Monday, April 29, 2019

121 - “The Plan” - Tonklyn - A Tale of Heroes

Here's how you can read the story a week (two scenes) ahead of everyone else!


A young acolyte of the cathedral in plain brown robes rushed to open one side of the tall double door as Tonklyn approached. The boy couldn’t have been more than a dozen winters old and struggled to pull the heavy wooden portal back. Its hinges creaked in the night's darkness. Tonklyn passed through, with his three guards alongside. He didn’t acknowledge the boy nor the two armed soldiers of the Holy Guard on either side of the door, but he did note their presence.

As soon as he entered the large hall, the sounds of arguing voices reverberated through the tall vaulted ceilings. Several long wooden tables stood in the center, surrounded mostly by empty chairs. As he and his entourage neared them, memories flooded back. Many times he had been called on to deliver tomes and scrolls from the Royal Library to this elegant room in the Holy Lights Cathedral as Bishops and theologians had debated doctrine and the policies of the Church. The room was mostly dark, now, lit only by a few oculi mounted on the pillars near the head of the table. In the shadows around him he could make out the outlines of magnificent stained glass windows on the east wall and long elaborate tapestries on the west. It will be a shame to see them ruined.

“...And I still say it’s the best way to weaken the guild’s hold on the King!”

“Well, that’s very easy for you to say. You won’t be attacked!”

“Our people will be in the attack. They’ll also be at risk!”

Tonklyn pulled a chair away from the table, not taking any care to do it quietly. It scraped across the floor, interrupting the argument. Tonklyn shifted the chair aside and sat down. It was very comfortable, with delicate pillows and red velvet covering. The armrests were ornately carved. He scooted it back up to the table as two of his soldiers positioned themselves behind on either side of him. The third stood back some small distance, at the ready. He gently ran his hand along the smooth and polished surface of the table. When he had been here before, the priests hadn’t allowed him to sit in these chairs, or even to be at the table. Now, he had everyone’s attention, and he was in no hurry to give it up.

“Good evening to you, Bishops,” he finally said, gently, and nodded a short bow toward two white-robed clergy standing at the head of the table. One was a heavy man with a staff and a pointed hat with gold trim. He had an angry expression. The other was thinner and maybe even a little taller and older. She stood quietly with her arms folded before her. She also wore white robes, but hers were much more elaborate that her companion’s, and the three starbursts on her left chest glistened with higher authority in the soft light.

Tonklyn had not met her before. He shifted his attention to the other two men, sitting across the table from him. They were both dressed well, almost like nobles, but not in formal robes. One, taller, was human, and the other, an elf. “And to you good men, Illitharin and...  and...” Tonklyn paused and formed an insincere smile, “I’m sorry...”.

“Balek. Of Haffenberg”

“Balek!” Tonklyn repeated, pretending to remember. “Well. Then. I didn’t think I was early for our meeting.”

The elf Illitharen jumped in with an even, but cutting tone. “You’re not. The good bishop here was just telling me how he thinks that the plans have changed.” Tonklyn saw the large man tense and take in a breath, but no one spoke.

Easy, easy. There’s a lot of power in patience. Finally, Tonklyn broke in, “And would someone like to let me know just how the plans have changed?”

The two bishops exchanged glances. The man took a breath and exploded. “This cathedral is the finest building in all of Twynnham’s Kingdom! It’s the centerpiece of the Church! We don’t want it to be damaged. Perhaps we can make the attack at another chapel in the city. Or the Royal Library. In addition, The Consilio Episcopi will be meeting here the day before the dragons come. There is much to be done and an attack will throw the Church into chaos!”

Tonklyn nodded and glanced back and forth between the bishops and the others. “I see.” He smiled before continuing. “I was under the impression that chaos in the church was one of our mutual goals. Might I remind you that we discussed how you should be able to emerge from such a crisis with greater authority in your Council? Is the Wizard’s Guild not our common enemy? We discussed how to make the King blame them for the attack, further weakening their position in the Kingdom.”

Tonklyn addressed the other men, “Aren’t the mages and drakes readying for the attack itself? You have been gathering them, haven’t you?”

Illitharen was quick. “Yes, they are gathered and ready. More come daily. I might add that the drakes are difficult to conceal and control, so we shouldn’t delay.”

The two Bishops were silent, but their eyes spoke volumes.

Tonklyn stood, without his previous smile. His guards stepped away and he pushed back his chair, making it echo through the hall. “The attack will go on as planned. You can be ready and seize the advantage, or not. That is your choice. A good night to you all.” Illitharen and his companion also stood.

Tonklyn strode out of the room, with his guard and the other two men following. They passed through the doors and into the dark hallway. As they began descending a long, curving staircase, Tonklyn called out, “Illitharen!”

The elf hurried to catch up. “Yes, sir?” He was nervous to walk near the edge of the narrow stairway.

“What have you heard from our brothers of the Chapter of Westwood Manor?”

“Nothing at all, sir. We’ve seen none of them in Twynne Rivers since their defeat. Should we search for them?”

“Don’t bother,” Tonklyn said, stepping off the stairway into a long hallway. “The plans for the attack have changed. The priest is right. He is afraid that the Church will fall into confusion. I agree.”

“What?” Illitharen’s face twisted in surprise.

Tonklyn smiled at him. “So, make the attack happen the night before.”


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, Genevieve Springer!

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