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    Changes of the Heart Part I
    Posted on Thu, January 08, 2004 by Trickster
    fallon writes "In the mysterious world of the Flanaess, sometimes even evil can be changed for the good. Join Fallon the Sage as he relates a story of an encounter he had several years ago with a Monk of the Scarlet Brotherhood...

    Changes of the Heart Part I
    By: fallon
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    This is the story of Alran Koren and how I came to know him. Very few can say that they have ever met a member of the Scarlet brotherhood. Fewer can call one a friend.
    On the 17th day of Flocktime in the Common year 589, I was returning to my Great Hall in the Vesve Forest. I had been in the city of Greyhawk for about a week meeting with Nerof Gasgal and Jallarzi Sallavarian regarding some information that I had discovered. In my endless quest for knowledge, I had come upon some references to an old temple of Nerull that had been abandoned about a century ago, in the Cairn Hills. While the exact location was hard to discern, I felt that they might have a better idea of its location. While I had no personal desire to search for it, I figured that these two might be more inclined to root it out. Knowing the Hierarchs might be looking for a new home, I thought it would be wise to have the temple sealed permanently. My information was well received and they gave me the impression that they would mount an expedition. Also they agreed to give me any tomes or books recovered, minus any spell books.
    I got a late start that morning and had originally planned to meet an old friend in Maravan, a small village along the Nyr Dyr. Thorain Ironheart and his entourage were traveling to Greysmere to attend his cousin?s wedding. I had promised to buy them dinner in the village?s only Inn, The Magical Trout. I was in the Principality of Ulek five years ago and wanted to repay him for his hospitality. I expected to arrive a few hours after dark but I figured Thorain and party would start without me. Thorain was not known to miss a meal. I could only guess what the meal would cost me.
    Forty-five minutes outside of the town, I heard a large crashing sound, followed by voices yelling and screaming children. I looked at my two retainers with concern and spurred my horse ahead. They and my small detachment of mounted men-at-arms followed me.
    I turned the bend in the road and saw a horrible sight. A wagon had overturned and its draft horses had run off. A group of children were huddled at the back of the wagon for safety. They were being menaced by two half-orcs clad in studded leather armor and armed with long swords. A man and woman were at the front of the wagon.
    The woman was badly wounded and unconscious on the ground. Her robes indicated she was a priestess of Pelor. The man was dressed as a pilgrim and was wielding a long spear. He too had been wounded and was fending off two more half-orcs. Two half-orcs and a human lay dead at his feet. Behind the two advancing half-orcs were two humans, one loading a crossbow and another with a staff. The staff-bearing human was preparing a spell.
    This assault on children and pilgrims infuriated me. I drew my faithful blade, Diamond Edge, and charged the two humans. My two retainers followed my example. Axel drew his great bow and fired two arrows at the bandits approaching the pilgrim. Kylie called Ehlonna?s name and summoned a spell. The men-at-arms drew their swords and charged the two bandits that approached the children.
    The bandits were surprised to see an armed force bearing down on them and were momentarily frozen. That pause allowed me to get close and with a swipe of Diamond Edge, I took off the crossbowman?s left hand at the wrist. He howled in pain and dropped to the ground clutching his stub.
    The mage let a burst of colors fly from his hand. His burst stunned two men-at-arms and knocked them out of their saddles. Axel hit the mage in the leg with an arrow. The mage grimaced in pain but held his ground. Kylie hit the half-orcs near the pilgrim with an entanglement spell and they became stuck in place. The pilgrim skewered one where he stood. The remaining men-at-arms trounced the two half-orcs with blades and hooves. As I spun my steed around to face the mage, the horse?s hindquarters hit him in the face. The mage fell on his back and I trampled him for good measure. Axel hit the screaming human with two more arrows. The pilgrim finished off the remaining bandit with a swing of his spear.
    As the dust settled, I saw the pilgrim stagger. I got off my horse and moved towards him. He fell to his knees clutching his spear for support and then collapsed. As I began to treat his wounds, I noticed that strange green ichors marred some of the wounds.
    ?Poison,? I muttered to myself and cast the few curative spells I knew.
    ?Kylie,? I bellowed. ?Aid the priestess. I think she has been wounded by some type of poison.?
    Axel consoled the crying children while the men-at-arms searched the area for more bandits. Minutes later, two of my men at arms returned with another six children who had taken refugee in the woods.
    My magic had healed some of the pilgrims? wounds but had little effect upon the poison. It appeared to put him in a deep, sleep state and I had little luck reviving him. Kylie's own healing ability, while greater than mine, also failed. I tried to make the pilgrim more comfortable with my cloak. As I moved him, I noticed a small tattoo under his right arm, the mark of the Scarlet Brotherhood! The young man did have all the ethnic characteristics of an Ethnic Suel but this didn?t make sense at all. Why would a member of this malevolent order defend a priestess of Pelor and a dozen children?

    Changes of the Heart: Part II

     

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    Re: Changes of the Heart Part I (Score: 1)
    by Yabusama on Thu, January 08, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Intriging start, I like the style of the story. When's the next installment?



    Re: Changes of the Heart Part I (Score: 1)
    by Fallon on Thu, January 08, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    I will have it submitted this week. Glad that you like the start of it.
    Andy
    aka Fallon


    ]


    Re: Changes of the Heart Part I (Score: 1)
    by Coldpenguin625 on Thu, January 08, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    How many parts is this story going to have? I like it so far.



    Re: Changes of the Heart Part I (Score: 1)
    by Fallon on Thu, January 08, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    There are five parts total. It's already written so I will submit them once a week. Glad you like it. Thanks
    Andy
    aka Fallon


    ]


    Nice, Fallon (Score: 1)
    by Greyson on Fri, January 09, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://www.donkbrown.com
    I agree with the above comments. Nice work, Fallon. I bet several people are interested in getting their hands on Alran. I look forward to the next installment.



    Re: Changes of the Heart Part I (Score: 1)
    by Abysslin on Tue, January 27, 2004
    (User Info | Send a Message | Journal) http://www.canonfire.com
    Nice, I had been able to imagine the entire story taking place and the ending has left me in suspense. Moving on to part II.



    Re: Changes of the Heart Part I (Score: 1)
    by Mystic-Scholar on Sat, October 03, 2009
    (User Info | Send a Message) http://mysticscholar.blogspot.com/
    I'm with the others on this one, well done. Moving on to part II myself.




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