Thursday, May 9, 2019

124 - “How Did I Get Here?” - Korr - A Tale of Heroes

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“Where are you leading me this morning, Parith?” Korr shifted the strap of his leather and cloth satchel over his shoulder so he could pull his shirt more tightly around him. A cool breeze chilled him. The sky was a dark grey overcast and it would probably rain soon. For now, his sandals shuffled on the dusty streets of the Twynne Rivers OuterWall. Even with the chill and the clouds, there were still lots of people on the streets and Korr struggled to keep up with Parith’s quick-footed pace.

“We didn't have much luck in the pubs yesterday,” Parith explained over his shoulder, “and they wouldn't let us in Centre Town to see the library, so I thought we'd try an adventurer's guild. One of the innkeepers yesterday told us about this one, remember? The Guild of the Drunken Sword. Apparently they take their payments in ale as well as cash. Maybe they’ll know how to find someone.”

In spite of his own skepticism, Korr followed. They turned from the wide and busy street onto a much smaller side road. The heavy cloud cover and the closeness of the shops and homes made it much darker than it should be on a summer morning, nearing noon.

Parith held his elbows tight against his side, but his thin, loose shirt did little against the wind. It swirled up dust and debris left in the alleyway as it blew past them.

“So,” he said, shrugging his shoulders in, “Heathrax, Heathrax, Heathr--how did you manage to get this quest, anyway? Did your master just walk up to you with a note and tell you to take it to him?”

The road turned and snaked between buildings and structures, some of which were little more than scrap planks of wood tethered together to make a sort of shanty. Others were more solidly-built houses of wooden beams and stucco, but few were more than one level. Dusty children shouted and ran between the passers-by. Chickens clucked and scratched as if the neighborhood were their dinner plate.

As he walked, Korr responded, “At the Academy, we study the fighting arts and work to become more connected to our world and our lives. We are striving to master our souls and our bodies. Once we achieve a certain level of progress, we must complete a Challenge before we continue. Each disciple must choose a task, a difficult quest, and then must leave the safety of the academy home to accomplish it. The ones that succeed and return can continue their studies.”

“Some don’t return?”

“Some find it too difficult, give up, and then choose to go their own way. A few don’t survive.”

Parith stepped over a small barrel in his path. “So, what, you just raised your hand and said, ‘Hey, I'll take the one with the least instructions’, right?”

Korr sighed as they walked. How long do I have to endure this irreverence? “While my fellow disciples were choosing their Challenges and planning their journeys, I contemplated all that my master had done for me and how he had changed my life.”

Parith stopped and looked at Korr, as if sensing something important was coming.

“So, rather than choosing my own task, I asked him if there were something he wanted to have done, some service I could do for him. I remember he smiled at me with a bit of surprise. Then he thought a moment and asked me to deliver a greeting to an old friend.”

Korr narrowed his eyes as a smile danced across Parith's face. “That's it?” Parith asked, stifling a laugh. “Nothing like--Oh, I don't know--killing some horrendous beast or finding a lost gem of power? No princesses to rescue or oppressors to topple...?”

Korr straightened and took in a breath. “I consider it an honor that he would send me on a personal mission so meaningful.”

They walked on. “But your master didn't tell you how to find him.”

Korr was thoughtful as they turned another corner. “Actually, I asked my master about that.” Korr paused when Parith looked around and stopped, a mild look of surprise on his smile. “I asked him why he couldn't simply take a rest from teaching to visit his friend. I said it might be more joyful for him to see his friend side by side. Or, maybe he could be contacted by the power of an oculus.”

Parith shook his head to get his hair out of his eyes. “And?”

“And what?”

Parith nudged Korr's arm. “What did he say?”

“He said that if he did that then it wouldn't be a challenging task for me.”

Parith couldn't help but let go of all the laughter he’d been holding in. Korr scowled. “You mock me- and my master!”

“Yes, I do, friend!” he said, then urged, “Oh, relax! The more I know you, the more you fascinate me! It may well be to my doom, but, hey, I’ll follow you on your adventure. I guess I can help you earn a mission badge for your shirt.”

Parith stepped toward the door of the pub where they had been standing.

Korr followed, “Actually, it’ll be a tattoo.”


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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