Woe: A Collaborative Novel

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: The Imaginarium


"Follow the Nose" written by Hullabaloo22



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Chapter 17 (v.1) - Follow the Nose - by Hullabaloo22

Submitted: October 13, 2017

Reads: 156

Comments: 4

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Submitted: October 13, 2017

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In spite of the fact that he tried to travel mostly when the sun was not too high, Trimm found himself getting more and more uncomfortable. His face felt raw, tight; and he had a continuous urge to scratch at it. The wind had picked up over the last few days and that was something else rarely encountered underground.

“Farga! Hold it, will you. I need to get something.”

The pony came to a halt and chomped away at the grass and weeds around its hooves. Trimm walked round to the baggage pack and scrabbled around in it. Item after item hit the ground as he burrowed his arms deeper into the rolled up sack, until at last he pulled them free in victory. He had found it!

Okay, so maybe it was a bit odd, a dwarf wearing a battle helmet when there was no battle, but he needed to get some shade somehow and it was better than nothing. Not only that but it stopped the wind from blowing in one ear and out of the other. He looked around himself, checking that he had no audience, then pulled it firmly onto his head.

Farga was getting restless. It was only a quick slap from Trimm’s hand that prevented the supplies he had tossed to the ground from becoming squashed under hoof. Grumbling and grunting, Trimm set to gathering them back up and forcing them back inside the sack. He re-rolled it and pulled the strap firmly secure.

A quick snack and a snooze, that’s what he’d have before setting back off to....where?


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The further they got from Lake Myristo the more lost Trimm became. It was rare for a dwarf to travel further, and when they did it was in a group with a guide. He had no idea which way to go; no clue what road led to where. There was only one thing he could do, Trimm decided, and that was to follow his nose.

There was a distinct smell of burning on the air, together with a hint of.....death. He stood there and sniffed in through his quite large nose. Taking his time and turning in a full circle, Trimm picked his direction. It wasn’t one he would have freely chosen, leading as it did straight towards what looked to be a never-ending forest. His nose said that way so that’s the way they headed.

Farga, normally placid, stolid, calm and steady started to behave decidedly skittish. The pony was becoming unnerved by something and that made Trimm anxious too. He carried on forward, alert to any sound or movement but there was nothing. Just silence.

A thought struck him; surely a forest of such size should be teeming with wild-life, with birds and insects. There should be some sort of noise going on. And the smell was rancid, like some kind of pungent rot. Something was wrong. Had something happened? Was there some kind of presence lurking in the trees, a malevolent being of some kind?

Trimm found that his hand had made it’s way to the sword’s hilt. He trudged on, pulling the reluctant pony behind him. Don’t think, he told himself. Just carry on, one foot after the other.

And then it happened. Something flashed out from the undergrowth, grabbed his ankle, wrapping itself around his foot and making him topple backwards. With a speed that didn’t look possible, Trimm reached round for his battle axe and plunged it through the sinewy tendril. Three rapid strikes and he was free. He kicked the detached portion from around his foot and just caught sight of the tentacle or root or whatever it was withdrawing.

Trimm wiped the blade of his axe on the grass, wondering what kind of tree roots bled blood. His axe back on his back, his hand back on his sword, he trudged steadily onward in search of the startled pony.



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