Monday, April 1, 2019

113 - “Dragon Memories” - Tonklyn - A Tale of Heroes

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As afternoon became twilight, the meadow trail that Tonklyn and his men had been following had merged onto the main road leading eastward into Twynne Rivers. Soon after, they rode by the shanties and shacks of the OuterWall quarter of the city. There were lantern lights shining out of windows onto the streets, but nothing outside to brighten the road itself, like the oculus lamps on the finer, cleaner streets of CenterTowne.

Tonklyn disliked that someone had to drive through these filthy and dangerous neighborhoods to get into the city proper. While it was true that there were City Guardsmen stationed at various points along the main road, trying to protect caravans going in and out, they didn’t pay much attention to smaller groups like his. And, though he had taken care to not dress in finery or his ministerial robes, they certainly didn’t look poor. At least his supports were well armed, and well trained.

What do I have to be afraid of, here? He laughed inside as they passed a few men standing outside of a small pub. I sleep near a dragon! One that frequently reminds me that he prefers the taste of human over cattle. Still, his eyes followed the men with caution as their horses clip-clopped down the dusty roadway.

So much had changed for him in those two years since he’d last been in the city. When he’d left, he had been a lowly apprentice to the sages, given his first journeyman’s task. Honestly, they had initially laughed at his request. Find the fabled Dragon Palace? Where? And what for? In the end, they had acquiesced.

But I knew what I was looking for. I had seen the histories. I had seen what everyone else had ignored. 

In the human histories, there was little mention of the plunder of the palace. Not much was found there after the fall of the Dragon King. Tonklyn had known there had to be more there. The Dragon King’s gold had been legendary. If it had been found, the histories would have mentioned it. It would have changed the course of the nations that followed. He had known that it had to be there, still, waiting for someone to find it.

Getting to the mountains had been hard enough. Then, he had hired a dwarven guide to take him to the palace. It had taken most of his remaining grant money, because no-one had been willing to go there. Even the one he’d hired would only take him half-way up the mountainside. The last miles had been rocky and treacherous. Sometimes hiking the slope, sometimes climbing over slippery rock, cold autumn winds in the higher altitude had made it even more bitter. But he  had finally climbed out onto the ledge that he had seen from so far below.

He rested a while in the mid-day sun, leaning against the rock wall at the back of the ledge, regaining his strength after scaling so far. Next to him was a large opening. It was not natural, like a cave, but carved like a huge doorway. The stones around the opening had been carefully shaped and placed, arched to support the upper reaches. They were chipped and weathered, then, and they had been intricate and beautiful hundreds of years ago.

Tonklyn lit a torch from his pouch and began exploring. The interior was vast and expansive, carved into the mountain with high ceilings and intricate archways. At times, his torchlight wouldn’t even reach the heights. Time and the weather hadn’t ruined things as much inside. It was dusty, and empty, but he could see its past splendor.

He remembered entering a large central chamber, deep in the mountain. His dim torch lit only a few feet into the interior. As he stepped in, he saw some glimmers of reflected light, and a large black mass of boulders. He wondered if the ceiling might have partially collapsed in the room.

Could the glimmer be the the treasure? His heart skipped at the thought. As he stepped forward, he heard a loud sniff, then a deeper snort. The blackened boulders shifted and rolled, scraping loudly across the stone floor. Tonklyn thought to run, but his feet were frozen in fear.

He could see the stones shifting, and saw that they weren’t stone, but muscles, covered in black, scaly skin. Legs stretched out, and stamped onto the floor. A long, snaking neck swept around, and suddenly Tonklyn was staring into the eyes and jaws of an enormous black dragon. Its nose was was only a few feet from Tonklyn’s chest and it sniffed at him, growling. The fear of imminent death swept like a chilled wind over Tonklyn’s skin. The dragon drew its horned head back, away from Tonklyn, opened its hot and spiked-toothed mouth wide, and breathed in, deeply.

A scream ripped from Tonklyn’s chest, and he dropped to his knees, with his face to the floor, covering his head with his hands, and prayed that his death would be quick.


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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