Thursday, December 12, 2019

183 - “Nature’s Child” - Thissraelle - A Tale of Heroes

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

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“There you are,” Illarielle said as Thissraelle set her feet on the ground. The wood elf held out a heavy, woolen blanket. “Here, take this one.”

Thissraelle tentatively stepped forward, still holding her light blade ready and took the blanket, then slung it over her shoulder. It gave her a welcome break against the wind.

The base of the tree trunk was huge, one of the biggest Thissraelle had ever seen, and certainly much bigger around than any that were in even the oldest parts of Twynne Rivers. Illarielle sat on one of the lengths of root that jutted out on its way from the trunk down into the rich dark soil. Near her was a large rock with a steaming bowl resting on it. As Thissraelle approached, she felt warmth radiating from the boulder. “Sit down!” Illarielle chirped. Thissraelle did, with caution. She was nervous, but for the moment decided to wave away the blade in her hand. She looked at the forest around her. The morning sun started to flow between the bare branches of the trees. She could barely see the sky between the tangles, but it was lighter than the full night.

Thissraelle studied Illarielle. She was young- not even a full adult yet, but not a child, either. Her face was clear and her eyes were bright. She was definitely a wood elf, but she didn’t seem threatening. She just smiled lightly at Thissraelle, then asked, “What happened? If you were attacked, how did you get up in the tree?”

How much should I say? Is she just playing with me? Thissraelle looked at her, allowing her mind and awareness to reach out and wrap around the girl. Thissraelle searched her over for a sense of anger, or aggression, or even fear. Illarielle shifted her head to one side, with a confused look, then her eyes shot open.

“You’re checking my aura! You’re all kinds of magical!” She smiled wide and shifted her seat, closed her eyes, and opened her palms in her lap. “There. Go ahead. What do you see?”

Thissraelle was shocked and embarrassed to have been caught inspecting the girl. She stopped, but Illarielle opened one of her eyes, nodded encouragement, then closed it again. For the second time, Thissraelle allowed her thoughts to reach out and surround the girl. There was no anger, no hatred, and, strangely, no fear. Just lots of curiosity. Who is she? Is she even real?

“You’re a full wizard, aren’t you? How did you learn? Which powers do you know? Wait-- don’t say!” She looked Thissraelle over. “Hmmmm... You made a dagger out of light, so that’s one. You looked at my mind, so that’s all mental powers, right? Is that how you flew down?”

“Uh, yeah...”

“That’s why you were glowing blue! Oh, magic fascinates me! I only know nature powers. I come out here in the forest to practice and learn more. I get myself attuned to the rhythms of the earth and the winds.  The trees are my friends.” She reached out and touched the root, smoothing her hand over the rough texture like she were petting a cat. “So, how did you learn the other magics? Did you find a teacher? Elves don’t study magic except the woods and the earth. At least the elves of the forest-- Oooh!” Her brows leapt up and she clapped her hands over her mouth in surprise.

“You’re a high elf!” The sudden silence between them was as chilly as the breeze.

Illarielle’s eyes grew bigger as bits of understanding started to drop into place. “That’s why you didn’t understand me,” she whispered. She gasped, then continued, “That’s why you were attacked, isn’t it?”

How do explain this? It’s like she has no idea what’s going on.

Actually, I’m not sure what’s going on, either.

Finally, Thissraelle broke the tension. “Yes, that’s why. I’m sure of it. We were traveling north through the Umbrawood. We were just passing through on the trade road, but a wood elf patrol followed us and attacked. We don’t mean harm; we’re just trying to get through. We even have a wood elf guide! Why would they attack? We’re not dangerous!” Her voice grew tense. Her mind went through the scene, trying to find an indication of the reason for the violence, some sort of clue...

“Eddiwarth.” Thissraelle stood up. “I left Eddiwarth. They were hurting him...”

Illarielle stood also.

Thissraelle gathered up the blanket, and stepped around the trunk. “And Karendle. I have to get back to them. Thank you for your help, but I have to go.”

Illarielle stepped around the other side of the tree trunk to meet Thissraelle again. “Maybe I can help! Where are they?”

I have no idea. This realization hit her hard. I have no idea where they are. I don’t even know where I am. 

Thissraelle stood in stunned silence, staring at Illarielle.



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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, December 9, 2019

182 - “Like a Leaf in the Tree” - Thissraelle - A Tale of Heroes

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

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Part 14
Emberfire


In the previous part:
As the part opens, Karendle is contacted via oculus by Illitharin, her main contact in the Dragon’s Flame. Thissraelle joins in the communication. They still want Karendle to capture Thissraelle, and she assures them that she will. Later, they also contact DeFrantis and have a joyful reunion, even though it’s through magic. They learn that Granthurg is alive, though fearful.

As they travel north out of Twynne Rivers, toward the Umbrawood Forest, Thissraelle reveals her fear of the wood elves, offending Parith. Parith also discovers Eddiwarth’s feelings for her and teases him about it. 

Kirraxal figures out some of the magical glyphs of the Dragonkin, and kills three of his servants. He uses dark shadow magic to restore them as the Dragonbonded, semi-living servants. One he sends to find and destroy Heathrax, one he sends to recover the white dagger, and one he keeps as a very loyal guard. Tonklyn finds himself uncertain of his place in Kirraxal’s plans.

The party reaches the Umbrawood Forest, and enters, travelling several days into its dormant autumn depths. Illitharin passes them on the road, and acknowledges Karendle with a knowing look. The next morning, the party is attacked and overcome by a patrol of wood elves. They try to capture Thissraelle and Eddiwarth, who are high elves, but Thissraelle teleports away using dimensional powers. Parith is frustrated and confused by the attack.


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182 - “Like a Leaf in the Tree” - Thissraelle - A Tale of Heroes


With a blinding flash of light, Thissraelle blinked out of the many-colored darkness of The Vast and found herself falling. She hit something, painfully hard, on her upper left side and her body flipped around, jerking her head as she continued falling. Immediately, she fell onto something else round and hard. It was cold and it scraped her. She swung her arms and legs trying vainly to feel, but she was spinning and falling blindly. Her left thigh hit another obstacle, and threw her back into yet another. She swept her arms above her head to grab a hold and stop the plummet. It felt rough and unstable, but she gripped it tight as her eyes adjusted.

Cold air blew past her and she shivered. Her muscles ached from the beating she’d taken falling, masking the pain from the struggle with the wood elf. Her vision began to clear. It was dark, but starting to lighten in the pre-dawn sun. The rounded shape she clung to was a thick tree branch. She looked herself over. Her legs were draped over another branch off to the side and her torso was turned a bit as it dangled down in the air between the two. 

She leaned back on the branch, then hazarded a look below her. In the morning dim, she couldn’t see the ground, only layers and layers of branches.

How high up am I dangling, here?

Dangling in the cold air.

The frigid air!

She noticed that she was wearing a thin tunic and loose thin leggings. She’d been more than comfortable rolled up in her blankets just a few minutes before. What had happened? She wiped her hair out of her face and shivered.

We were attacked. 

We were attacked, by wood elves. I woke up when I heard Parith call, then there was a blast. 

Then I was struggling, and someone was trying to smother me. It smelled really bad.

She tried to move, to shift and sit up, but her muscles were too pained. She leaned back again.

I panicked. Why did I panic? 

She tried to breathe, to calm the fear that rushed up in her heart again.

Where am I? I ‘ported somewhere. Where is it?

She looked around, but could only see branches. 

I’m still in the forest. I couldn’t have gone far. I didn’t use up the will it would have take to go a long way. Where’s Eddiwarth? And Karendle?

She closed her eyes and breathed deep calming breaths. She summoned her will and felt herself surrounded by warming brightness. The pain and stiffness in her legs, back, and arms subsided and eased as the healing power flowed through her. Hopefully that will keep it all from bruising.

She reached up and grabbed a hold of some smaller branches nearby, then pulled herself up into a sitting position. She found herself on a large and sturdy branch, a short distance from an enormous trunk.

Maybe I can reach out to Eddiwarth, or even Karendle. She focused again and began to extend her awareness in a spiral around her, sweeping farther and farther away--  

A rustling of the branches below her broke her concentration. A figure in light green swung up from a lower branch and landed on the one where Thissraelle was sitting. Thissraelle gasped in surprise and pushed herself away. She swept her hand defensively, trailing a bright line of light between them. The figure crouched, balanced on the branches as they swayed a bit from landing, then held out a hand to shield its eyes for a moment. 

In the glimmer Thissraelle could see the face of a wood elf. Immediately she backed away further, almost to the trunk of the tree, and her hand summoned a short dagger of light. 

The elf tossed her hood off and spoke what sounded like a question in words that Thissraelle couldn’t fully understand. It sounded a bit like elvish, but she only made out what she thought was “you” and “healthy”. The elf had girlish features, and looked young. Her brown hair was short and messy from the hood and the breeze. She wore a loose, short cloak over a thick tunic. She held her hand up as she balanced on the branch, then said, “...Or don’t you speak elvish?”

Who is this? Thissraelle looked around quickly, trying to see others, but saw only shadows. Finally, she took a breath and answered, “Not that kind of elvish, apparently.”

The girl in green nodded, and lowered her hands. “Are you OK? Did you slip and fall?”

Thissraelle asked her own question. “Where are the others?”

The girl looked confused. “Others? I’m alone, here.”

“There were others. The ones that attacked us. Are they near?”

“Attacked! Oh, no! You must be hurt! Can I help? I’m all alone in the woods, just feeling the vibrations of the trees.” She took in a breath and swept her arms all around. “Doesn’t it feel wonderful moving through you? Oh - wait, if you’re hurt, you’re probably not feeling the wave of the life around you. Let me help you!” She started to move toward Thissraelle.

Thissraelle held the dagger out protectively. “Let’s... keep a distance for the moment.”

“Yes. Okay. That’s fine.” The girl relaxed and sat down on the branch making it sway. Thissraelle shivered and used her free hand to cling to herself for a bit of warmth. “I have a blanket on the ground. Would you like it? I’ll go get it for you! Or you can just follow me!” She jumped up and started to swing down on her branch.

“Who are you?”

The girl swung back up. “Oh! I’m sorry! I forgot! I’m Illarielle, of Treehaven.”

Thissraelle wondered. “Treehaven? That’s still a few days travel from here isn’t it?”

“Yeah, but I like to be in the woods. That, and my teacher sent me out to find herbs and mushrooms.”

“For magic?”

“No, I think just for cooking. What about you? Why are you here? Oh, wait. You must be freezing without a cloak! Let’s get that blanket.” She tossed herself off the branch onto one several layers below, then continued leaping downward.

“Hey! Wait!” Thissraelle started, then sighed. She summoned her will, cleared her mind, and in a light blue mist, floated herself downward through the shadows and the branches.

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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, December 5, 2019

181 - “Disappointment” - Parith - A Tale of Heroes

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"I'm sorry to disappoint you." Parith hissed through his clenched teeth. "Let me go and I'll give you a good fight!"

The leader of the elf team laughed. His cloak was a dark brown, common for patrols in the autumn woods. It was heavy against the cold, but not long, so as to make it easier to move quietly through the trees. His hood was down across his back, revealing long brown hair. His breath misted in the chill morning air.

The elf nodded to Parith's captor, who quickly withdrew the sword and shoved hard into Parith’s back, throwing him to the ground. Before Parith could jump to his feet, tree roots sprouted up from the ground under the leaves and tangled around his arms and legs, pulling him flat to the forest floor.
Parith's eyes narrowed and he winced with the pain in his limbs. He shouted as loud as he could with his head turned to the side, "I call thee out and demand that thou shouldst explain this attack!" 

The commander raised his eyes in amused surprise to hear Parith make his challenge in full elvish. "Thou shalt not demand ought of me!” the leader replied, “You are all spies. Thou art, and thy companions, all!"

"Spies? Nay, we are travelers, journeying through Umbrawood, and I am their guide.”

The elf stepped to Parith and leaned over his head. “Tell me thy name,” he paused, then snarled, “good Sir Guide.”

“I am Parith, of Treehaven. These past three summers I have spent aiding caravans that ply the trade with the humans in Twynne Rivers.”

The commander stood and put his foot on Parith’s back, pressing him harder into the ground. 

“Humans? There was but one human among thy companions!”

They saw Korr! Where is he? Is he alive?

The commander continued, “And above this, thou dost consort with high elves! Two of them! Wilt thou deny this? Whither go ye? Not to our capitol, to be sure!”

What should I tell them? I want them to trust me, but I don’t want to reveal too much. Parith felt the boot lift off his torso and he sucked in air. “We go to Treehaven, for rest, then onward north to Emberfire.”

Parith heard the elf laughing. He told his soldiers to carry off Eddiwarth. They moved to pick him up. Finally, the leader spoke again, reverting to the common speech. “Well, you’re a fool, then. These liars have duped you. Don’t you know what is happening? Maybe you don’t. How long has it been since you’ve been through the forest? The high elves are mustering armies at the base of the Emberfire mountains, and they’re not allowing passage. Twynne Rivers is in chaos.” He began to step away, saying, “We’ll take these high elves to the militia at Treehaven, then on to Umbrawood City. They’ll have a lot to tell once they’re broken.”

He turned and shouted to the others, who followed him as he left.

“Wait! Wait!” Parith pleaded, “We’re all elves of the forest, here, aren’t we? We’re brothers! Don’t leave me here!”

“Hey! Come back!” Karendle shouted, “Let us go!”

Then for a moment the only sound was the wind in the branches. Karendle struggled again, shaking the tree’s limbs and grunting and shouting in pain and frustration.

Flames! Flaming burning flames! What’s going on? Parith struggled against the roots that held him, but they were firm. I’ve got to figure a way out of here. We’ve got to get to Eddiwarth. What happened to Thissraelle? And Korr?

“Karendle! Can you hear me?”

“Yes!” He couldn’t see her, but her voice sounded pained.

“Can you get to your oculi?”

“No!” She snapped. “I dropped the shaking stone when these creator-blighted trees grabbed me. It’s down there in the leaves somewhere. Do you have any good ideas?”

He took in a cold breath. “Yes. Yes, I did, but they involved you being able to use your stones.”

“Ow! Argh!” Through clenched teeth, she said, “Then they’re not very good ideas, are they?”

“Hey! I’m just trying to think—“ A flapping of wings and a fluttering of leaves interrupted Parith. He raised his head, straining his neck, to try and turn to look the other way and see what it was.

“Drakie!”

The small drake folded its wings and scurried through the leaves to Parith. It trilled and yapped, licking eagerly at his face. “Dra— Drakie, stop. Stop! Bite the roots. Drak— stop! Come on...” 
The drake stopped licking and jumped up onto Parith’s back. It walked up and down his ribs, sniffing and snorting. 

“Bite the roots, boy. Come on! Help me get loose!” Parith pleaded. The little dragon squawked and continued to step in circles on his master’s back. Finally, it settled down in a comfortable place, tucked his legs, rested his head, and curled his tail around himself. It breathed out a contented snort.

Stupid dragon.

Flaming stupid elves. 


The End of Part 13

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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