Damien looked over the edge of the railing, watching the ground pass below him. He had been hunting monsters for many years now and finally got himself enough money to buy this zeppelin. Now, this wasn't any ordinary zeppelin, oh no. If that's all he wanted, then he could have an entire army of them by now. This one was special.
Tiamat was the noble ship's name, and she was very unique. Utilizing the latest in steam technology, this zeppelin was fully self-operational, utilizing an "artificial intelligence" to pilot and navigate. She was truly one of a kind, and Damien was proud to have her. They have only been together for a few months, but they already had a strong connection.
"Where are we going now, Master Damien?" the robotic, yet noticeably feminine voice asked.
"Norway, Tiamat," Damien answered, "There are rumors of some sort of ice monster terrorizing a few villages."
"As you wish, Master Damien."
The ship turned itself twenty-three degrees starboard and began flying to the northeast. Meanwhile, Damien went below deck to catch some shuteye. It was going to take about four hours to get there, and he hadn't slept in ages.
The interior of Tiamat was very cramped, despite its large size, as most of the space had to be occupied by the machinery. That was fine with Damien, though, as he didn't need much space. It was just him on this ship, and there were a couple spare rooms for the few times when he took on passengers.
Eventually, Damien was awoken by the screech of the speakers as Tiamat's voice echoed in his room.
"I am sorry to disturb you, Master Damien, but we have arrived at your destination."
Grumbling, Damien sat up and immediately hit his head on a low hanging pipe.
"God-fucking-dammit!" he cursed while rubbing the bump on his head, "Every fucking goddamn time! Couldn't that fool stick this pipe anywhere else? Fuck."
Rolling out of bed, Damien threw on his shirt, and wrapped his belt around his waist, the belt that carried his rapier and electric pistol. Then he strapped on his bandoleer which contained plenty of extra ammunition as well as a heavily-modified flintlock rifle across his back. He had plenty more weapons in Tiamat's armory, but he didn't bother with them. This was an easy job.
Walking up to the deck, the cold winter air hit him like a brick wall, and he immediately turned around, heading back into the ship. Five minutes later, he came back out wearing a heavy fur jacket and thick boots.
They were currently docked at Tromsø, a moderately large city on the northern edge of the country. It was the last bastion of civilization before the chilly wilds of Norway, and it was the only place nearby that had an airship port, or at least one big enough to accommodate Tiamat.
After leaving the ship, Damien rented a carriage to bring him to the tiny village of Kjosen, where he would start his journey. It was the first one attacked, and remains the creature's most popular target, which Damien could clearly see. The village was in ruins, and only a handful of buildings remained untouched. One of these, the town hall, is where he was dropped off. After paying the driver a generous tip for not trying to talk to him during the trip over, Damien walked into the building and arranged a meeting with the mayor.
"Who is this that interrupts me?" The man asked, clearly agitated, "We are too busy for visitors!"
"My name is Damien Seward, monster hunter extraordinaire," the adventuring hero responded with a fanciful bow, "And I am here to take care of your little problem, or big problem, as the rumors state."
"You?" the man said in disbelief as he and the rest gathered burst out laughing, "Listen, boy, what we're dealing with is an ice giant. We're currently organizing an armed militia to fight this thing, and I'm not even sure we have a chance. What do you think you can do?"
Damien smirked and answered confidently, "Clearly you have not heard of me all the way up here. No matter. I shall not hold it against you. I will take care of this 'ice giant' for you, and when I return, I will expect my fee to be waiting for me."
With that, he spun around on his heel and walked out of the room, handing a slip of paper to one of the guards at the door. As Damien left, the guard looked at the paper which had nothing but a monetary amount written on it. The guard stared at it in shock at the mayor walked over and grabbed the paper out of his hand.
After prying some information out of the townspeople, an act made no easier by his lack of knowledge of the Norwegian language, Damien trudged through the snow towards a cave that apparently existed up a nearby mountain. This was certainly going to be quite an experience as he had never actually seen an ice giant before, much less fought one. Nevertheless, it couldn't be much more difficult than the troll he killed in Germany only a few days ago.
Climbing up the side of the mountain, Damien eventually came upon a curious crack that appeared to have been formed from an earthquake, perhaps the one that happened two weeks ago? Pulling out his rifle, Damien cautiously stepped into the opening, his eyes darting around for anything suspicious. After about fifty feet, he came upon an absurdly huge cave that stretched on further than Damien could see. He guessed that the entire mountain must be hollow.
Crouching down, Damien looked over the edge of the walkway he was on and saw hundreds, maybe even thousands of large, pale blue humanoids frozen in blocks of ice. There were several up and walking around, however, and they appeared to be breaking the ice around the others, chipping away at it with giant picks.
Just as Damien was examining all this in awe, the part of the walkway he was standing on gave way and crumbled beneath his feet, causing him to shout out in surprise and sending him sliding down the side of the cave wall. Immediately, the ice giants looked over and scowled, angered at Damien's intrusion. Tightening their grip on the picks, the giants rushed forward, intending to crush him.
Rolling forward to avoid the attack and spinning around, Damien pulled out his electric gun and fired it at the giant who swung at him. The giant took a step back, staggered, but otherwise seemed fine.
"Dammit!" Damien shouted, looking around for where his rifle landed.
Seeing it about ten feet to the left, Damien began running towards it, putting away his pistol. After very nearly being hit by another giant, Damien dropped to the ground and slid along the floor, grabbing his rifle and aiming upwards. Still on his back, Damien fired a shot at the nearest giant, hitting him straight between the eyes. The creature placed his hand over the wound for a moment before removing it and glaring at Damien, angrier than ever.
Quickly jumping to his feet, Damien slid his rifle into its holster and began running away, trying to find an exit. Seeing a ramp leading up to the walkway, Damien ran in the other direction, pressing the emergency call button on his belt buckle.
Finding a small cave on the far wall, Damien charged towards it, weaving in and out of the still-frozen giants to better avoid the ones chasing him. After half a minute, he reached the final stretch and sprinted at the cave, diving into it right before a pick came down, smashing into the wall and caving in the entrance. Stopping to catch his breath, Damien pulled out his electric pistol and turned it on to its lowest setting, creating a crackling bolt at the end the barrel that gave of enough light for him to see.
"Note: Next time I fight ice giants, bring the hand cannon," Damien said to himself, remaking at their apparent immunity to his other weapons.
After resting for a while, Damien noticed that the cave continued onwards Figuring it must lead somewhere, he followed it and noticed that it angled upwards. There wasn't much in the cave, and it was quite small, even for a human like him, but he eventually saw a light at the end. Putting away his gun, he eagerly rushed forward, and found himself about halfway up the ramp he saw earlier.
Unfortunately, the giants were waiting for him, and Damien had to quickly jump to the side to avoid being crushed. Running between one of the giant's legs, Damien charged up the ramp towards the exit. Dodging several more attacks, his legs began to ache from the stress, but he couldn't give up now.
Bursting out of the exit, Damien found the cold mountain air refreshing. Unfortunately, the giants were right behind him, and he was standing right at the edge of a cliff. Turning around, he saw the giants leaving the cave, smug expressions on their faces as they slowly approached Damien.
Smirking, Damien turned back around and jumped off the cliff. The giants rushed forward to see him fall, only to stop suddenly as a large zeppelin rose up in front of them, Damien standing on the deck waving at them.
"Fire," he ordered once the ship was far enough away from the mountain.
"As you wish, Master Damien."
Tiamat turned around, her front end facing the mountainside. A large panel on the bow of the ship opened up, and a giant barrel popped out. After charging for several seconds, a giant blast of energy shot out, smashing into the side of the mountain and breaking through. After a brief moment of silence, the entire thing began collapsing as the couple of giants on the outside began running away, jumping down the cliff. Several ballistae mounted on the sides of the ship took aim and fired at the fleeing creatures, piercing them each in the head with perfect accuracy.
After the mountain had entirely fallen into a huge crater and Damien was sure that everything was dead, Tiamat turned around and flew back to Kjosen.
Tiamat, now hovering above the village, dropped a ladder over the side which Damien climbed down.
"What the hell is going on here!?" the mayor angrily shouted, pushing his way past the crowed of people that had gathered, "Why did our mountain suddenly collapse!?"
"Well, you see, Mr. Mayor," Damien said smugly, "I discovered that entire thing was hollowed out and home to an army of giants—they're dead now, of course—so I really didn't have a choice. I said I'd take care of your problem, didn't I? Oh, and I expect that you have my fee ready, correct?"
The mayor stared in disbelief for a full minute before quietly repeating, "He's insane..."