Drodia started whispering what she saw to Banthid through the hole they made. There wasn’t much time before the ogres would return to eat the gruntlings. Banthid was too bulky to get through the hole, but he was pretty sure he could bash the cage door open.

“But there are 2 ogres guarding the cage door. We need a distraction to pull them away,” Banthid said.

Drodia nodded, took a deep breath, then snuck around the outside of the cave. The two ogres stood heads above Drodia with arms twice the size of her body. She scrounged around the ground to find several, heavy, dull rocks.

She crept around the corner and threw two rocks at the ogres then ran towards the trees from where they came.

“Come ‘n’ get me! How about some dessert?” The two ogres chased after her. She ran through the trees and found a large, sturdy one to climb. She climbed as far up the tree as she could. I was more than just the two ogres who chased her. 8 more crashed through the trees and surrounded her tree. She peered back to see the gruntlings escaping from the cave. Banthid pointed them in a direction and they disappeared into the dark.

Banthid didn’t follow them. He crept back to find Drodia. He found the tree she was hiding in, but she was surrounded by the ogres. There was no way he could reach her. They caught each other’s gaze. She pointed for him to go, but Banthid didn’t want to leave her. He threw rocks and logs at the ogres. He started screaming at them and running in and out of the trees. Drodia started screaming from the top of the tree, throwing the rest of her rocks.

The ogres were getting pretty cut up from the Dwarf-Ogres, but they were still standing strong. They started pushing on one side of the tree. It started creaking and crackling. The tree started falling and Drodia was too high up. Banthid climbed up another tree to try and grab her before the tree fell. He didn’t make it in time. The tree crashed to the ground, taking other trees down with it.

Banthid howled and began charging at the ogres. They started swinging at their new target. They chased him through the trees as he led them away from where Drodia fell. They all ran full speed toward a canyon. Banthid was able to slip away and follow the ridge while each of the ogres slid off the edge, trying to change direction. One by one, they slid into the canyon and splashed into the river below. Banthid peeked over the edge, they were huffing and groaning, but still alive. It would take them ages to find a way out.

He ran back to where Drodia fell, calling out to her. He found her gasping for air. She had a branch sticking out of her stomach from the tree that fell.

“Are they safe?” she asked.
“I think so,” he said.
“You have to get them out of here, find someplace hidden,” she said. She shuddered and winced. Banthid held her close until she fell asleep. He patted her face, but she was done breathing and done waking. He picked her up and carried her towards the gruntling’s hiding place.

Rog’s hand is cramping from writing so much today. The end of Drodia’s story will come tomorrow.