Volume 4 – Firemane Clan
Chapter #156 – Troubled Times (2) : Before The Storm
We kept following Furball until we reached a cave, it looked rather massive but a bloody sight was beheld in front of the place.
Around three males giants were lying dead. A lot of arrows and wounds all over their bodies.
“I guess you are definitely right, Jonhild. This is Shuna’s cave.”
Shuna’s cave has three dead giants in front of it. I say this is not looking good for giants at this end of the situation. The giants were around twelve feet in height (3.5 Meters) which was rather impressive to kill them. I wonder how many they had to face to die with this number of arrows and spears.
“What should we do from now onward?”
“… I have no idea. If there are giants left in the cave, I doubt we will be able to even reason with them.”
“Hmmm! I see.”
Meanwhile, as I and Hilda were trying to figure out what to do, Furball walked to one of the giants and made some sad groans. Hilda and I managed to understand that this giant was Furball’s friend.
“I say we have someone who can talk some sense into the giants for us.” I said.
“And if it failed, we will just run.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
I then conjured a familiar cat and sent it into the cave of Shuna. With some simple commanding the familiar found its way to the inner parts of the cave and suddenly the connection got lost.
“Someone must have attacked my familiar inside the cave.”
“Then we can guarantee to get some answers.”
We decided to wait for whoever inside the cave to respond and it took about two minutes for us to feel a movement from inside.
What came out from the cave were two giants, they appeared to have some long, powerful limbs, thick skin, with large hands and feet, and decorative scars on their chest that are mainly tribal or religious symbols, their hair was braided with decorative beads and their faces were wrinkled. They also had elf-like pointy ears.
The two held crudely made weapons as they were simply some large stone and wood clubs. For clothing, they wore pelts of fur and bones and simple loincloths.
They didn’t quite look like the giants from the game as they were just the same model over and over but these two looked like an old giant and a youthful giant. What they have in common, however, was the angry look they had on their faces when they looked at me and Hilda.
“Don’t harm them, Jonhild. Just oppress them with your Aura.”
As Hilda said, we both released our Auras at the same time. Hilda’s bloody red Aura and My light green Aura didn’t seem to hinder one another at all and made a unique harmonious effect as the giants retreated from the shock they felt. It was hard to threaten a giant but this is enough to cause them to hold back their temper. If a fight started, it would be better not to stay around the area.
“Bring me Shuna! Tell her that Hilda wants to meet.”
Hilda glared at the giants and kept oppressing them. The giants raised their clubs to warn her from getting closer and the situation was like a challenge between two stubborn brats.
“Hey, Furball. A little help here, buddy.”
I called for the mammoth that was still lamenting its friend and diverted the attention of the giants towards it.
The Giants indeed noticed it and seemed to be on guard against the mammoth for a second but they realized it is not mad anymore.
I retreated my aura and the atmosphere calmed down.
“Tell Shuna to come and talk with Hilda.”
After a short staring contest with the two giants, the elder one turned around and left the younger one to guard the cave’s entrance after he went in.
Hilda and I were still on guard of whatever comes out from the cave. I had prepared a ‘Teleport’ spell on hand and was ready to take Hilda and escape any second.
Still, we felt some heavy footsteps and something came out of the cave. It was indeed a female giant but the difference between males and females was big…
First, her limbs looked wider than most giants. She had a lot more muscles than them. She held a scary club and wore a lot more hide and fur than the other giants. Her hair was a bit light grey and her skin was darker than the males. It really seemed that she is the boss around the male giants.
The discovery was strange but it wasn’t anything important right now. However, I remembered some mod that added female giants to the game and it was a bit hilarious and very inaccurate for a lot of reasons. Especially when all the giantesses looked really sexy in that mod.
Anyway, here it is in front of us. Shuna, the matriarch of giants in this territory.
“What’s going on Shuna? You look a bit pale.” Hilda walked forward and greeted Shuna nonchalantly.
“Eh? No, I am Hilda.”
The giantess glared at Hilda and stomped on the ground causing us to feel it shaking.
The giantess shouted in a different tone.
“Oh, you mean where is Skadi? She is home looking at the matter of your mammoths going mad.”
“Yes, we brought one over there.”
Shuna the giantess looked at Furball and seemed to have an understanding that we came to help. The way she asked about Aunt Skadi was because she was more familiar with her than Hilda as I was told. Still, for her to tell the difference between Hilda and Skadi who are identical twins explains that this giantess is very smart.
Still, I was being looked at by the giantess.
“Yes, he is a Firemane, my son.”
“Hilda sushnu! Su mamaf, gwarshta.”
“She is thanking you for returning the mammoth.”
“Oh, you welcome.”
Well, she is friendly at least.
“Shuna, there are some strange things happening around the land, what do you know.”
The conversation later started going between Hilda’s responses and Shuna’s giant language. I was really trying to pick up some words from that language but it was a complete strange territory to me. How the hell did an airhead like Hilda managed to learn that? It is a very primitive language.
After a while, Hilda looked at me and said what she understood.
“Shuna is saying that two suns ago, which means two days ago, some evil people that she called ‘Marti gwasha’ came and attacked the giants with a lot of arrows and threw weird substances on the mammoths and made some fire.”
“What does that word you just said mean?”
“Marti means death, Gwasha means walk.”
Death and Walk…
“It may be the case. For a gang of necromancers to come out in broad daylight only means how strong they are, this only means one thing to our clan.”
“And it is?”
“The ‘Blackrock Clan’.”
We left the place immediately.
This may be a very dangerous situation right now. We need all the power the clan can muster.
The Blackrock Clan is one of the Hidden Clans that had an old grudge against the Firemanes and they managed to play us out of our den so far. This will prove troublesome if they were planning an all-out attack on the Firemane’s hunting party that has a lot of the key figures of the clan.
This is troublesome. I was planning to return to Winterhold by tomorrow but this may cause me to wait for a few more days.
Once we reached the last place we met the party in, we found some tracks and discovered that they have retreated to Kynesgrove once again.
We headed to the village and found that Uncle Tyr was managing the troops of the clan around the village and fortifying its barricade. Also, Grandpa and the rest were in the inn and told us that there was a sudden update to the situation.
“Our docks were attacked. It is the Bloodsails doing.”
“So we are under attack, just as Jonhild predicted.”
“It seems the peace is about to be over. The Dare Dragon Company’s existence and its alliance with the righteous clans caused our old enemies to feel threatened. The Bloodsails have moved in haste and called their allies too.”
“So it is the Bloodsails and the Blackrock this time.”
“Indeed, now we need to stop their sudden aggression and call for reinforcements from home. We also need to return Jonhild to Winterhold and Sigurd to his clan immediately.”
“Wait, won’t I be fighting?”
“Everyone will fight but you need to be among your troops and in your stronghold, no one knows when will the try to sneak attack us once again and how many clans are involved in their conspiracy.”
“Father, when will the reinforcements come? And who is leading it?”
“It is your mother who is leading it and Arch-Wizard Nurina has just sent some mind message to her telling her to come with the rest and around two hundred troops.”
“Isn’t it a bit risky?” I asked.
“Yes, the Blackrock Clan troops are around somewhere and the Bloodsails are marching from the north. This is the perfect opportunity for the Blackrock who have a horde of undead to trap our reinforcements with their undead as a suicide squad.”
The undead are the perfect suicide troops, what is dead can never die.
Grandpa fell in silence and nodded to my words.
“We need to move based on what Jonhild’s idea. Who will go?”
“There will be no need to move in numbers.” I said.
“Nurina, what do you think?” I said.
“… Hm? I can only participate in communications. Not really interested in fights. My identity as Nurina Aren will cause trouble in the College if I was found out that I participated in a fight between the natives.”
Huh? You are just being lazy. Admit it!
“Well, looks like I have to explain the situation to you… We can conjure undead, right?” I said.
“The Blackrocks are also necromancers, right?”
“When was the last time we compared our Undead others? Especially someone who is specialized in undeath.”
Nurina lagged for a second and looked at me.
“Jull, Alina! Prepare my stuff.”
I knew how easy she can be lured. She would never resist the opportunity after all.