Seven days after the giant had fallen, Oc left his companions who were organizing a work party to rebuild the forge and kiln area that had been heavily damaged (Kurin was still in recovery and could only help by drawing out plans and giving instructions). He knew of an outcropping near the river that may be sheltering more of the townsfolk. As he returned from a successful trip, he noticed dust clouds coming from the area of the road. He decided to cut through the woods back to the palisade to avoid whatever was headed to the village.
Approaching the outer wall, Oc counted at least a dozen well armed, mounted men in uniform guarding the front gate. One among them, not in uniform, seemed very familiar to the half orc.
Deciding to avoid detection, Oc pulled a small colorful stone from his pouch. He held the stone above his head while making soft clicking noises with his mouth. With a slight glow, the stone turned to a liquid and drizzled over his body. The next second he was clinging to the side of the wall. With the ease of a spider, he climbed over the six meter wall.
Once on the other side, he hid in the shadows until one of his mother’s attendants came by. When he approached her, she didn’t recognize him and let out a startled yelp. After she calmed down, he asked her what was going on. She explained that this garrison of troops from Vaneer had come and that Oc’s half brother was leading them.
He told her to go inform his mother that he was here and to come see him. As she left he noticed several of the soldiers in the courtyard pointing out defensive positions within the palisade.
A couple of minutes passed and he heard the voice of his half brother shouting and the stomping of armored boots.
“He is here! Shawn is here! Find him! Find him NOW!”
Seeing this as a bad sign, Oc took another stone from his pouch and cast another spider climb spell. When he reached the top of the wall he heard his brother’s voice again.
“There he is… on the wall… GET HIM!” An arrow sizzled by as he slipped down the other side of the wall.
Oc went back to his old worg cave to wait. He had an idea that his mother would look for him there but not his brother. After a couple hours he noticed the figure of the same attendant.
He followed her into the cave and this time the surprise really caused her to scream. She told him that his mother and friends would meet him at the ferry and that he should avoid being seen.
When he got to the river, he found the small group waiting for him. Da, Kurin, Robilus, his mother, …and Theo, the senior student from the school who had given Oc information about giants before they left!
“Shawn, your brother has brought troops to defeat the giant. He heard the news and came as quickly as he could.”
“Not quick enough I’d say” Oc replied curtly
“the thing is Shawn, now that your father is dead, Sheiiz sees it as his right and responsibility to run the village as he sees fit.”
“And that’s not the worst of it. Your cousin, Lin, has convinced your brother and many others that you are the one who brought the giant upon us and they want to put you on trial. You must leave immediately.”
“Mother, this village is no good any more. Come with us and leave this mess to Sheiiz.”
“I cannot. There are many here who depend on me. You must go on your own.”