OOC - Story Forge - LucianNepreen Volume 2

The sleeping giant Pt.1

"Wake up lazy beast! Time to get moving."

A swift kick followed the order, rousing the giant to his feet. Great ropes held a massive bundle of supplies to his back, while chains linked his wrists and ankles.

Welts and burns forming where metal touched skin, though the being showed no sign of pain or discomfort.

A man walked up to him, grabbing a chain from a post in the ground and tugging on it hard.

"I said time to move!"

The show of force did not seem to register on the shallow, drooped eyes of the giant, but he started walking anyway. The men around him were bandits, dressed in various hides and armor from raids.

As they traveled, they attacked those they saw on the trails and roads, throwing their loot on to the back of their beast of burden. When they would come across a rival gang, the enemy would see the rage of a captured Jotun.

As he was often the on to lead the charge in these skirmishes, the men jokingly called him Erik, "ruler", presenting him with "offerings", the scraps of their dinner.

All the while, the object of their taunts remained silent, quietly bearing the attacks.
This was all he knew, all he had known for many years, captured while young and conditioned to be as a trained dog.

The day it would change started as any other, a kick in the gut and the usual treks. It changed when his owners held a caravan hostage.

"What does the boss think he is doing, what are we supposed to do with the extra weight."

"The hell if I know, you want to ask him yourself? Go join Richard in his sleeping pit."
A group of the men stood near Erik, griping about the caravan.

Erik looked towards the cowering family, two women and three men. One of the women, it seemed to be their daughter, stared at him. He quickly looked away, his long mane of hair blocking the girl from his sight.

Later in the night, as the bandits drunkenly snored around a steadily dying fire, one of the group approached Erik.

"You, giant! Can't you help us?"

Erik was awake, but made no attempt to respond.

"Please, surely you are not with these monsters, break your bonds and help us!"

His mind was numb from years of abuse, he had no comprehension of escape or freedom. He looked to the man who spoke to him, only to lift a finger to his mouth to signal silence.

The man let out a heavy sigh, the best hope he had for escape now shattered.
All the while, the little girl continued to stare.


~A few nights later~

Erik was now joined in his torment by the family, being forced to cook and clean for the bandits, while the mother unfortunately was used for entertainment.

The girl never left Erik's side, though he wished she would stay with her own kind.
She would bring him flowers and extra scraps and sometimes smooth rocks if they passed a stream.

This night was the the others, the drunken revelry of the men leading to brawls and the mother getting dragged around. He noticed that she took it all with dignity, no cries for mercy or outward aggression.

Feeling something touch his hand, he looked down to see the little girl running her hand along his. He let her, he had to admit to himself, she had grown on him.


The girl quickly looked up and smiled at him.

"I'm Sophie. Do you have a name?"


Sophie smiled wider, showing a few gaps in her teeth.

The sight of a smile, Erik had not seen such innocence since his enslavement.

A chill ran threw him, waking a part of his mind that had lain dormant. A rage tore threw him at the thought of these humans breaking his spirit.

Tugging at the chains, he felt the cold fire of the iron tearing at his flesh. This pain only fueled his rage, but he stifled the roar he wanted to unleash.

"Sophie, wake your father."

The girl ran to where her family lay, pushing her father until he roused and walked over to Erik.

"Forgive my ignorance human, my mind has been clouded by my slavery. Sophie brought me from my stupor, so I will help you escape."

As the man beamed, Erik held his wrists to the man's eye level.

"These chains prevent me from harming their leader, they were enchanted to restrain my rage. If the other wake, I can handle them, but the leader will have to be dealt with by one of you."

The father stood in silenced shock at a Jotun that seemed to be as intellectual as a human, maybe smarter.

"While they are drunk, they are almost impossible to wake. However, the one who holds the keys to your chains will wake rather easily. He drinks little."

The man shook his head in acknowledgement, then went to rouse his family.

Erik was ready now, where before he had no reason to fight, the chance of the little girls innocence dying was something he would not let happen.

The sleeping giant Pt.2

A quick dagger to the throat was all that was needed in order to silence the keymaster.
With a silent fist in the air, the father ran silently back to where his family and the Jotun waited.

"Quickly, the leader usually has to relieve himself at this time."

As if on cue, the bandit leader began to rouse himself, kicking another bandit in the head.

"You! Go check the prisoners, I want the wife ready when I get back."

Stumbling away, he left the man to slowly wake up before he set off to complete his orders. Too drunk to scream, a pair of giant hands sent to sleep permanently.

Shaking off the chests and chains that he had carried for so long, Erik wanted to simply enjoy the feeling of not having an immense weight constantly on his shoulders, but he resisted in order to grab a few of the bags still left in the family's possession.

"Follow me and make not a sound. We won't stop for some time, but I promise you it is for your own survival."

They set off into the dark wilderness, leaving behind the drunken men that had enslaved and tortured them. Moving as slow as he could, Erik winced everytime his chains jingled, praying to the gods and the ancestors he wouldn't alert his former masters. This anxiety died as they ventured further into the night, until he heard a familiar call roll through the night. The battle horn of the leader.

"Run, I will follow behind, but you must run!"

The group began to sprint away from the sound, Erik only traveling at a stumbling jog. The iron around his ankles began to draw blood, but to quit now would be a fate worse than death. His ancestors would not find such a thing honorable either.

Multiple times they felt as if they would run into the bandits, hearing group call from different directions. A few of these moments were spent crammed into any space that would hide them from sight, even if the men were far away and on several occasions a lone scout would see a flash of metal or an immense shadow before becoming food for worms.

All through the night they were dogged, nearly falling prey to exhaustion if not for Erik carrying them as dawn approached. Then after the morning was spent finally shaking their pursuers, the group were at last able to collapse.

The father began to laugh as he embraced his loved ones, tears of sorrow joining in as he held his wife tight. Erik watched in silence, a small grin reaching his tired face.

"You all should rest, try and find a decent shelter to protect you. I will be back with some food and if I can, water."

The man looked up at the giant that had saved his life.

"We will never be able to repay you for what you have done, but if it would please you, I would humbly ask that you join us in our travels. Though for now I would say we would stay home for a while."

Stunned by such an offer, Erik didn't respond until he felt a small hand on his.

Looking down, he saw Sophie looking up at him.

"Please Erik??"

The others in the group all nodded in agreement, leaving Erik even more speechless.
"You can think it over friend, no need to rush this after what we all have been through."

The man and his family began making a basic structure in which to rest in, making sure it wouldn't stand out as well. Sophie lingered to keep smiling at Erik.

"I like you Erik, you can be my best friend."

Then she ran off to help.


Evening drew near and Erik returned with several deer in his hand, a hide that he had kept from a siege now being used as a water sack. Returning to where he had left the others, he almost walked by them if it was not for the glow of a small campfire.

Finding the makeshift hut, he peered inside to make sure they were all present, then began to prepare the deer. As he worked, he listened to the birds as they flew through the trees, a joyous cacophony that he hadn't paid attention to for so long.

Lost in his own world, Erik didn't notice a whisper coming from the back of his mind until it began to speak louder.

Oh might ancient, why do you still remained chained?

Looking around and seeing no one, he let it slide as his imagination.

You burn at the touch, yet you find no way to release yourself?

Standing in a growing anger, Erik lifted a nearby log to use as a weapon.

"Who taunts me?"

I am only a curious bystander, ever present yet always past.

"Show yourself, quit with the riddles and come out of your shadows!"

You are a sour one aren't you, fine.

In front of Erik walked a man, but there was something off. Other than the strange attire the being wore, upon his face sat a rather wide smile.

"Hello tall one, I am here to offer my help to you."

Lowering the log slightly, Erik looked at the man with caution.

"Help in what man, I am in need of no services."

A laugh peeled through the growing darkness of night, the man flailing himself in hysterics.

"Then I presume that you wear those chains to make a fashion statement?"

This comment brought a scowl to Erik's face, while also stoking his anger.

"What help could you offer to break enchanted bonds?"

This ended the laughter abruptly, a grave expression taking its place.

"Why my boy, I can release you from your bonds and what's more it won't cost you any hack-silver."

Not taking the bait, Erik lifted the log again. The man held up his arms in submission.
"I do not jest, only a true fool would try and trick a Jotun."

"What must I do?"

Stepping closer, the man stepped near the hut. Peering inside, he silently counted before smiling at the giant.

"For your chains, a sacrifice must be made,"moving back as Erik made to swing at him,"nothing of your physical or spiritual being I assure you!"

"What sacrifice?"

"One of love, friendship and brotherhood. You must destroy innocence to free yourself."

Taking a few moments to realize what he meant, Erik heaved his weapon at where the man stood, only to see he was not there anymore. Realizing that he was sweating and breathing heavily, he lay down by the dwindling flames to try and forget all of it.


Erik felt himself wake, but somehow knew he was in a dream. He looked about, not seeing the hut or anything familiar for that matter. A great gate stood before him, ancient runes glowing as a shimmering doorway opened.


He had never seen the ancestral homeland of all Jotun, but the primordial connection to this place was felt by all Jotun-kind. Erik reached with a hand towards the gate, but found the harder he tried, the farther he became from his goal. He began running in his dream, drawing himself into an endless chase, then suddenly he found himself in the forest again. He began to recollect where he was and soon found his way to the camp.

When he was about to reach it, he heard several screams that were cut short. Panicking, he charged towards the camp in order to defend his friends, but just as the hut was in sight, he smacked into an invisible wall.

Standing back up, he pounded against the barrier, trying to find a way in, then froze in terror as he witnessed what was happening.

A great beast loomed over several corpses, the twisted faces of the family left intact as the creature continued to slaughter the others. He heard Sophie call out his name before being silenced in a swift motion. The father, roaring in agony, brought his knife down on the creatures back, then was sent flying into a thick pine with a firm crack.
The mother only sobbed in horror, finally broken and willing to die.

All the while Erik watched, his face matching the terror that were on the faces of the dead. After killing them all, the beast took a moment to rest, then as if finally noticing Erik's presence, slowly turned to reveal its face.

A howling laughter echoed in Erik's mind as the twisted smile of the stranger cackled on the face of the monster. He was gratefully woken as the face began to contort even more.

Now, do you not feel better now that you got rid of those dreadful chains?

A rising despair overwhelmed Erik as he heard the voice, staring at his blood soaked hands.

"By the Ancestors what have I done??"

Dark Woods

Snowflakes landing on the golems rough form. The dull grey clouds that blocked most of the moonlight. Every now and then, the flickering torch of a human guard making their rounds.

The winter months made patrolling the Forbidden Plains ominous to Balor, the atmosphere seemingly changed by the dark will of the stretch of trees that his kind guarded. His family slept nearby, Balor taking night watch so they could rest, making him more paranoid.

Hearing a sound coming from the darkness, he lifted his shield and sword at the ready and edged towards the source.

Staying in the glow of his campfire, he silently waited for the creature to reveal himself.

Heading straight for him, the rumbling footsteps soon revealed a hulking form trudging through the snow.

Balor shook his head at his anxiety as another golem walked by the giants, the silent sentinel forever keeping a perimeter around the woods. Thirty years Balor had watched the Dark Forest, he had fought hordes of trolls and even taken down one of the gnarled corrupted treefolk that lived amongst the shadowed boughs.

Even with all of his achievements, the threats of spring and summer paled(literally for that matter, even the fiercest monsters were in hibernation) to what stalked the nights now.

Turning to settle back into his position, he assumed a new noise to be the golem, until he heard sounds of a battle. The grating joints of the enchanted stone were audible as it clashed with an unknown assailant.

"Varian! Wake the others and tell them to be ready, I will return shortly."
The human walking the wall nodded in understanding, running to sound a bell nearby. Taking off into the growing snowfall, he Balor searched for where the fight was.

The first signs he saw were where the creature made its entrance, a clear line was torn through the tree line and a series of tracks in the snow. He then quickened his pace as he began seeing chunks of rock that were obviously thrown, with some having massive claw marks gouged into them.

The tracks gave no indication as to who was winning, but Balor knew that if the golem hadn't killed it already, it was a powerful entity for sure. He gave a silent prayer to the Great One that it was not one of the greater demons that awoke in this bleak time.
His fear was fully realized as he finally reached the final moments of the fight.

A massive form stood on its hind legs, its long thin arms with monstrously clawed hands that were giving the golem its death. A victorious roar echoed from the skull like face, no visible orifice making the haunting sound.

Preparing his weapons, he gave his own roar of challenge and charged the monster, taking it by surprise and thrusting his sword into its side. Gritting his teeth as the beast gave a nerve-wracking shriek, he gave another swing to the neck followed by a solid punch to the head with his shield.

As it gathered itself from the assault, Balor saw no blood exit the wound, but it didn't heal either. Getting back onto all fours, its knuckles curled to protect its claws, the creature nearly reached his own towering height.

The two seemed to size each other for some time before the demon lowered its huge antlers and charged. It attacked with a speed that took the giant by surprise, allowing it to smash into him full force. flying from the charge, Balor smashed through several trees before landing, forming a large snowdrift. Another roar signaled another attack, giving him enough warning to roll over and lift his shield, just in time to bear the brunt of a heavy swing. Several more followed, nearly ripping the shield from his hands, before the demon paused to see if he was dead. This gave Balor an opening to kick it away from him, knocking several more trees down, then he rolled into a kneeled stance, ready for the next charge.

Quickly recovering, the demon roared in rage as it charged once more, Balor holding his breath to prepare for the impact. The impact that came was not what he was expecting.

A heavy thwack rang through the clearing they had made, followed by the pained groan of the demon and more trees being demolished. Lowering his shield, he almost laughed at the sight of his younger brother, warhammer in hand as he watched the beast fly.

"Glad you could finally join me brother, I thought you would let me have all the fun."
This brought a grin to his brother face,"You know me, have to ruin everything for you."

As the demon stood to challenge his new attacker, a volley of spears flew through the air to strike into the its side. Both brothers looked behind them to see their mother and aunt, bows at the ready with "arrows" nocked.

"You boys quit wasting time, the noise will attract more and we need to build another golem before tomorrow night."

Obeying their aunts command, the two readied their weapons and together, quickly dispatched of the corrupt being.

Panting heavily at the task, Balor took the time to sit as the adrenaline finally wore off, leaving him sore and winded.

"Getting out of shape there old man?"

Swiping a fist playfully at the jest, he gave a snort.

"Oh, so you think you could have handled a winter demon better ay?"

The two busted into laughter as the women approached them.

"Come you two, we need to get back before the others worry."

Although seemingly harsh, the brother knew that it was the truth. This night was a huge victory for them, many times a fight with a winter demon went much, much worse.

The short story

Once upon a time, there was a young lad who lived on a farm.

He was content with life and cared for his friends, the livestock he watched and the family he had.

One day, a royal knight passed through the town, looking for a squire to aid in his grand heroics.

Meeting all who were intrigued, he found none but the farm boy to be of his liking.
"Young man, would you join me in a great quest, to vanquish evil from this land and be proclaimed a hero?"

The farm boy thought of this offer, to seek a life of fame and fortune was a chance few ever got in their life, riches beyond his imagination and to sit in the courts of great Kings.

Looking into the charismatic eyes of the noble warrior, the man gave his answer.


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