Sunday, June 24, 2018

Working on the Rule Book

So, I've been very focused these last few days. I've been in a bit of a breather from the story, and I've been working on The Hero's Tale rule book. It's our hope to have a first edition ready in a few weeks!

To that end, I've been scanning a bunch of old drawings!  Here are a few. I still have to tweak them in 'shop to make them good and contrasty...

There were some significant chunks of the rules that had to be rewritten since the last time I compiled it. We had changed the skills tree, the character creation process, and swapped the initiative system for "priority". 

I'm very excited to get the book printed and ready!  I'll keep you posted!

Monday, June 18, 2018

“And Who Are You?” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 41: Granthurg

For the last hour, Granthurg had steered the barge westward in silence. Thissraelle lay near his feet, on the platform, wrapped in a blanket, fast asleep. Antonerri and DeFrantis sat together on the deck, huddled together, to tense to sleep. They weren’t talking, but just looked at Granthurg and the other woman, who sat between them and to one side.

Granthurg noticed that she was also nervous, and looked back and forth between him and the others.  Granthurg leaned forward and picked up a bundle of blankets. He stepped away from the rudder and off the platform. He offered blankets to Antonerri and DeFrantis. Antonneri wrapped one around DeFrantis’ shoulders.

Granthurg hesitated and looked at the unknown lady. She looked not quite human, but was too stout to be elvish. She didn’t look weighty, but rather that her shoulders were more broad and her back stronger than most elvish women. How did she get here? I wish I knew what she’s thinking, what she’s planning.

Finally, he stepped to her and offered her a blanket. She looked up at him, a bit surprised, and took it.

“I can pay my passage.” She didn’t look up.  “At the first village, I’ll get off the barge and return to Twynne Rivers.”

“Sure. There’s a small dock at a town just on the other side of the forest. We’ll be there by late tomorrow.” He hesitated. “I’m Granthurg. Who are you?”

She looked up. “My name is Karendle.” She said nothing more.

Granthurg nodded. He moved to a trunk by the side of the platform, and drew out bread, cheese, and a jug of ale. He offered her some, but she looked uncertain as to how to respond to his gesture.

“Go ahead,” he said, and offered again. This time she took a loaf and some cheese and began to eat.  He moved to the others and offered to them as well. Finally, he took his own bread back to the platform and stood by the rudder.  “You were quite a surprise. I appreciate your help in the fight, but I’m not sure what you’re doing with us. How did you come to be on my barge?”

She didn’t seem to be too sure how to answer. After a moment, she said, “I guess I’m a bounty hunter.”

“And you caught your target?”

“Yeah, I suppose.”  Granthurg noticed DeFrantis keeping a watchful eye on her. “I’ll have to take him back to the city.”

Granthurg continued, “Where are you from?”

She was done with her bread, and leaned back. She broke off a piece of cheese. “Originally, I’m from the Western Mountains.”

“AH! I am, too! You’re part dwarf, am I right?”  She ate, then nodded. “I wondered. You’re a little short for a human, but you don’t have elvish features! Have you been gone from the mountains long? I was hoping to get back to my city after this river run.” She replied, and Granthurg started talking about the mountains and his home. Before long, he glanced out over the barge and saw that all three were laying down, asleep. He smiled to himself and nodded. We’ll sort everything out tomorrow.

He took a hold of the rudder. It will all be fine tomorrow.


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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Thursday, June 14, 2018

“How Did You Do That?” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 40: Karendle

For a moment, everyone on the barge just looked at each other. No one seemed to know who anyone else was, or why they were there. All except the giant, who was frantically looking around trying see where the elf girl had gone.  The shadow wizard girl and her friend were pretty badly beaten up, and looked like they didn’t know who they were fighting, or why. Their attackers were looking at the fire wizard in the middle of the boat like he was some sort of avenging angel, and he wasn’t there to rescue them. Suddenly something clicked in Karendle’s mind.

They’re from the Wizard’s Guild! But that revelation brought more questions. What are they doing here? And why do they want the girl?

She reached into her pouch as she scrambled to her feet. Well, I don’t care! I’m here to catch wizards, and I hate the Wizard’s Guild, so that’s all the understanding I need!

She pulled out the entrapment oculus, and pointed it at the mage in the middle of the barge, shouting, “I’m taking you down, wizard!” Surprised faces turned to look at her as the oculus glowed. A silvery light enveloped the man, drawing him toward the oculus. The light surrounded him, then shrunk around him, shrunk with him, and finally sucked him into the glowing stone.

Karendle looked at the grey gem in her hand and mused, “Amazing! It worked!”

The silent confusion was shattered by the giant’s grunts of rage as he rushed at the man who had attacked him, swinging his hammer before him. “Get! OFF! My! BOAT!” He landed a solid hit, smashing the man into the railing, which broke and sent him tumbling into the river.

The one in the white tunic rolled from his prone position on the deck to grab his sword and slash the legs of the man who had been beating him. He screamed and fell to the deck, where he was kicked off the other side of the barge. He then crawled over to the shadow mage, and helped her sit up. They, Karendle, and the giant looked from one to the other, in awkward and confused silence.

That silence, moments later, was broken by a crackling sound from the bow of the boat. As everyone looked, reality again distorted and swirled, finally spitting the elf girl, screaming, out onto the deck, sprawled across a few of the cargo crates.

“Thissraelle!” The giant ran to her and lifted her up.

“Thanks!” She shivered, clinging to his warmth, “Can I get a blanket?”

As they made their way to the steering platform, the soldier in white asked her, “What happened to the one who had you trapped?”

She smiled, “I left him in The Vast.” Karendle didn’t understand, and obviously neither did anyone else. “I’ll explain later.”

The giant wrapped Thissraelle in a blanket, then handed blankets to the others before climbing onto the platform and steering the barge out over the dark river. As she wrapped herself up in the blanket’s soft comfort, the giant sighed, then muttered, “West. West is Best.”


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, June 11, 2018

“Who is Who?” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 39: Karendle

Noises from the barge jolted Karendle awake. She lifted her head up from the table on the wharf where she was sitting. She had been watching the giant and the barge diligently, but had drifted off to sleep at some point in the early night. She stood up and looked down the pier, and saw three strange men on the barge fighting with the giant and the others. Hey, who is this? She saw one of them jump at the dark-cloaked wizard girl. They’re after my quarry! I’ve got to stop this!

With a leap, Karendle took off running down the pier. Her sleepy grogginess and the swaying of the pier made it a bit difficult for her to maintain her balance. As she got to the barge, she was about to jump on board, but was surprised to see it suddenly lurch in the water, smashing into another nearby barge.

She regained her balance, took a step back, and threw herself over the widening gap of water, landing hard on the foredeck.

She scrambled to her feet, and looked aft over the cargo crates. There’s the giant, fighting one of the men, and there’s another that looks like he’s tangled up in darkness. That’s got to be the doing of the girl I’m after! But where is she? I can’t see over all this cargo!

She jumped up and clambered to the top of the pile of crates. From there, she could see much better. I’d better get my oculi ready this time! She grabbed here pouch, then looked out over the scene. The wizard girl was lying on her back, and she didn’t look good. Next two her two men were wrestling, and beyond them, the man who had been wrapped in darkness was freed and jumping to his feet. He seemed to be rushing to get to the stern where a young elven girl was sitting in lanternlight.

A sudden loud whoop of laughter from above caught everyone’s attention. Seemingly out of the dark sky, into the wash of the light of the lanterns and oculi, a young man, or maybe an elf, floated quickly down onto the deck in front of the platform. He spun toward the man rushing aft and shouted, “Oh, no, you don’t! She’s mine!”

He pointed at the man and a hot pulse of fire shot from his hand, hitting the attacker squarely on the chest, bursting brightly and loudly, and blowing him up and off the barge. He splashed hard into the Wynne. The Elf girl screamed.

Karendle dropped to the crates, trying to hide. My Holy Lights! Another Wizard! This IS my lucky day! She looked again. There was something familiar about the pattern of his red and blue shirt that she had seen before. Not the colors, but maybe the patterns or the markings?

A sudden wave hit the barge, and hit it hard. It flipped everyone off their feet, and off the deck. As Karendle landed in the now loose pile of crates, she scurried to regain her balance.

The Elf screamed again, and yelled something Karendle didn’t understand. When she could see again, the barge was stable in the water, but everyone was climbing back to their feet. All except the girl, who was being held tight by yet another young man, this one definitely human, and wearing clothing similar to the other wizard. He gripped her tightly around her waist, his sleeves and arms glowing white with bright light.

“Hold still!” He yelled at her, “We’re just taking you home!”

She shouted and kicked at him, to no avail. Then she stopped, and seemed to focus her mind. There was a sizzling, crackling sound, and in an instant they were gone. It was as if reality itself swallowed them both and gulped them down.

“THISSRAELLE!” a deeper voice screamed. The giant lumbered to where she had been on the platform and fell to the deck.


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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Thursday, June 7, 2018

“What is Going On?” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 38: DeFrantis

“This doesn’t look good,” DeFrantis said, scowling at the men at the bow of the barge.

Antonerri turned. Three men had just stepped off the pier onto the barge. The way the Giant had stepped back defensively was telling. They weren’t too far away, so DeFrantis and Antonerri could hear the conversation easily in the otherwise quiet night.

“What is it you’re looking for?”

“Oh, don’t play like you don’t already know!” One of the men jumped up on some cargo boxes and began to move across them, toward the stern, toward DeFrantis. He was looking closely at each crate as he crawled over it. The other two reached into their cloaks and drew out short swords.

“Oh this is definitely not good.” She whispered. She saw Antonerri grip his own stolen sword more tightly, keeping it hidden from the view of the assailants. “What have we gotten ourselves into?” I don’t know who’s good or bad, here. Granthurg’s been very kind and gave us a good price on our passage, but he looks to be tangled up in some real problems!

The apparent leader jabbed his sword at Granthurg, who jumped back. “Hey, easy, there...”

“Just tell me where it is, and nobody has to get hurt!” He jerked his head a bit, signaling his companion. The other man ran around the boxes to the other side of the barge, heading toward the stern.

The giant staggered backward, calling out, “Thissraelle! Get the barge moving!” He was trying to get to her without losing sight of the one threatening him. The man followed, holding the sword steady before him.

What to do? She glanced with worry at Antonerri. He was watching the drama unfold intently. As the two went past him, he spun and lunged at the human, knocking him off his feet into the railing. The two of them tumbled to the deck. The giant and DeFrantis both looked on for a moment, surprised by the attack.

“GRANTHURG!” A high voice called out. They both turned to see a huge double-handed warhammer floating quickly through the air. He reached up and grabbed it, then reset himself for the battle.

DeFrantis saw the other man moving past the corner of her eye. He was almost to the steering platform where Thissraelle was standing, arms still raised to guide the hammer. DeFrantis quickly reached into her own will. She drew the shadows from around the crates and the pier upward, into the air, twisting around the man, binding him fast in darkness.  Thissraelle looked at her in surprise, then smiled quickly, and jumped back to her task on the platform.

Just as quickly, DeFrantis was knocked to the deck as another assailant landed on her from behind. She wriggled and struggled beneath him, feeling a sharp cutting pain in her arm. As she twisted, she found her face pressed to the floor as fingers twisted into her hair and pulled her head back. She saw the brief flash of lantern light reflected off a bloody dagger in front of her face.

I’m going to die!

Another heavy weight hit her and the man on her back, slamming them both flat, and knocking her breath out and smacking her head onto the deck. In another instant, the others rolled off her back and she could breathe again. She looked and saw Antonerri wrestling her attacker to the deck. Who had the advantage was not at all clear, though.

She tried to lift herself up, but one hand slipped on something wet and warm. She looked at it and saw blood. It hurt, too, higher up toward the shoulder, and it felt weak. Is that my blood? She managed to lift herself up with her other arm. She could hear the clang of the sword on the hammer to her left. To her right, Antonerri was on his back trying to fend off fist blows being thrown to his face.

The barge lurched in the water and, with a loud crunch, banged against another barge berthed beside it. The impact flipped her over onto her back. It lurched again, as it began to move away from the pier.

She felt dizzy, and that made it hard to get up. She could feel her will slipping away, releasing the shadows holding the third man. She tried to maintain their strength, but finally had to let them dissipate. .

What did we get ourselves into?


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

Monday, June 4, 2018

“Find the Girl” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 37: Eddiwarth

Faloren was older, and his gait was deliberate, but the two young men had to both hustle to catch up. Eddiwarth was the first to speak up as well.

“So, what’s this quest? What’s so important?” His mind raced with scenes of battling dragons and seizing treasures. “Oh, I know! The wood elves are mustering for war, and the GuildMaster wants us to deliver an urgent diplomatic message to them! No! Wait - an ancient relic has been discovered, and we’re to go and retrieve it!”

Faloren stopped and faced them. “You impudent twits really have no idea what’s going on, do you? Personally, I wouldn’t trust you with any task more difficult than fetching me an ale, and you still wouldn't get that right!” He resumed walking.

“The GuildMaster’s daughter, Thissraelle, is missing. You’ve seen her many times here in the Guild Hall, I’m sure. The GuildMistress is beside herself with fear and worry. The Master is more calm, but is upset, nonetheless. We don’t know if she was taken or if she just left on her own. For some reason, he wants someone from your class to go and retrieve her. Something about not being able to spare more experienced members, and it being a ‘good learning opportunity’ for you.” The old teacher waved his fingers in the air to emphasize the quote.

Eddiwarth’s classmate spoke. “How long has she been missing?”

“It was discovered yesterday morning, when she didn’t arrive for breakfast with her family.” He stopped in front of a door, and willed it to move. It slowly swung open and a breeze of the evening air wafted into the hallway as he stepped into the main guild courtyard, where he stopped. He could have opened the door with his hands, and that would have also been easier, in many ways, but he liked using his powers in front of the novices. It helped show them who was in charge.

Eddiwarth didn’t notice. He started straight for the main gate out of the guild hall and into the city. His colleague chased after him. “Hey, wait! There are more questions!”

Eddiwarth turned around, with a look of exasperation. “Go on...”

“Well, where was she in the guild hall last? Where might she have gone? Do we have any ideas who might have taken her?”

Faloren said, “She has been seen in the InnerWall, near the RiverFront.”

“Seen? By who?”

Faloren thought to himself, debating. Finally, he decided to say. “The Guild has oculi hidden to see visions from all over Twynne Rivers.” He enjoyed the look of surprise on the novices faces. He walked past them toward the gate. “Really, you think they’re the Eyes of the Creator, but a lot of them are also the eyes of the Guild.”

He paused and signaled to the guards to open the gate. He handed a small jingling pouch to the two novices, and said, “Find her. Bring her back quickly. Then you can return to your studies.” He gestured to the gate. “If you’re still alive, that is.”

“Go.” He added, as they hesitated. “Now!”


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.