Bjarke woke to some small thing scrambling up his shoulder. It had been a long, sleepy winter for the Ancient, and it wasn’t uncommon for him to slumber for days at a time. So much sitting still had let a rather thick layer of dirt accrue on his body.
He groaned as he cracked his aching neck, the sound akin to falling trees, and reached towards the back of his shoulder, where the small thing had frozen. Gently, he plucked the small thing from his back, rose to a squat, and brought the creature in front of him.
Dangling between man-sized fingers, a green-cloaked human swayed in the wind.
“Well, this is awkward,” the man said, surprisingly calm for his predicament. “How’s your day been?”
“Good, until you woke me,” Bjarke grumbled, eyes still only half open. “What is your name, small man?”
“Tayte, and yours, large man?”
“Well Bjarke, I hate to bother you, but is there any way you could put me down? I’m in a bit of a rush.”
Bjarke looked around. He had found shelter in a village long claimed by the Winter. He had assumed it was out of the way of the small folk, and for months he had been correct.
“What rush could you be in, Tayte? This is my territory, there is nothing here for your people.”
Sounds crested a forested hill behind Bjarke. The noises were familiar and unwelcome, the yells of men and clinking of armor.
“Well, I may have made some promises to some people I didn’t intend to keep—”
“That is a bad thing to do.”
“Yes, I’m aware,” Tayte replied, shrugging the best he could in his current situation. “But, now these people are very angry, and want me dead. I thought I lost them, but then I stumbled onto you and, well, here we are.”
“And what would you have me do? You entered my territory and brought others with you. I should hand you to them and return to my rest.”
“Wait!” Tayte shouted. “Wait, wait, wait. We’re on the same side here, big guy. Those are Huntsmen chasing me, they hate you as much as they hate me.”
Bjarke grumbled. Huntsmen had killed several old friends. They were vicious, thoughtless murderers, they hunted Ancients solely because they were Ancients.
“You will owe me a great debt for this.”
Tayte’s eyes brightened, “I think this will be the start of a wonderful friendship.”
Bjarke lightly flicked the man towards one of the abandoned buildings, and Tayte shrieked as he flew through the air. The Ancient realized he could have been gentler. Oh well.
The Huntsmen crested the hill, six of them brandishing their wicked, black axes. Stacked atop each other, they would barely reach Bjarke’s height.
Groaning as he stretched, Bjarke rose to his feet and grabbed the thickest piece of wood near him. The Huntsmen shouted small words and began to scatter.
Bjarke didn’t let them.
Ancients are a red specialization. As Giants age, they grow larger and larger, and after a hundred years they can grow to heights of over thirty feet. At this stage, they become Ancients. As they grow, so too does their appetite for natural resources like trees, rocks, and especially Winter Crystal.
As Ancients age, they begin to forget the plights of the smaller folk of the Skels, focusing more on their voracious appetite and need to survive. These colossal beings are slow to anger, but once enraged they become forces of nature.
Because of their legendary size, Ancients can outrange any other melee specialization, and their prodigious bulk gives them more HP than any other specialization as well. However, it means that they are slow and methodical, and it can be difficult for them to move around.
Though they are normally slow, a driven Ancient can charge with staggering speed, and hit with enough force to shatter castles with a single blow. Sometimes, if a siege is taking too long, lords will hire Ancients to do their work for them.
Sometimes, Ancients are so large they destroy the very ground upon which they walk. If an Ancient is approaching, it’s time to run, because even the most docile Ancient might not notice a tiny human underfoot.
Trample your enemies underfoot as the Ancient!
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