“VAINARD!!!” I screamed his name, terrified at what had become of me. “That was an incredibly BAD idea!!!” I had to remind him.
Go find a troll he said. It’ll be fun, he said.
Four trolls surrounded us, their massive form shaking the earth near us with every step they made. Swinging his massive club, one of them caught Halfear on the side and sent him flying to a nearby pillar. The caves we were in had old ruins and old, they were. Every time something would hit the walls, rocks crumbled, making it very difficult to dodge attacks as we had to make our way out of the caves. Vainard thought there would only be one of them in here. Turns out these things like to walk around in pairs or with their clans, hardly ever alone. And as we entered the cave, we had been surrounded at the very beginning.
Vainard, already arrow in hand and stretching them on his bow, yelled out to me “Run! Outnumbered!” but it was slightly too late. Trolls ran toward us in all directions blocking east, west, north and south from where we came from. When I turned around, I was immediately faced by one. I was so close to it that I could feel his nauseating, warm breath as it exhaled and growled loudly, warning us of our trespassing. Well, the sign before the cave did warn us with a nice “Warning!! Cave Troll” but Vainard deemed it not important enough and said something about fighting a troll in there before.
But not four.
Hoping to stop its adventures by sending a troll an arrow to the knee, Vainard circled around clockwise to set them a trap not too far. Unfortunately for me, I was not quick enough. The troll facing me had sent his giant fist right into my stomach and I flew and crashed against was used to be a wooden door. Infested by mold and rotten to the core, the door did not hold and I found myself catching my breath, sprawled across old furniture made of stone, hay and moss. Even if this was a nest for humidity bugs, I didn’t think about it even once. All I could focus on was to breath. Breathe, Naveen. Expand your lungs! My vision failed for a moment, stars replaced my sight and it wasn’t before I could inhale deeply and cough out the retrained air that it came back to me.
My head was spinning. Everything took only a few seconds, but it felt to me like an eternity.
The troll that hit me tried his best to get to me, but unfortunately for him, the doorway to the stone house was too small for him to break through. And this is when I was very thankful that the room he had sent me flying in had been carved in the cave’s walls, aside from the now shattered wooden door. But the room wasn’t very deep and the troll could reach my leg. Before I realized this fact, I felt my body drag on the ground and towards him. “VAINARD!!!” I tried to call out to him, but no answer. Had he been killed? Did we just walk into our burial chambers just a few moments ago?
I grabbed nearby rocks and threw them at the troll; at his face, to his jaw, tried to blind him with the dust I could grab in my fist, but nothing would work. I was down and could not get up. The troll easily brought me to him and when I could stare in his tiny black beads of eyes, all I could see was rage. I had trespassed onto troll property and I was not welcomed. He roared at me, so loudly that his voice echoed in the small room I was half way in, still. The intense scream gave me a headache, so much that I had to grab my head with both hands and press on my ears so I would cut out most of the sound.
What I could not cut out, though, was the saliva.
As he roared and roared, saliva slipped through his mouth in giant mucus blob and slowly, it was becoming my blanket. A really wet, slimy, smelly, disgusting blanket. It slid from his mouth, onto his arms and right onto my leg. I was wondering by then how much saliva could one troll spit out just by roaring. “That was an incredibly bad idea!!” I screamed, hoping Vainard would hear me and respond in some way. But still, nothing. No answer from the man I had been traveling with for days now. Fear engulfed me. I felt my blood almost draining from my limbs and there was nothing I could think of doing. I had lost my staff when the troll sent me flying. I could not think of one spell to do with my hands alone and, needless to say, even if I could it the troll, I think I would just anger him more than anything else.
And when I thought it was over, when I had failed to see my life flash before my eyes but felt the need to let go, there was a big explosion, my leg was released, the troll ran towards the sound and I was left there, under the spit sheet, trying to make sense of what had happened. I couldn’t move. I don’t know if it was because of the confusion or because of all the emotions. But I stayed there, hearing gun fire in the distance, the sound of a wolf growling, many trolls screaming… And then nothing. My hands pushed my body up and slowly, but cautiously, I made my way out of the house, legs trembling and out of breath. Not because I had been running a marathon, but because of all the emotions, once again.
Vainard stood right in the middle of a troll massacre. His eyes shifted towards me and he smiled. “There you are! I was screaming for you the whole time! Where were you?” He walked towards me and that’s when I realized that the house must have blocked any sounds from my voice and his. I was happy to see him alive. I was happy to see Halfear, his white wolf, still tear at a troll’s leg to make sure it was dead. And when I was about to ask him what had happened, I saw movement from behind one of the troll. My eyes shifted to it and tried to make sense of what it was.
“Asura…” I mumbled. A short, light grey skinned Asura. From the look of it’s red female styled hair, I assumed it was a…Well, female. “Human.” She replied, almost in annoyance. I’m pretty sure it was annoyance. Most asura were annoyed by just the fact you could breathe. “My name is Boxxa. Engineer Extraordinaire! You’re welcome for saving your bottoms.” Vainard nodded. “She’s right. She trapped them with her glue gun and I could finished them with her. She’s pretty skilled, you should have seen it!” Boxxa crossed her tiny arms on her chest. “It’s called a Glue shot and it immobilizes AND cripples my foes. It’s a long-range attacks, you know, useful for when you’re about to go troll hunting!” Already I didn’t like her. But I could tell Vainard did. I guess that saving our lives had made an impression on him. “Tell me, why did you Bookahs think it was necessary to go in by yourselves with bags filled with supplements? Trolls love the scent of food.”
“Y’know, I didn’t think of that.” Vainard started, but Boxxa finished with a “I’m not surprised.” I walked towards them and tried to force a smile. I didn’t really like asuras. They are snarky, sarcastic and way over their heads little creatures. That, and their sharp teeth creep me out. “I’m Naveen. Thanks… For helping us.” Boxxa rose a brow. “Helping? I SAVED you! And that’s why now you owe me one. Which is excellent because I am gathering a Krewe.” I frowned a little. “What for?” I asked, knowing all too well that when asuras formed Krewes, it was for their own benefits only.
“I’m going for the Heart of the Destroyer” she said. “But first, you really need a bath. Troll Saliva’s not in fashion I hear.“