Thursday, January 3, 2019

89 - Stables and Stability - Granthurg - A Tale of Heroes

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


The smell of the warm summer night in the stables lingered with Granthurg as he crossed the courtyard to the main hall of the monastery. The cluster was surrounded by the trees of the Umbrawood Forest, keeping it well isolated from the rest of the world. Still, it wasn’t too far from Dirae, and the cathedral there.

The lantern he carried shone brightly on the ground surrounding his feet. It was a traditional oil lamp, not a magical oculus gem, making the flickering glow. He stepped up onto the back patio of the abbey hall, and began to remove his large soiled boots. He knocked the dirt and muck off of them and set them by the back door, slipping some sandals onto his feet in their place.

In the two short weeks since they had returned from their battle to save the children, the monks of the abbey had been quick to figure out a way to make him sandals. Being a giant, about eight feet tall, his feet were easily twice the size of the largest human in the monastery, if not more. Making him a bed had been much more involved, so in the end, they gave him a thick pad of straw that they refreshed frequently. Being used to sleeping on the hard deck of his barge, he felt that to be the height of luxury.

After dinner this night, he had helped them get the draft animals in the stables, and put the carts away. It was often easier for him to just push the various carts and wagons into place, where it would often take two or three of the monks much more time to do the same work.

Now, as he entered the building, he turned down a hallway toward the great library. This was the time of the day he enjoyed the most. All was quiet, and he could relax by himself...  ...and just learn! There are so many books and so many scrolls here! There is so much to for me to learn!

With a click and a creak, he opened the great oaken doors and stepped into the room. He walked to the large table in the center and set the lantern down. He stepped over to one of the walls. They were covered, except where the windows stood, with shelves of books and racks of scrolls. Next to each window was a candelabra. Granturg carefully removed one of the candles and carried it back to the table to light it from the lantern’s flame. Then, he began stepping around the room, lighting each of the candles mounted by each window.

He was about half-way around when he stopped. In one corner of the room there were some large and comfortable chairs. Thissraelle was sitting there, waiting for him.

Granthurg smiled. Her small high-elven frame seemed to be almost swallowed up in the huge seat. Her whispy, light hair and white tunic contrasted sharply against the deep red-brown leather. She smiled, too, but less enthusiastically.

Oh-oh. Something’s bothering her. I can tell.

He carried on lighting the candles. “It’s been a beautiful summer’s day, hasn’t it?”

“Yes, beautiful.”

Granthurg laughed. “I wasn’t serious.”

She tossed her head back onto the chair and let out a long sigh. “You know me too well.”

Yes, I know you pretty well. He’d only known her about a month. But in that time, they’d travelled and faced dangers together, and shared many secrets. They had become very close friends. “Let me guess: Karendle’s not getting it.”

“No! Not at all!” Thissraelle blurted out. “She doesn’t have a magical bone in her body! There! I said it! She wants it so bad, and she tries so hard, but she just can’t do it!”

“No matter how you show her...?”

“I’ve tried so many different ways to explain it. I’ve tried to teach her so many things.” She wiped her eyes with her hands in a vain attempt to find some clarity, or at least to ease away the tiredness. “Nothing I try works. She gets so tense!”

“What about those flying stones I had to dodge the other day?” He asked, “That seemed to be working.”

“Yes, but that was using the oculus. As long as she’s using the gems, she can use magic. It’s like she has no will of her own. And Eddiwarth! I shouldn’t even start talking about him!”

Granthurg sat down next to her. “He’s not helping?”

“No! Definitely not helping. He jumps in and starts using his own powers to mess with her. He thinks he’s helping, but he just frustrates her more. Today, they got in a big argument. I just left them out in the forest.”

“Maybe you could just turn them both into rocks that they could toss at each other.” The look that she gave him showed that she did not at all think that was funny. “...Or not.”

“I’m not helping them. I don’t know why I’m trying, really.”

There’s more to this. I can tell. He turned in the chair to face her and looked with a skeptical eye.

“I’m serious! Really! Why am I helping them?” She put her head in her hands, then looked up at Granthurg. Her voice got quiet. “You were there. You heard them tell their stories. They were both after me, trying to capture me. Karendle would have sold me off, and Eddiwarth was going to fetch me back to my father. So, why am I helping them?”

I want to tell her that it’s all going to be fine. That they’re a part of the team, and they’ve changed. But I don’t know that for sure, either. He put a hand on her shoulder. It looked awkward, as large as it was, but it seemed to soothe Thissraelle. She leaned into it. “I think you’re the only one I can fully trust, here.”

“You’re helping them because you have a large, kind heart. Really, you’re the heart of the team. It’s true that without any of us, we wouldn’t have been able to rescue the kids. But without you drawing us all together, it wouldn’t have happened in the first place. DeFrantis and Antonerri would have tried on their own.” He let out his own sigh. “And you know how that would have ended.”

“Yes. I guess.” She nodded and leaned up against him. “...But is it safe for me here?”

“It may not be.”

I wish it were, but it might not be.


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, Genevieve Springer!

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