Monday, March 4, 2019

105 - “Rocks and Stones” - Karendle - A Tale of Heroes

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


Karendle let out a guttural grunt as she twisted, throwing her arm in a sweeping circle. A large boulder of limestone flew through the air before her and smashed into a steep rock wall at her left. It shattered into pieces, falling and scattering across the floor of the old quarry. The sound of the stones tumbling on the ground and splashing into the water echoed off the tall straight walls around her.

She looked down at her hand, at the small blue sapphire in her palm. Her breath was quick, her heart pounding hot in her ears. She tightened her fingers and gripped the stone in a fist. With a sharp, fast motion, she pointed at another stone from among those that had been left there on the ground. She felt the tingling power in the gem and willed the larger stone before her to rise. It surged up into the air, shedding the moss, decayed leaves and sticks that had been resting on it. It was a large, roughly carved block, rectangular in shape. She brought her other hand forward, as if gripping it between them. She growled from deep in her throat, and pushed her hands and arms away from her. The block rushed away, following her shove and smashing into another wall. The block cracked in half, and fell down into the water below in two large splashes, with many more smaller stones and chips following.

She didn’t need to shout or grunt. This was not a physical exertion. She threw these boulders with her mind, channeled with the power of the oculus gem in her hand. But making the effort loud helped to dissipate the frustration clouding her mind.

She stood on the edge of the quarry, breathing deep. She was a bit short, even for most women, but taller than most full-blooded dwarves. Her long red hair draped over her right shoulder in a braid. She wore a brown shirt that came down almost to the knees of her leggings, and tied at the waist. She kicked her boots against a stone, knocking it off the edge and into the water.

The quarry was cut into the side of a hill, deep in the forest near the monastery. The gray walls like a giant wound in the woods. It was old, and crusty, but never quite healed. She saw a large block resting on the floor below her and to her right, half-submerged in the pool. She glared at it, furrowing her brow and clenching her teeth. I can move you! I can shatter you, too! 

With a sweep she raised her hands high above her head, and the rock shook, but didn’t follow. The water around it sloshed and rippled, laughing at her.

You WILL move!

She reset her feet, strong, underneath her, repositioned her arms, and with a scowl and a scream, threw the rock up into the air over the quarry, high up above her head, into the canopy of tree branches.

The motion of throwing her arms had shifted her hips, and she slipped on the mossy stone ground, toppling over and landing on her side with a grunt. The block paused at the height of the throw, then fell back. It splashed hard into the water at the end of the quarry and sprayed the walls, and Karendle, with slimy green wetness.

She sat up and looked out over the quarry. It was cut almost like a theater, with the three slightly sloping stone walls facing her. She sat as if on the stage. Below her, and between her and the walls, was a shallow pit, filled with rainwater, now recollecting, at one end. She came here often to practice her magic, moving these stones around. This was where, many years ago, nature powered mages had broken stones away to build the chapel and walls of the monastery where she was living, along with her friends.

Friends. She laughed to herself. These people aren’t my friends!

As soon as she thought that, she knew it wasn’t true. She drew up her knees and dropped her forehead to them. That was just her anger talking. Her frustration.

“Find your will! Find it in your core!” Thissraelle had said. Karendle had been trying to move barrels around the courtyard, using her own mental powers. “See? Like this!” Thisraelle had gestured with her wrist and a large barrel had easily slid along the walkway.

Find it in your core! What in the earth does that mean? No matter how Karendle tried, the only way she could make the magic happen was when she used the oculus. She wanted to learn. She wanted to do it, but her lessons with Thissraelle always seem to end in arguments, in shouting.

She sighed and looked up. She brushed a bit of the pool water off of her cheek. She’s right. I’ll never learn this. I’ll never be a true mage.

She looked at the blue gemstone in her hand. Maybe this is the only way I can do magic. 

She reached to the pouch on her belt, pulled it off, and opened it up. She tossed out the other two stones onto the ground before her. Two smooth but dull gray stones of granite. These were for dimensional powers. I hardly even know what that means, yet.

She set the blue oculus with them. That one gave her mental powers, the ability to move things and see things with her mind. At one point she’d had a ruby, and had used that for striking blasts of magical energy. She’d lost that one when she’d been stabbed by the thief in the slave market.

She looked the stones over. I need more of these. I need another red one, and maybe one of light, or a nature stone. Granthurg has one of those on the barge. Maybe he knows where I can get one.

She picked up one of the gray dimensional stones. I used this one to trap that wizard. I guess he’s still in there, somewhere. When they gave me these stones, they promised me more if I were to bring them captured wizards.

She scooped them all up and put them back in the pouch. She stood and took a deep breath. They wanted me to capture Thissraelle. She sighed the breath out. But she is my friend, after all.

Isn’t she?

Karendle turned around and walked back toward the monastery.


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

No comments:

Post a Comment