Thursday, March 29, 2018

"The Price of Redemption" - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 18: Antonerri

Antonerri was jarred from an uneasy sleep by a loud clanging.  Startled, he shook his head and opened his eyes. Across the cell bars, next to the table stood two figures. They were mostly obscured by the dark and the incense smoke, but Antonerri knew who they were. One, a soldier guard, held a lantern low in one hand. It was swinging from side to side, jangling against the keys and tools on his belt, and casting shaking shadows around the room. The man’s other hand swung back and forth, banging a sword against the bars of DeFrantis’ cell.

“Get up, you!” He shouted in a scratchy voice, “Wake up! It’s time to face your charges!”

Next to the guard stood a man in long, elaborate robes of fine white silk, trimmed in yellow and red piping. The robes bore elaborate embroidery of the emblem of the Church of Three Lights. He held a staff with a large, clear gemstone set in the head. He maintained his silence, glaring intently at Antonerri’s huddled form.

Antonerri looked to DeFrantis and saw her stir and sit up from the cold floor. She shook her head and ran her hand across her hair.

The soldier was losing patience. He banged his sword again. “Get up, you! On your knees before the Priesthood!”

She looked up at the priest, and Antonerri could see a shadow of fear cross her eyes, as she became fully awake and aware. Slowly, without removing her gaze, she knelt in the middle of the cell. He could tell already this was not going to go well for her. She needed to be strong, not timid. He shifted forward on the floor.

The priest spoke, “State your name!”

She dropped her gaze. “Are you the Confessor Priest?”

“SILENCE! I - ,” He pounded the staff on the floor for emphasis, “I will ask the questions!”

She flinched and hid her face.

“What is your name?”

“DeFrantis.” She whispered.

“Speak up!”

“DeFrantis. Of the OuterWall.”

The priest snorted haughtily, and opened a small book carried under his arm. He held it in the light of the lantern and thumbed over the pages. “You are accused of thievery and robbery.”

She straightened up, and reached out. “I didn’t actually steal anything! I was attacked!”

“So, you are guilty, then?”

“I was only trying to feed the kids! They’re hungry! There’s no one to look after them!”

The priest pushed his shoulders back, raising the staff up higher.  “I don’t care! I’m not interested in your justifications! You are guilty, and you must be punished! Do you confess?” He stepped forward and hissed, “Do you also admit to being a practitioner of the Power of Shadow?”

Antonerri’s mind raced. Oh, no. This is bad. He’s going to go off on her, and She’s not going to be able to take this! He rolled forward onto his feet.

She hesitated, “I -”

In a deep tone of righteous indignation, he intoned, “Are you a wizard of darkness?”

“No! I’m not!” She said, trembling, “I only know a little -”

“There is your confession!” The priest pointed the staff at her, “So, feel the purging power of light!”

“No!” Antonerri lunged ahead and threw himself at the the bars, reaching through and grabbing the staff. A flash of light exploded in the room, coursed through his arm and body, and sent him flying back into his cell. The fierce pain in his muscles made it hard to breathe.

The priest’s rage was quick. “How dare you interfere! Your punishment will be severe!” He pointed the gem at Antonerri and unleashed another blast of brightness. Antonerri screamed as the power rushed through him.

DeFrantis looked on in horror. “STOP!”

Antonerri rolled over and got up on his hands and knees. He struggled to stand as a third blast threw him up against the back wall of the cell.

“So, this is what happens when you intervene!”

Antonerri lay back against the wall, breathing heavily. His body could not move, shaking in pain. He looked at the priest, then at DeFrantis. I tried. I tried to stop him. 

She rushed to the bars between them as if she wanted to break through them and comfort him. She looked at the priest and soldier in fear. He saw her eyes darting from one to the other. The soldier looked on with a smile, while the priest shouted latin curses at Antonerri.

“Yes, Father. I have sinned,” DeFrantis said. He looked back at her in confusion as she kneeled by the bars before the priest. What is she doing? She bowed her head, “I need redemption.”


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Monday, March 26, 2018

"Not So Scary" - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 17: Thissraelle

Thissraelle stepped out of the inn, onto the street, and blinked up at the dull, gray, afternoon skies. The raining had stopped! She was happy about that. At first, it was thrilling to fly over the darkened city in the middle of the night with the rain in her face. Then, she felt the chill of the wet night air, and her will subsided and she had to land and look for shelter.

She had managed to get past the protection of the CenterTown walls, and had begun to walk through the silent shadowed streets. Before long, she found the glow of the oculus lamps on the main street of the RiverFront Quarter. It was still quiet, except for the rain, but there were lanterns shining through the windows of pubs and inns.

Her escape and wandering had taken much of the night, so once she settled into an inn, and a dry, warm bedroll, she slept long, way past the dawn.

This doesn’t look so scary in the daylight! Yes, she had to admit to herself, in addition to being excited to being free in a new world, she also felt some fear. All up and down the street there was activity. Vendors pushing carts across the puddled cobblestones, women haggling over the price of a pig, and a man trying to coax a load, probably bags of grain, on to the back of an uncooperative donkey.

“You got copper?” The tiny voice jerked her gaze down. In front of her, there, no more than half her height, was a small human child, in ragged clothes. The child’s long scraggly hair and unwashed face gave no clues as to whether it was a boy or a girl.

“I - I’m sorry?” Thissraelle stammered, off-guard.

The child held its open hand up higher. “You got copper?”

“Oh!” Thissraelle suddenly understood. “Yes! You poor waif!” She dug into her purse and pulled out two copper wedges, cut from a larger coin. She dropped them into the child’s hand, who scurried away.

She stood, watching as it vanished into the crowd and buildings. She had never seen anyone so poor before. I hope there’s a family for him. Her? She stepped along the street, moving between vendors and residents, not really noticing the way they were looking at her.

She stopped abruptly when another child stepped in front of her. This one was a bit taller, a bit older, and her tattered clothing resembled a dress. She held out her hand and said, “Hey, you got copper!”

Thissraelle stepped back. She wasn’t sure if that was a request or a statement. Maybe even a command. She reached into her purse as another child, a bit younger, rushed up and just started saying, “Copper, copper!” A third was following a short ways behind.

Thissraelle turned, and began to move more quickly in the other direction. The children followed, with their hands out. She grabbed some coins and wedges from her purse and tossed them to the side. As the kids scrambled to the ground to pick them up, she darted away, turning as quickly as she could.

The people on the street watched her go, then returned to their own efforts. Nobody noticed the one man who followed her.


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Thursday, March 22, 2018

"The Easy Way?" - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 16: Karendle

As she sat in the Brown Boar, finishing her dinner, she thought about how her life had changed in the last few days. Twynne Rivers was nothing like she had expected.

After getting thrown out of the Wizard’s Guild, and after shouting angry dwarvish curses over the fence at the guards standing by the CenterTown wall, she had stormed away. It was evening, and darker than usual because of the heavy clouds that had drifted over the city. She started walking, but had not gone far when the rains began.

The first inn she found was quite expensive, and she only had a few coins. She tried  offering work, cleaning, in exchange for a meal and lodging. One by one, the inns turned her back out into the rain. As she got further down the RiverFront the prices did get lower, but not low enough.

Finally, after talking to an innkeeper, she shook the rain from her clothes and started toward the door. As she passed two men sitting at a table, one of them gestured to her, “It looks like you’re having a difficult time, eh?”

The other was more finely dressed, thinner, and had features that looked elvish. He called the innkeeper over. “Give her a room,” he said, tossing three silver pieces on the table, “And a good hot meal.”

She froze. “No, sir. I’m not sure who you think I am!”

The man laughed. “Not to worry. We’ll not harm you. Sit down, miss.” Then added, gesturing to the chair, “Please?”

He took charge of the conversation, asking her name, and telling her that he had seen her shouting at the Wizard’s Guild at the gates to CenterTown earlier that evening. Her shock that she had been followed lessened as he explained that they also had problems with the guild.

As the innkeeper brought out their food, the elf explained that criminal wizards had become a huge problem in the city, but that the guild blocked all efforts to bring them to justice. He worked with a faction that wanted to put all of the rogue mages behind bars, and would she be willing to get back at the guild by helping them?

She hesitated. “How?”

“It’s simple, really. By finding and capturing rogue criminal wizards, and bringing them to justice.”

She was intrigued, but also suspicious. “And how would I do that, if I haven’t learned any powers?”

The elf scoffed. “Who needs to learn magic? That’s the long, hard way.” He leaned in, and spoke more intensely. “I can give you the easy way to throw magic around. Are you interested?”

Her eyes opened wide. I can use magic? Easily? It’s always been so hard for me! “I am! Tell me how that works!”

He reached back and grabbed a pouch and set it on the table next to her dinner plate. She slowly picked it up and peeked inside. There were a number of gems, big enough to fit in the palm of her hand. She reached in the bag, but the first man stopped her.

The elf explained, “We’d rather not have you display those here, for all to see.” Nodding, she set the pouch back down on the table.

“Are they... Oculi?” She had heard of them from her father, who knew all about gems. She had never seen any like these, because the only ones that came to her city so far up in the hills were the ones on the river barges.

“Yes!” He explained, “Eyes of the Creator! With the red one, you can throw fire. With the blue one, you can move things using your mind. The grey ones? They’re what you’ll use to entrap the foul mages that are sullying up our city. If... If, of course, you decide to help us.”

He reached across the table and picked up the pouch with the oculi. Having finished their meal, and the conversation, the two men stood. The human put his hat on, and tipped it toward Karendle. “Miss, enjoy your dinner and your stay here. We’ll talk more, tomorrow.”

She could barely think of anything to say as she had watched them step out the door and into the rain.

Back at the Brown Boar,  she blinked her eyes, and came out of the reverie. She tossed a copper coin onto the table next to her plate and walked over to the stairs leading up to the rooms. As she passed the innkeeper’s wife, she asked, “So, do you know where they took the wizard that your husband overcame?”

“I don’t know.” She put on a puzzled look, “But it’s probably the guard tower in the InnerWall, just down the sloping road a bit. That’s the closest one, I’d think...”

Karendle smiled. “Thank you very much!”


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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?”


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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?


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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.


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Thursday, March 8, 2018

A Tale of Heroes - Scene 12: Antonerri

Antonneri lay on the cold stone floor of the holding cell, the dark of doom swirling in the smoky air around him. He had been to places like here before, but always on the other side of the bars. A faint glow from a small table across the main room cast faint shadows around him. His muscles ached, his head ached. Even deeper, his heart ached. And through the ache was a core of confusion.

He rolled over and heaved himself up onto his knees and hands. His physical aches were the residue of blasts of light power he had received at the hands of a Sacerdotis Confessoris - The Priest Confessor of the Church of Three Lights. His deeper aches and confusion were also residual of the same blasts.

He had grown up in the shadow of the Church, serving as a young boy, longing for the day that he could join the Holy Guard as a soldier of The Creator. When he achieved that goal, it was the happiest day of his life. As a holy soldier, he was ready to defend the weak and serve the downtrodden.

His early duties were not so exciting, mostly protecting high priests and relics. He didn’t mind, though. He was proud to wear the three lights on his chest.

He sat back on his heels, kneeling into a familiar position of prayer. Please, he began, help me understand!

Memories of a few short days ago filled his mind. He had been assigned with a corps of guard to protect a Count of the Twynne Rivers High Council as he traveled through the InnerWall area of the city, gathering taxes from his subjects. All went well for the first few stops, then they came upon a shopkeeper who couldn’t pay.

Antonerri saw the image of the poor man’s crying face as he begged for more time. The troop was ordered to “render justice” by beating him and seizing his property.

What did I do that was wrong? Please, help me see!

He saw the rage on the face of the Count as Antonerri refused to execute the order. Then he saw the other soldiers of the guard, his colleagues, turn on him, beating him, binding him, and delivering him to the dungeon of the guard tower.

His pains intensified as he remembered The Priest Confessor’s visit.

His own tears streamed down as he prayed. I just want to know why! Am I not there to protect the weak? Why am I here?

The acrid smoke in the room added to the burning in his eyes and the gloom covering his heart. He knew the smell. It reminded him of the times he had captured a thief or a heretic and brought them to a place like this. He had thought they deserved this treatment for their sins and their crimes. All those times he never dreamed he would be one of them.

With a creak, a door near him opened and a brighter glimmer of light broke into the space, broken only by the metal bars that grew up from the floor in front of him to reach the ceiling.

The door parted further and two guards of the city’s militia stepped in, dragging a body in a rain-soaked black cloak between them. In a spare hand, one of them carried a lantern that cast spinning shadows as it swung under his hand. They lurched past his cell. After fussing with the keys, they swung the door to the neighboring cell open, and dropped the other prisoner inside. One of the guards moved to the table and tossed a few more grains of incense into a small metal bowl smoldering there. The other clanged the cell door shut, then glared at Antonerri.

“Yeah, you’d best be praying!” He said in a raspy voice, then laughed as they both closed the main door behind them. Dark and sorrow closed around Antonerri again as he bowed his head.


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Monday, March 5, 2018

A Tale of Heroes - Scene 11: Granthurg

Rinkmorr lit a lantern and hung it up under the tarp. Its glow spread all over the steering platform, showing the rain dripping off the shelter and the darkness around them.

Granthurg was standing at the edge of the platform, looking out over the river past the barge. Since the two pirates had been defeated, he had been scanning the slowly growing morning glow on the horizon looking for more. There had been none. The bleeding in his shoulder had stopped, but not the pain.

“Ok, let me look a that wound.” Rinkmorr said, pulling a box up, and gesturing to Granthurg to sit. Granthurg turned and obeyed. Once he was seated, he pulled back his shirt from his shoulder.

Rinkmorr looked. “That’s a deep hit.”

“Yeah,” Granthurg smiled, “It really wasn’t very knife of him to do that.”

The older giant narrowed his eyes and nudged the wounded shoulder, turning the smile to a wince. “Did that hurt?”

“No.” Granthurg could see that Rinkmorr didn’t believe him. “Well, not much anyway.”

“This river’s getting more and more dangerous. There was a time when I didn’t have to hire extra muscle.” He leaned over and felt the wound. Granthurg winced again.

Rinkmorr stood, closed his eyes, and breathed deep, focusing his concentration. Granthurg saw a brief grimace on his face, as if he was feeling the pain, too. Then, he felt the energy of life swelled up in them both, drawn from the waters, the land, and the trees. Granthurg also took a breath, almost involuntarily, and held it in, savoring the feeling as the hurting faded.

Then the sensations also drained from him, back into the river, and he let out the breath. His shoulder was healed. As the two giants opened their eyes, Rinkmorr offered his hand, then pulled Granthurg up.

He smiled. “Someday, you’ll have to teach me how to do that.” Then, he stepped to the steering rudder at the stern of the platform.

Rinkmorr lay back down on the blankets padding the deck. “It’ll be dawn soon, and then we’ll be in Twynne Rivers. I’m gonna get some sleep.”

It wasn’t long before the rain on the tarp was punctuated by his snoring. Granthurg adjusted his shirt and watched out over the barge across the night.


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Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Tale of Heroes - Scene 10: Thissraelle

I know my father loves me. I know he’s just trying to protect me. She sat and cried without sobbing. I want to leave! I want to live!

She took off the dripping cloak, and the bag, and lay back on the floor, looking at the ornate ceiling like she had done thousands of times before. Her eyes traced the shadows of the intricate woodworking on the rafters. She let her thoughts drift off into mindlessness, needing to escape her frustration. Her eyes continued along the lines above, tracing the sculpting, the inlays, the frills.

With a deep sigh, she closed her eyes. She wasn’t tired. She was looking for peace, and not finding it.

WAIT! She blinked, and her eyes narrowed. If my father enchanted this tower, it would have had to have been done a long time ago. It would take a lot of will to maintain it that long. Her heart raced and she sat up. She scanned the ceiling again.

He wouldn’t use his own will for that power. He’d use an oculus! She’d never paid much attention to the stones inlaid in the ceiling. They were just a part of the room’s decor. She levitated up to the rafters and began looking more intently. As she found them, she touched them, felt them. They were all just cold gray stones of granite. She smiled. Gray is the color most often associated with dimensional wizardry. The kind of powers that could warp and fold space in around itself so that one couldn’t leave, say, a room or tower?

Her hands touched each inlay in turn, and felt nothing but cold stone. She felt herself getting tired and knew that she couldn’t keep flying much longer.

She felt a shiver. Was that something, or just from being out in the rain? She moved her hand back to the stone she had been touching. She felt it again, stronger, this time, as she focused on it.

That’s it! That’s it! She could definitely feel the latent power emanating from it.

I’ve felt that all these years, and just hadn’t realized it.

She wasn’t sure what do do with it, though. She grabbed at it with her fingernails, but wasn’t strong enough to pry it free.

This is dimensional wizardry, isn’t it? I can play in that game, too! She hesitated, uncertain. I can’t send it away, or shatter it. My father is more powerful than I am. What if I use my own power to twist reality around it? I can make a dimensional warp around its own dimensional warp, and shrink it down. Then I’ll be outside of its reach, at least for a few minutes! 

She looked down at the study below her. My will is getting weak. I’ll need more strength! Where can I find more? 

She saw the table, chairs, books, shelves, all lit up by the glowing oculi.

The oculi! She swept to the floor and put on the bag and the cloak again. She rushed over to the nearest oculus on the wall and reached up to surround it with her hands. Focusing on it, deeper, and deeper still, she stared into its glow.

A little at first, she felt its energy flowing into her hands, and arms. Yes, more! I need more! The lamp flickered, dimmed, then went out. She rushed to the second one, then the third.

Re-energized, she flew up again, and looked for the stone. It was difficult to find, now, in the dark, but she felt for it. She surrounded it with her will, and concentrated. Suddenly, she felt a nauseating wave of rippling reality sweep over her as it shrunk to converge on the stone. She blinked and backed away. I hope that worked!  I won’t have much time!

In a moment she had flown through the door and was lost, laughing, in the dark rain over the city.


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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