Monday, November 19, 2018

“I Just Need a Little Air” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 78: DeFrantis

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“What are you looking for?” DeFrantis asked, twisting painfully against the pillar she was leaning on.

Eddiwarth stood near the dark window, inspecting it. “I don’t know. The glass looks pretty thick. It might be hard to break.”

She wriggled some more and tried to use the tension on the chains around her wrist to straighten herself. “Come here.”

Eddiwarth tapped on the pane. “Even if we break it, I’m not sure the opening would be large enough for us to get out.” He looked back at  DeFrantis. “Besides, we have to figure out how to get you out of your chains first.”

Karendle added from across the room. “That’s what we’re trying to do. That’s why we got you out.”

DeFrantis added, “Come over here. I think this will help.”

Eddiwarth stepped over to the pillar DeFrantis was chained to. “I’m not sure I understand what you’re getting at.” He grabbed the ring holding the wrist chains tight up above her head and tugged on them. “These feel pretty solid.”

That’s not what I’m talking about. Just focus on what I’m saying. She leaned forward, away from pillar, and arched her back. The position stretched her arms back behind her neck and she winced in pain. “Under my shirt, across my back, there’s a small dagger. That will help you break the window.”

“What?”

Just pay attention and focus! She sighed, then coughed. She leaned her head as far forward and down as she could. “Just reach down my collar, and find the small dagger that I hid there. It’s not that hard.”

“Reach down your shirt?”

Really? This is not that complicated! “Yes, and quickly. This hurts!”.  She hissed, “And don’t think of grabbing anything but the dagger!”

He hesitated and slid his hand down her neck under her collar. His hands felt cold and the invasion was awkward. She felt his arm and hand inch closer to the steel that she had hidden there.

“Got it?”

“Yeah, I think so. It’s not easy to grip.”  He slid his hand out slowly and pulled back. It was a small stiletto, more of roundel dagger. The blade was thin and triangular and came to a sharp point. It had a small metal handle, about as long as the blade, with a T-cross guard. The entire length was crusted with dried and smeared blood.  DeFrantis flexed her back, shifting on the floor. Ah! That’s much better! That’s been poking me ever since I hid it there.

“Ok. Now take that, and use the blade to break the windows.”

He still looked a bit confused, but he started walking over anyway. “Why do we want to break the windows?”

Oh, by the Creator, give me patience! “We need relief from the mage’s bane smoke. If we can get some fresh air, maybe we can muster up the will to break out of these chains!” 

“Just trust us and do it!” Karendle added. “But try to do it as quietly as possible....”

DeFrantis heard a few light taps as he nipped at the glass with the blade. Then there was a harder hit, and another harder one that, with a crackling and tinkling, told her that he had done it. Immediately, she felt a slight and cool breeze dust across her legs. “Yes! That’s it! Do another pane!”

There was another crack and tinkling of glass on the floor. “How’s that?” Eddiwarth called out.

Karendle said, “Now do one on the other end of the room, so the air blows through!”

As he moved, a bit of wind blew across DeFrantis’ face, and she breathed deep, sucking in the cool air. She coughed as she got some of the dense smog in her lungs along with it. “I can... feel it! That’s what we need!”

A moment later another crackle sounded and suddenly a more steady draft was coming into the room. As the smog grew thinner, DeFrantis breathed deep and felt that familiar surge as her head cleared and her will returned. She could hear Karendle taking in air as well.

She brought her hands forward, focusing her attention and her will on the shackles. Her will was weak, but growing, as she surrounded the shackles in shadow. She pulled on them, tensing them against the pillar. She jerked and felt them cut into her wrists. These chains that bind me will no longer hold me down. Now, I am their master! Now, they set me free!

She felt her arms and wrists relax and drop down into her lap as the shackles that held them dissolved into shadow. She looked at them, and rubbed the soreness with her hands, her face in a smile of satisfaction. She hurried to her feet, and strode over to Karendle.  “I’m out! Hold your hands up! Now it’s your turn!” Karendle smiled and raised her shackles.

DeFrantis knelt next to her. As she started to focus on the chains, she heard the wind coming through the broken windows. The wind carried with it the sound of a child crying.


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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 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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Start the whole story from the beginningStart from where this current story arc begins. Start from where the current story part begins