- Markshire PCs:
We stood outside, glad to be out oâ€™ that fusty air inside the cave. Me and Iathouz had to wait a few minutes while Jon set about patchinâ€™ up a hole in the side oâ€™ his boot. Shortly before, while we was makinâ€™ our way through the cave, a whole army oâ€™ rats attacked us and one oâ€™ them chewed a hole right through Jonâ€™s boot and gnawed off two oâ€™ his toes!
The four oâ€™ us made quick work oâ€™ the rats, than we stumbled across a body. It was a man and from the looks oâ€™ him, heâ€™d been attacked by them rats too . . . but I guess he ainâ€™t done so well tryinâ€™ to fend â€˜em off â€˜cause there wasnâ€™t much left oâ€™ his carcass.
I searched the corpse, takinâ€™ care not wantinâ€™ to get no blood or gore on me, hopinâ€™ to find a few pieces oâ€™ gol . . . uh, er . . . I mean lookinâ€™ for papers what would tell us who he was, you know? Least ways then weâ€™d be able to do a kindness and notify his kin the poor soulâ€™d been ripped to shreds by rats and his body was lyinâ€™ here in the cave, alone, dead as dirt and already beginninâ€™ to stink.
His relatives could come out here with a wheel barrow and a shovel; scoop up his remains and cart what was left oâ€™ the lad off someplace to give him a proper burial! But . . . I ainâ€™t found no papers or nothinâ€™ else oâ€™ any value on him, if you get my meaninâ€™. So we let him be, sittinâ€™ there peaceful like, in a pool oâ€™ his own blood, thinkinâ€™ the guards what patrols the cave would find him soon enough and go about cleaninâ€™ up the mess themselves.
Jon finished up his patchinâ€™ smilinâ€™ all the while, tellinâ€™ us he wouldnâ€™t be missinâ€™ those toes at all! He said he had seven toes on that foot anyways, and losinâ€™ the extra two would give him better balance when swinginâ€™ a weapon and make walkinâ€™ a whole lot easier! Heâ€™d not have to be payinâ€™ a fortune fer custom made boots no more, the left boot always havinâ€™ to be a bit larger to make room fer those two extra toes! I ainâ€™t lyinâ€™! Thatâ€™s what he told us!
We set off on the road goinâ€™ east in the direction oâ€™ Foothold with Iathoz takinâ€™ the lead, wanderinâ€™ out a good ways ahead oâ€™ us, beinâ€™ heâ€™s a ranger and good at scoutinâ€™ and able to tell if the way is safe fer travel. I ainâ€™t sure, but I think his folks sent him off to the same school where those â€œElite Goblins gets their traininâ€™. But like I said, I ainâ€™t certain oâ€™ that.
Anyways, it wasnâ€™t too long before Iathouz rounded a bend in the road up ahead and me and Jon lost sight oâ€™ him. Now, if you happen to be amblinâ€™ along in Thrymâ€™s pass, it ainâ€™t such a good idea to loose sight oâ€™ any oâ€™ your friends what you might be amblinâ€™ along with! Navigatinâ€™ Thrymâ€™s pass safely, requires a group effort and loosinâ€™ sight oâ€™ Iathouz was makinâ€™ me and Jon more than a bit uneasy.
We quickened our pace, attemptinâ€™ to catch up to him. We was still a good ways from the bend in the road when we heard two loud thuds . . . and Iathouz let out a piercing scream! The two oâ€™ us broke into a run, headinâ€™ fast as we could toward the bend in the road where weâ€™d lost sight oâ€™ him, and oh geez! What a horror we seen when me and Jon finally got there!
Poor Iathouz was stretched out flat on the trail, torn, bloody and moaninâ€™ in agony! A colossal frost giant had waylaid the man and now stood towerinâ€™ over him! The giant had one foot on the rangerâ€™s head and was pushinâ€™ down hard with his boot, grindinâ€™ the manâ€™s face into the icy road what lay below him! The damn giant was doinâ€™ his best to pop the rangerâ€™s skull as if it were a melon and squoosh the life outta the man!
Iathouz was gaspinâ€™ gurglinâ€™and spittinâ€™ out blood and chunks oâ€™ice from the road what had worked their way into his mouth! He was flailinâ€™ â€˜round, arms and legs goinâ€™ every which way, attemptinâ€™ to wiggle out from under the Frost giantâ€™s boot! But at least he was still alive . . . at least that was somethinâ€™.
Yup, the ranger was hanginâ€™ tight onto a little spark oâ€™ life what was still left in him! Mayhap there was still time to save him! Jon, his short sword poised and ready to strike, quickly darted to the left oâ€™ the monster and I dashed to the right. The giant caught sight oâ€™ the both of us and for a second he froze, befuddled, not knowinâ€™ which one oâ€™ us to set out after!
In his confusion, he lifted his foot off oâ€™ the rangerâ€™s head. His pausinâ€™ give the both oâ€™ us just enough time to close in quick on him and probably saved Iathouzâ€™s life.
Straight off, Jon began stabbinâ€™ and slashinâ€™ away at the giantâ€™s left leg, leavinâ€™ it with blood spurtinâ€™ outta at least six different places! I judged the distance me and my falchionâ€™d have to travel, shut my eyes tight — what I always does when Iâ€™m gettinâ€™ set to whack somethinâ€™ — and grippinâ€™ the hilt oâ€™ my weapon with both hands I lunged forward swinginâ€™ with all my strength, aiminâ€™ for the damn thingâ€™s right limb and a spot just below where I thought its knee cap ought to be! Thruuuunk!! My falchion smashed into his leg with tremendous force, its keen edge slicinâ€™ through armor, sinew and mayhap carvinâ€™ a good sized chunk oâ€™ bone outta his tibia!
The shock oâ€™ the blow traveled up my arms and through my neck, jarrinâ€™ my brains and rattlin my teeth.
He bellowed in anger and pain, the echo of it bouncinâ€™ off the canyon walls and causinâ€™ our ears to ring! Our quick action had hobbled the monster and weâ€™d managed to draw him away from poor Iathouz, however he still was very dangerous! To prove the point, he lumbered at us in a terrible rage, whippinâ€™ his hammer high above his head, his mind dead set on braininâ€™ the both oâ€™ us!
Even though weâ€™d crippled him it took a while fer the two oâ€™ us to finish off the creature. Eventually, after what seemed like an hour battlinâ€™ the brute, we toppled him. He fell like a tree, with a whhhump, mortally wounded, his body sprawlinâ€™ crossways in the road.
Jon, finished him off by openinâ€™ up his neck with his skinninâ€™ knife, finally sendinâ€™ him off to Garm. We swiftly made our way over to the fallen ranger and found him sittinâ€™ up, already dressinâ€™ his wounds! Iâ€™ll tell ya, them rangers is able to recover fast from somethinâ€™!
We helped him along with some healinâ€™ kits and I give him a few oâ€™ my toasted almonds and a bit oâ€™ the sweet sausage Iâ€™d plucked off oâ€™ Gromks skillet. Iathoz gobbled up the bit oâ€™ food and nodded his thanks. Me and Jon helped the ranger to his feet, each oâ€™ us grabbinâ€™ tight on to his arms, attemptinâ€™ steady him but the ranger shook us off, insistinâ€™ he felt fine.
Iathoz beckoned us to follow him and the four oâ€™ us sauntered off to a spot a bit farther down the path where the snow was still untouched, not disturbed from the battle weâ€™d just fought. Then Iathoz halted and pointed to some depressions in the snow what lay at his feet.
Me and Jon edged closer, peerinâ€™ down to have a look. Ohh geez! Dragon tracks!! Huge ones! Fresh ones! We could tell â€˜cause they was still sharp and crisp. The sun ainâ€™t had a chance to melt â€˜em down and smooth out the edges! Even worse, them tracks was headinâ€™ east!
The damn thing was not more than ten minutes ahead oâ€™ us and on its way to Foothold! The four oâ€™ us looked at each other and then out along the road goinâ€™ east. I glanced back at the way weâ€™d come, toward the dwarf city, and safety, thinkinâ€™ â€˜bout the fun weâ€™d had shoppinâ€™ in the bazaar what commander Zawa allows the merchants to keep open all night.
I shrugged. Ah, what the hel . . . It ainâ€™t often one gets the chance to get fried to a crisp by a dragon whatâ€™s runninâ€™ loose in Thrymâ€™s pass! Iathozâ€™d already set off, makinâ€™ his way east and lookinâ€™ for more tracks. I fell in behind the ranger, with Jon followinâ€™ up the rear.
Jon had noticed me feedinâ€™ the almonds and bit oâ€™ sweet sausage to the ranger and he began goinâ€™ on and on â€˜bout how he was, â€œstarvinâ€™ Miss Keliâ€ . . . and how I ought to â€œshare with everyone Miss Keli â€ . . .! While he was trudgin’ along behind me, he kept liftinâ€™ up the back oâ€™ me cloak with his short sword, hopinâ€™ to get a look at where the hel Iâ€™d managed to stash all oâ€™ my food!
Iâ€™ll tell ya! That boyâ€™s a couple oâ€™ dishes short oâ€™ a complete set and the ones heâ€™s got left is all chipped and cracked!!