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The Tiger and the Storm

The Tiger and the Storm

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Published by Robert Blezard

A short story set in my homebrewed World of Kulan campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons.

A short story set in my homebrewed World of Kulan campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons.

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Published by: Robert Blezard on Jan 10, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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09/17/2013

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 T T
HHEE 
 T T
IIGGEE A NNDDT THHEE 
SS
 T TOOMM
 
 A  A 
 
 W W
OOLLDDOOFF 
UULL A  A NN 
SS
HHOO T T 
SS
 T TOO Y  Y 
 
By Robert Blezard 
PP
OOLLOOGGUUEE
 
David had lived on his family‟s stedding at the edge of Davial‟s Hollow for all his eight summers, but he had
always been obsessed with the outside world. His mother would often scold him for forgetting about his
chores to play „warrior‟ in the Tharwood. But he would simply tell her that a great adventurer has no time for
lowly work when there were orcs to chase and dragons to slay. And when the Hermit had come to the Hollow, David had become considerably worse. The Hermit
 was a strange old man that had taken up residence in an old tower in the Tharwood, near David‟s family stedding. David‟s adventurous spirit often led him to imagine the old man brewing potions and casting spel
lsto charm the squirrels and rabbits that always seemed to follow him everywhere.During that summer and fall, David tried to convince his friend Suzie that the old man of the
 Tharwood was up to no good. “I tell you, he's a powerful sorcerer come to charm
all your puppies and turnthem into monsters.""That is the most ignorant thing I've heard you utter." She was always trying to make him feel smalland unimportant just because she was a summer older than he was. "My mother has met him and told me thathe's the nicest elderly gentleman she's ever met."
"Aha! He has ensorcelled your mother,” David crossed his arms over his chest in triumph. “And your
puppies are next, Suzie." All of a sudden, she leapt forward and shoved David into a bramble bush behind him. "Oh, I justhate you! Don't ever speak to me again!" With that, she turned and stormed away in a huff. David wasabsolutely humiliated, a brave warrior defeated in hand to hand combat by a mere girl.
 
II T TEE A NNDD 
 W W
II T T
 
 The autumn solstice had arrived and the leaves of the Tharwood lay scattered about in patches of orange andyellow amongst the carts of the festival grounds. David enjoyed watching the jugglers and acrobats that hadtraveled all the way across the Hollow from Meriton. They leapt and pranced about making funny faces at theyounger children, causing them to squeal with delight at every turn.David knew that the other boys his age would chide him for taking part in kiddy fun. He has so many fond memories of Tiker the Tantalizing, the juggler that he had loved to watch when he was younger. Tiker
had referred to the children as „you lovely small ones‟ which was ironic since he had been a halfling and not
much larger than most of his audience. Thinking of Tiker made David sad. The halfling juggler had passed away five years ago during thecold winter months and it hurt him immensely when he'd learned of the juggler's passing. He had known thatthe jolly little halfling had been getting long in tooth but it seemed so sudden, so pointless. The spry little
fellow had years of life left but the cold has no mercy in Davial‟s Hollow.
 David cracked a smile as one of the tumblers lost his footing and tripped over one of his fellows. Thekids howled with laughter at the sight as the young man struggled to his feet and bowed graciously to thechildren gathered as if they were the sons and daughters of royalty, instead of farmers and woodcutters.
He slowly backed away from the ring of children as not to break the actor‟s concentration. Then he
spun about and strolled through the rest of the festival. His mind quickly turned to others things. One thing inparticular, today he took part in the Rite. He had waited almost fourteen and a half summers for this day and
he wasn‟t going to be late. The Rite was his passage in
to apprenticeship with one of the local craftsmen.
He wanted to be Marrab the Lantern‟s choice, as did all the other boys taking the Rite. If Marrabchose you, it is a one way ticket out of the Hollow. Marrab‟s a merchant and minstrel by trade who has mad
eit big but comes back to the Hollow each year for the Rite. Because of his station and fame he always goesfirst, always. Yes, David had waited a long time for this day.He made his way past the tables of sweetmeats and the other food that the ladies of the Hollow had
so carefully prepared for this year‟s solstice. Mrs. Gawon tried to coax him with one of his old favorites – 
 
sugar leaves. He shook his head and pulled out his pockets so that she could see that he hadn‟t any coin to
buy it with, then he quickly moved on, passing the stalls and tents of several local merchants from all over theHollow.No point in upsetting to the old woman, for he had lost interest in such treats a long time ago. Hehad lost a lot inside since his mother had died three summers ago. He had never realized how much she hadmeant to him until she was gone. His father had remained emotionless about her death and had immediately set upon making David his entire existence. He was determined to either apprentice the boy or marry him off 
once he was old enough. And if David didn‟t become apprenticed this year during the Rite he‟d be doomed
to marry a local girl and spend the rest of his days stuck in the Hollow.
 
Such thoughts made him hurry along faster than he should have, running through the Dancing Circle
recklessly. He didn‟t see the girl in front of him until it was too late. He slammed into her at a full speed and
the two went down in a heap right in the middle of the dance. Startled gasps quickly turned into giggles and
then full hysterics. David‟s ears were burning at the sound and he knew that he‟d never live this down.
 
 Then he noticed the girl he had ran into. “Oh no.”
 
David! You clod, you- you-
you‟ve ruined my dress you brute! Won‟t you ever grow up?” Suzie
 stared at him, her eyes burning into him. This was one argument he could not win.Suzie had grown out of her tomboy stage fairly quickly but still had a quick temper. The two hadgrown apart over the years and Suzie had embraced her womanhood without question. She went to every dance and event, desperately trying to catch herself a suitor. Not that she was an unattractive girl. In fact, she
 was the beauty of the Hollow and every young man‟s head turned when she went by. Well, almost everyone,
David did see how beautiful she had become but could never get past the fact that this was the girl he hadroughhoused with only six to seven years ago. No, David still saw the same dirty little girl whose headlockshad been legendary.He brushed himself off and offered his hand to help her up. But she just scowled at him and took the hand of Jeffrey Winkler, a local boy she fancied as of late. David rolled his eyes and shook his head in
disgust. “Well, I‟d say I‟m sorry but you probably would just spit in my face. So I‟ll get out of your way and if all goes well at the Rite today, out of your life as well.”
 
He started to push through the crowd that had gathered but Suzie wouldn‟t let it go. “You get back 
here and take your punishment like a man! I demand a
Challenging.” She turned and batted her eyes at the Winkler boy. “Jeffrey, will you be my champion?”
 
It would be an h-
 
David started laughing. He couldn‟t help himself. “A Challenging, where the hell do you think this is
Suzie, Cabaret? The Challeng 
ing is not the way of the Hollow, you know that.”
 
David turned and locked eyes with his old playmate. “I am not going waste my time fighting Jeffrey just so you can feel like a Lady in the Baron‟s Court. You‟re a farmer‟s daughter, Suzie, not a princess.”
 
David‟s words cut through the air like a sword and the crowd went silent. Jeffrey stepped towardshim, rolling up his sleeves. “Why you crass little bastard! I‟m going 
-
 
“You‟re going to do nothing, Jeffrey. You come one step closer and I swear I‟ll kill you.” David kepthis voice low and calm in response to Jeffrey‟s threat. The boys and girls gathered around backed away slowly. They knew that tone it was the same as David‟s father. It said „I dare you to make this personal.‟
  Jeffrey stared into
David‟s cold blue eyes and began to shake. As he took a step back Suzie grabbedhis arm and spun him around. “You coward, don‟t let him intimidate you! I know him, his bark is worse then
his bite! Ever since his mother died-
 
David lost his temper. “Don‟t you dare bring her into this, you little harlot! My mother was twice the

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