Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 21

Another short entry this time. Sorry for the delay, we had sickness run through the family. I will be closing voting on Sunday, February 16, 2014. If you need to catch up, all previous entries are linked above for perusal. Now, onto the adventure.

Bardulf stayed, watching with fear and curiosity as the stone shell broke away. Its eyes swiveled while it opened and closed its gaping maw, knocking debris away. Deep green scales with gold and blue highlights glittered in the torchlight under the stone. Its golden eyes turned to Bardulf, and focused. The gaze was intense, and Bardulf felt as though the whole of his being was open to those eyes. Then it opened its mouth and hissed.

A shiver ran down Bardulf’s spine. He understood it. My child, why have you awoken me? He stared at the serpent in surprise. Intelligence was not something he had expected. But now that he had heard the language, he knew he could speak it as well. “I…sss..” Bardulf closed his eyes and focused. The language felt foreign, but it came to him. There are men who wanted to wake you for an unknown purpose. I woke you before them to try and prevent whatever it is they wanted.

They seek my heart. Bardulf could feel the anger in the air. They seek power.

Bardulf pondered the words, then asked, Why do you call me your child? Who are you?

You have been bestowed with a part of my power, thus you are my child. The creature paused. As for who? I am called Calel’sinfas by my children who guard me. I am known by other names in other places.

Bardulf suddenly remembered something that he had been taught by the elves, and shivered. You are called Elgrath by the Fae. You are one of the Elder Dragons. He whispered the last.

Amusement shown in the serpent’s eyes. I thought I sensed Fae magic on you. You are correct, I am. That is why I need to return to my slumber. It is not time for the Awakening. The eyes shifted to look somewhere else. But this incursion on my realm and children needs dealt with first. Her eyes fell back on Bardulf. You will help. It was not a question.

How can I help? Bardulf hesitated, and bowed his head. Mother.

Calel’sinfas took in Bardulf before replying. It requires your blood.

Bardulf opened his mouth to speak, but a scent wafted in from the tunnels behind him. He spun to see Calyn approaching in his quetzal form.

“It’s true!” Leonard stepped out from behind Calyn. He dropped Thom to the ground, whom he had been carrying. The young lord was bleeding from wounds. “Calyn, kill our substitute while I complete the ritual.” Leonard took the staff he carried in both hands. Bright ruby runes began to glow on the shaft.

The staff! Get it away from him!

Calyn’s eyes widened in surprise, clearly understanding what Calel’sinfas said. Bardulf took the moment of hesitation to decide his next move.

Inventory: (all on floor) fang dagger, flint & steel, heart necklace
Health: healthy (in quetzal form)

Who should Bardulf attack first?
A) Leonard
B) Calyn

Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 20

Shorter entry to the series this time around. Doesn’t mean any less trouble, in fact… Well, I’ll let you read about it. Voting will be up till the end of Saturday, January 25, 2014. As usual, all entries are linked above for your reading pleasure. Now, onto the adventure.

“Who’s blood is this?” Bardulf asked as he took the vial of red liquid from Thom.

“Calyn’s. We have some from Erol as well, just in case.”

Bardulf nodded slowly. “If we wait Leonard and Calyn will overpower us, and we loose our chance.” He walked towards the mouth of the giant serpent head. The tongue was curved, creating a small trough that flowed into the mouth. He gently pulled the glass stopper from the vial, and poured the blood onto the tongue. “We finish this without them.” It left a red streak on the stone as it flowed into the awaiting mouth.

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Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 19

And we’re back! Sorry about the delay, the holidays didn’t allow as much writing time as I had hoped.

Voting will be up until Saturday, January 11, 2014. As always, the previous entries are all linked above for your reading pleasure. Away we go!

Bardulf stared at Thom and scoffed. “Why should I join you? You seem to be committing evil, not stopping it. The Yul’aric are enslaved! Calyn attacked…”

There was a swift movement, and Bardulf stumbled from a punch to the face.

“Calyn, stop!”

Bardulf straightened, and took in his surroundings with trained eyes. The former Ranger looked up at Thom, and then glanced at Leonard, who nodded slightly. Calyn stepped back, and Thom took his place in front of Bardulf.

In Bardulf’s mind, the tensions he felt all fell into place. He would need to be careful with his answers.

After a few moments of silence, Thom finally spoke. “Now, Ranger Lord.” Thom ignored the sniff from Calyn. “What were you going to say?”

Bardulf shifted his gaze to Calyn, but addressed Thom. “Only that your father lives and sends his greetings, my lord.” The only reaction from from the former Ranger was a slight frown. There was no reaction from Leonard on the other side.

Thom nodded. “I’m glad he is healthy.” The lord took a deep breath, and closed his eyes. He turned and clasped his hands behind his back, patting his hands together in what could have been a nervous tic. “I hope you will be,” he finally said. Bardulf frowned, and saw a smile appear on Calyn’s face.

Thom turned to the guards. “Take him to the room and prepare him.”

“But it is not night!” Calyn argued.

“We don’t have time to be waiting till nightfall,” Leonard’s smooth tone was almost calming. “It will still work.”

“What?” Bardulf asked.

The smile Calyn gave him made Bardulf shiver. “You’ll see soon, brother.”

He was led down the hall to another room, a spear-point poking his back. Inside, a man poured a liquid into a cup, and forced it down Bardulf’s throat. He tried to spit out the foul tasting brew, but was unsuccessful. Within moments, he felt himself getting groggy.

Bardulf never fell asleep or blacked out. Later, he recalled being tied up onto a table. The warmth of the sun could be felt, and then excruciating pain. He was moved a few times after that and began to drift in and out of consciousness. When he finally came to, he was alert, focused, and refreshed.

He was back at the serpent’s head, alone. Bardulf sniffed, and realized he wasn’t alone. Thom was nearby.

Lord Belmont walked into the room, carrying the fang dagger. He nodded when he saw that Bardulf was awake. “I thought you’d be awake soon. Calyn and Erol were the same way.” Thom continued before Bardulf could get a question in. “You know, you did more damage than you might think to the weapons supply this morning. It didn’t seem like much, but it may have turned the tide in the favor of the Yul’aric.” He glanced around, probably to see if anyone was there. Bardulf could have told him there wasn’t anyone. “Truthfully, I’m glad.”

“You don’t like what has been happening?”

Thom shook his head. “I told the truth, I want this evil destroyed.” He paused and looked at Bardulf intently. “I’m sorry what I had to do, Lord Sylvani. I won’t ask for your forgiveness. I just ask that you do your best.”

“What did you do?”

“You are the next quetzal. You were drugged for the ceremony.”

Bardulf closed his eyes against the flood of emotions. Fear, anger, and revulsion all vying to overwhelm him. For a moment, he thought the tumult would win, but his years of training won over. Bardulf took a deep breath, and opened his eyes with a determined focus. He fixed his eyes on Thom, who had turned away. “What do you need me to do, my lord?”

The younger man turned. Bardulf thought Thom was steeling himself from his emotions as well. “The ritual requires the blood of two quetzal. Calyn and Erol’s did not work. I hope Calyn and yours will.”

“And if it doesn’t?”

Thom shrugged. “We try something else.”

“So what next?”

Thom handed the fang dagger to Bardulf. “We need the blood of both of you. The question is, do we wait for Leonard and Calyn to start?” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a vial filled with red liquid. &#8221Or start without them?&#8221

Inventory: fang dagger, flint & steel, heart necklace
Health: healthy

What will Bardulf decide?
A) Wait for Leonard and Calyn
B) Start

Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 18

Here we are, into the belly of the beast! As I said in Part 17, I will be leaving this part up through November, so everyone will have plenty of time to get their vote in. Need a refresher with what has been going on? Go take a gander at the Vote Your Adventure page. Meanwhile, I’m going to get busy writing for NaNoWriMo

Bardulf walked up to the fire, and stood beside the barrels of arrows, worming his hands for a moment. A group of soldiers ran up, halting to grab weapons and arrows, before joining the fray.

“Don’t be standing around, you dolt!” one of the men called to Bardulf. “We have a battle going on!”

Bardulf warily watched the man approach. He was dressed for battle with leather armor, and a sword on his hip. “We can’t have any slackers in this army. Are you coming, or not?”

“I was outside the gate when the attack started and was told to get my wounds checked,” Bardulf countered. “I just stopped to warm up for a moment.” He felt a twinge of fear. This was not going as he had hoped.

“Don’t care. You can rest when you’re dead.” The man reached out and grabbed Bardulf’s shoulder.

Bardulf took hold of the man by the arm, knelt down and twisted, swinging him into the barrels. Arrows spilled out, and caught fire within seconds.

“You dare tell a commanding officer what to do?!” Bardulf bluffed.

The flames spread at an alarming rate, touching the spears and bows in moments.

The man pushed himself to his feet, moving burning wood around. The flames grasped the weapons, rendering them useless. “Officer?” he growled. “Everyone knows me, and I report to one person alone.” He tilted his neck, producing a series of snaps. “I should kill you, but I think Calyn Solym will want to talk with you.”

He made a motion, and two soldiers took hold of Bardulf’s arms. He tried briefly to pull away, but the men held him tight. The commander stepped forward and searched Bardulf. The hatchet was cast aside, but the fang dagger produced a different reaction.

Fear touched the commander’s face briefly. “No. You need to see the lords,” he murmured.

Suddenly, a cheer went up from the soldiers at the gate. “They’re being driven back!” “We’ve won!” Bardulf relaxed his body and let his head droop.

The commander took note of the movement. “You are allied with the natives?” He shook his head. “Such a simple people. We will have no problem overpowering them.”

The commander escorted him into the city. The dwellings were built into and carved from the rock. Bardulf noticed other levels above and below the path they walked. It was quite the sight to behold.

They stopped at a large building where a pair of guards stood. “Lord Solym is still asleep. He asked not to be disturbed,” one of the guards told them.

“He will be interested. I have someone for him to meet.” He handed the fang dagger to a guard. “Give him this and tell him we will be in the Halls.” The guard frowned at the weapon, but accepted it and walked into the building.

The commander didn’t wait, but continued to a large building that looked like a temple. Massive carved stone pillars opened into a wide cavern. Bardulf idly wondered if the pillars held the mountain up. It did not take long after entering the temple to begin the decent into the heart of the mountain.

As they walked, they passed through a large doorway flanked by two statues. They were obviously quetzal with their serpent bodies standing tall, and wings extended. One was white, the other black.

Voices echoed through the hall and stairwell as they descended. Soon two voiced could be distinguished, and the group rounded a corner, revealing a giant stone serpent head.

Bardulf flinched, and felt the two soldiers do the same. The mouth was wide open, with fangs as long as Bardulf was tall. But as detailed and intricate as the carving was, the snake only a stone carving.

Two men sat nearby. The closest, Bardulf identify by his features. His nose and hair marked him as the son of Lord Belmont, Thom. “I don’t understand why the doors won’t open,” he was saying. “We’ve been studying the script for years, it is clear that we need two quetzal to do this.”

“And yet, the two we have are not sufficient, it seems.” The second man was older, and wore loose fitting robes. His long hair was stringy, with gray streaks throughout.

“I have something you will want to see, lords,” the commander interrupted. The two men turned to look at the intrusion. The older man’s brow furrowed, his dark eyes penetrated the four men.

“This had better be important.”

The commander bowed. “It is. The natives have launched an attack against us, and this man seems to be part of it.”

Before anyone could speak further, a hiss echoed, and a large quetzal appeared before them. Bardulf’s eyes were drawn to the creatures white right eye. The scar from the cut he had given it was an angry red color. It turned its good eye to Bardulf, and smiled.

The quetzal shifted, and a man that Bardulf had not seen for years stood before them. He held the fang dagger in his hands. “Bardulf Sylvani.” He grinned, a wild look reaching his eyes. “I have waited for this moment.”

He held up the dagger. “We are missing a quetzal it seems. This is a tooth from Erol.”

The older man’s face contorted in anger, but he remained silent.

“Calm Leonard.” Thom Belmont looked at Bardulf. “Our scholar, Leonard Schuyler, has invested much in this endeavor. So you are the Ranger Lord?”

“Former!” Calyn spat. Thom gave him a single glance, and the man lowered his head.

“A great evil sleeps here, Ranger Lord. Leonard here told me of it, and convinced me that we should destroy it before someone woke it. I have one request of you. Will you help?”

Inventory: flint & steel, heart necklace
Health: some slight injuries from the battle

Will Bardulf agree to help Thom Belmont?
A) Agree
B) Refuse

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?”

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