- Markshire PCs:
I paused for a moment, a few paces inside the castle, ignorinâ€™ the biting coldness oâ€™ the place. I spit once and watched my gob oâ€™ tobacco juice freeze up quick on the stone floor before it had a chance to spread out. It sat there on the icy granite, staringâ€™ back up at me, lookinâ€™ like a chunk oâ€™ hard candy what someone had dropped!
My body was tense, like a coiled spring, my eyes dartinâ€™ every which way, lookinâ€™ for movement of any kind. I had my falchion raised high above my head, graspinâ€™ the hilt so tight my knuckles had turned white and I was ready to strike hard and fast at any creature what might decide to jump out at me.
Warily, I moved on, realizing thereâ€™d been a horrific battle fought here. I carefully stepped over one dead frost giant after another. The corpses was gray, almost colorless in their death, each one oâ€™ them bled out now, and lyinâ€™ in a fast freezinâ€™ pool of their own blood. And, oh geez, who ever done this, ainâ€™t even had time to loot the bodies!
Anyways the bellowinâ€™ had stopped, but in the rooms below me I heard the shufflinâ€™ oâ€™ heavy boots and a groan or two, so I made my way to a little narrow stone ramp what led down to the lower level oâ€™ the castle. Once on the ramp, I took care not to loose my footinâ€™ â€˜cause for sure, if I slipped Iâ€™d be fallinâ€™ forever down into the abyss below!
After safely navigatinâ€™ it I made my way to where I thought the moaninâ€™ was cominâ€™ from. I seen two bodies, and from the looks oâ€™ the dents in their helms, I was sure they was both sufferinâ€™ concussions. One oâ€™ â€˜em was that new boy, Jon Duh First. The other, a girl Iâ€™d only seen a few times before. I ainâ€™t had no idea what the hel her name was.
I bent down close to the both oâ€™ â€˜em thinkinâ€™ I could help â€˜em with a healinâ€™ kit or two. I heard that shufflinâ€™ noise again, what heavy boots makes, and whirled â€˜round just in time to see a colossal frost giant shaman â€˜bout to brain me with a huge hammer . . . then, oh geez, everything went black!
When I awoke, my head was achinâ€™ somethinâ€™ awful and every tooth in my mouth was loose! I think some oâ€™ the ones in the back was missinâ€™ even! Likely Iâ€™d swallowed â€˜em, you know?
Jon was sittinâ€™ up and was a pasty green color, lookinâ€™ like heâ€™d eaten a bad apple or somethinâ€™. The girl Iâ€™d found with him, was awake also, moaninâ€™ â€˜bout a sore arm, and complaininâ€™ she was havinâ€™ trouble breathinâ€™. She was havinâ€™ trouble? I was havinâ€™ trouble!! Somehow she managed to wind up draped over the top oâ€™ me, and geez, she weighed a ton!
That other new boy, Caleb Maâ€™fer was there too, standinâ€™ a bit away from us, havinâ€™ a nice chat with the damn frost giant shaman what had just tried to maim me! Oh geez! It seemed the shaman wanted us to do a chore for him and if we done it proper, with no trickery, heâ€™d let us live.
He told Carlyle the bunch oâ€™ us would have to make a trip to Arik for him. Yup! We was gonna have to make our way to a Temple in the lost city, what someone, or something, called Angrybody lived in! Anyways, this Angelbellyâ€™s got a special ruby shard what was chipped right off one oâ€™ Helâ€™s tears! It has a devine power locked up in it and the giant shaman had an itchinâ€™ for it!
Yup! He told us this Annabelleâ€™s got it hid somewhere in one oâ€™ the rooms along the east hall of her Temple! The shaman said heâ€™d be watchinâ€™ our every move, even sendinâ€™ along evil spirits to observe us, and theyâ€™d report back to him if we faltered!
If we failed, heâ€™d be roundinâ€™ up every frost giant between here and Thrymâ€™s mountains and sendinâ€™ them off to hunt us down and slay us! Hundreds of â€˜em! And he meant it! You could tell he wasnâ€™t foolinâ€™ â€˜round none! Then the shaman stalked away, but not before remindinâ€™ us he was an impatient sort, and if we ainâ€™t returned soon with the shard, heâ€™d be unleashinâ€™ those damn giants!
We made our way outta the castle, with Chadwick helpinâ€™ the poor girl who could hardly take a step without wincing in pain. He kept callinâ€™ her Helena, so I guess that was her name. Jon was still quite a bit woozy, and I was aidinâ€™ him as best I could. We stood around outside, talkinâ€™ â€˜bout what the shaman had said to us.
None oâ€™ us had any idea where this Temple was in Arik. Carlos was sure Gunnyâ€™d know but that ainâ€™t helped us none, â€˜cause Gunny wasnâ€™t here. Iâ€™ll tell ya, sometimes a manâ€™ll say the most useless things, you know?
Anyways, no one in our party was in any shape to be makinâ€™ a trip to Arik. Besides, Cuthbert told us he ainâ€™t had no potions to protect himself from the magic the mindflayers would be throwinâ€™ at us. Well, that clinched it! Weâ€™d be headinâ€™ back to Bale-ye-naz and then on to Foothold to heal up a tad, and get ourselves a good rest. Weâ€™d see â€˜bout makinâ€™ a trip to Arik, later on in the week.
Chauncy threw together a makeshift sled, lashinâ€™ together a few old giant rib bones what he found stickinâ€™ up outta the sand, usinâ€™ some rawhide what he had tucked away, deep inside his pack.
He strapped Helena tight onto it, ignorinâ€™ her moaninâ€™and made ready for the trip back. â€˜Bout that time a dweeble pops right outta thin air startlinâ€™ the four oâ€™ us, and starts goinâ€™ on and on about the ruby shard, and how he knows just where Abblebabbleâ€™s got it hid, and how happy heâ€™d be to guide us right to that Temple! Oh geez!
Well . . . for a moment I thought about takinâ€™ him up on his offer , but Jon kept nudginâ€™ me in the ribs, and Conan was makinâ€™ all sorts oâ€™ faces, so we, thanked the dweeble for his kind offer but told him it was late and weâ€™d decided to head on home. Caleb started off ahead oâ€™ us, dragginâ€™ his sled with Helena bound tightly to it, now lookinâ€™ quite comfortable, and sound asleep.
I waited there with Jon till his head cleared a bit, then we started out, followinâ€™ the tracks Cormacâ€™s sled had made. The journey across the desert and through the cave what leads to Bale-ye-naz, was uneventful. I mean, we ainâ€™t met nothinâ€™ on the way what tried to murder us, you know? We finally reached the gate what the guardâ€™ll swing open when you show him yer pass and I asked Jon if heâ€™d do the honors, so to speak. He stuttered a bit, then blurted out he ainâ€™t had no pass.
Well, I knew the little twerp ainâ€™t had no pass, and he ainâ€™t had no business beinâ€™ out there in Thrym’s desert gettin’ himself mixed up in all sorts o’ trouble either! So . . . I flashed my own pass to the sergeant guardinâ€™ the gate, he swung it wide open for me, then I ran in quick and slammed the gate on Jon, leavinâ€™ him stuck outside!
Then I made him promise me two things. One, not to go anywhere near that desert till heâ€™s got the proper traininâ€™ and has his own pass, or unless heâ€™s tagginâ€™ along with at least two folks who are qualified! And two, to stop callinâ€™ me Keli lady, or lady Keli, or lady! My nameâ€™s Keli, short and sweet! And I ainâ€™t wantinâ€™ nobody tackinâ€™ anything else onto it!
After some hemminâ€™ and hawinâ€™and a bit oâ€™ begginâ€™ he give me his word on both, so I had the sergeant swing open the gate again and let him in.
He stood there for a moment, staring at me with a dumb look on his face. Then he smiled, gave me a little bow and said, â€œThank youse lady Keli!â€ Ohhhh geez! When the gods was layinâ€™ out the blueprints for how to make a man, they give â€˜em too much muscle, and left all oâ€™ â€˜em a little short on brains!!
Its been a few days since I got back and my teeth has tightened up again. Theyâ€™s sittinâ€™ right proper in my gums! I ainâ€™t missinâ€™ the few I swallowed when the giant shaman conked me on the head with his hammer at all.
The two front teeth in my upper jaw is good and tight, but now thereâ€™s a tiny space between â€˜em what I ainâ€™t had before. I found out I can squirt a good healthy stream oâ€™ tobacco juice through that gap! Yup! Accurate too! Iâ€™m able to shoot a fly right outta the air at about ten paces!
I canâ€™t wait to try it out on Father Ryche. Yup! Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™ll be able to reach his desk with a good squirt without havinâ€™ to go in his office! He ainâ€™t chased me for quite awhile. Like I said â€˜bout elevendy six pages back, its fun when he chases me!