Monday, December 16, 2019

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

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


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!
Thank you: Chet Cox, Genevieve Springer!

Previous Scene, Next Scene
Start the whole story from the beginningStart from where this current story arc begins. Start from where the current story part begins

No comments:

Post a Comment