front...

Nenya:  (closes the thick ledger wearily)  This is a lot of work!
Deryck:  (tinkering with some arrowheads as he checks their edges
  and balance)  You knew it would be.
Nenya:  Yes...but I had no idea of the full responsibilities that
  it entailed.
Deryck:  I don't think anyone did.

  In the last few months, they had learned just what it meant to
oversee a large area of land and its residents.  The myriad and
frequent issues - taxes on the inhabitants, taxes from the nearby
city of Greyhawk, military issues, weather, crops, planting, laws,
dispute-settling, and religious duties, just to name a few - had
proven challenging and time-consuming.  Finally, though, now that
the crops had been harvested and the winter was coming to an end,
they felt that they had a grasp on things.
  Still, it had been - and still would be - a lot of work and
responsibility.

Nenya:  All this time...all these years, Ged did all of this and
  never told anybody.
Deryck:  Perhaps he thought it best to bear the brunt of the work
  himself.
Nenya:  And not even let anyone else know?  (she shakes her head)
  Amazing.

  In truth, they still continued to find new and amazing things
about Ged and his dealings while alive.  Barely a month ago, while
looking for some old scrolls in Ged's castle vaults, Nenya had
unearthed a detailed catalog of Sueloise treasures and objects.
There were hundreds of items on the list...carven statues, holy
items, jewelry, artwork, ancient tomes, weapons, and much more.
All of these items were being stored in a previously-undiscovered
chamber deep within the deceased elf's vaults, and when Nenya
found them, she was awestruck.  The trove represented the fruits
of Ged's multiple trips to eons-old Suel cities; the elf had saved
countless treasures, and his collection was likely the largest and
most comprehensive Sueloise trove on Oerth.
  It was Deryck who had come up with the idea to sort the items
and put them on display...

Nenya:  Like a museum?
Deryck:  (nods)  That way, everyone would be able to see the legacy
  of the Suel...their art, their crafts, and so on.
Nenya:  It only seems right.  After all, most peoples' perceptions
  of the Suel race are based on the battles and wars they fought.
  This would bring out a whole new side.
Deryck:  (shivers)  I wonder if this is what Ged had in mind.
Nenya:  It's possible.  Then again, he had a great love of all
  things ancient, so he might have had that in mind when he took
  all of these things.
Deryck:  (frowns)  I hate trying to second-guess the deceased.
Nenya:  Well, call it strange, but I have a hunch that Ged wouldn't
  have complained about your idea.
Deryck:  Let's hope not...

  As she recalled that late-night conversation from several weeks
ago, Nenya smiled.  She'd been working hard ever since then, to get
everything else in order so that she could give this new project
the attention it deserved and required.  Things were pretty well
settled now; their little cluster of land-settlements had grown
into a small but thriving community.  Its populace had recently
passed the one-thousand mark, and signs indicated that it would
continue to grow, as long as there was land for new farmers and
their families to live and work on.
  Fortunately, Nenya had been able to secure a sizable area of land
directly adjacent to her existing lands.  At first, this effort had
appeared to be problematic; however, when Greyhawk officials found
out that the young elven woman was the named successor of Ged, they
changed their tune.  Apparently, the elf possessed considerable
influence even after death.
  Nenya had doubled the size of her holding, buying far more land
than she thought she'd ever need.  Then again, who would have
thought that the first chunk of land would fill up like it had?
She'd made wise investments with the taxes raised over the last
year, and those funds combined with the monies willed to her by
Ged had proven enough for the land expansion.
  Already, some of this new land had been leased or sold to new
and previous farmers.  Nenya made sure that her investment was
protected and maintained; irrigation channels were being plowed
and defensive posts erected even now.  Deryck had wanted to build
a wall, an outer perimeter around all of their land, but since
Nenya didn't foresee any large-scale wars on the horizon, she
vetoed the ranger's idea.  Instead, they would increase both the
numbers of full-time soldiers and local militia.  The idea here
was to keep the people happy while looking out for their best
interests.  Honestly, Nenya thought she was doing an outstanding
job of balancing these two tasks.  Ged had done an excellent job
too, but his other interests and frequent absences had been a
problem when it came to his relations with both the citizens of
his province and the officials of nearby political entities.
  That brought up another question:  how exactly did one go about
getting one's populated lands recognized as a free holding, not
subject to the laws and policies of any nearby kingdom or free
city?  Nenya suspected that her husband's answer was right:  to
be truly independent, an area had to possess a certain amount of
military power.  Since Deryck and Nenya weren't quite at this
point yet, they opted to continue to be subject to Greyhawk's
rule - for now.
  That didn't mean that they were powerless, though - they could
(and did) levy taxes of their own.  These could be of whatever
amount they saw fit, as long as Greyhawk received its lump-sum
each month.  Nenya deliberately kept this amount as low as
possible - after all, she didn't have a lot of the same expenses
as a large town or city.  The people were happy, the city of
Greyhawk was happy, and all the while, the small province grew
by bits and pieces.
  These political and economic issues were frustrating at times,
but they also allowed Nenya to grow in ways she'd never have
been able to otherwise.  She was pleased, because her hard work
was bearing visible fruit.  She and Deryck had even been talking
of having children soon; this was rather early for the elven
woman, but they both felt that the time was right.  The future
would tell...but for now, she prepared her notes and papers for
tomorrow's trip to Greyhawk.  There, she hoped to present her
idea for the Sueloise museum, and work out a scheme to implement
the idea.





next:      Nenya pitches her idea
ftp:       ftp.myths.com in /pub/rpg/stories/adventurers
           ftp.intertex.net in /pub/users/zac/rpg/adventurers/
           ftp.tas.gov.au/misc/stories
www:       http://www.myths.com/pub/rpg/stories/adventurers
           http://www.shobaki.org/adventurers
homepage:  http://www.gatech.edu/oit/oe/design/thomas/adv/adv.html
email:     tmiller@cimmeria.ns.gatech.edu       (preferred)
           thomas.miller@oit.gatech.edu         (emergency)
notes:     Thanks to Joe at raiste@geocities.com for general prodding
  to bring Nenya and Deryck back, and to Marc Midura for the Sueloise
  museum idea.

    It seems that I was vague in my rantings at the end of episode
  550.  No, I am not going to stop writing now.  Yes, eventually
  I will need a break; it will almost certainly happen after episode
  600 is released.  I will use the off-time to write some other
  things.  The episodes leading up to and including 600 will bring
  the adventurers to C.Y. 579, in which the Greyhawk Wars start.

    Obviously this will entail some major changes in their lives,
  so before it happens, I want to wrap up as many old loose ends as
  possible.  Most of that will happen in the next 30 episodes.  I
  think the point immediately before worldwide war breaks out is a
  very good place to pause the saga and take a long break.

    Sorry for the confusion, I was writing 550's comments in a hurry
  and my mood was an odd one.  I hope the statements I've just made
  have cleared up any confusion I caused.  I am not done with the
  Adventurers saga yet, I simply sense that it's beginning to wind
  down.  I've done almost everything I wanted to do with the series,
  so to avoid inferior work, I will have to slow down and proceed
  with caution.

    I will continue to release one episode per week for now.  If I
  am able to produce material at a faster pace, I may step up the
  release pace as well so that I can reach 600 by the end of 1998.
  We'll see.
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