The big man put down his tankard to use his hands while he spoke. “Fetchin’ th’strange an’ peculiar is wot we’re paid t’ do, so’s no surprise we be findin’ ourselves ridin’ on untrod paths through th’backside o’civilization high up in those mountains. Aspen bark two hands square was jus’ wot we was lookin’ t’acquire, an’ ye nae be findin’ that in some lowland merchants stall. Them trees jus’ nae be right, bein’ all white instea’ o’ a proper brown bark, so’s goes to reason a wizard a have a use fer ‘em. Nae that we cared, the gold is good an’ it keeps fer interesting tales aside from a fair amount of uninterstin’ travel across th’land.”

“Cor’ iffen I were left t’me own t’find most o’ wot we been sent t’gather, we’d nae be half as successful, bein’ that fightin’ an’ fuckin’s me studies, but that’s wot ye ‘ave a Bard an’ Ranger fer. That, an’ a Priest o’ Knowledge. So’s ‘tween thems that do th’ thinkins an’ me’s that does th’ killins – nae that Arcelli nae brings death a-rainin’ down when he so chooses – we’s been right good at our aforementioned task o’ acquirin’ th’odd an’ peculiars of th’ List.”

“So’s as I were sayins, we be pickin’ our way through some mighty unknown high country t’gather some bark o’ those white trees. Bein’ that th’ pale woods only grow near th’peaks, we had t’go fair far up. An’ anything tha’ goes up must come down, an’ so did we, which wa’ much more likeable a journey.”

Hokur paused while he took a pull of his ale. “Now, Arcelli here is out an’ about, doin’ ‘is lookin’ arounds t’make sure none o’ the local beasties decide we’d make a lovely addition t’their bellies, when wot does he come upon bu’ a trio o’ brutes plottin’ our demise. They was perched above th’trail th’rest o’ us were meanderin’ along, us wit’ nary a care in th’world an’ enjoying th’ lovely countryside.” He grinned broadly. “Aye, we was bored silly an’ nae payin’ any attention t’wot were about t’come at us.”

“Well ole Arcelli decides to ambush th’ambushers, makin’ thems th’ ambushees instead o’ us an’ him now th’ ambusher of th’brutes tha’ were formerly th’ambushers. So he sets up an’ soon as we ride, all niggly-a-do and bolly-cocked unawares inta view, he starts wit’ tha’ bow of his t’give those ogres a few new fashion accessories. Aye, I said ogres. I said they was brutes, wot’d think I meant, some biggish Salp bandit wit’ a bad hairlip? O’cor’ it were a threesome of ogres, wot else would be up int’ hinterlands like that? Ev’n a Salp’ll take t’easier lowlands.”

“Now, ye’d think tha’ once they’d started wit’ sproutin’ feathers, they’da break and things’d get real interestin’ but they was so intent on their plan o’ mayhem, they’d nae gotten t’ message they was now th’ambushee instead o’ ambusher. Th’ one bint whispers t’ th’ other jake what had hopped up an’ hollered when Arcelli feathered his arse t’stay quiet – I’m ‘ere t’ tell ye, an ogre’s whisper is like that o’ a bellerin’ pig caught under a fence rail, and by whisper I mean leanin’ out from behind a tree wit’ her shushin’ and sprayin’ spittle a good ten feet. So’s th’ one ducks back down behind th’rock he were hidin’ behind, which o’cor now his arse is stuck out th’other side an’ wavin’ like a peacock’s tail was Arcelli’s arrows. Now, we’d all seen her shush ‘em, so’s we’ve stopped on th’trail and start addin’ feathers o’our own t’those that Arcelli sendin’ in.”

“Ogres is nae renowned fer intellectual prowess, an’ it appeared we’d stumbled on a right brilliant example o’ tha’, as they nae came a chargin’ out but tried to sneak inta a better position to get th’ drop on us, nae a realizin’ our flingin’ arrows and bolts themways meant their ambush was now busted. Th’ third one, he grabs th’bush he was hidin’ mostly behind and hoists it up, roots an’ all, and makes wit’ th’ eeky-sneaky. Fer truth, seein’ a wobblin’ Ogre try t’ tip-toe holdin’ nothin’ but a buckbrush in front fer cover’s enough t’make any man miss ‘is shot by laughin’, regardless o’ th’fact a good backhand from one o’ them’d send ye flyin’ minus a few teeth at least, or yer head at worst. Th’fella ‘hind th’ rock got enough of Arcelli’s pokin’s an’ decided t’ take a dirt nap. And th’She-ogre … would that be Ogress, Raylen? Or does She-Ogre suffice fer it?” Hokur asked the priest with a quirked brow, as he paused for a drink.

“Ogress would be the proper form, although She-ogre does carry …” Raylen began.

“Ogress it is then! The ogress, she’s all ‘Shhhhh! and spittle spray ev’n as Dirt-boy lets loose a resounding fart as he settles inta dead. Well, that musta settled it fer ‘em, an’ th’ two left decided t’spring th’ambush that were already sprung. Unfortunately fer th’Ogre-inna -bush, leaves nae stop arrows an’ bolts so he be th’next to go deaded.”

“Now as I said afore, fightin’s my area of expertise as such, so’s when the Ogress comes boundin’ down t’ lay inta us, I naturally move t’ th’ fore. And Raylen here reminds me, I’m not at all up to snuff, what with havin’ some lingerin’ effects o’er dealin’ wit’ somethin’ best left untold.” Hokur took another draught before continuing. “Tha’s one o’ th’ problems wit’ traipsin’ ‘round in gods-only-know-wheres, is sometimes ye run inta things that ne’er should see th’ light o’day, ev’n in tale. An’ that’s all I’ve got t’ say on that.”

“So’s the priest here unlimbers that stick o’ his and shakes out a few while Her Ogressship is come boundin’ down th’ slope, wavin’ a small tree o’er ‘er head an’ lookin’ t’ make ‘im a permanent part o’ ‘is saddle. Just as th’ beastie swings, Raylen scoots Clod there t’ th’ side an’ th’ breeze from tha’ blow would’ve been right nice on a warmer day, ‘cept fer th’ dust she raised in findin’ not a crunchy priest’s skull but th’ ground instead. Well Raylen was havin’ none o’ that now, so afore she’d recovered he whirled tha’ mace o’ his around an’ sent a blow straight up inta ‘er nethers that’d make any man flinch an’ lifted ‘er straight up on ’er toes. She musta stood like that a good three heartbeats afore her eyes rolled back in ‘er ‘ead an’ she toppled o’er dead as dead.”

“Aye, with that kind of crunch, it were nae any wonder.” Maeve said with a shudder.
Session: Candygram for Mongo! - Saturday, Feb 16 2013 from 3:15 PM to 12:15 AM
Viewable by: Public
Epic × 2!