Monday, March 23, 2020

209 - “Her Father” - Thissraelle - A Tale of Heroes

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Thissraelle sat on a rock.

She was alone. The rock was cold, and hard, and uncomfortable, but that kind of fit her mood. The familiar dark and empty chill of The Vast surrounded her, but she paid no attention to any of it.

What was that old man thinking? He sends me off on a false quest just to trap me and send me home. But our home is gone! The Guild Hall was razed by an angry army! How could he not know it would happen that way when he ordered the attack on the cathedral? 

She hugged her knees tightly and swayed gently from side to side.

And all the suffering! How many were killed? And how many more in the aftermath?

Above her was empty darkness filled with enormous colored clouds. It all rotated, not so slowly, in her sky space as the round rock she was sitting on tumbled along. It wasn’t large, at all, not like a moon or a floating mountain or even a terrace. It was just big enough to sit on, to hide on, and to get away from everyone else for a while.

Especially her father.

It just doesn’t make sense! And the whole thing with St. Ivarr! How did he project that illusion into my head? That’s a lot of strange effort just to get me home.

And why not just have Ivarr tell me to go home? Why the big long quest? Why the danger? I almost got all of my friends killed. I was supposed to lead them, right? “The strongest leader is better the servant...” Some leader I am. Not much of a servant either.

After the battle, her father and Heathrax had gathered everyone together, and they had flown away to one of the Dragonspine peaks. There, Heathrax had shown them the portal point that he used to get to his home in The Vast. Her father had tried to embrace her, to talk to her, but she had just raged at him.

Thissraelle’s mind had been clouded with confusion, anger, and sadness. As soon as she had seen that they were in The Vast, she had jumped onto a stone drifting nearby and pushed away. She hadn’t wanted to leave her friends, but they didn’t seem to be in immediate danger, and she had needed to get away.

Far away.

I need to think.

But I don’t want to think. I can’t figure it all out! It’s not adding up!

She sighed and buried her face between her knees.

When she raised her eyes again, she saw Eddiwarth floating in the space before her. She furrowed her brows, frustrated that he was disturbing her sulk. Still, she tilted her head to her right shoulder to match the angle of his body. He sat on an oddly curved stone dish, but he was turned on his side in the air, as if gravity were working differently for him. Gradually, as her own rock turned, he seemed to go fully upside down.

"So," he said, with hesitation. "You mad at me?"

She adjusted her head the other way as he continued rotating. He went on, "Parith and Korr are OK, I think. Korr didn't waste any time delivering his message once he recovered. He and Heathrax are talking away about his master."

She cut in, "What are you riding on?"

"I don't know. It’s rock, I guess. Do you want one?"

"Where did you find it?"

"I made it. It seems you can make a lot of cool stuff in The Vast if you want to."

She laughed quietly. "So, you have access to all the immense power of the infinite Vast, and you use it to fly upside-down in a stir-fry pan?"

Eddiwarth considered this. "No. I used all that power just to make you smile."

She smiled. "Actually, you're making me dizzy." She held out her arms. "Get over here."

Eddiwarth jumped off the stone plate and sent it spinning away. As soon as he floated to her outstretched arms, he twisted with the new gravity pull of her rock and tumbled into her, knocking her over. She laughed and pushed him aside. He started to drift away, but reached out and grabbed her foot and pulled himself back.

Thissraelle took hold of his other arm and pulled him into an embrace, then a kiss. He settled onto the rock beside her and held her close.

She whispered, "Oh, what's going to happen?"

He shrugged. "All I know is that we're all safe, for the moment, and I'm here with you."

“Does everyone hate me?”

Eddiwarth pulled his head back and gave her a look of surprise and confusion.

"Young novice," a deep and quiet voice interrupted. It carried authority, but was not demanding. Thissraelle tensed. "Would you allow me to speak with my daughter?” Over Eddiwarth's shoulder, she saw her father floating in the void a few feet before her. His arms were crossed in front of the dark robe he wore and his feet dangled in the open air below him.

In a rush, Eddiwarth disentangled himself and stood. Just as quickly, Thissraelle snatched his hand and held it firm. "He will stay." Her voice was terse and determined. The eyes narrowed on her father's face. Eddiwarth sucked in a deep breath.

The silence between them seemed to echo though The Vast as they exchanged stares. Finally, Thissraelle’s father dropped his gaze. “I know it seems strange to hear me say this, but most of all, I want you to know that I am happy to see you well.”

“Well?” Thissraelle shouted, eyes blazing, “Do you call this ‘well’? I am definitely not well!” He raised his hands defensively, but she went on, “We just almost got killed in your little trap!”

His eyes flared open. “My trap?”

“Yes!” she shouted, “And what about all those that were killed by your patrols in the forest? Or killed in the cathedrals?”

“Hold on, hold on...”

“No! I will not ‘hold on’!” Her voice trembled, “How could you? How could you burn them down? Was the Church that much of a problem for you? Did you just want to take them down a notch? You were always hard on them, but that’s no reason to destroy them! Please just tell me why?”

“Cathedrals? Patrols in the forest? My dear, dear child...”

“You will answer me!” She noticed she was standing and pointing. She dropped her hand and stood defiant.

He took a deep breath. “I see there is so much to explain. Perhaps we should all sit down.” He waived his hands and a small boulder spun to him from beyond the rock Thissraelle was on. With a few motions, he shaped it into a crude seat and placed it underneath him.

“Please.” He gestured for Thissraelle and Eddiwarth to relax on their rock.


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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