Monday, February 17, 2020

199 - “Sorry Enough” - Thissraelle - A Tale of Heroes

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The moon was much lower in the western sky as Thissraelle fought sleep. She had long since left the ledge path and returned to sitting by the fading warmth of the stone near her sleeping friends. The little drake had climbed up in her lap, and curled itself under her blanket. Only its head and one claw stuck out of the gap and draped on her knee. Occasionally, between sips of brew, she scratched its head and ears.

“I guess you two are friends, now.” Parith said quietly, but still surprising her.

“Oh! I didn’t hear you get up. Is it your watch already?”

Parith poured himself a cup from the bowl. “Pffah! That was a lot better when it was warmer.”

“Marginally.” Thissraelle laughed. “Let’s have Eddiwarth take the middle watch tomorrow night so he can reheat the rock.”

Parith sat down. “Good idea.” He sipped. “Anything happen?”

“Yeah. I was attacked by humongous slobbering mountain goat bear devil monsters.”

“I hate it when that happens.” He groaned with ache as he sat down.

“But don’t worry. Drakie protected us.” It raised its head, hearing its name. “Didn’t you?” Thissraelle crooned, scratching him.

They sat quietly in the breezeless dark of the predawn. Parith slurped his brew. “You know, your watch is over. You can go back to sleep.”

She sat, silent, staring into the dark around them. From behind, Eddiwarth started snoring again. Parith turned to look for a moment, then returned his gaze forward. He breathed in to speak when Thissraelle interrupted.

“When I was a little girl, in the Guild Hall, I had school, of a sort. My dad taught me magic. My mom was very traditional and proper and taught me social interactions. My tutors taught me to read, and to add, and all about history and the world and things.”

Parith looked at her with his eyebrows raised. She shifted, raising her knees up to her chest. The drake tumbled off her lap onto the snow and hissed a complaint before it crept over to Parith.

“There was a time in our history when the world of Wynne was ruled by the Great Mage Kings of Emberfire. Our great sages and kings and generals made tales and songs of noble deeds and heroic exploration and conquest. I can still sing some of them. There was a great era of study and learning. Peace flourished throughout the world and civilization bloomed.” Her voice was as a proclamation, but with an edge of sadness.

Parith didn’t react just yet.

“Or so I was taught.” She shook her hair out of her eyes. “Then, a few days ago, I had the chance to meet with the wood elf sages and scholars in TreeHaven. They were wonderful, helpful, and very friendly, especially considering I’m a high elf. They told me some about Giatrice - Heathrax - and how to go looking for this shrine. I showed them his poems, and they were excited to see them.

“They also told me about the rule of the Kings of Emberfire from the perspective of the wood elves of Umbrawood. It was a very different story. They told tales of conquest and oppression. They sang songs of slavery, of bravery in resistance and of warriors fighting for freedom. I was always taught that wood elves hated us, but nobody had ever explained why. Nobody ever needed to.”

Thissraelle wanted to look at him, but she couldn’t bring herself to make eye contact. She could feel him staring into her, though, and wondered what he was thinking. From behind, Eddiwarth grunted and snorted. That at least helped her to smile for a moment.

“Things have changed a lot for me this last year. I’ve been places I didn’t know existed, and I’ve seen people and things that I couldn’t have ever imagined. One thing I know for certain now is that there is a lot in this world that I don’t know.” She sniffed. “I don’t know what to do with this new understanding, either. Should I apologize? I never enslaved anyone. I never conquered anyone. But my people did. And I see now how that has shaped my view.”

She leaned back and wiped her eyes. Finally, she glanced over at Parith, and saw him nodding with a slight frown.

He looked down for a moment, then back up at her. “There are a lot of things going on that neither of us really like. Things inside us both. I guess we should each apologize, just for ourselves, for our own thoughts. We have no control beyond that, right?”

She nodded, and smiled. “So, are WE friends, now?”

“Yes. We are.” He smiled back. She stood up.

Parith said, in a reassuring tone, “Now get to sleep.”


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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