Wednesday, December 18, 2019

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

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“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!
Thank you: Chet Cox, Genevieve Springer!

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