With the spring, the fields were becoming vibrant with life. Grasses, grown weak and brown under the heavy winter snow, shot up greener than they had in years. In the shade of a yew tree, a layer of long-decayed leaves cracked and shifted, falling away as a massive grey-skinned form beneath them stretched, yawning hugely with its betusked mouth. After a few minutes of shaking off his hibernation, Grog stood up and cast his beady-eyed gaze over the field, smiling and humming to himself as he set about to pick the pieces of his topsoil blanket from his craggy form.
Smacking his lips aimlessly, the Goyle-spawn cracked open the clay urn he'd been sleeping on and drank down the thick rabbit stew that he'd been warming beneath his neck all winter. Shaking the rich loam off his arm, he wiped some of the stew, thick and rank and rotted to perfection, off his lip and leaned against the tree, taking the first glorious piss of the waking months.
Hunger sated and bladder emptied, he continued humming tunelessly to himself, shuffling his massive feet, he counted one, two, three steps behind the tree, setting his broad, shovellike hands to the task of digging out the sealed case he'd set his clothes in.
He was halfway through sorting through his musty belongings when he heard the sound of footsteps and talking approaching so he hurriedly pulled on his baggy leather breeches, shouldering his way into his battered vest in time for the people walking towards him to have caught sight of the massive creature. The one on the left was tall, by human standards, barely there at all by Grog's own (but, then, most things were), darker of skin than Grog himself and dressed in travel-worn white vestments, marked all over by symbols of devotion to his diety. The other was shorter with pale skin and ears that ended in dull points and bore himself with a peculiar sort of disdain for the ground beneath his feet.
"Ho there!" cried the taller one, Geoff, as he sauntered toward the Goyle-spawn, all grins and sauntering, his bare feet picking ably over the ground.
Grog held up a rocky hand and waved to the other two, grinning so wide the gums beneath his jaw could be seen, all yellowed and crusted. "Oi, Geoff-friend, Jack-friend!" he called as he began taking a step towards them, pausing to turn and pick up his case and sling it over his shoulder, the metal scraping against the rocky skin beneath his clothes as he dug around for the strap. By the time he had found it, the others had arrived on the scene, Jack, the shorter of the two, looking around warily, as if he expected redmouths to be leaping out from the tree at him.
"How ARE you, friend Grog?" asked Geoff in his usual, friendly demeanor as the two clasped forearms, Grog squeezing gently to avoid shattering the human's arm. "You look better rested than I've seen you in YEARS."
Jack rolled his eyes, his characteristic sneer turned into a smirk as he clapped Grog on the bicep, "You'd look good, too if you took a season to just sleep every couple years."
The rock-skinned titan, still picking bits of soil from his flesh, laughed heartily. "Not come easy," he said as he looked between the two, "When it comes, comes hard," his tongue was still awkward with the tongues of men, particularly Triph, but he knew he was missing most of the finer details; but his Triph was better than their Goyle. "But better now. Long time before sleep again."
"Good. 'Cause we don't really have the time for another of your cat-naps," snapped Jack in something resembling good humour--or as close as the halfbreed ever got to it--"We're wanted men now, we three."
Geoff rolled his eyes, "You oversimplify, Jack. I am a wanted man," he gestured toward the paler man, "You are wanted for questioning about the whereabouts of a heretic and fugitive--"
"--To say nothing of questions about my involvement in a few less-than-savory endeavours with the state church," the half-elf interrupted.
"Indeed, indeed, but I daresay the upthrust is that the Church finds my religious ideas to be less than ideal."
Grog, who's brow had furrowed deeper and deeper with every passing moment in the discussion as he tried to sort it out. Of course, this was often hard enough as the two men spoke often of matters Grog made a point to never involve himself in and, further, could never quite wrap his head around. Being Goyle-spawn, it had been observed, rarely helped one to process things. "So..." the massive thing muttered as he held up a stony finger, "...state church? Geoff and Jack bad men?" He paused for a moment more, gesturing to himself, "Grog bad, too?" The thought was bizarre enough that he was forced to scrape at the back of his head, flakes of stone falling onto his vest.
Geoff could only tilt his head to one side before offering an indulgent chuckle, "Nothing of the sort, my friend, nothing of the sort. The new King is simply rather mad with the faithful's boons and banes and drunk on faith. Ah, me," the man sighed, "Were it fervor for any but my own matron's colder sibling, I should take it as joy, but as he--"
"King outlawed all faiths that aren't for Eraphel," Jack interrupted, casting an annoyed look to the man in white, " Including Geoff's."
"Ah," the Goyle-spawn muttered, scraping at the back of his head again, looking between them, "So. We run?"
"No," Jack's pale lips parted into a grin, "We get a little revenge for our mistreatment."
Geoff held up his hand then, quieting the half-elf, "That is hardly our only purpose, friend Jack."
Jack nodded some, grinning broader, "Right. Revenge AND a few choice donations for the Church of Zaaquel of the Moon's silver face."
Grog watched the pair for a moment before holding up a finger, the two looking at him with amused curiosity, "So... we... making money again?"
On this, the other two nodded, "Lots of money," said Jack.