Monday, April 13, 2020

215 - "What Is This Thing?” - Granthurg - A Tale of Heroes

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



It was snowing again in the Graelmal mountains. Not a fierce, harsh blizzard, just a steady snowfall where millions of flakes quietly float down through the still night air. Even though the city wasn’t high up the slope, nestling in the gentler foothills, it still got a lot of snow each winter.

Winterfest was only a week away, and many celebrations had already been going on. As the long dark of winter nights settled over the city, the Giants of Graemalan had begun hanging their lights and banners. The lights were small shards of gems, tiny oculi, dropped in the bottom of small glass jars. A wire was looped around the neck and it was set dangling over a door or window. Most houses had one or two, the most they could afford, but some of the wealthier families had dozens. They kept the snow in the narrow city streets glowing.

One of these lights shone through the thin curtain of a window onto Granthurg, stretched out long in his bed. He had been glad to get home so many months ago. After several years in the human-run world, it had been nice to not have to stoop in a house, squat on a chair, or curl up on a bed.

His mother and two younger siblings had been thrilled to see him, and had embraced him fiercely when he had surprised them with his arrival. That first dinner home had filled him with joy and melancholy. He missed his father who had passed many years before, and his older brother was away working the river.

He also carried a heavy heart whenever he thought of Thissraelle and Karendle. Every once in a while, he would raise his eyes to the sky and ask The Creator to watch over them.

He turned in his bed. His mattress was soft, but also a bit worn. He felt a familiar discomfort from under the mattress, a rigid stiffness. He knew what it was. He kept it there, hidden, but accessible. Occasionally, he pulled it out and thought about it. He did that tonight. He reached under his arm, under his mattress and grabbed the sheath. Holding it in the cool night air, he unsnapped the strap and drew the blade. The shiny, short white dagger glistened a little in the soft light coming in through the window.

What ARE you?

The point and edge were very sharp. He knew it well. He had pricked his finger on it many times, trying to feel it, to learn its powers. The only time he’d ever been surprised by it was the one moment when he’d used it to fight the drake while thrashing in the river. So many people seemed to want it, even though most people didn’t even know it existed. It frightened him, baffled him, and fascinated him. He wanted to find out about it, its history and function.

You’re a fool, Granthurg. Get rid of it. It will be the death of you.

He slid it back into its sheath and snapped the strap again. He reached under his mattress and replaced it. It wasn’t so comfortable, but that reminded him that it was there. Really, its very existence made him a bit uncomfortable.

He turned back over and resettled his blanket.

Now to just get some sleep.


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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