Thursday, February 7, 2019

98 - “How To Not Stop a Thief” - Maan Korr - A Tale of Heroes

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


“Give me my money!”

Maan Korr looked up from his ale. Through the dim, smoky air of the inn, across the tables, he saw a tall, muscular man in a dirty, dull gray tunic push another, slightly smaller man. The angry man shouted again, “You took my purse! Give it back!”

“I don’t take anything,” The smaller man fearfully protested, trying to keep his balance. His clothes were also worn, but a bit worse off than his assailant. He looked weaker and thinner, like he hadn’t had the recent good fortune to eat as much as the others there had.

The people in the common room went quiet and stared. Several moved away from the two, giving them room. Would they all see a good entertaining fight? It looked a little mismatched, but even an unfair matchup can be fun to watch sometimes. The inn was busy that night. In the slums of Twynne Rivers’ Outer Wall quarter there isn’t much money, but there isn’t much to do on a hot summer night, either.

Korr watched the two closely. The angry man pushed at the thin man again, who tried to avoid the shove. Korr saw uncertainty and caution in his eyes. As others around began murmuring among themselves, two more men stood up and began circling the thin man. He reached out with one arm, turning as the moved, trying to keep them all distant. He held his other hand close to his side, protectively. “Now, friends...,” He started to say, “friends, it’s all fine...”

“Oh, no. It’s not fine at all!” the angry man shouted. They circled around the common area of the inn, and at one point passed close to Korr’s table. As they did, the original occuser lunged toward the thin, frail man and pushed him hard. He fell backward onto the table, making Korr slide his chair away. The angry man pressed forward toward the thin man on the table, pulling back to attack. There was a flash of light reflecting off of metal in his hands.

Korr saw the dagger and instinctively leapt to his feet. As the attacker stabbed forward, Korr twisted and reached in, blocking the thrust and spinning the man to face him. Korr’s right hand shot under his own blocking arm. The heel of his palm hit the man square in his chest, knocking him backward, staggering from the impact and gasping for breath.

Korr moved to step forward. Wait. Stop. Don’t jump in so fast. Remember. Set your stance.

He stood tall, then with force, set his feet on the floor. In the square. Low center. Remember the forms. His feet resounded on the wooden floor as he planted himself firm in the new position. His thin arms moved squarely across his chest, and settled into fists at his side.

Assess. Be aware. He saw the look of surprise become rage on the attacker’s face, and the two who were backing him up turned to face Korr. With a shout, the attacker lunged at Korr, thrusting the blade at his gut. Korr swept his own right fist low, up, and around the incoming blade hand, turning it aside. He stepped into the thrust and grabbed the attackers wrist. Korr’s left hand landed a solid hit down across his back, throwing him off balance over Korr’s leg and dropping him hard on the floor. With a quick twist, Korr forced the man’s hand open, and his dagger fell with a clang.

Korr stepped away. Good, good. Now reset the stance! Be at peace! Find control!

He began shifting his feet into the square, but before he could prepare his hand forms, an impact sent waves of pain through his back and ribs. His head and back arched with the hit, but his feet held firm. I let my guard down!

Korr spun on his backward foot, leaning into his swinging elbow, and brought it sharply into the side of the man’s head. The impact jolted him back, arms wide. Korr quickly set his feet, and let fly two rapid fist jabs to the man’s chest, dropping him backward onto some chairs.

Korr recentered himself and turned to survey the room. The onlookers were staring at him, keeping their distance. He faced the remaining assailant, planted his feet, and slowly settled his body low, with his fists to his side in readiness. The man lifted his palms and slowly backed into the crowd.

Korr shifted his feet to look around the full circle of the crowd, and, assured that no one else was leaping into the fight, relaxed his stance. He shook out the twists in his shirt, and nodded a quick bow to the crowd.

He saw a motion from the corner of his eye.


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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