Hunting trolls

Back/up Clearing up Pavis overall

Now healed Egil goes in search of Graylor.

"I think we may as well go and track down those darkmen now. I'm just a foot soldier and know my job. So I reckon we could go and do it while the generals and captains discuss what just happened."

"Yenda has already reported to General Vur. I'm sure that I'll not be missed for a while." Graylor replies as he reverses his cloak to reveal the midnight lining.

Egil begins to check his equipment again, making sure anything loose and rattley is securely strapped down, his armour and other reflective
surfaces are covered with cloth. Evergleam's edges are checked for any chinks or nicks to make sure it is ready for battle. "Mauvin, Gerras
are you ready to go? Oh by the way Mav you couldn't have a word with Helamakt before we go could you? A nice head of clouds ready for an emergency would be great." he smiles somewhat grimly before turning to Graylor.

"We should perhaps have some kind of signal to alert folks back here of any danger, it wasn't really to my liking having Mauvin telling people
at the Block there were some trolls attacking. Do you know any fire magic we could use to set fire to an arrow with?"

"I have three flaming arrows I won from Yelm's court on a heroquest. Though we can surely produce a fire arrow without the need for magic. Just take a coal from the fire and wrap it well it will burn for a while and will light our flame arrow when needed."

"As long as we can keep it hidden until we need it then it will suit our purpose well. Shall we go? I'll take the lead for now but feel
free to take over when you like."

Quickly picking up the troll's tracks Egil dashes away from the wall, keeping low and moving as quietly as he can. Evergleam is loosened in its scabbard but held steady by his left hand. Stopping regularly to check tracks and to make sure no-one is sneaking up on him again he makes quick progress forward.

Mauvin ignores his wishes to get Helemakt to summon a cloud, it's too damn hot here and would take too long to do the ritual. He wants clouds? Go and live in the bloody mountains and not a desert.

Elgan grins at Mauvin. "Doesn't want much does he? Does he have any idea about the effort involved in messing with the weather?" He adds quietly. "If you ask me they spend too much time polishing their swords to notice what anyone else is doing."

"Actually I think it's the fumes off of the polish, addles the few brains they start with."

The trolls' trail is not difficult to find, they were not hiding their passing and more than a few of them were bleeding. Soon the small group
speed away from Vur’s headquaters and within a few minutes come across an exhausted and stumbling troll. Egil charges the troll and knocks it to the floor. Grabbing it roughly by the shoulders he begins an interrogation of sorts. “Where are you from?” he snarls. “Who is your leader?”

The troll doesn’t comprehend the questions and looks at Egil bemused. With his anger rising Egil unsheathes Evergleam, “Have it your way then damn troll.”

As he is about to swing the blade Graylor stays his arm, “Wait a moment Egil,” then turning to the troll says “You have one chance here, Who….is….your….leader?”

Somewhere in the recesses of his mind the troll sees a chance of life and makes a stab at an answer, in heavily accented trade he says,
“Broketusk.” Then before Egil and Graylor can do anything else to him pain and exhaustion overwhelm him and he passes out.

“Broketusk eh?” muses Egil, “Ah well this one’s no more use to us, let's get back after the others.”

Graylor nods, “Agreed, one thing before we go though Egil, a little restraint sometimes goes further than a sharp edge.”

Egil gives him an uncomprehending look before trotting off along the troll’s trail. It seems the trail is not getting any more difficult to
follow as they pass several bodies of trollkin but the fifth one they come across is still alive, it lies in the grass whimpering. This time
Graylor beats Egil to the creature, “Little troll, answer our questions and we will help to ease your suffering. Where are you from?”

The trollkin knows a little trade talk and although his speech is riddled with gasps of pain he answers, ”We great rubble uz.” Graylor’s
eyes roll in his head but he persists, “So you’re from the rubble, eh? Well who do you serve?”

"Lord Kardal me boss. You let me go, he get you!"

"Kardal Broketooth?" Graylor ventures, at which the trollkin nods furiously. "He big teeth, big like he boss, he eat you!"

Graylor ignores the empty threat, but one phrase is of interest. "He boss? Who he boss?" Why, he wonders, are bad accents so infectious?

The trollkin looks scared at just the thought. "He boss big teeth. Barefang. Big, big, dark."

"Do all trolls have names with teeth in them?" The trollkin stares at him, uncomprehending, and Graylor abandons the rhetoric question. "Barefang - the name mean anything to you, Egil?" And at his blank look, adds: "Never mind, someone's bound to have heard of a powerful troll."

“Come on Graylor, he can’t tell us where they’re from. Let me carry out your promise and I’ll ease his suffering.”

Graylor shakes his head while fishing a bandage out of his pouch. “Easing someone’s suffering and killing them isn’t the same thing you know Egil.”

Gerras wanders over to the two men and says, “Now I don’t know where these things are from but I know where they’re going. The only place that makes any sense would be Zebra Bridge. I can sound ‘Stand to’ on my horn, at least then the guys there won’t be taken unawares and might even stop the troll for us.”

At that he blows a short but very loud series of notes on his impala horn, “They’ll be ready now.”

“You know I hate it when we make a lot of loud noises,” admonishes Egil. “Come on let's go.” With that he leads off again tracking the trolls.

It had been a long night for newly promoted captain Sunny Helmaster. It was his first time out with three full squads of seven, his boys had been playing up a bit, as the night had gone on the patrol had got more and more bored and now they were larking about and not concentrating. He only had one thing to report when he got back, that strange, booming voice, loud as thunder, he heard an hour or so ago. They were too far away to deal with it but it could only mean trouble. Suddenly the quiet of the night was pierced again, this time by a horn and this time it was very nearby. It was good to see how quickly his men became alert. Pointing at two of them he gave the hand signal for scouting and sent them off in the direction of the sound, another two were sent to bring in the flanking squads. The rest started checking their equipment readying themselves for a battle. This was the part of his job he loved best and why he was proud to be in the Marble Phalanx.

Egil soon spots another body lying at the side of the trail, he runs across to investigate. When he gets there he crouches to examine and
finds that it is a dead troll but it looks in a worse state than any other corpses he seen so far, “By the Bull’s horns Graylor, something has been gnawing on this and it does look like it was another troll.” His next comment is cut short as a small, armoured ball of teeth comes
flying out of the long grass, snapping and biting at him. Dodging to one he manages to deflect the creature. “Bastards, Graylor, rubble runners!”

Quickly he is on his feet and backing towards his comrades as what seems like a swarm of rubble runners pour towards them. Angry at being taken unawares for the second time that night Egil charges, yelling “Hereward’s Sword!” as he slashes about chopping down rubble runners as he passes. His comrades all look at each other incredulously before charging after him laying into the beasts. While they are hardy and vicious they are no real match for trained warriors and soon the rubble runners flee leaving their dead and dying behind.

“Hereward’s Sword!” is all the two scouts hear. They nod at each other; suddenly the night seemed good, revenge was on the cards. Carefully they check the foe; good neither the crazy blond woman nor the axe wielding Kargani were there. Then turn tail and rush back to the rest of their patrol. “Herewardi sir, maybe 6 of them. They’re fighting rubble runners at the moment. None of them are the ones high command want though.”

“Herewardi eh? This is our chance to give those bastards a bit of payback then.” Quickly devising a plan Sunny lays out an ambush across
the likely path that Egil and Graylor are about to take.

Catching their breath before going on, Egil and Graylor grin at each other. “Always nice to get a bit of exercise eh Egil?”

Egils nods in reply, “Yep shame it wasn’t trolls.”

Then picking up the trail they group set off once more, knowing Zebra Bridge isn’t very far away. They haven’t gone more than 500 yards when Graylor grabs Egil’s arm and points at a low bush just ahead of them. There caught gleaming in Sedenya’s light glints a soldier’s spear and shield.

The two men smile grimly at each other, “Maybe it’s time for my death song, we shall see,” says Egil. Pulling Evergleam out and hefting Sedenya’s Bluff he calls “Come out, come out where ever you are.” Then as his face and helmet meld into the head of a dragon once more he charges at the crouching figure the, others following behind him. Suddenly he seems surrounded as ten figures rise as one but his charge does not falter. Fuelled by anger and malice, Evergleam crashes through the spear of the first lunar and carries on to break several of his ribs.

Graylor strides forward and the nearest lunar to him is greeted by a sublime cut and thrust which leaves him without a right arm.

The lunars, whoes plan went awry, quickly regroup. Forming a line of 8, they set their shields and begin to advance. Egil decides that the
situation is bleak and with no hope of reprieve turns to Graylor and his cousin, “There is no hope, I must stay but you can get away, I’ll hold them. My death song can now be sung.”

Before any arguments can be made the sound of thundering hooves can be heard. Gerras starts blaring on his horn as 20 or so zebra riders come hurtling towards the fight. Quickly seeing the situation the riders turn their mounts to charge the phalanx’s flank. Knowing a hopeless
situation when they see it the Lunars break and run.

Egil turns to Gerras, "Do you know these fellows?"
Gerras nods.
"Who are they and who is the leader?"
"The tall fellow there is Junas and they are part of the Hu-hoof Clan, we call them that because they put metal on the zebra's hooves."
Egil walks across to where Junas sits on his zebra. He bows before addressing him. "Well met Junas, my name is Egil, may we thank you for your help. Indeed we are in debt to you. To repay a small part of that please accept this gift and I hope that in the future I can help you out of a similar situation."
Egil then hands the mounted warrior his finely crafted dagger.
"Well met indeed Egil, I thank you for your gift. I hope it is long before I need any other man's help but you never know what the Bull's
wind may blow your way eh? Well we are guarding the bridge so we will get back there. I bid you farewell." He turns his steed before galloping off followed by his men.
"Well that went well," says Egil. "Shall we head back and tell Siggyr what we found?"
Without waiting for an answer he begins retracing his steps back to Vur's camp.

"Interesting friends you have!" Graylor calls to Egil's back. "Good to have them around though."

As they return to Vur's base Graylor thinks about what needs to happen next. "I must ask Dori about joining the Herewardi. The Grand
Master released me in order to be free to do such a thing. There is no point in wasting time."

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