|The Mountain Troll King's golden throne|
Betty hefted her mug of mead and knocked it back in record time much to the admiration of the tavern patrons. She was never short of an audience, ever since her ventures with Milgos and Ugh had gained the attention of the common folk. She no longer had to buy her own drinks, though on this occasion she supplied the beverages herself. The bands latest expedition had left her in the possession of a vast supply of mead courtesy of the Mountain Trolls. She was becoming accustomed to the taste. The patrons gathered around expecting a story of heroics but she wasn’t in the mood. She’d been brooding for months now, ever since the fallout with Beatrice, her twin sister and temporary adventuring companion. Dirk the apprentice, who at this stage of the night was already roaring drunk called out “Give us a story Betty. Tell us about how you killed the King of the Mountain Trolls and plundered his horde!”
She’d give them a story.
“All I ever hear about is how we are these big heroes. We have this reputation now for saving folk. I can’t walk down the street without someone begging me to ‘rescue my daughter from the Chimera’s Grotto’ or ‘save my child from the Keep on the Borderlands.’ Most people don’t like the answer I give, but I give it to them straight. I tell them we aren’t heroes and we aren’t a charity. Unless you’re paying us we aren’t going to save your cousin, brother or whoever. The truth is the last lot of folk we rescued, all those cooks, washerwomen and filthy gnomes, we rescued by accident. In the end we used them as labor, getting them to carry the heaviest loot for us so we could take it easy on the way back to the city. Ugh and Milgos both sat in the Mountain Troll’s throne while the freed slaves carried them down the mountain. One last bout of slavery before we left them in the city square with nothing but the clothes on their backs. We took everything we could from those Mountain trolls, their jewelry, the Jarl’s throne, rugs from their floors even the crib from the nursery.”
“You could at least make it sound heroic you know. I much prefer the bard’s tales to your bitter ranting.” Complained Kirk the disappointed apprentice just before an empty mead mug smashed his ugly face. Betty continued her tale as the unconscious fool fell to the ground. “He’s right you know. The story could use a bit more heroism and a little less reality.” She said with a wicked gleam in her eye “Here is the pretty version you can tell your kids before you tuck them in at night.”
“We had earlier slain the Jarl and put the trolls to flight. We knew it was only going to be temporary as the trolls would regroup under the leadership of either the Jarl’s ruthless wife or the foul troll crone who had befuddled Ugh’s mighty intellect with her trollish wiles. This is the reason Milgos hounded the trolls retreat blasting them all the while with his wand of ice and frost.”
Anther patron deigned to interrupt though not as rudely as the last “I heard Milgos was out of magic. He had a wand that shot pink energy missiles but it was ashed by a dragon.”
|The Jarl's son prior to the fireball|
“You heard right but in the time we spent burning the bodies of the first troll onslaught Milgos had rummaged through our bag of holding. In it he found the wand of frost we had torn from the cold dead hands of none other than Enlandrin the notorious bastard and evil mage. And so Milgos blasted the hated Mountain Trolls with great storms of ice from Enlandrin’s wand, leaving many trolls rent asunder by great jagged hail stones the size of your head!” The crowd gasped in terror.
“Well may you gasp for I too was shocked. Ugh and I picked our way through the carnage trailing the mad Dark Elf in human guise. Ugh probably wasn’t concerned by the horrific scenes as he had personally committed far worse. Do you recall the story of him eating fried goblin?”
The crowd nodded and one called out “It weren’t true Betty. That’s just lies.”
“Of course it’s true.” Betty cried incredulously “I saw it myself. He’s done some terrible things but cannibalism is likely the worst. I already told you we aren’t heroes and what we do isn’t pretty. Do you want to know the real reason the Mountain Trolls were so mad at us? It’s because we killed the Jarl’s son. Milgos fried the infant with magic. He burnt a few of the trolls as well but seemed to do a tremendous job incinerating the Jarl’s son. This had the predictable effect of inciting the trolls to hurl themselves at us seeking murderous retribution. While Milgos had them on the run with icy blasts from his wand some of the Mountain Trolls were too stupid to know they were beat and fought us in the halls. They didn’t last long. Ugh and I cut them down. Then it was off to free the slaves and take everything of value that wasn’t nailed down. And here we are. The heroes return triumphant to the city. Let the bards spin their tales of heroism; at least you lot got the true story. Now leave me be. I have some drinking to do.”