Thursday, March 19, 2020

208 - “Ending the Fight” - Thissraelle - A Tale of Heroes

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Thissraelle collapsed, exhausted, leaning against the fallen pillar. Noise and chaos swarmed around her. She leaned forward and sobbed into her hands.

I’ve killed us all.

What was I thinking? The acrid smoke of the burning around her made her cough. The bridge shook again.

Oh, let’s all take a stroll through the forest. Then we can have a nice picnic in the mountains! I’ve brought them all here to die!

Killed by my own father! Maybe. I don’t know!

It doesn’t matter. Let him take me. Let him kill me. It doesn’t matter, now.

She stood and began walking back along the bridge toward her father. Her companions still fought the green dragon, and it roared and cursed. The flames around her weren’t burning as hot, now, but thin smoke still flowed upward. She coughed. Through the heated air and curling smoke, she could see the wavy image of her father. The great red dragon lay sprawled beside him, broken and distorted.

“Thissraelle, stop!” He called out to her. “Get down!”

Thissraelle kept walking.

“Thissraelle! Get away!”

No. Come take me. Nothing here matters any more. Take me away and let my friends go.

She felt the heat from the ever nearer flames begin to burn on her legs. It was painful, but she kept walking. I am in control. I can choose where I go.

“Thissraelle! STOP!”

A cold whistling wind rushed down from the upper reaches of the canyon, blowing her hair into her face. The chill air also chased away the smoke stinging her tear-stained cheeks. The flames in front of her crackled and sputtered from the rushing. She stopped and looked above her.

A gigantic dragon head followed the wind, flying past her, above the snarling green dragon. Its body followed, snaking and slithering through the canyon air. It was larger than anything she had ever seen, even the eel whales. Its curving body was mostly gray flecked in white, with long white tendrils hanging off its chin, ears and arms, streaming out beside it like banners in a parade. It had tall white spikes along its spine, and though it had wings, even large ones, they remained folded across its back. It circled and flowed through the wind as if held up by deep magic.

The green dragon growled out a threatening roar and launched up into the air before the end of the gray dragon’s tail had even fully passed. The green dragon arched over the bridge and flew straight toward the larger dragon’s head, shouting words that Thissraelle couldn’t understand. They echoed through the canyon, and she dropped to her knees. Eddiwarth crawled over to her.

The gray dragon doubled back toward the bridge, coming up on the other side of the canyon. Its body continued on as if the neck had looped around a giant tree trunk. The green dragon looked much smaller by comparison, like the big drakes at the cathedral would have sized up next to it. Still, the smaller dragon didn’t look at all afraid. It rushed at the larger creature with its claws bared and blowing toxic green gas in a column from its throat.

The gray dragon raised up its head and neck into an S-shaped curve, and unfolded its wings. It threw them forward, three times, and the waves summoned up a cyclone of wind like Thissraelle had never felt before. She huddled down below a fallen pillar with Eddiwarth and Parith to keep from being blown off the bridge. The green dragon didn’t fare so well, losing its stability. It tumbled up the canyon and slammed into the pools on the far side. Steaming water gushed out of the broken pool around the dragon’s legs and tail.

The gray beast pointed its talons toward the green dragon and launched forth bolts of light which exploded in brightness on the green dragon’s tumbling form. It scrambled to try and get a footing on the rock wall, but the stones and pools just crumbled beneath him, washing him further downward. Its wings flailed at the air, but could not get enough force to help it up.

Thissraelle looked back at the gray dragon, her jaw slack, but unable to scream. It looked majestic and calm. Its tail now curled and flowed beneath it as it floated in the air, the wind making its many tendrils flap. It closed its eyes. The heated waters of the springs spouted up from the pools and the streams in the mountainside and flowed over the green dragon. The gray dragon slowly snaked forward, over the heads of the awestruck party, toward its opponent. The gray dragon opened its giant mouth and breathed frosted icy fog onto the green dragon. It shivered as the water froze instantly on its scaly skin, layering on thicker and thicker. Finally, its green eyes glossed over, and its stiff form tumbled down into the misty chasm below.

Satisfied, the great gray dragon turned its head upward, then snaked back down to the bridge. It crossed the bridge, and paused over Thissraelle and her friends. Thissraelle gazed up, her heart pounding in a strange mix of total terror and awestruck worship. Eddiwarth scooted back on his elbows, trying to get between her and the looming beast.

Something moved in the space beside her, and she jolted to look. It was her father. He was calm and unafraid as he approached the dragon.

The dragon’s face shifted, almost as if it were somehow smiling, and it dipped its head briefly. It spoke in a raspy voice, “Hello, Jaxil, old friend.”

Her father smiled and returned the bow. “Blessings to you, Heathrax. It’s nice to see you again.”


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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