Wednesday, December 18, 2019

185- “A Whistle in the Woods” - Korr - A Tale of Heroes

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


“It really would be good for you to eat some breakfast before we go.” Korr limped toward Karendle as she was tying her bundle to the donkey’s side. As he set his own roll onto the animal’s pack and pulled at the straps to secure it, he added, “We will be traveling at a pressured pace today, and you’ll need the strength.”

Karendle looked over at Parith, stirring a pan of mush by the fire. She scowled. “I don’t have much of an appetite right now.” The donkey shifted its feet, bumping into her.

“Karendle,” Korr said, and she looked up, with a bit of surprise at the sound of Korr using her name so directly. “Please be patient with my friend. I’ve not known him long, but he is well-meaning and is sincerely trying to help us.”

Karendle rolled her eyes. “The wood elves tried to kill us, and they scattered and captured--!”

“True,” Korr agreed, “but I remember something he said about the drake while we were in The Vast.”


“Thissraelle asked him why he kept Drakie, even though the others had attacked us in the cathedral. He said, ‘This one didn’t.’”

Karendle secured the last knot and walked away. As she went past the fire pit, she paused. Parith looked up for a moment, then, without speaking, scooped out a small bowl of gruel and handed it to Karendle. She took it and crossed to the other side of the fire to sit and eat. Nothing crossed between then but the frost on their breaths.

Korr finished attaching his pack. I don’t like this tension. He looked over at them. He had not seen Parith this upset, this... sad before. It’s not anger. I wish I understood him better. 

Korr walked to the fire pit and sat down. He pulled his cloak tighter around him. His leg was quite painful, now, even though they had cleaned off the blood and bound up the gash. Korr tentatively touched the bandage and winced as he felt the sting.

Parith’s head shot up and his eyes darted from tree to tree in the forest. “Did you hear that?” He sat up taller and grabbed his staff.

Korr hadn’t noticed any sounds other than the wind, the fire, and the birds in the trees. Even the drake had been quiet.

Parith stood slowly. “They’re back. That whistle is a wood elf signal call.” Korr and Parith leapt up, circling into defensive postures around the fire. Fire? I should use the stone stance. No. He shifted his feet in the leafy rug below him. No, I need a quicker response. I’ll use fire stance. He heard the next whistle and turned to look in the direction he’d heard it from.

“That’s not an attack signal.” Parith was thinking out loud. “It’s not any of the fighting alerts.” It sounded again.

“That’s a search signal.” He hesitated, then pursed his lips and mimicked the whistle. It came back, varied slightly. “Stay ready. Even that signal can still be a trap.”

After a moment of silence, Parith quietly spoke, pointing, “It came from that direction. Maybe you two should hide yourselves there and there.” Korr nodded and moved to where Parith had pointed. He found a place behind a thick trunk of a tall oak. From here I can see much of their possible approach, and also still view Parith. 

Parith sounded his signal again, and the response was quick and much nearer.

“Thissraelle!” Karendle shouted, and Korr heard her footfalls running through the leafy carpet. He looked around the tree trunk and saw Thissraelle drifting down toward Karendle, wrapped in a thick blanket, trailing a light blue mist behind her. She lit on the ground and jumped to embrace Karendle. Korr relaxed and moved toward them.

“Oh!” Thissraelle sighed, releasing the embrace and starting to walk to the camp, “I’m so glad I found you!”

They stepped past the platforms into the space around the firepit. Thissraelle explained, “I mean, I’m glad we found you!”

“We?” Karendle asked.

“Yes, Illarielle is here somewhere. Illarielle!”

Thissraelle looked around her, up in the branches. Korr followed her gaze, and a figure scrambled down a tree trunk to stand by Thissraelle. She was small, wearing a light green cloak. Her hood was back, and Korr could see that she was clearly a wood elf. Korr and Parith immediately jumped into defensive postures. Karendle drew her blade.

No one moved. Thissraelle didn’t respond immediately. She and Parith faced each other for a heavy moment. Finally, she spoke, “This is Illarielle. She helped me find my way back.” Everyone looked at her with distrust. “Really, she’s fine.” Illarielle held out her hands to show she had no weapon, then just gave an awkward wave.

Korr tensed and moved slowly toward them. Please, no more anger. No more fighting today!

Thissraelle pointed to each one. “Behind me, that’s Karendle. That’s Korr, and,” she sighed, “that’s Parith. I think he’s from Treehaven.”

Illarielle smiled. “Him? He’s cute!”

“Wait!” Thissraelle suddenly looked around, frightened. “Where’s Eddiwarth? What happened to Eddiwarth! Where is he?” She ran back toward the platforms, searching.

“The wood elves, they,” Parith said, then looked away, “captured him. We were getting ready to go after them.”

Thissraelle sat down hard on the platform, burying her face in her hands. “No. Oh, no. I shouldn’t have blinked away!” Karendle stepped toward her and sat down. Thissraelle looked at her with wide, scared eyes. “I panicked! The elf had me and was trying to gag me! I panicked. I shouldn’t have left him.”

Korr also stepped toward her. Karendle rested her hand on Thissraelle’s shoulder.

“We’ll find him.”


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!
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Monday, December 16, 2019

184 - “Pain and Hurt” - Korr - A Tale of Heroes

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Korr’s legs hurt.

One hurt from the gash that the wood elf had left with his sword.  It hadn’t been easy walking back to the encampment at the waypoint, and it had bled quite a bit, too. He had kept his focus by reminding himself that he had to get back to help the others and that Thissraelle would be able to heal it up once they were safe.

The other leg, however, hurt from the strain having to support Karendle’s weight as she hung from the tree branches. The tree’s branches, twisted by nature magic, had wrapped around her arms and held her up above the ground, kicking and complaining.

When Korr had arrived at the waypoint, he had first cut Parith free. Then, he planted his stance firmly under Karendle’s feet, allowing her to stand on his shoulders while Parith jumped up into the tree and tried to cut her loose.

“Ow! Can’t you cut any faster?” Karendle breathed. “My arms hurt.”

“Oh, deal with it. These branches are much thicker than the vines that held me down.”

“You could have just brought me up my nature stone. Then I could easily unwind them.”

“I looked for it!” Parith snapped. “I have no idea where it fell.” He resumed hacking with his blade. Drakie landed on the branch next to him and trilled.

Korr shifted his weight slightly to favor his unwounded leg. He felt the move shift Karendle’s balance as well. The breeze was cold and he realized he hadn’t put his cloak back on. Korr closed his eyes and tried to imagine himself as a solid stone whose feet sank deep into the earth.

After a moment without speaking, Parith’s blade broke through the wood and Karendle’s right arm dropped, exhausted, to her side. This changed her balance again and Korr shuffled his feet to adapt. Parith jumped over to the other branch, making it bounce and shake.

“Hey! That hurts! Move easy!”

“I am!” He settled into a new sitting position and began chopping and cutting at the branches on her other arm. He seemed to be trying not to shake as much, though. “And ‘you’re welcome’.”

Karendle huffed and slowly turned her right arm and shoulder, flexing the sore muscles. Korr looked up at them both. Wood shavings fell around him. Parith was cutting and carving at the branch just above where it had magically twisted itself around her upper arm. The arguing made Korr tense, and that reminded him how tired and pained his legs were. Karendle’s boots were also digging into his shoulder muscles. Just a few moments more, and we’ll be fine.

Those few moments extended on in awkward silence until Parith announced, “There!” and with a shove, made the final cut in the branch.

Suddenly freed, but now without support, Karendle wobbled back and forth unsteadily. She tried to balance herself and crouch down to get easily off Korr’s shoulders, but she wasn’t able to keep steady. She swung her arms, which, though free, were still wrapped in the coils of tree branches. Korr tried to move underneath her, to secure his footing, but his own legs gave out and the two of them crumbled to the ground with grunts and shrieks. Parith also struggled to keep steady up in the swaying branches. Once the motion stopped, he jumped down.

Korr sat up and shook some leaves off his shoulders. Karendle slowly rose and began working out of the wooden cuffs the cut branches had left around her upper arms. They were tight and it was difficult work.

“Maybe if you can’t get them off, you can get some artisan to carve them into ornate decorations,” Parith offered, attempting a smile. Karendle looked up with a glare. Parith shook his head and went to sit by the fire. He leaned his elbows onto his knees and ran his hands through his hair. The drake sat next to him, its tail swishing.

Korr leaned over and started to run his hands through the leaves on the ground the two of them had landed on. He held up a stone, looked it over, and offered it to Karendle. “Is this your oculus?” She shook her head, and he returned to the search. She refocused on her arm, then cursed, trying to simply pull the branch off. In frustration, she stood and stomped toward the platform where her bedroll waited.

Korr felt a cool smooth stone under the leaves, and drew it out hopefully. It was smooth, shiny, and striped with deep browns and greens. It was also not as dirty as the other one had been. He held it up. “Is this it?”

Karendle turned and stepped back. “Yes!” She snatched it up. “Thanks!” She sat down on a nearby log and cradled the stone in he palms. She closed her eyes. Korr watched the wooden coils lightly glow green, then unwrap from her arms and slither away like snakes until they dropped, lifeless, to the ground. Relieved, she swung her arms in circles to restore the circulation. She rubbed her biceps with her hands to warm them up. Finally, she noticed Korr on the ground and stepped over, offering a hand to help him up. He took it and stood, carefully, wincing from the pain in his thigh.

Karendle shrugged. “I’m sorry, but I don’t know how to heal.” Korr nodded with reassurance.

Karendle looked deep into the woods.  “Do you know how we are going to find them?”

Parith raised his head. “No. I’m not sure, anyway.” He sighed and pointed. “They all left that way. They’re likely taking them to Treehaven, or somewhere near there.”

“Well that’s fine for Eddiwarth, but it looked like Thissraelle flashed away with dimensional wizardry. She could be anywhere!”

Parith just shrugged.

“I know you don’t like her,” Karendle spat. “You must be happy now that the ‘high elves’ are gone, out of your way here in your precious forest!”

Parith leapt to his feet, fists clenched. “You keep quiet! You don’t know what you’re talking about!” Korr also stood, poised to intervene. He was ready, but he didn’t like how this fight was escalating. Parith shouted, “She was the one with harsh words for the wood elves. I was fine traveling with her, but she didn’t trust us!”

Karendle huffed. “Yeah? Well, look how that mistrust played out.” She spun around and strode to the platform. Parith cursed and sat back down. Korr hesitated, dropped his gaze, and followed her to pack up his own bedroll.


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!
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Thursday, December 12, 2019

183 - “Nature’s Child” - Thissraelle - A Tale of Heroes

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“There you are,” Illarielle said as Thissraelle set her feet on the ground. The wood elf held out a heavy, woolen blanket. “Here, take this one.”

Thissraelle tentatively stepped forward, still holding her light blade ready and took the blanket, then slung it over her shoulder. It gave her a welcome break against the wind.

The base of the tree trunk was huge, one of the biggest Thissraelle had ever seen, and certainly much bigger around than any that were in even the oldest parts of Twynne Rivers. Illarielle sat on one of the lengths of root that jutted out on its way from the trunk down into the rich dark soil. Near her was a large rock with a steaming bowl resting on it. As Thissraelle approached, she felt warmth radiating from the boulder. “Sit down!” Illarielle chirped. Thissraelle did, with caution. She was nervous, but for the moment decided to wave away the blade in her hand. She looked at the forest around her. The morning sun started to flow between the bare branches of the trees. She could barely see the sky between the tangles, but it was lighter than the full night.

Thissraelle studied Illarielle. She was young- not even a full adult yet, but not a child, either. Her face was clear and her eyes were bright. She was definitely a wood elf, but she didn’t seem threatening. She just smiled lightly at Thissraelle, then asked, “What happened? If you were attacked, how did you get up in the tree?”

How much should I say? Is she just playing with me? Thissraelle looked at her, allowing her mind and awareness to reach out and wrap around the girl. Thissraelle searched her over for a sense of anger, or aggression, or even fear. Illarielle shifted her head to one side, with a confused look, then her eyes shot open.

“You’re checking my aura! You’re all kinds of magical!” She smiled wide and shifted her seat, closed her eyes, and opened her palms in her lap. “There. Go ahead. What do you see?”

Thissraelle was shocked and embarrassed to have been caught inspecting the girl. She stopped, but Illarielle opened one of her eyes, nodded encouragement, then closed it again. For the second time, Thissraelle allowed her thoughts to reach out and surround the girl. There was no anger, no hatred, and, strangely, no fear. Just lots of curiosity. Who is she? Is she even real?

“You’re a full wizard, aren’t you? How did you learn? Which powers do you know? Wait-- don’t say!” She looked Thissraelle over. “Hmmmm... You made a dagger out of light, so that’s one. You looked at my mind, so that’s all mental powers, right? Is that how you flew down?”

“Uh, yeah...”

“That’s why you were glowing blue! Oh, magic fascinates me! I only know nature powers. I come out here in the forest to practice and learn more. I get myself attuned to the rhythms of the earth and the winds.  The trees are my friends.” She reached out and touched the root, smoothing her hand over the rough texture like she were petting a cat. “So, how did you learn the other magics? Did you find a teacher? Elves don’t study magic except the woods and the earth. At least the elves of the forest-- Oooh!” Her brows leapt up and she clapped her hands over her mouth in surprise.

“You’re a high elf!” The sudden silence between them was as chilly as the breeze.

Illarielle’s eyes grew bigger as bits of understanding started to drop into place. “That’s why you didn’t understand me,” she whispered. She gasped, then continued, “That’s why you were attacked, isn’t it?”

How do explain this? It’s like she has no idea what’s going on.

Actually, I’m not sure what’s going on, either.

Finally, Thissraelle broke the tension. “Yes, that’s why. I’m sure of it. We were traveling north through the Umbrawood. We were just passing through on the trade road, but a wood elf patrol followed us and attacked. We don’t mean harm; we’re just trying to get through. We even have a wood elf guide! Why would they attack? We’re not dangerous!” Her voice grew tense. Her mind went through the scene, trying to find an indication of the reason for the violence, some sort of clue...

“Eddiwarth.” Thissraelle stood up. “I left Eddiwarth. They were hurting him...”

Illarielle stood also.

Thissraelle gathered up the blanket, and stepped around the trunk. “And Karendle. I have to get back to them. Thank you for your help, but I have to go.”

Illarielle stepped around the other side of the tree trunk to meet Thissraelle again. “Maybe I can help! Where are they?”

I have no idea. This realization hit her hard. I have no idea where they are. I don’t even know where I am. 

Thissraelle stood in stunned silence, staring at Illarielle.


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!
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Monday, December 9, 2019

182 - “Like a Leaf in the Tree” - Thissraelle - A Tale of Heroes

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Part 14

In the previous part:
As the part opens, Karendle is contacted via oculus by Illitharin, her main contact in the Dragon’s Flame. Thissraelle joins in the communication. They still want Karendle to capture Thissraelle, and she assures them that she will. Later, they also contact DeFrantis and have a joyful reunion, even though it’s through magic. They learn that Granthurg is alive, though fearful.

As they travel north out of Twynne Rivers, toward the Umbrawood Forest, Thissraelle reveals her fear of the wood elves, offending Parith. Parith also discovers Eddiwarth’s feelings for her and teases him about it. 

Kirraxal figures out some of the magical glyphs of the Dragonkin, and kills three of his servants. He uses dark shadow magic to restore them as the Dragonbonded, semi-living servants. One he sends to find and destroy Heathrax, one he sends to recover the white dagger, and one he keeps as a very loyal guard. Tonklyn finds himself uncertain of his place in Kirraxal’s plans.

The party reaches the Umbrawood Forest, and enters, travelling several days into its dormant autumn depths. Illitharin passes them on the road, and acknowledges Karendle with a knowing look. The next morning, the party is attacked and overcome by a patrol of wood elves. They try to capture Thissraelle and Eddiwarth, who are high elves, but Thissraelle teleports away using dimensional powers. Parith is frustrated and confused by the attack.


182 - “Like a Leaf in the Tree” - Thissraelle - A Tale of Heroes

With a blinding flash of light, Thissraelle blinked out of the many-colored darkness of The Vast and found herself falling. She hit something, painfully hard, on her upper left side and her body flipped around, jerking her head as she continued falling. Immediately, she fell onto something else round and hard. It was cold and it scraped her. She swung her arms and legs trying vainly to feel, but she was spinning and falling blindly. Her left thigh hit another obstacle, and threw her back into yet another. She swept her arms above her head to grab a hold and stop the plummet. It felt rough and unstable, but she gripped it tight as her eyes adjusted.

Cold air blew past her and she shivered. Her muscles ached from the beating she’d taken falling, masking the pain from the struggle with the wood elf. Her vision began to clear. It was dark, but starting to lighten in the pre-dawn sun. The rounded shape she clung to was a thick tree branch. She looked herself over. Her legs were draped over another branch off to the side and her torso was turned a bit as it dangled down in the air between the two. 

She leaned back on the branch, then hazarded a look below her. In the morning dim, she couldn’t see the ground, only layers and layers of branches.

How high up am I dangling, here?

Dangling in the cold air.

The frigid air!

She noticed that she was wearing a thin tunic and loose thin leggings. She’d been more than comfortable rolled up in her blankets just a few minutes before. What had happened? She wiped her hair out of her face and shivered.

We were attacked. 

We were attacked, by wood elves. I woke up when I heard Parith call, then there was a blast. 

Then I was struggling, and someone was trying to smother me. It smelled really bad.

She tried to move, to shift and sit up, but her muscles were too pained. She leaned back again.

I panicked. Why did I panic? 

She tried to breathe, to calm the fear that rushed up in her heart again.

Where am I? I ‘ported somewhere. Where is it?

She looked around, but could only see branches. 

I’m still in the forest. I couldn’t have gone far. I didn’t use up the will it would have take to go a long way. Where’s Eddiwarth? And Karendle?

She closed her eyes and breathed deep calming breaths. She summoned her will and felt herself surrounded by warming brightness. The pain and stiffness in her legs, back, and arms subsided and eased as the healing power flowed through her. Hopefully that will keep it all from bruising.

She reached up and grabbed a hold of some smaller branches nearby, then pulled herself up into a sitting position. She found herself on a large and sturdy branch, a short distance from an enormous trunk.

Maybe I can reach out to Eddiwarth, or even Karendle. She focused again and began to extend her awareness in a spiral around her, sweeping farther and farther away--  

A rustling of the branches below her broke her concentration. A figure in light green swung up from a lower branch and landed on the one where Thissraelle was sitting. Thissraelle gasped in surprise and pushed herself away. She swept her hand defensively, trailing a bright line of light between them. The figure crouched, balanced on the branches as they swayed a bit from landing, then held out a hand to shield its eyes for a moment. 

In the glimmer Thissraelle could see the face of a wood elf. Immediately she backed away further, almost to the trunk of the tree, and her hand summoned a short dagger of light. 

The elf tossed her hood off and spoke what sounded like a question in words that Thissraelle couldn’t fully understand. It sounded a bit like elvish, but she only made out what she thought was “you” and “healthy”. The elf had girlish features, and looked young. Her brown hair was short and messy from the hood and the breeze. She wore a loose, short cloak over a thick tunic. She held her hand up as she balanced on the branch, then said, “...Or don’t you speak elvish?”

Who is this? Thissraelle looked around quickly, trying to see others, but saw only shadows. Finally, she took a breath and answered, “Not that kind of elvish, apparently.”

The girl in green nodded, and lowered her hands. “Are you OK? Did you slip and fall?”

Thissraelle asked her own question. “Where are the others?”

The girl looked confused. “Others? I’m alone, here.”

“There were others. The ones that attacked us. Are they near?”

“Attacked! Oh, no! You must be hurt! Can I help? I’m all alone in the woods, just feeling the vibrations of the trees.” She took in a breath and swept her arms all around. “Doesn’t it feel wonderful moving through you? Oh - wait, if you’re hurt, you’re probably not feeling the wave of the life around you. Let me help you!” She started to move toward Thissraelle.

Thissraelle held the dagger out protectively. “Let’s... keep a distance for the moment.”

“Yes. Okay. That’s fine.” The girl relaxed and sat down on the branch making it sway. Thissraelle shivered and used her free hand to cling to herself for a bit of warmth. “I have a blanket on the ground. Would you like it? I’ll go get it for you! Or you can just follow me!” She jumped up and started to swing down on her branch.

“Who are you?”

The girl swung back up. “Oh! I’m sorry! I forgot! I’m Illarielle, of Treehaven.”

Thissraelle wondered. “Treehaven? That’s still a few days travel from here isn’t it?”

“Yeah, but I like to be in the woods. That, and my teacher sent me out to find herbs and mushrooms.”

“For magic?”

“No, I think just for cooking. What about you? Why are you here? Oh, wait. You must be freezing without a cloak! Let’s get that blanket.” She tossed herself off the branch onto one several layers below, then continued leaping downward.

“Hey! Wait!” Thissraelle started, then sighed. She summoned her will, cleared her mind, and in a light blue mist, floated herself downward through the shadows and the branches.


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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Thursday, December 5, 2019

181 - “Disappointment” - Parith - A Tale of Heroes

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"I'm sorry to disappoint you." Parith hissed through his clenched teeth. "Let me go and I'll give you a good fight!"

The leader of the elf team laughed. His cloak was a dark brown, common for patrols in the autumn woods. It was heavy against the cold, but not long, so as to make it easier to move quietly through the trees. His hood was down across his back, revealing long brown hair. His breath misted in the chill morning air.

The elf nodded to Parith's captor, who quickly withdrew the sword and shoved hard into Parith’s back, throwing him to the ground. Before Parith could jump to his feet, tree roots sprouted up from the ground under the leaves and tangled around his arms and legs, pulling him flat to the forest floor.
Parith's eyes narrowed and he winced with the pain in his limbs. He shouted as loud as he could with his head turned to the side, "I call thee out and demand that thou shouldst explain this attack!" 

The commander raised his eyes in amused surprise to hear Parith make his challenge in full elvish. "Thou shalt not demand ought of me!” the leader replied, “You are all spies. Thou art, and thy companions, all!"

"Spies? Nay, we are travelers, journeying through Umbrawood, and I am their guide.”

The elf stepped to Parith and leaned over his head. “Tell me thy name,” he paused, then snarled, “good Sir Guide.”

“I am Parith, of Treehaven. These past three summers I have spent aiding caravans that ply the trade with the humans in Twynne Rivers.”

The commander stood and put his foot on Parith’s back, pressing him harder into the ground. 

“Humans? There was but one human among thy companions!”

They saw Korr! Where is he? Is he alive?

The commander continued, “And above this, thou dost consort with high elves! Two of them! Wilt thou deny this? Whither go ye? Not to our capitol, to be sure!”

What should I tell them? I want them to trust me, but I don’t want to reveal too much. Parith felt the boot lift off his torso and he sucked in air. “We go to Treehaven, for rest, then onward north to Emberfire.”

Parith heard the elf laughing. He told his soldiers to carry off Eddiwarth. They moved to pick him up. Finally, the leader spoke again, reverting to the common speech. “Well, you’re a fool, then. These liars have duped you. Don’t you know what is happening? Maybe you don’t. How long has it been since you’ve been through the forest? The high elves are mustering armies at the base of the Emberfire mountains, and they’re not allowing passage. Twynne Rivers is in chaos.” He began to step away, saying, “We’ll take these high elves to the militia at Treehaven, then on to Umbrawood City. They’ll have a lot to tell once they’re broken.”

He turned and shouted to the others, who followed him as he left.

“Wait! Wait!” Parith pleaded, “We’re all elves of the forest, here, aren’t we? We’re brothers! Don’t leave me here!”

“Hey! Come back!” Karendle shouted, “Let us go!”

Then for a moment the only sound was the wind in the branches. Karendle struggled again, shaking the tree’s limbs and grunting and shouting in pain and frustration.

Flames! Flaming burning flames! What’s going on? Parith struggled against the roots that held him, but they were firm. I’ve got to figure a way out of here. We’ve got to get to Eddiwarth. What happened to Thissraelle? And Korr?

“Karendle! Can you hear me?”

“Yes!” He couldn’t see her, but her voice sounded pained.

“Can you get to your oculi?”

“No!” She snapped. “I dropped the shaking stone when these creator-blighted trees grabbed me. It’s down there in the leaves somewhere. Do you have any good ideas?”

He took in a cold breath. “Yes. Yes, I did, but they involved you being able to use your stones.”

“Ow! Argh!” Through clenched teeth, she said, “Then they’re not very good ideas, are they?”

“Hey! I’m just trying to think—“ A flapping of wings and a fluttering of leaves interrupted Parith. He raised his head, straining his neck, to try and turn to look the other way and see what it was.


The small drake folded its wings and scurried through the leaves to Parith. It trilled and yapped, licking eagerly at his face. “Dra— Drakie, stop. Stop! Bite the roots. Drak— stop! Come on...” 
The drake stopped licking and jumped up onto Parith’s back. It walked up and down his ribs, sniffing and snorting. 

“Bite the roots, boy. Come on! Help me get loose!” Parith pleaded. The little dragon squawked and continued to step in circles on his master’s back. Finally, it settled down in a comfortable place, tucked his legs, rested his head, and curled his tail around himself. It breathed out a contented snort.

Stupid dragon.

Flaming stupid elves. 

The End of Part 13


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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Monday, December 2, 2019

180 - “Surprise” - Parith - A Tale of Heroes

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Where’s Korr? 

Parith wiped his eyes. They quickly adjusted to the dark and the cold. He reached across the fire pit, picked up a few small logs, and threw them into the faintly glowing embers. He pulled his cloak tight around his shoulders. Leaning over the side of the pit, he blew a gentle, but steady stream of air onto the glow. After two breaths, the unburned logs sprouted a few orange leaves of flame. As they began to grow, Parith rose up.

Where’s Korr? The thought nagged at him again. He raised his head and looked around, paying particular attention to the shelters to his right in the shadows of the trees. There’s his bedroll. At least I think that’s his, lying in a heap on the floor.   He squinted to cut through the dark.
Yeah, I’ll bet he’s practicing.

Parith settled back to his seat. The logs were burning, now, but it still wasn’t a huge blaze. And where’s Drakie? He must’ve followed Korr.

A chilly wind blew leaves across his field of vision. His attention snapped into focus and his eyes narrowed. He’d heard something in the wind, something other than the rustle of branches and leaves. “KORR?” he called out, but got no response.  Only a sleepy grumbling from Eddiwarth sounded.

He stood, grabbed his staff, and tossed off his cloak.The cold instantly surrounded him. Holding it ready, he began to turn about, scanning into the shadows beyond the waypoint. This isn’t right. He saw figures in the trees around the shelters. Two of them, at least. Maybe three. No, more.

“Awake! Everyone up!” he shouted, crouching low and creeping backward toward the shelter platforms. An arrow zipped through the air past his shoulder as he moved and stuck into the ground not too far from his feet. Startled, he jumped aside.

“What’s happening?” Eddiwarth’s groggy voice came from behind him.

Before Parith could respond, two elves in dark cloaks dashed into the clearing, brandishing bladefern shortswords. One of them rushed Parith and slashed, but Parith was able to parry the attack aside with a swing of his staff. He responded with a spin, sweeping the other end forward to strike, but the elf jumped it nimbly.

The other elf ran toward the shelters, leaves flying in his wake. Eddiwarth’s eyes widened as he leaned back. He thrust his hand forward, lashing a loud, bright white crack of lightning directly into the elf’s chest. With a grunt, the elf flew backward and landed near the fire pit.

Thissraelle bolted up from her beds and looked for the source of the blast.

“Attackers!” Parith shouted, and drove toward his opponent, turning around  him. I’ve got to keep him between me and that archer. He parried again, but his attention was diverted, still assessing the scene. A third elf stepped forward, but didn’t immediately attack.

“Eddiwarth!” Thissraelle called out. Parith saw a figure behind Eddiwarth jump onto him, grabbing his hair and pulling his head back. Eddiwarth choked out a grunt and tried to reach behind to grab the attacker. A motion caught Parith’s eye and he jumped away. The slash of the elf’s short blade tip cut through his cloak and sliced his upper arm. He winced.

Thissraelle called out again. She was on her feet, struggling as another dark-cloaked elf grabbed her from behind. He was trying to cover her face with something in his hand. There are too many! I’ve got to get over to help! Where’s Korr? He gripped his staff in both hands, toward the center, and and faced his opponent. He swung the lower end hard at the elf’s legs, who blocked with his sword. Immediately, Parith shifted his feet and whacked the upper end into the back of the elf’s head, who staggered with the impact.

Suddenly, one of the seating stones around the fire leapt up a few feet into the air and threw itself at the elf, knocking him flat.

“Ha!” He heard Karendle laugh out at his left. She stood, waving the oculus in her fist before her as she stepped out of the thicket of the woods. The elf with the commanding stance in the middle also saw her, and waved his open hands in the air. Tree limbs quickly swooped down around Karendle and wrapped around her arms, pulling her up above the ground. They held her tightly there, arms apart, kicking and shouting.

Another scream from Thissraelle snapped Parith's attention back the other way. Eddiwarth was struggling against the elf on his back, who had covered Eddiwarth’s mouth and face with some kind of cloth. His struggles were weakening, and he finally went limp. The elf dropped him, tossed aside the rag, and stood.

Parith jumped toward Eddiwarth and Thissraelle, but was immediately pulled back by a hand reaching across his head from behind and a hard-forged wooden blade sweeping before him and resting against his neck. “Don’t move!” The voice behind him commanded. Parith knew how sharp that sword would be, and knew not to struggle.

He watched Thissraelle fighting to keep the toxic cloth away from her own face. She was not as strong as her assailant, but was a fierce fighter, and resisted hard. He wasn’t able to keep the rag in place long enough to put her under, and she would break free and breathe.

Thissraelle flew up and out of the shelter, trailing a bluish mist and pulling the elf in the air with her. They twisted between the branches as they fought. Karendle called out to her.

There was a blinding flash of light surrounding Thissraelle and everyone looked away as it overwhelmed them. The elf fell from the air with a thud and a grunt. Parith’s sensitive eyes adjusted and he heard Karendle call out, “Thiss! Thiss!”

When his vision finally cleared, moments later, the two elves on the ground were standing up, slowly. Eddiwarth was still out cold, Karendle still hung in the air, and Thissraelle was gone.
“Don’t move.” The voice behind him reminded, tightening his grip.

The commander elf surveyed the scene, then stood and stepped toward Parith with a smile. “That was a pathetic fight. I wish you had done better. It would have been more fun.”


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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