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

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.

Continue reading

Hero’s Tale VYA – Part 9

Voting is now closed, and the results are available.

Bardulf is back, and you all voted to free the slaves. How’s that going to work out? Read on to find out. If you need a bit of a refresher, I posted a recap last week. If you want to read all the entries, the Vote Your Adventure link at the top of the page will take you to a list of all the entries. Without further ado, enjoy!

It didn’t matter. These people could turn on him, but Bardulf couldn’t ignore their plight. In a swift motion, he pulled the knife from his belt and threw it at the lone guard. The man fell to the ground before he knew what happened.

The slaves fell silent as Bardulf stepped into the dim light. As he retrieved the knife and searched the body, they murmured amongst themselves.

The guard had very little of interest. The only useful item was the spear he carried. “Where is the key for the door?” Bardulf wondered aloud.

“Wall,” a deep masculine voice answered.

Bardulf turned and found one of the slaves standing close to the cell door. “You can understand me? You speak my language?”

The man nodded.

“Good.” Bardulf scanned the wall, and found the key. When he unlocked the door, the slaves stood there watching him.

The man who had spoken stepped forward a bit. He looked strong, and moved with a fluid grace. The scars on his body spoke of battles. He pointed to Bardulf. “What you want people?” He gestured to those behind him.

“I want you to return home,” Bardulf answered

The man frowned. “To forest mountains?” He shook his head, and anger filled his voice. “You people come. Take me people. No see again. Take holy place. No trust you.”

Bardulf paused as he began to realize something. “These people came five years ago?” The man frowned. Bardulf tried again. “Five, uhh… Five seasons ago?” He held up his hand, showing all his fingers.

The dark eyes understood. “Yes.”

Bardulf smiled. These people must be enslaved by the members of the expedition. He picked up the spear and pulled out the knife. A few stepped back. “I am sorry about what happened to your people. I am different from the one who took you. I want to go and help your people.”

“You different tribe?”

“Yes. I was captured as well. I want you to be free, but you will need to fight.” He held out the spear and knife for the man. “Can you fight?”

“Me hunt nelgik like wotabi.” The man smiled as he took the weapons. He handed the spear to another man and spoke with passion to the others. Tears, and cries of joy were shed at his words. One woman rushed out to hug Bardulf. As everyone else came out, they made a semi-circle around Bardulf and the man who seemed to be their leader.

He bowed his head slightly. “You escape?”

Bardulf nodded. “I need to find my horse first.”

“We follow flowing water down. You meet there.” He gestured to himself, and then to Bardulf. “Help you. Have fratinal.” The others whispered as the man said this. “We go now.”

The man called some commands out, and the people began to move. Women gathered together, while the men surrounded them. With the spear-bearer leading, the slaves surged up the stairs as one. Bardulf pulled out his hatchet and followed close behind.

Two guards that had come to investigate the noise from the cells fell quickly. Their weapons taken by some of the other men. The leader called out, and the group ran up the stairwell towards the common room. Fights quickly erupted. Many of the men were too drunk to put up much of a fight. The slaves would not have trouble escaping. Bardulf used the commotion to slip into the kitchen.

Since the cook had rushed out to see what was going on, the kitchen was empty. The aromas from the days meals permeated, and Bardulf’s stomach rumbled. Bardulf grabbed a chicken leg as he walked by and took a bite. It wasn’t much, and would have to suffice for now. He walked through the only other exit, and found himself in the dimly lit stables.

He stopped as he walked in. Voices could be heard from further in. Bardulf crouched down, and moved to a closer stall to hear better.

“Who’s dis guy? How’d ’e get out?”

“No idea. An’ dem slaves got out? Da boss’ll be mad.”

The first man scoffed. “Time teh go help wit ’em. Nut’n more teh do here. Dis ’ill slow ’im down.”

“De’ll get it now!” the second man laughed. A door creaked as they left the stables.

Bardulf came out of hiding and walked to the stall where the men had been talking. His stomach threatened to return the chicken that he had just eaten. His horse’s throat had been slashed. The killers had also taken all the equipment that had been in the saddlebags.

He put a hand on the horse’s muzzle, and stroked it a few times. Although his blood boiled, Bardulf kept a level head, and channeled his anger. He gathered hay around the body. An old lantern that hung nearby provided some oil. After a few strikes of the flint and steel, the fire caught. The pyre for his friend would provide some cover not only for him, but also the slaves.

Bardulf was about a block away when the cries of “Fire” began. He wondered how the slaves were doing. There was no doubt that most of them would escape. The men looked to be very capable fighters. “So how did they come to be slaves?” The flickering glow grew, and reflected off the river. Bardulf smiled. “Maybe I’ll find out,” he said as he approached the docks.

The water was calm here. The townsfolk had built two large boats to cross, and two smaller ones as well. All four were tied securly. Bardulf looked at the rapids downstream. He might get away across the river, but the people would be coming for water soon. They would notice a boat missing, and would quickly cross it to catch him. The rapids might buy him some time. But could he traverse the river in the moonlight?

With a deep breath, Bardulf stepped forward towards the boats.

Inventory: hatchet, flint & steel, traveling cloak, heart necklace, 80 coins in a pouch, small wooden box of healing ointment
Health: broken ribs, minor burns

What’s Bardulf going to do?
A) Cross the river
B) Brave the rapids and go downriver

VYA Parts 1-8 Recap

So, I made an error in saying I’ll post the next part Oct 1. My family moved last weekend, and I didn’t plan on the unboxing process when I was plotting my writing schedule. So, I am putting it off another week. Sorry about that. As Part 9 is close, and it’s been a while since I posted an entry, I thought a recap of the events of Parts 1 through 8 would be good. Enjoy!

The former Ranger Bardulf Sylvani has been tasked by Lord Alain Belmont to discover what happened to an expedition he funded. Five years prior, it set out from Belmont Acres to search for clues to the lost kingdoms of the Wilds. During the meeting, a large sentient winged serpent attacked and poisoned Lord Belmont. The creature vowed revenge against Bardulf for blinding it in one eye. In turn, Bardulf has pledged to bring back the poison glands from the serpent to cure Lord Alain.

As he traveled, Bardulf assisted a former teacher, the elf Malic. They barely escaped a trap left for them by someone who could be another former Ranger. Clues hint that this person may also be the winged serpent that attacked Lord Belmont. Malic mentioned that he would like to restore the Rangers, and Bardulf promised to return after he was done to help.

Bardulf finally arrived in the village of Ruelinthal’s Edge early in the night. He stabled his horse, and got a room. Before calling it a night, Bardulf thought he would seek information about this attacker. He began with the town’s apothecary. Unfortunately, it seemed that the apothecary, as well as others, are employed by this person. Bardulf was captured for questioning.

It would not last, though. Bardulf’s training as a Ranger kicked in, and he was able to escape. He found himself in the basement of the inn. While searching for an exit, he discovered a group of slaves. Due to past experiences, Bardulf could not leave them be. He decided to free them. But, will these slaves help, or hinder his mission?