Thursday, June 27, 2019

138 - "Fire in the Chapel” - Karendle - A Tale of Heroes

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


Part 11

In the previous part: There seems to be an infestation of drakes gathering in the city of Twynne Rivers. More and more, people are noticing the creatures flying by, especially at night, and are talking about it. Nobody’s sure what’s happening.

After her frustration with Thissraelle, Karendle left the monastery, traveling by barge back to Twynne Rivers. Once she was there, she learned how to use her blue oculus, with the mental powers, to read people’s feelings and impressions. It wasn’t easy for her, however, and it didn’t always work. Still, she sought out those who had given it to her, and had hired her to capture wizards. As she meets with them, she tries to read their thoughts, but only gets emotions and an occasional image. She does not trust them. Still, she does give up the one entrapment oculus she used to hold the wizard that she captured while fighting the slavers in the forest manor. In exchange, she gets a new oculus, a jade filled with nature powers, and some additional money.

She’s happy with that, but still troubled by her falling out with Thissraelle. Reminded of her peaceful stay in the monastery, she goes to the city’s grand cathedral to think things over. She realizes she needs to talk to Thissraelle and apologize.

Maan Korr and Parith Laren are busy looking for someone named Heathrax. While they are doing their searches, Korr tells Parith how he came to learn his fighting style, and how his master gave him this quest. They learn that they might find out about Heathrax in the historical archives of the Church of Three Lights in the city’s grand cathedral. Returning to their temporary home in the bell tower of an abandoned church, they find it occupied. A baby drake has hurt its wing and landed there. Parith feeds it and befriends it. The next day, in spite of the rain, they go to the cathedral.

While all this is going on, Thissraelle, Eddiwarth, and Granthurg have also come back to Twynne Rivers. Granthurg searches for his old employer, Rinkmorr, and learns that he’s probably dead, killed in an attempt to acquire the white-bladed dagger that Granthurg now has. Thissraelle and Eddiwarth search for Karendle, and eventually Eddiwarth finds her in the cathedral. Thissraelle sees the Hall of the Wizard’s Guild and struggles, feeling like she has failed and that she should have never run away from her home and family there.

Eddiwarth consoles her, and together they contact Granthurg and go to the cathedral to find Karendle.

Tonklyn, meanwhile, under the direction of the evil dragon Kirraxal, has his minions gathering wizards and drakes. They plan to launch an attack on the Church of Three Lights, and use that attack to frame the Wizard’s Guild, thus damaging the reputation of the two biggest factions of the Kingdom. The attack, it is revealed, is being planned with the help of insiders from the church, and recruited rogue wizards, including the one captured by Karendle!


138 - "Fire in the Chapel” - Karendle - A Tale of Heroes

A tremendous crack from above shook the cathedral, echoing through the vaults of the nave with a deafening roar and shaking the stone floor underfoot. Karendle's muscles jolted with surprise as she jumped off the pew and spun to face the west entrance and the porch. Stones, timbers, and masonry tumbled from the ceiling onto the last rows of the pews, crushing and splintering them under their weight.

Within moments, the rumble of destruction eased and was replaced by screams and shouts as shocked monks and worshippers ran for the cover of the aisles.

Karendle stood rooted to the floor between the pews where she had been sitting. What had it been? A roof collapse? A lightning strike?

Behind and above her, a crash of breaking glass and a screeching cry made her whirl back toward the altar. A huge winged lizard fell from the skylight above the sanctuary, shattered glass and tumbling rainwater cascading down around it. Its neck alone was longer than a man is tall, and it's scaly skin was a wet shiny black. It twisted and unfolded its wings, flapping twice quickly to break its fall. The motion scattered glass shards, and blew raindrops and wind up and down the length of the nave. It flew toward Karendle, then twisted up to the gallery balcony above the choir, hitting the banisters with a crunch as it gripped the stonework with its claws.

Karendle had never seen anything like it. She stood with gaping eyes, staring in shock and horror. She knew dragons were real, but she’d never seen one. This one was close enough to kill her! Its head snaked around across its back and it shrieked out a shrill sound that ripped through Karendle's spine. It made her scream and scramble under the pews, covering her head with her hands.

What is happening? Screams flew through the air above her, mixed with cries of the monsters and the flaps of more wings. Fleeing footsteps thumped all around her as she crawled further under the pew. The echoes of the noises in the vast cathedral formed a cacophony of fear and chaos. The only sounds she could distinguish from the terrible mass was the pounding of her racing heart in her own head.

Two of the stained glass windows to the right of the aisle exploded inward in a blast of fire, raining glass and burning spit onto two of the friars who were running past. They fell to the floor, screaming, flailing at their burning robes. Karendle stared in horror as the burning quickly overwhelmed them both and they lay still.

She peeked her head out from under the pew. The heat and smell of the flames fueled her fear. Another  drake, smaller than the other one, flew over her head in a flash, spitting flames onto the pews a few rows away. Her muscles tensed, and she felt on the verge of total panic. She could hear even more wings and screeches in the air. This is an all-out attack! I’ve got to get out of here!

She took in a deep breath, and coughed. She forced down her fear, swallowing it like it was a bad stew that wanted to come back up. She began to crawl, low, under the pew, thinking it would give her some protection and maybe even concealment. Elbow and knee, she made her way on her belly to the aisle where she had walked when she first arrived. That would lead her to a way out. At the end of the pew, she stood and ran toward one of the pillars. She put her back to it, using it to shield her from the madness and fury going on in the nave.

Heart pounding, she ran to the next pillar, toward the west entrance. She hid again, gasping for breath in the aisle, which was clouded with dust from the falling masonry and rapidly filling with smoke.

“Help me!” She heard a feeble voice call from the other side of the pillar, “Someone, please.”

Karendle hissed out her breath. She inched around the pillar and twisted her head to look. A man lay face down on the floor between two crushed pews, his legs buried in stone and rubble. He was clawing at the ground, trying to get out from under the debris. As he did, he saw Karendle, and reached up toward her. “Help me!”

She ducked back behind the pillar, and slumped down to her knees. She swore, then swore again. If I stay here, I’ll be killed. I’ve got to get away. I’ve got to get back to the monastery!

“Please, help.”

Karendle hissed out another sigh.


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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