Beginning for Friday’s story.
Story part 2
Men and women armed with all manner of ragged weapons rush to the front buildings that offer a small screen of cover from the approaching trolls. The guard continues to ring the bell alerting the town to the incoming menace. Children are swept off streets, those unable to fight rush to back of the town and into whatever buildings that can house them.
The frantic pace slows as the defenders continue to check and recheck weapons while the trolls, still incredibly distant continue in their almost mechanical march towards the town.
As the sun climbs higher into the sky the heavy smell of sweat and nerves collect all around you. Ben Bobbin moves to your side and stands next to one of the faceless buildings that face the desert. Scattered metal railings are dragged out and efficiently block off the roadways that enter the town on both ends. Though they will most likely do very little good against the Trolls.
Far out into the distance you can see the tawny black and red skin of the revenger as it towers above the trolls. Chains connect it at the arms and neck to 3 handlers who juggle its control, keeping the blindfolded creature on pace with the trolls leading it.
The Revengers head is covered by a helmet of old car rims, one on its crown and a rim covering each side of its head. Even from this far away you can see the blindfold that covers its massive eyes. Along its shoulder appear to be an old steel beam. Either from an ancient building or some other massive construction.
“What the fuck do we have here Ben?” Marshall Wallace tromps up to the deputies side, barely coming up to the thin man’s chest. His bearing and the general feeling of threat that he exudes makes him look equal to the human. His black curly hair and beard and streaked with dust and sand.
“Looks like a 5 by 5 formation Marshall. Revenger in the back.”
Wallace spits onto the side of the building, pulls a large long cylinder from his side and holds it to his eye. “Aye. That’s what it is. Good eye Ben.” He looks at you both as you stand there.
Then he looks back to the Trolls. Then back at you.
“Ben, go get Grot from his mine.”
“Yes Marshall.” Ben runs off.
The dwarf says nothing to you, simply pretending as if you don’t exist. He pulls an old long cylinder handgun from the holder on his side and checks the chambers. The gun is massive and as he checks each bullet you can see that they are almost the size of a human’s index finger.
He sees you staring at the gun. “And old earth Paladin carried this. His name was Harry. Saw a pic of him once.” He clicks the cylinder back into the gun. “Ugly fucking human.” He adds muttering to himself.
A moment later Ben returns. Behind him, still wiping soot from his face, stands an 8 foot troll. His black and gray hair matted down with soot and sweat. he wears no shirt, but wears dirty brown breaches and massive boots. He bristles with troll muscle. His features are bulbous, brows as thick as a mans’ fist, eyes like palm size saucers filled with glittering gold and black flecked eyes, and a nose like an engorged sausage with deep black nostrils.
“Grot!” Marshall greets the troll.
The troll looks from the Marshal to you and then back to the Marshall. “I am not digging.” The troll says plainly.
The Marshall nods, “I will get you back to your mine. I need you to help us out Grot. We have some of your brothers on their way here. Can you talk to them?”
Grot looks out into the desert and then back to the Marshall. Thick black fingers folding over a belt around his waist he looks as if he is staring down a child.
“Came to fight.” Grot says matter of factly.
Marshall nods at that. “Rare though. We haven’t had problems with them in some time. I would rather not kill them all.”
Grot stares him down for a couple more seconds. “I need a new shovels.”
Marshall nods again, “I will make sure you get them.”
“And a pick. Short one. The tunnel is small. No room to swing. No…2 picks.”
“Wayland will get you what you need. On me.” The troll nods to Wayland who is standing behind a series of boxes and barrels he has piled up beside the building. The shopkeeper calls back over his cover, “Grot. Its yours!”
“I like horse.” Grot says to no one in particular.
Marshall shakes his head. “I told you. We need them for riding. Wayland has jerky.”
Grot thinks a moment, “Hard meat?”
“Yes just the way you like it. Lots of pepper.”
Grot nods. “Deal.” Without another word he walks past the Marshall easily steps over the barricades the town has put into place and begins to walk out into the desert.
10 minutes pass as the solitary troll and the phalanx make their way towards one another.
Out in the sands you see the phalanx come to a stop and the center of the troll group separate to let one of their members walk forward.
For many minutes Grot and the troll talk, occasionally gesturing back into the desert and towards the town. For a moment the conversation seems to be at an impasse. Then both trolls step forward slap one another on the shoulder and turn around.
In a few moments the troll phalanx is heading away from the town while Grot makes his way back. An almost tangible feeling of relief comes over the town but no one leaves the battlements yet.
Grot makes his way up the little incline and steps back over the battlements. The troll phalanx is almost no more than a dot in the distance now.
“So?” Marshall asks.
Grot points to you both. “Came for them. Says that these two killed a tribal brother.”
Marshall shoots you both a look of disgust, “How did you get them to leave.”
Grot smiles, yellow and dark skinned teeth flashing rarely, “They want help. There is a tooth and wing fortress 1 days walk to the north. They have killed all the trolls nearby. They want someone to destroy the fortress. If we don’t they will come back and take the town.”
Marshall thinks a moment, “How the hell does a Gargoyle kill a troll?”
Grot thinks on that a moment then looks up.
Marshall doesn’t understand and says as much.
Grot looks up again.
Only then does the Marshall smile in understanding. “Ah. You guys can’t look above you very well.”
Grot nods. “They drop us. We weight lots…fall fast.”
“How many?” Ben asks the troll.
Grot smiles again and slowly chuckles “Less than a phalanx.”