Monday, August 5, 2019

149 - "Wizards and Dragons” - Thissraelle - A Tale of Heroes

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


A deep man’s voice echoed through the Grand Cathedral. “BEAST OF THE DESTROYER, YOU WILL NOT PREVAIL!”

What’s that? Thissraelle stood, leaning against Karendle's newly formed rock wall. It was quite warm from the fires that had just been spit all over the other side. She carefully raised her eyes above the jagged edge of the rock. The horrific muck retched from the innards of the drake continued to burn all around her. Other things in the hallway, rugs and tapestries, were now also burning, making it difficult to see.

“Stay down!” Eddiwarth warned.

“What do you see?” Karendle added.

A bright light shone from the air in the center of the nave. Its brightness cut through the flames and smoke, casting the drake and the balcony structures into harsh silhouette. In the midst of the light floated the form of a man wearing long white robes. He held a staff in his hands, with an oculus at the head. The huge stone was radiant with brilliant white light. That’s the priest! The drake twisted its head around to face him, and it shrieked.

“NOW YOU DIE!” The priest extended his hand, raising the staff over his head. A shaft of white shot from the stone and hit the drake’s torso, driving fully through it and exploding into the edge of the balcony. The crack of the strike echoed through the vaulted ceilings and sent pieces of shattered rock and drake flying down the hallway. Thissraelle hid her eyes from the blinding flash and ducked back behind the wall. Karendle, Eddiwarth, and the man who had been healed all huddled as the explosion rushed past them.

Thissraelle’s ears rang. She blinked her eyes to clear them, then raised up and looked again. The drake, blown nearly in half, slowly fell outward, toppling below with the crumbling remains of the section of the gallery it had clung to. It crashed with the stones onto the burning pews down below.

Thissraelle looked to left and right. The archer was still hiding behind the now weakened and crumbling pillar. The guards on the other side were laying under the shattered remains of the table. It had offered them precious little protection. She saw at least one of them moving. They’re hurt! I’ve got to get to them.

 The explosion of light had blown a lot of the flames away, but much was still burning around them. “Eddiwarth! Get up!” She grabbed him by the shirt sleeve. “Can you take care of the flames?”

Flustered, he scrambled to his feet. “Yeah! Hold on...” He steadied himself against the stones of their wall, and gestured at the burning floor. Nothing happened. “Oh, come ON!” He made the gesture again, with frustrated urgency, and the flames obeyed, extinguishing like candles on a cake.

She rushed toward the gallery, toward the men lying on the floor. She had to levitate herself over some of the rubble to get to them. Eddiwarth and Karendle followed as best they could.

She heard a man shout, “Parith! Are you well?” She glanced up and saw the one who had been with them behind the wall. He was limping low toward the archer. Turning back to the guards, she tried to move some of the remains of the table away from the man underneath it. She found she had to call up her will to be able to lift the splintered boards with her mind. It was still hard to move them. She felt very tired. Soon, Eddiwarth arrived and began to help. The soldiers stirred and moaned.

“Hold on,” Thissraelle said, to comfort them, “we’re going to help you!” The elite tunics they wore over chain armor were scorched and riddled with small rips, but they seemed to be intact and not burned. “Can you move?” One of them, mostly freed of debris, began to roll over. He seemed more dazed than damaged.

“Oh, shaking earth!” Karendle swore.

“What?” Thissraelle looked up from her work. Karendle stared with fear out over the nave through the gaping gash in the balcony. The light shining on her from the priest was not as blindingly bright as it had been moments before. Thissraelle followed her gaze.

Two other wizards rose up into the air above the sanctuary. They stood on a huge, billowing, growing cone of pure darkness. One, wearing black robes, had his arms out to his sides, his palms up, as he lifted them both on the magical pillar. The other man, in deep blood red, laughed as he raised his arms to work his own magic.

Thissraelle instantly recognized the robes the wizards wore. Her breath caught in her throat, and her heartbeat stopped. She had grown up seeing wizards and wizarding students wearing those same robes. Her father had worn more masterful versions of those robes. No, it can’t be! Not the Guild! He would never order this! No! No!

The priest was still flying, but quite a bit lower than he had been. He saw the rising menace, and raised his staff in his weary arm. The red wizard flung his hands forward and a bolt of harsh lightning leapt out and struck the priest in the shoulder. The impact slammed him back, smashing him into a pillar above the opposite gallery. He cried out and slid downward, leaving a trail of red splattered and smeared above him. He struggled to float forward, and tried to lift his staff. The dark mage reached out with his hand, as if grabbing something the air before him. Thick ropes of black darkness grew out and lashed around the priest’s chest, down his torso and up around his neck and face. The wizard closed his hand tight and the priest screamed in pain. The staff with the bright oculus tumbled from his hand and clattered onto the floor below.

“NO!” Thissraelle screamed. “You can’t do this!” She ran, stumbling, to the railing of the balcony.

“Thissraelle, stop!” Eddiwarth ran after her.

No, you can’t do this! Father, no! She thrust out her arm, to summon her light. I’ll fight them! I’ll take them! But nothing came to her. She collapsed to her knees, her will spent. The wizard in black looked at her, scowled, and formed a dark, writhing mass in his hand. He twisted back, then threw it straight toward her.

Thissraelle’s mind and world exploded in darkness.

The End of Part 11, and Story Arc 3


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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