Picking up Gigas’ Tale again! Going to try doing shorter, more frequent installations this time.
Gigas bent down to tighten his shoes, again. They were really more like slippers, but it was all the same to him. As a halfling, he was just unaccustomed to footwear, and was deathly afraid they would fall off. Satisfied they wouldn’t, he straightened up again and walked a few more paces, coming to a stop before a stalactite as tall as he was. “This is so awesome,” he grinned, staring up at the bronze dragon a good 10 yards above him. The dragon, resting comfortably in his cave, smiled back. Gigas stepped gingerly around the rock so that a ray of sunlight from the huge cave opening reflected off a heap of dragon gold and lit him from above. “And it’s going to make getting back here way easier.”
“Yes, I hope so,” said Bosarius the dragon. “Although you may not wish to walk along the ceiling the entire way.”
“True enough,” Gigas called from the cave ceiling. He looked around at the cavern, seeing mounds of treasure high above him, not to mention the dragon watching his every move. “Hmm. How do I get down from here?”
“You could just walk down the wall?” suggested Bosarius. “Don’t try jumping, you’ll land on your head.”
“But what if I turn upside-down first? I mean, right-side-up?” Gigas corrected himself. “What if… what if I took off one slipper and tied a rope to it, and then climbed down the rope, using the other slipper on a hand to make sure I didn’t slip? You think I could do it?”
“Absolutely not the case,” replied Bosarius.
“Fine, I’ll do it your way,” said Gigas who walked down the rocky wall, his magic slippers adhering to the surface the whole way, until he stood on the floor again. “I’ll try the rope trick another time,” he grinned, while Bosarius just rolled his eyes. Gigas started to take the slippers off, but decided to leave them on. Instead, he looked around for Hup. His familiar was standing on a nearby hill of silver coins, staring into his own beady eyes reflected in a ruby. Gigas scooped him up. “Come on, Hup. It’s time to go home. You remember home, right?” he admonished, playfully. “It’s been three whole weeks, maybe you forgot. Nice city, lots of people, lots of boats?” Hup stuck his tongue out at Gigas. “Okay, just checking.” He turned to speak to the dragon. “Bosarius,” he said with a pompous air, “I thank you. For your hospitality, and for your instruction,” he said, nodding at his new slippers. “You’ve taught me how to craft wondrous things, and you’ve been a faithful friend to my family for generations. I don’t know if I can ever repay you.”
“I’ll try to think of a way,” said the dragon. “You will return, yes?”
“Of course,” said Gigas. He turned to leave, but then remembered something. “Oh, right. I’m going to take this with me too,” he said, walking over to a pile of old suits of armor and swords, and pulling out a very worn looking brown belt.
Bosarius sighed. “Now, remember: That’s completely your own invention. The theory is sound, at least as you described it to me, but be very careful with it. I know it’s your best work, but it’s still what I’d call… experimental.”
Gigas’ journey out of the cave was much quieter than his journey in. He encountered no giants, nor snakes, although he did evade a couple of goblins by taking the ceiling route, and correctly guessing that they wouldn’t think to look up. In short order Gigas was at the gates of Hobbitania, his beloved city. The only permanent halfling settlement in the world, at least that Gigas had ever heard of. He walked through the streets, smiling to himself. It was good to be home. Hobbitania was a bustling place, he thought to himself as a human ran by at top speed. It was a city full of friends, and free of dangers.
A glowing, pea-sized bead streaked right past Gigas’ shoulder, and stopped in the center of a city square 20 feet in front of him. Gigas stared at it for a long quarter of a second. Then it exploded into a blazing fireball, filling the square with heat, light, and roaring sound.