Monday, December 3, 2018

“A Burning Wall of Fire” - A Tale of Heroes - Scene 82: Karendle

Here's how you can read the story a week (two scenes) ahead of everyone else!


They moved quickly down the darkened hallway. DeFrantis, determined, and surprisingly forceful, was in front. Behind her was Eddiwarth. Karendle was last, herding the five children in front of her.

DeFrantis called out from ahead, “I’m trying to find a doorway to get us out of the building quickly. Then, we’ll be in a place to hide and possibly escape.”

Karendle glanced down at the sword in her hand. She hefted it, feeling its balance. She had picked it up from the men they had just fought. DeFrantis had gotten the other one, and handed off the rondel dagger to Eddiwarth. There’s gonna be a fight. We don’t have much to fight with, but we’ll have to make do.

She was struggling to keep the kids moving. They’re scared, I get it. But we can’t sit down and cry, here! Her mind focused on the hallway and Eddiwarth’s back to keep her own fear and tears down. I just wanted to learn to be a mage. That’s not too crazy to ask, is it? Just learn a few tricks? Now here I am chasing kids and running for my life!

They rushed through an opening into a large hall. DeFrantis and Eddiwarth took in the space quickly, but Karendle couldn’t see as well from the hallway’s end. She could see some candelabras and tapestries on the far wall, and it looks like the ceiling was quite high. Maybe in its day, it was a grand ballroom.

“There’s the door!”  DeFrantis called out. Just as she started to move toward it, Karendle heard heavy footsteps and shouting burst into the room. She nervously shifted the sword from one hand to the other. She could see past Eddiwarth’s shoulders into the room, where four or five armed men stood. It was dark, and she couldn’t get a good look, but the threat was as heavy in the air as the mage’s bane smoke had been.

The hushed moment when the two groups surprised each other was really only a matter of a second or two, but it seemed to suspend time. It broke when DeFrantis said, “Karendle, save the kids!”, and the men rushed forward, swords drawn.

She saw Eddiwarth crouch down low and sweep his hand in front of him. Halfway across the room, flames leapt up from the floor making a high infernal wall. Half of the men were surprised, and backed away from its heat, but others quickly started to turn around it. DeFrantis lunged forward.

Karendle backed the kids into the hallway and stepped between them and the opening to the room. What to do? I can’t just stand here and let the others get killed, but I have to guard the kids, too!

Eddiwarth shifted forward and Karendle moved to the hallway opening to see what was happening. DeFrantis had engaged with one of the men. She was struggling to block his sword blows. Another stepped toward her, and Eddiwarth thrust his hand forward. The man was suddenly in the air, swinging his feet, and flew backward into the wall. DeFrantis slipped and lost her footing on a rug, stumbling backward, then regained her balance. She isn’t doing well! She’s probably saving her powers.

Karendle turned back and looked at the frightened faces hiding in the shadows. Maybe I can help from here, like Eddiword. She dropped to her knees and set her sword down, then reached into her pouch and grabbed for the blue sapphire. Her hands shook as she felt in the bag. She grabbed it and pulled it out, and another oculus fell out and clattered onto the floor. She ignored it, but gripped the blue gem in her hands. Her eyes suddenly focused into the face of the oldest girl. She stood, hopeful, holding out the fallen stone. Her tiny voice bravely spoke, “Here. You dropped this.”

Karendle reached out and took the dull grey stone from the girl. Maybe... That might work!

She looked up at the kids, who were all huddled together in fear. She smiled at them and said, “I have an idea, but I don’t want you to be afraid. I’m not going to hurt you. Can you all be brave for me?”  The oldest girl looked at the others, and then back up at Karendle as they all nodded. Their hopeful, dirty, and tear-streaked faces hit Karendle deep, like a punch to the gut.

“Alright, then!”


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!
Thank you: Chet Cox!

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