Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Hill Giant Chief - Nosnra's Saga - Part XIV

"Frost giants," Telenstil said. "They've come down from their frozen heights before to raid. This is different. What did we find last night?"

"Those snow white pelts," Harold spoke up, "and chitin plates from an ice worm."

"How did you know?" asked Gytha. "I thought you but a city dweller?"

"I am a thief," Harold said proudly. "Where do you think your furs and precious hides end up? I know the goods that I purloin, such furs adorn the oligarchs and their kin, those chitin plates command high price. I know their going rate, as of a month ago," he sadly said; "Oh to be back in Greyhawk once again."

"So," Telenstil went on, "another link between these giants and their frozen kin. What else?"

"The cloaks of hill giants from many tribes," the large Harald declared. "I saw three sets at least from as many different clans."

"How can you tell? Their smelly cloaks look all the same to me," said the little Harold. 

"You judge what weight in gold these skins can bring. I find more worth in knowing who I fight. The northern clans, they wear the skins of great brown bears, the same as Nosnra's kin keeps as pets. One tribe leaves the skull attached; they use it as a clasp. All others make a hooded cloak and cut the bear skull off. Another sews a second skin inside the first, so they can have soft fur against their own skin. Another uses an aurochs' bull...." Harald went on, but stopped at Gytha's laugh.

"I feel no shame at my poor telling now," she said.

"Will you make us sit through a lesson on giant's cloaks throughout the day?" Harold asked bemused.

"Such a lesson could well save your life," the greybeard firmly warned.

"And it is information we have come here for," Telenstil spoke up. "So hill giants of many tribes, those who wear the skin of bears are not welcome in these lands, but here they are. Frost giants are made welcome and guested at a hill giant hall; some gathering of giant kind or worse."

"You know more than you say," said Ivo.

"Guesswork and suspicions," Telenstil replied. "We need not share the private words that our patrons have entrusted us to keep. I can say that my queen suspects what our holy priest has said. Nosnra is the nearest arm of some grasping plot that reaches out toward our respective lands. If we cut it off... I will use plainer speech. If we kill Nosnra, if we destroy his clan, it will not be enough." From a pouch he pulled forth a wooden board, he slid a sharp fingernail between its sides and split it open in two even halves. One piece he put down and the other he held up to show the gathering. A silvered mirror it appeared, but no reflection could be seen within its face. "With this device I relay our discoveries to my queen, such as those things we found last night. She is sworn to tell your duke, and he the others in this alliance of realms that we embody."

"Pholtus knows all that I do, by his grace and radiant light," voiced Henri.

"The Saint hears my prayers," Gytha said not to be outshown. "As he hears all who seek his aid."

"But what good is such?" the halfling asked.

"We need not fear that all our efforts will be lost," said Telenstil.

"I for one plan on telling my tale before a gathered crowd back home," Harold did not like such talk of loss and fear. 

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