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Wilboman
Wilboman
Race: Giant
Unit Class: Melee Unit
Hero
Requires: Illians
Iron Working
Starts With: Can Use Bronze, Iron, Mithril Weapons
Cannot Enter Desert
Sentry I
Vulnerable to Fire
Immune to Cold
Hero
Info: 7 Strength
1 Move
Cost: 360 Production

The frost giant steamed gently. He always steamed, except when he was in the deepest frozen regions, the lands where the temperature never rose above freezing, even in summer. The only reason he didn't die whenever he joined an expedition away from Letum Frigus was the contingent of mages that followed him everywhere, casting Ice spells to cool him down. As it was, the heat still made the creature's brain boil, killing what little intelligent thought he may have possessed and making him angry, irrational and a lot more dangerous. He was also less reactive and a bit more sluggish than he would have been in his homeland, but that didn't matter much when he had the impetus and crushing force of a glacier. He was a blunt instrument, and like a glacier he may have moved slowly, but he left nothing alive in his wake.

Granted, occasionally the creature would go berserk and kill some of his allies, but there was always a price to be paid for power. Auric knew that better than anyone alive. At least, as far as he knew; a shudder that wasn't his ran down his spine and for a second he had a vision of a weather-worn man with hard, cold eyes, wielding a magnificent sword...

It was an effort and a major investment to have so many mages devoted to the single job of keeping the Frost Giant's cool (which also left them in a dangerous position most of the time), but as far as Auric was concerned, it was worth it. He had yet to see anyone stand up to his monster and win.

Of course, the monster's volatile nature had to be contained as much as possible, otherwise he'd have an... unfortunate... effect on the morale of the other Illian soldiers. Monsters that are as likely to kill you as the enemy are often detrimental to team spirit. Such containment was the purpose of this exercise.

It was, Auric reflected, rather like training a dog. This creature was larger, meaner and more dangerous than any dog Auric had ever had in his youth, but the basic principles remained the same: you could not reason with or convince this Frost Giant, any more than you could a boar hound. The only thing that would work, was conditioning – in effect, the creature had to be taught that the White Hand was dangerous, and that attacking the White Hand was bad behaviour and meant pain. To that end, the mental link between Wilboman and Auric's "guest" was very handy.

At the moment, the creature was lumbering around an arena filled with terrified prisoners dressed in various liveries. From the walls of the arena, archers launched arrows at him, wounding him, driving him into new paroxysms of pure, blind rage. The arrows were no danger to the Frost giant, any more than pin pricks to a human. His viscous blood ran so sluggishly that even the deepest sword stroke could not cause him to bleed out. His entire body was covered in scars, ice-like patches where the slings and arrows of countless foes had left their mark. And so, the only purpose served by the hail of arrows was to drive him to even greater heights of uncaring fury. All part of the exercise, of course.

Whenever he dismembered prisoners wearing the the Crown of the Bannor or that accursed Sunrise of the Amurites, Auric gave him a mental pat on the back. Every time he turned his attentions to a group wearing the White Hand, Auric caused a searing pain to strike the monster's mind. And so, slowly, he would learn – if that is what it could be called. As the last of the "enemies" were dispatched, and the survivors hauled off to go back to the chain gangs, Wilboman was led by one of his handlers, one of the few humans he had learned to obey and trust, back to the ice cold room in which he was stored when he was not needed.

Wilboman, the man from Wilbo, dug out of a glacier, a remnant of the glorious Age of Ice, carrying that same name. It was not terribly inventive, true, but it was the name the soldiers had given the creature, and by now it had stuck. Who knew what the Frost Giant had been called in the simple, brutalistic language of his race? Who cared? He was the last of the Frost Giants, what his kin had called him mattered for nothing in this new age.

As he watched his weapon of mass destruction be led meekly away, a thought stole through Auric's mind: He will not be the last of his race much longer.

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