Thursday, March 28, 2019

112 - “The Dragon Scholar” - Tonklyn - A Tale of Heroes

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


As Tonklyn's horse nosed out of the woods and onto a gently sloping and rolling meadow, the mid afternoon sun was already casting shadows of the tall trees of the Umbrawood Forest before him. He nudged his horse forward, then stood still to look ahead. Three other riders followed out of the trailhead in the woods, and waited beside him.

The grasses of the meadow were mostly green, but yellowing slightly in the summer sun, spotted with red and blue wildflowers. An occasional tree or rock outcropping broke up the trail. Below them, in the far distance, they could see the city of Twynne Rivers, surrounded by a ring of shanties and farmland. To the north and to the south, they saw the two branches of the Wynne River, called the Lesser, and the Greater, respectively, flowing into the city where they merged, giving the land a name and livelihood.

Tonklyn breathed in, allowing himself a moment of memories. It had been several years since he had left the city, and he hadn't been back since. It looks like nothing has changed, but everything has changed for me.

“We can probably be there before dark,” one of the riders near Tonklyn suggested, to prompt him into motion.

“Yes. We can.” Tonklyn signaled his horse with his legs and started ahead down the trail. It wasn't really much of a trail. Months of disuse had allowed the grass to overgrow the path, but it could still be seen.

Tonklyn had never liked riding, or traveling at all. He had always been accustomed to living and staying in one place. For his childhood and youth, that had been Twynne Rivers.

He had been apprenticed after ten winters to the librarians and historians in King Twynnham's council halls. For two years, he had swept and scrubbed the floors, dusted the tables, and polished the metalwork all day while learning to read at night. Then they taught him how to file the books, scrolls, maps, and records, and he became a page, fetching and reshelving whatever the great sages of the King demanded.

His eyes swam with images remembered as his horse walked down the meadow.

As he grew in the library, his education had continued, and he learned how to scribe for the sages. They had required him to stand for hours at a time at small and narrow tables built into the walls and shelves of the library. There, he had written as the sages had dictatef the ideas and conclusions of their studies. Words of philosophy, history, and geography had flowed from his pens as the greatest minds of the kingdom spoke. Tonklyn had absorbed it all, fascinated.

The scribe's nooks were scattered throughout the huge library, and the sages had often paced up and down the shelves, forcing Tonklyn to scoop up the papers and scurry to the next nook to keep up and continue writing.

Afterwards, he had spent hours compiling and copying the pages so they could be cataloged, shared, and further debated by the others. Often, one of the wise men would dictate something that confused him. When that happened, Tonklyn would dig out other works from deep in the stacks and study the topic until he understood.

Despite all of the shelving, searching, and chasing, the work in the library had been mostly sedentary, and, since it was the Royal Library, they had all been fed well. During this time in his life, his belly had begun to fill the robes of the the scribe, just as his mind filled the role. He hadn't paid any attention to that, however. He’d been focused on learning.

As Tonklyn and his men rode on through the afternoon, he recognized shapes in the spires and towers of the city. Twynne Rivers was truly a vast and expansive mass of populace.

One topic that had come up repeatedly in the histories was the reign and fall of the Dragon Kings. It had fascinated him. Some historians regarded that era as glorious, civilized, and noble, and others labeled it tyrannical and oppressive. I guess it all depends on who’s writing the book. 

Tonklyn had read them all, obsessed, particularly as he read of the dragon’s decline. None of the histories had been clear on what had led to it. Over the course of a few years, Dragons had interacted with their subjects less and less, isolating themselves. Finally, the various races of mankind, the humans, elves, dwarves, and giants, had all banded together and slain the Dragon King. His wyrmkind ministers and nobles had all been slaughtered, and his palace hold in the western mountains had been laid waste and plundered, and what remained of his treasure had been scattered.

By late afternoon, the meadow trail brought his travelling party near the southern Greater Wynne River. He smiled as the breezes brought him its familiar smell. He recalled travelling on that river. Two years ago, he had applied for, and been granted, a Field Research Quest, to find the lost and abandoned palace of Maxinn III, the final Dragon King. He had left the city on a westbound barge, flowing upriver, driven by the nature powers of the riverman giant, heading to the mountains the Giants called “Dragon’s Teeth”. How appropriate! All of the scholars had seemed to assume that was because of the tall, sharp peaks towering into the clouds, like teeth with smoky breath. Tonklyn had known better.

He had sailed up the river, traversed the mountains, and found the palace.

It was, however, not lost, nor was it abandoned.


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!

Previous Scene, Next Scene
Start the whole story from the beginningStart from where this current story arc begins. Start from where the current story part begins

No comments:

Post a Comment