To Speak of Things Dark and Mountainous

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To Speak of Things Dark and Mountainous

Postby Krunk » Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:52 am

Krunk had dug a Goliath-style fire pit (Dakota fire pit) in the earth, careful to maintain the ground's structural stability over the air intake hole. The exhaust pit opened inside his tent, the air intake hole opened outside away from the door. It was small, he didn't have much fuel at this altitude and he only needed to knock the chill off for a few hours while he rested since he was eating trail rations rather than cooking a kill. He sat on the far side of his tent, away from the intake hole to further protect it from collapse. It didn't smoke, that was the beauty of the set up, so he could rest assured that no one would be following a column of smoke to his resting place. It was in a hidden depression, around the side of a protrusion from a tall rock face. The light from the fire, hard to see already, was further blocked by his dome tent. A stretched piece of leather over the vent hole on the outside kept rain out, an identical piece of stretched leather on the inside kept the light in. A small wooden rod held by tension between the two kept both appropriately tented for their respective jobs, one up and one down.

The Goliath chewed a piece of venison jerky slowly, thoughtfully, drawing the juices out more as an exercise in patience than out of any real hunger. He hadn't -felt- like eating in days, though he'd done so with the wooden regularity of a clockwork machine. He had to keep his strength up, one never knew when the mountains would test it, even if he felt hopeless in so many ways. Survival was the first lesson every Goliath was taught and Krunk was no exception. His wife was dead. His child... no, he corrected himself mentally, her child was being raised by another man's family. That man was also dead. Both deaths had been at the hands of an enraged Krunk, as he'd found them in the throws of passion and heard his wife speak of the other man as the father of her child.

It had all started out as such a perfect day. He'd felled a bear, enough meat to feed the tribe on glutton rations for most of a week as large as the tribe was. That was some feat, and he'd done it with a spear that had unfortunately shattered. His father, the acting medicine man, had awarded him one of his people's most prized weapons for the feat. A Goliath Greathammer that had been forged by Dwarves out of a rare metal. With word of Giants in the south it was a prestigious item to hold. Krunk, overjoyed, had immediately set out toward the berry picking slope that brought his tribe to camp there every other year to show his wife his grand prize.

And there he'd found them.

Brokenhearted, at first, at the realization that she didn't love him. Then 'give me another of your children, Har'grath' had been uttered and all he could recall was red. Red in his vision, red terror in her face as she'd noticed him, red blood roaring in his own ears as she'd clutched at her lover protectively, and red blood spraying as he'd put his spear through them both. Pinning them together for all time as the adulterers they were. He'd know, before he'd even acted, that if he'd merely walked away and informed the tribe mother that both of them would have been shamed. They would have likely been cast out of the tribe. But they would have been together with their son, and Krunk couldn't allow them even -that- small comfort. They wouldn't be remembered fondly for their act, and there was no comfort for the dead. But Krunk had sealed his own fate in the doing, and without a word he had returned to the camp of his tribe one last time.

His weapon was placed in a leather sling that had been made just for it, then about his chest. Krunk wasn't a failure, he'd take his prize with him. His things were gathered, her's tossed out on the ground, and the child's placed in a basket. The tribe mother would come for those eventually, no one else would take them. His tent came down and by that point he had gathered an audience, but he said nothing to them. By the time he had it in his over-sized pack the news had reached the camp. The looks turned sad, some turned angry but they carried the blood of the shamed and they turned away quickly at his glance. The tribe mother came and looked to him. "He is not of my blood, by her own words," Krunk had said stoically, while shouldering his pack. The tribe mother had merely nodded in understanding before embracing him goodbye. He was not to be shamed, merely exiled. A huge difference in Goliath society.

His father was amongst the last to hear and had rushed to catch his son at the edge of the village, pressing a bundle of food into Krunk's arms. They'd said not a word, as the two massive beings stared at each other. His father had taken Krunk's head into his hands, held firmly, and all they could ever say to one another of feelings and hopes was communicated. And then Krunk had walked out of the camp of his tribe one last time. Three days, he decided. It had taken three days for him to reach the spot where he at that moment sat. South. Toward the Giants. One last service to his people, to protect all that was left of his love. Lower in altitude than he had ever bothered to go before, looking down on a dozen bonfires in a closed valley. He would wait until the last hour before down, when the world turned to grey and black shadows that matched the coloration of his skin. That was when he would attack. That was when he would lead them away from his people, to the east as he knew they would be moving west this morning.

He would flee his mountains for the only time.
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Re: To Speak of Things Dark and Mountainous

Postby Krunk » Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:30 am

After weeks of fleeing the giants, finding the Dwarf patrol was a stroke of luck that Krunk still felt unworthy of. He'd been cornered in a shallow, bowl-shaped depression in the foothills. The giants had surrounded him and begun closing in with long spears cut from the local trees. Crude but effective for the grand task of stabbing a lone Goliath to death. He'd snapped three off but they'd been just as dangerous afterward, albeit with less reach. He'd just resigned himself to death, there atop the first three giants that had charged him there, when the war cry had gone up as a dozen Dwarves in plate armor had come screaming over the edge of the depression. The guaranteed slaughter had turned into an even brawl. Fair fights tended to favor the righteous.

This one was no exception, though Krunk never once considered himself righteous he was certainly far and away the better being than the giants. Krunk and the Dwarves swept up the situation handily, burned the remains, and with their gestures indicating he should follow them, the lot of them left together. Krunk was brought to a place he would later come to know as Mithral Hall, a community that had many an oddity. Human barbarians had a town outside its gates, where trade was hosted for the Hall. The Hall itself was ruled by a Dwarf who claimed a Human as his child who was intimate with a dark skinned Elf that Krunk never managed to meet. There, in that village and in that hall he learned the tongues he would need out in the world.

Paying his way as a warrior for both communities, his ability to see in utter darkness allowing him to operate in the tunnels as well as the world above, he learned a great deal about combat. Team tactics, dirty tricks, and clever applications of his immense strength. There had even been a couple of months when he'd palled around with this odd little monk named Nakor in which he'd learned some formal wrestling techniques. But, eventually, his time in that community had come to an end. The longer he stayed, the more guilty he felt about replacing a community he wasn't supposed to have with one he wasn't supposed to belong to. So, after two years, he packed up his tent and left his plot along the edge of the village.

He hadn't gotten two miles before he found himself joined by a young Dwarf named Valik Lodaar. Krunk said nothing, the Dwarf said nothing, and they found it excellent company.
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Re: To Speak of Things Dark and Mountainous

Postby Krunk » Mon May 11, 2015 8:07 am

The two of them finding the wagon was no major feat, they'd smelled the fire and seen the smoke long before they would have been aware of it otherwise. Something had burnt that wasn't intended to burn and the fact that it was still black meant the fire was still burning to some extent. When they found the wagon in a small clearing just off the road, it took but a glance to tell what had happened. Orcs, with at least one or two Worgs in tow, had attacked a family of settlers. Their belongings were scattered about the ground behind a wagon with a smashed wheel, a tent had caught fire in the fight, and the amount of blood on the ground and in the wagon said the Worgs had done the killing.

The two overlooked the area from atop a nearby hill and, after several long moments it was finally agreed upon that the Orcs and Worgs had moved along. Happening across such a small group at camp was a stroke of luck, bad for the travelers and arguably good for the Orcs who'd likely acquired a month or more worth of provisions with little effort.

"Nuttin for it, t'en. We go down, see if'n there be anything to salvage, say some words over their remains, and move on." Valik nodded to himself though he'd spoken to the Goliath.

"Krunk... agree." He didn't like the idea that there was nothing to be done but scavenge through a fallen tribes remains but it was the truth. Though the last of the materials the Orcs had thought funny to throw on the tent fire were starting to die down the fact of the matter was that the Orcs were long gone. The two warriors didn't know how many there had been and neither of them were trackers by any stretch of the imagination anyway, so finding the humanoids was likely beyond their capabilities as well. Krunk was the first to stand and make his way down the hill toward the bloody scene. Valik dropped down low and moved along the back of the hill to circle about a bit before he would approach as well.

Krunk had a minute or so to himself to look closer, acting as bait just in case they'd missed a couple of enemies waiting in ambush for anyone who might happen upon the scene afterward like he and Valik. Hammer in hand, he moved closer to the back of the wagon. He pulled his pack off, juggling his weapon for a moment, and set it down as he got to the vehicle and started poking around the back. There was a lot of blood there, and gouges in the wood, somebody had been cornered and mauled by one of the Worgs in the back of the wagon. A terrible way to go but... why had they thought hiding in the back of the wagon would result in anything else?

Everything of consequence had been dragged out of the back, leaving just a much ripped cover and the back side of the driver's bench to be paid any attention to. The holes were too many, too closely placed together, to make the material of any use aside from patching something more whole but neither he nor Valik where in need of that use. Krunk was just about to step away to poke through the scraps on the ground when the sound of movement caught his ear. His eyes snapped to focus into the back of the wagon once more and he held his hammer defensively. It was still empty, just the back of the driver's bench flush with the front end of the... that wasn't how wagons were built...

Krunk had seen dozens, if not hundreds, of wagons. They hauled ore out of the mountain, goods into the village and up to the gates of Mithral Hall. The driver's bench always sat on a pair of metal bands that acted as a sort of shock absorber. Not very well, he knew, but they were better than nothing. Yet it appeared that this bench was anchored to a box shaped structure that was hard against the frame of the wagon. It would be damned uncomfortable so wh... the sound came again and instantly Krunk knew the box-shaped structure was hollow. Hollow, but not empty. Valik appeared by Krunk's side, looking wary in reaction to the Goliath's physical demeanor.

"What is it?"
"Krunk not know... something move."
"Where at, you great behemoth?" said Valik, in mild exasperation.
"In box at front."
"...roight... I'll climb up, you cover me from the side, and I'll open it up."

Krunk nodded and moved around the side of the wagon, a single movement of his powerful arm snatching the tattered cover clean off the wagon's looped bands that had given the cover shape. Valik smoothly pulled himself up into the back, his axe in hand and poised as he approached the disguised container. When he got there he glanced at Krunk to make sure the larger being was prepared, then slowly wedged the points on his axe into the seam of the container. On the silent count of three, Valik wedged the container open and leaped back as Krunk cocked his hammer for a mighty blow... only for both warriors to turn a small circle in overwhelming relief and indignity.

For the dangerous creature they had prepared for, the enemy that had both of them on edge and dumping adrenaline, was a wiggling baby in swaddling. Red hair, green eyes, and too young to even smile at them let alone menace them.
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Re: To Speak of Things Dark and Mountainous

Postby Warlord » Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:11 am

Kal'esril opened his eyes slowly. Opened them further at any rate, he'd been in reverie for his daily rest. Four hours, that was all it took, yet another reason the Drow were superior to... Valik and Krunk were staring at him. Staring at him with amused expressions on their faces, expectant of some joke that had yet to unfold. He felt his own expression harden as he stared back, his eyes steady even as his mind leaped into action to unravel the mystery of what they found so potentially amusing. Kal'esril and his two allies functioned just fine at night, in total darkness even, so they rested during the day and operated at night. Most of the time. But Kal'esril always rested in the middle of the day. It was the time period that was the most uncomfortable to him, his eyes in particular. Whenever he could he would find a shaded location, set up some amount of shelter to cast himself deeper in shadows, and then he'd fall into meditation.

The only time he ever had any trouble was when people came across the group or when... where was it? The little beastie. It wasn't in his line of sight, possible but unusual since it was always in Krunk's line of sight. The Goliath had an almost supernatural sense of awareness about the thing. They were still staring at him, though. A long time without an eye twitch toward... Kal'esril figured it out. He'd erected his shelter near the edge of their little clearing, under a tree with thick branches and profuse leafs. It was spacious by his standards, big enough for him to have space all around him. Just a little more on his right than his left, for his primary weapon to clear if necessary, so his eyes dropped to his right and onto a lump beside him.

She was sitting crosslegged, just like him, but sagged in place and plainly unconscious. Apparently, the four year old human girl had attempted to mimic the dark elf she'd come to travel with of late. Tried, and fallen asleep. The undetailed red orbs that served as eyes for the Drow ranger merely took in the sight then returned to the other two who seemed like they were becoming crestfallen. Apparently Kal'esril wasn't reacting the way they desired. He didn't know what they expected. He'd never interacted with the human child, though he suspected she had elven blood in her line from a few generations back if her hair and eyes were any indication, but he didn't much care for half-elves either so a 16th of an Elf wasn't any different than a full Human in his estimation.

He went to stand but paused as something shifted in his lap, the sight of which made him pull his head back. A rag doll, crowned in flowers, cradled carefully in the crook of his knee, smiling up at him. That was when the snickers started.
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