Thursday, January 24, 2019

94 - “A Bad Report” - Tonklyn - A Tale of Heroes

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By the time they finished their search of the grounds, stables, larder, and the winery, the sun was set and darkness was closing in. They began to set up a small encampment in the grass between the buildings.

Tonklyn returned to the manor house, and stood again in the great hall, trying to assess what had happened. The oculus hanging from the end of his staff lit the room very dimly, allowing him to only barely make out the shapes of things in the space.  He will not be pleased.

As he thought this, the warm summer air was suddenly blown through with a chilling wind. This was a wind that Tonklyn knew well, and feared. The wind picked up dust and clutter in a swirling vortex at one end of the hall. Darkness gathered around it, as if the wind was sucking the shadows themselves off of the walls and the floor, and blending it with the ash, dirt, and sticks being blown through the air. Slowly, the dark took form and the winds eased. The shifting mists coalesced into a large body with huge black shoulders, out of which grew a long, shifting neck, ending with a large dragon’s head.

Tonklyn immediately dropped to one knee. “Lord Kirraxal, My Master!”

The misty, shadowy, swirly dragon head focused directly on Tonklyn and spoke with a voice that hissed and reverberated through the shadows, “And what is it that won’t be pleasing to me?”

“There is much to report,” Tonklyn began, uncertain how to explain.

“Yes. Well. Go on, and report it.”

Tonklyn sighed, and bowed lower.

“SPEAK! It has taken much of my will to reach out to you, and my patience is low as well!”

“The Dragon’s Flame Chapter here is gone! The manor is a burned out hulk of a building.” Tonklyn took a deep breath. “And we only found five bodies.”

“Five!” The dragon roared, “Five? That chapter had over a dozen men!”

“Yes, my liege. There are signs of a struggle. There are no prisoners. No children, only empty shackles.”

The smoky dragon head looked from side to side. “Did you find the blade?”

Tonklyn shook his head, and mumbled, “No, sire.”


“No, My Liege!” Tonklyn held his breath, then, “Nor the books. The treasury was empty as well!”

“And the stables?”

“Also empty.” The wind began to blow through the ruins again, whipping Tonklyn’s cloak and hair into his face.

“So.” The voice rasped with barely controlled rage, “There was a fight, and the prisoners escaped. Whoever was left decided that there was no point in staying, and made off with what they thought was valuable.”

“So it would seem, Sire.”

“And they didn’t think it wise to SEND ME NOTICE!”

Tonklyn struggled to maintain his position on the floor as the wind spiraled around him. “Apparently not, Sire.” He shouted, above the noise.

The winds blew and the mists darkened, and Tonklyn felt his heart racing with fear. Oh, this is it. It’s all over. I’m done for. He held his hands in front of his face as dust and debris flew past him. The rushing in his ears was deafening and he sank low to keep stable.

Then, as quickly as they had risen, the winds calmed and the shadows fell, back into the walls and the corners of the room. The dragon began to lose its shape, dissipating into the breeze. As it faded, it hissed, “We will deal with them as we find them. They have failed me for the last time. This is but one insignificant chapter of The Dragon’s Flame, and there are many more. Those in Twynne Rivers are preparing. You will leave to go to them with all haste in the morning. You, alone, have served me well, at the very least.”

The dust settled, the tumultuous winds calmed, and silence returned. Only the calls of the forest birds could be heard. Tonklyn raised his face, then his shoulders. He stood and dusted off his cloak. He picked up his staff and steadied the shining oculus hanging from the tip. He slowly walked out of the hall and into the yard. There he saw the incredulous and horrified faces of his guard.

“Well, then. I guess you heard. We’ll leave in the morning.” He swallowed hard, then stepped past them, toward his tent. “Sleep well.”


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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