Giant Slayer

From the Journal of Ud Nibblaxe, Steel of Hand and Slayer of Dragons

Once again, loss strikes at our company...

The tomb of Nargrym Steelhand was as harrowing as expected, as we arrived to find the obelisk atop it strewn with foreboding webs. Within, we were assailed by spider creatures much like the ones that had ambushed on the road, the beasts led by a dwarven-spider hybrid born to mother these foul guardians of the tomb in the name of Nargrym’s betrayer, Lokmorr.

A vicious battle ensued, during which I leapt to tackle multiple foes, including Stilgrit, the mother guardian in a deep chasm of a stairwell. Though I fell unconscious to Stilgrit’s attacks, my companions were able to best her, and, when I came around, I found myself feeling pity for the monstrosity that had not chosen her dark path. To the disapproval of my kin and comrades, I chose to spare her life, attempting to show her the error of her beliefs that Lokmorr was the true hero of legend, but to no avail.

I rendered her unconscious as we carefully opened the tomb door, armed with the knowledge of Nargrym’s legend. However, no sooner had we begun to explore the interior than we were attacked by Lokmorr himself, the villain having been cursed to live immortally in the tomb of his rival. He was a clever foe, having set up traps that nearly drained me of my life force, but we managed to slay him, severing the steel hand he had stolen from Nargrym’s body on display below us.

Realizing the strength such a hand could bring, I volunteered myself to wield it, sacrificing my own hand for the ability to wield Nargrym’s ancient, giant-slaying spear, and we departed Nargrym’s tomb feeling more certain of our mission than ever. If giants wish to bring a fight to us, we will be ready.

Shortly after departing the tomb, however, we saw a caravan of travelers on the horizon, deciding to go forth and meet them, as they were on our path toward the Minderhall Valley. As we approached, my heart was gripped with terror as a large white dragon swept down to attack the travelers!

Though we rushed in to aid them, we arrived only in time to see the dragon carry off a poor gnome cleric of Abadar, finding that the one left behind was an acquaintance of Leetsa’s. Our gnome champion vowed to return or avenge the gnome who’d been taken, as well as to reclaim the holy relic the captive had been carrying; Leetsa’s former religious instructor.

So, we set out to scale the nearby mountain where we believed the dragon to reside, finding the conditions harsh and frigid. As we neared the cave, I was beginning to succumb to the cold, but the mission drove us inside, carefully peering around for any sign of danger…just not carefully enough.

The dragon burst forth, declaring its own, fearsome name, and tearing into poor Leetsa, nearly rending her apart right there. Acting on impulse, I attacked the horrible beast with my new spear, shouting stupidly for it to step away from what I was sure was Leetsa’s corpse.

A ferocious battle ensued, during which Elynnar proved his magical prowess by blasting the dragon with furious flame, but, even as the dragon’s wounds began to overcome it, it felled Elynnar with a blast of its frosty breath, shredding the unfortunate Ingrahild as well, while her brother, Umlo, could only look on in horror.

Snarling to those of us who still stood with finality, the dragon reared up as though to depart through the great opening in the chasm above us, but, with rage spilling over in my heart, I thrust forth my spear, Heartspit, the weapon earning the name as I skewered the dragon through its blackest of hearts, the beast letting out a cry of shock and anguish as it fell back to earth, crashing though the icy floor of its lair.

Beneath was the partially-eaten body of the captive gnome, as well as the relic Leetsa sought. So, as we revived both Leetsa and Elynnar, my companions set about retrieving our prize, as well as harvesting the dragon, while I was left to console my remaining kin, Umlo, as he heart-breakingly gathered the remains of his fallen sister.

I shed many a tear for the brave Ingrahild, recalling her ferocity at our first meeting, as well as the courage and nobility she’d displayed in our time together since, and I joined Umlo in reciting a brief eulogy for the great warrior she’d been.

Our mission concluded, we made a morose procession back down the slick, wind-sheered slopes of the mountain and back down into the valley, performing a small ceremony for Ingrahild as we laid her remains to rest in the ground. “I forgive you, my sister,” I heard Umlo whisper as he scooped the dirt and rock back in place over her mangled form, "for leading us into the Ghostlight Marsh. “I was only ever at my best when on the path of adventure with you.”

With righteous hatred in my heart for all dragons so vile as the one we slew, I eagerly await our return to Leetsa’s remaining gnome friend…as well as the horrid captive I left in his care…

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