Thursday, July 18, 2019

144 - "More Fear, More Friends, More Light” - Thissraelle - A Tale of Heroes

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


Thissraelle and Eddiwarth ran, trying to follow where Karendle had gone. The haze was thick, making it difficult to see.

"Karendle!" She shouted. "Where did you go?"

"This way!" Karendle's voice sounded from up ahead and off to the right. Thissraelle coughed and slowed to a walk. She could feel the heat from the flames not far from her. It burned against her skin, but she had to keep on.

"Over here! Quick."

Thissraelle turned toward the voice and stepped into a hallway running away from the aisle. Karendle stood at the base of a stairway in the left side of the hall. The way was blocked by flames from burning rubble.

Karendle was staring at an oculus in each hand, like she was trying to figure out which one to use. She looked up as Thissraelle approached. "I can hear people shouting from up these stairs! I don’t know how to get past these flames!"

Thissraelle studied the situation, using her hands to shield herself from the heat. I'm not sure, either. Maybe I can make a portal to get us past the flames? 

"Hold on, I think I can do this!" Eddiwarth stepped up between them, then, holding his hands out before him, moved toward the flames. "Messing with fire is how I first learned magic. I almost burned my house down once."

Thissraelle and Karendle glanced at each other with confusion.

“Okay, twice.”

"Be careful!" Thissraelle said after him. Well, that's kind of obvious.

He stepped up close to the fire and waved his hands, palms out, as if he was parting the flames and smoke. Nothing happened at first, but after two or three tries, the fire obeyed and receded. He stepped through the gap, jumping up the stairs, and then gestured for them to follow.

Thissraelle and Karendle weaved over the hot clutter where the fire had been, then rushed up the stairs. They doubled back at the first landing and climbed the second flight, and then burst out into the second level hallway.

Two vicious drakes were on the floor a short distance before them, attacking a man laying prone. He was desperately struggling to protect himself from their teeth and claws. One was gripping his torso with the claws of its back legs, while slashing at his chest and face. The man used his arms to deflect the bites and snaps of its snaking head. Another drake had coiled itself tight around his leg and had bitten into it deeply.

A quick glance to the left showed more flames and wounded monks. When she looked to the right, she saw the biggest dark monster she had ever seen. A dragon, clawing over the balcony onto the gallery above the nave. It's tail coiled around a pillar and its neck and head struck out, snapping at a thin group of defenders. They looked so small before the beast. It bared its teeth and screamed, and a wave of absolute horror rushed over her, ripping a scream from deep in her throat. She dropped to her knees and hid her face in her arms.

No! I can't run! People are hurting! She raised her head. Karendle was frozen with fear, and Eddiwarth was backing away.

No! I will NOT run! From deep inside, her will surged up. She felt it first as a heat, a quickening in her chest, then it followed as light to her hands. It formed into a bright shaft, and coalesced into a shining spear of pure light.

She got to her feet. "Eddiwarth! Help me with him!" She pointed at the man on the floor before them, and then pointed to the right. "Karendle! The big one" They hesitated for just a breath, then Karendle checked the oculi in her hands and jumped toward the others engaging the big drake.

Thissraelle rushed forward, thrusting the point of her lightspear at the drake on the man's chest. It twisted and dodged it's head, screaming at her. "I can't hit it!" At least it’s stopped attacking the man!

Eddiwarth reached out his hand, slightly glowing blue, and used his mind to force the drake's head up. It hissed and tried to flame at him, but was only able to drool a little drizzle of flame. Eddiwarth threw the beast back, off the man, slamming it hard into the opposite wall of the hallway.

His hands suddenly free, the man reached down and grabbed the head of the drake wrapped around his legs and held on. Immobilized like that, it was easy for Thissraelle to drive the lightspear down into its chest. It screeched, and a second strike made it go limp.

She saw the man wince as he heaved the drake off his leg and tossed it aside. He slumped back down to the floor, then reached up to wipe his face. His arms, chest, and face were torn with scrapes and cuts from the animal's claws. His loose, dark pant leg was torn and stained deep red. More blood was beginning to pool on the floor under his thigh. His chest was gasping for breath. He rolled to his side and tried to stand, but pain and weakness laid him back down.

"No, no! You rest!" Thissraelle held her spear of light out over him and let it dissolve into bright essence of will and filter down into him. He drew in a sharp breath. His arms and legs stretched out, then relaxed as the healing flooded through him. For a moment, Thissraelle felt his pain in her own leg and arms. Then, it was done.

Thissraelle smiled at him. She reached out her hand to help him up.

"Run for cover!"

"Hide yourselves!"

She and Eddiwarth looked down the hall where the shouts had come from. The few who had been fighting the larger lizard in the gallery balcony were scrambling to find a hiding place. The drake was hacking and retching noises came from deep within its throat. It opened its mouth wide, showing smoldering teeth. The archer jumped to hide behind a buttress pillar. Two soldiers of the church guard cowered behind an overturned table. The priest ran and jumped off the balcony.

"No!" Thissraelle shouted and jumped forward.

"Thissraelle! Stop!" Karendle ran down the hall and tackled Thissraelle to the floor.

The drake closed its eyes, then from down in its guts and out its gaping maw it sprayed a streaming spray of flaming vomit, sweeping it's head across the hallway. Karendle spun on the floor, grunted, and raised her right hand, with its oculus. Instantly, a strip of the stone floor of the hall peeled away and raised up, forming a makeshift wall between them and the drake. The burning spit sprayed outward as it splashed against the other side. Karendle, Thissraelle, and Eddiwarth scurried together and huddled in the wall's protection.

The heat, noise, and smoke were overwhelming. Drops of sweat ran down Thissraelle’s face and hair. She gritted her teeth and made herself as small as she could behind the wall. She opened her eyes and saw the man she had just healed there on the floor. She gestured for him to join them in their safe spot. As the drake belched its fires back and forth, he crawled toward them. Thissraelle and Eddiwarth reached out to help draw him beside them.

She couldn’t tell if the roaring in her ears was the drake or the flames. Thissraelle cowered close to the wall Karendle had made, tightly pressed between Eddiwarth and Karendle. The other man also huddled in the safe spot.

Karendle wiped the sweat from her smudged forehead and gestured to the flames on the floor around them. “You glad you found me?”

Thissraelle managed a smile. “Yes, I am.”


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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