"Sunday's Game" - The Exodus

The Ettin's Riddle

(Or, "The Trouble with Bards")

The party left the cave where they had fought Ferd, looking for Tindel. Tindel, apparently, high-tailed it back to town, baby in hands. The rest of the party gathered their things, and began to move back to the town themselves, a two-hour walk that none of them were looking forward to. But, the walk came and went and the party made it back to the town without issue. Of course, the town had issues of it’s own.

Apparently, while they were gone, an ettin had been lured onto the town’s bridge by some of the town guard, in order to try to get the ettin to fall into the water. However, all this resulted in is the bridge being smashed to pieces, as well as the aforementioned guards. The Exodus wasn’t going anywhere without that bridge being taken care of, as they had planned to cross the river here.

The party, for the most part, was unenthusiastic. They expressed that they were sorry that these things had happened, but they were TIRED. Ru, especially simply wanted to rest. Franklin and Panbatter went asking questions that evening, Thenar worked on his wares, and Ru tried his damnest to rest. Daniel, spent the night with some ale.

Evening came quickly. Everyone slept, save for Franklin, who found sleep didn’t come any more. So, he wandered the camp for hours on end, stopping briefly to attempt to talk to the librarian (who also didn’t seem to sleep), but quickly giving up on that realizing that his company wasn’t welcome. So, he wandered some more. Sometime in the wee hours of the night, perhaps a few hours before the sun began to rise, Franklin spotted something stalking through the town – it was the ettin.

He wasn’t the only one to notice, as Mae had finished her meditations earlier and wanted to get away from a grumbling Ru. Franklin approached the beast slowly, after telling Mae to get everyone up. Mae proceeded to do so, as Franklin found himself within reach of the beast. Franklin, for some reason, spoke up.

The conversation between Franklin and the ettin was muted, but, it was clear that the ettin understood him. The ettin seemed curious about what, exactly, Franklin was. Franklin became defensive, and the ettin reached out with what seemed like healing energy. It burned Franklin, and, of course, Franklin began to holler with pain. This sent the ettin off and running, and the rest of the party arrived just in time to see him go.

So, they discussed what to do. Everyone decided it’d be a fairly good idea to track down said ettin to his his home, and, without much delay, they set to it. With the bridge out, they would have to find a means to cross the river. Renzo came up with a fairly simple solution to this – he’d carry them across, just walking across the bottom. The plan worked, although it was later found that it wasn’t needed – crews working to repair the bridge made a temporary walk over the broken parts. But, what’s done is done, and a soaked party set out to find the ettin.

They followed the ettin’s tracks for about an hour, which slowly got intermingled with other tracks. It soon became apparent who the tracks belonged to, as a number of ogres started stalking out towards them from the wood. The ogres were feeling cocky, apparently, and didn’t realize what they were up against – they were soon put down by the party.

Tending to the few wounds they had recieved, the party looked around for Daniel – who they realized had never accompanied them over the river because no one bothered to wake him up when the ettin was stalking about the town originally. There was some arguement if they should bother to go get him at all, but Franklin ultimately decided for the group – he simply wandered back towards the town to go get him. And almost as soon as he left, the rest of the party were approached by a pair of orcs.

“No arrow,” they muttered in the Trade Tongue, obviously not wanting to suffer the same fate as the ogres that were laying on the ground. Ru spoke orcish, so, they spoke with him the most, explaining how they tried to talk with the ogre, but it cut through a number of their rank. Ru asked if they could show them the way to the ettin’s lair, and the orcs agreed to do so – Mae and Ru went off with the orcs, while Thenar, Panbatter and Renzo waited for Franklin and Daniel’s return.

Ru and Mae wandered along the path with the orcs for a good half hour before they began to realize something was wrong. Eventually, they spotted the rest of the orc’s party slowly creeping up behind them, about eight of them in total. With almost nothing but a nod, Mae and Ru knew what to do. They booked it, outrunning the orcs with ease, and finding their own way to the ettin’s lair.

(The orcs, dejected that they lost such easy prey went back to start trouble with the three remaining that were waiting for Franklin and Daniel. I’ll spare you their horrible fate. Suffice it to say they lied to Renzo, and Renzo caught on.)

Mae and Ru eventually found themselves in an abanonded courtyard – within the courtyard was a half-toppled tower with a still intact doorway. Thinking it rude to simply barge in, Ru thought it would be a good idea to knock. Of course, out stepped the ettin. Ru tried to speak, but, the ettin struck him once, and he collapsed. Mae, despirate to get the attention of the ettin, fired into him, then made haste to get away from him.

Ru (who collapsed in hopes that the ettin would leave him be), opened his eyes, and crawled into the tower, where he found strange words carved on the inner walls. Ru scribbled them down the best he could before hearing the ettin return, then beat feat faster than he ever imagined possible.

Mae had a very different encounter on the way back with a young thing named Nesterfettle. It offered it’s services to her in order to help Ru escape, and Mae agreed, reluctantly.

Mae and Ru finally made it back to where Panbatter, Thenar and ‘Renzo were awaiting, just as Franklin returned with Daniel. Ru spoke of his discovery within the ettin’s lair, and they all decided to head back to the town of Iredell to pour over what he had found.

Using tomes from the Exodus’s library, they pieced together an idea that the ettin was not an ettin at all – that he must have been transformed, or cursed in some manner.

Let me get to the meat of the matter. They scoured for scrolls of dispel magic and Panbatter ran to wake Ederraswen, a bard, to cast it as well. The ettin arrived in the dead of night. Thenar had to hold off an angry mob at the bridge while the spell was being cast. Edarraswen arrived after the fact, and, in seeing this, decided to leave, with her full payment. Ru, of course, having minced words with Edarraswen before would have none of it. Guns were pulled, swords were drawn, Panbatter fled in magical terror. In the end, Edarraswen put a lesser geas on Ru for her trouble, then moved on her way…

(I apologize for rushing this summary to finish it up, but, it has to go up SOMETIME.)

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