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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