Wednesday, September 26, 2018

“She’s Just Fine” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 63: Thissraelle

“Thissraelle!”  She raised her head from the crying children at the sound of Granthurg’s voice. His face was wide, covered in worry, surprise, and quite a bit of blood.

“Granthurg! Are you alright?” She released the children from her embrace across the back of the wagon, and reached up to his forehead. It was cut and still drizzling blood over his eye and cheek. “You’re hurt!” She turned to the wagon and began to tear a strip of cloth from the covering.

“I’m fine! Are you harmed? Where’s Antonerri?”

She laughed quietly and turned to him with the torn rag. “I’m OK!” She began wiping his face. It was cut, but not deeply. He winced as she touched it. He looked over and saw the unconscious forms scattered around. He stepped over to Antonerri, who was beginning to moan. Granthurg leaned over him. The side of his face was beginning to bruise, and his shallow breath sounded raspy.

Thissraelle said, quietly, “I can’t heal him now. My powers are drained.”

Granthurg nodded. “We need to leave. I was attacked. There could be more.” Granthurg gently picked Antonerri up and lifted him into the back of the wagon. The children made room for him, and watched Granturg warily. Thissraelle climbed into the back of the wagon with them, and set some blankets under Antonerri’s head. It was definitely Antonerri. He was dressed differently, though. He was wearing a finely made shirt, which was rumpled and roughed, even though it looked newly made. His scruff of a beard was gone, too, shaved off.

She looked out of the back. Granthurg was looking intently at the man on the ground. He bent over and moved his shirt collar aside, as if inspecting the man’s shoulder.  He mumbled something.

“What?” She said

He looked up at her with a quizzical look on his face. “It’s a dragon. Breathing fire. Tattooed on his shoulder.”

Mhmmm.  Is that supposed to mean something?  He stood and walked to the front of the wagon, then climbed up. She and the children had to reach out to steady themselves as his weight shifted the wagon. Then, the horses moved and the wheels creaked and groaned. They surged forward.

She noticed, as they moved and picked up speed, that Granthurg kept looking off to the right, back toward where the fight had happened. After a moment, the wagon paused and stopped. It shook again as Granthurg stepped off.  “What’s happening?” she asked, but didn’t get an answer.  Then, Granturg appeared in the opening at the back of the wagon with another unconscious man. This one, she recognized as the man in grey that had been following them. She looked up with surprise.

“He’s badly hurt, too. I can’t just leave him.”


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.

Monday, September 24, 2018

“Fighting Over What?” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 62: Granthurg

Granthurg shouted, “ANTONERRI!” before he jumped up and broke through the bushes in the hedgerow. He unslung his hammer as he started running. The pounding of his heart in his head matched the heavy thud of his feet on the ground.

He could see Antonerri struggling with the two men at the wagon. Hold on, there, friend! I’m on my way!

In an instant, something swept his feet out from under him, and he fell forward, reaching out to block his fall. He hit the ground hard, and the handle of his hammer bounced and struck the side of his face. That pain was harsh, but immediately a heavy weight landed on his back and grabbed at his neck. The blow knocked Granturg windless, and dropped him fully to the ground.

“You’re going to sell it, aren’t you?” a voice said. A sword blade appeared in his peripheral vision. Granthurg rolled a bit to one side and brought up his arm to shield his face from the blade. The motion caught his attacker off guard for a moment. “You’re going to sell it to the Dragon’s Flame, aren’t you? They’d love to get their hands on it!”

Won’t these people ever leave me alone! He took advantage of the moment by twisting his body the other way, throwing the man off balance. Granthurg rolled away, grabbing his hammer as he did.

They both stood and faced each other. Granturg felt warm blood running down his face. Was that from the hammer or the blade? He wasn’t sure, and didn’t want to lose his focus on the attacker. He held his hammer before him ready to block with the handle or swing with the mass.

“Maybe you idiots would get some useful answers if you just told me what it is you’re after!”

“Maybe I’ll just take it from you after I kill you!”

Granthurg steeled his stance. He could hear Thissraelle’s voice shouting, but couldn’t make out what she was saying. I don’t have time to waste on this! She needs my help! 

“Not today, you won’t!” He lunged ahead. The man was nimble and quick with the sword, but Granthurg blocked his assaults with the hammer’s handle. Twice he landed hard blows with the butt end of the handle. “Does that feel good? It hurts, doesn’t it?”

They danced a tight choreography of thrust, parry, hit, shift. The attacker faked a motion to the left and went in with a lunge from the right. Granthurg twisted to barely avoid the blade, which cut through his vest and shirt. The man stepped back to re-set his stance. Granthurg wiped the blood from his face, then shifted the grip on his hammer.

“Didn’t it ever occur to any of you,” he hissed, “That if I had it, I would use it to defend myself?”

The man’s eyes narrowed, and he rushed in, sword first, reaching in for the kill.

Granthurg shifted, and swept his hammer by the handle, parrying the incoming sword to the side. He continued to swing it up above his shoulder and back down onto his assailants extended hip, with a crackling and crunching noise. With a shriek, the man collapsed onto the ground, writhing in agony.

Granthurg stood and caught his breath.  “You wait here.”


Question for the comment section below: What is it they're trying to get from Granthurg? What do you think it is?


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.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

“She’s All the Rage” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 61: Thissraelle

With a shriek and a loud thud, Thissraelle landed her feet hard on the top of the wagon. The two men who had been fighting with Antonerri stood and looked up at her in surprise, but smirked when they saw her. Her frail high-elf body shook with tension and rage. Her head and hands burst into vivid blue light. Her white cloak, shirt, and hair flew in a magical wind swirling around her.

She pointed at one and spoke with a harsh and cutting tone, “You...,”

She floated slowly down from the wagon top to hover just above the blades of grass, which now lashed back and forth as she approached, “...Will leave...,”

She drifted toward the man who had last been fighting Antonerri, who had been in the wagon tossing the children. “...These children...,”

He reached down to his belt and pulled out a dagger and rushed toward her. She stretched out her arm toward him and he froze, then rose up in the air, his arms and legs swinging wildly as he tried to grasp or kick at anything that would feel like solid ground. “Help! Help! Set me down! Set me down!” He screamed.

His companion ran at her from the other side, crouching low, with an angry scowl. In a few steps, she turned her head and raised her other arm to him, stopping him full in his tracks. As his grimace turned to fear, she swung her arm aside, like she were throwing away garbage. His body followed her motion, tossed through the air, slamming into the back of the wagon hard enough to lurch the wagon forward. The children inside shrieked. He struggled to gain control, to stand up. Another wave of her hand and she slammed him back into the wagon. Finally, he fell still and slumped to the ground.

She turned to back to the remaining slaver and drew him to her until his terrified face looked into hers. She hovered there with him struggling mere inches from her open hand. “You... will leave... the children... be!”

She surged her mind and pushed him away in disgust. He flew across the meadow like a leaf in the wind, crashing across the grass and falling down a hillslope.

She breathed in deep and fell to the ground, gasping. Her mind cleared, her body shaking, her will was drained. She looked at her hands. There was no blue fire. She sat up and ran her fingers back through her hair, pulling it away from her face. The rage was gone.

She turned her head up and looked. There was the wagon, with the defeated slaver lying beneath it. Her eyes raised further, and saw the face of a child staring at her from the inside, with a strange mix of hope and fear.

“Oh, child!” She stood and rushed over, reaching up and taking the child in a tight embrace. Over her shoulder, she could see two others cowering in the depths of the wagon, and she gestured to them as well. “Come! You’re safe, now! You’re safe!”

They scrambled over to her and she held them tight, stroking their hair. She heard the children sobbing mixed with the distant clashing of metal on metal.


Question for the comment section below: What do you think is happening to Granthurg right now? What is happening to Karendle and DeFrantis?


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.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Monthly Monster - Dimensional Cat

We're starting a new feature her in the Hero's Tale Blog - the Monthly Monster! Every so often, we'll publish the stats of a new creature to use to scare, vex, harass, attack, or otherwise annoy your players! These will, of course, be shown in details native to The Hero's Tale, but can easily be adapted to any other game system. If you think of a monster you want to share, post it in the comments, or email us at theherostaletht (at)

Name:  Dimensional Cat
Description: The Dimensional cat appears as a typical, small, gray tabby house cat. As kittens, in fact, they are indistinguishable from their normal, non-magical counterparts. As they mature, however, their tails get a bit longer, and a bit furrier toward the tip, and a knot of bone grows at the top of the head. This is just a small bump and is often hidden by the animal’s fur. The bump becomes the locus of the cat’s dimensional powers.

They are very rare, and there are few who even know they exist. Those who know of them believe that a few normal housecats who were pets of a dimensional mage may have gotten infused with powers, and then bred among themselves. They are often found as pets of unaware humans/humanoids, or by dimensional wizards who know full well what they are.

They are also sometimes found in cities or forests as feral breeding groups of as many as a dozen individuals.

Good, Bad, etc. : Freewill. Most who know of them believe them to be evil. In fact, if a dimensional cat is content living with a particular person, they will likely not do much to change their comfortable status quo. However, some believe that they actively manipulate those they live with or near. Most dimensional cats will predominantly act in their own self-interest.

Intelligence: Slightly higher than animal level. Not quite rising to communicative sentience.
Hearts: 1
Difficulty: Challenging

Str:   -2    Dex:   +2    Frt:    +1   Awr:   +1   Soc:   0 

Attacks\Combat Skills: They can attack with their claws and bite, and these successful attacks will be quite vicious and painful, but they will only cause pain, not loss of hearts. If they fight, they will prefer to use dimensional powers.

Armor/Protections: None

Powers (including WP): Basic Dimensional powers between +1 and +4. Those with a +3 or +4 may well even specialize. If they attack, it will most likely be reality shaping rather than their physical claws. An individual will have anywhere from 3-5 DimDWP. Cats in feral groups or living as pairs in a home are able to draw on each other’s will.

Other possible skills: They move silently, and their size makes it easy for them to conceal themselves.

Special Rules:  If they are socialized to live with humanoids, they will not be afraid, but will sometimes like to be petted. They may be particularly drawn to mages or magic items, particularly with a dimensional power base. Some will be playful and easily distracted by shiny objects, which they will collect in their residence, but not hoard in a stash. Feral dimensional cats will often be fearful and will hide or portal away from people who stumble on them.

Possibility of treasure: The trinkets they gather may at some times be valuable, but the “treasure” they have will typically be whatever is in the home where they live. If a dimensional cat is the pet of a wealthy merchant, there will likely be gold in the home. Feral cats will not likely have significant treasure. They may have acquired an oculus in their stash.

Monday, September 17, 2018

“...With the Greatest of Ease” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 60: Thissraelle

Once they had gotten a good distance past the road that turned off to the north, toward the buildings, Granthurg stepped off the road into the meadow. She followed. They walked, casually, north, but slightly away from the old inn compound. They were trying not to draw attention to themselves.

Thissraelle looked up at Granthurg. I am very lucky to have found a friend like this out in this world. Still, I hardly know him. She looked back down at the meadow at her feet. With all the craziness that I’ve seen since I left the tower just a few days ago, I am amazed to be still alive.

My father tried to trap me, there, but he also taught me well. The powers of light and the dimensions have served me well.

They walked down the backslope of a low hill, and began to turn their path back toward the buildings, toward the hedgerows on the knoll. Granthurg was taller, of course, and was looking back over the hill crest.

But even with that, I feel much safer when I’m near him. Not just safe from danger, either. She looked ahead across the field. I’m not sure if he’ll want to go with me all the way to Emberfire, though.

Granthurg interrupted her reverie with a harsh whisper. “The man with the bundle of sticks is following us.”

“What?” She started up the slope to get a look.

Granthurg stepped before her and crouched. He gestured to her to stay down as well. “He turned down the road to the inn, then stepped off into the meadows. I can’t see him, now.”

“Let’s hurry,” he said, and begun a low squat run behind the hills to the hedges. Once there, they crawled up to the crest to look between the branches of the bushes. They were actually fairly close to the buildings, maybe only a few dozen yards. The buildings themselves were old and falling apart. There were no windows, just spaces with wooden planks covering the way. There were many horses, carts, wagons, and carriages waiting outside the cluster. A few had people near them, waiting for someone to bring out either purchases or money from within. From the compound a rough rutted wagon trail led to the south, back to the main road.

Thissraelle spoke softly, “That’s a lot of wagons. How do that many people fit in that small building?”

Granthurg grunted a muffled noise. She saw him scanning the brush and gentle hills of the meadow, looking for the man. He spoke, half to himself, “He was wearing a gray tunic and carrying a big bundle of sticks.”

“Who is he after?” Thissraelle thought, apparently out loud.

“Maybe he thinks I have that thing they’re looking for.” Granthurg said, “Maybe they’re the ones that are after you.”

She looked up at him, suddenly feeling not so safe. He shrugged.

A sudden loud boom sounded from within the main hall. The walls of the building muffled it a bit, but it was still very strong, and they strained to look to see what had happened. They could make out shouts and shrieks from within the building.

“What was - “ She started to speak, but stopped when people began pouring out of the few exits in the inn. She could hear their shouts more clearly, but there were too many of them to make out any actual words.

They ran to their horses and wagons, and began to mount up and turn away down the path. Some were dragging slaves in ropes or shackles, and they were hindered and slowed by their burdens. These were loaded up into the wagons. Others began fighting in the yard surrounding the buildings.

“Look!” Granthurg pointed. One man was running toward a well-made wagon, a short distance from the others. Under each arm was a young child, and he pushed another child stumbling ahead of him. “Children!”

Children? Her mind’s eye flashed with images of the poverty stricken street kids of Twynne Rivers. Children? More memories of her own childhood in the guild hall. Children? An ugliness welled up inside her, an anger deeper than a simple argument with her parents. She felt her body tense and her breathing quicken. The world around her started to slow.

The man reached the back of the wagon and began handing the kids up to someone waiting there. The children kicked and shouted as they were roughly lifted and dragged into the wagon. As he finished, another figure in rumpled clothing rushed up behind him and tackled him to the ground.

Granthurg shouted, “ANTONERRI!” He scrambled to his feet and crashed through the hedgerow. He unslung his hammer as he started running.

Thissraelle, her eyes huge and raging, lept up into the air and sailed effortlessly over Granturg and the meadow toward the wagon. She didn’t even stop to realize she was flying.


Question for the comment section below: Which of the 5 main characters is the most likeable? The most irritating? The most confusing? The most... (you make one up)?


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.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

“Children in the Chaos” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 59: Antonerri

The explosion shook Antonerri to the floor. His head was dazed, but he struggled back to his feet. Others were also standing up. He tried to hold his head to steady the room, but it didn’t seem to help. DeFrantis! Where is DeFrantis?

He turned to look where he thought she had been. Instead he saw the angry face of the man he had been negotiating her sale with. The man was shouting at him, but Antonerri couldn’t hear the words he was saying over the ringing in his ears. But it was clearing, and he was starting to make out sounds. He looked at the other man, confused, as the man drew back and punched Antonerri full in the face, knocking him back, stunned, onto the floor.

Feet were flying all around him. He rolled over, partly to stand, but mostly to protect himself in the stampede of people fleeing the market. He was hearing, now, and people were shouting and fighting.

“Wizards! Run!”

“It’s the city guard!”


He scrambled to get up, but a knee in his back knocked him down again. A second try got him up on one knee. “DeFrantis!” He called out, as he frantically scanned the room. All he could see was a flurry of bodies. All he could hear were shouts and crashes.

As he turned his head, he saw a man carrying two very young children, one under each arm. Ahead of him, he pushed a third, slightly older child toward a door. The children were screaming and covering their faces with hands that were tied together, and tied to each other. This made it tricky for the one on foot to keep moving, and Antonerri saw the man shouting and pushing him forward.

Children! Antonerri lunged ahead. DeFrantis wanted to find children! She’ll be chasing the children! He pushed through the crowd trying to get to the man. In a moment Antonerri was where he stood, but the man had moved on. People were pressing out the door and running. He followed, rushing through the door.

The bright lights of the noonday sun hit his face and people behind him pushed him through. He stumbled, and caught his balance on a barrell. People were rushing to horses and wagons. Some of the wagons and carriages were finely made, others were old and worn. They hurried to get them loaded and ready. Many were fighting with each other, shouting about who owned which slave.

Where are they? Where did they go?

He stumbled forward, then ran between some wagons. He recognized some of them as having the livery and heraldry of a few of the noble houses of Twynne Rivers. They began rolling away as he came through them. He jumped back to avoid being run over.

He stepped into the clear and scanned the scene, as people mounted up and fled. There they are!

The man who had been carrying the children was roughly handing them up into a wagon, to another man, who grabbed them and threw them down. Antonerri rushed forward.

He threw himself at the man, knocking him to the ground. They rolled, struggling and wrestling, away from the wagon. Antonerri landed on top, and managed to land a good punch to the man’s chest, when he was hit from behind and knocked to the ground. Suddenly, someone else was on top of him, driving a knee into his guts, and pummeling him with fists to his shoulders and face.

Where’s DeFrantis? Then his mind went black.


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.

Monday, September 10, 2018

“I’ve Heard that Boom Before!” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 58: DeFrantis

“Karendle!” DeFrantis began crawling and shuffling her way over. She shielded her head and face with her free hand as dozens of feet ran around her head. The flurry of motion made her dizzy for a moment, her head still ringing from the explosion.

What happened? I was with Antonerri and there was a blast. What happened to you? She reached out and grabbed Karendle’s hand, pulling herself closer.

Antonerri. Where’s Antonerri? I was looking for the children. Is he looking for the children? She tried to stand, to look through the scattering crowd, but dizziness brought her back down.

She raised her head and looked at Karendle. She lay partly on her side, partly on her chest. Her head was up, straining to see DeFrantis. Blood was all over her shirt, all over the floor. You’re hurt. You’re badly hurt. Karendle’s eyes were full of fear and pain. Her right hand reached out toward DeFrantis, and her left tried to support her while clutching a small pouch.

There was an explosion. Where’s Antonerri? Is he OK? There was an explosion. There was a sudden moment of clarity in her mind. There was an explosion. I’ve heard that explosion before. I’ve seen it. Someone threw that explosion at us when we were escaping the guard tower. I’ll never forget it. Someone tried to kill us, then chased after us.

She drew back and looked down at Karendle. Memories filled her head. It was only a few nights ago, but it felt like forever. “That was you!” She gasped and backed away. “That was you hunting after us!”.

Karendle’s mouth moved as if she was trying to speak. Her bloody hand reached up to DeFrantis.

So why didn’t you attack us on the barge? Why did you help defend us? She rose up again, just to her knees this time, and looked around. Much of the room had cleared, but there were still a few people scrambling for the few exits.

Where is Antonerri? Where are the children? What are we doing? She looked back down at Karendle, into her pleading eyes.

With a sigh, she scurried over and turned her more on her side. The dagger was stuck in Karendle’s side, under her left arm. Karendle coughed twice, forcefully, and DeFrantis settled her back down.

What can I do? I’ve used shadows to take away hurt and pain, and heal little scrapes the kids had, but never anything like this! She took a deep breath and put her hand on Karendle’s shoulder. Karendle turned her head and looked up at DeFrantis. She took hold of the dagger, let out her breath, and pulled it out. Karendle shrieked in pain, and jerked. Blood flowed fresh out of the wound over her already-stained shirt. DeFrantis immediately covered the wound with her hands and focused her concentration.  The room was already dark, but a darker mist swirled up over her, around her, and over Karendle.

Karendle coughed and her body jerked. DeFrantis heard her cough again, then again. Karendle rolled over onto DeFrantis’ legs and continued to rasp and wheeze all of the blood and fluid out of her lungs.

The darkness subsided and DeFrantis dropped her head to Karendle’s shaking shoulder.


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.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Diversity - How to Be a Great Narrator (Game Master), #2

I’d like to carry on with the theme that I started in my last HTBAGN (now pronounced “hit-boggan”) post. In that post, I talked about having an “open chair” policy for anyone that wants to come over and game. Our gaming group has seemed to become a magnet for people with disabilitities. 

I want to start off on this topic by telling you about one of our group members. I won’t use his name. One day, as we were gaming our usual friday night game, there was a knock on the door. I answered it, and saw a nervous, but pleasant-looking chap standing there. After I said hello, he said something like, “Hello. Is this where the game is going on?”

I was a little taken back, so I hesitated. It turns out that one of our group members had invited him to come play with us. But that member wasn’t there that night, and hadn’t mentioned to me that he’d be inviting anyone. 

I wasn’t sure what to do. But it only took me a moment of internal debate to swing the door open and let him in. He’s been coming pretty much every week since then.

We’ve gotten to know him. He’s told us that he’s on the Autism spectrum, and we can kinda tell that in some of his behaviors. He hesitates to make eye contact, and his characters are, well, unique, to say the least.

Nonetheless, he’s become a welcome member of our group, and we’ve come to enjoy his creativity.

Sometimes, though, I’ve thought back on that first night, and considered how difficult it must have been for him to reach out and find us, just on the recommendation of a friend. A friend, who, wasn’t even there at the time! The social struggles that many on the Autism spectrum can have must have made that a particularly difficult challenge. I sometimes think that it must have been quite a risk for him. I’m quite pleased that he took that risk. Our lives are richer for it.

Some practical thoughts, and some questions:

We’ve had several gamers at our table who are “on the spectrum” and have been diagnosed with some level of ASD. How does one integrate them into an adventure, and into a gaming group. Here are some thoughts (from someone who is definitely NOT an expert):

  • Integrate them. Engage them in the game like any other player. Help them set up characters if they’ve never played RPGs or never played your system, and just get them into the game, just like any other person at your table.
  • Give them plenty of space. That’s a tricky one, because I don’t mean to isolate or avoid them. I mean, when they do something that “doesn’t quite fit in”, either in game or in the room, let them. Have the game respond to them as they choose, kinda like the game is normally supposed to. There is always a lot of banter around the table about what should be done, and there is always a time when any player says, “I’m doing this or that thing.” As a GM, you respond to that. So, allow that same freedom of choice for all players. 
  • Overall, I’m saying to just engage them as you would any other player, and it will all work out.

Now, if any of you reading this have personal or professional experience in this area, I would love to have a conversation (phone or social media) about additional ideas about gaming and ASD. Any thoughts?


Here I'm just talking about my ideas for being a Narrator (a GM), in the world of The Hero's Tale, Family Friendly RPGs. Here's more info on The Hero's Tale, and family friendly RPGing.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

“I See Them!” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 57: DeFrantis

The moment hung heavily in the air. DeFrantis stood, frozen, in front of Antonerri and an unknown human man. She stared at his feet, her arms tense. She gently flexed her wrists. They were tied, it’s true, but lightly. She could scrunch her hands together and slip them out of the ropes very easily. They were only there for show. The man had made an offer, and Antonerri was silent.

What’s he thinking? I hope he’s playing this like he’s considering the offer. He’s probably scared to death. He doesn’t have a lot of practice playing a slaver. Maybe he can work that to his advantage.

Antonerri cleared his throat and finally spoke. “Hmmm.  Two gold is a lot. I could buy a lot with two gold.”

No! You’re not supposed to actually sell me!

“But I have to split any coin I get with her father. I’ll have to go at least four.” She heard Antonerri’s voice, trying to sound resolute. “At least four gold pieces.”

The other man laughed. “You’ll not get even two from anyone but me! Look at her!”  She began to glance from side to side, always keeping her head down, trying to figure out what was happening around her. She vaguely heard Antonerri’s voice responding. As she looked to her right, through the forest of legs and torsos, she thought she saw a small person’s bare foot.

He head snapped to her right and her eyes focused, shifting forward and back to see through the people. Yes! There they are! She could clearly see two children - no, three - huddled close together. They were dressed in dirty, ill-fitting tunics and without shoes. Her body tensed as chills shivered through her. They look so lost! I have to save them! Wait! No. I have to follow them. I have to find who’s buying them and where they’re being taken - 

She looked up at Antonerri, but his attention was on the buyer’s face. They were deep in negotiations, but the thoughts in her head blocked out any words she was hearing. She shook her head toward the children to try and get his attention. It wasn’t working. She looked back at the children, but like a spider on the floor, they were gone.

Wait! Where did they go? I only looked away! Where are they? She leaned her body to get a better look at where they were, but other captives and sellers had moved in her way. She lifted up on her toes and craned her neck, but she was not very tall in the first place, and couldn’t see over the press of people. She suddenly heard the buyer’s voice cut through.

“Hey, where are you going?” She looked at him, then at Antonerri and suddenly realized she had slipped several feet away, and the rope was tugging at her hands. “You’d better keep your maid in line!” Antonerri was stunned, not sure what to do.

DeFrantis immediately went back to her demure role, but glanced up and pointed to where she saw the children with her head. Please, just look over there! Help me find them!

A loud crash and shouts from the other side of the room interrupted the hesitation of the instant. Everyone’s head turned. Sellers and buyers alike were shouting and falling away from what looked like a fight. Someone bumped into DeFrantis and knocked her over. Immediately, she shouted and moved her hands to shelter her face from the rushing feet around her. The rope seemed loose, so she started working her hands free. She rolled over and tried to get up on her knees, but it was difficult with tied hands.

“Antonerri!” She called out, but his voice was lost in the noise.

My hands are free! Now it was easy for her to lean forward and stand. Her street instincts reminded her to stay fairly low, for a more solid balance. She looked left, and right, searching for both the children and Antonerri.

A loud and bright explosion instantly lit the small room and knocked everyone off their feet, either struck by it’s force or ducking for cover. The concussion left DeFrantis stunned. As the ringing in her ears subsided, she sat up and shook her head, crawling away from where the explosion had happened.

She started to make out actual voices, mostly shouting things like, “Wizards!” and “Run!” She saw people begin to flood away from the room looking for exits wherever they could. As she crawled and struggled to stand, she saw a familiar face on the floor, contorted in pain.

“Karendle? What... ?” Her voice trailed off as she saw the dagger and the blood.


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.

Monday, September 3, 2018

“A walk in the Countryside” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 56: Granthurg

Granthurg and Thissraelle left the chapel and walked in silence. It was just before mid-day, so the streets were very busy with townspeople going about their business. In spite of the noise around them, they said nothing to each other.

Their original plan had been for each group to find out what they could and to reconvene at the inn for further planning. Somehow, Granthurg felt an urgency to go where Brother Mathazar had directed them. In a hushed voice, the acolyte had said, “Keep following the main road west, along the river. You’ll leave the town. Soon, you’ll find a way that turns off to the north and leads to a few buildings. One of those buildings used to be a waypoint inn. It’s the dark market, now.”

Brother Mathazar continued, “But be cautious, and ready. If you’re attacked and defeated, you’ll be taken and sold. I daresay, you’d both get a pretty hefty price. You, for your strength.” He had motioned to Granthurg, then to Thissraelle, “And you, for, well... Other things.”

After the quiet pause that followed, he’d added, “You’re both very selfless and brave for helping your friends. I wish you the very best!”

It wasn’t long before the buildings became groves, meadows, and farmlands. They had been plowed and sown, but the crops were only beginning to appear above the ground. Keeping the unwanted weeds away was a constant task, and there were farmers and vassals out in the fields striking at them with hoes and digging them with sticks.

They were less than a mile from the edge of the town when they saw the small cluster of buildings around a larger, central structure. There were lots of wagons and horses tied to posts and fences around the perimeter.

“Hmph.” Granthurg grunted, “For such a remote place, there are a lot of people.”

Thissraelle nodded, “We probably shouldn’t approach from the road.”

“Good point.” He looked around. “How about that knoll with the hedges on the far side?”

“We’ll keep walking on the road as if we’re passing onward, and then double back.” She drew her cloak around her, in spite of the noonday sun.

A wagon started leave the compound, its driver steering the team along the narrow, but well-worn path to the main road. They picked up their pace a bit so they wouldn’t cross their paths.

Another man had been walking along behind them. He carried a bulging pack over his shoulder, filled with a bundle of sticks.

Granthurg glanced down at Thisraelle and turned his gaze back to the road.


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.