Monday, July 29, 2019

147 - "Burning Down the Church" - Granthurg - A Tale of Heroes

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


Granthurg stood, staring in horror at the fractured and flaming main facade of the Chapel of St Mardon. Many of its stones were strewn on the ground, along with scattered burning fragments of wooden support beams and roofing. From inside, he could hear screaming and strange, unfamiliar shrieking noises. He ran up the steps to the main entrance. He tossed off his cloak and reached behind his back with both hands, one overhead. He grabbed his hammer, unstrapped it, and swung it forward into his hands before stepping over the debris into the chapel.

It was dim inside, the only light coming from the flames of the burning pews and tapestries. It looked about the size of the chapel in Dirae, maybe a little larger, and much more ornate. The walls and pillars were glowing with the erie dancing orange and red of reflected firelight. The vaulted ceiling was rapidly filling with smoke. Out of that haze rushed a black form, wailing and flying toward him.

Granthurg barely had time to react before it slashed a claw into his arm and flapped away. A drake! Why...?

A screech to his right made him spin and raise his hammer just in time to deflect another strike. I can’t see them coming! He ran to a nearby pillar and laid his back against it, crouching a bit in readiness. A small gaggle of monks fled the sanctuary, racing to find an exit. The drakes swooped down to attack them.

Granthurg lunged from his safe place and in a few giant strides was near the terrified brothers. He swung his hammer with full momentum at one of the drakes, but it snaked its body in the air, avoiding the hit, then flapped its wings hard to gain air. There wasn’t much room for it in this corner of the chapel, so it dropped and landed across the back of several of the unburned pews. They creaked under its weight. It flipped its head around to face Granthurg.

“Run!” Granthurg yelled to the monks. “I’ll hold it back!” He didn’t look, but he heard their sandals scraping across the floor.

The drake’s body was about the size of a man, though slightly smaller than Granthurg. Its neck was long, probably a good three to four feet of flexible strength. Its long tail whisked through the air, raising up behind its body. It opened up its maw and hissed at him menacingly, then Granthurg noticed it churning and gagging its belly and neck. Oh, that doesn’t look good.

Granthurg dove for the relative cover of the pews as the drake spit flames across the chapel where he had been standing. He crawled to the left on the ground for a space, then jumped to his feet and rushed along the benches toward the drake. He swung his hammer and landed a solid blow directly on the beast’s shoulder with a crunch. The drake howled in pain, it’s mouth still dripping flaming drool. It thrashed across the chapel and swung its long tail, hitting Granthurg and sending him tumbling over the backs of cracked benches.

He sat up and shook his head. As his eyes cleared, he saw his hammer laying on the floor not to far from his feet. He reached for it, making his shoulder hurt from the smaller drake's claws.

He saw a dark figure running along the other side of the chapel. In a moment, he realized that it was one of the wizards he had seen in the street, the one in black. Another man in a white tunic, a guard or soldier, pursued him, but not as quickly. What happened to the other mage?

Granthurg wasn't going to let him escape. There were too many questions. The giant scooped up his hammer, leapt to his feet, and ran to intercept. He thundered around the clutter of the main entrance just in time to face the wizard.

The mage turned around and ran, dashing up a spiral staircase behind him. Granthurg gave chase just as the guard limped into view.

“I'll catch him!” Granthurg shouted, “Where do these stairs go?”

“To the balcony and the bell tower!”

Granthurg sped up the stairs.


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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