Harold lifted the ogre's blade. It was made for a human hand, a short sword or a long broad dagger, not what the halfling would choose to wield, but his own knife was gone. The sword's sheath was still on the ogre's belt, now lying down below where the monster's body had landed hard upon the stones. He had to keep the blade in his hand or leave it lying on the ground. He wanted to have both hands free, yet standing alone in the giant's kitchen he felt more secure with the hide-wrapped hilt grasped tightly in his hand.
"Little good you will do me against a giant or even another ogre," Harold told the blade. He paced the length of the large room, down its south-eastern arm, beneath the towering tabletops and out to the archway that opened on a long corridor and looked out across to a huge set of double doors. He peered down the corridor, looking south then north, but there was nothing but the tangy smell of smoke, distant noises like the creaking of old bones, and the dim glow of torchlight, the flames burning from sconces far off to either side. Back he went and then to the north and east, more tables, chairs, sinks and shelves, the room bent sharply to the north, a dead end, the kitchen larder. There was a doorway to the south, the way that Edouard went and Derue followed. Harold would not go that way alone, not if he had any other choice. From the chute he heard a banging sound. Harold ran over only to see the ranger Harald climbing up over the wooden lip.
"Harald! Brandobaris be praised!" the halfling cried. "Now don't you go running off."
"Harold, what has been going on?" the ranger answered. He smiled to see his friend, but quickly bent and began pulling up the rope. "Gytha!" he called down the chute. "Just hold on, I will pull you up!"
"Harald!" Gytha yelled from twenty feet down the chute. "You nearly shook me from the rope. Give some warning before you do something like that again."
"Sorry Gytha," Harald said sheepishly. The red-haired cleric let Harald pull her up the rest of the way as recompense. She grabbed the wooden lip and swung over the edge, tumbling ungainly to the floor.
"Are you all right?" the halfling asked.
"I'm fine," Gytha answered a bit quickly. "Just lost my balance there. That is quite a climb, even with assistance. How are you doing?"
"Better now that you two are up here. That crazy pair of scouts ran off," said Harold.
"Where did they go?" she asked.
"Around the corner," Harold pointed to the north.
Harald the ranger began pulling on the rope to signal for another climber to ascend, but they had let it go slack while he hauled Gytha up and no one below felt the jerking of the line.
"Harold," said Gytha, "do you have another pouch to drop?"
"I'll cut some of this sacking away and use it instead. I notice that you left my other pouch behind," Harold complained. He used the ogre's knife to stab a sack of grain, the large kernels poured out and piled on the floor. He'd cut low with a malicious intent, to add one more petty trouble to the woe that they had brought to the steading already.