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Old 02-20-2007, 02:56 PM   #145
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Location: The 1590s
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The Hammerhand

Helm, formerly Gurth, was more disorientated by the nagging ache of his dagger-wound from Scyld than his ox-like pride would allow him to concede. It slowed his motions, his responses, and it hurt remarkably, just as a cut from a pen-knife torments more than the blow of a scythe.

But this combined the pain of the former with the banefulness of the latter. The giant's blood was seeping out at his side, sapping at his reserves of energy. The difference this could make in a fight, Helm knew, might yet leave him in the same state as his hound.

Most of all, he wanted to kill the punesome wretch Scyld who had hurt him like this, to smash him and rend him and leave his brains smashed around the roots of the woods. But this course of action was curtailed by the movements of the man for whom Helm felt much pity, but little duty - his former keeper, Sorn.

As Sorn raised a throwing knife, the same weapon, the same treasonous, hurled, cowardly tool that had dealt Helm such harm, upon her...who was she? Why did she matter? It was not so much her femininity, her vulnerability, as the fact that she had eaten meat from the giant's hand. She was an animal under his protection.

Not thinking seriously to kill his erstwhile benefactor, merely to stop him, Helm clenched his fist, raised his vast arm, and dealt Sorn a crushing blow to the side of his head, preempting the dodge his startled companion attempted. The knife dropped in the dirt. Satisfied that the worst was averted for now, Helm Hammerhanded hefted his axe and ran in the direction of Scyld.

He was ignorant of an important fact. A blow delivered at full strength, at the height of Helm's rage, to an unprotected human head, would have caved in the skull of any normal man. Sorn was tall and fiery, and rather more than ordinary; and the blow had been more in the way of a firm rebuke than a berserk lashing. But it had still reduced Sorn, effectively, to an idiot, rather less capable of reason than his attacker. The lord of the farmstead was still on fighting form, but no human instinct now restrained him, and it was the impulse of a beast that drove him at his one-time fool's departing back...

Last edited by Anguirel; 02-22-2007 at 07:52 AM.
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