Monday, October 8, 2018

“The Dragon’s Flame” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 66: Granthurg

The rain wasn’t hard, but it was steady, forming pools and streams in the street. Grathurg and Thissraelle held their cloaks tightly as they moved through the dark from the cathedral to the wharf.

“Slow down a little!” Thissraelle complained, “Where are you going?”

“Back to the barge. And I don’t want to be seen.” He said, glancing back over his shoulder. She ran a few steps to catch up to him.

“What’s at the barge?”

“Answers, I hope.” He kept up his stride. Assuming everything is still there.

They approached the wharf. The waterfront in Dirae was pretty long, and there were several docking ports for boats and barges. There were crates and boxes all along the street above the docks, and Granthurg slipped between them to cover his movement. It wasn’t easy, as tall as he was. Thissraelle followed suit.

“You OK?” He asked, as they paused behind some cargo at the top of the dock.  She nodded.  He looked up and down the riverfront, illuminated by a couple of bright oculi suspended on poles high above the wharf structure. He moved quickly, but carefully down the slippery dock to his barge. When he got there he stepped onto it, and helped Thissraelle. He immediately moved past their own cargo toward the steering platform at the stern. As he did, he saw that the boxes and crates had been untethered and tossed around. Many had been opened, with their contents strewn over the deck, now soaked and ruined. He heard Thissraelle say, “What happened here?”

Granthurg stepped over the clutter and said, “They’ve been here. I knew it. They probably searched here when their man didn’t come back from the dark market. I’m glad we were safe up in the Cathedral.”

He stepped up onto the platform, under the tarp. The noise of the rain beating on it was oppressive. One of the barge’s lighting oculi had been taken, and the other was dim, making it hard to see. Before him on the deck was his trunk, opened and overturned. He sighed and bent down, turning it upright. He knelt and began putting scrolls and clothing back into the trunk. Thissraelle knelt next to him and helped. “Some of these got a little wet from the rain. Still, it looks like they’re not badly damaged.” They latched the trunk closed.

“Is that what you wanted? Your scrolls?” Thissraelle asked.

“Yes, partly.”  But there’s more. Before she could ask, Granthurg had turned around and stepped off the stern of the barge, landing in the river with a huge splash.

“Granthurg!” Thissraelle scrambled to the edge of the platform, and looked over just as his head bobbed up out of the water. He spat and shook the drops from his face, a gesture that was a bit useless in the rain. Then he rose up and stood on the bottom. The water was just below his shoulder. He smiled up at her. “It’s not that deep here.” He stepped forward, then ducked his head as he passed under the barge, between the long floats that kept it buoyant. He felt along the floats as he moved further into the darkness, his hands searching.

“Are you OK back there?” Thissraelle was leaning over, with the rain falling on her head, trying to look over the edge.

His hands hit the box, and he reached up to untie it. Once it was freed, he held it over his head and moved through the water back to the stern. His boots were slow on the slippery, muddy riverbed as he ducked to come out from under the barge.

He handed it up to Thissraelle. It was a small, wooden box, only a few feet long and a half a foot wide. She set it on the platform.

“Can you lift me up?” Granthurg said with a smile.

Thissraelle laughed a little at the irony, then extended her hand. Nothing happened. Granthurg looked up, blinking in the rain.

“Hang on”, she said, and refocused. Her hand began glowing slightly with a shade of blue, and Granthurg raised up, dripping, until he was even with the platform. He hovered there, and shook most of the water out of his shirt and pants, then stepped onto the barge. He knelt and reached for the box, being careful not to drip on it.

“What is it?” Thisraelle leaned in to look.

“I don’t know. It’s Rinkmoor’s. I suspect it’s what these attackers have been after, so I hid it that night that everyone else slept in the inn.” Granthurg set it in front of him. “It’s not mine, so I didn’t want to open it. But if our life is at risk, I need to know what we’re dealing with.” He looked at her, as if for approval, or reassurance.  She nodded.

He reached to his right and grabbed a small metal wrench from the deck, and easily twisted off the lock. Gently, he raised the lid.

Inside was a beautifully ornate dagger, with a curved white blade and a finely stitched leather hilt, set on soft black velvet. Granthurg picked it up and turned it in his hands. The blade looked like ivory, but not like any he had seen before, and was etched with intricate and overlapping lines. The crosspiece was a dark metal and shaped like two arms with clawed hands. The pommel at the end was a large disc with a pattern carved into it. Granthurg turned it in the dim light to see it better, and sharply drew in his breath. “Oh, Rinkmorr, what have you gotten yourself into?”

“What?” Thisraelle asked, “What is it?”

He turned the blade to show her the design. It was a dragon, breathing fire.


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. If you like this story, support us at our Patreon!

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