Chapter Five: No Rest For The Weary

Upon returning to consciousness, the first thing that filled her still sleep filled mind was the sounds of battle, and not far off at that. She quickly cleared the sleep from her eyes, and her now slightly more alert mind searched for the source of the sound. She did not have to look for long as just down the tunnel from her, her comrades were engaged in battle. Examining her foe, she realized her friends would probably need help. Standing across from them was a mountain troll. These creatures were a nasty piece of work, this one standing at about thirteen feet high, and wielding a two handed hammer big than the three dwarves put together.

"Leave it to men to be too embarrassed to ask a woman for help," Lyweth muttered in frustration as she picked up her staff and ran the short distance down the tunnel to where the dwarves and Tork were trying to get into attacking range, but falling short due to the surprising speed of the troll. If any of them were hit by the hammer, it would mean instant death. Trolls , much like dwarves, had a much higher natural resistance to magic, and their huge size also boosted their resistance. The party was weary from their earlier travels, and this meant they didn't have the speed they would of previously.

The only indication that Lyweth got that the men knew she had joined the battle was a brief nod from Tork, who then promptly continued casting. He was sending bolts of ice in the direction of the trolls arms in what Lyweth thought was an attempt to slow down the big creature's attacks. The troll was able to dance around a few of the bolts, but a fair number were colliding with it's arms, but if it was affecting the troll, it was giving no signs of it. Lyweth racked her brain, thinking of some way she could use her magic that wasn't direct to kill the troll.

Her train of thought was interrupted by a tap on her shoulder. She turned to see Tork, who had disengaged himself from the main fray. "About time you woke up," he said in that tone that she found so infuriating. "I told you to wake me if you needed me!" she just about screamed at him, losing her cool. She was exhausted and was not happy to be awoken, for yet another fight. She was starting to doubt whether this was a good idea or not. "We didn't need you yet," he replied and she shook her head knowing that if she were to debate with him, she would probably lose.

The huge troll swung again, his hammer colliding with the stone floor not even half a foot away from Braegar, and when the dust caused by the attack cleared, she saw that the troll had indeed created a fair size hole in the ground. This sparked an idea in Lyweth's mind and she quickly pulled Tork over to her and explained the plan. "That could work but we are going to have to be quick," he insisted and she nodded her approval. "Braegar, you and your brothers need to be ready to move once we cast the spell, but until it's cast I need you to keep it there!" Lyweth yelled over to the group of dwarves.

"As I am tied to yer bond," the dwarf replied and he launched forwards with an unexpected burst of speed, barreling into the cave troll's left leg with the full force of his body. His brothers upon seeing him do this, quickly got the point and soon two more dwarves were throwing their bodies through the air, slamming into the tree trunk like legs of the troll. They were too close to him for him to get his hammer to hit them, but he was deadly without a weapon nonetheless. With a shake of his massive leg, the troll sent two of the dwarves flying back towards the spellcasters, and only Braegar with his stone determination hung on.

Lyweth had cried out involuntarily when she saw the two dwarves go flying through the air, thinking that the troll would kill them both, but she had underestimated Braegar. He had put his mace on his belt before flying at his enemy, allowing him to get a two handed grip on the huge creature. He climbed up the troll's leg, much like it were a tree, until he had made it to the troll's knee. Holding on tightly with one arm, he wielded the mace again and with as much strength as he could bear, he repeatedly smashed the mace hard. Lyweth could hear the sound of the metal hitting the bone with a loud crack each time. She knew it was now or never and she yelled to Tork that it was time.

Meanwhile the two dwarves had heard the call and retreated towards the mages after picking themselves off the ground. They split from each other, one standing guard near each mage, leaving Braegar to keep the troll in place alone. The troll had dropped his massive weapon in favor of having his hands free to swat at the pest that was doing some real damage to his knee, but the dwarf had a few tricks up his sleeve. He dug his spiked gauntlet deep into the flesh of the troll and waited for the blow that he knew would connect. Instead of bracing himself he took the hit and he swung, but did not come free from his hold on the troll. He used the full momentum of the swing and when gravity inevitably brought him back towards the troll, he smashed his hammer as hard as he could into the knee of the troll. The beast's cry was deafening and it's leg gave out, forcing it to drop to one knee.

Lyweth and Tork both cast spells of pure destructive energy into the ceiling of the cavern, and Lyweth could hear the two dwarves screaming for Braegar to disengage, but if he could hear them, he made no moves to acknowledge them. Bravely he kept on his vigorous onslaught, and the next time the troll went to grab him, Braegar pushed off, and with great skill managed to cling on to the troll's hand. The troll felt this and immediately brought it's hand up to it's mouth, ready to devour the dwarf alive as was the way of trolls, but at the same time the two spells had hit the cavern and large pieces of stone fell from the ceiling. The last glimpse of Braegar that Lyweth got was of the dwarf falling from the troll's hand before the thick dust from the falling rocks obscured her view.

Soon the rocks had stopped falling, and there was no way to determine whether or not he had survived. She wanted to believe he had, but she also knew that it wasn't likely and so she didn't want to get her hopes up only for them to fail later. Such a shame he might not be around anymore, I was just beginning to enjoy his company, the mage thought to herself. She did not enjoy waiting one bit, it was too calm. It was strange but there was nothing she could do now but sit and wait for the dust to settle.