The Fight We've All Been Waiting For: Session 15
Preparations: The others decided that we wouldn't be able to carry very many baskets of kelp back up after we collected them, so Tirondel and Snowy went off to hire people to carry them for us, in exchange for a bit of the kelp. While they did that, I went with Thomdril to try to trade my leather armor and knife. He reluctantly went along with it, but once we were away from the others he refused to help. I found some deals, but I wasn't very good at talking with the people and he was too busy looking at people's feet, so I wasn't able to trade my stuff. Tirondel and Snowy had a bit more luck though, getting eight people to join us for the amount that we had wanted to pay. Among them, I noticed Kellen Sirdur, a dwarf that had worked on my father's farm with me.
The Journey to the Kelp: We got plenty of baskets from the nerd guy who had assigned us our quest and set off. Unfortunately, it took three hours just to get to the place where the kelp was. That's probably why nobody had taken the quest before us. As we walked, Tirondel went way up in front of all of us, Snowy led the single file line a bit behind him with his fiery sword providing light, Thomdril took the middle of the group of hirelings with a torch, and I covered the back with a lantern. I talked to Kellen along the way, catching up with him and recalling old stories. As we got bored, I picked up some stones and handed some to him. As we walked, we threw them at stalactites. It was good to finally find someone who was a bit like me. I was reminded of all the people that weren't like us, though, when Tirondel ran back to us, reprimanded us for throwing rocks because he was afraid that they might cause enough noise for trolls or other dangerous creatures to hear us, and then he ran back up in front of all of us. Of course, that was half the point of doing it, so we ignored his warnings.
Finally, the Trolls!: As we walked along, we noticed puddles on the ground, appearing more and more frequently. When I looked closer at them, I realized I couldn't see the bottom of many. Then I heard a yell and saw that one of the hirelings had tripped on a rope in the water and fell. Snowy cut the rope and helped him up, careful not to touch any water. As we kept going, I took some of the rope and put it in my pocket. Then I saw a shadowy figure emerging from a puddle near me. I grabbed my axe and held it at the ready. Emerging from the puddle came two normal sized trolls and one giant troll who looked to be the leader. He seemed to be coming specifically after me, which was perfect, but the others had no such reservations. Kellen ran back through the tunnel and the giant troll and a normal troll attacked me, but the other normal troll attacked the other guy who had stayed with us. Snowy, Tirondel, Thomdril, and all six other hirelings were somewhere ahead of us where I couldn't see them. As Kellen and the other guy with us ran back and fought the normal troll that chased them, I was in a stalemate with the other two trolls. I wasn't able to damage them, but they were slowly chipping away at me. Meanwhile, I heard sounds of the others fighting trolls too farther down the tunnel. I heard anguished screams from trolls, so it sounded like they were doing quite a bit better than I was. Just as I was about to fall, I got a sudden spurt of adrenaline. I felt as good as new, and I went berserk with anger. I struck at the trolls, knocking the normal one down and severely damaging the giant one, who retreated a bit. I ran back to help Kellen and the other guy, and the three of us took down the troll that had been attacking them. I cut off his head so he wouldn't be able to regenerate, which apparently the trolls that I had attacked earlier had done, because when I got back to where they had been, they were gone. I looked for the others, and their battles were over too. Many trolls had escaped, but we still were able to collect many troll livers and even some crocodile meat from some crocodiles that had attacked the others. We had lost one hireling in the process. Unfortunate, but better than I had expected from them. We filled up nine baskets of kelp between us and the hirelings, and filled two more up with troll livers and crocodile meat. Then we began the long trip back.
Reaping the Small Rewards: We sold the troll livers and all of the kelp that the hirelings didn't take to the sun priests and each got a bit of money. Not much, but decent. The crocodile meat we would save for when we were bored of fish and bread, and wanted to try something a bit... gamier. "Well Thom," I said. "I think now we're ready to fight the Red Ragger."
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Epic!