Fable - Ask May the Spirits guide your Journey

Weylin Kyrel

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The hunter frowned slightly when the orcess didn't take the items from him and said she had no candle. She asked if it would work without one. A good question. He didn't know. It wasn't as if he was an expert when it came to spirits. He was just a hunter who knew the stories and tales. Long winters stuck inside by the wind and snow lead to retelling of tales. That was were he had gotten this from. All the stories said they needed a candle and the food.

Weylin set the items on the floor between him and Zeri. Then he went back into his pack. He pulled out a small vial of oil and a ball of thread. He cut off a length of string then put the ball back up. It was the thread he used to repair his clothes. Once he was done with that he added the length of thread and vial to his little pile of objects.

"Find a small bowl. Pour the oil from this vial into it. Stick the thread in and let one end of it soak and sink. Then light it in place of a candle."

Once he was done. Weylin rested back against the wall. There went his oil for maintaining his metal tools. A small sacrifice to hopefully get them out of this situation. His eyes closed and the hunter felt he could fall back asleep at any time.

After a moment he said, "I don't know if we need a candle or light. The stories about kobolds always mentions them so better to have it than not. When they show up, if they show up, they should help. Fresh bread and cream would have been better as gifts, but all I have is hard tack and wild honey. They are spirits of homes and tunnels. Sometimes they are mean and sometimes helpful. Depends on how you treat them and if they feel you invaded their homes."

He had rambled a bit there. Not good. Was it a sign of how out of it he was? Was he out of it?

The hunter decided to stop talking and just focus on resting up. If he couldn't move when the time came then it might kill them both.

Zeri Rekani
 
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Zeri Rekani

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(he was frowning again)

Weylin went into his pack. Pulled out a few more things. Spoke to her about a possible alternative.

"Right. Okay."

Find a small bowl. Improvise a candle. She could do that. Zeri trusted that this would work, summoning the attention of those rat wizard creatures. Strange that there was, what, a small altar presumably devoted to them in this home. Maybe it was a dwarven thing.

Zeri set her spear aside and stood--not quite to her full height. She glanced around. Went to what looked like the kitchen area of the compact home. There were a number of wooden bowls on the slim counter, and Zeri furrowed her brow looking at them. She crouched down and pulled open the door under the counter and reached in and came back out with a ceramic bowl--this would do.

Weylin elaborated further on what they were trying to do. Kobolds? Those were kobolds? Zeri guessed so; they did match the descriptions she'd heard, more or less, even if they didn't match what her mind's eye had imagined them to be. Spirits though. That didn't seem right; those two she'd seen looked like creatures of flesh and blood to her. Well, so long as they helped. Hopefully the Nice One showed up. The Ugly One was mean before she had even done or said anything to him.

Zeri sat back down and arranged the makeshift candle in the bowl and placed both it and the offerings of food on the nook's shelf that Weylin had indicated. She went to her pack and pulled out her firestarter kit and took the flint and steel and hovered over the "candle" and struck a spark. Jerked back when the fire whooshed to life in the bowl and on the string. Then she put away her kit and returned to the nook.

Here goes.

"I offer these in friendship."

Weylin Kyrel
 
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Weylin Kyrel

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The orcess seemed to understand what the human had told her as she had begun to get things set up. But he wasn't awake long enough to see her go about it. His body demanded rest and it wouldn't be denied. So he drifted into the land of dreams.

====================

As Zeri got the gifts placed and the whole bowl of oil up in flames she would find that everything was completely silent. Nothing changed. It was perfectly the same in the old abandoned dwarf home.

====================

Weylin felt something as he slept. It was something on his face. It came and went. Came and went. Over and over again repeatedly. Finally he had enough and slapped at his face to wipe it away. He hit his own face. This got his eyes to flutter open.

The sight of an ugly thing in a robe made him flinch. And the flinch made him wince from the surge of pain.

This seemed to bother the thing and it backed up before suddenly disappearing.

====================

Next to Zeri the mean kobold popped up. It looked her up and down. It looked like it was utterly confused as it looked her over. Then out of nowhere recognition filled its face.

"Bad flat girl new friend. What want? Human died. Zombie now. Friend flat girl know? Not safe!"

The nice kobold suddenly popped up eating one of the hard tack with honey all over it. It held the dry bread in one hand as it waved off the mean kobold with the other hand. After it had swallowed its last bite of bread it said, "Human not zombie. Human sleep not sleep sleep."

The nice kobold licked the extra honey off its fingers as the mean one popped over by the nook and grabbed its own bread. It went to get honey then sneered. "No honey! Bad! Bad!"

The two began to bicker extremely fast with each other in an incredible strange and alien language. After a bit the beast suddenly dropped back by the doorway and screamed. Just as before it began to claw away inside as deep into the building as it could, although never came close to the human or orcess.

Both the kobolds yelped and popped up next to the human by the far wall.

"Bad thing! Bad thing!"

"No good! No good!"

Zeri Rekani
 
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Zeri Rekani

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Noooo-wah.

Why did it have to be the Ugly One? She had said the words that needed to be said and waited for a long enough time to make her heart beat with the terrible worrying strain of What if it doesn't work, then when it did work it just had to be the Ugly One. He never promised Zeri anything. For all she knew, he'd have another fit and collapse the house down on her head. And furthermore she didn't like the way the thing looked her up and down: it was gross.

Human died? Zombie? No he didn't, and no he wasn't--Weylin was right there. Sitting against the wall. He was fine.

Then--much like Weylin had with the Ugly One--Zeri flinched when the Nice One suddenly appeared before the little nook shrine. How these creatures could do that was beyond her, but it was beside the point. The Nice One was here. The Nice One, who had given his word about clearing the path after she'd saved Weylin (maybe he already had cleared it?). Surely he would be invested in helping. It just...well, it just wouldn't make sense for them to go through all the trouble of guiding Zeri to Weylin to save him, only to have him die a couple of hours later. But who knew how these kobolds really thought--maybe it did made some kind of sense to them.

The two were bickering over the offered food, and as Zeri opened her mouth to say something, the Bat came back to the doorway. Hollering that baleful cry and thrusting a hideous clawed arm inside once again. Zeri nearly jumped out of her moccasins, but pushed away from the little shrine and half-dove, half-reached for her spear and whirled into her kneeling stance again. It still couldn't reach them, but Zeri felt safer with the spear in both hands regardless.

She looked over her shoulder at the two kobolds and Weylin, all at the far wall from the doorway, and spoke loudly enough to be heard over the Bat's noisy efforts. Said to the kobolds, "We need your help! That thing has us trapped in here! So will you? Will you help us get out of here?"

Weylin Kyrel
 
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Weylin Kyrel

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The hunter watched the kobolds as they popped around the building and bickered with each other. They were in their own little world and didn't seem to notice him or the orcess. They were just concerned with who got what of the offerings.

Then the bat creature came back and everyone was shaken back into the same realm. The kobolds were by him now and the orcess had retreated back to her spear. She yelled at them for help, which made sense. Help was the whole reason they wanted them here. The way they were acting it might not be possible they could help them out. They seemed just as scared.

Weylin needed to think of a plan after all.

====================

The mean one began to bang his staff as he just of yelled back at the bat. The nice one just sort of cheered on the mean one as if that was helping. Clearly yelling could scare this terrifying creature away.

The mean one ran out of breath and while it got it back the nice one spoke up. "Helping now. Much helping!"

The mean one was back to yelling and banging its staff as the nice one cheered it on.

=====================

All the noise from the bat and the kobolds was annoying. It was making it hard for the hunter to think. But after a few minutes of it all he finally got the start of a plan forming. He looked over at the orcess and studied her as she was in a defensive stance with her spear. In particular he looked over her muscles and her equipment. Both would do.

Weylin did his best to yell over the idiots. "Zeri, take my bow. Shoot its good eye."

As he was speaking he got his bow and quiver ready for her to take. It hurt to move around, but he ignored it. This plan hinged on them blinding the thing. After he just hoped he could get the kobolds to listen to them.

"Please Zeri. I need your help."

Zeri Rekani
 
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Zeri Rekani

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...What?

Zeri just flatly regarded the two kobolds with an arched eyebrow and an expression that was nothing short of confused astonishment.

...Wait, no...what?

What happened? Didn't these two have magic? The Ugly One could summon blinding light and cause quakes throughout the whole of the cavern. The Nice One could actually cause a collapse of the rocky ceiling of the tunnels. They could appear wherever they wanted seemingly without limitation and seemingly breaking one of the Laws of Magic. So...why?

They were depending on them, Zeri and Weylin were. And these two kobold now appeared so inept that her former worry--that they would show up at all--paled in comparison to this, that they would not have the actual capacity to help them. Oh no. Oh gosh, no.

Zeri looked back to the Bat. To the monstrous reaching arm belonging to it, thrashing around inside the home. She could try wounding it further, try to get it to leave that way. That's what it seemed to be now: a battle of attrition. Whittle the monster down and force it to retreat before both she and Weylin died from starvation.

Weylin caught her attention. She glanced back.

Zeri, take my bow. Shoot its good eye.

She had her own bow, but simply taking his was quicker than unstrapping hers from her pack. And he had all the arrows between them too--all of hers had been destroyed by the troll. She set down her spear and crouch-walked over to Weylin and strapped on the quiver over her parka and took the bow. She reached into the quiver and took an arrow and turned to face the Bat at the doorway. Nocked the arrow and began to aim.

"Alright...alright..." she said quietly to herself. Beyond the tip of the arrow and the shaft that her eye looked down the Bat writhed and thrashed and screamed.

"Just like Pa said."

She waited, keeping the arrow ready to loose. Waited for the right opportunity.

"'Let your eye and your heart be one.'"

She waited...waited...

There.

And she loosed the arrow at the Bat.

Weylin Kyrel
 

Weylin Kyrel

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The kobolds were still yelling and stamping their staves (the nice one had joined in as well) when the orcess took the items from the hunter. He was happy she did. Without hesitation she got herself equipt and in a ready stance. She took aim and was saying things to herself. He couldn't hear her over the kobolds so wasn't sure what she was mumbling. Perhaps she was asking the spirits for help? She had done that before. Granted two spirits currently weren't being of much help to them so maybe not.

The bat creature's good eye was placed through the doorway and an arrow was let loose at it. The tip sunk in and just as before the bat began to scream as it tried to deal with the thing in its eye. It was now completely blind and in an amount of pain that Weylin could understand given his current state. It eventually snapped the arrow shaft in half as it had done before then took off into the air. Where is landed was unknown. They might hear a thud off in the distance as the kobolds had stopped screaming finally.

Weylin sighed with a smile. That part of the plan had worked, but the creature was more than its eyes. It likely could track them another way and if it was smart enough it might be thinking of revenge. Not a good combination. He just smiled to Zeri and said, "Thank you."

Next he looked to the kobolds. "Help me friends?"

Both of the spirits just sort of eyed the human. It was clear from their expressions they thought they already had helped by driving the bat away. It took him a moment to realize this but once he did he got into his bag and pulled out some jerky. He held it out to them and the two hungrily took the meat from his hands. They began to tear into the food like a pair of ravenous children. The hunter's food supply was getting light.

The mean one finished first. "What need?"

The nice one said after licking its fingers again. "Yes. What need?"

"Distract the bat by making noise so we can sneak out." Weylin said to them with a serious look on his face. He remembered something after a moment so added quickly, "The tunnel is clear right? You did that for Zeri yes?"

Weylin pointed over at the orcess and the kobold looked. Upon seeing her the nice one spat out, "Yes, yes! Cleared tunnel for flat girl."

The two kobold began to talk to each other in that strange, alien language of theirs as if discussing if they would offer their help or not. The human hoped they would. It was the only chance they really had to escape and they didn't have much time before the bat calmed down enough to be a problem. All he could do was wait though.

The hunter looked over at the orcess.

Zeri Rekani
 
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Zeri Rekani

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She made it. First shot. Zeri breathed a sigh of relief and gave a small smile of victory back toward Weylin. The kobolds hadn't been helpful thus far--at all--but at least Weylin and Zeri had managed between them to put out the eyes of the Bat.

As Weylin spoke to them, Zeri took off the quiver from her back and set it and the bow down and reached for her pack and threw it back on. Adjusted it. Dragged her spear across the ground a little bit closer to herself. She was more than ready to get going, to leave this place behind, and it wasn't just the menace of the Monster Bat driving her out.

Well goodness. The Nice One had already cleared the tunnel, had he? They should have just left out of here as soon as Weylin was rescued from the mushroom cave. Should have. But...gosh, it all had just gotten out of hand then. Not this time though. This time Zeri was focused. And moreover, they might not get another chance.

Zeri handed Weylin's bow and arrow back to him when he looked over to her.

"Can you run? Walk on your own? Or do you need me to help you? We'll have to g-go fast, I'm guessing. I-I don't want you to fall behind."

Weylin Kyrel
 
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