Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 17

First off, I need to apologize. This entry took a lot longer than I anticipated. Some writer’s block and rewrites really didn’t help.

Next, as I look at the calendar, I’m thinking I can get one more entry in before November and NaNoWriMo. I’m going to do my best to meet that deadline. So, voting will be until Friday, October 18, 2013.

Speaking of November, I will be taking that month off again. I will probably leave the next entry up for the month, and continue in December.

So, onto the next installment! And if you need to catch up? Take a look at Vote Your Adventure link up top.

Update: I added some clarification as to what you are voting on.

Bardulf looked at the two weapons for a bit. A plan began to form in his mind. “Burnum, what do your warriors wear for battle?”

Continue reading

Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 16 Results

So, we have another tie. That was unexpected. I left the vote open extra long in the hopes that someone would break the tie. But, that isn’t the way my luck runs. So, now I need to account for both possibilities.

I am going on vacation next weekend, so the next part will have to wait till after I get back. I think I’m going to need the time to make sure I satisfy both conditions, anyway.

Thanks for the votes, and I’ll see you soon!

Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 16

Bardulf’s adventures are continuing this week. How much trouble is he getting himself into? As usual, the previous entries are located at the Vote Your Adventure above. I’ve got a busy weekend ahead, so voting will be open until Sunday, August 25, 2013.

If you enjoy this type of story, be sure to check out Jen Kirchner’s blog. She has a Vote Your Adventure that just started, titled The Cure. It is a continuation of some previous VYA stories that she has posted. Part 3 of the story should be up today or tomorrow. Now, onto the tale.

Moving the battle away could be dangerous. And giving the quetzal too much room to move would be disastrous. Bardulf couldn’t allow that. He had to use every advantage possible.

Bardulf stepped back, watching the quetzal. He reached down and loosened his hatchet, and then readied the spear as he worked through tactics and battle plans in his mind. Every weapon would be needed in this death match.

He didn’t want to be pushed into defense right away, so Bardulf lunged forward, and swung the spear. The tip grazed scales, but did no damage. The quetzal slithered back towards the shaman’s hut, and the trees.

Bardulf continued to drive it back into the trees, swinging the spear in a wide arc. The creature dodged the swinging spear-point with ease.

The quetzal took Bardulf by surprise as it spread its wings. With a powerful flap, it jumped onto the shaman’s hut. A startled cry from the shaman inside was heard.

He understood the action a moment before the serpent coiled and struck. Bardulf leapt to the side. The quetzal hit the ground, and recoiled to strike again.

Bardulf wasted no time to attack again. He had the hatchet in his left hand, and was swung at the creatures head. It dodged, and snapped onto Bardulf’s left forearm. Bardulf’s momentum carried the spear in his right hand and allowed him to drive it into the creatures skull.

The quetzal tried to pull back, but its fangs were stuck. Bardulf grunted through the pain, and moved the hatchet into his right hand and struck down again. The creature twitched and fell to the ground, taking Bardulf with it.

The pain and poison proved too much, and Bardulf blacked out.

Bardulf struggled to open his heavy eyes. He felt weary, but he felt his energy slowly returning.

“Ah, you are awake. I knew it was only a matter of time.” Bardulf turned towards the sound and saw the shaman sitting on a nearby stool.

“What happened?” he managed to croak.

“You killed the quetzal and it almost killed you,” answered the shaman. “I made an antidote from the poison and healed you.”

“Antidote? How much?”

“Enough. But you must finish your quest.” The shaman closed her eyes. “That lies with ending this war.” She opened her eyes again. They held a distant look. "The spirits tell me your lord still lives.

Bardulf closed his eyes to think for a moment. The sounds of cries and battle reached his ears. He sat up and looked around. Burnum was nearby as well. “Why do I hear battle?”

“When you killed quetzal, enemies attacked right away. We have been holding them off. Killing the quetzal has renewed our passion.”

Bardulf felt an overwhelming fear take over him. “How long?” he whispered.

The shaman’s face was void of emotion. “Nine days.”

I’ve been unconscious for nine days? Bardulf looked to Burnum, trying to keep his mind from reeling. “The other tribes are on their way?”

The son of the chieftain nodded. “Some arrive today. We attack at sunrise.”

“I will join you.”

The shaman sighed. “You do not have the strength. You will need to be careful.” She turned to Burnum. “Give them to him now.”

Burnum turned and picked some items up. Bardulf stared in amazement at what Burnum held. The man carried a spear and dagger, one in each hand. The spear head had been replaced by a fang and teeth of the quetzal. The dagger’s blade had been replaced with a fang, like the spear.

“These are for you. The tribe made them for you, the quetzal slayer. You have earned them,” the shaman said with a smile.

“The warriors say they want you in battle. Beside them,” Burnum said. “But we have other plan also. You are like enemy. You could sneak in now with battle raging. As injured warrior.”

Inventory: hatchet, flint & steel, traveling cloak, heart necklace, 80 coins in a pouch, fang spear, fang dagger
Health: broken left arm (healed)

What will Bardulf’s next move be?
A) Fight beside Burnum and the other warriors
B) Infiltrate the enemies by pretending to be injured

Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 15

The story continues! It’s a larger entry to make up for the delay. As usual, click on Vote Your Adventure up at the top to read previous entries. I won’t keep you waiting any longer. Time to see why the shaman wants to see Bardulf:

“If I’m going to be helping your people, I shouldn’t anger your shaman. How will we get into the village?”

With a small shake of his head, Burnum replied. “Her hut close, at edge of village. You go, not me. Shaman ask for you, no more.”

Bardulf frowned. “But how will I understand her?”

“She speaker of tongues,” Burnum answered with a grin. “You understand.” He gestured to the others. “We begin plan of attack while you gone.”

Bardulf pulled the hood of his cloak over his head and nodded. “Good. I won’t keep her waiting, then. I’ll be back soon.”

The only light he had that night was the moon. He walked through the forest in silence, and Bardulf wondered again what they were up against. How many more men had come into the mountains to enslave these people? These people had 5 years to gather an army. He had ten days.

A dim light from the doorway of a small hut cut through the darkness. A short figure stood there, watching the forest. Upon seeing Bardulf, the person motioned for him to enter, and then disappeared into the hut. Bardulf scanned the area before approaching and entering the hut.

The figure was revealed to be a short old woman. She gave him a smile, and closed the door behind him. Her gray hair was bundled in a braid that reached to her waist. She didn’t speak, but moved around the small room putting food in a bowl and getting drinks. Bardulf looked around while she did so.

The interior was warm and comfortable, warmed by a fire in the hearth. A black pot hung over the flames. The smells made Bardulf’s mouth water. Herbs and other oddments hung drying nearby. It was eerily like the apothecary that he had visited a few weeks ago, he realized with a shiver.

“Sit, eat.”

Bardulf turned, and started to ask a question. The shaman interrupted him with a hand. “Eat first, then talk,” she said firmly.

He paused and frowned, but sat and ate after a moment. The woman sat across from him and watched, not eating anything. She had prepared a stew for him. The flavors brought back memories of his grandmother’s food.

The silence was almost suffocating as he ate. “You aren’t eating?” he finally asked.

The shaman shook her head. Bardulf wondered if this was a custom, and to ask Burnum. The stew was finished in silence.

He finished his drink, and set the cup down. The shaman smiled. “Good, now we can talk. Welcome, Bardulf Sylvani. I am the shaman of this tribe. The spirits have told me about you and your quest. You are facing a terrible enemy.”

Bardulf stumbled over words as a multitude of questions arose. “Aren’t they your enemy as well?” he finally asked. “Your people are enslaved.”

“Yes. But you will decide our fate. Your actions will either free us, or destroy us.”

“I don’t want to destroy you.”

“Yet that possibility is there.”

An awkward silence filled the hut. The thought that he could destroy unintentionally these people weighed heavily on Bardulf’s mind, and pushed all other questions out of his mind. “Will we have enough warriors to win?”

“The enemy does not have a large number of warriors, but they are experienced. They will be able to defend the city with what they have. The bigger problem are the quetzcal.”

“How can I kill them? I know there are two.”

The shaman closed her eyes. “Their skin is hard, like steel.” She opened her eyes, and pointed to a spear. “Take it. You will have need of it soon.”

Bardulf frowned, and took the spear. The wood was crooked and worn smooth. The head was honed to a sharpness that could allow him to shave with it. “What do you mean soon?”

“It is time to leave, Ranger. Battle brews.”

“I don’t understand.”

The old woman closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “The spirits give me pieces of what will be, no more.” She opened her eyes and gave Bardulf a sad smile. “You will understand.”

With confusion, Bardulf nodded his head in thanks, and stepped out.

He began heading back to the cave through the darkness. Bardulf wondered why the shaman had given him the spear. As sane as she sounded, he wondered if she really was. He was so deep in thought that he only paid enough attention to know where he was going, not to his surroundings.

“What’s this, a Ranger caught off his guard?”

The masculine voice came from his left, and brought Bardulf back to his senses. He cursed silently. A figure stepped out of the trees. The man wore a simple robe. In the moonlight, Bardulf could see him smile.

“I go out hunting, and this is what I find.” He rubbed his hands together. “Calyn will be disappointed that I got to you first. He told us to watch for you.” He glanced back towards the shaman’s hut. “I guess I’ll need to do something about her. She always was a pain. Better to be rid of her, no matter what the boss says.”

Bardulf grimaced. “How do you think you will defeat me. You have no weapons.” He readied the spear for a quick attack.

“I am a weapon.”

The man closed his eyes, and Bardulf took the moment of hesitation and threw the spear. It was swatted away in an instant, and Bardulf was stunned to see a tail. The robe fell away, and the man grew into a large serpent. This was the second quetzcal. He was not as large as the other, and his wings were small enough to be useless. But he was still a head taller than Bardulf.

Yellow eyes fixed on Bardulf in the moonlight. The creature reared back and struck at Bardulf, who anticipated the attack and leapt to the side, retrieving the spear in the process.

“I already fought Calyn,” Bardulf growled. Even though his ribs were healed, a dull ache throbbed through them and his arm. “I bested him, and he’s bigger and faster than you.”

The quetzcal coiled and watched, giving Bardulf a moment to take heed of the surroundings. They were near the village which would confine the creature somewhat. But he didn’t want to destroy the village. The best option might be to draw it away, but that would give it more room to fight.

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

Where should Bardulf fight the quetzcal?
A) Here where it will be confined
B) Move away to minimize damage

Hero’s Tale returns!

Well, I never intended to take this long off. I knew I had a lot of overtime work coming up back in February, thus why I mentioned that it would be longer the next post. It’s frustrating because I’m letting my readers down, as well as myself. Not to mention this has happened way too often for my taste. But what’s done is done. Time to move forward.

So, that being said, I will be posting the next part On Monday, July 1. But, voting will be going through most of July. Why? I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo during July to get a start on the next draft of a novel I’m working on.

On August 1, I will be closing the voting. I would like to have the next part posted on the first Monday of August. I am working on winding the story of Bardulf down. My plans are to finish the story in August and September.

Again, I’m sorry that it’s been so long. Unfortunately, life takes over sometimes. Thanks for sticking around with me. I appreciate it.