Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 12

It’s the eve of NaNoWriMo. What was I thinking? That I couldn’t quite leave the story where it was. As usual, if you want to catch up, go check out the Vote Your Adventure link above. Voting ends at the end of November. I’m doing it a bit different this time. I’ll explain after the story.

The ridges of the mountains were covered in evergreen trees. Snow still blanketed the forest floor, but was beginning to melt. Burnum mentioned that it could be around for another month.

Travel was easy. For the first two days, they traveled as they had for the last few days. On the third day, Burnum asked them to walk in a single line. He lead the way, and Bardulf followed him. “Walk in my footprints,” he said to Bardulf. “We hide how many we are.” It took a little while to learn, but Bardulf got the hang of it. Burnum led them through the trees, staying away from large clearings where possible. Late in the afternoon, they had their first encounter.

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Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 11 Results

Thanks for voting everyone. I’ll go over the votes quick here, because I have other info for you as well. Without further ado:

A) The valleys of the mountains – 1 Vote
B) Along the ridges of the mountains – 2 Votes

So, looks like we’re going up and over next time. What, or who, will they find up there? Guess we’ll have to wait to find out.

I’m planning on getting Part 12 up by Wednesday, Oct 31 at the latest. I’m going to let voting go through November while NaNoWriMo is going on. Which brings me to my first link.

At my main blog, I posted a bit about NaNoWriMo and what’s going on. If you want to keep up with me, keep a watch over there through November.

And, while you wait, if you have enjoyed my story, I’ll encourage you to go take a look at another one. Amber West’s Tell Me a Story is a bit different, because we the reader give ideas as to what happens. No A) and B) here. She is far along in the story (up to part 27), but it’s worth catching up. Go read, you won’t regret it.

Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 11

Voting is close, and I’ve posted the results. Thanks again!

We’re taking it a bit easy this week. If you need to catch up, go check out the Vote Your Adventure link. All the previous entries are linked there. I’ll be closing the vote on the evening of Friday, October 26, 2012.

Eleven days of travel passed uneventfully. Bardulf’s traveling companions knew what to watch for and what to avoid in the mountains. This let them sidestep unwanted encounters with the local wildlife. They picked their way through the mountains using animal trails. The men spent the days crafting arrows, and the evenings working on new bows and spears. They were able to kill a few deer along the way, so there was no lack of food.

The sun disappeared below the horizon, and Bardulf sat beside the fire rubbing the last of the healing ointment on his left arm. Malic told him it was for burns, but neglected to say that it worked for other injuries as well. Bardulf was glad he used it to help with his burns and discovered this. His ribs were now better, and his arm was much further along than it should have been. In another week, or so, he would be able to use a bow again.

“We leave the women tomorrow. Head north to village.” Burnum sat down across the fire from Bardulf. He and the chief, for that was what Burnum really was to these people, had not talked much the last few days. Bardulf felt uncomfortable doing so.

It started with a simple question. “Burnum, what is fratinal?”

Burnum couldn’t explain with his limited language, so they began working on language while they traveled. Burnum could now speak two tongues with some comfort, and Bardulf could now understand some of the language of the Yul’aric.

That was their name for themselves, and it meant Trusted Guardians. As Burnum told the story, thousands of years ago they had been entrusted with guarding the secrets of a lost empire. By the way Burnum spoke, Bardulf wondered if they were descendats of the empire.

After five days of teaching and talking, Burnum was able to answer the question. Bardulf wished he hadn’t been able to.

Fratinal be debt.” Burnum said on the evening of that fifth day. He gestured to the others as he spoke. “We owe you life. You saved us. I dedicated myself to you to pay debt.”

“Dedicated yourself? Like a servant?” Bardulf knew the moment he asked what Burnum really meant.

“No, more like slave. But it something I choose. Not forced” Bardulf felt his stomach drop. He hadn’t wanted this. Burnum looked him in the eyes. “You not understand, I see. Understand, it is honor for me.”

Bardulf had tried to argue, but it was worthless. Burnum would not back down. Since that conversation, they had not spoken much.

“You never did tell me where the women were going, Burnum. Is it another village?” The Yul’aric were a group of tribes. There were villages hidden through the mountains, all guarding different things. According to Burnum, only his village had been found. Bardulf hadn’t been able to get an answer to why the other villages hadn’t tried to protect Burnum’s.

“Yes. They will also send message to others. We attack on full moon. We hope other villages send warriors to fight.”

Bardulf looked up at the moon. It was a small sliver of light right now. It had been pitch black a few days ago. He guessed that it would be another ten days before the full moon. “We don’t have much time to get there, do we?”

Burnum shook his head. “We will make it.”

The group traveled together the next morning until they reached a small valley. Tearful goodbyes were said and everyone got hugs from the women, even Bardulf.

After the women and their guards left, Burnum turned to Bardulf. “You choose where we go.” He pointed to the valley. “This take us along bottom of mountains. Flatter, but akhtol hunt in valleys here.” That was one creature Burnum hadn’t been able to explain yet.

He pointed up to the mountains. “Or we travel along ridges. We see more around us, but we seen also.”

While he grumbled about Burnum making him choose a way when he knows the land better, Bardulf weighed the possibilities.

Inventory: hatchet, flint & steel, traveling cloak, heart necklace, 80 coins in a pouch
Health: broken left arm

Bardulf makes the choice to lead everyone through:
A) The valleys of the mountains
B) Along the ridges of the mountains

Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 10 Results

Thanks for voting everyone! Just a reminder that there will be 2 more entries here in October. November is NaNoWriMo, and I’m going to focus on that. Don’t worry, it’s actually related to what I’m doing here. Although, in a different form. I’m going to post more about that on my writer’s blog soon. But you are all here for the results.

The rapids were a bit rougher than I anticipated. The waterfall was too much, and poor Bardulf now has a broken arm. Is it too much? Some of you have said as much. And the votes reflected this.

A) Help protect the women for a little while and heal a bit – 4 Votes (1 offline)
B) Go to the slaves home right away – 1 Vote

So, we’re going to take it a bit easier next time. Let’s see if we can give the poor Ranger a break. For one week at least.

Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 10

The results are up. Thanks everyone!

Sorry this is a day late. Writing and editing didn’t happen as fast as I wanted. But, we’re back and going through the rapids! If you need to catch up, go find the previous parts in the Vote Your Adventure link at the top. Now, to borrow from Matt Cauthon: “It’s time to toss the dice!”

Oh, and I’m going to close the voting Saturday, October 20 at Noon EST.

Bardulf’s hatchet bit into the wooden post as it cut through the rope holding the boat to the dock. He yanked the hatchet free and grabbed the rope before the boat floated away. It wavered as he got in, but didn’t dump him. With another chop, the rope was removed from the boat and the current pulled it downstream.

It took a moment to find the lone oar in the moonlight. Bardulf looked back as the shouts approached the river. The people could clearly be seen against the backdrop of the flaming stables, but they were getting water to fight the fire and ignoring him.

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