Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Springing the Trap




The huge creature carefully parted the sticks and branches of the trees to get a better look at his prey. A man squatted beside a fire, making his camp in a long dried river bed. The sun was setting, a chilly twilight settling over the land. The creature had two heads, a cousin of true giants, called an ettin. The right head's eyes narrowed, watching as the man stirred a small pot full of some type of food. The left head lifted, and sniffed the air silently. It could smell the freshly dressed elk that the man had felled and brought back to his camp.

The ettin, it didn't have a name, barely able to have a language, licked and smacked it's lips. The winter, though still early, had been hard. Food was scarce, and it'd taken to raiding farms. Unbeknownst to it, these attacks had drawn the attentions of the man at the fire.

The man, an adventurer by the name of Finnegan Blackcross, kept stirring the pot of venison and wild leeks, yet his attention was firmly on the ettin watching him. He was camped in a dry river gully, the forest was twenty yards away on either side. He'd spent the early hours of the day digging two pits, one on either side of him, between him and the treeline. He'd then covered each pit with a simple, weak lattice of branches, leaves and rocks. Finnegan brought the spoon up to his lips, gently blowing on the stew, and then sipping. Damn, it was good. Too bad it'd probably be ruined in the fight.

It was at that point that the ettin decided to spring his attack, charging through the dense brush of the forest. It stomped on down, into the gully, when it stepped on the pit trap. Only it's left foot hit the cover, though, easily breaking through the lattice. The drop was only four feet, yet it was enough to bring the charge to a stop and drop the ettin face first. Finnegan grabbed up his bastard sword, hidden beneath his blankets, sprung up and sprinted towards the creature. The ettin was pushing itself up just as Finnegan reached it. With a brutal upwards slash, he sliced at the creature's right face. His sword, Riesen-Fluch, was a family heirloom that had avoided the trials of his family's descent from nobility. Being the last scion of the former noble Blackcross' of Waterdeep, he'd left to sought out his fortunes and to try and pull his family back up the ladder.

The enscorcelled blade easily sliced through the creature's face from jaw to brow. The ettin drew back it's arm, then swatted at the fighter. Finnegan tried ducking beneath the blow, but wasn't fast enough. The attack sent the human flying back, heels over head, tumbling over the worn stones of the dead riverbed. Blackcross was able to keep the sword in his hand. He painfully pulled himself up, the ettin taking it's turn to rush up on him. It had retrieved it's own weapon, a log with branches crudely trimmed, forming blunt spikes. It drew back, the club high over it's heads.

In an act of desperation, Finnegan thrust upward with all his might, enhanced by another family heirloom, a magic girdle that enhanced his strength, driving the steel deep into the ettin's belly, and then up into it's chest. Gore splashed over his arms, soaking the man in viscera. The strength left the ettin, and it toppled slowly over. Finn heaved the corpse up off of him. He was breathing with difficulty, spikes of pain shooting through him with every breath. The adventurer crawled over to his pack, searched through it for his healing potions, gladly gulping down the bitter liquid.

Falling over onto his back, Finnegan Blackcross stared at the darkening sky. The future of the Blackcross seemed to brightened the evening heavens.

1 comment:

James Caruso said...

You don't dissapoint RJM!