The Dragonslayers III Pt. 22: Howl of the Night-Trolls

A bit from the GM's notebook
A bit from the GM’s notebook

Magiia held a ready stance her shield on one arm and her battle-axe in hand, Vorwulf stood unarmored with his two-handed astral-drift-metal great axe in his, and Grom readied waiting to unleash his magic on the onrushing troll-flesh. The battle howl of the night-trolls became deafening as they charged in. The raging black-skinned trolls were wearing Scale-mail vests the medallions on their chests bearing the unmistakable arms of Trollguard. They were brandishing their serpent-bladed great swords menacingly and carelessly in the air.

Cris (Vorwulf’s Player): “Makes sense. These guys loose out here like the Black Soldiery.”

Gil (Grom’s Player): “What?”

Cris: “We killed their leaders. The lich. Remember, Vorwulf and Bers killed their [the trolls]  God-King. Of Trollguard. While you fought with the army.” Trollguard is immediately adjacent to, in the North-East of, Norusk.

Gil: “Oh yeah. Well. Let’s do this guys!”

A pair of trolls charged Magiia but their clumsy blows proved ineffective. Maggi whacked the first troll to reach her of that pair with a powerful swing of her battle-axe dropping the creature immediately, foul black ichor spattered everywhere. Two more trolls charged at the amazon leveling powerful blows with their own twisted weapons; both blows whistling by missing her by inches. The ground shook as a giant with slate-grey skin, 14 ft. tall, and with single eye on the side of its malformed head an enormous hunch rising up above its pointed skull, thumped onto the scene and swung a massively powerful blow with its two-handed iron-spiked great club at Maggi, but missed. Another pair of night-troll warriors entered the battle attacking Grom forcing him to simul-attack with an Animal Form spell (via the Battle Magic feat) instantly transforming one of the savages into a chicken which in a fluster of greasy black feathers leapt clumsily away into the darkness. The other gashed him deep opening a nasty wound. Yet another pair of trolls appeared and went at Vorwulf with a pair of mighty blows narrowly missing the ranger/dragon-slayer. Vor replied hacking a vicious wound into one of the duo of monsters that had charged him. A small group of about six trolls were engaging their guide, dancing around the giant seemingly only serving to distract him and were pushing him away as he held them at bay with his enormous boar spear separating him from the slayers. Soon the boar hunter was pushed into the dark outside of the firelight. The slayers lost sight of him. That was when they heard the baying of a pack of hounds running towards the fight, they could easily see them they were following the trolls and the Formorian (that is what the giant on the trolls’ side was). All the snarling dogs were wearing spiked collars and what amounted to studded leather armor over their backs.

Gil (Grom’s Player): “War-Dogs?”

Cris (Vorwulf’s Player): “They have War-Dogs with them!?”

One of the trolls on Maggi swung its sword at her but missed, she responded with a power attack dropping it in a blinding splatter of blood. The other two surrounding her swung clumsily at her as well each missing in turn as did the Formorian with its tree of a club. The single troll left on Grom took a swing but was parried, barely, by the shaman. The blow deflected from one of his bracers. Vorwulf parried the blows levied at him by the pair attacking him.

Grom: “Man! I need to get some room!”

Grom stepped back and unleashed a Wind Rush spell at his foe blasting it 100 ft. away from him. Vor hacked away at the troll he had previously hit, gore flowed over his axe up to his wrists though the monster still stood fast. One of the three remaining trolls on Maggi swung and missed, she dropped him in a single blow. Another of them swung at Maggi and the blow rang off of her axe and she turned her blade in counter and drove it through the monsters scale-mail crunching into ribs. The other threw its sword losing the weapon as it whizzed over Maggi’s head. She grinned murder at the monster. The Formorian took its chance and bashed the Ferenoi with a crushing blow, had she not been helmed the giant would’ve knocked her out. She was no longer smiling. The pair on Vor attacked again but missed badly as their impatient swings became more furious as well as clumsier. One of them also lost its grip on its heavy blade and wound up flinging it away. It was Vor’s turn to smile. With a single blow of his heavy axe Vorwulf whacked the swordless troll into two messy halves. The pack of war-hounds began to run into the battle and Grom quickened a Turn Beasts spell, every single war-dog turned tail and ran away the yelping quickly melted away into the distance.

One of the pair on Maggi swung and missed the other desperately clawed at her missing both times. The Formorian stomped on her smashing her to the ground like bug almost squashing her as it tried to pin her with its foot so it could grind the life out of her. She was badly injured. Vorwulf, after kicking the troll bisection at his feet into the campfire, chopped down the last troll within his reach. Grom tossed an alchemical grenade, an Alchemists’ Fire, onto an obviously regenerating troll body. It began to spasmodically twitch as it burned. The boar hunter was still out of sight though they could still here the clash of his boar spear against the night-trolls’ weapons.

Cris (to Gil): “Man! You know this all because of that troll book!”

Gil: “What troll book?”

Cris: “The Tome of Dragonslaying! Look! Hand me that.” Gil handed Cris the info-sheet, he got to keep it since Grom had ‘mastered’ it, for the troll-king copy of the Tome of Dragonslaying and pointed to a bit of information on it.

Cris: “Right here. ‘Troll Sense – ALL trolls within 1 square-mile will be attracted to the book’!”

Gil: “Oh. I forgot about that.”

Magiia was barely able to squeeze out and roll from under the Formorian’s club foot leaping to feet shield at the ready. Grom tossed another Alchemist’s Fire on another troll body as he neared Maggi’s position. The troll that Grom had blown a hundred feet away stood up and took its chance to flee. Vor kicked another half-troll into the fire, the air filled with the fetid stench of roasting troll-flesh and heavy, oily smoke began to fog the battlefield. The Formorian made a mighty sweep attack with its club catching Grom, Maggi, and a night-troll in the swing. The troll’s broken body took flight. Grom got hit and horribly injured. Maggi made a simultaneous attack in an attempt to drop the giant before his swing could reach her. She hacked his belly open but still took the blow which nearly killed her but the giant was hurt so she saw no reason to retreat. Vor chopped into a troll that tried to sit up. Grom ran back to try to heal himself. Maggi stepped in towards the Formorian and chopped him down with a final single blow and was able to sidestep the massive bleeding, eviscerated corpse as it came crashing down. The howl of the night-trolls was silenced. The battle was ended. Jez the Boar Hunter came bounding back into the view of the slayers; the trolls that had been keeping him busy had broken away as soon as their giant was felled jaunting off into the cover of the dark.

A downed troll near Maggi suddenly sat up. She immediately buried her axe in its skull putting it back down. They wasted no time in dousing all of the corpses, and the various severed bits, in the naphtha from the barrel of the stuff that Grom had purchased on their way out of town just a few days prior. Among the ever brightening yellow flames Maggi chopped through the log-thick neck of the Formorian severing its head after a couple of whacks ‘just in case’.

Jenn (Magiia’s Player)[Pointing at me, the GM, and with the annoying gusto of a late 90’s Gangsta Rapper]: “Ha! You tried to KILL me and I BEAT you! I killed that sucker like NOTHING! Ha! Just CUT HIM DOWN! Yeah!”



To Be Continued…

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