A Grand Adventure in the Land of Large Ogres

(12th of Eoantos 5114, The Landing)

He asked how the manticore problem was going. I think it’s his way of asking about how things are going for me. I told him all about the wonders of the crystalline creatures I found in the heart of the crystal cave.

“The acoustics in there are incredible,” I added. (I did not tell him I hollered in there just to hear the echoes.)

“You went into the mine?” he asked. His expression, as always, so hard to read.

I nodded. He asked how it went. I related some of my enthusiasm over my small accomplishment in this new-found hunting area.

“And the spiders?” Ach, yes, he had to bring them up.

“If I see a spider, I sing it to sleep immediately and strike it hard with everything I have so it does not get back up. I am … scared of spiders. Especially those creepy big ones.” My explanation must of met with his approval he nodded.

Then he shared a little of the awful history of those tunnels. Long ago, blood magic, sorcery, and ill-intents tainted the beautiful place, and we are yet paying the price for it. I listened, wide-eyed in horror and concern.

I told him how I ran into a cave troll that really whomped on me, so I really did not know where else to go. He suggested large ogres on the way to Solhaven.

He tells me, “You’d have to be careful. they are big and dumb, evident by their tactics. But if they land a blow they will kill you.”

First of all, I still have no idea where Solhaven is, let alone how to get to it. I explained that. Secondly … kill me? I wanted to whimper.

“Oh, no. You might have mistaken me for a hero or something…” I told him with a gulp.

Without another word, he started making glowing magic around me. When he was done, all he said was, “Well?” and I realized that I’d missed a cue. I jumped up, and got ready to go.

Kindly, he followed me as we walked, giving me general directions which way to go, and then precise ones when we came to forks on the trail or when I needed to note specific landmarks. Because he let me lead on the trip, I was hopeful I could both get us home and find my way back again. We walked quite a ways. It was all new to me.

I remember hearing a bird singing a ways out. There are not many night-time song birds, so I took that as a good omen. We were near our destination, but I did not know that yet.

As we got to the ramp at Zortahg’s Spine, he told me to stop, and then offered very specific advice. Down the ramp was large ogre territory.

“You only need to go east ‘n west on that highroad there,” he said. “Don’t go any further south.”

Being terribly curious (I know the proverb that comes to mind, go ahead, you’re thinking it already, too, right?) I asked what was further south.

“For now. its yer insides to outsides,” he replied. I understood that perfectly and gave him all my attention.

“Fight these ogres like everythin’ else,” his instructions continued. “Let ’em attack first. don’t take on more than one. They don’t wear armor so one good hit should be enough to stun ’em long enough to finish ’em.”

After I nodded, he continued, “They carry flails and sometimes larger swords. Yer leather may as well not be there. You’ve got a song that will come in handy, I remember.”

He stopped speaking and looked at me. I was quite unsure, but he verbally nudged me with, “Go on.” Drawing a breath of courage from that, I stepped on the ramp and surveyed the new area.

He stayed with me, watching my every move as I faced the ogres down. He offered tips, nodded with approval, and warned me when an ogre was trying to get tricky with me. I picked up a few more hunting tricks to remember from him.

By the time I was feeling weary, it was that good weary. Something that scared me now seemed like a task I could take on successfully. I count it a raving success, pretty much all due to his efforts.

And ohmygosh, I think we got through an entire evening and nobody mentioned that awful man at the Adventurer’s Guild to me! Yay!

~L.

GSBardess

Author: GSBardess

A young bardess named Luxelle is currently learning her trade and hoping to one day make a name for her songs in GemStone IV. Follow along with her adventures in life and song.

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