Monday, January 7, 2019

90 - Dance the Circle - Antonerri - A Tale of Heroes

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


“DANCE THE CIRCLE!” The jester called out, “EVERYONE! JOIN IN! YOUNG AND OLD!” The bells dangling from the points on his hood jangled as he spun. His shirt was a loose pattern of colored triangles, and his baggy pants flapped with the motion of his prancing legs.

It was a hot, sunny, and muggy day. It was the time of the SummerFaire, three days of celebration. Dirae was not a large city, but neither was it a tiny village. It was an important trading spot between the palaces, shops, and slums of the City of Twynne Rivers, and the western hamlets along the Wynne River. The faire brought in celebrants from many miles, drawn to the festivities by the diversion from their labors as well as the chance to buy and sell.

The streets along the city plaza, not too far from the waterfront, were lined with tents, and full of people. There were more children out now, as parents felt safer in the town. Colorful streamers were strung from tree to building and building to tree. The smells of roasting nuts and newly-baked breads blew through the plaza with the breezes.

“WHO’LL JOIN ME?” The jester called out, continuing his swirls. He stopped, smiled across the crowd that had gathered, and slowly looked around. From his left, a drummer sitting on the ground began to slap out an energetic beat and, in a moment, a fiddler and a piper jumped into a melody.

“YOU WILL, WON’T YOU?” He pointed at DeFrantis. She barely had a moment to object before he had leapt over to her and taken her hand, dragging her forward. She laughed and shrieked, then reached out to grab the hand of Lilia, the young girl standing next to her. The girl, and two others, skipped into the circle, shouting and laughing.

Granthurg called out to them, as Thissraelle and Eddiwarth began clapping along with the music. Antonerri watched them go with a thin smile on his own face, wanting to jump in, but holding back, a little bit timid. They fell into the rhythm of the music and the many people in the plaza stepped aside to make room for the circle. Others grabbed hands and joined the line as it passed them. More children got in the line, along with their parents.

Antonerri couldn’t help but stare at DeFrantis as she danced, hand-in-hand with the jester and the kids. Her dark hair also danced as she looked back and forth from the jester to the children. She had tried to braid her dark hair that morning before they left, but it just wasn’t long enough yet. She had been quite a bit frustrated in trying, but in the end had settled for a simple cloth and bead headband. When they had arrived at the plaza, some of the girls had handed her some flowers they had picked and those were now twisted into that band and her hair. Those flowers now bounced with her locks against her forehead and down over her laughing eyes. The tune was familiar, and she and most of the dancers began singing along.

As the chain of dancers circled around to the music for the third time, the Jester reached out and grabbed Antonerri’s arm, giving him a shove into the line. Jerked out of his trance, Antonerri shouted and stumbled his way along.

The musicians picked up the pace, making it even harder for him to keep his proper footing. After a few moments, he gave up trying to match the steps and just jumped along in the line. In the confusion, he glanced over and saw DeFrantis laughing at his fumbling feet.

The music changed up again, and the jester stepped aside and closed the gap by bringing the two hands he was holding together. He spun away into the center, shouting, “DANCE THE CIRCLE! CIRCLE ROUND AND ROUND!” Antonerri suddenly realized the hand he was now holding was DeFrantis’. Instantly, he caught his breath, his mind went blank, and he almost lost his balance. A few quick side steps and he was back on his feet, jumping along.

“Try and keep up, old man!” He heard her say, and her voice mixed with the melody and the singing. He had to look down at his feet and catch his balance. He happened to look up and matched the jester’s eyes. They had a knowing smile that seemed to say, “You’re welcome!”

“Hey-o, hey-o...” DeFrantis’ sang with the crowd. He smiled at her, but didn’t know the melody. He didn’t have the breath to sing, anyway. “Hey-o, Hey-o,” The kids sang with her, as the musicians brought the tune and the dance to an end. The children began cheering, and everyone dropped their hands, clapping and laughing.

Except Antonerri. He just stared and smiled at her, and she at him. He didn’t let go. He gently tugged her closer.


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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