Rhesal consulted his scroll, which said he needed to visit the captain of the castle guard before heading to the Hammered Hog. It was an exceptionally dark night, there were clouds covering every star, and the moon was hiding behind a thick layer of clouds. Rhesal reached the watchtower where the captain was, and they said hello to each other. They had met before, when Rhesal had brought him a thief known as Cedric the Stout. Rhesal was hoping this next bounty wouldn't be so...embarrassing.
"So you're here to claim the bounty for Ognok, am I right?" The captain seemed to shudder at the very name.
"That's right. He's got quite a large bounty on his head, but there must be some kind of mistake. On my scroll here it says 'Dead', not 'Dead or Alive'. That's a mistake, right?"
"No. That's absolutely right. See, Ognok is half human, half troll. He's a beast that has killed every guard we've sent after him. First he was just killing livestock, but then last night he killed a little girl who was about seven years old. He devoured her. He has taken up shelter in the Hammered Hog. He's keeping the staff prisoners, and he's killing anyone who dares to come in. I've sent in six men, and none of them have returned. I need someone who can go in there and take him out. For good." The captain seemed pretty shaken up by the whole ordeal.
Rhesal thought about that little girl. "I'm your man."
The Hammered Hog wasn't someplace that Rhesal expected to be visiting again anytime soon, and when he walked into the tavern he immediately became overwhelmed by the smell of blood. The same thin barkeep was behind the bar, but the whole tavern was empty, except for a creature sitting on a table in the far corner. He was so big he had to hunch over, and even then his shoulders hit the ceiling. He was tucked away in that corner, waiting for people to come in no doubt.
Rhesal didn't hesitate. He drew two throwing knives and threw them right at Ognok's thick neck. They connected and stuck, but they barely drew any blood. Rhesal picked up a chair and threw it at the beast, and ran towards Ognok trailing the chair.
Ognok swatted away the chair as if it were a fly, and when Rhesal came close he did the same thing to Rhesal. Rhesal went flying into the tavern wall, bruising his ribs. He felt his healing energy start to do its magic, but that wouldn't fully heal him until at least half an hour.
Taking his whip from his hip, Rhesal start lashing at Ognok. He hit him a few good times across the chest, and one good one across the face, which caused the beast to cry out. The next time Rhesal threw out his whip, Ognok caught it and drew Rhesal close to him with a flick of the wrist. Rhesal, thinking on his feet, came at Ognok with a superman punch in midair, hitting Ognok square in the jaw, dislocating it. Ognok grabbed Rhesal into his arms and started to squeeze him tight. Rhesal could feel his ribs slowly start to crack. Rhesal managed to pull out two of his throwing knives, and he plunged them deep into Ognok's eyes, causing the beast to let him go.
Ognok start to scream loudly, and he began wildly throwing his fists around, trying to connect a blow against Rhesal. Rhesal moved in close, and started punching Ognok beneath his ribs, hitting him hard in the soft spots. Every time Ognok would throw his fist Rhesal would doge it, and then move back in to land a few quick blows. It was this way that he managed to wear down the beast.
Eventually Ognok was so tired that he was starting to sway, and at that point Rhesal planted a firm kick square in his chest. He jumped on top of the beast and beat in his face until it was a bloody pulp. Rhesal didn't stop until he knew Ognok was dead. He knew he was dead when he no longer felt the chest he was sitting on was no longer breathing.
Rhesal got off the beast, and walked out of the tavern. He made his way back to the watchtower. He considered himself lucky, he managed to kill the beast with nothing but a few bruises and some cracked ribs.
"Ognok is dead." Rhesal told the captain.
"You have have truly earned this, then." With that, the captain tossed Rhesal a large pouch full of gold. He then ordered some men to go to the tavern and clean up the mess.
Rhesal made his way back to see Andrej, to pay him his share.
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