Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Hill Giant Chief - Nosnra's Saga - Part 56

There was a wild fury in Harald's attack unlike his normal calm. He charged the giants with his sword held level at shoulder height, the hilt in both hands and the blade behind his neck. When he reached Windthorst he swung Miming in a wide scything arc that thunked like an axe into a tree as it hit the giant's leg. Windthorst sagged, his leg slipped out from under him and he fell with a crash to the ground. Harald drew back his blade and stepped away from the toppling form. He'd left a bone deep slash that cut through the calf and peeled back the flesh with a butcher's stroke.

Nearby, Gytha smashed at Wolgast again, but the giant was oblivious to the small blows of the spiritual hammer she wielded against him. The giant beat his companion into a senseless pulp. Wedel was pinned with his back to the wall. Wolgast used one hand to hold Wedel up by his grey throat and with the other, now bruised and swollen, he pounded piston-like into Wedel's ruined face. Ivo reached within his vest and from a hidden pocket pulled out a sling. He needed no stone or bullet of lead or steel; he swung the leather strap as if it were loaded and as he did a nimbus of bluish light formed within the holding pouch. Ivo released the enchanted leather cord and the light streaked toward Wolgast but missed him by the breadth of a hand. It struck the wall nearby and hissed against the stone like bacon frying in a pan.

Below the fighting giants Harold had to throw himself aside. Windthorst nearly crushed him with a shoulder wider than an oxen's flank. It brought him to his senses and with the agility of a cat he was on his feet again. He ran up the downed giant's arm and used his small sword to cut the giant's throat. Windthorst tried to struggle but the halfling knew where to place the blade and opened up an artery that stopped the blood from feeding the giant's brain. The spray knocked Harold back and off the awkward perch he had upon the giant's heaving shoulder. The blade flew from his grasp, he struck his head in falling back, smacking it hard against the bony shoulder of the giant. Harold landed on the floor unconscious in a heap, sprayed by a thick grey-red blood that still shot out in jets to match the slowing beat of Windthorst's heart.

Wedel was dead, the bones of his massive face finally broken by the relentless blows of his companions fist. With his death Wolgast gave a massive sigh and put both hands upon Wedel's shoulders. Both giants sank down, Wedel sliding against the wall, a smear of blood painting the stone, following the trail of Wedel's head with a grey-red streak. Both Ivo and Gytha used their magicked weapons to strike the surviving giant before he could turn on them, and turn he did. Like a bear cornered by hounds, Wolgast spun and nearly fell on his badly wounded leg. Both Gytha's hammer and Ivo's magic bullet struck him, but the giant shrugged off the blows then the ranger attacked as well.

Harald's two-hand sword went in like a spear. It drove through Wolgast's gut and out his back. The ranger was still half mad with fury and it lent a strength almost that of a giant to his blow. Wolgast was driven back and Harald drove his blade further in, he buried it to the quillon block, pressed it against the seeping wound held sealed by the steel trapped within the giant's gut. The point projected from Wolgast's back, it grated across his spine and gouged into the chest of Wedel's body lying dead against the wall. His leg collapsed, Wolgast fell backwards, driving Harald's sword deeper into Wedel's corpse. His hand smacked Harald aside, sending him rolling, and feebly plucked at the sword hilt with dissipating strength. The giant tried to rise; his good leg bent and pushed, but he could not make his wounded one answer his commands. Wolgast could not draw out the sword, could not rise with his wounded leg and the weight of Wedel trapped behind him. He sank back down and moaned, a trickle of blood poured from his lips. Harald was helped to his feet by Gytha who squeezed his arm and felt a deep sorrow at the sight of the wounded giant.

"Harald," she said, "end this quick."

The ranger grunted in reply. He shook himself; his back gave a loud pop as he stretched it. His wrath was gone. The giant still fumbled for the hilt and tried to push the ranger's hands away, but Wolgast was as weak as a human child for all his size. Harald grabbed the hilt with both his hands and tugged, the giant gave a deep painful moan and vomited out a barrels worth of blood. The blade was wedged tight, but Harald summoned all his strength, he braced a foot against the giant's thigh and pulled with all his might. The sword came free, it ground against the giant's spine and Wolgast tried to scream, but his voice was drowned in blood. The huge body slumped forward and Harald used his shoulder to push Wolgast on his side. The giant lived, but blood poured from his wound and came in gobs and torrents from his mouth as he coughed to free his lungs for air. Wolgast had one shoulder on the floor, his back was arched and his forehead was against the stones. Like the executioner of a king, Harald brought his sword down across the giant's neck as Gytha asked the Saint to allow the giant a quick death to end its pain. 

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