J.M.M. Butterfield

Fantasy Author


I can hear them clamouring beyond the vast hall. Hundreds of voices raised in unison, chanting to ignite the fire in their bellies. At short intervals their noise is punctuated by a resounding boom as their battering ram pounds against the great doors. It will take time to break them down, for they are made of oak and reinforced steel.

When the great doors fall, I shall rise.

For the men outside have come for me.

I do not know why they seek my destruction. There are no answers to their apparent savagery. They live to conquer. If not each other, then particularly those they fear.

So I sit here in my throne room: a vast hall of stone and marble, a floor of rose quartz once lovingly polished by the hands of my ancestors. Thread-bare banners faded by time drift from vaulted heights, and dust lines every surface except for the wooden throne I sit upon.

This is my home, high in the mountains, far from the cities of man.

But now they are here, thirsting for my blood.

For I am alone.

Their hammer blows reach fever-pitch. It appears the men are eager to vanquish the last of the giants. Yet there will be no lament from this lord of Frost and Fire. There will be only blood and death.

And I’ll take my fair share with me, to line my path as I stride toward the Halls of the Fallen.

The first crack appears, a splinter of oak falling to the quartz floor. A cheer sounds from beyond. I raise an enormous fist to level my helmet of steel, balancing the mammoth’s tusks that protrude from either side. They curl forward, their steel tips angled beside my red-tinged beard. Then I reach for my twin-bladed axe, too heavy for any man to wield, yet I lift it with a single hand clenched tight. She is beautifully crafted, acid-etched sigils twirling upon blue steel, whilst the haft is made from well-worn blackwood. I named her Spitfire three hundred years ago after she was struck by lightning from a thundering sky.

Another crack appears as the doors bulge inwards. They are almost through. I can see men clad in silver armour, their hands holding sword and shield. It is time.

I take a single step away from the throne, hefting my axe as huge shoulders flex in anticipation. I wonder if the men have ever encountered a true lord of Frost and Fire. I wonder if they realize what destruction a fifteen-foot giant can wreak upon lesser men.

A final charge sees the great doors burst open, allowing dozens of soldiers to spill into the Hall. They pause to gather their bearings, then take hesitant steps forward so others can file behind. Their chants have ceased. The enormity of their quest is now before them.

I lift Spitfire high. It catches a beam of light shining through an arched window, splashing vibrant colour about the Hall. ‘Come!’ I snarl, my eyes blazing with unquenchable power, my muscles bunched, ready to explode.

‘Come and take tomorrow from me!’