Monday, November 18, 2019

177 - “Poems and Surprises” - Eddiwarth - A Tale of Heroes

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True to Parith’s word, The waypoint was not too much farther. While Karendle and Korr found wood for a fire, Thissraelle and Eddiwarth unloaded blankets and supplies. The waypoint was a fairly large circle of open ground, slightly off the main road, obviously for caravan wagons and livestock to gather. Along the northern perimeter were low wooden platforms built around the trunks of larger trees, about three to four feet up off the ground, with steps. Above those platforms were built roofs, also radiating about fifteen feet out from the tree trunks, sheltering the platforms. All along the northern sides of the shelters hung flaps of old and very thick fabric as a break against the colder northern winds. Near these, in the clearing, was a stone fire pit, ringed with more stones for sitting.

While Thissraelle arranged blankets and bed rolls on the platforms, Karendle and Korr returned with wood and Eddiwarth used his powers to light it.

Again, true to his word, Parith returned with a small roe deer, slain by arrow and slung over his shoulders.  By that time, the fire had built to good glowing coals. He called Eddiwarth over, and the two quickly gralloched, cleaned, and sliced it up. Soon, pieces were sizzling on skewers over the fire with a bit of salt and herbs.

Before long, the day’s journey had worn on them. Soon, only Eddiwarth and Parith were up, making sure the packs were ready for the morning. Parith nudged Eddiwarth’s arm.


Parith gave a toss of his head in the direction of the fire. Eddiwarth’s gaze followed his gesture. Thissraelle sat there, her cloak open on her shoulders, bathed in the flickering glow of the fire and the steady shine of a pinpoint of magical light over her head. Her face was down in a book. I thought she’d gone to sleep.

He looked back at Parith, who nudged him toward her. “Go on...”

Eddiwarth hesitated, but Parith nodded.

Eddiwarth stood, dusted himself up, and tried to make his own cloak straighter. He walked over to the fire.

“I thought you’d gone to lie down.”

She looked up. “No, not yet. I’ve just been studying.”

He sat down on a stone near hers. “What is it?”

“It’s that book that Tarl gave me before we jumped through the portal back to reality.” She closed the book and held it up, looking at the detailed gold inlays on the dark leather cover. “I guess it’s translations of some writings by this Heathrax.”

Eddiwarth glanced over. “Can I see?” She shrugged and handed him the book.

“I’m kinda hoping I can read some clues that will help us find him.” She sighed and stretched her arms. The fireglow lit her face as she rolled her neck back and forth.

Wow, she’s beautiful! Focus on the book, ‘Warth, focus on the book.

She continued, rubbing her eyes with the back of her hand, “I haven’t seen much that’s useful so far.”

“It looks like poetry.” Eddiwarth noted, looking back at the pages. He held it at an awkward angle so as to catch the light from over her head on the page.

“Yeah, that’s pretty much all I’ve seen so far.” She waved her hand and the light drifted over to him.

“Hmmm.” He stopped turning the pages.

“What?” she said, quietly.

He cleared his throat and began reading.

“If I were to stand at the top of a mountain, looking down
From such a place, I would see forever below me.
If I were to stand in the city, looking up
I would see anger, fear, and strife and wouldn't notice the mountain.
I will leave the wars to others.”

After a few moments, he guessed, “What does that mean? I don’t really see any good clues in it. We already know he’s in the mountains.”

When she didn’t respond, he turned up from the book. She was looking at him with an almost wink, a curious, surprised look.


“Nothing,” she smiled, “just read another.” He shrugged and flipped a few pages.

“Rocks fall, broken from the cliff face, over the brush in the valley
The small bushes broken and crushed under the oppressive weight of stone.
Watered by spring rains, a flower presses upward,
Brightly colored petals reaching and stretching for the laden clouds.
Who has won the battle?”

He was surprised to see that she had leaned over to be able to look over his shoulder at the poems. She glanced up and smiled. “A chef and an orator. You surprise me, Eddiwarth.”

“A chef. Yeah, right. You’ve had leftovers in the Guild Hall that were better than that meal.”

She pushed his arm playfully. “OK, sure. But you do have a nice voice for poetry.” She yawned. “One more.”

He nodded and turned the page. “This one looks a bit longer.”

“A carpet of trees sway under autumn's wind.
The breezes tell the leaves to greet the sky.
Brown, yellow, red, they chase and spin
Then rise and fall and blend their colors.
I long to fly with them.

It is a delicate dance of hopeful love
A flirtatious reel of nervous anticipation
The leaves, playful sprites, beckon to me.
The call I hear is not the tumbling leaves-
I hear your call.

I will leave my mountain and cross my forest
Where these leaves are tossed by the highest winds.
I will break the clouds with the stroke of wings
Wings of dreams that bear me over meadows of white
I will fly with you once again.
I will fly with you once again.”

For a moment, their eyes met in the dim. Then, she quickly stood and took the book from his hands. “Thank you. I hope you sleep well.” The spot of light followed her as she hurried off to the shelters, her cloak flowing behind her. She grabbed to close it against the cold as she walked. He just watched her go, confused.

Wait, what was that?


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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