By Jaap-Peter Hazelhoff
Chapter 19 - Rising Early
Berdusk, 1371 DR, Eleint, 9th day, early in the morning
Telsom wakes early in the morning. Only a glimmer of the dawn is visible in the sky, which more closely resembles a night sky. The light of Selûne and the stars is still predominant. After refreshing and dressing himself, Telsom makes his way downstairs. Some of the inn’s staff are up as well, and preparing for the day. A quick breakfast is prepared, and on his request, Telsom’s horse is being readied.
“Good morning Saer.“ Ruldan walks into the room and greets Telsom. “Is there any message you’d want to leave for the young Lady Jalarghar?“
“Actually yes my friend.“ Telsom replies. “Would it be possible for a piece of parchment, a quill and some ink to be brought to me? I would hate to leave without at least saying goodbye in writing to the young woman.“
“Certainly Saer.“ Ruldan leaves to bring Telsom the requested materials, while the young paladin finishes his breakfast.
After writing his letter, Telsom is shown to the garden and the stables. “Ruldan I thank you for your help this morning. You do this house a great service.“ Telsom quickly checks Teri over and then departs, going at a quick pace to the location where Ditalidas was attacked the day before.
The cold morning air forms little clouds of the exhaled breaths of man and beast. Trotting through the still dark streets of a city that is waking up to a new day, Telsom is greeted by a few people. At the gates a guard salutes him. “Fair Morning and Safe Journey Saer.“
The trail toward the forest is empty. Looking across the fields and meadows, Telsom can see some wildlife scurrying or flying about; a few rabbits or hares, an owl, and a deer or two.
Telsom breathes deeply enjoying the crisp morning air, running a hand through his hair he then goes on to rub Teri’s ears one at a time. Enjoying the beauty all around while Teri trots ahead, Telsom takes up one of the roses from Ditalidas’ garden and breathes in its fragrance, as he does so the image of the lady entering the dining room in her gown comes running back into his mind. Sighing contentedly Telsom wraps the flower in a piece of cloth and places it in a saddlebag. “The light of dawn is clearing a path for us my beautiful steed. Shall we pick up the pace?“ As the day progresses and visibility improves Telsom urges Teri forward at a quickening pace.
As the first rays of the sun crest the hills on the horizon, Telsom arrives at the spot where the ambush took place the day before. Remains of the zombies are scattered about. More scattered and damaged as Telsom can remember. Letting out a deep sigh Telsom dismounts leaving Teri loose. “Stay here girl, if they come back we might have to make off quickly.“ Drawing on the power of Sune, Telsom raises a hand to each temple and concentrates, trying to sense any evil that may be lurking nearby. Turning in a small circle he examines the area all around. Turning a full circle, Telsom feels a throbbing behind his forehead when facing toward the river. Focusing on that area the throbbing remains faint, but constant. Removing his hands from his temples Telsom’s eyes narrow, “We shall speak in a moment.“ He mutters. “Be wary my friend, trouble is nearby.“ He whispers to Teri.
Keeping an eye on the direction from which he sensed the evil presence Telsom backs his way to the carnage and begins looking for the remains of Lady Jalarghar. His hand on the hilt of his rapier Telsom divides his attention between the carnage and the evil entity, finding the added threat manages to diminish the gruesomeness of his task slightly he still hurries wanting the horrid task to be done with as quickly as possible.
As Telsom tries to sort through the gruesome remains of the undead, he notices that the remains seem to have been gnawed upon; on some whole limbs are missing. Yet he can see no sign that might hint at a connection with House Jalarghar. A panicky reaction from Teri draws Telsom’s attention away. His eyes swivel to the river before checking on Teri, and in that brief glance he sees some movement in the bushes.
“Easy Girl!“ Telsom says as he jogs to the steed’s side. Once there unless a creatures bursts forth from the foliage he reaches out with his divine powers to sense whether there are one or more creatures of evil about. The faint throbbing is back as Telsom concentrates in the direction where he spotted the movement. A wild and wicked aura seems to penetrate the foliage, growing in size as the menace comes closer. Telsom can hear twigs break and branches snap. A few trees seem to sway as if something pushes them aside. A low growling noise can be heard. The noise clearly upsets Teri.
Ripping the rapier free from its scabbard Telsom moves back pushing Teri in the opposite direction. “Go girl. Stay out of the fight.“ Telsom angles his body sideways in a defensive stance and readies himself to face the rushing creature. As Teri runs away to higher ground, a horrid sight is emerging from the bush. A large, lanky green hulking beast shambles towards Telsom. It walks on two feet, yet in an awkward looking hunched position. Even hunched it seems to tower over Telsom. Its long, gangly arms are dangling almost to the ground. In its left claw it carries something that seems to resemble a human leg. It raises its ugly head, and its long pointy nose seems to sniff the air. Guttering something unintelligible, it shambles on toward Telsom. The ugly creature is an affront to all beauty in the world.
“I hope you’ve prayed to whatever foul deity that holds sway over your soul fiend. You’ll be moving to his or her side this day.“ Telsom moves into combat striking out with his rapier while praying to Sune to guide him. “Mistress, guide my blade so that together we might remove this blemish from the faith of the world.“ Almost as an afterthought Telsom covers his head with his steel helm. “Some nasty claws you’ve got there, beastie.“
Telsom strikes the first blow, and the rapier sinks all the way into the monster’s right forearm, the tip protruding near the elbow on the other side. The creature roars and pulls its arm back, ripping it of Telsom’s blade. Greenish-black ichors ooze from the wound that seems to close almost immediately. Simultaneously the monster brings the makeshift club to bear on Telsom with its left arm. The club comes down, barely missing Telsom, and hits the ground with a sickening smack.
“I’m sure the owner of that leg wouldn’t appreciate its use in such a manner.“ Moving around the creature in a tight circle the paladin strikes again, trying to cause a wound, which might not heal as quickly, yet the monster, belying its size and hunched form, moves with surprising agility. Telsom is barely the quicker, scoring a minor hit on the beast’s torso as the monster’s claw rips through the studded leather. Four furrows are opened in Telsom’s back and left side, making the paladin flinch in pain. Yet by moving on in the circular path, the monster is unable to attack with its second arm. The monster roars in annoyance.
Screaming in pain, Telsom continues his tactic, moving and slashing at the creature. “Mistress, give me the strength to continue, this being must be destroyed for it goes against all that you hold dear.“ Again Telsom is the quicker of the two combatants, yet the injury seems to affect him more then anticipated; Telsom’s attack goes wide. Trying to lunge after the quick paladin, the big brute swings its arms around, windmilling in the hope to slam its wounded prey to the ground. Yet for all its efforts, Telsom remains out of reach. Seeing not other tactic Telsom continues to use the run, slash attack until either he succumbs to the beast or it falls before his religious fervor.
Despite his injury, Telsom manages to launch an attack at the monster before it can react. Yet again the attack fails to score a hit on the beast. The beast’s claw flashes less then an inch before Telsom’s face, making the paladin take a step back involuntarily, into the reach of the monster’s other arm. A glancing blow brings the paladin out of balance. Trying to regain his footing and balance and slowed down by the awful wound, Telsom has lost the speed and momentum of his attacks. The big brute is the faster now; slashing out with a claw it rips the rapier out of Telsom’s hands. The club-wielding arm comes in low, and hits Telsom squarely on the chin. His helm lost in that last blow, Telsom stumbles backward, his arms flailing, trying to keep balance; to no avail. Sagging through his knees, black spots swimming before his eyes, Telsom drops to the ground on the verge of losing consciousness.
Telsom can feel the ground vibrating slightly as the hulking brute comes closer. Fully expecting the killing blow, Telsom is allowed a quick feeling of surprise as the creature lifts him up and drops him over its shoulder. The impact on the smelly creature’s back sends Telsom over the edge of unconsciousness: The light, of what would have been a beautiful dawn, gives way to blackness…
Sometime later, though Telsom has no idea how much later, he opens his eyes briefly. The daylight is stinging his eyes, and a pounding headache sends him just as quickly into unconsciousness again. But not before Telsom realizes he’s dangling upside down, suspended by a rope or such, tied around his ankles…
Emlyn’s journey North has been exciting and pleasant. The troupe of halfling magicians has said their farewells; they wanted to visit Scornubel and then travel toward the rising sun. Travel has been light and easy. The weather has been quite pleasant, no rain, a cool breeze and lots of sunshine.
Then one night after she had set up her camp, Emlyn feels as if eyes are watching her from the depths of the surrounding forest. Feeling uncomfortable she backs up to a large tree, only to discover the tree is moving. A huge claw grabs her over the face, nearly smothering her in the process. Emlyn faints…
“Yuck, what a stench!” That’s Emlyn’s first conscious thought after her capture. Opening her eyes and looking around, she finds herself chained in some sort of cave or crevice. A little daylight filters through the opening and a few cracks overhead, illuminating the area enough to see the gruesome details: discarded half-eaten carcasses, including a dog’s, piles of bones and filthy hides.
Suddenly the pile of hides moves, and some giant hideous monster comes forth. Greenish skin, covered in warts and dark stubble, the creature looks like a walking nightmare. It easily clears Emlyn by several feet even though it moves around in a hunched position, dragging its long lanky arms almost over the ground. Coal-black eyes seem to spark with some intelligence but more cunning over the long pointy nose. It regards Emlyn with mild interest, baring its dagger-like teeth in a mockery of a grin. Then it leaves the cave.
Every day the monster brings back fresh catch, deer, wild boar, sheep. It simply drops it in the cave, and only feasts upon it now and then. Though not inviting her to join, it appears that Emlyn is free to partake in the meals. Yet the abhorrence of the monster and the smell of the cave have ruined any appetite she might have had. Emlyn has enough slack in the chain to move around in the cave, yet the chain is too short to allow her outside the mouth of the cave. A little further into the cave there is a small pool, fed probably by rainwater that seeps through the soil and moss covering the forest floor overhead. Roaming through the cave while the monster is away Emlyn has found her own gear.
With nothing else to do, Emlyn decided to clean her part of the cave. Her hunger could not be ignored anymore, but the sight of the bloody carcasses could not yet bring her to eat the raw meat. With her equipment and enough loose rocks in the cave, Emlyn managed to build a small fireplace. After a few trials she manages to light a fire and roast some of the meat. Her hunger finally stilled, she crawls back into her little nice of the cave.
Then the monster enters the cave, sniffing the air. It fixes its gaze on Emlyn, its mouth dripping with saliva. Emlyn tries to crawl deeper into the cave out of reach, but she knows it will be to no avail. Her surprise therefore is great when the monster stops at her fireplace, it looks at the glowing embers and snarls yet cannot resist plucking the last part of meat that was still roasting on the fire. Tenderly handling the meat it sniffs it first, then carefully licks it. A deep rumbling sound emerges from the creature’s throat as it eats the roasted meat. Then it leaves, rolls itself in its bed of hides and goes to sleep.
The next day when the monster comes in with a fresh catch, it starts skinning the animal near the cave entrance. After it is done with the skinning it walks up to Emlyn carrying the bloody carcass. Making unintelligible guttural noises, the monster points with its huge claw first at Emlyn, then at the carcass and then at the fireplace. At first Emlyn looks blankly at the creature, then as it growls and snarls at her, repeating its gestures, Emlyn suddenly understands; the big brute wants its catch roasted.
With a little help from the monster, Emlyn manages to enlarge the fireplace to accommodate roasting the bigger carcass. When she starts the fire, the monster’s eyes narrow and it backs away from the fireplace a little. Soon Emlyn has the fire burning, and the pleasant smell of roasted meat fill the cavern. The big monster looks content, sniffing the air, but it seems to keep a wary eye on Emlyn and the fire.
When the carcass is finally roasted, the monster rips it of the fireplace and starts munching away. Again that same rumbling sound emerges from the creature’s throat. Emlyn cannot help but compare it to the purring sound cats make when they are content. Seeing her look on it, the monster tosses a chunk of roasted meat at Emlyn, and mimics for her to eat it.
And so a pattern seems to emerge between the giant monster and the small halfling. The escape attempts she tries seem to fail, and keeping the monster satisfied by cleaning its lair and roasting its meals seems to refrain it from eating her…
Then one morning when she awakes, Emlyn feels something changed. Looking around she sees the monster’s latest catch: a human. Hanging from a chain by his feet the human seems to be alive, but is terribly wounded. The monster has ripped open his studded leather armor and created four deep, still bleeding furrows into the man’s side. The man seems to be on the edge of consciousness.
On the edge of consciousness, through bleary and bloodshot eyes Telsom sees a small girl upside down looking at him. No wait. The small girl is standing on her feet; it is him who is hanging upside down.
Emlyn looks at the chained up human with concern in her brown eyes. “You don’t look good, saer.” She says. At the same time seeing the uselessness of these words, she continues, a little unsure whether the man can hear her: “I will try and find a way to get you down as soon as possible.” If the monster is away at the moment, she tries to estimate the height on which the monster has left the man hanging, how much care it has spent on fastening the chain.
Emlyn can almost walk under the human hanging upside down from the ceiling. The chain is wrapped around a rock outcropping and looks to be wedged tight with a piece of rock. The chain has damaged the man’s boots and pants, and it has chafed the skin around the ankles. To Emlyn’s eyes it appears as if the monster has paid just a little more attention to this catch then it would normally do to the meals it brings home.
“Child… please leave this place… the beast.” Grunting in pain, Telsom tries to muster the strength to stretch his arms to the wound in his side and use his lay on hands ability.
Trying to bite through the pain in his side and to ignore the pounding headache, Telsom reaches up with his arms. Just as his hands are about to close on the wound, the pain becomes too much and the world turns black once more. The man’s arms drop down besides his head, sending his limp body in a slow swing on the chain.
“Leave this place.” Emlyn mumbles, “now that’s easier said than done. Still, I’m not leaving here without lending you a hand…” She walks towards the rock the chain is wedged to and tries to unfasten it, with all her strength – which may be a lot lower than the monster’s, but still considerable for a halfling – and using anything useful in the piles of junk as a lever.
Climbing as close to the ceiling as possible, Emlyn pries an animal’s thighbone between the chain and the rock that wedges it. Clinging with one hand to the wall of the cave, Emlyn just can’t get enough leverage on the bone to move the piece of rock.
“Okay… then we’ll do it the hard way.” Emlyn gets down and piles up some junk to stand on in order to use both hands in unfastening the chain. She carries and kicks away the rocks and bones and hopes there will be something soft enough to land on if necessary – for both of them, probably.
Managing to avoid tangling her own chain, Emlyn climbs onto the pile. Putting all her weight behind the bone she pushes…
Then, without warning the bone snaps, sending Emlyn tumbling head over heels down the pile. Fortunately the rock that wedged the chain came loose and crashed to the floor. The sound of metal grinding on rock is almost deafening in the confines of the cave as the chain Telsom is suspended from slips over the rocky outcropping. With a dull ‘thud’ the man lands on the ground. The impact softened by the friction of the chain on the rock. Yet the weight of the chain causes it to slide further, and it partially buries the man.
The impact on the ground and the subsequent impact of the chain send waves of agony through the paladin, waking him up out of unconsciousness.
As the paladin awakens, he moans, moving as slowly as possible he brings a hand to his mouth. Kissing his hand he speaks in a low almost unconscious voice. “Mistress, I trust in you to heal whichever wound you find the direst.” As the pink glow spreads to his hand he lays it atop his face letting the magic do it’s work.
As Emlyn manages to untangle herself from her own chain, a pinkish glow spreads briefly through the cave as a soft pink light shines from between Telsom’s fingers. The warm glow flows through his body, relieving some of the pain. The wounds in his side have closed somewhat and most of the headache is gone. Yet Telsom cannot ignore the nausea that still hits him when any strain sends bursts of pain through his wounded side.
Emlyn gets back on her feet and returns to him. “I am sorry, saer.” She says earnestly, “but it was the only way for me to get you down.” She examines the various cuts and slashes on the man’s body and adds: “That doesn’t look pretty… I might be able to help, if you let me.” She rummages through her stuff to find her healing gear.
Smiling at the woman despite the pain and nausea Telsom nods his head. “I appreciate the help, young lady. Tell me how long have you been down here, and have you seen my sword or armor lying about?”
“How long have I been down here…?” Emlyn ponders. “Not long, I think, though any moment here is one too long.” She lifts the chain that binds her. “If not for this, I’d have got out of here long ago…” While she carefully uses some first aid on the man, she thinks about his last question. “No, I’ve not seen your sword, but I may be able to find it. My own stuff was in this junk.” She frowns. “The monster may have eaten, or tried to eat, my riding dog… I hate to think about that, but I won’t whistle and find out, in case the beast comes back.” As she finishes her healing work, she remembers something and fishes a small flask out of her backpack. “Here. I’m not sure how much it will do for you, but it will probably ease your pain somewhat.” She hands over the flask.
“Thank you for your aid milady. My name is Telsom Torentshed, a paladin in the service of Sune. I’m rather ashamed of myself at the moment, partly for not being able to best the beast, and partly because you seem to have wounded yourself in your attempt to save me.” Rising from the pile of refuse Telsom fingers the wound in his side and lets out a hiss of pain. “No milady, use your potion to tend to your own wounds. We’ll get those chains off of you and when the beast returns I will distract him so that you might escape, if we find my sword I’d only ask that you get it to the Lady Jalarghar in Berdusk.”
Emlyn touches the light bruises she sustained after falling, noticing them only now. “You mean this? Ah, I have been much worse for wear after training back home.” She says with a chuckle. Then she rethinks Telsom’s last sentence and looks him straight in the face. “I understand the heroism comes with the job.” She says in a straightforward way, “but you are being quite the fatalist.” She smiles to soften the remark a little, and adds: “I’ll be damned if I would leave you here for the monster, saer. I am able to wield a weapon myself, and I don’t mind fighting unarmed either – so if you have the unstoppable urge to fight it, I’ll still be here.” She carefully hands back the potion, this time with an expression that doesn’t take no for an answer. “I am Emlyn Ashenleaf…” She pauses for a moment. “And not in the service of anyone, as for now.”
“Thank you milady. And it is nice to make your acquaintance, it is unfortunate that it could not be under better circumstances.” Telsom says as he takes the offered potion and downs it’s contents. “I intend to fight the beast again, but I shall be better prepared the next time. Is there only one such creature living in this cavern?” Telsom examines the chains binding Emlyn and looks around for any makeshift weapon, or something to shatter the chains binding her.
As Telsom swallows the potion, he cannot help but grimace at the taste of the brew. Yet the wounds in his side close, leaving only very faint scars, and the headache seems to fade away.
“As far as I know, yes, it’s solitary. It… it wants me roast its animals for him. And make fire.” This time it’s Emlyn’s turn to look slightly ashamed. “That keeps it satisfied, well, at least while it is in here.” She looks at her chain. “If we can’t get it off, you should be the one to run for it. Maybe you can get some help at this Lady of yours…”
A little daylight filters through the opening and a few cracks overhead, illuminating the area enough to see the gruesome details: discarded half-eaten carcasses, including a dog’s, piles of bones and filthy hides. The floor is littered with pieces of rock and dead leaves. The pile of hides functions as the monster’s ‘bed’.
Telsom moves over to the pile of hides and removes a good-sized piece, he then moves over to a good-sized rock. Sitting down the man pull his knees up towards his chest and spreads the hide over the chains, folding it twice. Making sure there is a rock beneath the chains, the man brings the rock down in a quick motion once to test the amount of sound to come forth from the strike. If the sound is minimal the man will continue to pound at the chain, hoping that in it’s poor condition it will give before the stone. “If this works I’ll work on your chains next my dear.” He says as he works at the manacles.
Emlyn nods. “I hope it works – and it’s good to see you on your feet again.” She gets to her feet herself and starts searching the cave for the paladin’s sword, as well as any sign it might be her dog the monster has killed or just another hapless victim. Meanwhile, she keeps a wary eye (and ear) to the surroundings, should the beast return.
As Telsom is trying to break the manacles with a solid chunk of rock, the sound muffled by the piece of hide, Emlyn searches around the cave. Hoping to find Telsom’s sword, she only comes across a pile of collected junk partially covered by the hides: An old rusty dagger, a long spear, two small shields, a piece of strange looking bone, two more sets of manacles, a grimy reddish stone and small canvas bag, but no sword. Near the entrance she finds the remains of what once was her riding dog.
In the mean time Telsom has some success; the manacle on his left ankle breaks open. “Thank you my beloved Lady Firehair.” He says as he maneuvers the other shackle into a position where he can work at it with the stone.
“Poor thing.” Emlyn says softly as she discovers the dog’s death. “You didn’t even have a name yet. Now that’s what you get for being a loyal companion.” She adds somewhat bitterly. Apart from that, the riding dog being dead has also somehow severed a tie to the merry, sunlit past few days before she ended up here. Once again, she is a tiny halfling in a big bad world. So what else is new? Emlyn straightens her back, but the sadness remains in her eyes as she makes her way back to Telsom with the pieces of junk that might prove of some use.
Slightly distracted by the approaching halfling, Telsom misses the manacle, instead hitting his leg. “Ack!” He mutters as the stone collides with his leg. “Your loveliness distracted me fair Emlyn. Let’s try this again.” His next swing though hits the mark and the remaining manacle breaks apart. Pushing the manacles aside Telsom stands. “Milady if you’d be so kind as to sit by the stone I will begin work on you manacles. I’ll be sure not to strike your leg. We must hurry lest the beat return.”
Emlyn sits down. “Right you are. I don’t care if you hit the leg, I’d be hopping out of here on one if I could.” While Telsom gets to work, she continues, emphasizing her next words: “Just remember – if it returns, you’ll run like hell. I’m not that fast, certainly now the beast killed my dog, but it hasn’t harmed *me* before. So if this goes wrong, just run and ask this Lady Jalarghar of yours for help… well, provided she has help employed, as well as the big swords and sharp axes that usually come with it.”
“Despite the blow I just struck myself I’m sure I can move as fast or faster than the beast. I’m lightly armored and without weapons the burden of one as small as you would not slow me down. Should the need for sprinting present itself I will carry you in my arms.”
“Well, you do look better than before.” Emlyn smiles. “At least you’re able to strike your own leg again.” She adds, a bit ironically but in a friendly tone. “And you are probably right, I seem to forget my being small has its advantages.” She sits still while Telsom tries to break the chain, trying to make the work as easy as possible. “So a knight of the Lady Firehair.” She says eventually. “How did you end up here?”
As Telsom breaks the first manacle around Emlyn’s ankle, the pair hears some noise near the mouth of the cave. It is as if some creature is moving about. Telsom’s head snaps towards the door, anger and wariness clear in his expression but his face is devoid of fear. “Lady Emlyn, with the one shackle destroyed you should be able to run, I’ll attempt to remove the other one so that you have more mobility but should the creature return try you best to evade it and flee from the cave. I’ll do the same.” Looking down at her manacle the paladin brings the stone down muttering a prayer to Sune to aid him in his work.
When she hears the noise, Emlyn’s reaction is a short one. “Oh hell.” As soon as the manacle breaks, she grabs at her belt and pouch to produce her sling and a small stone, just in case. It suddenly seems even smaller. As Telsom brings down the rock, her quick prayer mixes with his. “Ilmater, please… make this easy, just once.” The stone ‘thumps’ down on the manacle and slips to the side, bruising Emlyn’s leg. Emlyn winces, and she barely can keep sounds escaping from her mouth, but tears from the pain well in her eyes. Yet the manacle broke open.
Outside the monster is pacing in front of the cave. It seems nervous and agitated, wielding a sturdy branch in its right claw. The young paladin winces a devastated look crosses his handsome features as he looks at the pain he has brought to the woman who has helped him so much. “I… I’m sorry Lady Emlyn. Curse me for a fool, I should have been more careful.” Emlyn quickly wipes her face. The only sound of groaning she makes is a quick thank you to Ilmater. She flashes Telsom a strained but reassuring smile. “Well, it has come off, hasn’t it?”
Looking to the exit, the shame remains on his face but the resolve of moments before returns as well. “You wouldn’t happen to have flint and steel on you?” He says while offering his hand to the woman, “Here let me help you to your feet.” She grabs the young man’s hand and gets up, confidently putting her weight on her foot, wincing slightly and initially limping a bit. While not ignoring the pain it causes, she walks around a little to get used to it and meanwhile answers Telsom’s question. “Actually I have… I was in charge of the fire here.” She grimaces, somewhat ashamed herself for being kept as a pet. “I have pondered the same before, but…” She looks at her swollen but unchained feet. “…It wouldn’t have helped me then.” Then she rummages through her pack and produces the flint and steel.
As Emlyn rummages through her pack for the flint and steel, the young paladin moves about quickly gathering some long bones, binding them together with thin pelts he binds it as tightly as possible and brings it to Emlyn. “Let us see how that creature fares against flames shall we?”
Emlyn takes the flint and steel and begins to light the fire. “I do suggest we keep to the side of the cave then… that way we have the best chance of outrunning *that*.” She nods vaguely in the nervous monster’s direction. After a few tries, Telsom manages to light the makeshift torch. Besides the flames, the torch also provides a thick smoke, which smells awful. Outside the cave, the Troll moves away and with a few bounds is out of sight. Despite its size and lumbering appearance it moves with surprising agility and does so very quietly.
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