Sunday 13 December 2015

Trollbane - Part 1

The sword pulled free of the dead mans chest as his limp body fell away from the fight. Crimson droplets of blood floated from the toppling marauder as Bloodthirster drank its fill. Reven turned away from the crumpled corpse as his enchanted blade supped on the last of the mans lifeblood. He sought his last victim; the final foe in this dismal quest. "Show yourself coward. I require your head to collect my reward", Reven's voice reverberated off the dungeon walls. He searched the gloom of the abandoned throne room for a sign of the marauder warlord. "I am no coward, assassin", the voice came from everywhere, refusing to betray the speakers position. "However your legend grows and I have no wish to test my mettle against your vampiric blade or the warhound that is no doubt awaiting your return at the entrance to my lair. So I have an offer for you" as the echo of his voice faded Warlord Greer stepped into the torchlight to Reven's left.

"You are a man of honour" he said as he moved toward Reven. "I trust that if I have your word you will keep it". Reven snorted, "Do not attempt to talk your way out of this. My word may be trustworthy but yours are spoken with the tongue of a rapist and murderer. I should remove it before you try and pour poisoned honey in my ear" he brought Bloodthirster to bear to accentuate his words. "Please master slayer, stay your hand until you have heard what I have to offer" Greer hastily pulled a scrap of well used parchment from his leather tunic. The bone trophies of his many victims jangled as he did so and he threw the paper down in front of Reven, before backing away, arms wide to show no menace. Reven edged forward and bent to pick the paper up, never taking his eyes off the warlord. "Kneel", the hunter called and Greer quickly complied, sinking to his knees. Reven scanned the paper in his hand, it was a map; of where and of precisely what he was not sure but any fool could see it was incomplete. It was ripped down one edge. "What is this? You try to buy your worthless life with some half finished scratchings on weathered paper. You take me for a fool". "No mercenary" Greer responded, scrambling to his feet, "that piece of paper is the way to a long lost fortune, well, half of the way. I will trade the other half for my life. Swear to me that your fearsome blade will not separate my head from my shoulders and I will reveal the location of the second piece of the map." "You really do take me for an idiot Greer" Reven responded dropping the torn map piece to the floor. "Draw your weapon and die with some dignity. Reven advanced as he spoke, making Greer back away. "Tis' the way to Lord Gandlesons lost trove. A treasure that has been sought by adventurers for centuries. The elven relics it contains are beyond priceless, please I beseech you Reven. Heed my words and spare my life". The warlords hastily spat words stopped Reven in his tracks. Lord Gandlesons lost treasure was stuff of legend and would promise legendary status to whomever should find it. "You have my attention fool. Speak quickly, how did you come by this map." Greer held his palms up in supplication, "I happened upon it after we sacked a wizards tower outside of Ux. It's meaning was lost on me until a scholar of my acquaintance studied it. I tore the map in two to protect the knowledge the parts contained."

Reven snatched up the part of the map he had cast aside. "Fine, you have my word. I will not end your life. Where is the second part of the map?"  Greer, smiling broadly rushed at Reven, hand outstretched. The mercenary grasped his hand to seal the deal, releasing it swiftly. "It is right here my lord", chuckling Greer pulled another piece of paper from his tunic and placed it in Reven's outstretched hand. "Well played murderer" Reven responded as he turned to walk out of the room. "Leave his head in tact" he said as he disappeared into the gloom. "Who do you address warrior?" Greers voice echoed after Reven. "My friend was cold so he came in from the night." On cue Fang, the towering warhound, appeared out of the dark. His growl shook the ground beneath Warlord Greers feet. The evil man didn't even get a chance to scream. Fang launched himself forward and snapped his powerful teeth down on Greers shoulder, separating a huge chunk of torso from the rest of the vile mans body. Reven smiled in the darkness as Fang finished his meal.