We camp a few hours upstream from the goblin village. I have the goblin chief’s dirt map memorised — the all important directions to the troll lord we seek, and the Dark Tree as well. We will likely face at least one of them tomorrow.
I try to mentally prepare myself for the task ahead, but in reality my hands clutch at warm fur that is no longer there and my soul is empty.
In the morning I feel somewhat restored — in body, if not in soul. My limbs no longer feel leaden and my pack is no longer weighed down by rocks. Vengeance feels more within my grasp and I embrace my grief, my rage.
Today, I will kill something.
I take my position once more at the head of our party as we head into the forest, away from the kink in the river. There is no grey shape at my side anymore and I feel very alone in this hostile wilderness.
There are strange tracks leading through the forest. Tracks used by all manner of creatures — and signs fashioned out of twisted leaves in the trees. I cannot figure out what the signs mean, but I’m fairly certain we’re about to find our quarry. One of them, at least.
The tracks converge and lead us to a clearing at the foot of a curved escarpment. There are a couple of huts, and a cave high on the cliff face behind. The forest is silent… and then it is not so silent as I hear movement in the undergrowth about 100 feet away.
Calmness descends over me as I draw my swords.
A horde of ogres and ungerns descends upon us through the trees. The troll lord is among them — 12 feet tall, broad as three men, wielding a double-handed axe.
In under a minute we are engaged and the troll lord stands before me, death incarnate.
I’m fairly certain I’m going to die. Foes come at me from three, maybe four, sides. I take out the smaller players first — I’m damned good at killing ungerns and ogres. They fall one by one, and somehow I manage to duck and weave enough troll blows to stay standing.
I face off against the troll lord, aware that some of my companions are also confronting it, having made good account of themselves in the battle.
We have it semi-surrounded, but I’m mindful of Climber’s warning — that only fire will stop the troll lord from regenerating. Alix has deployed her flaming sphere, but it’s hard to tell how much effect it is having.
Three of us face the troll lord — me, Vaantus and Blizzard — while our mages and Alix work from a distance. Our blows seem to be having effect. He is not regenerating. When he finally subsides, Alix keeps the flaming sphere on him until he is damaged beyond all repair.
I pull away, breathing heavily. We claim the axe Climber demanded we retrieve. Some other treasures as well.
Triumph flows through me. Satisfaction. But it does little to fill the hollow in my soul.
This was the third installment of a session played several weeks ago. The first couple of posts were:
All posts are listed in order on The D&D Chronicles page.