Thursday, July 19, 2018

“Placing a Breakfast Order” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 44: DeFrantis

The bright morning sun shone through the slightly smoke-tinted windows of the lower level of the village inn. Its lower angle swept the sunbeams across the tables and floor. There was already activity in the common room, even at this hour.

“Hearye, hearyeall!” A man in a bright red jacket shouted. The pubcrier’s clothing was vivid, the red cloth trimmed in light yellow piping. His hat had long white feathers sweeping toward his back. His appearance, if not his voice, cried out for everyone’s attention, and everyone in the pub turned to give it to him. He lifted a scroll and began reading the day’s news.

“King Hastone III, of House Twynham, may he live long, and protect us all, has issued a decree of a tax of 5 coppers for anyone traveling the roads to and from Twynne Rivers. This includes the western road that follows the Greater Wynne River, to our fair village. This tax will allow the king to provide soldiers to protect the merchant caravans and travellers along these roads.”

The few people in the common room muttered their complaints and turned their faces back to their breakfasts, or to each other.

The crier continued, “This is primarily due to increased danger from brigands and wizards along the vital trading routes.”

As the crier droned on, DeFrantis squinted in the sunlight and looked across the table at Thissraelle. “I don’t understand why wizardry is so despised recently.” Thissraelle shrugged, as DeFrantis continued, “I guess there are always those who use powers to steal or hurt others.” I guess I have, too, but I do try to only use it to protect myself.  Still, I’m not really a full wizard.

Thissraelle leaned forward. “I spent my life hidden away in the Twynne Rivers Guild Towers. All I’ve known is wizards and wizardry. Mages are wonderful people. I don’t understand the fear, either.”

The front door swung open, flooding the floor with morning sunlight. Just as quickly, the light was obscured by a tall silhouette that stepped into the doorway and ducked through. As soon as she recognized the giant, Thissraelle waved. “Granthurg! Over here!”

DeFrantis was surprised. “Didn’t he stay in the inn, too?”

“He insisted on guarding the barge.” She waved again. “Here we are!”

Granthurg stepped over to the table and pulled out a chair. It was clearly too small for him, but it was steady enough to support his weight. “Good morning. I trust you slept well.”

DeFrantis smiled. “I’m not used to beds. It was...” she paused, thinking of what to say, “..oddly restful. I’m very grateful to you both.”

Granthurg nodded and looked around. “Where are the others?”

“I’ve not seen either of them this morning. Antonerri is still asleep, I suppose. Presumably, the bounty hunter has left to return her capture and collect her pay.” DeFrantis hesitated, “She kind of scares me, honestly. I’m not quite sure what to make of her.”

The innkeeper interrupted them with steaming bowls of meal and eggs, and set drinking glasses before them. He stood at the tableside for a moment, looking at them awkwardly. It suddenly occurred to Thissraelle what he was wanting, and she dug into her purse for a few silver pieces. “Does this cover the rooms and the meal?”

“Thank you, miss!”

DeFrantis hung her head.

“What’s the matter?”

“I’m not used to beds, or.. kindness.”

They began eating. After a moment, Thissraelle broke the awkwardness by asking, “Will you begin your search here?”

DeFrantis nodded between bites of egg. Granturg said, “This is the village of Dirae. I heard it’s named for one of its founding settlers. It’s mostly farmers working the land for a few remote nobles. It’s the first trading stop on the westward trip up the Greater Wynne. It’s not a big city, but it might be where they brought the children. I’ve heard there is a dark market here, but I don’t know where. They could have tried to sell the kids there. Of course, now there are brigands in the forest attacking the caravans and even the barges. They could be holding them hostage.”

The two women paused in their breakfast and just stared at the Giant.

“What? I stop here in this village every time we sail up the north river. Granted, it’s not very often, but still, I hear things. People talk, especially the river runners.”

“I’ve been in dark markets before. Maybe I’ll begin there.” She returned to her meal. She didn’t see the concerned glances between her table companions.


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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.


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Monday, July 16, 2018

“Placing a Dinner Order” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 43

Tonklyn stood on a large balcony, jutting out from halfway up the side of a mountain. Really, to say the balcony was large was really an understatement. It was easily thirty to forty feet wide, and it jutted out over the mountainside at least twenty feet in a sweeping half circle. The light glowing from the oculus at the end of his staff barely chased the dark from the balcony’s edge, enhanced a bit by the moonlight. There was no ledge or railing, just a stonework masonry floor, and then a steep and fast drop down the side of the mountain. Below the balcony were crags still full of unmelted snow, spotted with trees.

Tonklyn stood a safe distance from the edge, but not against the mountainside opposite the drop off, or particularly close to the gaping open mouth of a corridor carved into that mountain. The night breeze was cold. It was the late spring, of course, but at this altitude, the air was still winter. His heavy dark brown robes and hood kept him relatively warm as he waited.

It was a clear night, with lots of stars, and an almost full moon. The view of the forest at the valley floor below him was stunning. His eyes, however, were up in the air, scanning, looking, watching.

The balcony was built just at the timber line. There were trees below, but above him only rocks and mountain, except for two other constructions, watchtowers jutting upward out of the mountain on either side of the balcony.

The wind blew stronger for a moment, and he drew his hood and cloak tighter, though his breath still formed a mist in the chill before him.

He caught sight of a motion in the air far off to his right, and his eyes focused on it immediately. It swept across the sky, silhouetted before the moon. He stepped forward and stood a little taller. As the shadow turned in the air, he raised his staff and waved it from side to side. It grew larger as it drew closer, and it came quickly. It dropped down, and for a moment was out of sight.

Tonklyn could hear the heavy flapping of huge wings and felt the wind sweeping up from the trees below. Suddenly the balcony was enveloped in shadow as a massive dragon swooped up over the edge, waving its wings to both stop and steady itself. Its neck arched over and its head looked across the balcony, finally focusing on Tonklyn, whose cloak was waving fiercely in the torrent created by the wings. As the wings drew back and up for another stroke, its back legs, easily as long as Tonklyn was high, reached down and settled onto the edge of the balcony. The muscular body was covered in skin of deep black scales with a slight tint of red reflecting on the underside. The wingstroke came, though not as hard as others, and the forelegs reached out and landed on the stone floor. The dragon leaned back on its back legs and lifted up its head. It stretched out its wings and shook them before folding them neatly across its back. It swayed its head from side to side as if to work its muscles, and finally looked at the human.

Tonklyn stepped forward and dropped to one knee, bowing deeply. “My Liege.”

The dragon snorted, enveloping Tonklyn in smoke and fumes. It turned and lowered its head to slide his body into the corridor entryway. The pounding of his feet on the floor echoed through the chambers. Tonklyn scurried after him, trying to catch up to the head. He spoke hurriedly. “There is a scroll for you, a message from the High Priests of the Church of Three Lights in Twynne Rivers. Shall I get it for you?”

“Yes. But I am hungry. Bring me a meal, and read it to me as I feed.”

“Certainly.” They stepped from the corridor into a large open chamber with a high ceiling supported by pillars all around, each with a dimly glowing oculus. In the center of this space was a vast round carpet of soft furs and blankets. The dragon strode in and circled himself onto it and settled down, with his head up and alert.

“But I grow tired of cattle and venison. Bring me something more delicate.”

“Yes, my Liege.”

“Bring me children.”

Yes, my Liege. Right away.”


<<<>>>


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, July 9, 2018

“Thoughts” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 42

The morning sun rose, and shone on the barge. When everyone woke, Antonerri offered to steer to allow Granthurg to sleep. After a moment of instruction, Grathurg rolled out a blanket and in moments was loudly snoring.

The others opened up the stores for more bread and cheese, and sat talking and asking questions. After a few hours of sleep, Granthurg woke and joined them. The river flowed under them smoothly and evenly, and the mid-spring breeze kept them cool in the sun. Granthurg got out his maps and each made their plans. Finally, they relaxed in silence as the afternoon approached.

DeFrantis

This giant seems very knowledgeable of the things near the river. I’m not sure where to begin looking for the kids once we get to this village. I think they’re somewhere in the forest, but that’s a big area to cover. Maybe someone in the town knows something.

I barely know Antonerri, but he seems committed to helping. I know I shouldn’t ask him to go with me, but I’ll need his help. I don’t know what we’re up against!

The elf and the giant seemed to show concern for the children, but they have their own plans.  That’s kind of a shame. It would be nice to have a giant and a real wizard along! The dwarven lady is very distant. Oh, what am I saying? This is my task, why would anyone else be bothered?

Antonerri

I am so lost. Everything I’ve worked for is gone. Right now, my only clear purpose is helping to retrieve these children. Beyond that, who knows what the Creator has for me? Who knows what the Creator has in store at all?

Maybe He’s forgotten me. I’ve been cast aside, adrift on this river. What’s around the next bend?

Thissraelle

It was so kind of Karendle to help me fight against the sentries sent to retrieve me. I know there will be more. My father will not rest until I’ve been hunted and recaptured. I need to be cautious. 

DeFrantis’ story of the children being sold away is so tragic! Her dedication to that quest is so noble. I should help them. I have been so fortunate in my own life. But if I travel with them, I may just bring more danger along.

I DID ask for adventure, didn’t I?

Karendle

I did it. I actually did it. I captured a wizard. And from the Guild, no less! That will fetch me a nice bounty. I need to get him back to the others. But, this elf girl seems to be pretty important. She seems to be connected somehow to the Guild as well, and she’s a strong wizard, too! Maybe I can capture her, too, if I’m just careful. She won’t go down so easy, though, and it would probably get the giant very angry.

I’ll have to play this very carefully!

Granthurg

This is all quite a big mess. What did Rinkmorr do? What were they after? It wasn’t Thissraelle. I wonder if it was whatever was in Rinkmorr’s trunk. 

I shouldn’t even think of looking in there. That’s his private property. I wouldn’t want him going through my maps and scrolls, so I shouldn’t go through his things. But whatever is in there is changing my life, putting me in danger, so I should have a right to know what I’m tangled up in, right?

Maybe I will look. 

The river flowed steadily underneath them, and the oculus drove them slowly against the current. Granthurg took in a deep breath. He thought, I have no idea what’s going on, do I?


<<<>>>


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.