Voren sat on the ground leaning against his cell. He had no way of knowing how many hours had passed. His back was to the wall as he stared across to another empty cell. The room was dimly lit and the smell of sweat and waste wafted in the air. He could hear the rhythmic snoring of his dwarven companion coming from the cell to the right. Like the others, the giants had confiscated the majority of their weapons and armor. It was fortunate that the guards hadn’t realized how much equipment they had left with his group. Voren took another comforting glance towards his glove. He’d have his sword by his side should the right opportunity present itself. He glanced to the cell on his left. The elven archer sat there engaged in reverie.
“Elf” he whispered. He stared at her for a moment trying to decide if she had heard him as she continued with her meditation. Voren smiled and waited. He was in no rush. With a lazy yawn, he lifted his hands above his head and settled back into them. He kept one sleepy eye cracked open as he watched the elf’s delicate eyebrow arch upwards in amusement.
“Patience from a half-orc?” she half joked. Voren snorted and couldn’t help but chuckle. To her surprise he replied in elvish. “You’ll find that I am full of surprises.” Despite his tusks, his accent was nearly flawless.
She stared at him briefly stunned. Her mouth slightly agape. “Your elven…it’s… good.”
“I’m glad to have your approval.” She couldn’t tell if that sentence was laced with sarcasm. Until now, she hadn’t given him much thought. Assumed he was another brute that lacked finesse.
“Is foolishly charging into a stronghold and getting captured normal for this group? So far, I can’t say I’m all that interesting in sticking around.”
Shalaelu briefly looked away. “No. This is not the norm. I’m not exactly sure what happened with Kurama and poor Savani but it clearly shook the group. I’m sorry we dragged you into this.”
Voren grunted with a nod of acknowledgement. “It’s always hard to see good men break. I’ve seen it happen to others over the years. Our current situation is definitely troublesome, but I’ve been in far worse”.
The elven ranger couldn’t help but laugh. Even in the depths of the dungeon her laugh was a melodic reprieve. “Truly? Worse than being imprisoned within an impregnable fortress inhabited by hundreds of giants under the command of our enemy?”
The bloodrager chuckled. His laughter rumbled within his chest. It’s sound was similar to large stones rolling down a hill. “I may be inconvenienced and lose most of my stuff, but I’ll survive and rebuild.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m very hard to kill.” He explained. “I’ll awake somewhere a few days after I’m thought dead. From there I’ll start over.”
She looked at him confused. “I don’t understand”. She studied him intently for several minutes. Her expression changed as if she finally realized something important. “You don’t smell like a half orc. What are you? Your scent is familiar to me but there’s something else…I can’t place it.”
He could tell she was skilled. But then someone who lived alone in the woods hunting goblins and giant-kin would be, he mused. She would eventually figure him out. Those he spent more than a few days with always asked the same questions. He may as well test the waters now.
“Its easy to be dismissed when you’re in several pieces”, Voren laughed. "I was younger. Less experienced. I was arrogant and head strong. I underestimated my foe and a group of ogres got the better of me. I had been misinformed of their numbers. Before long I was surrounded and fell to their clubs. They swarmed me and that’s when the ripping and tearing began. I may heal quickly but I still feel all the pain. It nearly drove me mad. I awoke some time later to find several limbs scattered about the room.
Voren continued his tale as he had captured the Ranger’s attention. “There’s something to be said about seeing your own legs across the room. I was fortunate.” He grimly chuckled. “After dragging myself across the floor I was able to press my severed limbs to my stumps and waited as they slowly knitted back together. It was pretty gross stuff. I’m not positive but I think they may have eaten one of my arms. Never did find it. Thing took about a week to fully regrow.” He noticed that his last sentence had her mind spinning.
“Your….trollkin?!?” She quietly gasped. She edged closer to the bars they shared. “That’s what I smelled, but I don’t understand. You don’t look like any troll I’ve ever seen before.”
“That’s because I’m not like other trolls. I have fey blood coursing through my veins. Potent First World stuff. Not sure who my father was, but he wasn’t a troll. Let’s just say I wasn’t exactly exactly accepted by my kind. I was the runt, the freak. I smelled wrong to my kin. Fuckers tried to eat me,” he laughed.
So i ran, alone in the world. Eventually, I stumbled upon an overturned merchant wagon. Whatever had killed the merchant and guards had long since left. Most anything of value was taken as well. As i was leaving, I stumbled upon a battered book of Abadar. Let’s just say that book was the first thing in my life that made any sense.” Voren paused and heard a door open nearby. They had a visitor.
“Quiet,” Ostarion hissed. “Someone is coming. Everyone be still.”