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Troll on the loose [Gundabad Quest]

Tags: Broddur,  OneLeg (Lo)

Short Summary: A lonely troll with a fetching peg-leg comes in search of Dwarven company
Date (real-life): 2011-04-04
Scene Location: Ered Mithrin, Abandoned Dwarven Halls
Date (in-game): August 3052
Time of Day: Night
Hall of Thrain I(#13892RnUf)

    As you pass through the gate you are astonished by the size of this room. Despite the effect of time and orcish occupation, you can still see this used to be a great hall. Now, some of the large, white marbled pillars have collapsed, the tapestries have either been burned down or torn. A few skulls and other bones litter the floor as well as orchish refuse. Dozens of feet above your head, you can see that the ceiling has also partly collapsed. All around you lay, broken on the ground, statues of the old dwarven occupants, defiled by the years as well as by the orcs living in the valley. Most of the passage ways and stairs leading out of this hall have collapsed or been destroyed. You notice one dark passage in the southeastern corner, as a chilling and foul air emanates from there..

Obvious exits:
Arch <A> and Great Door <GD>

Real time is: Mon Apr 04 15:13:12 2011
Game time is: Nighttime <23:39:36> on Mersday, Day 3 of August (Summer) 3052

Time is passing. Summer is waning and the Dwarves' urgency to reach Gundabad is surely no less - yet still they linger in the hidden valley, drawn like moths to flame or flies to a corpse to the ruined majesty of their kindred's halls of old. Not even the scents and sounds of trolls can keep them away for long.

Now a small group approaches the ancient ironworked door and edges through into the outermost chamber. Those at fore and rear bear torches, whilst others carry an assortment of equipment: ropes, sacks and even such delicate tools as quills and parchment.

"This sneaking about better be worth it," growls one stocky figure, hooded and cloaked, who sounds suspiciously like the Dwarven miner Broddur. Officially, the old Dwarf is supposed to stay away from the caverns, given his collapse on that previous expedition. Unofficially, it would seem he has as much interest in this place as any. "Still reckon we should have smoked the vermin out."

And perhaps they should, for even as Broddur speaks, a wisp of foul, stench-thick air comes wafting up into the hall from chambers unknown, as well as the long, drawn-out rumble of stone being dragged against stone. A low wail, almost too low for the ear to catch rumbles gently among the paving stones, and for a moment the light of the Dwarves' torches flickers and threatens to go out.

Broddur's breath rattles in his chest, and he coughs thickly, the sound echoing oddly round the vaulted chamber.

"What was that?" one of the younger Dwarves enquires nervously, glancing round as the torches flicker.

"Bah, likely nothing," comes the surly response. "Always odd sounds down there. Haven't you got work to be going on with?"

After a pause Broddur adds his own few grudging coppers worth: "There was a wall 'tween us and whatever vermin's holed up down there. Doubt they'd get through." Which, of course, does not take into account the piles of rotting debris found everywhere, or the fact that the last exploration of the lower chamber was cut short by Broddur's own ill-timed faint.

The torches are set in makeshift brackets in the rubble, the young Dwarf moves off to trace a copy of some interesting-looking runes on a statue base and others scatter about the chamber to shift rocks or explore shadowy corners (though always with hand close to weapon-hilt!) Broddur himself pulls out his trusty pick and moves determinedly toward the crack leading to passage and stairs, muttering stubbornly as he goes, "Not having some stinking air get the better of /me/!"

It is then that the air stirs anew, as though fetid breath, and even as the low moan continues from somewhere unseen, there is an almighty THUD! as though a great weight has smote the floor with fury. A grinding, rolling noise follows this, until at length an object comes tumbling out of the gloom toward the torchlight of the khazad party.

Coming to roll to a halt just at the edge of their firelight, the object is revealed as a great stone head; carved into the likeness of a King of Dwarves, recentely severed from whatever staute once held it aloft.

The moan in the darkness turns then to a snarl, and suddenly the rush of foul air seems much closer.

Even now, some of the Dwarves do not realize their peril, for a cry goes up of, "Ceiling's collapsing! Back, get back!" The young draughtsman halts the scratching of his quill to gaze up wide-eyed. Then he thrusts the unfinished copywork into his belt and starts scrambling toward the entrance, identifiable as much by its clean air as by the light of the wavering torches.

Broddur, however, is not so easily cowed, even when the severed head rolls to a halt near his stoutly planted feet. "Something stinks here," he growls - and then a fey mood takes him, for he takes a single step forward and calls into the darkness, "Show yourself!" Behind him there is the glint of torchlight on metal as others of his folk draw blade now.

There is a fresh snarl in answer, and suddenly the hall is shaken by the sound of a second great THUD in the darkness, ere several lesser thuds can be heard in its wake. A mighty roar fills the dank cavern with noise, until as the thudding rhythm grows louder, the shadow of a great huling shap in the dark can be made out upon the edge of the firelight. A monstrous foot steps into view, only to step away again a moment later, and then finally does a great rockslide of a voice come booming in answer.

"'Oo go thar?!" cries the mighty voice, in mangled and twisted words as though none have passed its lips in centuries. "Wot oo wan?"

The words are greeted by utter silence as the bearded faces illuminated by the dancing torchlight reflect various degrees of dismay, apprehension and anticipation. And then comes an answer, in a voice that rings with echoes of the deep places of the world: "The rightful owners of this place have come to reclaim their own!" The anonymous hood falls back, revealing that it is indeed Broddur the miner standing here, his ravaged face contorted in a snarl of his own as he swings his heavy pick toward the place where the foot had been.

"What's the old fool think he's doing?" someone else demands. "Back, get him back /now/! Best we meet it out in the open."

The young draughtsman (or rather, draughtsDwarf) reaches the entrance and hesitates there for a moment. Then he lifts a coil of rope and starts to secure one end to the doorframe, at a point about Dwarf-high.

You attack Logoz with your War Hammer...
Logoz dodges your attack.

But even as Broddur makes his bold rush forward, the great foot is withdrawn, and the miner's pick strikes at naught but the ancient stone of the floor. All the same, a second bestial roar fills the chamber, and the foot reappears nearby, followed by a second -- though this last is more striking than one might have guessed!

While the one foot is flesh and blood, albeit thick and tough as the toughest leather, this second is made entirely of granite! Toes and an ankle locked forever in place pound upon the ground, revealing the source of the lighter thuds, and into the ring of torchlight steps a gargantuan troll. Age and hunger have taken their toll upon the beast, his skin pocked and scarred even as his lank hair is the colour of dirty snow, and two evil eyes peer down at the Dwarves as though seeing light for the first time in this Age of the world. Indeed, at some point the sun's wrath must have struck him, for one leg is petrified to the knee, as lifeless as any statue, and this he pivots around as he glares down to Broddur.

"This.. place... MINE now!" he roars, and in answer to the miner's pick a titanic mace is lashed out in a bid to send the brave khazad flying.

Logoz attacks you with his Mace!...
...and he hits! Ouch!

ARB: You've been injured for 25 hp's by Logoz's attack...
...you have 73 left. Please RP this injury accordingly.

Broddur lets out a wordless growl of frustration as his pick bites rock, and strains to heave it free. "Not for much longer, sc-" The words end abruptly in the smack of the mace against metal and leather as the old Dwarf is sent flying across the chamber. For a long moment there is silence broken only by the wheezing of Broddur's breath - a wheezing that seems much more marked than before. Has the old miner bested by a single blow? But then he rises once more to his feet, displaced debris showering off him. "I see an ugly pillar in need of prettification," he grunts, tottering forward to aim another blow at the troll's foot - the non-stony one of the pair, despite his words.

From one of the other dwarves comes a groan. "Can't he /ever/ stop meddling? There's a time and a place." But kin are kin, and soon a throwing axe is arcing gracefully through the air toward the troll's moonlike thatch of hair. Meanwhile, the young Dwarf at the entrance has one end of the rope secured and is looping the other through the bars of the half-open gate, this way and that, as high as he can reach - a veritable cat's-cradle it looks.

You attack Logoz with your War Hammer...
Your attack against Logoz moderately wounds him!

The throwing axe sinks into the troll's cheek, which does little to improve his temper, and with a harsh cry of anger the ogre whirls about to scowl at the other Dwarves; just in time for Briddur's pick to come down upon his foot. Snarling and yelling now incomprehensibly, the mighty brute forgoes his mace for the moment, instead smacking the back of his sizable hand down at Broddur, perhaps hoping to knock the brave miner unconscious.

Logoz attacks you with his Bare Hands!...
...and you parry his attack with your War Hammer!

Broddur's wheezing breath rises in pitch as his pick strikes home. "Good start" he grunts, then ceases speech so he can yank the pick free, face contorting in what looks very much like pain as he heaves with all his might. The motion is fortuitous - his own momentum sends him tumbling back so that the pick's heavy head absorbs the worst of the blow. He is still forced onto his back, though, and lies there with dark eyes partly unfocused. As a biting gnat might try to sting the hand that bats it away, so does he jab the pick toward the monstrous arm dangling above him.

At this, the young Dwarf ceases his fiddling and cups both hands to his mouth to shout, "Regroup outside! Get it to follow us toward the entrance." Us? He, at least, is safe until the troll should deign to notice him - and there are other, nearer threats. The Dwarf who'd been complaining of Broddur's meddling nevertheless chooses this moment to charge toward the troll himself, swinging hopefully for a gargantuan leg.

You attack Logoz with your War Hammer...
Logoz parries your attack with his shield!

But the petrified leg of the beast has already been brought forth to shield him from Broddur's pick, and though the miner chips away a sizable chunk of what once was flesh from the calf, the roll seems unfazed. Snarling down in anger the brute chooses to fire out his mace a second time, this time in a down arc that looks as though it might stave in a mountain.

As the head of his weapon falls, though, the other Dwarf's axe sinks deep into the ankle of the brute, and he totters backward; perhaps a respiite for Broddur should the miner survive the strike.

Logoz attacks you with his Mace!...
...and he hits! Ouch!

ARB: You've been injured for 14 hp's by Logoz's attack...
...you have 59 left. Please RP this injury accordingly.

Broddur twitches as a sharp-edged flake of stone cuts across his cheek, leaving a ribbon of blood. No time to rise before the troll's mace comes crashing down, no time to do anything but roll, to the accompaniment of a heartfelt groan. Indeed, his fellow Dwarf's efforts may have saved him, for the mace no more than clips Broddur's shoulder before it hits the floor of the chamber with a mighty thud. The sound echoes hollowly through the chamber; the torches waver and indeed the very floor seems to quake. Might it presage things to come?

A clip from a troll's mace is of course not a thing to be sniffed at, and when Broddur does eventually manage to push himself to a sitting position his left arm is hanging limply. He stares at that gargantuan arm stretching away into darkness and then dares another swing. His fellow with the axe, emboldened by his success, raises his weapon for a second attempt.

The rest of the Dwarves are milling around, seemingly unheeding of the young one's call: he gazes a moment in frustration, then cups his hands to his mouth again and hollers out, "Oi, you mangy lump of rock! This way!"

You attack Logoz with your War Hammer...
Logoz dodges your attack.

Fierce eyes swivel in the dark, made for the night and to scour the deep places of the world, and so it is they fix upon the young Dwarf; narrowing then in outrage. "Oo wan me?" the beast snarls, lurching forward and thus evading the strike of Broddur's pick unwittingly, and the floor trambles all the more as the great petrified leg is stomped across it.

"Oo wan deff!!" the troll roars then, as it picks up speed, and sending out his mace to the side he removes a chuck from another pillar of ancient craft as he charges.

ARB: Logoz has "passed" on his turn to attack.

The young Dwarf visibly trembles at the troll's sudden burst of speed. This wasn't in his plan ... "Get out now!" he begs his fellows in a high-pitched squeak of a voice; a moment later, though, his tones have resumed their usual deepness. "I want you! I, uh ..." he racks his brain for a suitable title and comes up with a suitable title, "Ulla the Earth-trembler." Seeing a collision with the pillar have negligible effect on the charging being, he chooses this moment to duck through the part-opened Iron Door and out of sight into the cool, fresh air beyond.

Perhaps it's the troll that finally galvanizes the remaining Dwarves to attempt similar - or perhaps it's the ominous cracking noises coming from the ceiling. Either way, they scatter like chickens.

Which leaves Broddur, standing dazed and swaying, far behind. He takes several long, rasping breaths. The Dwarf with the axe leaves off his troll-harrying to approach the miner. "Broddur, come on, you old fool!"

A curtain of dust drifts down from the ceiling.

None of which is helped by the skidding to a halt of the troll, whose massive frame is set off-balance by the hindrance of his petrified leg, and with an almighty crash the ogre clatters into the iron doorway; falling to the floor in a healp of tough, stone-like flesh. A low groan saunters up to flow against the rain of dust, which has only increased following this collision.

Perhaps time is of the essence if Broddur and his companion wish to make it out alive.

Broddur's companion certainly has that wish. The old miner, though, fends off the helping hand reaching toward him with his pick. "I'll get out of here on my own two feet or not at all," he growls. Slowly, stubbornly, he hobbles forward, his pick clutched defiantly in his good hand. "Just you lie still till I get at you," he orders the troll irritably.

But then, in slow, stately fashion, a pillar that had been tilted at a crazy angle across the cavern topples down between combatants and their quarry. A cloud of dust showers the place, enough to tickle even a troll's nostrils, and a chunk of ceiling follows in its wake. When it clears, there is naught to be seen but rubble.

Meanwhile, just outside the cavern entrance, the young Dwarf is trying to restrain his fellows from going back in. "Wait till its head pokes out. /Then/ we can attack. It'll be dawn soon-" At the ominous noises of a rockfall, the squabbles abruptly cease.

Though the struggles of the troll do not, and that monstrous head rears indeed as the ogre attempts to clamber to his feet. All thought of attack seems to have been driven from his glecial wits for the present, coughing and sneezing angrily as he manages to haul himself upward, and using his petrified leg as a crutch the beast leans in apparent exhaustion.

Still, as the dust billows and begins to settle, the hideous face swivels atop gargantuan shoulders towards the entrance, and a snarl of menace suggests that this battle might not be over just yet should the anxious khazad decide to tarry further.

Indeed, the battle is far from over. But the bickering Dwarven voices first grow quieter and then fade completely. It appears that whatever end may come, it will not come tonight.

But as they have noted, dawn will come again, and soon, and perhaps then shall the fate of not only this beast of the ancient world but also the bold Master Broddur be decided...

Date added: 2011-04-05 04:41:47    Hits: 69
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