Mount Artentis, cold and snowy at this time of year.
Moludri traveled for three weeks, through different weather patterns, stayed at local inn’s, gained intelligence and gossip from patrons and workers alike. He bumped into some of the Kings 5th army and tried to get more of a picture as to what could have happened.
He knelt down in the snow during the winding path up the mountain next to a skull, analyzing it with his eyes. Lifting the skull up carefully with both his hands. The blood had clotted and due to the weather conditions, some of it had congealed under it, leaving a jelly puddle.
The jaw was missing, no eyes, and the back of the skull had been broken, revealing a cavity the size of his fist. Moludri turned it around to inspect it further.
“Hard to tell if this was an unlucky traveler, or one of the scouts. His or hers brain is completely gone. Jaw severed.” He thought to himself.
Moludri stood up, after placing the skull back where he found it, and began the trek up the winding path into the mountain. Fresh snow crunched against his boot soles, looking around for more clues.
After about a half hour, he found his next clue.
It was an arm, severed at the shoulder as he pulled the arm out from the snow. It too, unfortunately, wasn’t enough to convince him that it was the remains of the scouts. It was just flesh, frozen and rigid from rigor mortis. Whatever did this, it wasn’t a blade.
“Someone ripped his or hers arm off. But where was the body?” He thought to himself.
He stopped and scanned the area as best as he could through the frozen tundra. The trees and bushes were beautifully dusted with snow and ice accents. Blood would be easy to show up in white. Then, he saw through the snow, the unmistakable crimson splatters. Or was it a red berry winter bush? Moludri walked up closer to see.
And there it was. The biggest clue of them all.
A scouts mutilated body was impaled through the chest and abdomen from the front, shoved into a wide tree trunk, and with both arms and legs ripped off. The scout wore the King’s colors for their regiment. The snow camouflaged the scout and his blood.
As he looked past the tree, he saw the rest of the scouts, or in this case, what was left of them. Moludri approached each tree, slowly, visually examining each mutilation. All various, most of them kept their heads, few were decapitated.
Moludri stood still, examining the last corpse he found, and he heard a crunch.
At an instant, he drew his katana and went into an immediate battle stance in the direction where he heard the sound. Waiting for movement. Something shifted not too far from him. A shape perhaps? What moved?
Then it blinked.
Moludri stood stiffly, and watched for it to blink again in case he was hallucinating.
It blinked again.
It’s white fur was an excellent natural camouflage in the environment. Once Moludri moved slowly forward, the frost troll then roared ferociously, showing his bloodied set of teeth. His hot breath deployed a mist in the cold air.
It rapidly closed the distance as it ran on all fours towards Moludri before leaping in the air to tackle him, and presumably remove his extremities as the troll did with the others.
As the troll leapt into the air, Moludri ducked and rolled under the gap between him and the angry frost troll. Immediately getting up he slashed at a diagonal fashion against the frost trolls back. The creature roared in pain as blood splattered on its fur and the snow. The troll turned around and swiped with its right arm to snatch up Moludri.
With a high kick, Moludri’s foot met the arm of the troll to deflect it, as the troll turned completely around to face him. They were at an arms distance, and Moludri knew this was dangerous. Moludri dropped and rolled back and left to gain distance as rapid as he could and went into a defensive stance with his sword to block an incoming attack.
The troll wasn’t slowing down, it wanted nothing more than to rip Moludri apart.
The trolls right arm came down with a swing, and Moludri met it with cold steel, slicing the flesh of its forearm. In return, the troll clawed the back right shoulder blade of Moludri leaving him stumbled and off balance. The claws sheered through his hardened leather and exposed flesh.
With a surprise, the troll kicked his injured side and sent him sprawling into the snow, katana still gripped in his hand.
Moludri rolled on his uninjured side through the fresh snow, and was on his feet again. Feeling the sting and his hot blood trickling down his cool skin. He sheathed his katana and prepared two daggers.
He had a plan. And it was going to be risky.
Dagger in each hand, he kept his stance low and aggressive. The troll roared in anger as the pain from its two injuries began to slightly blind its judgement.
“I guess you don’t like it when food fights back.” Moludri said to the troll.
“Let’s dance just a little longer.” Moludri finished.
The troll charged again and went to grab Moludri to wrap him up in its arms, to squeeze Moludri to death. He found an opening between the trolls legs and dove between them, he then got to his feet and stabbed both daggers straight down into each side of its neck. The blades sank deep with a wet chunky sound as the troll roared, grasping behind it to grab Moludri.
It grabbed Moludri by the arms and flung him like an insect about ten feet away into a tree trunk, slamming his back into it. The wind knocked out of him, gasping to regain himself. He was used to being beaten badly in training, so he could handle it in a real fight – for his life.
The frost troll roared and couldn’t reach the daggers well with its clunky arms, but Moludri had a secret. The dagger blades were poisoned, and since he introduced the blades into where he suspected the vital blood flow of the troll (assuming it resembled close to a human), it wouldn’t be long until the troll would die. Eventually, the troll removed both daggers after it gained its composure, blood leaking from two fresh new holes.
Moludri scrambled to his feet and drew his katana again. The troll began to stumble, whether the poison or the blood loss was significant enough to disrupt proper function, something slowed it down.
It’s roar became faint, as it dropped to its knees. Moludri noticed the face was turning into a dark green, and blood poured from its eyes and mouth, and the ear canal began to ooze blood. The poison was working it’s way through and killing it.
Moludri stood and watched the frost troll die slowly. Without providing it mercy by removing its head.
After the poison took full control, it’s eyes burst like bubbles in boiling soup, blood spurted from its nose and ears. The troll fell onto its right side, as the poison seized its brain and stopped all functions.
Moludri stood over its corpse, bleeding slightly still on his upper back, making sure the troll wasn’t breathing. He stuck the flat end of the katana blade next to the entrance of its nose, to see condensation indicating breathing. Moludri saw none, but wanted to make sure.
He lifted his katana up and came down on its neck, severing the trolls head completely from its body. Moludri used the dead trolls fur to clean his katana before he sheathed it back, and had to make the trek back to report the mission being completed.
As Moludri made his way down the path, he knew he needed to stop somewhere to properly inspect his wounds, and ensure no infection took place. It would be a day or two until he got somewhere to be seen, so he cleaned it the best he could with the snow. He headed to the previous town he stopped at prior, and checked himself into the inn for much needed rest.