Thursday, April 19, 2018

“Escape” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 24: DeFrantis

“Hey! Wake up!” DeFrantis hissed as she leaned over and shook him gently. “Anto-- rini? --rooni? What is your name, again?”

She sat back. Is he even alive? After the confrontation with the confessor priest, he had just laid there in his cell. She had decided to let him rest. After taking the magical blasts, he was obviously hurt. That those blasts had been meant for her weighed on her mind.

She reached out and poked him, again. “Hey!”

This time, he stirred, and groaned. He rolled onto his back, and lifted his hand up to wipe his face. It looked like a painful motion.

“You ARE alive, after all.”

He opened his eyes, and gradually focused. She stood, then leaned over him, offering her hand to help him up. He took it, and they pulled together. She had misjudged her stance and started to fall. She reached behind her, quickly, and grabbed the cell bars for stability. Now braced, she helped him up.

“I’m guessing it’s probably night right now, so it’ll be easier to escape.” He let go of her hand, and stood on his own for a moment. His eyes finally fixed on the two open cell doors.

He smiled. “It looks like the keys worked,” He mumbled.

“Can you walk?”

He just nodded and stepped toward the door. As she walked behind him, she glanced at the small table with the mage’s bane incense burning in the bowl. She would be glad to finally be away from the smog it created, both in the air and in her soul.

The main room door was wooden, with steel banding as reinforcement. She paused in front of it. “I don’t know what’s beyond this door. Do you?”

He nodded. “There’ll be a short hallway, and then the main guard room.”

She slipped the key into the hole carefully, not wanting to make any noise. It clicked, but not too loudly. She pushed on the door and it began to swing out.

It squeaked a little, and she stopped, took a breath, and then pushed again, more slowly. When it was halfway open, Antonneri stepped through. She followed.

A lantern in the guardroom cast a hopeful light down the hallway as they crept forward.  They heard voices ahead, with a rattling noise. Antonneri turned around and gestured a shaking and tossing motion with his hands, then held up two fingers.

There are two of them, playing Lots. The air around her in the hall was a bit musty and smelly, and even still a bit damp from the rain, but she breathed it in eagerly. As it filled her lungs, she could feel it clearing her mind. She felt hope, and a bit of excitement. She nodded to Antonneri. I’m ready!

Antonneri nodded back, then turned and rushed into the room. DeFrantis immediately followed. Antonneri leaned under the heavy wooden table where the guards were playing, and flipped it up onto one of them. As the other stood, surprised, Antonneri swung his fist hard into the man’s gut. The guard dropped, gasping for breath.

DeFrantis took in the room. It was circular, but not large. Opposite the table were two straw mattresses on the floor. Behind them, circling up the wall, was a stone stairway. That’s our freedom!

“This way!” she called out as she darted to the stairway. Antonneri hit the downed guard across the back of his head, and he flopped to the floor, out. Antonneri stepped over him, then reached for his sword.

The other guard was pushing the table off as they started up the stairs. He called out, “STOP THEM! They’re coming up!”

As she came to the top of the stairs, she saw another circular room about the same size, with two more guards leaping from a table and drawing their swords. This room had windows, and a large double door. Cool air wafted through the open window, and she took a deep breath. Her head was clear, now, her will and focus returning. She grabbed Antonneri’s arm, then waved her other hand before her. She summoned her will and the darkness of the night flooded into the room, swelling up from the shadows on the floor until the entire room was shrouded. She heard the soldiers stumble and curse.

Antonneri’s chuckle sounded behind her. “I thought you renounced the shadow.” She yanked his arm and ran toward where she knew the door was. They hit the door, then Antonneri shouldered it. A third hit burst it open, and they stumbled out into the street.

“This way!” She shouted, even though she had no idea where she was. They hadn’t taken more than a few steps when a bright explosion boomed just behind them, knocking them off their feet. Antonneri jumped up and ducked in between two buildings, with DeFrantis running scared behind him.

They ran through the alleyways, avoiding the streets, behind carts and crates and fences, until they finally collapsed, exhausted. As they gasped for breath, she got her bearings. We’re in the InnerWall, near the RiverFront. She leaned against the wall and slid to the ground. With a groan, Antonneri sat beside her and they huddled in silence.


This continues the story of the heroes in Wynne, in Twynne Rivers, in the world of The Hero's Tale, Family Friendly RPGs. Here's more info on The Hero's Tale, and family friendly RPGing.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

“A Fight to Remember” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 23: Granthurg

The rains had finally ended, and they had arrived that afternoon in Twynne Rivers. As soon as they arrived and claimed a pier, Granthurg and Rinkmorr uncovered their cargo and began to offload it. It was heavy, laborious work, but Granthurg was accustomed to it. Once most of it had been loaded to the pier next to the barge, Granthurg began carrying it up to the quay, where the street ran along the river bank. There, Rinkmorr stood, and negotiated with the buyers and vendors as they passed.

As Granthurg was carrying a crate across his back, walking up the pier, his eye caught sight of a young girl on the wharf. She stood out, partly because she was dressed in a light-colored, finely-made cloak, which you don’t see too often on the RiverFront, but also because he couldn’t quite pin down her racial features. She looked elvish, but she was thinner, and her face was more angular than most elves he had seen here and in the forests. Her pointed ears stood out more. She walked with a step that was pleasant, almost haughty, and she was looking around as if she’d never seen a wharf or a waterfront before.

I know! She’s a high elf! He’d only seen drawings of them in his scrolls, but once he made the connection, the facial features made him certain.

He leaned forward and shifted his load across his back.

When he got to the quay, he dropped his load near Rinkmorr, and glanced around. He couldn’t see her. He shrugged it off and went back for another crate.

Back at the barge, he stretched his muscular shoulders and scanned the quay and the street again. She must’ve gone into a shop. I wonder what she was doing down here by the river. I’ve never seen a high elf here in Twynne Rivers, much less in this part of town.

His thoughts were interrupted by shouts from the street. He turned and looked and saw people scattering away from the girl, with her back to the river, staring down three full-grown human men. Oh, she’s in trouble!

Granthurg reached to grab his hammer, and jumped off the barge onto the pier. His leap rocked the barge, so his footing slipped him to one knee on the pier. He jumped up and ran with thundering feet up the pier.

Rinkmorr saw him coming with the hammer in his hand and determination on his face. “Now, stop, there, Granthurg! What are you doing?”

Granthurg swung past Rinkmorr and ran up the street. He saw one of the men lunge at the girl and grab her at the waist, pinning her arms to her side. Another one stepped forward with a dagger. “Get her pouch!” The man said.

Granthurg was on a full run at the moment, and had no time to slow down. He swung his hammer in front of him, but missed as the man dodged. Granthurg’s momentum, however, carried him right over the stunned man, who crumbled under the weight of the Giant.

Granturg rolled off of him, as one of the others leapt onto his shoulders and tried to stab at him. Granthurg blocked the man’s hands, then grabbed his cloak and used it to throw the man off of him, over his shoulder. He sat up, and looked for the girl. He saw her tangled in the assailant’s arms. Then he saw her fade and dissappear, and in a rush, reappear a few feet away, free from the man’s grasp.

Granturg felt a sharp pain in his shoulder.

Not again! He swung his hammer around him, turning his shoulders and knocking the attacker to the street. The man struggled to gain his footing on the wet cobblestone as Granthurg stood and brought the hammer down in an arc above his head. The thief's eyes grew large and he rolled to one side as the hammer smacked into the stone below where his head was. A loud clang resounded and sparks chipped off the rock.

Granthurg looked up and saw the girl thrust an open palm at the one near her. A ball of light lept from her hand and exploded in brightness on the man’s chest, sending him sprawling over the edge of the wharf and down into the murky water.

The other two thieves scrambled away.

Granthurg and the girl stood, staring at each other. She was defensive, not sure what to make of the Giant. Gradually, she eased and looked around her. The people on the street were looking at her with a mix of awe and fear. As she looked at them, they averted their own faces and scurried away. She turned her face to the street, as if she were suddenly very self-conscious.

Granthurg took a deep breath and smiled. “I’ve never met a high elf before.”

She looked up with her own smile. “And I’ve never met a giant!”


This continues the story of the heroes in Wynne, in Twynne Rivers, in the world of The Hero's Tale, Family Friendly RPGs. Here's more info on The Hero's Tale, and family friendly RPGing.

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

“Watch The Street” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 22: Thissraelle

For the rest of the day, Thissraelle avoided children.

This left her conflicted. On the one hand, she wanted to help. They are just children! They need a meal and a roof to sleep under! But there were just so many of them, and they were so aggressive, it was more than a bit overwhelming. She struggled to understand as she walked the streets of the Twynne Rivers InnerWall.

I knew there was crime and poverty and suffering. I just imagined it happened to grownups. Isn’t there some sort of shelter? An orphanage?

The streets meandered, lined by wood and stucco homes and shops, most of them two stories, occasionally separated by fences. The streets themselves were still wet from the rains, but drying. Most of them were paved in cobble, but many of the smaller side streets and alleys were dirt, now mud. There were many dogs trotting along the streets, and she thought she even saw some rats.

She walked past the working people, carrying heavy loads, leading carts and animals, sitting on the streets surrounded by food and wares for sale. Most wore rough and ragged clothing, cloaks and leggings. Many looked at her as she wandered.

Before long, she stepped down a street that opened up into a wide and busy walkway. As she moved forward she worked her way between passers-by and suddenly found herself looking over the expanse of docks and piers that lined the edge of the Wynne River.

She paused, struck by the sight. For years, she had seen it only from her tower window. It meandered through the town below her. Now, as she stood on the waterfront itself, it was much wider and stronger than she had imagined.

And much busier! People were walking up and down the piers next to barges and boats, loading and unloading. Carts and animals helped carry the heavier loads.

She began walking down the waterfront, away from CenterTowne. She was fascinated by the constant motion. So much so that she almost ran into a man. She was startled and backed away.

“Oh! I’m sorry!” She stepped to the side, out of his way. He was a tall human, and wearing a dark shirt under an very black cloak.

“You look a bit lost.” He said, and stepped into her way again.

“I’m... fine.” This time she stepped away from him, a bit taken back by his imposition.

“You look like you’re not from this part of the city.” He took a step toward her.

“Excuse me, sir, I’m just passing along the street.” She stepped back again. “I’m not trying to be in your way.” She continued to back away.

She felt herself back into someone else, who immediately steadied her by grasping her shoulders.  “Steady, there, miss,” a man said, but didn’t let go.

She tried to move aside, but he held her firmly in place. The first man moved forward again, so there was very little room to spare. She looked to her right, toward the buildings of the RiverFront, and saw a third man in a deep brown cloak walking forward, smiling and stealthily drawing a dagger.

He spoke, “You really shouldn’t be in this part of town. Why don’t you come with us?”

She felt her breath quicken, and her heart race. Her imagination ran to dark fearful places in her mind as she saw herself beaten, robbed, or worse.

Get control! Get strong! Breathe deep! Her fingers pressed to her temple, focusing her concentration. She dug deep into her will, and suddenly pushed out with her mind. The three men tumbled away from her, knocked off their feed by the force of her mental impact.  Suddenly freed, she stepped to put her back away from them, to see them all, and to draw her own blade.

The surprised passers-by lept aside and the three men scrambled to their feet and faced her. They all stood, facing off, as she started backing away. She glanced behind her and saw that she was only a few feet from where the dock drops straight to the river. She was cornered.

“She thinks she’s a mage!” one of them taunted, but he was still a bit hesitant.

“I don’t care!” Another said, “She’s obviously got money!”

She tried to play it up. She stretched her hand out and said, “I WILL use my powers!” Her summoned confidence was doing a bad job of hiding the fear shaking her voice. “I Will!”

Someone on the street shouted, “A wizard! Run!” People started to scatter.

The man to her right laughed and lunged forward.


This continues the story of the heroes in Wynne, in Twynne Rivers, in the world of The Hero's Tale, Family Friendly RPGs. Here's more info on The Hero's Tale, and family friendly RPGing.

Previous Scene, Next Scene
Start the whole story from the beginningStart from where this current story arc begins.