Monday, February 18, 2019

101 - “Dancing on the Roof” - Parith - A Tale of Heroes

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“I found out that this part of the city is called the ‘Outer Wall’, I guess because it’s outside the wall.” Parith spoke as he deftly stepped through the night air, along the ridgeline of a rooftop. He walked with a lightness, as his feet and balance were secure. Behind him, Korr followed, but not as quickly, and with much less confidence.

“Hold, friend.” Korr said, waving his arms for balance, “How do you do this so easily? In the darkness of night, I can’t see where my feet go, and I’m not so nimble!”

“I told you, I grew up in Umbrawood Forest,” Parith explained, “So this is a lot like walking through the branches in the trees.”  He came to the end of the roof, and stopped for a moment. Korr caught up to him, and Parith continued, “That, And it’s always dark in the forest. That’s why it’s called Umbrawood.” The building next to him was close, and just a bit higher, so it was easy for him to step up and over, onto it.

As he walked, with little conscious attention to his balance, he talked. “I’m a wood elf, right? And we all make our villages up in the trees. For a while, I spent some time guiding the human traders through the forest. They would come from Twynne Rivers, travelling through the forest to Umbrawood City in the west. It was a good living, but I thought it would be exciting to see Twynne Rivers for myself!” He paused again, to let Korr catch up. “I’ve only been here about a month or so, but I think I’m blending in.”

It was a hot night, not long after the midsummer celebrations had passed. While it was dark, the three-quarter moon provided some illumination. The roof of the pub they were on was a bit taller than the other shops and buildings around them, affording them a view over the sprawling city. They could see rooftops and smoking chimneys dotted by lanterns shining through windows onto the streets and alleys. In this section of the Outer Wall, near the main road out of Twynne Rivers, the buildings were stronger, and very close together. Within a few streets, the firm rooftops gave way to thatching and other, less permanent, shelters. Occasionally, the cityscape was interrupted by a taller structure, like a two-story inn, or a chapel bell tower.

“Over there is the wall.” Parith pointed the other way. Korr looked and saw the dark and forbidding barrier spanning his field of vision. It was taller than most of the buildings around them, but Korr could see spires and points beyond its parapets. The wall itself was interrupted from time to time by a guard tower, illuminated at the top and from the windows with the steadily glowing oculus gems. Few living in the Outer Wall could afford that kind of lamp.

“On the other side is the Inner Wall. It’s a much nicer part of the city. I’ve been able to sneak in a few times. But we’re going this way!” Parith said, jumping the short distance to another rooftop, and crawling up to the crest. He stood, and gestured to Korr to follow.

Korr stood on the other roof, skeptical of his ability to make the leap. Leaning into it, he jumped and landed clumsily, but safely. Then, he rose up with caution and climbed up to where Parith waited. “Why are we not just walking on the street?”

“Are you kidding?” Parith began walking along the roofline. “It’s not safe!”

“And this acrobatic balancing act is?”

“Hey, it’s getting us where we want to go.”

“And where is that?”

Parith paused and pointed to a slightly taller structure not too many houses away. It was a chapel with a steeple and a bell. “See? Nice. Cozy. And it won’t cost us three silver a night!”

The next rooftop was closer and didn’t require quite the jump.

“Why are you in the city?” Parith asked.

Korr reached down for a moment to steady himself. “I’ve been charged with a task. I’m to deliver a message.”

“Really? Who to?”

“I’m looking for a man named Heathraxx. I have a message for him from my master.”

“Who is Heathraxx?”  They stopped. They had come to edge of the current rooftop, and were right up against the chapel. Parith looked up at the steeple. To get to the open bell area, they would have to jump up and catch the roof edge, crawl up the slope, then climb the last way into the tower. Parith looked at his companion.

Korr had a incredulous look on his face. “I have no idea.”


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!
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