Monday, April 20, 2020

217 - “Rise Again” - Tonklyn - A Tale of Heroes

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For two full days, snow had fallen on the mountain, and the canyon winds had funneled the blizzard over the shrine. The terraces, the bridge, the scattered rubble, and the twisted dragon’s body were all covered over in almost two feet of new snow. The bony skeleton of the bridge’s structure underneath held it steady, but the damage from the fight was still evident. The stone debris lay in scattered shambles across the walkway, and the snow, gray in the dim, blended into the charred black stones where the dragon had spit its last flames.

Several of the layered pools along the wall of the canyon had been emptied when the force of the dragon’s body clambering over them crushed the ledges holding the water in place. Without the hot water filling them, the shells were now buried in snow. Jagged stones from the damage stuck up like knives through the snow. The hot springs still flowed, cutting down the side of the mountain in steaming streams, keeping the snow at bay until they faded into the mists in the valley below. Ice flows on either side of the streams dripped in the gray light like blood from daggers. The rising heat of the waters underneath had not yet had time to melt the snow on the bridge, but icicles from that afternoon were starting to dangle from its precipices.

The night weighed heavy on the canyon and the thick darkness of shadow descended. The only sounds were the wooing winds and the haunting mumbled conversations of the springs and falls.

On the bridge near the shrine, a bit of the snow shifted. It crunched a little in the quiet, bumping up a few inches.

Then another piece near it moved, as if a small animal were burrowing under its surface. Then, for a moment, there was an uncertain still again.

Quickly, the snow shook and rustled from side to side with a fiercer motion. A clump of snow rose up, like something was trying to break out from under it into the dark air.

A dark hand burst out. It swung from side to side, sweeping the snow away. It’s motions were jerks and strokes, like its arm below were still frozen and lifeless.

Soon, a second hand emerged and shoved more of the snow aside.

A dark head and torso sat up, and turned over, straining to stand. His face was dark and scaly, and his hair matted and tangled. When he stood, he shook as if his limbs were uncertain of how to be steady. He tossed his cloak to cast off the snow, then bent and reached back into the snow to pull out his spear.

He meticulously began walking across the bridge, stumbling through the snow toward the path down the mountain.

“It will take him a long time to get back here.” Tonklyn said, as he and Kirraxal watched the drama unfold on their shadow stage in the throne room. That’s why Kirraxal wasn’t angry after the battle. It doesn’t matter as much if he’s not so good at fighting. He’ll just wake back up. I wonder how many unlives he has. One more? Two? Maybe he’s undying. 

“True.” Kirraxal agreed. “Maybe I should send him to Emberfire City to wait for you there.”

Maybe. This is an interesting twist that I’ll need to plan for.

“As you command, Your Majesty. As you command.”


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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