Monday, September 30, 2019

164 - “Knowledge is Power” - Tonklyn - A Tale of Heroes

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


The rush of cold air blew on Tonklyn's face as he hurried through the corridor. That, and the large book he carried in his arms, made it hard for him to move quickly, in spite of his excitement.

He had rushed from his own pleasantly warmed chamber, up several flights of dark stairs, to the grand and spacious room where Kirraxal always rested. It was sparsely decorated with only a few tapestries and tables, and a padded pillow bed in the shape of a gigantic circle in the middle. It held the impression of where the dragon slept, with his head, body, and tail curled around. The air was always cold because of the altitude, and also the wide and open corridor leading to the landing terrace outside. Kirraxal liked it cold.

Not finding the dragon on the bed, Tonklyn had run through the great hallway. It was night, so he had struggled to see the opening. The autumn winds blowing across the mountains and across the terrace made a chilling draft. That had made the passage a bit easier to find.

He burst out onto the terrace, gasping for air, and fell to his knees.

"Master!" He choked out with broken breaths, "I have something to show you!"

The dragon turned his head and looked to Tonklyn with a scowl. He had been looking out across the expanse of lands before the mountains, taking in the night air. He huffed and blew acrid smoke across the terrace, which wafted past Tonklyn. “What? Is it good?”

“Oh, yes!” Tonklyn insisted, “I think you’ll find this discovery very interesting, if I’m right.”

“And if you’re wrong?” The dragon was skeptical. “You’ve been digging through those books ever since you returned from Twynne Rivers. What is it you’re searching for? I’m getting impatient.”

“We’ll need to be in your chamber for this.” Tonklyn started to walk back into the corridor.

Kirraxal followed and complained, “If, as you say, the city is in chaos, why are we still here? Why should I not play a move, kill the king, and assert my rule? I don’t like the delay.”

“The city is confused, it’s true. The church is weak; the guild is disbanded. But the king, himself, still rules strong, and his defenses are even more focused now. To attack now would be certain defeat.”

“You think I can’t kill a single human king?”

“Easily. But you’d have to wade through armies of defenses first.” Tonklyn stepped into the main chamber and walked to a table. With a heft, he set down the book and flipped it open to the page he’d been marking with his finger. “The time is not yet right.” Tonklyn walked over to a spot on the wall that circled around the dragon’s lair. He moved one of the tapestries aside and began to inspect the wall behind it.

“What are you looking for?”

“Do you remember when you first met me? When I first became your Chancellor?”
Kirraxal harrumphed again.

“As you tried to roast me alive, you burned out much of the furnishings and accessories in the room. For a long time, the chamber was quite bare. We had to spend a lot of time cleaning it up and remaking it with new things.”


“AH!” Tonklyn came out from behind the tapestry, gripped its lower edge, and with a heave, tore it down.

“So, now you wish to redecorate? Is this what my kingdom comes to?”

“Right here! Do you see these glyphs? They’re carved into the wall.”

Kirraxal stepped up and looked. He could see the indentations, but he looked at Tonklyn, confused.

“I first saw these when we were rebuilding the room. I didn’t understand what they were then. Can you read them?”

Kirraxal narrowed his eyes, then slowly shook his head.

“Well, I think I can, now. These glyphs are in the dragonkin script!” Tonklyn stepped back to the table, and pushed it toward the wall. “The book I fetched from the cathedral explains some of them. If I’m right, this will be very exciting!” He began turning pages, looking back and forth from the glyphs on the wall and the book.

He walked back to the wall and pointed at the markings one at a time. “Dreln, aath, jex, heth, klard. Do you see?”

The dragon raised his head indignantly.

Tonkly mused, “Hmmm... Interesting. That means a human can read dragonkin, and a dragon can’t.” He was not even trying to hide his smirk.

“Tread lightly, human. Tell me what it means.”

“These tell us that there is a possibly a room behind this wall. Even better, I’ll show you.” Tonklyn turned the book toward Kirraxal. “With a claw of your left hand, draw these three key glyphs onto the wall next to those carved in.”

The dragon hesitated, and Tonklyn pointed at the book. “These ones, right here. You have to do it to trigger their power. I'm not a dragon.”

Kirraxal studied them with intensity, then shifted and raised his hand. He pointed a claw and began scratching the first glyph.

"Aath," Tonklyn named them as Kirraxal wrote, "jex, shon."

As soon as the last glyph was done, the wall began to glow, then to dissolve. Kirraxal reared back in surprise and snaked his neck forward to look more closely. Tonklyn grabbed his staff and lit up the oculus with a bright light.

The wall vanished completely and the sparkling color of gold reflected back out of the space it revealed. Coins, vases, chalices, and statues were heaped in an immense golden pile on the floor. Tables and chests around the perimeter displayed jewelry, swords, shields, and gems.

It was true! This is what I was searching for so long ago! No one believed me! With a hushed gasp, Tonklyn stepped forward. Kirraxal dropped his foot hard on the stone before him, blocking his path. The dragon scowled, then moved in to inspect the hoard.

Tonklyn took a breath and followed him. He ran his hands under the coins and raised them up, letting the gold pieces drain from his open palms as if they were water. "Never in my life have I seen this much wealth! I was right! I knew it hadn't all been plundered!" He tossed the last of the coins back on the stack and picked up an ornate and delicate chain. "Just think what we could do with resources like this!"

Kirraxal hissed, "We? This gold is mine!"

"Of course, my liege!" Tonklyn bowed quickly and humbly, "but just think of how this could be used to further your cause! Towers, armies, agents, siege engines... Wealth buys power! All would bow-" He paused and caught his breath. By the Creator’s Light, I don’t believe it! There it is!

“What do you see?” Kirraxal stepped up behind him and looked over his head. On a table covered in fine black velvet rested a large half-circle of gilt metal, several feet across, set with hundreds of glistening gems in rising points.

Tonklyn whispered, "The Crown of the Dragon Kings!"

Kirraxal reached forward and lifted it. Tonklyn would have never been able to, but it was easy for the dragon. He snaked his head down, set it in place above his eyes, and raised up in the chamber. He roared and the sound shook the walls.

Tonklyn dropped immediately to his knees. "Your Majesty!" he shouted, "In this, the moment of your coronation, I am always your servant!"

Well, always for now, anyway.


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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