The path began as a very gentle climb, following the steady rolling contours of the landscape. Dappled here and there, the occasional tree or large shrub broke up the monotony of brackish heather and rocky outcrop that seemed to follow them the higher they went.
It was after passing the third set of flanking stones that the climb suddenly became much more strenuous, the flora giving way to more jagged stone and shingle as the gradient increased dramatically. The rain did little to assist matters, as several of the group would occasionally misplace a footing on the wet slippery rock.
For as fleet footed and agile Fraevon was, it was Tumbor that found himself leading from the front for he alone made short work in scaling the step treacherous path.
“Tumbor,” said Jax catching his breath. “How do we get up that?”
The path lead the group to the base of an overhang some several feet above their heads, with no clear indication as to which way to go next.
“Brilliant, he’s brought us to a dead end,” moaned Melvin, as her removed a boot so as to rub his aching feet.
“Up!” replied Tumbor. “But the rope’s been cut.” He held up a section of sodden hemp rope, the end showing visible signs of fraying.
“Like I said, a dead end.” moaned Melvin again, changing feet.
“I can levitate up with the rope and see if I can tie it off on something,” offered Rohlen just a as large bellowing groan filled the air.
“You can’t still be hungry,” said Melvin, looking at the dwarf in bewilderment.
“Not I lad, but I’d recognise that sound anywhere,” replied Tumbor reaching for his less than impressive woodman’s axe. “Troll!” he shouted.
The party instinctively looked for cover, just as a large boulder came crashing down to within inches of where Rohlen had been stood, then they watched as the hulking muscular frame of the troll loomed over the edge of the overhang looking for its next target.
“I was wrong,” said Melvin nervously. ” He’s led us to our death.”