Thursday, November 15, 2018

“Am I Dead?” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 77: Eddiwarth

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Eddiwarth raked his hair out of his eyes and tried to blink away the burning. Something was irritating them. He coughed again, then twice more. Smoke. That’s what’s making my eyes hurt. He coughed again, though not as hard, and was finally able to see, albeit with a bit of a blur.  His head hurt.

He turned his head toward the voice he had just heard. He squinted, and saw the shadowy form of a person sitting by a pillar.  “Who are you?”

“I’m DeFrantis.” It was a feminine voice, fairly young. He blinked and wiped his eyes clear. His elvish vision helped him see a bit better in the dark, too. It was a young lady, wearing dark clothes, and her hands were chained to the pillar. “We need your help.”

“Who is ‘we’?” His voice was still rough from the thick incense in the room. The smell was a sickly sweet note, and it made it hard for him to breathe, and hard to think.

“That would be me. My name is Karendle.” The voice from behind his back startled him, and he quickly spun around. Defensively, he raised his hand, and raised thoughts of fire in his mind. He tried to channel those through his fingers, but there was nothing there. The thoughts and will were weak and empty. No flames, no magic. Nothing.

He looked at his hand and his fingers. Why didn’t that work? Maybe I’m dead. I’ve been killed, and I’m dead.

“Did you just try to blast me?” Karendle’s voice continued, “I can’t say that I’d blame you. But it won’t work here.”

“What?”

The other voice, DeFrantis, said, “Yeah, that smoke you’re breathing is choking off more than your voice. Your magic’s gone, too.”

These voices sound familiar. I’ve heard them, but I don’t remember where. Where have I been? He coughed a few more times, then rasped to clear his throat. He crawled aside, so that he wasn’t trapped in between the two women.

Memories started coming back to him. I was with Hamrisonn in the city. We were looking for someone. I don’t remember who. 

I was on a river barge. He and I were after something, or someone. It was there. I floated down to get it, and suddenly everything went black. I must be dead.

DeFrantis spoke again, “I imagine it’s all kinda confusing. I’m not sure who you are, or why you first attacked us, either. A lot of that can be sorted out later...”

“I attacked you?”

“Yeah, but...”

“Somehow it all went blank. I’ve been out of it for a while, haven’t I?”

“Yeah, a few days, but, like I said, right now...”

“I attacked you? Why? What happened to me?”

Karendle interrupted, “Well, there were people on the barge fighting, then you jumped in, then I jumped in, then people got hurt, and you got trapped, and right now we just need to have you help us get unchained.”

Eddiwarth took all this in. I attacked? I got trapped? 

“We can sort all of that out some other time, though. We need to get out of here and find the children before anyone else comes back and tries to kill us. So, we’d really like for you to help.” DeFrantis said, trying to smile in the dark. “Please?”
 
“So, I’m not dead?”  This made Karendle laugh. I guess not.

I don’t know. Sure. I can help, I guess. I don’t know what’s going on, but I guess I can help a couple of fair damsels in distress... He stood, then reached his hand out toward DeFrantis, and stopped, remembering. “Wait. How can I help if I can’t use magic?”

DeFrantis sighed. “Yeah, that will make things difficult. But I think you can help us get our magic back.”  She shifted in place, shaking her chains, and pointed to the wall behind her. “Do you think you could break one of those windows?”


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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. If you like this story, support us at our Patreon!
Thank you: Chet Cox!

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Monday, November 12, 2018

“Am I Evil?” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 76: Karendle

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“What? Who?” DeFrantis asked, then gasped with realization, “The wizard you caught on the barge!”

Karendle just nodded, not really thinking that DeFrantis probably couldn’t see her. She was lost in her thoughts as she held the polished stone in her hands. Her dwarven eyes could see a bit in the dark, and she looked at it.

This was to be my new life. Wizard hunter. I was going to get back at the Wizard’s Guild. They were going to pay me well for him. I was going to be able to prove myself. This stone holds all of my opportunity, my future. Should I set all of that free? Should I let it go?

“Can you loose him? Give it a try!”

It also holds a person. A person I trapped. A person I don’t even know. He’s a wizard, and one of the Guild, even! Wizards are evil, right? Like DeFrantis. She’s a wizard, of sorts. But she saved me. And she’s just trying to save the kids. She’s been trying to save them their whole life. How can that be evil? 

She felt the smooth, polished surface under her fingers. It was round and gray, like a stone out of a river. I caught him. I reached out with this stone, and caught him, just like an animal in a trap. I was going to sell him. I would have taken him and sold him to my own connection, in my own little dark market, just like the slavers and thieves were doing. Selling people. Real people. And children!

Does that make me evil? As that thought hit her, she recoiled. I’m not evil! Am I?

“Karendle? Are you alright?”

Karendle took a breath before she said, “Why did I let myself get trapped in their game?” DeFrantis didn’t respond, and Karendle didn’t honestly expect a response.

No more! I choose the game, now. I choose the moves! 

She clenched her eyes and gripped the oculus tight in her determined fist. She stretched out the hand holding the oculus and focused on it. Even using the will embedded in the oculus was difficult with the mage’s bane, but after a moment she felt a shiver, and the stone began to glow with a silvery light. The light grew, and Karendle opened her eyes. She could see across the room, into DeFrantis’ delighted face.

The silvery glow leapt from the stone, in the direction of Karendle’s point, and settled on the floor, surrounding a reclining body. He was wearing the same dark pants and loose shirt he had on the day of the fight on the barge. He lay still until the glow subsided, when he began groaning and rolled over. He breathed, then coughed, hard. He gasped for breath, rasping and finally crawling up on his hands and knees.

“By the Creator!” he wheezed. He tried to look around, sat back on his heels, and finally said, “Where am I?”

DeFrantis just giggled. “We’re not entirely sure, either!”


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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. If you like this story, support us at our Patreon!
Thank you: Chet Cox!

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

“Oh, To Breathe Again” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 75: DeFrantis

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Part 7

Reunion


DeFrantis is trying to find the street children she's been caring for. They'd been taken from her and sold off as slaves. Now, the slavers have captured her and Karendle and are holding them captive. They have managed to magically contact Thissraelle, Antonerri, and Granthurg, in hopes that they'll come to the rescue. But who is The Dragon's Flame?


“I wish I wasn’t so hungry,” DeFrantis heard Karendle say, across the darkness, “Because this gruel tastes absolutely horrible.”

I’ve had worse. DeFrantis thought about that for a moment. Actually, I’m not so sure of that. She carefully held the bowl close to her face, partly because the chains holding her wrist high wouldn’t let her hold it any other way, and partly because that was the only way to use fingers from her other chained hand to scoop the meal into her mouth.

“Is it really this bad,” Karendle continued, “Or is it the mage’s bane smoke that makes it taste like this?”

DeFrantis carefully wiped the last of the gruel from the wooden bowl with her fingers and then licked them clean. Disgusting. But having something in my stomach is a good thing. Something. Anything. 

I wish I’d had a bit of time to prepare. If I’d known when they were going to feed us, I might have been able to figure out a way to snatch a key from the guard. The last time that had happened, with the Confessor Priest and his guard, it was kind of improvised. Maybe it was her hunger and her bane-addled mind, but she hadn’t seen an opportunity to move on this time.

“You’re very quiet.”

DeFrantis raised her gaze. Even though the rain had stopped, the sun had also set, shrouding the entire room in darkness. She squinted to try and see where Karendle had been, where the voice was coming from. There was only shadow and smoke. She dropped the bowl to her lap, and it rolled off and clattered onto the floor.

“So, you’re awake? You’re done eating? Are you lost in thought?”

DeFrantis shifted her aching back, breathed deep, and then coughed. “Yeah. Just thinking.”

“...About...?”

“I’m just trying to think of a way to get us out of these chains.”

“That would be nice.” Karendle agreed. “I hope they can find us soon.”

“Yes, well, that really would be nice. But, honestly,” DeFrantis tensed her chains, “I’m getting a bit tired of waiting. If I could just use my shadow power, I could make short work of these locks. If I could just clear my head!”

“This smoke is just so thick. It’s hard to breathe, much less to think!”

“Well, that’s how the incense works. It makes your head all foggy, and suppresses your will. It makes you despair, if you let it.” DeFrantis crossed her arms and held her shoulders, as if to comfort herself.

“Yeah. I get it. What I wouldn’t give for one breath of fresh air.”

Yeah. Fresh air. To breathe deep and feel alive.

Fresh air.

Fresh Air!

“Fresh air!”

“What?”

“If we can somehow break a window or open a door, that might bring in enough air to restore even a part of our will!” That’s what happened the minute we opened the door to the holding rooms in the guard tower back in Twynne Rivers! The moment I got good breath in my lungs, I felt my will return! “Help me, Karendle! Help me think of something! Is there something we can throw at a window? Maybe someway to wedge the door open when they come in. Anything?”

There was silence as they both tried to think. DeFrantis began to twist and squirm against the chains, trying to see if she could reach where she had hidden the dagger.

Karendle said, “What about the oculi? Can you use any of them? Can you use their will?”

“Are any of them onyx? For shadow?”

“No, and I only know how to use the sapphire for connection. I don’t know if it can be used to move things.”

“Too bad you lost the red one. You could just blow up the chains.”

“Yes, but...” Karendle’s voice trailed off in the dark.

DeFrantis stopped struggling. “...But what?”

“What if someone else broke the window, or opened the door?”

DeFrantis squinted. “What are you talking about.”

“I just remembered that I have someone trapped in this stone...”


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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. If you like this story, support us at our Patreon!
Thank you: Chet Cox!

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