Celtic Heroes

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Schemes in the Dark

The undead troll king Hrungnir has escaped his prison within the cavernous Dunskeig Sewers. How did he escape, and where does the beast now roam? Read on to find out...

     ”Fool!” shouted Slurgrim the Acolyte as he paced back and forth across the wet slabs of the cavernous cistern room. His apprentice, Olrom, shifted uncomfortably in front of him, awaiting Slurgrim’s next outburst. “I took part in the rituals to resurrect Hrungnir. I helped create the wards that confined the troll king to this room. And what do you do? You tell me that he’s escaped! He’s a hundred foot tall troll, Olrom – I can see he’s escaped!”
     ”It’s her power,” said Olrom nervously. “The power of chaos. It’s growing in these lands day by day. It must have given Hrungnir the strength to break free.”
     ”That may be so, but it matters little now. What I am concerned with is what the Master will say when he returns to find his favourite creation missing, and the two of us – who were supposed to be guarding the beast – with nothing to offer save for mewling apologies?”
      ”I’m sorry, Slurgrim!” whimpered Olrom, “I didn’t know…”
     ”Quiet, you snivelling worm! I have a plan that may save our skins from the Master’s wrath.” Slurgrim pulled a charm from the folds of his dark cloak, a grotesque woven mass of animal bones, teeth and hair, wrapped in a circle of fraying cloth. He held the charm up, and the two men watched intently as it slowly spun in the soft, rank breeze blowing through Dunskeig Sewers. “Ah, I see…” Slurgrim muttered cryptically, before placing the foul object back in his robe.
     ”What is it?” asked Olrom excitedly. “What did you see?”
     Slurgrim wheeled around to face his apprentice, his mouth pulled into an wicked grin. “I saw where Hrungnir has gone. He lurks in the other great cistern room in the northwest of these sewers. And now it’s up to you to get him back.”
     Olrom looked shocked. “Up to me? But how…”
     ”I’ll let you decide that, Olrom. Just remember – should you require some motivation in this task – that however terrible you think Hrungnir may be, he will pale in comparison to the Master when he hears of your failure.”

     Later, as Slurgrim watched his apprentice make his way out into the sewers, he reflected on what he had said. Of course Olrom would perish as soon as he walked into Hrungnir’s chamber. His apprentice had little skill in magic, and would never be able to capture Hrungnir and bind him with the necessary wards and spells, but he would soon be something much more valuable to Slurgrim. He would be bait.
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