The streets of Greshfell were silent, empty and ravaged. Tumbor felt it epitomised his heart at having chosen a sentimental object over his friends of many years. His mind wandered, as he too wandered the pathways, to the many scrapes they had all encountered and come through together.
But then he recalled the pride within his father’s eyes as he passed the blade down to his son, how he told with enthusiasm the tale of how it received its name, “Troll Shredder”. Tumbor’s loyalty to his family was unbreakable, no matter what friendship it may destroy in the process.
Unintentionally, he had reached the edge of town and was facing the direction of the cursed swamp. For a moment he thought about turning round and heading back to the warmth and food of the inn, but indecision consumed him.
“For the love of mead,” he blasted at himself. “They will be the death of me.”
Tumbor set off along an overgrown, barely recognisable path, cursing expletives at the continual rain, and how deep it will have made the swamp. He pulled a drumstick from a pouch on his belt and began feasting upon the cold tough meat. Greshfell slowly disappeared from view behind him.
With the rain and cloud suffocating the sun, night seemed to fall earlier than usual these days. Up ahead, he spotted a solitary plume of smoke rising into the bleak afternoon sky, and thoughts immediately turned to making camp.
But he also knew that these were dangerous times, and with the goblin horde having fled Greshfell in all possible directions, this camp could easily, and would most likely, be one of theirs.
Pulling his axe from his shoulder strap, he stalked closer to investigate.