Thursday, March 21, 2019

110 - “Trouble for Bread” - Parith - A Tale of Heroes

Here's how you can read the story a week (two scenes) ahead of everyone else!

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In the previous part: Thissraelle, a young high elf wizard, has spent much of the summer trying to teach Karendle how to find her own powers. It hasn't gone so well. In the meantime, her giant friend, Granthurg, is worried about what might have happened to his river barge captain. Antonerri and DeFrantis seem to be settling in caring for the monastery's orphans, the kids they had rescued from the Dragon's Flame, but she's been having horrible nightmares. Even though Eddiwarth is having some conflicted feelings toward Thissraelle, he seems to be more adept at sparking her ire than catching her eye.

Back in Twynne Riverns, Parith Laren, a wood elf rogue, has met up with Mann Korr, a strange man that fights with his feet and bare hands.

While all of this is going on, the dragon Kirraxal is planning something big for Twynne Rivers!

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Part 9

Returning!

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“Pardons, friend.” Parith stepped aside, allowing an older woman to cross his path, before continuing on along the side of the street. He had an excited, almost cheerful gait, and chuckled to himself as she grumbled complaints in passing. It was mid-morning, and already quite warm. The narrow, dusty streets of the Outer Wall were busy with people. Most were poor peasants trying to get onto their daily lives, finding a job they could do or spending the previous day's wages on the food and produce they needed for today's meals. 

Parith glanced ahead. There's the woman I saw earlier, further up the street. She was dressed in a plain brown dress, trying to guide two small children toward a gourd vendor sitting on a blanket. Parith's eyes bounced to the other side of the street. That man in the doorway is still there. He wore a grey tunic, looking down at his dusty bare feet.

There's not a lot of color here in the Outer Wall. Maybe it's just the dust we're all kicking up. The street sloped up a little bit, and a thin scraggly dog trotted by him. No City guards around, either. At least, none that I can see right away.

This was the third time he'd walked this section of the street, watching, listening, carefully checking. From ahead he began to smell the bread. There we go.

The rising road leveled and bent slightly to his right, and as he turned with it, he saw the bread vendor. He was an older man, with two small stools. He sat on one, and the other held a big basket piled full of golden loaves. Parith picked up his pace slightly, crossing to the vendor's side of the road. No guards near, and no other buyers in the way...

The old vendor glanced down at his sandal and bent over, reaching to adjust the strap. There's the moment! Go!

Parith jumped into a run. As he passed the basket, he snatched two loaves from the top of the stack. He tucked them into the open folds his shirt and dodged between two passers-by.

“Hey! My bread!” The old man's voice called out down the street, “Someone stop that thief!”

There should be an alleyway up here on the left. Are those footsteps behind me? Others looked on as he rushed past. There is is! Am I being followed?

Like a summer breeze stirring up leaves, he spun and slipped into the alley. In a moment, he crouched down behind a pair of large barrels there.

He held his breath for a moment, listening for any footsteps. I'd better not stay here long...

His eyes focused on the building across the alley. It was a sturdy structure, made of beams and brick. The building he was hiding against was taller, two stories. I can get up there, easy.

He heard shouting from the street. I'd better go now. He popped his head up above the barrel. He didn't see anyone in the alley, but the shouting was getting louder.

With a quick grunt, he jumped up onto the barrels. Now he could hear footsteps as well as blades being drawn.  He squatted low and leaped across, pushing hard, then pulling up his feet. He hit the upper wall of the opposite building, but there were no holds. He planted his feet against the wall and pushed upward and back across the alley, twisting in the air. Now, grab!

He flung his hands forward and grabbed the lowest edge of the roof he had originally been under. His right hand landed on a loose ceramic tile, and slipped free. The other gripped securely, however, and he held on, dangling.

They're coming! Quick! Do it just like in the forest! Parith swung his legs up and hooked his knee and shin up onto the roof's edge. The slope made it difficult, but he pulled himself up and flipped over, lying flat on his back. He gently scooted his body away from the edge and he heard shouts and footsteps below.

Ok, maybe not as much like the forest... Parith held his breath until the commotion faded away. He checked the bread in his shirt. Still there, not smashed. Good.

After a moment, it went quiet. Voices became more distant, things returned to normal. He turned over, knelt on the roof slope, and snuck up to the crown. He peeked over the edge of the roof down onto the street. Everyone below had returned to their business, uncaring.

He smiled and nodded, then stood and walked across the rooftop.


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This continues the story of the heroes in Wynne, in Twynne Rivers, in the world of The Hero's Tale, Family Friendly RPGs. Here's more info on The Hero's Tale, and family friendly RPGing. If you like this story, support us at our Patreon!
Thank you: Chet Cox, Genevieve Springer!

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Monday, March 18, 2019

109 - “Jabbing the Hornet’s Nest” - Eddiwarth - A Tale of Heroes

Here's how you can read the story a week (two scenes) ahead of everyone else!

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Eddiwarth walked with careful steps down the hallway to the library, trying hard not to spill either the ale in the tankard in his left hand, or the food piled up in the plate in his right. After the meal, he had put a plate together to take to Thissraelle. He wasn't sure what she would want from the meal, so he had just loaded it up with a bit of everything. He had wanted to take it to her, but she hadn't been in their dormitory. DeFrantis had said that she would sometimes spend the evening in the library with Granthurg.

Granthurg? Eddiwarth actually snorted. Why Granthurg? I'm a handsome guy, aren't I? He held up the tankard to his face to try and check his reflection. The curve of the cup made his nose look really big. He snorted again. Well, anyway, I am! Besides, I'm an elf. Well, half of me is, anyway...

In a moment, he stood in front of the door, and suddenly realized that he couldn't open it with his hands full. He tried to shift either the plate or the huge mug into one of his arms, but quickly abandoned that idea. Shaking earth, how am I going to do this?

Balancing for a moment on one foot, he tentatively raised the other to tap his shoe on the baseboard of the door. It banged loudly, and he almost lost his balance in surprise. Oop! Too hard!

He heard familiar heavy footballs behind the door, and it opened quickly with a short squeak. Granthurg stood there, towering over Eddiwarth.

Eddiwarth smiled with a bit of embarrassment and held up the food. “Hi! Sorry to bother you. Is Thissraelle in there?”

Granthurg smiled down at him and stood aside. Eddiwarth stepped in, glancing around the room. She was sitting in one of the large, comfortable chairs deep in the long library. She slouched low, unlike her normal high, straight posture, and her eyes were full and even a bit red, and hidden behind a bit of her white hair. Near where she sat was a table covered in books and scrolls. The yellow sun of the early evening was gradually turning red, and shone through the windows, keeping the room well-lit.

Eddiwarth hesitated, taking in a sharp breath, then walked up and showed her the meal. “We missed you at dinner. Are you hungry?” She looked up at him and managed a sort of half-smile. He held the plate for a moment, but she didn't stand, so he looked for a place to set it. He nudged a book aside with his elbow, clearing a space on the table, then set his burdens down. Granthurg hurried over to move the books away from the possible spill.

“Karendle's not up here, either, huh?” Eddiwarth asked. “She wasn't downstairs in your sleeping room. I checked for you there first.”

Thissraelle and Granthurg glanced at each other, then back at Eddiwarth.

“What?” He asked, “Where is she?”

Thissraelle dropped her head. After a pause, Granthurg explained, “Karendle left today.”

“What?”

“Yeah, she and Thissraelle had another argument, and she picked up her things and left. I guess she’s heading back to Twynne Rivers.”

Eddiwarth was surprised. But then, they’re constantly bickering over things; magic, duties, room space... Maybe I’ll finally get some time with just Thissraelle. He strode over to the chairs and dropped into the one next to her. “So, did you finally drive her away?”

Thissraelle looked at him, her brows knit and her eyes wide and a bit firey.

Oh, no. What did I just say?

“I didn’t drive her away!”

“Well, you two are always mad at each other!”

Thissraelle gasped. “I’m trying to help her!” She stood up, bending over Eddiwarth. He sank down low in the chair, avoiding her glare.

“Yeah, well, it didn’t seem to be working out...” he stammered, shielding himself, “I mean, didn’t she say she was trying to capture you?”

“SO WERE YOU!” She was close, shouting in his face.

“Yeah, but, I apologized...,” he mumbled.

She grunted with frustration and turned her back, looking at Granthurg for support. He only shrugged and gestured at Eddiwarth. Thissraelle shook her hair. Her hands tensed in fists at her side.

Eddiwarth took in a breath to try and break the unnatural silence. He sat up a bit, then suggested, “I brought you some dinner...”

“Oh, by the Creator--” Thissraelle hissed, and strode out of the library. The door swung loose after her.

Eddiwarth lowered his arms, and glanced down the narrow library, then looked up at Granthurg. The giant raised an eyebrow and folded his arms before him.

Eddiwarth stood up and straightened his shirt. “That didn’t quite play out how I’d planned it.”


The End of Part 8


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This continues the story of the heroes in Wynne, in Twynne Rivers, in the world of The Hero's Tale, Family Friendly RPGs. Here's more info on The Hero's Tale, and family friendly RPGing. If you like this story, support us at our Patreon!
Thank you: Chet Cox, Genevieve Springer!

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

108 - “Empty Chairs at the Table” - Eddiwarth - A Tale of Heroes

Here's how you can read the story a week (two scenes) ahead of everyone else!

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The brothers of the monastery had been in a happy, celebratory mood. It wasn’t often that there was an occasion for such a big meal. Not that any other meal wasn’t time for good company. The abbey wasn’t one of the harsh, austere orders, with oaths of poverty, silence, and sorrow. Still, tonight’s feast was particularly brisk with laughter and conversation. The Father Abbott led the feast, frequently calling for more trays of the venison to be brought out, and praising the brothers that had roasted them.

Eddiwarth ate, and even enjoyed the food. He’d helped prepare it and serve it, as it was his turn for kitchen duty. Not that he’d had an important role. He had mostly just peeled potatoes and carrots. Slicing the onions had proven to be a particularly emotional experience, or at least so the brothers had teased.

Where could she be? Every time there was any kind of motion near the main door of the hall, Eddiwarth’s head snapped to look. Each time, he was disappointed. Either a monk was just walking past it, or someone was leaving to do an errand for the Father Abbott.

He stared down into his almost empty bowl, wondering.

“More ale?”

He didn’t respond at first, not realizing someone had spoken to him.

“Hey!” someone nudged his shoulder. Eddiwarth looked. It was Granthurg. “More ale?” he said, offering the pitcher.

Eddiwarth shook himself back to the moment. “Sure,” he responded, but without enthusiasm.

Granthurg set the pitcher down in front of Eddiwarth, and pushed his chair back, getting ready to stand. Eddiwarth looked around, suddenly aware that dinner was ending, and many of the brothers had gone on with their evening. The monks of the day's kitchen crew were starting to gather plates and the meal’s remnants. He hadn’t even noticed that Antonerri and DeFrantis weren’t sitting there any more. He reached and picked up the pitcher that Granthurg had left, but didn’t pour. He set it back down.

“She didn’t come.”

Granthurg paused, not hearing. “What?”

“She didn’t come to dinner.”

“Who? Thissraelle? Karendle? No, I didn’t see either one.” Granthurg stood. “Is something wrong?”

“No, I guess not. It’s just that...”

“What?”

I wonder what happened. I guess it’s not so strange that they would miss a meal, but... Eddiwarth looked around, then finally stood. One of the monks nudged him, gesturing toward the table and the plates. He nodded and began his cleanup duties. Granthurg shrugged, slapped him on the back, and left the table.

I hope nothing’s wrong. Maybe I’ll make her a plate after cleanup. He pushed back his own chair and began stacking bowls from the table around him.


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This continues the story of the heroes in Wynne, in Twynne Rivers, in the world of The Hero's Tale, Family Friendly RPGs. Here's more info on The Hero's Tale, and family friendly RPGing. If you like this story, support us at our Patreon!
Thank you: Chet Cox, Genevieve Springer!

Previous Scene, Next Scene
Start the whole story from the beginningStart from where this current story arc begins. Start from where the current story part begins