Peace

Peace

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Summary

Ten years on from the Shadow Wars peace has seen Severine thrive under the continued leadership of King Titus. Alexander Tor’al has vanished into the footnotes of history while Nathan Drison has retired to the quiet life. For Brent T’elc, Chosen of Heironeous, life has also changed. No longer adventuring beyond the next horizon he has finally found peace in one location. Commander of an army and beloved leader in Land of Zealots he continues to walk the difficult path of Chosen. Yet Brent knows all to well how fickle finding peace can be. I have used the D&D religion of Heironeous and have done so only out of deep and abiding respect and love for it. I have written added my own analects and personality, but have tried to keep as honestly to some materials found in the D&D world as I can. This is, for legal purposes, a fanfiction under the Open Games Licence.

Summary

Ten years on from the Shadow Wars peace has seen Severine thrive under the continued leadership of King Titus. Alexander Tor’al has vanished into the footnotes of history while Nathan Drison has retired to the quiet life.

For Brent T’elc, Chosen of Heironeous, life has also changed. No longer adventuring beyond the next horizon he has finally found peace in one location. Commander of an army and beloved leader in Land of Zealots he continues to walk the difficult path of Chosen. Yet Brent knows all to well how fickle finding peace can be.


I have used the D&D religion of Heironeous and have done so only out of deep and abiding respect and love for it. I have written added my own analects and personality, but have tried to keep as honestly to some materials found in the D&D world as I can. This is, for legal purposes, a fanfiction under the Open Games Licence.

Chapter42 (v.1) - Chapter Forty-Two

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: November 11, 2016

Reads: 104

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: November 11, 2016

A A A

A A A

CHAPTER FORTY-TWO

 

It had been three days since Brent’s forces had met up with those from Halerin and Primus. Together they had set up a minor city of tents for those that had come to fight as well as to house the refugees whom as of yet were too injured or ill to travel south to safety.

 

Upon arrival Brent had led a team to the previously known location of the frost giants camp but had found the area bare beyond the usual signs of habitations such as cold fireplaces and animal carcasses. They had scoured the hill lands searching for them but all they had found were traces of their passing. It was as if they had criss-crossed through the hills for weeks. Other scouts, those that arrived with King Titus’ elite guard, had also found troubling news: the bodies of wild animals strewn across the grasslands near Aberteen. Many were flayed and ripped apart but not consumed, as if they were killed for pleasure rather than consumption.

 

It was late afternoon when Brent gathered with his fellows to share a meal. Aesthyr handed out the food. “Any luck?” Jason shook his head.

“Damn things should be easy to spot. It’s not like they can hide down a rabbit hole.” Damien growled and drew a map in the soil. “The only places left are here and here,” he said marking the spots with an X. Brent frowned and pointed to the western X. “It’s close to the border but they could just as easily go back to where they’ve already been. Why move around so much? They know we’re here. The longer they leave it, the better our chances of winning.”

“The whole thing is insane,” complained Jason as a collective groan rose from Aesthyr and Patrick. “‘Summer is nearly upon us’,” quoted Aesthyr between bites. “We know already.”

“Can’t we just enjoy a quiet meal?” asked Patrick. “One without giants?”

 

A cry went up on the outskirts of the encampment. “Apparently not,” hissed Aesthyr discarding her bowl and leaping to her feet. Tightening the straps on their armour, the paladins doused their campfire as the camp sprung into action around them. Gripping Patrick’s shoulder Brent ordered, “Get to the refugees and other non-combatants then fall back. This place is no longer safe.” Patrick hesitated a moment, kissed his lover’s gauntlet, and dashed away. “Right you lot,” said the Chosen pulling Truthbringer free of its scabbard. “For Heironeous!”

“For Heironeous!” came the echoing reply as they charged together into battle.

 

Panicked civilians gathered what they could in their arms and ran helter-skelter to the back of the encampment while soldiers and warriors alike pushed their way to their assigned positions. Funnels of smoke began to appear, starting from the place where the alarm was raised and quickly moving outwards in an arc throughout the camp. A voice rose above the din, “Get those fires out!” Men with buckets and burlap sacks hurried to obey.

 

Ahead they saw the frost giants. Taller than a farmhouse, the hulking pale blue warriors were clad in metal belts, breastplates and skirts. Huge yellow white braids decorated their beards. In horror they watched them lift an array of massive clubs, lances and swords. Titus’ troops had already formed ranks to face the incursion.

 

A presence was the only warning Aesthyr got. She threw herself forwards and was narrowly missed by an upturned brazier. As the glowing coals scattered by her boots she thought she saw the shadow of a large black mountain cat. Yanked to her feet by her commander she said, “Did you see it?” Sword raised he continued to watch the vicinity as Jason and Damien put out the fire with dirt. “No. Felt it though. There!” he shouted pointing as another fire scattered nearby. “Some kind of sentient monster,” replied Aesthyr retrieving her sword. “Quick – we must get all the fires out before that thing burns us all.”

 

Stew pots were upturned and the hiss of steam filled the air as word quickly spread. Brent and Damien took position by a remaining brazier. They didn’t have to wait long before they were washed over by evil. Striking as one they managed to hit the shifting shadow. A howl filled the air as a huge black puma materialised before their eyes. Eyes glowing yellow, its long sharp fangs glistened with intended malice as it spun to face the ones that dared strike at it. Stretching a good five feet in length, the giant puma had six legs, two extra ones positioned directly behind its forelegs. On its back were two long black limbs that would have best been described as tentacles apart from the fact that they were covered in black fur and each ended in a pad that contained vicious looking raised barbs. The cat hissed a warning before lifting its muzzle and howling. Answering calls sounded throughout the area. Knowing they were about to be overrun the two paladins fell into step. With the practised ease of men who had fought together many times before, they raised their swords and attacked.

 

 

By the front line Jason stood ready with Titus’ soldiers. The giants were almost upon them yet showed little interest in those gathered like a gaggle of hens before them. King Titus yelled to them in challenge, “Come no further or we shall be forced to lift our hand against you!” Yet it was as if the summer wind shouted to the trees. Glancing down the frost giants stepped over those gathered and continued on their way. Being braver or more foolhardy than the rest, Jason scrambled through the ranks to launch himself at the back of the giant’s leg. Slamming his shield against his bare skin he demanded his attention. After several strikes the giant in question paused and turned. Picking up the plucky paladin he flicked him away through the air and continued on. Sailing over the white tent canopies Jason braced himself for landing.

 

Rising with new bruises and a swiftly healed broken leg, the young paladin snarled in anger. He was about to give chase when he saw his commander pinned down by a big cat. Charging to his side he rammed his blade home whilst the beast was distracted. Grinning Brent held out a hand and was pulled out from under the heavy body of the beast. Damien stood up as he too retrieved a bloodied blade from the stomach of a creature. While Brent healed his wounds with a prayer three more black cats materialised around them. “Chosen,” hissed Damien, “there’s more.” Tightening his grip on his sword Brent snarled, “’Never die easy.’”

“Better yet,” added Jason covering their backs as the cats closed in, “don’t die at all.”

 

 

Bloodied from her most recent fight, Aesthyr wiped her sword clean on the grass and grinned toothily. “‘Be ruthless on the battlefield,’” she whispered to herself searching the grounds for her next target. The giants had moved in and were walking amongst the tents but for the moment seemed to be doing no harm in the way she had been expecting. Raiders would burn and steal, not prowl like a hunter. A moment of clarity struck her as she realised the frost giants weren’t attacking so much as hunting. Yet her train of thought was put aside as a shadow materialised a scant metre away from her. “Let’s dance,” she hissed and charged.

 

 

The howls of the great cats haunted the battlefield. Men fell, their throats ripped out and their bodies slashed by claws. The clerics worked in a frenzy, creating sanctuaries in which to heal those too wounded to move. Rings of soldiers surrounded them, leaving the more experienced fighters and paladins to wage war.

 

Then, as suddenly as it had began, the battle ended with the final snarl being silenced by the landing of a heavy club. Lifting his kill onto his back the largest of the frost giants leered down at the small humans. Falling into step each of his fellow giants collected beasts that they themselves had killed, systematically leaving any that they had not personally ended where they lay.

 

All this was watched in the shocked aftermath until a horrified voice was heard. “No! You can’t have him!” Brent looked around and saw that some of the frost giants had also collected the bodies of slain humans. The head of Halerin Territory was already running and shouting at them to put down the bodies, brandishing his mace and bellowing to no avail. Spotting the path they trod he hurried to intercept them.

 

“NO! TOSK! STOP!” commanded the Chosen blocking their path. The giants looked down at the man who barely reached their knee in height then back to their leader. “Su dod,” the Chosen demanded imperiously pointing to the human bodies several of the giants had collected. The giants spoke too swiftly for Brent to follow but he heard the phrase ‘maat kjott’ mentioned several times and swallowed uncomfortably at the implied ‘good meat’ of which they spoke.

 

Without taking his eyes off the Jarl Brent instructed, “Get me three of the beasts’ heads. Quickly!” Moments later Damien brought over what he required. “Traktat,” he shouted up at the Jarl pointing to the heads. “Ettin hellig krigga,” intoned the largest giant, “es drac feng, nct traktat, rang.” The Chosen held his yellow stare and lifted his chin in challenge. “Ie rang deg tru traktat,” he reiterated angrily forcing every syllable from between gritted teeth, “unn stomm te an stomm – su dod tre kjott.” The frost giant stroked his beard and barked a laugh that was quickly echoed by his followers as they dropped the bodies carelessly to the earth.

 

As the Jarl knelt to collect the severed heads Brent asked, “Nes locta?” The frost giant casually gestured to the slain beast between them.  “Dirlagraun.”

“Dirlagraun?” repeated Damien prodding it with his boot. Brent’s eyes widened in recognition and glanced between the giant and the beast. “Dirlagraun,” explained Brent quietly as the giants walked away, “means ‘astral beast’ in their language. There are only three creatures that I know of that fit the description. But only one is evil.” Kneeling down for a closer inspection Brent cautiously lifted the gum of the creature’s mouth away, exposing its pointed teeth. “This,” he said with conviction, “is a displacer beast.”

 

 

Jorlten translations

Tosk = Fools

Su dod = Our dead

Ettin hellig krigga = little holy warrior

es drac feng, nct traktat, rang = we take, not trade, honour

Ie rang deg tru traktat, unn stomm te an stomm – su dod tre kjott = We honour you with a trade, one tribe to another – our dead for three beast heads.

Nes locta? = Why are you here?


© Copyright 2017 Justin Fyld. All rights reserved.

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