The Dragonslayers II Pt. 15: Troll Battle

In the creaking, smoking ruin of the Grey Fort the dragon-slayers after dealing with the berserker ambush and their compatriot’s betrayal began to poke around. Vorwulf checked the east stairs for stability and slowly walked up to check the mezzanine from the steps. He found the wood of the walkway that rimmed the main hall had many, too many, loose and rotten floorboards though he did spy three hallways stretching to the rear of the longhouse. They decided it was a good idea to just go back to the ships. The shaman, Grom, used his magic helm to cast Heal All and they made the trek back to the ships.

Reaching the lead ship just before dawn with the setting of the great purple moon decided to slip under-decks for a 4-hr nap after debriefing with Lord Vorahd. The next stop would be the determined battlefield of Delta Glade between the Estnik River and the creek which runs from Old Sawback’s Lair. The next thing our intrepid trio is aware of is that they’re shaken awake by a scrawny, sweat-drenched sailor.

Gil (Grom’s Player): “Aww man! That’s not 8 hours is it? I’m not gonna get all my spells back am I?”

Cris (Vorwulf’s Player): “Nope.”

They were told that Lord Vorahd wanted to see them and so they walked still battle weary to his pavilion. On the way from the ships they saw the wood-cutters climbing and tying ropes to the tall pines scattered on the southern flanks of the battlefield and chopping the trunks most-of-the-way through. They were dumping barrels of lamp oil on the trees. The rest of the army was clearing the brush from the southern half of the field. They passed between the Housecarl guards and into the pavilion.

Lord Vorahd stood before them behind a heavy wooden table a map spread out over its surface. Next to him stood the Jarl (no one ever asked this guy’s name so I never gave him one, go figure). Marshal Rock-Puncher was on the field supervising its preparation which needed to be done before dusk. Vorahd’s camp was confident the heavy-trolls whom seemed to be proof against the daylight had been significantly diminished by the slayers and so would not try to ambush them with a full force behind them.

The battle plan according to Lord Vorahd was that he would command the housecarls and hold the right flank with the farmers with their javelins behind a makeshift bulwark of logs and earth at center. Jarl Wernoll (there he has a name now) will command the warriors from Fertum Vorahd taking up the left flank. Marshal Rock-Puncher will command the handful of warriors from Marnez and serve as skirmishers on the front lines with cover from the farmers’ javelins. The woodsmen will take positions in the cover on either side of the field where they will ignite and pull down the pines on the charging trolls. The slayers would reinforce the farmers in the center.

Jen (Bers’ Player): “Aww. I wanna be where the action is!”

Vorwulf felt something tug at his sack of holding and something else vibrate within, it was where he stuck the claymore looted from the satyr’s sarcophagus that he had picked up after Kyr had been changed into a snail.

Cris (Vorwulf’s Player): “Aww f**k it!”

Vorwulf opened the sack and the shaman with his spirit sight saw the semi-transparent image of a powerfully built satyr with blind-white eyes bulging from their sockets and black lips curled back revealing bleeding gums and a swollen tongue lolling loosely hanging from its slack jaws as flecks of bloody foam drooled to the floor in long strands reaching into the now open sack. The others in the room could only see the sword rise from the sack and swing at Lord Vorahd whom stood frozen in terror as he seemed to recognize the blade.

Vorwulf jumped in between the blade and Lord Vorahd taking a defensive stance. Grom attempted to exorcise the spirit but failed and Bers struck at the sword shattering it with her axe thus ending the threat. Vorwulf apologized and gave Vorahd the golden flamberg that had been Kyr’s weapon (he had taken that also) as a gift. The jarl guided the slayers from the tent and shed a little light on what had just happened. He told them that the claymore was a recognizable weapon with a reputation that was the owned by a Satyr lord whom had ruled over Hirok-Nor in Lord Vorahd’s grandfather’s time. The satyr-lord had been poisoned by Vorahd’s grandfather subjecting him to a slow and agonizing death. On the day of his death it is said that his apparition had appeared in the hall of Vorahd and laid a curse on the Westlander lord Afterwards the newly self-declared Lord of Hirok-Nor attacked the Grey Fort and the surrounding village laying waste to it and slaughtering every man, woman and child sparing not even the livestock. Shortly thereafter the elder Lord Vorahd fell ill and lingered for a decade, insane and raving until he mercifully passed. The Grey Fort and the land it sits on has been shunned ever since, the tale of the Satyr-Lord of Hirok-Nor and the Vorahd Clan just a tale to scare children.

The slayers shrugged in unison and decided to layout their bedrolls in the shade of the pavilion and sleep until dusk.

Come dusk the slayers found themselves in the center position of the battle line. Bers’ axe was ready in line with the farmers. Vorwulf and the shaman remained a few paces behind them ready with arrows and magic. Several open barrels of lamp oil were among the farmers into which they were dipping their javelins and lighting them in the braziers blazing behind the punji-stick studded logs. The great purple moon rose in east as the sun set and the silver/white moon was high in the darkening sky. At Vorahd’s command the warriors beat their shields roaring as they did so and others blew their horns. It wasn’t long since the last rays of sunlight disappeared that a troll scout unit broke the north tree-line and the leading gigantic earth-skinned mountain troll blew his horn.

Another troll unit with a similar mountain-troll with stony skin but armored in half-plate and bearing a serpentine bladed great sword followed by 3 trolls armored in scale mail bearing hammers emerged, obviously the commander of the troll side. Bers’ knuckles creaked on her ax. Three dragonsauri smashed through the tree-line and roaring charged the Westlander line splitting between Marshal Rock-Puncher’s unit, Lord Vorahd and his Housecarls, and Jarl Wernoll’s warriors. Vorwulf got an arrow off and wounded the dragonsuarus that was among Lord Vorahd’s men. Grom unleashed lightning which exploded from out of the sky and crashed into the troll commandant dealing little damage. The roars of dragons echoed over the battlefield and from over the tree-line flew in 3 young brown fang dragons hauling long chains with spiked iron balls on the ends. They immediately strafed the Westlander line with fire with one scoring a direct hit on the farmers and Bers.

The farmers withered before the dragon-fire and the barrels of lamp oil exploded in a blast of flame and splinters. Bers ran backward towards her companions screaming and wreathed in flaming oil. Vorwulf shot an arrow at the nearest dragon and scored a hit wounding it badly. It circled back around and engaged him directly. Another unit of trolls broke the tree line which were wearing chain mail and bearing war-hammers. The pines on either side of the Westlander lines burst into flames and were pulled to the ground exploding in a shower of flames and white sparks putting a barrier between the trolls and the Westlanders and isolating the dragonsauri already engaged. Rock Puncher met claw, fang and steel with stone smashing knuckles. Grom began summoning small fire elementals and sending them out to engage the trolls. Bers eventually stopped dropped and rolled (she kept rolling Natural 1’s to put herself out). A unit of heavies smashed through already ruined north tree line crushing it flat and began marching towards Lord Vorahd’s unit. The rhythmic clank of the heavy-trolls’ orange full-plate could be heard over the roaring of flames, beasts, dragons and general cacophony of battle. Following them was yet another troll unit consisting of a single mountain troll, 2 more heavies and 3 trolls in chainmail with serpentine swords.

The second round began with Vorwulf avoiding the ice-spit of the Brown-Fang Dragon which was flying at him felling it with a single arrow and then having to dive out of its way as its corpse crashed into the ground engulfing the slayers in a blinding spray of dirt. A dragonsaurus charged through the flames and swirling dust clouds to attack the slayers, Bers chopped it down with 3 power-swings. Grom could hear the screams of the woodsmen as the troll forces met them from beyond the flames and knew that they were through. Vorwulf drew his bow to try to send an arrow into the dragonsaur that was at the moment snapping at Lord Vorahd but his string snapped. He threw the useless bow down and drew his cutlasses. Rock-Puncher’s skirmishers fought a single dragonsaur to a standstill among the roaring fire. The housecarls were swinging their bearded axes wildly against the trolls that charged them as the dragonsauri broke off and continued on. The battle raged for a total of rounds (mass combat) with the Westlanders barely holding on and the slayers making all the difference.

Near the end of the battle the slayers finished off the last two dragonsauri which had leapt over the flaming logs (one of which was angered by Grom slinging a stone at it) and Grom reduced two of the nearby troll units to frogs and rats. They also witnessed Rock-Puncher and the Marnez warriors fall but taking the unit of heavies with them with the druidic-marshal setting the last troll-corpse ablaze holding the burning fagot with bloodied hands before he dropped. They saw Vorahd and his housecarls advance to the far end of the field to engage the troll commandant but lost sight of him through the flames. The troll commandant retreated shortly thereafter. Bers had killed all 3 dragonsauri, Vorwulf had killed all 3 Brown-Fangs and a Heavy Troll. Grom wiped out 2 untis of trolls and took down a Heavy Troll. The day was won but Vorahd’s army had paid dearly for it.

The battlefield was ablaze and the dead and dying were scattered between the flames, the large corpses of trolls sizzled in the fires. Vorahd had lost the farmer/javelineers and the woodsmen, 30 men between these two units. He had also lost 4 of his 8 housecarls and Rock-Puncher and his skirmishers. Of the 30 fertum warriors he had lost but a handful. The troll forces were all but wiped out.

The slayers surveyed the battle field for any forgotten foes and when they were satisfied they fell back with the remaining Westlanders.


To Be Continued…

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