As Felladar boarded the ship to The Sword Coast, he could feel a strange numbness seeping across his mind. Barely able to think straight, he stumbles aboard, when suddenly a bright light blinds him. When his vision returns, he is in a different place. It looks like a tent, made up to look like a war room with maps and battle plans all over the various tables inside. An old man in full battle plate stands behind one of the desks, his eyes on Felladar.
Realizing just who this was, Felladar collapsed to his knees, kneeling before his god.
“My lord Heironeous, you grace me with your presence.”
The battle-hardened old man looks down at Felladar.
“On your feet soldier. You have done well.”
As Felladar gets to his feet, the god continues to talk.
“By destroying Ilyana and her forces, you have destroyed the threat that would have wiped out the island of Keen, and eventually a good portion of Chult too, plunging that land into chaos and darkness. You and your band of friends have averted this fate, and you have earned my favour. I know what you have been seeking Felladar, what all paladins initially seek. And you shall have it. For you, Felladar Brightblade, have served me well!”
Felladar’s eyes widen and he lets out a gasp in shock. As Heironeous gives him his name, a longsword slides out of the ground in front of the paladin, rising into the air point toward the ground and beginning to glow.
“Take this sword, Brightblade, and carry it with honour. I can only hope that this blade keeps you on the right path, with what lies ahead for you…”
Felladar reverently takes hold of the sword. It fits well in his hand and is perfectly balanced, as if it were hand crafted for him.
“This is not all I give you, young knight. I have one further gift. I know you question my ways in your heart, do you not? Come now, don’t be shy, you have nothing to fear from me.”
Felladar slowly nods his head, replying, “yes my lord.. I have lived my whole life seeking out your will and following the path of righteousness, doing that which is good and lawful. But recently, my comrades have shown me other ways of thinking… The assassin for example, who doesn’t follow the rules in any way at all yet still manages to do good. I am curious about the other paths of life.”
“That you are, young warrior. And that is why I give you this gift. I release you from my service.”
Felladar stares in complete shock, feeling the holy power that flowed through him previously leaving his body. Heironeous holds up a hand.
“Fear not. As I said, you shall have no harm from me. You averted a war that the side of law and order would undoubtedly have lost, and therefore, this one time I am willing to make an exception. You will suffer none of the ill effects the fall from paladinhood can bring. However this does not come without its price. I offer you the gift of being able to see all as it truly is, to see the very balance of the world as I do. Your questions about other walks of life shall be answered, and you shall find your own place in the very centre of it all. But this is no simple gift. Nay, it is a double edged sword, for such a powerful gift comes with a price to be sure. Alas, my time here grows short. Even as I appear unto you, another god, one of evil and chaos, is permitted counsel with one of his warriors, thus we must be brief. Will you accept this gift, this curse, that I offer Felladar Brightblade? It is what you seek, though not what you wish it to be.”
After thinking it over for a moment, Felladar slowly nods.
“I will accept your gift my lord. I shall seek my own path, and on my honour, I swear I shall find it.”
Heironeous steps forth, and reaches out a hand to place upon Felladar’s head.
“Go forth, you who were formally my warrior, and find the path you seek. Find the balance that your heart desires. I leave you now, though power of your own shall take the place of the power I gave to you.”
As Felladar listens, his vision flickers back and forth between seeing the battle-tent, and seeing a fight going on with bandits by the looks of things. He draws his sword in the real world and attempts to aid his comrades even as his mind is pulled back to Heironeous once more.
“I offer you one last piece of advice, Brightblade. Seek out Ixil, he will require your aid though he will not admit it. Aid him, but do not trust him for he is not as he appears. This is my final gift to you Felladar. We shall not likely meet again.”
With that, Felladar snaps back to the real world with a gasp, sitting straight up in his bed, in a strange place. It looks to be an inn, but Felladar has no memory of how he got there. The sword given to him by Heironeous sits at the end of his bed with his other weapons and equipment. The sleeping forms of his comrades lie in beds around the room, and Felladar ponders what was said to him. A strange feeling comes over him as he looks at his comrades. He can feel each one’s presence as he looks at them, but not just their presence. The air in the room seems affected by them, and by himself to a lesser degree. Energies in the air pull in four directions, north south east and west. Or perhaps more correctly, toward good and evil, and toward order and chaos. There is balance for now, but Felladar shudders at the thought of what it may feel like if that balance were shifted…
As he ponders what all this could mean, his friends begin to stir.