It was a quickly conceived plan contrived under desperate circumstances. The giant had already killed many villagers and livestock. The remaining people of Shatum were hiding like war refugees, scared and hungry. The four friends had traveled for over a week to determine the extent of the damage caused by the belligerent monster. The head of the village, mother of Shawn Shatum, had managed to survive the attack by holding up with a few of her attendants in the same cave that Shawn had raised his worg pup. Shawn’s stepfather had been killed in an earlier attempt to defeat the giant. There was no report from any of the other villagers.
During the discussions of plans inside the cave, the scream of a horse being killed was heard from outside. After quietly waiting for all of the sounds to subside, Da went out to investigate. With her keen tracking ability she discovered that the giant had dragged off one of the horses and the other had bolted. Oc’s guard dog, Shebl, had apparently followed the giant.
Following a brisk hike to a nearby cliff that convinced the adventurers that the idea of luring the giant off of it was not easily executable, a new idea was inspired.
Perhaps it was divine inspiration from the goddess herself that caused Kurin to exclaim, “how ’bout we trap it in a building and burn it!” And Oc replied, “Yes Kurin, and when the massive beast smashes his way out of the building, I will be there to drive my steel blade through its heart”.
“More like its kneecaps if it’s really twenty four feet tall.” Robilus chimed in.
Led by the half orc warier, Oc Ashag, the group headed south east in the direction of the Shatum palisade. About half way there they came across an abandoned farm house. A quick examination revealed that this may be the perfect place to lay the trap.
“Arrrrrrrarrgg!” The guttural compliant echoes off the surrounding hills as the giant scratches furiously at the painful welts covering his body. In frustration he rips a small tree out of the ground and swings it at the barking dog that has been pestering him since the last horse he took. It seems like eating is the only thing that distracts his attention from all the nasty bites. And it’s not just the burning sores, it’s the constant ringing in his ears and waves of nausea. If only he could find more to eat to make it stop for a while. After throwing the remainder of the tree at the dog and missing, he thinks he notices an interesting smell on the breeze.
He raises his bulbous protruding proboscis and flairs his nostrils to the wind. Something is cooking and whet ever it is he must have it.
His massive feet and six foot stride crush through the under-brush, followed closely by the persistent dog. After several miles, the smell of roasting garlic grows steadily stronger. Just before reaching the edge of the woods he stops and sniffs the air. A human is nearby, maybe others too. Fortunately for a human, a dwarf and a half orc, the wind shifts directions and he doesn’t notice them hiding in the hollow beneath a massive tree trunk. The beast proceeds more cautiously towards the now visible farm house.
Kurin has been waiting on the porch of the house all afternoon, tending a small campfire in the front while the garlic shed in the back burns
At last he thinks he hears something. Could it be a dog barking?
“Hey, did you hear something?” he called into the woods. No response.
“you still out there?” a little louder.
“Oc, I think I hear your dog!” The dwarf shouted.
Oc Ashag and his two companions remain silent. If they had not heard the barking earlier they may not have found cover soon enough to avoid detection. The massive 9 foot tall creature passed by and followed the sound of Kurin’s voice.
Kurin strained his eyes to peer into the dark woods. From the darkness, a round river rock about the size of a melon whizzed towards him. He had enough time to turn a bit to the right as the stone smashes into his left arm, knocking him back into the house.
The giant smirked and gave a congratulatory grunt at his excellent aim and wondered about the flavor of dwarf.
The blow had completely knocked Kurin unconscious. It took him a few seconds to regain his senses and when he did he realized that the creature was nearly to the house. He had practiced escaping out of the small window in the back of the house. The compound fracture made it a bit more difficult this time. Next, he sprinted to the burning garlic shed, grabbed a burning branch, and ran back to the window. The giant was being more cautious and didn’t enter the building until Kurin insulted his mother and threw the burning branch into the prepares pile of kindling near the window.
With a smash the giant’s club crushed the wall next to the window Kurin was at. Kurin took a stone from his pocket and said a few words in an ancient language. The flames in the house suddenly increased and the brightness became intense.
At that same moment Oc Ashag and Da had sprinted to the house. Robilus the dwarf remained hidden in the woods on the lookout for other possible threats. Da grabbed a handful of burning branches, and Oc with his orcish strength, pushed a large bundle of branches in front of the door. With the help of a flask of oil, the mass of combustibles became a burning barrier to the only exit from the building.
Kurin cast his spell again and the giant struck the wall again, this time knocking the dwarf backwards.
Seeking to be out of the flames, the giant headed to one end of the building and attempted to smash his way through the wall. Finding it too difficult and now ablaze from another spell from Kurin, he made a charge for the front door. Da ricocheted a couple of sling stones off of his forehead as he dove through the flames. Before he could move again, Oc Ashag pierced the foul creatures heart with the tip of his sword. It was dead.
Da tended to Kurin’s very serious breakage while Oc and Shebl ran back to the cave to get help from his mother.
“ I have destroyed the giant!”
There was an Initial look of shock and disbelief on the faces of the few refugees in the small cave. Oc remembers the days, years ago when these people, except his mother, looked upon him with fear and disgust. What must they be thinking now? They gathered around and asked if it was true. If he had really saved them from this horrible threat? For the first time in his life he felt admiration from these common people.
“ Yes I have destroyed it! But now my friend is badly hurt. The bone is coming out of his arm. Mother, can you help him?”
“I may be able to. Let’s go.”
The only one in the cave who didn’t join in the questioning about the giant was an elderly woman sitting with her arms crossed. This was the senior attendant to Oc’s now deceased step father.
The bleeding was stopped and bone re-set, but Kurin would need time to heal. In the week that followed, Oc lead the remaining villagers and his companions in repairing the breach in the outer wall that the giant had created and in finding others of the village that were still in hiding. Work was begun on repairing the damaged grain silo and to bring back what live stock could be found.
In this short time it was like the past was forgotten. Oc had a new found respect among the people of his home town. Most of them anyway. It was strange at first, especially for the older villagers who knew him as a child. The younger ones looked to him as a hero. He was the orc that saved their village. The giant slayer.