Tales of the Hunting Brotherhood
Boldar was out of the village on a hunt. But this was different from a usual hunt. Resources in the area had been dwindling for the past few months and the elders of the tribe had made the decision to move south. Boldar had been tasked, along with many of his bretheren with finding food and supplies for their journey. It was about noon, and the sun shone bright above him, though up here in the mountains the sun did not provide much warmth. A cold wind blew down from the peak of the mountain, causing Boldar to shiver slightly. His eyes turned to gaze down into the valley below, admiring the natural beauty of the area. He then gazed back towards the small pack of Ram he had been tracking. They would provide a decent amount of meats and furs if he could catch and kill all of them. He had set up a trap further up the slope of the mountain. He only hoped his plan would work. He took a moment to compose himself before setting his plan into action. He lifted his trusty giant axe off his back and rushed towards the pack, bellowing as he sprinted towards them. The pack, startled by his approach began to scatter, but a small group went the direction he wanted. The pack ran farther up the slope where they triggered his trap: a small 3 foot deep pit that they would be unable to escape from. Boldar then put his axe on his back and pulled out a large hunting knife. Dropping down into the pit with the Rams, he was prepared for a fight. They had large horns and the power to turn them into deadly weapons. But Boldar was even deadlier with his knife, dealing with the Rams quickly and minimizing the danger of their horns. In total there were 4 rams that had fallen into his trap.
As he set to skinning the animals he heard a noise that made him freeze. Off in the distance he heard horns from his village that only sounded when there was a threat. He hastily set to covering up the bodies from any scavengers that would take his kill and then left a marker to find his bounty again before rushing off towards his village. He saw smoke in the distance as the horn continued to sound, no doubt in an attempt to call the other hunters back to the village. Boldar was still about a mile off when the horn ceased its call. He hoped that everything was ok and whatever the problem was had been dealt with. But Boldar knew better. Most of the men who were capable of fighting had been sent out to hunt and gather supplies. As he crested the last small hill before his village, his stomach turned. Below him the village was burning.
His tribesmen lay dead in the snow. A decent sized group of humans were the culprit. As Boldar looked in horror at the scene below him, his mind raced: “Are the elders okay? Is my family okay? How did our scouts not see this group? Why would they do this?”. But all of it passed in a moment as his blood began to boil and he let out a scream of pure rage. He took his axe off of his back and rushed down into the village with blinding speed. The humans below looked up in surprise and then terror. They had been celebrating their victory of the defenseless and peaceful goliath elders, women, and children. They were not prepared to face a true goliath warrior. He was death incarnate as he reached the first human, cutting his head clean off. He then turned and buried his axe into the skull of the one next to him. He then ripped the axe out of the man’s head as he turned to his next target. The other humans were now ready with their weapons out, shouting curses at him. They rushed at him, striking him with powerful blows that made him stagger. But he steeled himself against their weapons, striking them down as he moved towards their leader. As Boldar cut down the last of the humans before him, he turned towards the leader who eyed him with a smirk.
“No matter how many of my men you kill, you can’t save your people Goliath. We came in here and slaughtered your people. They begged us to spare them. They insisted they weren’t a threat to us. They were weak. And so are you.” In that moment Boldar snapped out of his rage and felt overwhelming despair. Everything the man said was true. He couldn’t bring his friends and family back. Everyone was dead, and he was powerless to do anything about it. As he stared down at the blood soaked snow below them, the human saw his opening, smashing a mace into Boldar’s gut. Boldar collapsed onto the ground, clutching at his gut. The human leader stood above him smirking. “I would kill you, but I think letting you live to deal with the loss of everything you know and love is far more rewarding than killing you…. Weakling.” He spat on Boldar as he turned to walk away. Boldar mustered up his last bit of strength before he spoke. “Bastard… who the hell are you?” The human turned and thought for a moment. “I doubt you’ll ever be strong enough to kill me so I’ll tell you. My name is Malladar, and I’m the most wanted outlaw in the southern kingdoms. And before you ask ‘why would you do this Malladar’ I’ll save you the effort and tell you. Because I can.” And without another word he turned and walked away. Boldar, who had managed to sit up, dropped back down into the snow as despair and hopelessness washed over him. “I’m weak…” he thought before he passed out.
Several hours later Boldar awoke to the sight of the other goliath warriors. Seeing him awake, his best friend Thalnar rushed over to him. “Boldar are you ok? We saw the carnage here in the village…” His words trailed off as sadness washed over his face. “You were the one to kill all of them weren’t you? When the rest of us arrived we saw you collapsed in the snow, covered in blood… we feared the worst. But you managed to defeat them and survive. If only this were a good day to celebrate…” Boldar stood up and put his hand on his friend’s shoulder. “I’m fine, and I thank you for your concern friend… but this was terrible. The elders… our families… gone… And I wasn’t even able to kill all of them….” Boldar stepped out into the middle of the village, surveying the destruction. He then walked to the smoldering hut that used to be his home. But he could not bring himself to enter. He remembered Malladar’s words. He remembered how weak he had been as he laid there in the snow. He felt like he had failed his people. Without another word he ran out of the village and began his descent out of the mountains. He felt the need to be stronger before he could face his people again. As he ran, he heard footsteps behind him.
“Boldar, stop! It wasn’t your fault!” Stopping and turning around, he looked his friend dead in the eyes. “I cannot bring myself to stand in your presence again until I am stronger… I should have been able to avenge them. There was one more man there, their leader. His name was Malladar, and he told me I was weak. And he was right. He could have easily killed me. But instead he let me live and that will prove to be his biggest mistake.” Thalnar paused for a moment before he answered. “Let us come with you then. It was our fault as much as it was your fault Boldar. You do not have to shoulder this burden yourself. There is nothing left for any of us there. You were not the only one to lose your home or your family. We all did. And I want to kill this bastard Malladar as well.” Boldar thought about it for a moment before replying. “Then we all must get stronger. But I will travel alone. We should all have our own personal journies to grow stronger. But until the day which I feel I have become strong enough to face Malladar, I will do my best to ensure that I do not see any of you. Goodbye Thalnar.” As Boldar turned, Thalnar let out a soft chuckle. “I too will go on my own journey then. And the next time I see you, I will be the stronger one Boldar, and we will face Malladar together. Farewell, and safe travels friend!” With that, Boldar smiled and began his journey out of the mountains. He would get stronger, and he would one day avenge the tribe of his ancestors by killing Maladar.