Monday, September 2, 2019

156 - “Heathrax?” - Thissraelle - A Tale of Heroes

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It feels like I haven't eaten in weeks! 

Thissraelle hesitated, then stepped out of the hallway onto the stairs leading down into the courtyard. It was a large, circular area, surrounded by ornate stone pillars that supported an entablature, but no roof.  Many comfortable chairs and small tables were arranged pleasantly around the circle, surrounding a fire pit in the center. People were sitting in the chairs and standing in small groups talking quietly. It looked like one of the formal receptions her parents used to force her to attend.

She saw no wood in the pit, and the tongues of flame that danced in it were hues and shades of all colors that she saw in the clouds. There were reds, blues, greens, and more in all blends and shades. They were the colors of magic. She stepped into the courtyard and moved toward the pit, watching the flames swirl and blend around each other as they flickered. It was a living, moving sculpture, an active piece of art, a dance with no music.

"Would you like some bread?" Thissraelle snapped out of her reverie to see a young elf in a grey robe standing beside her. "Perhaps a bit of cheese or wine?"

Thissraelle looked around. She saw Karendle, sitting by herself, and Eddiwarth standing in a busy conversational circle with several others including one in gray robes and others in white. Those were the brothers of the Church of Three Lights that had been rescued from the cathedral. They seemed to be well enough, now, though a bit nervous.
"I'm not really hungry, I think."

He chuckled and geared to a table. "Go ahead and have some. Here in The Vast, time progresses in strange patterns and it messes with your body. Sometimes you're hungry, sometimes not. We tend to snack a lot when we're here, rather that having meals."
Thissraelle nodded, still a bit disoriented. She stepped away from the strange fire and picked up a small broken bit of bread from a silver tray on the table nearby. She started walking toward Karendle, but Eddiwarth called out and gestured to her.

"Are you feeling better?" He asked, guiding her into the group where he was standing.
The Seeker was explaining, “...but we also worship The Creator. We are seeking Him and helping His servants here in The Vast, as well as back in the great reality.” She took a sip from her cup. “ Is that really so different from The Church?”

Eddiwarth interrupted, gesturing from Thissraelle to the two monks in white. "This is Brother Jonash of Twynne Rivers and Brother Denieel of the Nadaline Order. You helped save them from the drakes." They bowed their heads and held out their hands. They seemed glad to be taken from that discussion.

She took their hands, one at a time, in a light grip, a refined ladylike style. "I'm Thissraelle, of the Wiz--" Her voice choked on the words Wizard's Guild, and she couldn't bring herself to say them. Funny, she’d used that appellation as her given name all her life. Suddenly it didn’t seem right. Not here, not now. Oh, yes, I’m very pleased to meet you! My father ordered that your church be burned down and your priests and followers killed! 

But what should she call herself? St Ivarr had called me a Wizard of Light, but that sounds too much like an earned name! I shouldn't have one yet, should I? Maybe ‘Thissraelle the Lost’. ‘...The Homeless’? They all stood, looking at her, waiting for her to finish.

"Thissraelle," she finally said, extending her hand, "of Dirae." That’ll work for now. All three of them grasped her hand carefully, delicately, for a brief moment.

A fourth hand appeared in the circle, with thin, yet muscular fingers and rough skin. Thissraelle hesitated and looked at the man extending to greet her. His hair was a bit long and straight, dark, and hanging down in coarse clumps in front of his eyes. The pointed tips of his ears stuck a bit out of his hair, but not too far, arching back along the side of his head. They were elf ears, to be sure, but not so long or elegant like Thissraelle’s, which rose upward between the combed and flowing locks of her fine and light hair. Thissraelle drew in a short breath. A wood elf!

“Parith Laren,” he blurted, “of the Forest! You healed my friend!”

She nervously took his offered hand for just a moment and managed a smile. He smiled back and nodded.

He turned around and called out, “Korr! Come here!”

A tall and lanky human stood from a chair and walked toward them, as everyone shifted to look. He had a harsh, austere look on his face, and his long hair was pulled tight and bound behind his head. Instead of offering his hand, he covered one hand in the palm of the other and bowed deeply.

Parith jumped in, “This is Thissraelle, she--”

“I remember. She fought bravely alongside us and healed my wounds.” He bowed again. “Many thanks I give you.”

Thissraelle wasn’t sure quite how to greet him. His speech was odd, and his thick shirt and pants even more so. They were made of a stiff cloth, and looked like they were several sizes too big for him. He didn’t offer his hand, so she just made an awkward half-bow.

“What brought you from the forest,” one of the brothers asked Parith, “To the Grand Cathedral in Twynne Rivers?”

“Oh! Well, I’d actually been in the city for a while, living out in the OuterWall, in a bell tower, with Korr, here.” Thissraelle noticed his rough vest, frayed shirt sleeves, and quaint forest accent. He gestured at Korr, “He and I came into the cathedral to look for records on his master’s old friend. Then, suddenly, BOOM! The drakes are swooping in from the left, from the right, breathing flame! Whoosh! I grabbed a bow and got two arrows in the big one, when...”

Thissraelle tuned him out and took the chance to have a bite of her bread. She glanced at everyone’s face as they listened to his story. Even Eddiwarth was fascinated and he had been there. She looked up at the sparkling colors in the clouds in the skyspace as they slowly swirled and turned.

“So, who was it you’re looking for?” Brother Jonash asked. Thissraelle barely heard him.
“Some old knight, we think. Who was it, Korr?”

“A man named Heathrax.”

Heathrax? Thissraelle’s head snapped back to the conversation. Her jaw dropped. “Heathrax?!”

Korr nodded. “Yes. Heathrax.”

The Seeker lifted her eyebrows. “Heathrax? Ah, yes! Are you interested in him?”

“What?” Thissraelle’s eyes widened as she looked around at the circle. The brothers didn’t know what they were talking about, but the seeker seemed so casual with this knowledge and Korr’s face was as stoic as a stone.

The Seeker acolyte continued, “Yes, he was one of the original Seekers! The last I heard, he’s living in the mountains of Emberfire.”

Thissraelle furrowed her brow, then looked at Eddiwarth, as if the rest of the world were in on some wonderfully funny joke, and she had missed the punchline.


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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