We learned a few interesting things about the she-troll. (Who had refused any matter of naming or titles.) The first being that I didn't particularly care for her, though Liam couldn't seem to help himself with her around. Maybe it was how different she was from all the proper young ladies he was used to being around back home or maybe it was because she was the first person he'd met during his quest. I chose to believe it was simply him coming of age and not knowing what to do at the sight the naked troll.

Other than my own opinion I learned a few other things about trolls. They could and would eat anything, they were natural born scavengers and diseased and putrid food didn't do them any harm. The she-troll even said that it was common practice (not in those words exactly, of course) to honor their dead by eating their remains after they pass. Supposedly it passed on a bit of their wisdom and straight to those who consumed them.

Interestingly, she told us, that burning a troll's body was one of the most dishonorable ways get rid of their body. It was then no use to anyone, not even able to be eaten by maggots. That's why Fire Maker burned his enemies. He wanted them to have no honor in their final rest.

Beyond that, I learned a few thing about the she-troll herself. I learned that she snored louder than any woman had the right to snore. I learned that she didn't much care about being clean and didn't seemed bothered by the way her bare body became more and more covered in dirt. I learned that, in spite her cold words about men from before, she was all too eager to tease and flirt with Liam and seemed all too pleased with herself when she made his face go red.

After a few days when we woke in the mornings she would be cuddling close to the young lord. Most mornings he seemed surprised to find her there but in less than a week he seemed to become used to it, far too much so for my liking. I can't say I know what all happened during those summer nights while we traveled with the she-troll but I can say that I likely didn't want to know.


When she managed to be serious I would ask her for more information about the Fire Maker. She told us of her tribe before Fire Maker became chief. Before they had been a clan of druids, they gave and took from the earth and tamed wild beasts and grew and harvested crops. They were best known for making, as she claimed, the sweetest, thickest and strongest wines in all the country. That's why, she told us, her people had the vines tattooed on their skin when they came of age. They were proud of their wines and they wanted everyone to know it.

From what I took away from it, I gather that all the tattoos stood for something. I didn't bother to ask what all of her's meant during those days.

She also told us how Fire Maker came to lead their tribe. He was the oldest son of the chief of a tribe of warrior mountain trolls. The mountain trolls were larger, more fearsome and, as she claimed, far dumber than the forest trolls. The druids always supplied the warriors with wine in exchange for doing them no harm. The chiefs spoke during a meeting and decided that their tribes would be stronger and happier if they became one, so the druid offered his only daughter to be bound with the warrior's first son. When they both came of age they would become husband and wife, the son would become chief of the tribe when both men passed. United, the warriors would defend and wage war and the druids would do, well, everything else.

The warrior chief died in battle a few years after their union but the druid took many years to die. He never went to battle, he was a man of peace and magical creatures do not simply die of old age. No, he had to be cut down by Fire Maker for him to finally fall. The she-troll was furious but her word meant nothing to him. She'd threatened to leave him then too but that's when, as she put it, she mattered to him. He had beaten her for the threat and watched her carefully after that.

She stayed quiet after telling us that bit and wouldn't tell us more until a few more hours had passed.

When she spoke again she told of why he was taking humans as slaves. The Fire Maker's tribe was well known, through out the magic forest anyways, for taking slaves to make their lives easier, normally staying in the magic forest and enslaving elves and dwarves and halflings and many others, even other troll. But for years they had had the druid trolls to do their work for them, they didn't need slaves. Fire Maker decided that the druid tribe didn't exist anymore, there tribes where one and they were all equally part of the tribe. The tribe liked that, by that point the tribes had thoroughly mingled and there were at that point plenty of cross breed troll young; too big and strong to be forest trolls but too smart and swift to be mountain trolls. They didn't fit in to the split ways of the tribe and the Fire Maker would not have his future children doing the lowly work that should of been the job of a slave.

He wanted to collect slaves quickly but the creatures of the magic forest would be too difficult to capture quickly. Humans, on the other hand, would never expect them. He wasn't wrong.

The she-troll told us that he planned to follow the roads that left and entered the magic forest and take as many people and as much food as possible but the roads were long and winding. We could cut through fields and over the hills and grasslands, we could get to the next town before they could and get them away.

I had been impressed, for being a slow troll it wasn't a bad idea. Perhaps I was jaded but I sure she'd get something wrong.