Echoes of Invasion: There’ll Be Heledd to Pay | Scene 30

Heppa sniffles the whole way back to the Parting Glass. As Alric lets them into the kitchen through the back door, Tric tries to cheer her. “Guess what, Heppa? You’re a sorceress! That was pretty awesome.”

“What part?” Heppa asks.

“The tree… and you said you held up the building!”

“That was pretty cool,” she quietly allows.

Alric lights the lamps in the kitchen, and the blood stains on the front of Tric’s jerkin become fully visible. “I just need to get this lung patched up,” Tric says, peeling back the leather so that Heppa can inspect the wound more closely. “Can’t—ahem—project quite as well.”

“A sorceress… and a druid,” Heppa says quietly, but she chuckles, and Tric can see she is starting to relax a bit.

As the cousins talk, Alric collects the cloaks from them and then pushes back his hood and unwraps his scarf. Once those are set up on hooks to dry, he unbanks the coals in the hearth, and sets a pot of water to boil. Silently, he lays out rags on the counter for Heppa to use as bandages if needed. He returns in a little while to set a mug down next to Tric and one down next to Heppa, as well. He stays quiet as he does the background work to support the elves without intruding upon them as Heppa works on the area around Tric’s lung.

Tric Manu may exaggerate a little bit about the extent of the injury, but Hepalonia definitely agrees that the wound does not look good at first. However, after she completes her treatment, she assures him it will be good as new once he has rested it a bit.

“I got through the rest of the fight on a single lung,” Tric brags. “It must have been my human lung that got punctured.”

“Not the pointy one on the other side?” Heppa asks with a laugh, feeling better herself. It is nice to do something constructive and helpful like healing, particularly after all the day’s stressful events.

Tric lets out a few experimental breaths and then asks his cousin how she is doing herself. 

“I feel better that I could solve one problem,” Heppa says, gesturing at his chest. He assures her that she solved a lot of problems. She concentrates for a moment, guiding fae energies to heal some of her own bruises and scrapes. “I’m mostly fine,” she tells Tric Manu. “All the injury I took was from when the fellow shook me from the tree.” She begins packing up her medical supplies.

“That was surprisingly effective,” Tric acknowledges. “I guess that tree wasn’t as thick-trunked as we would have liked.”

“I wish I would have made it thicker,” Heppa says a little morosely. “I didn’t think of that.”

“Well, there’s only so much you can do, and you did a lot,” Tric compliments her again. “You can’t do everything, and you did more than enough,” he reiterates. “And we did something good! We shut down not one, but two gangs of Rats.”

Heppa perks up a bit and turns to him, inquisitive. “Is that what we were trying to do? So we succeeded?”

“Yes,” Tric agrees. “Yes.” His cousin smiles, pleased. “You looked really wired for a while there, though. Were you just ready to go?”

Heppa leans against the counter and lifts her leg so she can yank off a boot. She sticks her foot out in front of her, wiggling her toes to show off the ruby ring. She acknowledges that it is a little uncomfortable when Tric inquires. He appreciates how it keeps the ring hidden, though he does think a boot might wear through over time. She offers the ring to him to try out, but he declines. While the details of what it does will be useful for augmenting his retelling of the events, he is worn out, and, frankly, magical artifacts are really more her thing than his. “You earned that ring,” he insists.

She excitedly tells him all about how the ring sped her up, ending with the warning, “But you do feel it after a little bit. It only lasts a short while, and then there’s the crash.” They joke about various sugary foods and other stimulants that they have partaken too much of in their childhoods, and it helps dissipate some more of the day’s stress.

“How are you doing, Alric?” Tric asks after their chuckles have died down. The barkeep has been very quiet, leaving the cousins be.

“I’m fine,” he replies simply. He leans against the wall by the hearth, arms crossed and a steaming mug in his right hand.

“I think these belong to you?” Tric says, pulling out the handful of small knives he collected after the fight. “You dropped them. I didn’t think you’d want those to be found by anybody.” 

Heppa realizes now that these weapons were involved in the fight, and Alric must have been, too, not just the falcon. “Were you injured?” she asks.


“Three in the courtyard and one in that other bandit,” Tric sums up. Alric sets down his mug and takes the knives from Tric, doing a quick count. Two knives are still in his bandolier, so they are all present. Tric lets out a low whistle of satisfaction. “That’s some good progress!” In Tric’s mind, Alric is a crime-fighting vigilante and should be proud of what they accomplished tonight. “There’s always going to be crime in a city, but taking out two Rat lieutenants has got to be good for something, right? Or is this city so dark and stormy that that vacuum will be filled immediately?”

Alric considers a moment and then offers his assessment. “I wouldn’t say it would be filled immediately, but there are certainly those among their ranks who will be glad for the opportunities presented by it opening. You really went above and beyond here.”

“Well, I created part of the problem,” Tric admits, “so I had to clean up my mess.”

Alric looks to Heppa, still quite serious. “I’m sorry that I upset you. I didn’t mean to intrude upon your activity.”

“No, it’s just… you surprised me. I cast a lot of spells.”

That is a non sequitur to Alric. While he tries to puzzle out how those things are related, Tric bursts out laughing. “Apology accepted! Yes, don’t you dare meddle in our elvish affairs, sir!” 

Tric continues chuckling as he downs his drink, but Heppa apologizes in return. “I’m sorry that you had to get involved,” she says. “I know you didn’t want to.”

“I didn’t want to be known to be involved,” Alric clarifies.

That does not make Hepalonia feel any better. She gasps. “Oh no! I was talking very loud in the street!”

“That’s fine,” he assures her. “No one was around.”

“I think it was just more than I expected to happen today.”

Alric cracks a smile at the understatement. “It’s been a very long day,” he agrees. “Are you sure you don’t need to see Damal? Maybe in the morning? You fell out of a tree. Both of you.”

“I jumped out of a tree,” Tric objects. “And I had something nice and soft to land on.”

“I didn’t,” Heppa says. “I’m pretty sure I hit every branch on the way down,” she adds, laughing.

“That’s good!” Tric insists. “Better to hit ten branches than one stone floor.”

“I did a little bit of healing,” Heppa tells Alric, “but I do want to see Damal because I have questions.” Alric suggests that she just go to his uncle’s shop tomorrow, if she is feeling well enough. She decides she will do that. She wants to learn about Sir Marthynec’s elixir, and she needs some water-resistant ink for her map. If she had taken it out in the rain tonight, it would have gotten ruined!

“Right, tomorrow’s just the closing ceremonies,” Tric comments. They should have plenty of time for other activities.

“Yes,” Alric confirms. “And then the faire will be over and… Will you be extending your stay?” When the elves first booked their room, it was only through the end of the Full Bloom Festival.

“I think we probably have things we need to get back to the forest for…” Tric says, thinking of what he has learned from Mhaev regarding his parentage. “And, well, we still might want to do some digging.” At Heppa’s confusion, he elaborates, “Literal, actual digging, for your dad.”

“Well, we could recover a little though,” Hepalonia suggests, not quite wanting to leave South Tower just yet. Tric Manu acknowledges that resting another day sounds like a good idea. “Is there anything else we should see in the city? All we saw was the festival…”

“I feel like the festival was a lot, though,” Tric counters. “And we saw the Tower, with the library. And the House of Light. We’ve actually seen a fair bit of the city,” he concludes.

“Did we miss anything?” Heppa asks Alric, looking for excuses.

Alric finally relaxes, smiling more broadly. “Well, you didn’t see the aviary.”

“Then we have to see that!” Heppa tells her cousin.

“Right… after a good night’s rest,” Tric agrees, starting to head towards the curtains that lead out of the kitchen. Alric adds that Heledd needs to talk with them tomorrow, since she still owes them a story, and Tric says they will follow up on that when the opportunity presents itself.

“Thank you for helping,” Heppa tells Alric. 

“I’m relieved that you’re both all right,” he replies.

“Us too,” Tric agrees, pausing by the curtains. Heppa mentions again how scared she was, and Tric asserts that she did a great job. “You held up the whole building! You saved all those people’s lives. You grew the tree, too.”

“I didn’t want to tell Henrick that I was doing magic, but when I let that thing go…”

“Yes, when you take out the trunk, a tree falls down,” Tric observes.

“But anybody up there would’ve been hurt,” Heppa continues, still worried about if she did the right thing.

“There wasn’t anybody up there still alive,” Alric tells her.

“Did you go up there?” she asks. She is impressed that he could get to the roof without anyone seeing him. The archers seemed to have a tough time of it, and they each had two hands and a rope!

“Yes. So thanks for letting me know that you were going to be dropping it,” he adds with a grin.

“You’re welcome,” Heppa replies. She still has not made any move to leave the kitchen. Tric decides this is a good time to make himself scarce. Maybe because he is tired, or maybe because he knows how to read a room. Perhaps both.