Thursday, May 10, 2018

“Where Have All The Children Gone?” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 30: Antonerri

Even though Antonerri had passed through the OuterWall quarter of Twynne Rivers several times, on his way in and out of the city, he had never walked its streets. They weren’t so much “streets” as they were “the muddy spaces between the shanties” in kind of jagged lines. The roughly-made homes were dotted by occasional structures that were made into shops.

Antonerri and DeFrantis had arrived in front of a small church. It was way too small to be called a Cathedral. It had the steeple, of course, and it was a solidly built structure, not like the rundown shanties. There was no abbey, or courtyard, just walls with a roof. The three glowing lights of the Church’s emblem were painted on door.  The windows along the walls were mostly broken, and the outer walls were scraped and dirty. Clearly, this hadn’t been used for worship for a very long time.

Cautiously DeFrantis pushed open the front doors and stepped inside. Antonerri followed. The small chapel looked like it had been lifted up, turned upside down, and shaken before being set back down. There were pews, but they were scattered all over the space. In the empty center, there was a fire pit. All around the floor there was clutter of more recent inhabitants.

Antonerri watched as DeFrantis began to call out names in the little chapel. “Where are you guys? Come on out!” She appeared to be more and more nervous, as time went on and nobody was appearing. She opened a door to what appeared to be a closet behind where the altar used to be, but found it empty as well.

“Nobody’s here,” She said, but it was less a statement of fact than an expression of confusion. “Maybe they’re out begging, but if they were, someone would have had to stay back with Andrina.”

Antonerri had also been looking through the chapel, but was unsure what he had been looking for. “Who lives here?”

“We do!” He could hear a bit of fear in her voice. “There’s a whole group of us. Maybe a dozen or so. Most of them are children, under 10 winters old. They can’t take care of themselves!” She turned to the main door and stepped outside. Again, Antonerri followed.

“This is just an old Three Lights chapel, not a home!” The warm sun on his face was a harsh contrast to the dark worry in DeFrantis’ eyes.

“Well, we found it abandoned, and we made it our home. How can this happen? I was only gone, what, two or three days?” She spun around in the street in front of the chapel, looking one way, then the other. Finally, she sat down on a stone and started mumbling to herself. “If they were chased off, where would they go? They might be in the central circle...”

Antonerri also looked around, still not sure what he was looking for. He saw an older lady pulling a low cart full of breads along the way. The sun had been drying the ground some, but the path was still muddy, and making it rough for her to move the cart. Antonerri stepped across the street.

As he approached, the woman cowered and tried to pull her cart away. He stepped behind the cart and pushed it out of the muddy space and onto the drier ground of the main road in front of the chapel. Unsure what to do, she stood, surprised, and then began pulling the cart down the street.

“Pardon me,” Antonerri spoke up, “Did you pass by this church during the rains these last few days?” DeFrantis looked up as well.

The lady stopped and adjusted her ragged shawl to cover her face more. “No. I was inside” She gestured to the structure she had been coming out of.

“Did you see any of the children that had been staying here?”

“Yes, I did.”

Hearing that, DeFrantis jumped up and came to Antonerri’s side. “What happened? Where are they? What did you see?”

The old lady spoke louder now, and a bit faster. “I saw a young man shouting at them to get into a cart with a horse. It was very strange. They climbed in, one by one. No coats or anything, in the pouring rain. Then another man tossed a tarp over them and gave the young one a pouch. Off they all went, in different directions.” She thought, then added, pointing, “The cart drove off that way.”

DeFrantis reached to Antonerri, and put her hand on his arm to steady herself. Slowly she slouched to her knees. Antonerri stood, unsure what to do. Finally, he spoke to the lady, thanking her.

“She doesn’t look too good, does she?” The lady said, pointing at DeFrantis.

“No, she--”

The lady stepped toward her cart, reached in and brought out a couple of small bread loaves. “Here. She looks like this might do her good. Thanks for helping me.”

He took the loaves and nodded, then watched as she led her cart down the street.


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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