The familiar jolt of the axe burying itself in flesh and bone rattled its way up Stur's arms and across his body, causing his teeth to click sharply together. At the same time, an unusually cold spray of blood spattered his face.
Ordinarily, the mercenary would have welcomed a little blooding in a fight. But the strange wrongness
of the stuff caused him to flinch away in disgust, and then a half-second later in pain. The cursed ichor began to burn and almost sap the strength from his body as anger and bewilderment continued to grow inside his heart. Eyes momentarily blinded, Stur instinctively yanked on the haft of the longaxe to free it from its resting place in the ruins of the troll's second head, but instead found himself tripping backwards in the mud as his hands failed to find a grip on the blood-slicked haft. He cursed loudly at the thing, throwing himself into a clumsy backwards roll, coming back to rights with his dirk firmly gripped in one hand and his right side splattered in mud, but now blessedly free of the troll's poisonous blood.
Cautiously opening one eye, he took a moment to survey the situation. The troll was down a leg, scrambling for purchase in the mud with one hand thrust out for balance. His wayward axe was serving as a fair replacement for the abomination's missing head, haft jutting straight out to the side like a sapling grown into the side of a mountain. The new arrival was, to her credit, right in the thick of things, hacking away at limbs seemingly without a fear in the world. Stur felt a brief surge of respect for the woman, though whether she was to be trusted remained to be seen. The troll's ire was focused on Brynan, who was still knelt in the mud after her initial strike.
Deciding that the quickest way to finish this was to get the enemy on its back, the battered warrior took advantage of his being behind the troll and undetected, slipping carefully up to its unprotected flank and plunging with the dirk towards the back of its one intact knee.