Monday, March 19, 2018

"Don't Have the Spark" - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 15: Karendle

By noon, the rains had stopped in Twynne Rivers. As the afternoon grew, the sky was still overcast, but at least it wasn’t crying like it had been for the last three days. The streets were still wet, even puddled, and sometimes still flowing.

People wasted no time getting back to business, slogging over the paving stones and occasionally the mud to get their burdens where they needed to go. Shops opened their windows and doors.

Karendle weaved her way between the people as she hurried past them. She wasn’t tall, but she was stocky, with stout shoulders and long, thick hair braided behind her. Her face was round, with full cheeks below brown eyes.

She looked at the banners hanging above the doorways as she walked. The Brown Boar Inn. There it is! Just like they said it would be.

She stepped up, opened the door, and passed inside. It took a minute for her eyes to adjust to the dimmer light. At the far end was a fireplace, and there were several strong wooden tables scattered around the floor. There weren’t too many patrons yet, so she moved to one of the tables and sat down.

Her father had been a dwarven gem trader in the western mountains, and had returned from Twynne Rivers with a new human wife. They soon had a daughter, and as she grew up, she felt the differences between herself and the full blooded dwarves around her. She was taller, but not so strong, and often felt out of place. That was made worse by her desire to learn magic. Her mom knew a bit of the powers, and had tried to teach her, but it never seemed to click for her.

Finally, after coming of age, she determined to go to the great city and see if she could learn the powers directly from the elves there.

The plump and smiling innkeeper’s wife interrupted her memories and asked in a loud, friendly tone, “What can I get for you?”

“Just a meal with some ale.”

“Is chicken and bread good for you?”


Karendle had traveled down the river, and sought out the Wizard’s guild. It hadn’t been easy to find them, and they were none too happy to see her. They had one of their instructors humor her with a quick exam, then dismissed her as uninstructable. “You don’t have the... the spark inside you. You’ll never be a mage.” The more she pressed them, the stronger their denials became. Finally, they had expelled her from their guild hall, and from CenterTown.

A few more patrons had begun to flow into the inn, as dinnertime drew closer. Some took seats at tables, others went back to the bar to talk to the innkeeper. The evening pubcrier stepped in, and everyone turned to listen as he rattled off his announcements and news. It was typical things, a pronouncement of taxes from the King, news of a band of wizards being arrested for attacking a shopkeeper on the RiverFront, and a Councilman decrying the attack and calling for stronger measures of control. The Wizard’s Guild, of course, opposed. As the patrons listened, they murmured their assent.

The innkeeper’s wife soon brought out a plate of food and set it before Karendle. “Here ya go! Those mages. I don’t know!”

“How so?” Karendle asked.

“Some are nice enough, I suppose. But they’re getting out of control, I say.” She put her hands on her hips. “We had one try to rob us just last night!”

“Really?” Karendle asked, trying to hide that she already knew, “What happened?”


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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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Tale of Heroes - Scene 14: DeFrantis

I’ve got to keep trying! DeFrantis stood in the center of her dark stone cell and slowly extended her hands out in front of her. She closed her eyes and focused her mind on the part of the room just beyond her cell bars. She dug deep into herself and gathered her will, her strength.

Please, please! Just let me open a small portal! Let it work!

But she felt nothing.

There was no surge of power from within, no welling up of confidence or determination. Nothing to show her that there was any personal will inside to draw on. She was an empty dry well of... nothing but smoky darkness.

She leaned forward, pushing outward with her hands. “OPEN!” She commanded, pushing,“OPEN!”

She lost her balance and fell to her knees on the cold stone floor. The smoke filled her as she heaved her breathing. She coughed, hard.

Antonerri moved to the bars between their cells and stood, resting his arms on the crossbars. “Powers won’t work here in the dungeons of the towers.” He muttered. “I’ve tried.”

“Why not? Why can’t I do it?”

“It’s not you, it’s the incense they’re burning. It’s called mage’s bane. It suppresses your mood and your will.” She looked at him, confused. She glanced over at the smoldering bowl dimly lit on the table beyond the cells, then turned back to Antonneri. From this distance she could see him a little better than before. He was tall, and his shadowed face was hidden further by a few day’s beard stubble. He was wearing a white tunic, with the three-starred emblem of the Church on his left shoulder. “If you’ve never breathed it before, it’s probably effecting you more. That’s probably why you haven’t wanted your gruel.” He gestured by her cell door, to the half-empty bowl.

She hadn’t noticed it before. Suddenly, her empty aching stomach overtook her and she crawled over to it. It looked horrendous in the dark and smog, and there was no spoon. She picked it up and smelled it, then used her two fingers to scoop a little into her mouth.

It was bland, but not the worst thing she’d ever eaten. She took a second mouthful, then another.

She paused to ask, “So, will we ever leave? Will there be a tribunal?”

“Maybe.” He leaned his head against the bars. “A Sacerdotis Confessoris - a confessor priest - will come in and read you your charges.”

DeFrantis noticed a darker tone to his voice. “What happens then?” She asked, trying not to show her fear.

“That depends on how you answer them. If you confess your sins and beg for repentance and redemption, your punishment may be light, and your freedom quick.” His tone was sharp, almost sarcastic. He turned and walked back into the darkness of his cell. She heard him sit down.

“Aren’t you part of the Church? They should let you go! Your tunic has...” After a moment’s hesitation, she ventured, in a hush, “I’m guessing that you haven’t properly asked for forgiveness, yet, have you?”

He let out a sigh. “It would help if I understood my sins.”

The sorrow in his voice weighed heavily on her like the dark gloom of the cell. She sat back with her gruel. It must just be the incense, right?


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, March 12, 2018

A Tale of Heroes - Scene 13: DeFrantis

Her first deep breath of consciousness brought a fit of coughing and hacking. The thick air was tough to take in. DeFrantis rolled over onto her belly and tried to lift herself up on her hands and knees.

The second sensation was a sharp, but steady pain in her head and neck. That dropped her back down with a moan. Next came the cold, from lying on a stone floor in dripping wet clothes.

She lay, slightly shivering, as her breathing steadied, and her eyes took in her surroundings. She saw the shadows of the bars of the cell holding her on the stone walls on the opposite side. She raised up on her elbow and squinted through the haze. She could make out the form of a door and a table, and another cell next to hers. She thought she could see a dim shape up against the far wall. Could it be... a person? She couldn’t be sure.

She sat up, slowly, this time, and brought her arms tight to her chest, to hug off the cold. Her cloak was drenched and only making her colder. She unbuckled it and let it fall back.

“Are you awake, now?”

She reflexively jumped and rolled to the corner of the wall where the shadows were darkest, and curled up to be as invisible in the dark as possible. The voice had been quiet, but it had startled her nonetheless.

“I see you are.”

She passed her hand in front of her, and tried to will up the shadows around her, to hide her, but nothing happened. Confused, she tried again. Nothing. She tried controlling her breathing to make herself silent, and waited. But he didn’t move, and said nothing else.

Finally, she spoke. “Who are you?”

“Another prisoner, like you. A heretic, apparently.”

She began to feel another sensation, the pangs of deep hunger. “How long have I been here?” She wondered, out loud.

“Hours, maybe. Probably not more than a day. It’s hard to tell down here.”

“Where is that?” She began to creep toward her cloak.

She heard him sigh. “You’re in a holding cell under one of the guard towers built into the InnerWall. You’re here because you were arrested.”

The scenes of the night played through her mind swiftly. In all her life, she had never been caught stealing. She didn’t like it, and she knew she wasn’t especially good at it, but she’d never been caught, either.

She heard him move, repositioning himself on the floor. He said, “What did you do?”

“I tried to steal some chickens.”

He laughed. “A thief!”

“It’s not like that!” She hissed, “There are kids that are hungry. They count on me!”

“Still...” He thought a minute. “I’m surprised they’d put a thief here in the dungeon. Usually they’d just beat you and toss you back to the OuterWall. You must have done something particularly bad.”

She bristled at that. “No, I didn’t! I just tried to take--”

“Did you use magic?” Her silence was his answer. “I’ll bet that’s it.”

“Magic isn’t illegal. That wouldn’t be right!”

“Do you think ‘legal’ matters down here? Do you think ‘right’ matters?” He laughed again, “Nothing matters down here.”

Then more 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.

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