Monday, May 13, 2019

125 - “Dragons or Not Dragons” - Korr - A Tale of Heroes

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“And I saw a whole flight of ’em, I swear it! There musta been a half a dozen!”

As Korr and Parith stepped through the flimsy wooden door of the pub, many sets of eyes turned to look. It was dim inside and more than a bit smokey. There were a few lanterns hung from rusty nails hammered into pillars and rafters. Normally, they wouldn't have been lit this early in the day, but the heavy overcast skies and the looming storm made them necessary.

The lanterns shone down on a few tables in a main common hall. To their left was a stone hearth. The fire was not lit on this summer afternoon, even if it was a chilly one. Three men, all human, huddled around a table off to Korr's right. After sizing up Korr and Parith, they returned to their argument.

“They were not dragons.”

“I tell ya, they were! I saw them, flyin’ o'er the city in the deep o’ last night!”

“They weren't dragons. They were drakes. They hide in the high rafters of a few tall churches. Some live in the understreet drains. You see one of them flying about every few months.”

“Aye, but these were bigger than the little drakes!” the first man, shorter and stockier, said, “and there were a lot o’ them!”

Parith stepped further into the hall, past the hearth, but was stopped by a matronly, well-dressed woman in a long, billowy dress. It was lacier and frillier than most barmaid’s dresses, and a garish red and yellow, contrasting to the blues, browns, and roses of her not-at-all subtle makeup. Her large and plentiful jewelry pieces plainly announced to everyone around that she was in charge. She raised both her hands to signal them to not enter any further. She didn’t speak immediately, but eyed them quizzically.

Parith attempted a slight bow. “Pardon me, madam, is this where we might find those of the Guild of the Drunken Sword?”

Her eyes narrowed and her full cheeks stretched into a scowl. “That depends. You got a job you need done? You looking to hire?” Her voice was thin and nasal, and not at all like the daintiness of her clothes.

Parith glanced back at Korr, whose eyes narrowed. Tell her the truth. Parith continued, “Actually, no.”

She stepped to her left and Korr could see that she walked with both a limp and a cane.

“Then you’re wasting your time, then. We’re not taking on new membership right now.”

“Actually, my friend and I are looking merely for some ale,” Parith paused, “and some information.” As she hobbled to the back bar, he added, “We can pay for both.”

She shifted her weight behind the counter and tapped her long, reddened fingernail on it. Parith nudged Korr, who dug a few coppers out of his purse and set them on the counter, unsure of the right amount. Korr shot him a questioning glance, then added a silver to the stack. Parith nodded.

She smiled at the coins, then at her visitors, and began pouring drinks into tall tankards. “I’m sorry for the impatience. We’re a small guild, so we got to be careful. These are strange times. Our wizards are thinking they might have to go into hiding.”

She offered Korr his tankard and he took a sip. It tasted foul, like the ale had not aged well. He tried not to make a face.

She looked at him as if expecting him to and waiting for it. Finally, she said, “Well, there’s your ale. What information are you looking for?”

Korr and Parith both set their tankards down, and Korr said, “We’re looking for a man named Heathrax.”

She waited for him to say more, then shrugged. “What, that’s all you got? A name? Heathrax? What kinda name is that?” She looked at Parith, who also lifted his shoulders.

“We might assume that at one point, he was a great knight. My master spent some time defending the throne, so they may have met in His Majesty’s service.”

She grunted, then screamed out, “Hey, Chokkar!” One of the men who had been arguing at the table turned around in response. “They’re looking for some old knight. Sir Hatrack or something.” The man wandered over to the bar.

“Sir Hatrack?” He laughed.

“Heathrax.” Korr corrected, “And we believe he may have been a knight.”

The man paused and set his own drink on the bar. He was fairly young, but his unkempt beard and frizzy hair made him look much older. “Well, if he was a knight, they’d have a record of his Accolade Ceremony. That would be in the archives of the Cathedral in CentreTown. You could look there.”

Parith frowned and choked down another sip. “That’s a problem. They won’t let us into CentreTown, much less the holiest of cathedral archives.”

“Pfft! That’s nothin’” The man scoffed, “Romey over there can make you papers. He’ll get ya in, for sure!”

Korr looked at Parith, who smirked and nodded. Korr sighed loudly and reached for his purse, yet again.


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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