“Why do they call it Ogrestab Hollow?” said Eyon. “It doesn’t sound safe to me.”

“Gob would tell Master, but Gob feels that Master seeing it with his own eyes would be best.”

Ahead of them, the trees parted to reveal a very large ogre, skeletal, in great and rusting armor. He was propped up by a cottage and a lance that he held, one that had skewered the walls all the way through.

“Goodness,” Eyon said softly.

“Gob assures Master that the Hollow is quite safe,” Gob continued. “It is in fact one of the great prides of Gob’s people within these borders.”

“How do you mean?”

“Ogres are gobkin but often no friends of we the gobs. This ogre was particularly old, and thus particularly large and particularly clever, as Gob is sure Master knows that ogres get bigger and cleverer all their lives.”

Eyon did not, in fact, know this. He had never seen an ogre up close. “So he decided to take the village?”

“The ogre sought to take the village and live in the manner of a lord,” said Gob. “As you can see, his was very fine arms and armor. The villagers appealed to a band of gobs to drive him off, as it was during the Anarchy.”

“Looks like they were successful.”

“Master is very astute,” said Gob. “Most of the gobs were easily killed, but the great gob Rnaea Stonethrower climbed that cottage roof and killed the ogre with a single stone to the eye. He was too big to move, so after Rnaea earned her name he was simply left as he was.”

Eyon nodded. “Very brave. What happened to the gobs?”

“Rnaea Stonethrower became matron of her tribe, as I’m sure Master knows is the gob way. The villagers invited the gobs to live among them as equals in return for their service.”

“But I don’t see any people,” Eyeon said, squinting. “Only gobs.”

“As is so often the case, Master, your people eventually forgot their gratitude,” said Gob. “In time, they all moved away to be among their own kind and abandoned the village to the gobs. The gobs keep it now in their own way, and Master’s people rarely venture here, fearing ogres or worse. The great dead ogre, Rnaea’s ogre, is a useful reminder of that.

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