Thursday, April 2, 2020

212 - “Striking Power” - Korr - A Tale of Heroes

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“Slow, steady breathing. Steady.”

Slow. Steady.

Korr stood on the ridge of the mountain, his feet in a solid square stance. He took in a breath, but the cold and the thinness of the air made that difficult. He looked out across the deep valley floor below. It showed the expanse of Umbrawood, but it was much further beneath him than it had been before. He shifted his feet in the snow through a few forms. He set his arms at his side, his fists turned wrist-up. His eyes were closed. The frigid wind blew past him, billowing his shirt. He tried to ignore the cold.

“Now, shape the sun,” the dragon’s deep and airy voice said to him.

Korr took in another freezing breath and opened his hands. He slowly moved them to a place before his torso, one low, turned upward, and the other above it, palm down.

Shape the sun.

Beside him, Heathrax floated, his long tendrils flowing in the wind. His long tail shifted back and forth, many dozens of feet behind them. Thissraelle and Eddiwarth had come out of The Vast with Korr and stood on his other side, also several paces back, so as not to be a distraction in the lesson.

“Good. Now breathe your will into the su—.” The dragon’s voice choked on the word.

Korr slowly exhaled.

Is it there? I’m not sure if I’m feeling it.

When he was out of breath, he paused, then hung his head and broke his stance with a gasp.

Immediately, Heathrax turned his head away and coughed out in a few loud and deep raspy huffs. “I’m sorry. I tried to hold that in, to not distract you. Try again.”

It’s not the dragon’s fault. I can’t find my will.

He held his arms and shook his feet in the snow, then reset them into his stance. He blew misty fog from his mouth a few times and glanced over at his friends, who just nodded encouragement.

He looked at Heathrax, who nodded. “Set your stance again. Shape the sun, then find your will.”

Korr followed the instructions. He closed his eyes and dropped his mind into the space between his hands.

“Maan Korr, find your will.” Heathrax whispered. “It is your will you must find. Not your Master’s, not mine, not your friends’. You have served everyone else well, but this must be for you. It must be your will. Do you want it?”

I want this. I want to learn it. I want to have it.

He felt a warmth form in his chest.

Yes. I want this. I must learn this. It is my will.

The feeling grew inside him, a warmth deep within. He willed it to flow through his hands and coalesce into the space he’d shaped between his palms. Power and heat formed there, in a small spinning ball of energy. It grew and whirled more fiercely as he channeled more and more will into it.

“Yes. Good. Are you ready?” Heathrax asked with calm.

Korr dropped his right foot back, bending his knees and turning his shoulders and torso to the side. He opened his determined eyes and focused them on a large snowy rock outcropping a short distance along the windy ridge.

He leaned into his forward leg. With a twist of his hips and shoulders he thrust the palms of his hands straight out, throwing the ball of striking power straight at the stone. It hit and exploded, shattering the upper half of the stone into tiny pebbles and a few larger chunks that fell all around them, making impressions in the new fallen snow.

“By the Creator!” Eddiwarth shouted. Thissraelle shrieked and clapped with excitement.

Korr breathed calmly and returned to a resting stance. He turned to Heathrax and bowed. The dragon returned the gesture.

As Korr looked down, he saw one of the broken stones in the snow at his feet. He picked it up and inspected it. It had several fractured facets, delineated by sharp jagged edges. He smiled in satisfaction and closed his fingers around the stone. He was suddenly aware of the cold again, and shivered.

He was almost knocked off balance by Thissraelle grabbing him and hugging him from behind.


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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