Heartsong's Hearth

Fame Stories

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Here are some fame stories I've written for various people in Athens...many have long since left, but I still remember them.

Arden's Story
She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.  When the sun shone just right her dark auburn hair seemed to blaze with an internal fire all it's own and her eyes were of a clearer, deeper green than any emerald ever could be.  Arden fell hard for Syl, the weaver's daughter, even though she was 19, two years older than he was.

She seemed to be quite fond of him, too.  He felt so proud as he escorted her to the dances in the village of Dayle's square.  All the other single males eyed him jealously as he and Syl swung around the dance floor, arms interlocked.  The world was a wonderful place for Arden.

Then the rich stranger came to town.

He came, he said, to commission a fancy cloak to be made by Syl's father.  Arden saw the look in the handsome stranger's eye the first time he saw Syl.  What was worse is that he saw that same look reflected in her emerald eyes.  Something deep inside Arden knew that his world would be forever changed by that look.

The rich stranger started spending more and more time with Syl.  It was easy to tell when he was in Dayle because eagles would roost in the eaves of Syl's house.  The villagers started to gossip among themselves, saying that this stranger was not a mortal, but in actuality a god.  The fact that Syl's blind mother suddenly regained her sight and that a well was dug by a lightning bolt out of a clear blue sky during the draught that had plagued their village seemed to prove the whisperings true.

Time passed and Syl became large with the stranger's child.  The villagers looked at her and saw dinarii, if this child was to be a half-god they could make a ton of money as it's birthplace...a tourist attraction.
Soon the time of the child's birth drew near.  The villagers decided to have a party to welcome their soon-to-be famous child.  Even the rich stranger showed up to enjoy the festivities.
Arden watched Syl with the strange man laughing and whispering together and as he did something deep inside his heart seemed to shrivel and die.  He couldn't just sit there any longer.

He got about a mile out of town, where he sunk to the ground and let his tears flow.  He was there for quite some time when a voice startled him, "What is the problem?"  He looked up into the face of a beautiful, regal woman.  She was in a gold trimmed carriage led by 4 perfectly matched white stallions.  Arden wondered how the carriage had arrived without his hearing it's approach.

"Come, join me.  Tell me what is wrong, young man," the woman's deep melodious voice commanded.  At first Arden refused, he was just a poor farmer's son and the carriage was so splendid.  The woman assured him that she wanted him to sit with her so he climbed up and settled himself down on the red velvet seat.

The woman offered Arden some sweet burgundy colored wine and as he drank the story of what had happened seemed to spill from him as easily as the karafe spilled out the wine.  Perhaps he felt it so easy to talk to her of his heart-ache because he had held it inside for so long and perhaps it was something in the wine, but he soon had told her everything that had happend.

As Arden spoke the woman seemed to become more and more agitated.  Looking up as he ended his story he could have sworn that her eyes actually flashed with anger, but then he decided he must've drunk too much of that wine on an empty stomach.

"So THAT is what he has been up to!" the woman fairly spat the words.  "I will show him!"

After getting directions to Dayle she let Arden back out on the road and the carriage headed off.  Arden sat by the side of the road a bit longer and then decided to head back to the village to apologize to Syl and wish her well.

Arden had almost reached the village square when there rose a terrible noise, something between a clash of thunder and a scream of rage.  All at once the villagers ran from the square, almost trampling Arden in their panic. 

Arden cautiously made his way toward the noise to find out what happened.  He arrived in the square just in time to see the regal woman point toward Syl.  Syl writhed and started to change before his eyes.  Extra legs grew and her body became soft and plump.  When the change was done Syl was no longer a beautiful young lady, she had become a large silkworm.

"Now you can make all the cloaks you want," the woman hissed.

"No!" Arden screamed, running toward the woman. Not caring about his own safety, he flung out his hand and slapped her hard across the face.

The next thing Arden knew he was laying flat on his back on the other side of the square, his hair turned pure white by whatever she had done.  His whole body ached.  The only one left in his sight was the giant silkworm.

As Arden groaned and hobbled up to his feet the villagers started to file back into the square.  "It is all your fault, Arden!" one of the villagers said.  The other's agreed.  "Now we will not have a half-god child to make Dayle famous," another grumbled.

Arden stayed in Dayle for a short time longer but the villagers made his life very uncomfortable.  He finally decided to go to Syl's house to tell her goodbye.  Syl seemed happy spinning silk and munching on leaves.  Her father said that she spun the finest thread he had ever seen and that his family would be rich soon.  They both appeared to be quite content with the way things had turned out.

Arden left Dayle and wandered through the land, finally settling in Athens after several years of travel.  He never was totally sure who the stranger and the regal woman were...but he has his suspicions.

Hawken walked along jauntily, whistling a happy tune, accompanied by the clinking of the dinars in his pocket.  He'd had a particularly successful time of late collecting the dinars off of the rogues and thieves that had taken over Tiamat's vineyard and now was heading to Alexandria to spend some of his hard won cash.

'Pondering on all the wonderful exotic treasure of Egypt that he could buy, Hawken was so deep in thought that he almost didn't notice the scuffling behind him.  Too late he turned, just in time for a strong net to be tossed over him, engulfing him in its ropes.  Hawken struggled valiantly, but to no avail.  The harder he struggled the tighter the net entangled him.

"He's a biggun."  Hawken heard one of his captors say.

"Yeah, he should bring a good price!"  chimed in a second.

Hawken managed to raise his head enough to see the three men who'd captured him.   All three of the human men were greasy haired, disreputable types, their faces scarred and their eyes bright with greed.  Hawken realized that they were slave traders by their talk.

One of the men pulled up a straw laden cart that was towed by a broken down old mule.  The three struggled to lift Hawken's bulk into the cart.

Despite the net twined around his limbs, Hawken was determined to make his captors feel his anger.   He may be tied up, but he wasn't helpless!  He could still move a bit.  The loud *CRACK* Hawken heard as he lashed out with a well-timed kick at one of the men sent a shiver of satisfaction through his mind.   The man howled in pain, clutching his broken arm.   From that moment on the men were careful to avoid the bound giant's feet.

The three men finally managed to drag Hawken into the wagon and covered him with straw, leaving no trace of our friend's predicament.   The cart started off, bumping and skipping down the road.  One of the cartwheels must've had a break in it because every rotation it jarred painfully and Hawken smashed his head against the wall of the cart.

About 20 minutes of travelling and they finally rolled to a stop.  The straw was pulled away from Hawken's face, leaving him blinking blindly up into the bright sunlight.  Another man leaned over Hawen, measuring the giant as though he were a piece of furniture.  Finally the other man nodded, his scraggly, dirty blonde hair hanging in Hawken's face.

"25,000 dinars and not one more," the slaver said.

"B..but that's only 5,000 each," stammered one of the mathematically challenged captors.

The men haggled over Hawken's price for a bit more, until finally agreeing on a sum that made even Hawken gasp with wonder.

Soon Hawken was roughly pulled up and dragged onto the ship and down into the hold with the rest of the hapless slaves.   His netting was so tightly wrapped around him they had to use knives to cut it away from him.

When his captors finally left him, Hawken gazed around at his surroundings.   It was a sight he knew well and had hoped to never see again...the inside of a slave hold.  The smell alone was enough to make his eyes water.  But the sight of the men and women, gazing at him with lifeless, hopeless eyes  was many times worse than the stench of this place.  He recognized many races in this wooden prison, Celts, Norsemen, Centaurs, Giants, Humans and even a Ch'inese or two.

There were 18 rowing oars, each with 4 rowers seated on a bench and chained together and to the floor.  Hawken found himself chained to an oar with three older men during the days.  He was to make up for the lack of strength of the other three.  Each slave pulled oars for 12 hours, then had a 12 hour "rest" down in the slave hold where they were fed just enough to live on and not allowed to talk or move around.

Once every two weeks the slavers would take them out onto the deck and allow them to bathe.  The "bath" consisted of stripping down to their small cloths and having buckets of sea water thrown on them, and then being covered in lye powder.  The stinging, bitter powder killed any fleas and lice that infested the slaves, but if one wasn't careful and some of the powder got in the eyes it could cause blindness.

By Hawken's third week rowing, the other three men on his oar had become so weak that Hawken was doing all the work himself.  Unfortunately one of the slavers noticed and, stating that the other three slaves were just a waste of precious food, executed them.  No replacements for the three men were made so Hawken was forced to row all alone, doing the work of 4 men.

Somehow, during this time, Hawken had incurred the wrath of the head slaver.  Perhaps it was because he'd not given in to his fate as the others had.  He still had life and fire in his eyes and the slaver knew that this was no ordinary person.  The man wanted to break Hawken.  Our friend had become a challenge to him.

One day after the slaves were brought back from their baths a plan began to form in Hawken's mind.  He knew he had to escape, it was just how.   Hawken bided his time, hatching schemes in his head for the two weeks until it was next bath time.

When the day finally arrived, Hawken stayed back while the other slaves were eager to get out of the stinking hold.   Hawken was still in the hold when the slaver counted to see if everyone was there.   Sending the slaves on to the baths with the rest of his men, the head slaver went down into the hold to hurry Hawken along with his whip.

Hawken, knowing the man would be soon be descending the steps waited off to the side of the ladder, until the man reached the bottom, his back to Hawken.   As the slaver's eyes adjusted to the gloom, Hawken hit the man over the head with his manacled wrists, knocking him senseless.   The whip flew from the slaver's hands and Hawken quickly grabbed it up, wrapping it around the man's neck and choking the life from him.

Pulling the manacle keys from the belt of the dead man, Hawken quickly undid his bands and then, as a sign of his triumph, fastened them around the wrists of the slaver.

The ship would be out to sea for a week still.  Hawken knew he'd either have to leave the ship or find a way to hide and avoid his captors for the week.  He knew exactly what to do.

Finding his way to the dinghy that was lashed to the side of the ship, he sat the body of the slaver inside.   Using one of the manacle keys, Hawken pried one of the boards of the small craft loose and then slowly and quietly lowered it into the water.  The slaver was much smaller than Hawken, but if the little boat could get far enough away from the ship, no one would realize that the form inside the dinghy was not giant sized.

Hawken released the dinghy to the tides of the sea.  Then he quickly made his way back down into the slave hold.   The slavers would think he was escaping on the little boat, but he'd be here in the slave hold the whole time.  They wouldn't be searching for him, because they'd think he'd be gone.

Soon the slaves returned, an even more dejected expression on their faces than normal.  They all thought our friend had drowned when the little boat had succumbed to the hole Hawken had made in it and sunk.  Not one of the slaves said a word all week long about Hawken hiding in their midst.  Some even gave him a share of their meager rations, allowing him to get just enough food and water to survive the long week.

Finally the ship reached shore in Piraeus.  The crew went to town for some relaxation and ale, leaving only a handful of men to watch over the ship.   Hawken easily slipped out and off into town, secretly vowing to himself to return someday to set his friends free.

He grew up on the road, travelling from town to town in a caravan.  Never stopping in one place for more than a few days.  Nazgul's parents were silk and spice merchants.

At 5 years old Nazgul's inquisitive grey eyes and quick mind took in everything.  He didn't mind the traveling, but he wished there were other children his own age to play with.  All the adults seemed to be so busy going about their work that he had to find ways to entertain himself.  Often his curiousity and boredom would lead him into mischief.

Then Albarech joined their caravan.  Albarech was an old man, Moorish like all of them, he seemed to fit right in.  Alberech took a shine to Nazgul right away and Nazgul, thankful for the attention, bonded to the old man.

No one really knew what Albarech did.  It seemed that no matter how poor he was going into a town, he would come out with pockets full of coins, although no one ever saw him sell anything or perform any labor.

One day Nazgul arrived at Albarech's wagon as usual.  Albarech was sitting on his stool. He had a toy hawk in his hand.  Nazgul watched in wonder as Albarech launched the wooden bird into the air.  The toy glided forward on the air currents swooping and turning, looking almost like a real hawk in flight.

"Want to try it boy?" Albarech asked.  Nazgul wanted to play with it more than anything in the world.   He couldn't even speak to answer Albarech's question.  He couldn't pry his eyes from the wooden hawk that was now on the ground.  All he could do was nod his head.

Nazgul's first few tries with the toy ended with it slamming head first into the ground a few feet from his feet.  Soon, however, he could soar it almost as far as Albarech.  Nazgul loved watching it glide on so freely on the breezes.

"I have an idea for a game," Albarech said one day, "I will stand in a group of people and you try to sail the hawk to me."

Nazgul thought it sounded like a fun game, so they decided to play it in the town the next day.

They played it in many towns after that.  Nazgul would send the hawk flying to Albarech, and somehow Albarech would always miss catching it.  No matter how well Nazgul threw it, it would always land on the ground.  Some nice person would bend over, pick up the toy hawk and send it flying back to Nazgul.

After playing this game in many cities Nazgul realize that every time someone bent over to pick up the little hawk toy, Albarech would pick their pockets.  When Nazgul confronted him, Albarech assured him that he wasn't taking much and always left his victims some of their coins.

Things continued this way for years, the schemes for lifting coins becoming more and more elaborate.  Nazgul and Albarech never got caught, although they did have a few close calls.

Then one day when Nazgul had just turned 12 years of age, they arrived in Tyre and set up camp.  Albarech went into the town and when he returned there was a greedy gleem in his eye.

He told Nazgul of a gem he had seen, the gem of Jeropth.  "It is in the palace courtyard.  Bigger than my fist it is," Albarech's eyes took on a far away dreamy expression, "With a jewel like that a man would be set for life."

Albarech wanted that gem, he sat for hours plotting how to get it.  Nazgul tried to talk him out of it, but Albarech would not be disuaded.  Finally Nazgul agreed to go along with Albarech, even though they had never stolen anything so big or valuable before.

They had inquired discretely and found that one of the guards always left about the same time every day to go into town and buy lunch to bring back for himself and his partner.  That would leave only one guard on the Gem of Jeropth.

The next day Nazgul went down to the palace courtyard, long straight stick in hand.  He waved his stick wildly when he arrived near the where the gem was being displayed, pretending that he was a mighty warrior in a fierce battle.  The remaining guard only smiled and chuckled at his antics as Nazgul edged closer and closer to the glittering prize. 

Soon an old vagabond dressed in rags and reeking of alcohol arrived.  It was Albarech in disguise.  The old man wandered toward the entry to the private rooms in the palace and the guard moved to head him off.  Setting up a commotion the old man insisted that he had business in the palace. 

While the guard was thus engaged with the old bum, Nazgul grabbed the gem and ran.  He hid the gem and then returned to Albarech's wagon.  By the time he arrived Albarech had already changed back to his normal clothing.

"You got it, Boy!" Albarech exclaimed gleefully.  "Where is it?"  Nazgul told Albarech that he had hidden it inside an old hollow tree.

It wasn't long before Albarech realized that he would not be able to sell that gem.  Everyone knew it had been stolen, the whole town was abuzz with the news.  "What is the use of having the gem if I can't sell it?" Albarech grumbled.  Then he heard of the reward for the capture of the thief and return of the jewel.

The very next day Nazgul went to Albarech's wagon as usual, but this time when he arrived he was met at the door by an armed escort and arrested for stealing the gem.  He watched in disbelief as one of the guards handed Albarech a large sack of coins.

When Nazgul accused Albarech of being the one in charge of the whole thing, Albarech just pretended to be hurt and upset.

Nazgul was tried and found guilty.  The most condemning evidence against him were the reports of robberies in every town the caravan had traveled to.

As his punishment, Nazgul was sold into slavery to a group of Macedonian merchants. He wasn't even  allowed to say goodbye to his parents before he was sent off.

His enslavement was terrible.  He had to steal table scraps and food from the work animals just to survive.  One day he was sent to the well to get water for the horses and he ran away.  He wandered for several years before he eventually ended up here in Athens.


The thump on the door brought Sycorax immediately awake from her deep sleep.  She answered the door quickly, thinking perhaps one of the village women was in need of her midwifing skills.  There were several that were nearing their time.

"Blessed Artemis!" she gasped when she saw the bleeding and bruised figure weeping at her door, "Felicia!"    "Grandmother,"  the figure whimpered, tearfully.

Sycorax helped the trembling and weak girl into the house and settled her comfortably in the bed.  "Now tell me what happened," she said.

Sycorax's black eyes flashed with anger as Felisha told her how she had been collecting mushrooms in the woods where one of the village elders had found her and forced his attentions on her.

After Sycorax tended Felicia's wounds Felicia fell into a troubled sleep. Sycorax dozed in her rocking chair near the bed, watching over her grand-daughter.

As time went by Felicia healed up physically quite fast but the mental wounds were much deeper.  At first she would cringe whenever she saw a man.  Soon though, fear changed to hatred.  She began to hate all men, especially the one who had harmed her.

"He must pay, Grandmother!" she spat.  Sycorax agreed, he should pay for what he had done to her grand-daughter. 

"Take your bow and slay him," Felicia begged.  "You are the best archer in all of Troy.  Your arrow would fly true.  If I tried I would miss and he would kill me."

Sycorax finally agreed to do as her grand-daughter asked.  On the night of the full moon she took up her bow and walked the road toward the man's house. She heard someone coming up the road and hid behind some bushes.  It was him, on his way home from town.  Sycorax stepped out from behind some bushes, bow raised and the moon shining full on her face.  She wanted him to see who was going to kill him.

"This is for my grand-daughter, Felicia," she said as she loosed the arrow.  The arrow flew straight toward the man's heart but at the last moment Artemis herself deflected it to stick harmlessly into a nearby tree.  The man screamed and ran in terror for his life.  He barracaded himself in his house, behind the barred door.

Sycorax prayed to her goddess, Artemis, asking why she had deflected the arrow.  "Do not worry," came her answer, "He will pay for his crime."

At first Felicia was not pleased when Sycorax returned, the man still alive, but when she was told that Artemis would punish him she was satisfied.

Soon Felicia started becoming sick often, mostly in the mornings.  Sycorax knew what that meant:  Felicia was with child.

When Sycorax told her the meaning of her sickness, Felicia wailed, "Take the child from my body, Grandmother!  Please!  I do not wish for this child who will just remind me of what happened."

Felicia weepingly begged Sycorax every day to kill the child.  Sycorax would only reply, "I bring babies into the world, I do not kill them."

As the time neared for the child to be delivered, they recieved word of it's father's death.  He had died a terrible, painful death from a plague, it had eaten and deformed his body until he was unrecognizable before he eventually died.  He had recieved his punishment.

The delivery was not an easy one, the child was turned in a strange possition and Sycorax despared that she might loose both mother and baby.  Sycorax fought for their lives for close to two days when finally the tiny baby was born.

"It is a beautiful, perfect boy child," she told her grand-daughter, voice filled with exhaustion and triumph.

Felicia turned her head weakly away, unwilling to look at the squalling bundle her grandmother held.  "Kill him, Grandmother.  I do not wish to bring another male into this world."

"Look on him, then if you still wish him to die, I will do it," Sycorax responded.

Felicia turned toward her newborn son to look upon him and as she did so he stopped crying and returned her gaze.

Her heart melted and filled with love for the tiny boy-child she had given birth to. "He is beautiful," she whispered.

At that moment Sycorax had a vision of a young man.  He was kind and strong, and blessed greatly by Artemis.  She knew that all the pain her grand-daughter had gone through would be well rewarded.


If you would like a fame story written for you, contact Heartsong and she will set up an interview.  Sometimes it doesn't take long to write one and other times it does, it all depends on the muses.