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Chapter 34
Aspects of Bonding, part II - Transformation

 

When at the north side of the river through the Snake-Pipe Hollow, the following understanding came to the party after devouring the Spear of Palangio:
Arkat created the Trollkin curse, which Cragspider tried to break. She failed but created Great Trolls instead. In addition to that, she can have two different shapes, either a Spider or a Troll. The common link is here "Transformation".

To meet Cragspider, who lives in Cliffhome, you need to go to the Frog-Grog-Shop Inn near Crabtown in the Northern part of the Valley of Flowers. Fastest way there was to use the Giants Walk. Just before the party arrived to the Giant walk, a pack of six Broo's attacked the A-TEAM. During the first round of the uneven fight, two Broo's were killed, one by Raven and another by Axjack. The normal killers, Kaid-aw and Dolxx couldn't manage get their enemies dead. On the second round Kaid-aw showed his might, and killed both of his Broo enemies, while Dolxx still only managed to drop both his Broo's sitting with one leg each unusable. Raven beside Dolxx gave a "helping hand" killing one of them. The last surviving one was killed by Kaid-aw with a spell during the following round. Dolxx didn't manage to kill a single Broo, what a failure for him. Nothing unusual was seen at the Shade Table this time. They climbed up to the walk and followed it. When in the Valley of Flowers, the path divided into two. A bone shaped as the letter "Y" to the left, while an impala skull with a bone through the eye pointed to the right. Kaid-aw immediately understood this, and told "Truth to the North or Prax to the South." When following the "Truth" trail, a few trollkins were seen every now and then. On the first sign of anything which could be seen as aggressive, they always fled into the woods. The surroundings became hillier and Peace signs were cut on the trees here and there. At a cliffside, a dirty cloth was hanging as a door to a cave, the Frog-Grog-Shop Inn. Axjack said "Rom-Bom-Gaga-O" and the team were allowed to enter. When inside the innkeeper, Spooner said the following rhyme:

Take a big sip from a cask you pick.
Take a big sip from a cask I pick.
Take a big sip from a cask somebody else picks!

There were six casks:

  1. Rainbow Delight
  2. Erosion Ouzo
  3. Powzie
  4. Skullbuster
  5. Old Rotgut
  6. Drive Carefully Wine
Kaid-aw fell only once of the three sips, the Skullbuster dropped him, while Axjack and Dolxx needed twice help. Both fell on Powzie and Old Rotgut, they were too much for them. But with a little healing, all were fine.
After this they were allowed to continue towards Skyfall Lake and Crabtown where it "always" rains. Crabtown is known for a place for magical items and odd creatures for Trolls. Originally the place was Chaostown ruled by the Chaos god "Korang the Slayer". Three gods allied and attacked Korang, one of them disappeared completely, and the second one Hard Earth fought hard but died and formatted the Black Mountains. The third one, the Titan Skyriver started to bleed, and Skyfall lake was made from his blood, which still continues. The Chaostown was drowned by Skyfall lake. Cragspider rules it with an army of 800 Great Trolls and about 600 normal Trolls. There are also countless of Trollkins to do the work.
One trollkin led A-TEAM, and was constantly ringing a small bell to inform the peaceful arrival while they walked towards Crabtown. A small guard troop of Trollkins followed the team. At about halfway a check post had to be passed, they talked in Darktongue with Raven and the team was allowed to pass. After an hour or so they arrived at dusk to the town, where the trolls were wakening from their daily sleep. Crabtown is a dirty grey bunch of dwellings, not tempting any human. An arena for Trollball was by the entrance. A few trolls were starting their practice. One tough troll pushed Kaid-aw away from his way, to which Kaid-aw immediately pushed him back which the troll didn't like. The troll tried to punch Kaid-aw who instead hit a smashing right jab, passing out the troll with a single blow. More trolls arrived to the scene, congratulating Raven for nice servants. When the troll was healed, he gave a piece of meat to Kaid-aw and using a trollkin as an interpretation said to Kaid-aw, "You are are OK, hooman!
The team then continued to the Argan Argar temple, the first not-shabby building the saw. A "butler" met them at the entrance; he spoke funnily and made the team to wait. Eventually Sir Sissors arrived with two Cave troll and the party entered the temple. There they were greeted most heartily, telling Cragspider was waiting for them, but before they could meet Cragspider, they should bring "The Elf born in a Troll body" from Giant Island. The Giant Island is a dead Giant that is floating freely with the winds in the Skyfall lake. The only advice they got was never to leave land out of sight.
Walking down to the harbor or something thereabouts, they rented a small boat to get to the Giant Island. They lost the sight to the shore after about 100m offshore. Also the rain was heavier out on the sea than on the shore. This reduced visibility decreased all their abilities needing eyesight, including any possible fighting. Dolxx, Kaid-aw and Raven felt the right direction, and they rowed to that direction. Suddenly Kaid-aws allied spirit warned the team of Harpies coming close. They all took their missile weapons and got ready. Soon the Harpies attacked like Stukas dropping stones. Kaid-aw hit one with his arrow, and it fell down. The next round all but Axjack dropped one Harpy each with their missiles, while Axjack had to fight against a Chaos Griffin that landed in the boat. It killed Axjack with its first attacks. Kaid-aw joined the battle and killed it, while Dolxx dropped the last of the Harpies. Meanwhile Axjack was resurrected by Raven. They continued rowing after the incident in the direction they felt was the right. Even if it was very misty, the wind started to blow, causing the waves to become bigger and bigger. Axjack and Raven managed to keep the boat on course and steer it through the waves in the sudden storm. The storm ended as fast as it had begun. The wind still helped them forward. After two more hours they arrived to the Giant Island.
They tied the boat to the Giant and climbed up on top of it. There they tracked and found tracks of a small troll. He sat at a small bonfire behind some bushes, the eyelids of the Giant. The troll summoned five earth elementals to protect him against the team. It really wasn't Dolxx day; he fumbled again, this time losing his next attack. Kaid-aw and Axjack killed the elementals, Axjack helping the unlucky Dolxx this time. Then the small troll rose up and walked to Kaid-aw and took his hand. Kaid-aw then led it with the team to the boat. But getting away from the island proved to be difficult, the waves always threw them back to the Giant. While trying to get away, four spirits tried to attack the team, but they were easily defeated with help of Magic. After trying hard enough, they got away and started to row to what they felt was the direction of Crabtown. The way back was uneventful hard work.
At Crabtown lots of Trolls were waiting by the shore, when the party arrived. The small troll said quietly to Kaid-aw, that he is afraid of the trolls. Kaid-aw comforted him, and promised to protect him against all the trolls. Once the boat was given back, they walked up to the Argan Argar temple, where Sir Sissors say "Oh, back already?". Then two trollkin led the way to Cliffhome, where Cragspider lives. They entered a cave, and walked and walked what felt like miles through caves and tunnels before they arrived to a huge, huge cave where they met Cragspider. Behind her opened two huge doors, from which a gigantic eye of the Black Dragon looked into the hall. Everyone looked into the eye and felt a different though coming into their heads.

To be continued...

Did you read the Part I of Aspects of Bonding?

 


Copyright © 2012 by Kim Englund. All rights reserved. How to contact me. Last modified 28.12.2012.

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