Thursday, June 13, 2019

134 - “A Knave in the Nave” - Karendle - A Tale of Heroes

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This is all wrong. What am I doing here? Karendle stepped carefully, almost reverently, along the aisle to the right inside of the grand old cathedral. She had never seen a building so ornate and intricate. The pillars to her left reached up at least a hundred feet, she guessed, to an arched ceiling painted like the sky. Even though the rain of the late afternoon had made everything prematurely dark, the ceiling and the aisle below were lit by large glowing white oculi mounted in the capitals of each pillar. They gave a heavenly look to the clouds artistically rendered above her.

She almost lost her balance staring up. She reached out and steadied herself on a pillar. Her eyes drifted back down to the floor level.

She could see people in monk's robes walking forward and back in the aisle up ahead. They seemed to be in a hurry, like each was busy on his own task. The brothers back at the monastery never seemed to be that anxious to get anywhere. Maybe that was because this was the big city, not a tiny little abbey in the woods. She watched them disappear into a hallway off to the right.

After leaving the pub earlier in the afternoon, she had wandered the RiverFront streets, unsure what her next steps would be. She hadn't thought this far ahead in her plan. The best she could think of was to go to a shop to look for a heavier cloak against the rain, but even though she now had plenty of money, she just didn't see anything she liked. Neither her mind nor her heart was in a place for shopping.

Before long, she had come to the gate of the finer CentreTowne quarter of the city. She paid the gate tax and walked in, finding herself in awe of the clean streets and magnificent buildings. Soon, she stood before the great cathedral of The Church of Three Lights.
She didn't know anything about the Church. She didn't know what they believed or how they worshipped. She sure didn't believe it. But the rain had been hard and the light from the doors had looked warm.

She stepped from the aisle, turning to her left between a pair of pillars, and walked along one of the pews in the main nave. The ceiling was even higher here, and she could hear the steps of the brothers and other worshippers echoing through the vast space above her. It was also lit by many oculi in the pillars. There were hundreds of panes of glass skylights that, had this been a clear day, would have kept the entire chapel, the nave, the choir, and the sanctuary full of bright sunlight.

She reached out and felt the seat of the pew. It was covered in the smoothest velvet she had ever touched. As she reached the center of the pew, she turned and sat down. As she looked across the nave, she could see a few others sitting scattered through the chapel as well. A few were in small groups, but most were alone, like she was.

She leaned back and took in the enormity of the expanse above her. She could see blurry flashes of lightning in the darkness of the skylights. She suddenly felt very small, very unimportant.

I got what I wanted. She shifted forward in the seat and leaned on her knees, her head down. I got another oculus. I got more money. I did what I was hired to do. That's an accomplishment, right?

As soon as she thought it, however, it sounded wrong, like she was trying to convince herself. It was an accomplishment, to be sure, but it was nothing compared to how she had felt after rescuing the children with DeFrantis and Thissraelle. That was real. That felt right.

Thissraelle! Why does that name keep coming back to me?

All her life she had been alone. She didn’t fit in with the dwarves, and she didn’t fit into the human city, either. I’m not a fighter, and I’m not a wizard. What am I? Who am I?

I’m a knave. A bounty hunter. I bring people down for a living.

She rubbed her temple with her fingers, then ran them across the short side of her hair. The haunting understanding in her heart was that the only real friends she had, that she had ever had, were back in the monastery. Why is this so difficult? I’ve got a job to do. I can go catch more wizards. Since I can’t be a wizard, I’ll just use fake wizardry to go bring down real wizards!

She smirked. Is that plan really just as stupid as it sounds in my head?

She sat back and looked up again into the painted clouds on the ceiling. She knew what she needed to do. Facing Thissraelle wouldn’t be easy. She looked up into the beautiful vaulted spaces above her, laughed quietly at herself, then sighed. I need to stop going to church, is what I need.


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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