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 14

This week’s entry is a bit shorter. Everyone thought Bardulf was being a bit silly trying to go off on his own, so what happens next? Time to find out. As usual, if you want to catch up with the rest of the series, go click on Vote Your Adventure up top. Voting will be open until Friday, February 1, 2012.

“Bardulf laughed to himself. ”You’re right, Burnum. I have worked alone far too long, and fall into bad habits easily. We have six days until the other warriors arrive. We need to start planning." He looked up and found that Burnum offered a hand to help him up. Bardulf took it.

“Come, friend. We have battle to plan.”

They returned to the cave and found that two of the men were gone. They had gone into the village. Burnum was visibly alarmed, and Bardulf felt his stomach sink. That was the dumbest thing those two could have done.

Bardulf held his frustration, and placed his hand on Burnum’s shoulder. “Don’t worry right now. You all have been gone long. It isn’t surprising a few left. We will talk to the two when they return. Right now, we need to determine how strong the enemy is. How many men are we looking to fight against?”

Burnum thought for a moment. “We have talked of freedom long. Someone in village will have idea of number.”

“Which is exactly where we shouldn’t go,” Bardulf sighed. “Those two fools are already risking a lot,” he mumbled.

As if that thought was a summons, the two missing men ran into the cave. They looked spooked, and both of them glanced at Bardulf before speaking.

Bardulf watched Burnum’s face range from anger to worry as the two spoke. Finally Burnum translated what they said.

“We went to village to see families quickly. We want be back before you. Never made it. Shaman caught us. She yelled for leaving you. She asked us to relay a message to Bardulf. You need to visit her tonight in her hut.”

Bardulf frowned. “Did she say why?”

Burnum relayed the question. The two men shook their heads.

“Should I go, Burnum?”

The man shrugged. “Choice yours. But not wise to anger shaman.”

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

Should Bardulf go visit the shaman?:
A) Yes.
B) No.

Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 13

It’s a new year, and time for the next part of the story. I hope I have answered your questions as we enter the next stage of the story. If you want to read previous entries, go to Vote Your Adventure up top for the list. I am going to have voting go until Friday, January 11, 2012.

If you are interested, I’ve also posted two-year in reviews. A Personal one, and a Writing one. Now, onto the story. Enjoy!

“Your father?” Bardulf couldn’t hide his surprise. Burnum simply nodded. Bardulf looked over the chief, who studied Bardulf. He guessed that the chief was a few years younger than himself, since the chief’s dark beard had only some gray streaks as opposed to his own that was gray streaked with brown. The chief was obviously older, but they were not as far apart in age as Bardulf expected.

The chief frowned and began speaking with Burnum. They went back and forth. Burnum pointed to Bardulf as they spoke. The chief finally nodded, but the frown remained. He began speaking to Bardulf, his voice low and rough, while Burnum translated.

Continue reading

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