by Max Barry

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Region: The Empire of Tamriel

Giant Problems 16th Sun's Dawn, 4E 203

"Not another mountain!" Sir Plutarch groans and huffs making his way to the top of a ridge where the other party members have stopped to wait for him.

"What's the problem old Pluto, not used to hiking back home in Colovia?" Sir Jaquavis laughs at his colleagues downcast face as he sees the last small mountains and foothills immediately ahead of them.

"I'm surprised you do so well here Jaq, I thought Hammerfell was mostly a desert." Sir Plutarch says bending over winded and catching his breath.

"Yes, Alik'r is beautiful." Sir Jaquavis smiles and looks up out at the snowy foothills. "This is nice too though, a desert of snow rather than sand."

"Look, I can see Whiterun in the distance." Maerwyn says pointing to a little glowing lights on the horizon to the south, barely in view past the last range of mountain.

"Home...." Medea says to herself softly. "It's been so long...."

"Do you still want to go?" Maerwyn turns to Medea and puts his arms around her.

"Yes......and no. Do you still want to declare marriage to me to my dad?" Medea looks up at Maerwyn.

"Yes." Maerwyn kisses Medea deeply as the sun comes up over the horizon. The two lovers hold each other in embrace for a long while and the rest of the party starts down the slope and towards the next one without them.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Please! No more mountains!" Sir Plutarch groans coming up the last mountain ridge which the party has been ascending the past two hours.

"This is the last one Pluto, just hills from here!" Sir Jaquavis laughs and pats his friend on the back.

"Let's at least take a break!" Sir Plutarch collapses into the snow sinks deep in his heavy armor.

The party sets up a small fire and cooks some food everybody and rests for the next few hours as the early morning sun rises in the sky. Trollz merrily frolics around the mountain top in the snow. Medea and Maerwyn sit apart holding each other and talking intimately about their wedding and the looming confrontation with Medea's father. The three legionnaires and Cassandra and Asher share a meal.

Trollz gleefully slides down the slope a little in the snow past the view of the party. Getting up and doing a trolldance he runs around in some circles before falling down and rolling around happily in the snow. Trollz closes his eyes rolling around in the cold relief of the snow on his back and for once he almost can remember what his home was like, a dank cave, and his brother Trollz whom M'aiq the Liar had killed, and his father Trollz, and his mother Trollz. He remembers his mother Trollz bringing him and his brother Trollz some tasty rat meats as a little Trollz pup.

Sitting up starkly Trollz sniffs the air and unmistakably across the crisp wintry air he can smell the roasting of a rat, or at least something not dissimilar from a rat. Curious, hungry, and nostalgic Trollz ambles towards the scent. As he approaches he sees a large bonfire several feet high. Around the fire are spits of roasting skeevers. Trollz when he sees the massive bonfire, instinctively lurches back at the sight of fire, but having become used to it his anxiety settles and he cautiously approaches the roasting skeever. It smells quite like a rat, but looks a bit different, bigger and longer. Trollz shaking with fear of the bonfire, puts forth his hand and quickly takes the skeever off the spit and retreats away from the fire next to a rock and bites into it. It is delicious to Trollz and he devours the whole thing. Noticing a new smell right next to him Trollz rummages curiously through some large sacks sitting out with a bunch of mammoth cheese in them and he devours them merrily.

Rolling over Trollz lets out a loud belch which is answered by a curious and loud grunt from the other side of the fire. Suddenly the ground begins to shake and a figure of a massive man stands up, and walking around the huge bonfire, looks down at Trollz. The giant's crude club is held slack in it's hand and it bends over taking a curious look at Trollz not quite sure what to make of him. Trollz looks back up at the giant and taking the half eaten skeever from the ground puts it before the giant as a sorta offering. The giant looks at the half eaten skeever and looks at the spits by the fire and then looks back at Trollz. Like trolls the giants are semi-sentient animals and it doesn't take the brute much brain power to figure out Trollz has eaten his skeever. Letting out a terrible roar the giant swings his club, connecting it squarely to Trollz chest and sending him flying hundreds of feet into the air. Trollz looks out at much of Skyrim his chest aching and then bins rapidly falling back to the ground.

The glow of a minor featherfalling 25 spells connects with Trollz sent from below by Cassandra, it is not enough to stop his fall from leaving him unhurt, but it cushions his fall enough to save him. Trollz lands near the party that has readied itself at the sound of the giant's roar. With a frightful thud Trollz hits the ground unconscious with just a sliver of life in him. The ground shakes as the giant with massive strides runs in at the three legionnaires, Cassandra, and Asher. Sir Plutarch takes a mighty swing of his hammer which the giant blocks. Sir Jaquavis manages to get a few cuts in at the creature's legs before it rounds on him making him back off. With a minor backhanded swing the giant's cudgel connects to Sir Mazog's shield, knocking the orc down to the ground. Asher dances in a thrusts his spear up into the giant's face gouging its eye out. Bloodcurdling roars escape the giant and it brings its hammer down with such force it sends all five of the heroes to the ground stunned. Enraged the giant holds its hammer up high preparing a certain death stroke against Asher.

Around a corner Maerwyn and Medea appear having heard the commotion and come running. Maerwyn looses an arrow striking the giant in the wrist causing it to drop the club as its tendon is partially sever and its hand goes rigid. The giant looks up just in time to see the wood elf discharge another arrow which hits it dead in the other good eye. Just as the giant is about to let out another wounded cry Medea casts the Finger of the Mountain, it connect squarely with Maerwyn's arrow in the giant's eye like a lightning rod sending a massive shock straight to its brain. Sir Plutarch hastily jumps up and pulls Sir Jaquavis off the ground before the dead giant, falling backwards, almost collapses on top him.

Everyone rushes over to Trollz who is still unconscious on the ground. Maerwyn looks down at the ugly bruise on Trollz chest and recoils. He lowers his ears to Trollz mouth and detects the faintest of breaths. Trollz is still alive, but having been knocked down the 5 HP is fast knocked out while his inherent ability as a troll to regenerate heals him. Sir Plutarch and Sir Mazog picks Trolls up between them and the party slowly moves into the giant camp of Stonehill Bluff. Cassandra casts life detection and this camp is cleared though in the distance she points out another giant camp, Blizzard Rest, and a large mammoth herd below.

The party quietly settles into this camp and loots it for some food and rests and heals for the night. They make use of the bonfire to stay warm, and finding some decent treasures in the giant's chest, mostly some coin and jewelry that they intend to sell. Trollz recuperates through the night and becomes conscious and is fed late at night and is laid back down to get some more rest.by Cassandra whom looks after him and casts minor heal every now and then on him. Below them in the distance Whiterun sits quietly in full view. Maerwyn and Medea hold each other through the night by the bonfire looking out at their destiny ahead of them.

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