Part 50: Chapter 12-02
The Bard and his party stepped on the creaky old raft, and pushed of from the dock. The Ego sword stirred in the Bard's hand.
Ego Sword: My... this underground cavern has excellent acoustics.
: Shhh. Yes it does. Now be quiet.
Ego Sword: Don't tell me what to do, you OAF! La la la LA LA la la la LA LA!
: Shut up! Or else the...
The Bard heard something stirring in the water.
: ... finfolk will hear.
Ego Sword: Oh! And I suppose you're going to blame ME for that!
Finally, the Bard saw a dock and steered the raft towards it.
More Finfolk awaited in those winding tunnels
The Bard moved into a large cavern. There was a chest in the middle of the room, and several small rock piles scattered throughout.
The Bard's eyes narrowed. The rock piles were too small to hide Finfolk, but nevertheless, the Bard sensed an ambush.
He was correct.
The Bard approached the chest, and the rock piles moved of their own accord, coalescing into creatures made entirely of stones.
: Hang on! That's not fair! You lot were never alive to begin with!
: Maybe not, but they seem to be getting along fine without your approval.
The Bard gritted his teeth and waded into combat.
Once the rock creatures were reduced to pebbles, the Bard sorted though the stones and found several valuable gemstones,
Continuing on, the Bard found more animated rockpiles that insisted on living.
Luck increased to 20
Dexterity increased to 14
The Bard found another raft, and ignored it, hoping to find a different route, but after discovering only dead ends and rock monsters, the Bard reluctantly returned to he raft and set off.
"I don't want to see another Finfolk for the rest of my life," the Bard grumbled, "But I doubt that I'm done with them."
: I hate this place! I'm sick of slogging through ankle-deep water!
The bard turned a corner and saw something interesting.
: So, just spit it out. What am I looking at here?
: A magical barrier barred our Heroes' way. If only he had a way to neutralize magic.
: Got it, thank you.
: Well, it is my job.
The Bard continued wandering through the damp, flooded caverns.
From one tunnel, the Bard thought he heard whistling, and decided to investigate.
There was a small wooden platform o f logs, positioned to keep whatever was on top out of the waterline.
What was on top of the logs was a tall Viking, a small campfire, and various supplies.
Meet Olav - Nice
Meet Olav - Snarky
Olav: Just a moment stranger, for I can see you are neither finfolk nor Firolg. Now who are you, and more importantly what are you doing ere?
The Bard was cranky and tired.
: I have a better question. Why are Vikings all so damn ugly? I mean, ha! It's obviously hereditary, but is it me or is it getting worse with time? Ha ha! Ah dear... as for your second question, I'll hear your name before I give you mine.
If Olav was offended by the Bard's cheek, he gave no sign.
Olav launched into what showed every sign of being a long story. The Bard sighed, and sat down on the platform to rest a moment and pour the water from his boots.
Olav said "I am called Olav. I am a Viking from Stromness, as to why I am lost here, that's easy enough."
Olav continued, "After the Firbolgs first dug their way down here and found these waterfilled tunnels, me and my brother Erik came down with a Firbolg guide - now what was his name... let's see... it was Baleock or something, but that's not important right now, more on that treacherous dog later.
Anyways we came down here to explore, y'know see if there was any treasure to be had, maybe a nice vein of ore ore. So we brought a small boat with us, I'm a pretty decent shipwright myself, did I mention that?"
At this point, the Bard lay down on the platform, and put his boots near the fire so they could dry out.
Olav continued, "Now when we were younger my brother was always the one who was better at building things, me, I've always been good at knocking 'em down if you know what I mean, of course, what use is a Viking that can't take care of his ship?
So I spent several years I Jordland studying under old Skeggi the master shipwright, surely you've heard of him? Of course you have, everyone has... it was his boat Draugrimmer that lead the fleet of Kolskegg the Bloody in his famous raids off the black coast."
The Bard slowly started drifting off to sleep.
Olav didn't seem to notice the Bard's lack of attention. "So I was saying we have our ship down here and we're navigating these tunnels when we come upon a bit of dry land, anyways Erik and I are hauling the boat out of the water, we port it over to the other side and manage to get it back into the water when we noticed the Firbolg is missing.
So we go off to look for him, we hear him calling out to us down one of those side passages to the east and we get jumped by a whole horde of Finfolk."
The logs weren't very comfortable, so the Bard shifted position.
Erik continued rambling on, "Now Finfolk as you know are notorious for using magic, and it jus so happened that in my younger days, I picked up a little trick to deal with such things, you see it all started when old Thorvald the weaponsmith, he tells me about this island that he saw when he was but a lad and he says to me 'Olav,' he says 'you're the best sailor I ever laid eyes on, and if anyone can get out and find that island, it's you.'
Now of course at this point I'm swelling with pride because Thorvald, he's served with some fine old sailors as I'm sure I don't have to tell you, there's old Bjornulf Red-Beard, Arnor Ketilson, Ketil Arnorson, and Ranulf Ildharsn to name but a few."
: The Bard closed his eyes, and began hoping that the tale would end before he died of old age.
: Actually, at this point, I'm hoping HE dies of old age.
Olav was lost in the moment and carried on without even noticing, "So at any rate I sail out to this island with my brother Erik, you remember me talking about him, right? Poor lad never had a chance against those Finfolk, I tried to save him, but I was too late... that treacherous Firbolg lead us into a trap he did, killed my brother and left me stranded down here."
Olav finished his tale. Startled by the sudden change in noise, the Bard leapt up with a start.
Olav: And that is my sad sad tale, brings a tear to your eye, does it not? Aye, I can see you are all choked up by it. Yer a good lad to let an old man run off at the mouth like that. Here, take this stone, I found it down here, and I have no use for it. And tell you what, if you do in the Firbolg I'll teach you how to dispel magic, might help you get past those Finfolk. He hides himself in the caverns east of here, just bring me back proof that he's dead.
: And you thought was long winded.
: You use your words efficiently... far less content, but surprisingly just as annoying.
: A worn and ancient stone reportedly struck by several bolts of lightning in a great storm thousands of years ago. Although many throughout history have tried to capture lightning in a bottle, the Bard would have to settle for a stone.
Slightly confused about what he was supposed to do - no surprise there - but with now-dry boots, the Bard set off to find the offending Firbolg.
The Bard came to a large cavern. It seemed empty, but some movement caught his eye. It took the Bard a minute to figure out what it was. Part of the wall was shivering.
And come to think of it, that wasn't the right color of wall...
: Is anyone there?
Bannock: No! ... Damn, I mean... go away!
Vote: Should we be Snarky or Nice to the Firbolg?
Meet Olav - Nice
Meet Olav - Snarky