Gigas’ Tale: Introductions Are Out Of Order

Gigas reflexively leapt away from the fire, avoiding the worst of the blast though his face was singed. He spun around to face the one who had cast the spell, a gnome in leather armor. The gnome was charging in Gigas’ direction, accompanied by two taller people. Someone in the square behind him screamed. Gigas didn’t bother looking up at the gnome’s two allies, but reacted instinctively to the invaders with a ray of scorching fire. It caught the gnome in the chest just as he was attempting to sidestep Gigas, and the gnome toppled into the halfing, causing both to fall over (and Hup to fall off Gigas’ shoulder, hissing in alarm). A lithe elf in hot pursuit attempted to jump over Gigas and the gnome, jumped too low, and tripped over them both. Then the gnome’s other companion, a human in half plate, tried to stop short before colliding with them all. He failed.

“Cuthbarnit, he’s getting away!” swore the human as they all tried to untangle themselves. He was having the most trouble, due to his armor and his adamant refusal to let go of his massive tower shield.

The elf was first to escape the tangle. “I don’t see him anywhere,” she groaned. “And you’re lying on my–”

Two glowing beads of force energy darted out of the scuffle and rudely slammed into the elf’s face. Gigas rolled himself out from under the struggling human and the gnome, who had lost consciousness after that blast of fire. Gigas hopped back and forth, facing the odd trio. He made his hands into a contorted gesture that signaled his readiness to cast another spell. “All right, back off! Back off!” he shouted, warningly. Inside, he knew he was probably not a match for the three of them, but he was mad, and had a temporary advantage.

“Friend halfling! There’s no need to attack us!” said the elf, although she had a longbow at the ready, herself. “We mean you no harm!”

“No harm!? You just blew up a city square!” retorted Gigas.

“We didn’t mean to hurt you!” protested the elf. “We’re the good guys!”

“Hmph! Sure you are!” Gigas risked a quick look over his shoulder, at the square. A stall that once held vegetables was on fire, and a small boy was crying over his injured mother. Gigas turned back to see the human finally extricate himself, and raise a hand. “Don’t try anything!” he warned.

“I’m just going to heal him!” said the human, who was leaning back down towards the gnome, who didn’t seem to be moving. He laid his free hand upon the gnome’s injured body, and he closed his eyes in silent prayer, the gnome opened his.

“Wha? What happened? Did we get him?” The gnome started to stand up.

“Don’t move!” yelled Gigas.

“We’re not going to hurt you, heirnabbit!” said the armor-clad human, getting frustrated. “I’m a paladin. I’m not allowed to lie. You can trust me.”

“You really expect me to believe that?” cried Gigas. He looked from the human, to the still-weak gnome, to the lady elf, her bow still out. They didn’t actually seem like they wanted to hurt him. Nobody spoke for a few moments.

“Can I stand up?” the gnome asked. Gigas took a deep breath, and nodded. The gnome got to his feet, standing only an inch or two taller than Gigas.

“Watch your aim,” advised Gigas. “Who are you people, if you’re not here to blow us up?”

“I’m Zookle Fonkor Aleslosh Alexei Dongelev,” said the gnome in one breath. “This is Xanaphia,” he gestured up at the elf, “and this is Cressel…”

“I can introduce myself, peldangit. I’m Cressel Bashsweckler, at your service.”

“I’m Gigas, and this is Hup.” The lizard crawled up Gigas’ leg and back onto his shoulder. Gigas finally managed to calm himself down, and now smiled at the bunch. “Don’t throw fireballs around my town, or you’ll regret it.”

“Ugh, I do already,” groaned Zookle, who was fumbling around in a bag for a healing potion. “My chest is killing me.”

“Well, what did you have to start burning things for? Were you chasing someone?” Gigas directed the question to Zookle, who was his height, but it was Xanaphia the elf who nodded, so Gigas spoke next to her. “Why? Who is he?”

“Nobody of great consequence,” said Xanaphia. “Just a dark summoner here to release a demon.”

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