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Trolls with a Vacuum? - June-ish-2006by Greywolf-ELM
Wingz could hardly believe it; he was having fun with the troll game, Gummy. It is a contest where you see how many swamp maggots you can hold in your mouth without swallowing. Grinning and chewing his tasty losses Wingz considered his fate. The son of a temple priestess, and something else, he was afforded special treatment from the time of his birth. It was often difficult to fit in with the Trolls and guards, the former scared of him, and the latter resistant to his orders. In the next few years, Wingz would fully explore his "other" powers and take a more forceful role in the running of the temple. His reverie is disturbed when 3 arrows come flying in through the main hall archway, injuring a troll, causing it to spit out maggots in a yelp of pain.
Acting quickly, if not instinctively, Wingz calls upon his ability to summon an area of magical darkness, placing it between the attacker and his trolls. Immediately he gives orders to the other trolls.
"You, you, and you, that way, go around behind the hall and attack from that side."
The trolls hurry in the direction indicated, and Wingz moves on to the next three. The Half-Fiend points to three more trolls, and then up the hallway "You, you, and you, that way, up the hall, attack from there."
To the last two guards he orders, "You and you, stay with me, we attack from here."
Moving to the edge of the darkness, Wingz smacks the winner of Gummy, and points into the darkness, "You go through and kill them." The troll grins through a mouthful of maggots and heads straight through the darkness.
As Wingz suspected, the wet sounds of Axes chopping into troll flesh is heard from beyond in the great hall. The doorway here is too narrow, and a troll would be an easy target for the well-disciplined soldiers on the other side. Yes Wingz could tell, when the arrows came through, meant to draw the trolls into filing through that doorway, he knew instinctively. Thank the fiendish father. Moving to take care of the problem, Wingz enters the darkness, and easily finds the doorway.
With his fiendishly enhanced strength, reaching out and ripping part of the wall away, is a small matter. He can only imagine the reaction to his massive arms reaching out of the darkness to rip away part of the archway. He chuckles to himself, and continues his work.
With trolls on the way to flank the enemy, and the archway opened up to allow passage, Wingz sends the remaining troll through to draw any attacks that might be waiting, and quickly follows through the archway.
As he suspected, his Troll decoy did not last long under the chopping blade of a large flaming greataxe, a flaming scimitar, muscle and sinew-powered arrows, and the snapping jaws of a large Worg.
A quick survey of the room brings several images to mind. The first and closest, is the Ogre. It is about ten knucks (1) high, with a large greataxe glistening with the fluids of fallen enemies, and flames licking the edges, wearing a chain shirt, and bristling with other weapons. The next is a combination, a rather large Worg, nearly six knucks at the shoulder, with red eyes, and Black coat, dusted with Grey; and an Orc with a commanding presence. The Orc is from the Blood Orcs lands, red-haired and wild-looking, wielding a scimitar with flames licking the edges, and a chain shirt as well. If the Ogre was bristling with weapons, the Orc was fairly bursting with them, although the majestic-looking cloak covered some of it, easily a longbow, two quivers, a bastard sword, a halberd, Flail, Glaive, not to mention the backpack, and large sack strapped to the Worg. Further on, the Half-fiend can see an Orc who appears born to the bow and the hunt, with strapping arms, and a bow that looks as if only he could bend it to his will. A large Gnoll, and Bugbear are waiting at the archway that two of the Trolls were sent to, and Orcs and Hobgoblins watching the others. As the smell of burning troll reaches his nose, the realisation hits that these are not ordinary Orcs.
Moving in to confront the Ogre, a battle cry flies from his maggot-crusted lips "I will kill..." and the rest of his words are chopped from his throat, as the Ogre's greataxe bites deep. Grinning, Wingz is able to scrape at the Ogre with one claw, but does not have enough time to really tear into him. Then the Ogre unleashes two powerful chopping blows that nearly cleave him in two, the Worg steps up, and bites through his lower leg, while the Scimitar wielding Orc unleashes two slashes from his flaming sword. None burn his otherworldly skin, but the Worg backs off with part of his foot, slashing and rending at the Ogre does little good, the Ogre can withstand more punishment that he can dish out.
He cries out plaintively in his head, "Father, Fiends, anyone, help me, I will not survive this battle." He unexpectedly gets a response, as the Orcs methodically hack his body into many small pieces. "Fool!! You should have prepared for battle, rather than playing silly Troll games. You are not my son.!" Laughter echoes in what passes for his mind after the ill treatment by the Orcs. His body freakishly tries pulling back together, dropping overly damaged parts, and trying to grow new ones. He can't hear what the Orcs are saying, but he knows they are having trouble killing him and overcoming his fiendish resistance to fire. Then, they allow part of him to re-grow, the head, mouth, and upper body. He tries to speak, but a large mouthful of mud is shoved in, then more, and more. His body is dragged out to a large pit being dug. He can hear now.
"We can bury him deep enough, he may suffocate, or at least will not be able to dig out while we are here."
The Worg riding Orc walks, up and nods.
"Bury it then."
Wingz begins to struggle, and calls out in his mind again.
"Father, help me, I will do anything." There is no answer. As his body is tossed into the hole, and more mud and dirt filled in on top, limbs are scattered about, and buried as well. Totally encased in packed earth, Wingz body slowly grows back together, but will he be able to dig out before he suffocates?(3)
Something, not his father, awakens in his mind, and he can somehow feel a malign grin directed at him.
"Did you mean it? Anything?"
Tuukar walks away from the living burial, and reports to Gorga.
"If that does not kill it, at least we can be done here and gone by the time it is out."
Gorga nods and directs the Orcs to continue burning Troll parts, and to guard the area from attacks out of the swamp.
The warband moves back into the main hall, and finishes searching here and the Troll game room. Without much more than candles and the Troll drums to find, the warband quickly searches the priests now-empty areas. Extra purple robes and candles are found, some tables with bowls carved into them, and a red granite table in a room filled with burning candles. Images of the Troll's foul god are painted and engraved all around.
A torture chamber of sorts is found, and Gaak takes an interest. Cruel metal razors and spikes hang by rusty chains along all the walls. The floor and walls are stained dark with blood. Manacles and other chains lie on the floor. An image of Afnar is carved into the ceiling, "watching" the room, and whatever tortures the trolls can devise. A nearby room reeks of rotting meat, with piles of bones and skulls in various stages of decay. (2) Nachip can feel some of the echoes of tortured spirits here.
Tuukar scouts ahead, and finds an area, where strange bales of hay cover the north wall, stacked from floor to ceiling. Vats of dark liquid are nearby, and racks on the stone block wall hold hundreds of drying black candles, each pair still connected at the wick and hanging over a thin bone dowel. (2) The two trolls here spinning the bales of humanoid hair into wicks, are quickly dismembered, and carried out to the Orcs for burning.
Tuukar's next discovery nearly has him retching on the spot. His intestinal fortitude has taken a downturn since Gaak has taken to feeding him entrails. A large area behind the main hall is filled with the gruesome work of four Troll priests. Hundreds of black candles illuminate a bizarre butcher's nightmare. Troll priests fashion a sculpture of their god Afnar, with his rooster's head and body and snake legs, using hunks of still-bloody flesh drawn out of slop buckets. With needle and thread, they stitch the new hunks in place over the older, rotting pieces. (2) The trolls are so intent upon their work that they do not take notice of the warband, as it moves into the room, and quickly kills them all. Their grisly work will not be completed this day, and never by these trolls. Grall and Haggrekk transport the troll remains out to the Orcs for burning. None are willing to touch the inert pile of flesh the trolls were working on.
There are two doors in this area, and Gaak, yanks one open. A torch in the room beyond the door, lights up the area and thousands of nails embedded in the floor, walls, and ceiling. Irregularly fashioned and set into the stone, the nails look almost like steel weeds, jutting this direction and that, all different lengths and thicknesses. After a moment the room begins to vibrate. (2) With a scream of sucking air, Gaak, and Grall are dragged into the room, and pulled across jutting nails. Grall is flung around the room, while Gaak manages to grab the doorway, and pull himself back out. A rope is tossed in for Grall to grab hold of, and he is quickly pulled out of the vacuum. The warband laughs at Grall and Gaak and their misfortune, and both the Gnoll and Ogre leave it to Tuukar to check the next door. "Did they use that for punishment? Or Reward?"
(1) Knucks are equivalent to feet, Ogre Knuckles as a unit of measure
(2) Paraphrased from the Temple of the Troll God, by Fast Forward Entertainment.
(3) The warband did not have enough acid, or fire to overcome the damage reduction, and energy resistance of a Half-Fiend Troll. They could do enormous amounts of damage to it, but almost all was subdual damage. Normal fire does not do enough, and weapons did not have a high enough fire damage output, to overcome: Resistance to acid 10, cold 10, electricity 10, and fire 10 and Damage reduction: 5/magic (if HD 11 or less) or 10/magic (if HD 12 or more). Tuukar's player came up with suffocation, which I don't think counts for Trolls. I allowed them to pulverise the troll, and bury it, without ruling on suffocation for the session. I came up with a way out, because the Warband has a god of sorts angry at them for pillaging one of his temples.
Next Up: Tuukar Scouts ahead, and Curses - 21-Jul-2006