Sunday, June 23, 2013

Troll Hunter (Part 3)

Parts 1 and 2 of this four-part (probably) series can be found here and here respectively.

     The grey walls of Gretmot poked out of the treetops.  Blurs up on the battlements focused into bowmen as Lady Edlewine hit the tree line.  Fewer than a dozen trees thick, the forest buffeted little but visibility.  As it was, Edlewine managed only snatches of the trolls’ burly forms.  A southern troll in plainer view hefted a rock from the unkempt plain toward the fortress.  The cracking of stone mixed with snarling from the trolls and shouts from the men.
     “There sounds to be quite a few of them,” said Baron Raymond.
     Edlewine adjusted her skirts.  “Sixteen trolls and an ogre.”  More than even I have fought with far more retainers.  Aramel may be needed after all, she thought.
     Prince Luther cleared his throat.  “At the time of Lady Edlewine’s departure, she means.  Surely Gretmot’s defenders lessened their number.”
     The party galloped out into the field of battle.  Edlewine spotted three massive corpses strewn across the grass, each with no less than a score of arrows embedded in their torsos.  One troll staggered, its hands clutching at a tight grouping of bodkins plunged into its heart.  It dropped to its knees, and then collapsed in a heap.
     “Worry not, my fellows,” came Sir Henry’s whine.  “We have a troll hunter among us.”  Edlewine turned to frown at him.  He smirked back.
     “Do not charge them head-on,” said Edlewine, returning to her usual facing.  “The Baron and I will swing to the back of their formation.  Prince Luther, take your knights just behind their center.  Harry the back line while we slit their hamstrings.”
     “As you say, milady,” said the Prince.  He motioned for his men to follow.
     Edlewine caught a glance of the lone ogre, its biceps rippling as it lifted up a stray boulder.  A wolf-shaped burn adorned its near shoulder.  Likely the Wolf King, she thought.
     “God be praised,” shouted an archer from the crenels.  “Reinforcements.”
     Edlewine looked toward the wall, smiling weakly.  She drew her longsword from its enamel scabbard and kneed her horse toward the rearmost hill troll.

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