Composer : Didier Merlateau
Title : "Contretemps"
Time : 1:56
Formation : Eleven
A short time later Kettleturner was running for his life just ahead of his pursuers ; twenty or more trolls. The plain through which he had previously been travelling had little by little transformed itself into mountains. The slippery rocks tore his feet. Leaping from rock to rock, his agility was sorely tried. But a dwarf never gives up. He fought down his rising panic as the trolls gained ground on him.
Suddenly he came face to face with a wall of stone. With the odds at twenty to one he had no chance. The stone, as smooth as marble offered no handholds. Caught like a rat, he had to admit it. He was going to die.
A hundred meters from there, the trolls laughed. As they brandished their clubs their mouths were already watering. The battle was as good as won.
Kettleturner tried in vain to scale the rock face, tearing his nails, and fingers bleeding, was forced to accept the inevitable. He would have to fight.
Screaming like madmen they charged him. Our friend drew his axe, panicking at the idea of being hacked to pieces. He was silent now. The twenty ape like creatures ran towards him. He focused his ideas before the terrible shock could strike him. Another ten meters and they would be on him. He bent his knees, leaned forward and, in place of a shield, bent his head and thrust his helm towards them.
But, when the impact was only a second or two away, with a great fracas, three quarters of his adversaries disappeared screaming from his field of vision. In front of him five trolls still stood in his path. Kettleturner, who disliked magic intensely, was suddenly very annoyed. All these spells upset him for, if there was one thing in all the universe about which he understood nothing at all, it was Magic.
The five trolls in front of him still thought that their brothers were at their side. Trolls are slow on the uptake. Very slow. When they finally noticed that there were a lot less of them than at the start, panic set in . Which was understandable, since the dwarf left them no time to straighten out their thoughts. He charged.
Of the five remaining trolls one stepped back, panicked by the ferocity of the attack and promptly disappeared. The second tried to knock our friend out but he deftly avoided the attack at the same time cutting a leg off the third troll and striking the fourth in the thorax with his head. This one was thrown backwards into the magical zone and disappeared. Suddenly Kettleturner realised that it was a hole which had opened up under the feet of his adversaries swallowing them up most effectively. The dwarves, under orders from King Tribar had probably set traps in case of foolhardy invaders. Although he didn't need this encouraging thought in order to bring the combat to a successful conclusion still it boosted his confidence and he fought with redoubled strength. The one legged troll was quickly sundered and the last ran off terrified.
Kettleturner glanced into the hole. It was a disgusting sight. The lifeless trolls lay impaled on long wooden spikes.
He sat down to draw breath, collected his belongings and inspected the cliff face. Rapidly he abandoned the idea of climbing it and decided to go around. Soon the terrain began to slope upwards. The ascension became more and more difficult. Kettleturner was hungry. Now, the slopes were steeper and he had to cling to roots and little trees stumps to stop from sliding back down.
After an hour of this his stomach cried out for food. The cold was making it's presence felt. Far off he could see the first snows. How could he go on with his quest if he didn't find something to eat and some way of warming up very soon? Where was the entrance to the Crystal Mountain anyway ? Surely it couldn't be far now, he told himself. And painfully he continued onwards.
Now he could see fine slivers of crystal quartz embedded in the cliff face. Kettleturner touched them, they cut like his axe blade.
-"Hmm" he muttered, " I must be getting close to the entrance."
For half an hour his surroundings stayed the same then the trees started to peter out. Now everything was damp and the poor dwarf was starving. He could almost have eaten the grass he was walking on but dwarfs are basically carnivores and his stomach demanded a nice rare steak and or a shoulder of grilled pork. In a very bad mood he stepped up the pace. He longed to be at Jasmines side in front of a roaring fire. But since neither Jasmine nor the fire were to hand, the only thing he could do to alleviate his situation was to sit down. He contemplated the distant plain far below him, stretched out his legs and rubbed his weary thighs.
-"Ahh what a horrible day it is up here" he thought , stroking his long beard. He inspected the cliff face again. It was now studded with quartz and when a ray of sunlight fought it's way through the heavy clouds to strike the crystals, the dwarf was dazzled.
"Well when you gotta go you gotta go" and he got painfully to his feet.
Surprisingly the slope evened out and his journey became less difficult. Now the cliff face, made almost transparent by the force of the sun's rays, gave off heat and Kettleturner began to feel a little better. He was striding along when he noticed footprints on the ground in front of him.
Who could be taking a stroll in such a deserted place ? His question was soon answered. Soon dozens of similar tracks appeared. In the middle of the shining crystal cliff face a dark form stood out. At it's summit, dwarfish runes seemed formed by the rock itself. Kettleturner breathed a sigh of relief and a smile lifted the corners of his mouth. He recognised the writing. He read the inscription : "From water and stone : CRYSTAL".
Such were the words above the door that led to the fulfilment of his quest.
Kettleturner (chapter 2)
kettleturner (chapter 4)
At the same time :
Alise (chapter 3)
Defnael (chapter 3)
Ewyn (chapitre 3)