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A Giant in Xuun Pt.6: Paladin Versus Doom

Corvo-Doom shot up from his seat battle-axe in hand and his translator/shield-Pirate Coin Bman raising the gold demon-shield just in time to ward off the first blow from the golden broadsword of the paladin. Phenox leapt onto a table while roaring something incomprehensible in a clear effort to intimidate the enemy. He failed miserably and the crowd of on-looking bar-patrons burst into riotous jeering. The grim-warrior barely dodged the arrow that thudded into the table shot by the ranger that accompanied the witch-hunters.

The Brighthouse cleric in lead of the witch-hunters said a prayer over his mace which began to glow ominously. Jokingly, Nezor shouted out, “So which o’ya would pay me to NOT hurt ya! Haw! Haw!” That’s when the golden helmed paladin that had already swung his golden sword at Corvo-Doom shouted out an insult, that which compared the size of a giant’s genitals with that of his brain. Nezor snatched up his weapon in ill-temper and launched himself at the witch-hunting paladin with a clumsy one-handed stroke of his club.

Phenox flew from his tabletop perch at the cleric landing a flying slash with one of his blades. The ranger turned and shot Nezor in the back. Cantra back-stabbed one of the 3 fighters that had surrounded Corvo-Doom and then the Hyvalian slaver did a sweep with his golden axe cleaving through all three of them in a single blow. The paladin leveled a blow at Nezor whom barely parried the glittering golden blade.

Three witch-hunters bearing bearded axes attacked the hill-giant, one of their number fumbled badly; the giant parried the other two easily. Nezor retorted with a wide, powerful sweep of his club fumbling the strike badly, losing his grip on the weapon tossing it into the entranceway of the tavern some distance away from the action. Nezor jaunted after his weapon with the three axe-men on his tail.

Corvo-Doom engaged the golden-helmed paladin in one-on-one combat. The three axe-men in pursuit of Nezor were able to put themselves in between the giant and his weapon attacking him in unison. The giant simply trampled them to death. The ranger worked himself between the Brighthouse cleric and Phenox. Phenox responded with savage blows from both of his weapons to the ranger’s throat. The ranger expertly parried one of the paired scimitars but the witch-hunter’s second short-sword failed to block the second incoming blade and as a result exposed his jugular. Blood spurt and he fell limp to the besotted tavern floor, dead.

The cleric tried but failed to complete a prayer his features overcome with shock that his defender, the ranger, had fallen so quickly. One of Cantra’s arrows shot from somewhere in the shadows nailing the cleric in his right hip. One of the other witch-hunters, what appeared to be the squire of the golden helmed paladin, threw himself at Phenox getting in a lucky blow wounding the grim-warrior somewhat. Corvo-Doom and the paladin were fighting furiously their golden weapons glittering and flashing brilliantly in the candlelight turning the sea of smoke into a swirling maelstrom as they exchanged blows.

Suddenly, from the rear of the place a gaggle of near a dozen drunken pirates with tattoos of a black skull on their bared chests threw their pipes down and rushed into the chaos adding to the uproar. The paladin side-stepped and made a restorative touch to the cleric healing his wounds somewhat. The squire continued to furiously swing his longsword at Phenox whom parried with one of his blades hacking a wound into the boy’s belly with the other. A black lacquered bolt shot suddenly from the shadows narrowly missing Corvo-Doom. The quarrel appeared besmeared with venom.

A pair of the pirates jumped Phenox with an amazing flying tackle and Phenox was able, by some miracle, to move gracefully out of the way. Seven buccaneers surged over the paladin and the slaver blocking them from sight with their stinking bulk. Another pair of the drunken seamen attacked Nezor, one of them landing a nasty blow on the giant, Nezor responded with a powerful buffet knocking the sea-dog to the ground. The cleric uttered a prayer and in a shower of heavenly sparks all witch-hunters still standing were healed almost completely.

Nezor turned as he picked up his club and saw a well-armed Naga tumble out of the shadows apparently wounded by one of Cantra’s arrows whom in turn shot into the shadows on the other side of the bar, Cantra then leapt from the dark remaining in sight for only a quick second as she dodged the bolt. The giant then stomped on the prone pirate squashing him.

Suddenly a blue lightning bolt exploded from the center of the pirates that had overwhelmed Corvo-Doom sending them all retreating, smoking, and obviously horribly wounded. The slaver himself was visible for only a second after before he disappeared in a flash of pale blue light. The paladin shouting in rage as his desired quarry was now gone hacked down a retreating pirate.

Phenox attacked the squire whom was ready for the attack and put all his strength behind his weapon in an effort to pre-empt the grim-warrior’s overwhelming offense. Unfortunately the more seasoned fighter leapt out of the way of the clever strike and countered with both of his scimitars cutting the boy down. The pirates’ captain blew an earsplitting whistle calling his men, the ones still able to walk anyway, back and stopping another group from joining the fight.

The cleric made some motions with his hands and weapon and a ray of light sprung from his freehand at Phenox whom dodged the beam easily. Meanwhile the giant could hear the scuffle where Cantra played her deadly rogue-games in the dark with an unknown number of Naga assassins. The paladin charged Phenox but the grim-warrior was again able to dodge the righteous blow. The grim-warrior flung the golden sword from the paladin’s grip with one his scimitars in a successful disarmament and hacked into the church-knight with the other. The paladin answered with a stunning shield bash.

Of the foes left standing only the Paladin and the Cleric remained of the witch-hunters and an unknown number of the mysterious Nagas were skulking about the perimeter. Nezor moved forward and power-attacked the paladin with a two-handed blow launching the broken corpse into the far wall on the opposite end of the tavern where it stuck for as few seconds before falling messily to the flagstones. Cantra was visible now at the far end of the bar where a black crossbow bolt stuck into the board right by her head shot by an unseen crossbowman.

Phenox moved on the cleric and struck him once and as the priest was backing away to the door, hit him again with a pair of vicious sword-strokes. Cantra moved towards the giant as another black bolt chased after her narrowly missing her back. Yet another black dart oozing black poison thudded into Nezor’s armor fortunately it didn’t penetrate his thick armor. The Brighthouse cleric broke from Phenox and ran out into the streets. Another black quarrel flew from the shadows and nailed Cantra the toxin paralyzing her. She fell to the floor as stiff as a board.

Nezor turned towards the direction from which the bolt had come and roared at the top of his lungs flexing his awesome muscles making him seem to swell to double his already immense size. Every single bar-patron still in the place began to rush towards the exit. From the corner of one his eyes the giant spotted the same Naga that he had seen stumble from the shadows just a minute or so earlier creeping towards the door trying to use the crowd as cover.

Phenox apparently spotting the creature as well rushed in and hacked a gash into its neck then barely dodged a naginata blow from another formerly unseen Naga assassin. Nezor took the head off the one with the neck gash using his club. Phenox battled the one bearing the pole-arm and another slithered from the shadows. Both were wearing scale-mail vests. Another envenomed bolt struck the giant this time penetrating his armor poisoning him. Fortunately its effect was not quite so severe due to his supernatural constitution. He was slower and his joints had stiffened painfully but he could still move and best of all, still swing his club with full force.

It wasn’t long before both Nagas were dead and a quick cursory check of the near empty taproom revealed that the other had fled. Phenox picked up the 3 gold talons that were sitting atop the table Corvo-Doom had been sitting at and brought his “last” potion of Neutralize Poison to Cantra. The hill giant looted the corpses of the assassins. The other bodies had already been stripped by the bar-wenches.

The giant went back to his table and plopped onto the floor. A barmaid brought a cask of whiskey to him and said it was sent with complements from the pirate captain whom she pointed out. He was the only other patron left in the place. Nezor assumed that it was a “no hard feelings” offering.

Sometime later as once again the cream of the poor quarter of Xuun had re-coagulated in the Whiskey Troll’s taproom, a plainly dressed Ivoran approached Nezor through the clamor and introduced himself as the owner of the Troll. He was interested in buying the midnight steel box. Once shown the item the man offered 30,000 gold pieces, a cask of superior quality whiskey, and 1 month’s credit. Nezor ecstatically agreed as did his two companions.

To Be Continued…

A Giant in Xuun Pt.5: Selling Booty

About three days later Cantra, Phenox, and Nezor stumble back into the city of Brighthouse Clerics Heraldry group fights after selling chest contentsXuun, dirty, and not only foul from the slimy heat of the swamp but Nezor had spent about a day wading in the murk searching for the sunken chests in the muddy bottom. He had recovered both the smaller oak chest and the other chest the contents of which Zevor supposedly had already divided amongst the robbers. The mithral chest was lost.

Fortunately after a day had passed Gator-tooth had rowed back to the campsite on a newly built log-raft. He had come back for his promised pay. After a treasure exchanged hands he transported the surviving trio back to the outskirts of the city by the old gristmill.

The oak chest had contained: 10 blue-steel great axes with a single large black pearl in each of the pommels, 40 pigs of blood-metal, 10 lbs. of raw mother of pearl, a poor quality lacquered turquoise figurine of an armored warrior, and a high quality bronze-wood jar with a dragon carved over its face. In the other chest was a small superior quality midnight steel box with mithral rivets and hardware, a master book lot, a carven alexandrite skull which was given to Gator-tooth as payment, a superior quality dragon-metal tool hammer with a dragon-bone handle, and a high quality manticore hide cloak. Needless to say the hill-giant was a little miffed that such a haul had escaped his sight when shares had been split before the hoods had attacked.

As soon as the three hit town they opted for a quick drink at the Whiskey Troll tavern and Phenox after taking one of the blue-steel great axes and the dragon-metal hammer as his own left to destination unknown. Cantra took possession of the cloak and left for her apartment for “a bath”. Nezor mentioned before she left that he was going to the bazaar to lay out a carpet and hawk the wares that were still up for shares; the mother of pearl, the bronze-wood jar, the turquoise figurine, the booklot, the midnight steel chest, the blood metal pigs, and the rest of the blue-steel axes.

It was in the noisy, over-crowded, and bustling marketplace that Cantra found the giant when she came looking a few hours later. He was haggling with a group of bullywugs (frog-men) on the price of one of the blue-steel axes. He eventually let them have one for way below its actual market value as the entirety of their coin amounted to only a few hundred gold pieces. She sat with Hill-lander for a couple of more hours making sure he wouldn’t attempt to cheat her out of her share of the profits. Not long after Cantra had settled in that a mage wrapped in brown robes with an eye insignia on his chest walked up to the giant.

The mage bought all of the blood metal pigs for 400 gp. Cantra had initially failed to properly assess the value of the small bars it later dawned on her that each 2 lb. bar was worth around 20,000 gold pieces! Nezor just shrugged. Later, the giant successfully sold the booklot which Cantra was able to figure out the proper value of, to a man named Korfin whom passed along an address to where the books were to be delivered. It was a C.O.D.-type of deal. Just before packing up shop, Nezor managed to sell the mother of pearl, the figurine, and the bronze-wood jar for a combined 175 gp.

All three met back up that evening at the Whiskey Troll for a meal and several drinks after eating they would deliver the books to the address provided. Later that night it was Nezor who stumbled back some 3,075 gp richer. Phenox had stayed in the courtyard for some wine with the mage, for that is what Korfin turned out to be. Cantra buzzed away to her apartment again.

Nezor was about halfway back to the tavern when he decided to wander the streets and “do some good” if he spotted any “villains” about. It wasn’t long before the giant heard, “Die!” from a dark alley. Immediately he was beset by half-a-dozen black-hoods with a ratling shooting at him with a crossbow from the rooftops. The hill giant made short work of three of the thugs with a single sweep of his club sending their fellows fleeing. The ratling was suddenly nowhere in sight. Nezor decided to make a bee-line back to the tavern.

Back in the gossamer yellow glow of lamp-light in the pipe-smoke-fog of the Whiskey Troll Nezor settled in with a bucket of ale and a pitcher of whiskey. During the course of drinking himself unconscious Nezor talked to an older human in chainmail who, “thought it was a little suspicious that they went into the swamp with you guys and you’re the only ones that came back.” He was apparently a compadre of Zevor and his rogues. Nezor had just shrugged it off as the man stormed away. In the course of the night Nezor had put out the word to the trollish bar-maids that he had a midnight steel box for sale. When word reached the faun bartender he seemed intrigued but nothing came of it before the hill giant passed out.

When he came to, his friends were at the table, Phenox had sprung for breakfast. The three sat in the place for almost the entire day and by early evening were contemplating what should their next caper be when the slaver Corvo-Doom entered with his small entourage. It was after about a half-an-hour or so when the Brighthouse Witch-Hunters clattered into the place.

It was the same gaggle of fighters that Nezor had seen in the marketplace before the venture into the marsh. However, this time they were led by a Creschan (judging by his dark skin) cleric with the image of blue octopus impaled by a golden sword on his white Acton. At his side was a paladin bearing a golden broadsword and a gold great helm. Corvo-Doom with the unmistakable air of both hostility and over-bearing arrogance shouted something in Hyvalian at them almost as soon as they had stated their purpose to the bar. The golden-helmed paladin was the one that seemed to understand the gravity of the insult and seemed determined to face down the powerful slaver right there. The rest of the witch-hunters likewise readied their weapons and began to slowly surround the slaver’s entourage. Corvo-Doom’s right hand man which Nezor had seen act as his translator before shouted out, “A gold talon to any souls brave enough to help my lord!”

Phenox drew his weapons and Cantra hers. They both looked to the giant who didn’t seem like he was going to do anything. Phenox tried to convince him to join on the slaver’s side against the witch-hunters if for nothing “for the money!” But Nezor was determined to sit it out since the Brighthouse were supposed to be the “good guys”. The hill-giant took a healthy gulp of cheap whiskey.

To Be Continued…

A Giant in Xuun Pt.4: Never Trust a Mage

The successful gang of highwaymen came tramping into the camp not much The treasure chests the mage and his partners were gunning formore worse for the wear. At the head of the line was Zevor with the hill-giant Nezor on his heels, a large chest tucked under each arm. The reassuring and strong scent of heavily spiced stew met the raw nostrils of the exhausted adventurers. The 3 rogues Zevor had brought along were hefting a third chest, an oak chest, smaller than the previous two but still substantial, on a creaking pole-carriage followed by the mage. Pulling up the rear were the deathgrin Cantra and the grim-warrior Phenox.

Gator-Tooth (as he met the hungry eyes of each of the rogues in turn as he stirred the steaming stew): “It. Ain’t. Ready. Yet!”

The gruff leatherback tossed in a handful of chopped roots probably fresh pulled from the muck of the marsh. The other new thing about camp that Nezor noticed as he tossed his burdens onto an open patch of earth was that there was now a second raft on the shore, the wood white and newly chopped.

Zevor (he patted the giant as passed by): “For the chests my friend!”

Nezor: “Yeah, well. I’m ‘a stickin’ by dem until I get ma’ fair share!”

The sneering giant turned around and eyeballed the gleaming mithral chest. He roughly approached one of the thieves and appropriated one of their short-swords. The mercenary mage noticed what he was up to and said, “um, I wouldn’t do that if I were you!” The mage finally introduced himself to Nezor as Ebaknor. Nezor duly ignored him and went to pry open the chest. The sword blade splintered and a bolt of lightning immediately exploded on the giant’s breast.

Zevor quickly intervened and had one of the more experienced rogues pick the lock of the other large chest and had the mage work on the mithral chest to try to pacify the giant. It took about an hour, the plain wood chest was opened and Zevor was taking inventory. Nezor looked on like a marsh-owl as he gulped down some of Gator-Tooth’s stew. Ebaknor the hireling mage finally conceded that he could not defeat the wizard’s lock spell or the lightning bolt ward on the mithral chest.

Nezor’s cut from the opened wood chest was 25 star metal pieces, 75 platinum pieces, 100 gold pieces, 625 silver pieces, 10 diamonds, 10 pieces of quartz, and 3 instead of 2 black pearls. The hill giant had insisted that he deserved the odd pearl as “hazard pay”. No one argued with him. Zevor then told everyone to relax and they would be leaving come early dawn and he would watch the remaining chests. Nezor refused to leave guard duty solely to the stumpy Westlander thief-captain and insisted that the chest would not leave his side until its lock was broke and he got his fair share of the loot.

It was when the conversation between the giant and the stump-of-a-rogue was about to get heated when a 9-and-a-half-foot-tall warrior wearing a leathern black hood with red-trim wielding a bearded axe crashed through the bushes charging straight at Nezor.

A rush of several more hoods followed the giant axe-man doubtless there were even more skulking where Nezor couldn’t see them. Phenox pulled his paired scimitars and dashed out of sight into the bushes. Nezor parried a blow from the other giant’s axe with his club. An arrow flew at Zevor and he dodged out of sight. Cantra knocked and drew but her bowstring snapped. That was when Ebaknor made a dash for the rafts.

A shout from Zevor signaled he was hit by a poisoned bolt but still on his feet. Nezor battled the other giant both too evenly matched for one to easily overcome the other. Nezor while caught in a clinch between his carven great club and the hooded giant’s bearded axe looked over to see Cantra pegged with a crossbow bolt drop unconscious to the ground. The hoods had already made onto the rafts with the smaller oak chest, Zevor was nowhere in sight and Gator-tooth was fighting with his falchion and being steadily backed towards Nezor.

Finally, Nezor landed a crushing blow into the ribs of the giant hood and was able to deflect a reciprocal power-attack from the bearded axe. Crossbow bolts and arrows continued to fly and bristled in the bodies that littered the beach. Gator-tooth hacked down a ratling and Phenox tumbled out from behind the bushes engaged in furious combat with what appeared to be the hoods leader. The big axe-man chopped deep into Nezor whom was only spared from a quick and savage death by his new and by now very ragged hide-armor. He replied in kind with a power-attack putting all he had behind the single blow, an all-or-nothing gambit for survival.

The giant axe-man gasped as he dropped heavily onto the black earth, the hood that he was wearing emitted a bright sudden flash of magic light and he was gone, teleported away. Gator-tooth dropped another ratling and backed up to the hill-giant’s side. Phenox dropped to the ground felled by a paralyzing spell from the traitorous mage Ebaknor. Nezor growled. Another rogue with a hand crossbow slid out from the overgrowth and shot an envenomed quarrel at Nezor fortunately the tiny barb couldn’t penetrate his armor.

Gator-tooth charged the crossbowman and the leader who had been dueling Phenox dropped his paired swords and pulled a fighting spear from his back all the while keeping his eyes locked on the raging hill giant. The hood-leader thrust his spear at the giant who barely parried but leaving himself wide open and as a result was skewered by the second. The blow very nearly proved fatal. Nezor rendered temporarily helpless as he recovered from the blow.

The hoods were on both of the rafts and on one of them was the mage along with the oak chest. Their plan had obviously been to snag all of the chests and abscond with them and the rafts, unfortunately the giant had thrown a wrench into those plans. Gator-tooth continued to fight valiantly and Nezor took another nasty jab from the hood-leader’s fighting spear.

Gator-tooth chopped another hood down and just as before the leathern hood flashed with light and the thug’s corpse was magicked away. Cantra began to move and crawled painfully over to Phenox pouring a potion of Neutralize Poison down his gullet but to no effect. Nezor broke away from the hood-leader and charged the nearest raft getting stabbed in the process again onn an attack-of-opportunity by the leader’s spear but he successfully smashed the first raft to pieces along with some of its occupants using his club. Cantra began to giggle, the hideous sound of her insane laughter crawled up the spine of all who could hear it. She had made it to her equipment and snatching up a long spear tossed it at the spear-bearing hood-leader wounding him.

The hooded spearman charged after the giant and Nezor after parrying another dangerous spear thrust responded with a massively powerful attack. The hooded leader taken by surprise leaned into the attack and was thus launched in a spray of blood and innards into the air splashing down somewhere in the unseen distance. Gator-tooth moved to back up Cantra as it appeared the hoods were in retreat. The second raft was too far away from the shore for Nezor’s club. He snarled as he could see the traitor Ebaknor astride unsteadily upon it.

Without a word, Nezor walked over to the mithral chest, picked it up as if it weighed nothing and after shouting, “YOU fergot sumptin’”, tossed the chest at the raft. The weight of the treasure within the metal chest completely shattered the lashed raft dumping the remaining hoods and the unfortunate mage into the slimy drink. Apparently Ebaknor couldn’t swim and sank along with the chest into the slime and muck of the swamp. Gator-tooth began to rant and rave about his “boats” and stormed off.

Among the corpses scattered along the shore was the arrow-feathered body of Zevor. Gator-tooth and the “goodfellows” were the only survivors. Cantra tossed the giant a potion of healing and it took quite a while before the spell over Phenox wore off. They hadn’t a clue where in the swamp they actually were or in which direction Xuun lay.

They were stranded.

To Be Continued…

A Giant in Xuun Pt.3: The Swamp Venture

Heraldry of Woodcutters' Guild caravan that the trio waylaid in the swamp3 days had passed since the trio of “goodfellows” had traversed Xuun’s bazaar and outfitted with their new gear the trio finds themselves in the swamp astride a crude log raft piloted by one Gator-Tooth a swamper leatherback with tattoos over his bald sun-baked pate in a crocodile skin vest and canvas pantaloons. At its head serving his role as fearless leader, Zevor the Westlander rogue, and filling out the rest of the motley crew3 more rogues dressed similarly in studded black leathers and a Westlander mage dressed in a brown robe with gold trim serving as mercenary.

The small party of desperados had sat sweating on the wet logs of the raft in a reeking swamp located somewhere in Gorloc hidden in steaming shadow as the wilting dripping canopy of the marsh was thick enough to completely blot out even the noonday sun. The party was currently on edge as they had already braved giant constrictors that prowled the green waters and giant spiders the size of large dogs which dropped from the black sagging canopy.

The raft ran into a shallow and skidded roughly onto a sand-bar quite a distance from the barely visible shore. Nezor and Gator-Tooth hopped into the waist-high (for Gator-Tooth anyway) opaque waters, a thick film of bright green slime clung to their clothes as they dragged the raft onto the shore to allow the others a dry disembarkation.

Gator-Tooth (to Nezor): “Watch yer-self! Leeches everywhere!”

As soon as the old leatherback hit the sand-clay shore he immediately began to search himself and scrape several fairly large black leeches from his belly and arms with his broad-bladed bowie-knife. Nezor just shrugged, his hide was too thick for the tiny black specks to even try to bite him. He hefted the few water-tight barrels the crew had brought with them onto the shore and into their newfound campsite.

It was up to Gator-Tooth to set up a hasty camp while the rest of the party, the rogues and the “goodfellows” huddled around Zevor to hear his plans. The ambush spot would be scouted tonight by himself and two of his three rogues, the ambush would be tomorrow at first light, he tried to smooth the “goodfellows’” dander with a typically greasy smile and an open-palmed gesture then when that didn’t do it he pulled a rare and expensive timepiece from his studded leathers. He went back over everyone’s role and discussed positioning.

Come morning the rogues and Zevor took up their positions with crossbows ready as did Cantra with her bow, all out of sight in a large clump of broad-leafed bushes. Phenox was just off the narrow black road in a grass-choked ditch with weapons ready. Nezor was leaning against a thick warty tree waiting for Zevor’s signal to step out onto the road blocking the caravan-wagons. They were waiting for a caravan of 3 wagons bearing arms that consisted of a field split per fess with a winged lion against a blue field atop a white lotus against black. Nezor spotted a mossy sand-stone boulder in a mass of wet reeds and murky green water in a pit-pond to the side of the road. He had a plan.

It was a few hours later when the sounds of steel clad wagon wheels sloughing through sticky black mud and the huffing of horses could finally be heard coming up the road. It wasn’t long after that the beleaguered and mud-laden wagons came into the thieves’ hungry view. Zevor had yet to give the signal but eager to put his plan into motion Nezor leapt out from behind his tree chuckling stupidly as he chucked a boulder at the lead wagon.

The boulder crashed into wagon’s side pushing it into a water-filled ditch hopelessly stranding it. It was only then that the impatient giant could see that it was in fact, a gypsy caravan. The southern-nomads scattered and fled like cockroaches before him disappearing into the overgrowth. The other wagons immediately began reeling and took off down an invisible side-path and the boulder-crippled wagon slowly sank. It was another hour or so before their actual target rumbled into view. Zevor gave the signal, the sly hoot of a swamp owl. So with a disappointed sigh, the hill-giant did his part and stepped out onto the road.

That was when Nezor saw that an Ivoran Knight in full chainmail and a ranger with full kit were leading the wagons, both mounted. With utter calm they signaled the wagons to stop. The knight clacked shut his great helm’s visor.

Nezor (Played by me): “We’re here to liberate da’ gold!”

The Knight (lowering his lance): “Prepare yourself filthy giant!”

The shady mage that Zevor had brought along fumbled his spell and Phenox moved from his position trying to sneak around and flank the knight. The teamsters on the wagons became the first victims of Zevor’s and his rogue’s bolts. With a ringing shing the ranger drew his paired short-swords leapt from the back of his horse and charged grim-warrior Phenox. Nezor immediately charged the knight and dismounted him with a single mighty metal-crunching swing of his club. The knight immediately leapt up and in a single movement drew his long-sword.

A fighter from the rear of the wagon-train began to charge at the giant. Crossbow bolts and arrows flew in a brief but harrowing exchange. The mercenary mage cast a spell at the Ivoran knight but he was able to apparently shake off the malignant sorcery. A teamster shrieked and fell dead from the lead wagon. The knight struck with a savage swing against Nezor scoring his new suit of hide armor badly and barely touching the giant’s flesh beneath. The charging fighter hit the giant with a blow from his battle-axe but only managed to hack into the crocodile’s hide. The knight followed up with another armor chopping blow from his broad-bladed long-sword.

Phenox was engaged in his desperate duel with the ranger and another fighter, Cantra was somewhere unseen, while crossbow bolts continued to fly and occasionally when a fighter or teamster wandered too near the bushes, one of Zevor’s rogues would shoot out of nowhere and stab them in the back or slit their throats. The fighter wielding his axe against the Hill-giant fell with a bolt in his back. The merc-mage finally dropped a fighter with an acid type spell. The knight renewed his attacks against Nezor and the giant replied with a smashing two-handed club swing flinging his broken corpse off into the dark of the swamp.

Phenox dropped the ranger; the fighters were picked off as they began to flee. The battle was over. In the end the rogues and the goodfellows made away with 1 large mithral chest covered in runes and locked with a large iron lock and another very large and heavy chest, unlocked, and 10 superior quality spears found in one of the wagons. Nezor was a bit put off as his new armor was pretty badly, at least in his estimation, damaged though it had performed admirably especially against the knight’s weapon.

The armor was that he had made from the hide of a giant crocodile. It was gleaming brown spotted with black scales in places and covered the giant almost completely from his knees to his shoulders. The helm expertly crafted from the beast’s skull and head had come complete with polished black-wood carven eyes. The giant was proud of his new outfit and very pleased with its performance in battle he just hadn’t thought that it would take such punishment.

He refused to move any of the chests as the entire party of thieves struggled even with crudely fashioned bar-hoist which had snapped at first lift. Zevor had to pay the stubborn giant up front, 100 gold pieces to get him to pick them both up and take them to the camp, which he did with ease almost as soon as the coin dropped into his massive palm.

To Be Continued…