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.

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