A Troll Hunting We Shall Go!

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Ancalagon
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Re: A Troll Hunting We Shall Go!

Post by Ancalagon » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:10 pm

Belefleca was true to his word. Even with a short pause for food and rest, we reached the western edge of the valley. Fortunately for us, moonlight allowed us to see well enough and provided shadows in which we hid. From the high ground we observed the cave’s entrance. After a few moments, a large troll emerged from the cave carrying a tree-sized club. The monster extended its arms to stretch, scratched itself in numerous places, then licked its fingers as though it had found something tasty. The troll hefted its enormous club onto a shoulder and set off towards the mouth of the valley.

“One less to deal with,” I whispered.

“Wonderful,” Indrazor replied. “Time to earn that kingly reward you negotiated.”

Belefleca started down the slope towards the mouth of the cave. Indrazor went next, followed by myself then Lolindir. We moved slowly, quietly. After some forty feet, the scout stopped then turned to his left. He motioned for us to follow then walked to whatever had gained his attention.

A dozen paces later we came upon a second cave entrance, much smaller than the one from which the troll emerged. A grown man would need to stoop in order to enter. It was altogether remarkable that Belefleca noticed the opening considering the terrain and abundance of shadows. He pointed to the cave and nodded. The rest of us nodded in agreement. We then entered the cave and found that after a few paces the passage veered to our right, sloped downward and expanded sufficiently to allow us all to stand normally.

“Wait,” I whispered as I pulled a brass coin from a pouch. I clenched the coin in my left fist while reciting the words of a spell. As the last word sounded, I opened my fist and exhaled upon the coin. The warmth of my breath gathered in the coin which then began to glow.

“Let’s not stumble about in the darkness,” I said.

We continued several hundreds of feet through the roughly hewn passage which ended abruptly in a small, somewhat elliptically shaped chamber no more than six paces in length and four in width. The end of the chamber possessed an oddity, a portion of the wall, large enough to nearly match Indrazor’s frame, was relatively smooth, obviously worked.

“A secret door,” said Lolindir at barely a whisper.

Belefleca knelt to the right of the door and studied the ground before it. I brought the light closer to aid his viewing. After a short time, without looking up, the scout said softly, “Nothing has passed here in a long, long time. If there are trolls beyond this door they may not know of it.”

Lolindir raised a finger to her lips to quiet us. She moved soundlessly to the door then pressed her left ear against it and closed her eyes. For several moments the elf maiden was as still as the stone of the chamber. I noticed I had actually been holding my breath so as to be as silent as possible while Lolindir listened. Without removing her ear from the door, she pointed to the door with one finger. She then raised two fingers towards us. Finally, she flattened her hand, raised it about six feet above the floor of the chamber, and held it there for several seconds.

I motioned that we should move back down the passage. As we did so, Lolindir’s eyes opened and, as soundlessly as before, she joined us some dozen paces from the door.

Indrazor spoke first, “So there are two man-sized creatures beyond the door?”

“Yes,” Lolindir replied, “the sounds of the breathing were not so loud as to be made by something so large as trolls. I suspect whatever lies beyond the door is asleep.”

The warrior arched an eyebrow, “And just how do you know this?”

“I listened,” the elf cut her eyes to the Black Numenorean and, as a point of emphasis, finished with, “human.”

“Can you open the secret door quietly so as to not alert whatever lies beyond,” I asked Lolindir.

“I do not know. I will try,” she answered. “But make ready your weapons in case they are needed.”

We moved back into the chamber and took positions around Lolindir as she examined the door. Slowly she slid her fingertips across the worked stone until several minutes later she stopped, drew forth her waterskin, and gently poured water onto a specific place on the right side of the door about four feet above the floor. We saw seams, roughly the size and shape of a man’s palm, become visible as the water washed way dust.

Lolindir put away her waterskin, looked back at us, nodded, faced the door then pressed the place on the door that was inside the seams. Immediately a stone on stone clanking noise emanated from within the chamber wall to the right of the secret door. The right side of the door swung towards us. I held aloft the glowing coin which revealed to us a worked stone room some ten paces wide and deep, a ceiling thrice a man’s height above a packed dirt floor, and an open passageway three paces wide heading to a dark tunnel.

Looking back at us in startled amazement were two men. Both were bruised, disheveled, and manacled at the ankles. The closest man was gray haired, perhaps sixty winters. The other was considerably younger and possessed the unmistakable features of the innkeeper. We had found Leddon!



Ancalagon
Posts: 322
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:44 pm
Location: Nebraska

Post by Ancalagon » Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:47 pm

Both men stood, transfixed at the sight of the glowing coin I held. It was obvious neither of them had ever seen magic in use. I on the other hand had never before experienced the phenomenon of troll stink. The assault upon my poor nose was a most unique sensation from which I wondered if it would ever fully recover.

“Save us,” Leddon pleaded with a quivering voice barely above a whisper.

“Come. Quickly now. Into the passage,” I said while trying not to breathe too deeply.

Leddon shook his head, knelt, and replied, “We can’t. We’re chained!” The young man picked up an old chain linked to his manacles while the opposite end was attached to a rather large ‘U’ shaped metal bolt embedded in the stone wall. “The trolls locked us in here until they decide its time for them to eat again.”

“They’ve taken three of us already,” the older man added in a hoarse voice.

Belefleca walked next to the older man and whispered, “How long since the last one was taken?”

“A few hours, I believe.”

The scout immediately looked to me and said, “We’d better make haste and get out of here... while we still can.”

“Lolindir,” I began, “can you do anything with the manacles to free these men?”

Since the opening of the secret door, the elf maiden had been covering her nose and mouth with one hand and holding her stomach with the other to steady herself against the troll stink.

“Why do you assume I know anything of locks?” she replied even as she knelt to examine Leddon’s bonds.

I turned to speak with Indrazor but found him already guarding the passageway leading to the dark tunnel. Belefleca helped the older man pull the chain that secured him to the wall with the hope of freeing him. I stood in the midst of all providing light as needed.

Moments passed.

My anxiety grew as the bard and the scout struggled with their tasks. The unrelenting troll stink did not help matters at all. I heard tales of trolls during my youth and read a few accounts of them while an apprentice but had yet to face one (or more) of them. In a troll den we almost certainly would not possess the numbers advantage we had against the huorn. We’d been strangely fortunate that the noise created from the opening of the secret door had gone unnoticed by the trolls. How much longer would our luck hold?

Cloak-n-Dagger
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Post by Cloak-n-Dagger » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:46 am

Haha, that entry was pretty short, but good reading none the less.
“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints” ~ Wilfred Peterson, American Author

Ancalagon
Posts: 322
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:44 pm
Location: Nebraska

Post by Ancalagon » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:06 pm

I watched as Lolindir worked almost silently, though very slowly, at one of Leddon’s manacles. As an elf, she is immortal. I can only imagine the perspective she might possess concerning the allocation of time towards anything. With eternity before her, Lolindir can spend all the time needed to master a subject before seeking something else with which to occupy herself. Is her life, or that of any elf, spent seeking ways to alleviate boredom? With eternity before her, and I don’t know how many years behind, I began to wonder if the elf maiden was familiar with, or had forgotten, the need for haste from time to time.

“Are you done yet?” Indrazor asked impatiently.

As I turned to silence the warrior, I heard the sounds of heavy footfalls and low grunts. Indrazor drew the Eog sword which flickered with white, heatless flames that filled the entire room with light of greater intensity than that of my small coin. Each of us stopped briefly and marveled at the sight. None of us had ever before seen such a sword. I swear the left corner of Indrazor’s mouth curved upwards ever so slightly.

Rounding a bend in the tunnel leading to us, illuminated by the light of the magic sword, came three enormous monsters. Each was no less than then ten feet in height, covered with scales, and dressed only in ragged leathers that covered them about the waist to upper thighs. They brought with them an even more powerful stink than what already filled Leddon’s cell. Someone behind me gagged. Upon seeing us and the light, the hill trolls quickened their pace and lumbered towards us. They bellowed so loudly that the walls of the tunnel seemed to shake!

“Don’t just stand there!” Indrazor yelled. “Free the prisoners and get out!” The warrior charged toward the trolls while returning their screams with his own, the magic sword held aloft. Fortunately for him, the trolls came for an easy meal, not a battle, and carried no weapons. Their sheer size forced them to move in single file while in the tunnel. By charging forward, Indrazor was buying us time with his courage and pride, at least until the physical might of the trolls overwhelmed him.

“Hurry! There is little I can do with chains,” I shouted back to Belefleca and Lolindir. I tossed the glowing coin to them then stepped in to the middle of the tunnel. Indrazor stood about a dozen paces away fighting the first troll that reached for him with its massive, club like arms. He thrust the sword and stabbed the troll through one of its hands. The point of the blade pierced the scales and flesh as if they were no tougher than wax and emerged from the other side. The troll screamed in pain and jerked back its hand off of the blade, the white flames of which instantly burned away the blood so that no trace remained.

I would not, could not, let Indrazor fight alone. I began a spell and felt power start to gather in my staff.

The enraged troll rushed forward, followed by the others, in an attempt to drive the much smaller warrior to the ground. Indrazor side-stepped the outstretched arms of the troll then brought the sword down with all of his strength into the back of its left shoulder, severing it and the attached arm the rest of the body! He was, however, backed against the tunnel wall with another troll about to run him down. The situation was dire and time was not on our side. I released my spell early, unleashing what power had gathered and sent a large spray of popping sparks directly into the face of the onrushing troll just before it reached Indrazor. The troll roared in pain and, to some degree at least, fear, as it covered it burned and blinded eyes with its hands while falling back into the third troll. Indrazor seized the opportunity, stepped up and swung the sword into the chest of the blinded troll, easily slicing through scales, bone, heart and lungs, killing it instantly.

Without averting my eyes from the remaining troll, I called to Belefleca and Lolindir, “Are the prisoners free?”

“Almost,” came the strained voice of the scout.

I looked back quickly and saw the old man still wore his manacles but the chain that connected him to the wall had been pulled free. One of Leddon’s manacles was unlocked but the other remained in place. All four of them pulled the chain that held Leddon captive. The bolt in the wall shifted once… twice… then finally came loose, causing all but Lolindir to stumble backwards and tumble to the ground.

“Let’s get out of here!” I shouted to Indrazor as he hacked at the remaining troll as it attempted to stand. The warrior swung the glowing blade once more, destroying the left hip of his foe, then turned to rejoin us. Already I could hear numerous grunts and stamping footfalls approaching from around the bend in the tunnel.

Belefleca took Leddon and the old man through the secret door. The two former captives quickly pulled their chains behind them into the passage beyond. Lolindir slipped through the doorway then stepped aside. I hurried through followed by Indrazor.

“Seal the door! There is little time!” I said as I passed Lolindir. She had started closing the secret door even as Indrazor passed through the entrance. The stone mechanism within the walls reset with a clanking noise easily heard within the passage but, I hoped, drowned out by the many bellows and roars that filled the chamber only a few feet away.

Cloak-n-Dagger
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Post by Cloak-n-Dagger » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:57 pm

Another fun write-up. It's cool to follow along the exploits of your group, reminds me of some of our old sessions.
“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints” ~ Wilfred Peterson, American Author

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