Gigas’ Tale: In, Out, and Up

A quick stop home to see his parents, Gigas thought. While he was there, he might as well eat a decent meal, since all the dragon ever gave him was barely cooked meat. And he hadn’t had a proper bath in weeks, as Megan, his mother was quick to point out. And by the time he had told Meteo, his father, all the details about the storm giant adventure, Gigas had almost forgotten about the dark summoner sitting in the Purple Worg inn, plotting his next move. So Gigas told his parents some malarkey about meeting friends at a bar, put on the slippers his mother wouldn’t let him wear in the house, put Hup on his shoulder where he belonged, and set off.

Gigas got to the inn to find an elf, a man, and a gnome trying to get information out of the innkeeper, who was currently trying to serve a mid-afternoon meal to several tables full of chattering halflings and humans.

“Just answer the yondanged question! Is he here or isn’t he!” Cressel Bashsweckler demanded, entirely too loudly. Most of the patrons who were trying to eat were staring up at him, and he looked dangerously close to violating his paladin’s oath.

“I told you, I can’t say!” protested the innkeeper. He was angry too, but afraid.

“Hey, we could burn your inn down,” said the gnome, Zookle Fonkor Aleslosh Alexei Dongelev. Zookle tried to keep his voice calm but authoritative, sounding like he was making a point of logic rather than threatening arson and murder. Which of course he was. And Gigas would have none of it as the gnome continued, “You’re really not in a position to–”

Gigas cast a spell, and silence fell. But it wasn’t a silence spell. An illusory wizard was now walking down the stairs, wearing a dark cloak and matching the description of the dark summoner. Gigas hoped they’d fall for it, and sure enough, Bashsweckler reacted by letting out a strangled cry, drawing a longsword, and charging headlong into the empty wall behind the staircase.

“Me again,” said Gigas when the gnome noticed him. The illusion vanished.

“What in pandation are you doing?” cried Bashsweckler, rounding on the little halfling.

“What are you doing?” Gigas retorted. “Barging in here, stirring up trouble for innocent people?”

“They’re not all so innocent,” said Xanaphia the elf. “We have reason to believe the dark summoner is hiding somewhere in this very establishment. We were just trying to talk to people and make sure.” She looked at Bashsweckler for support, but he was in a fury at having been tricked. So she looked down to Zookle the gnome.

“Nice illusion,” Zookle complimented. “Was that the minor image spell?”

“No, silent image,” said Gigas, momentarily distracted. “I find it’s sufficient for most of my purposes.”

“Do you use ghost sound to provide an auditory component?” asked Zookle with interest. “Or did you –”

Bashsweckler banged his tower shield on the floor, making a loud ringing sound that quieted all noise in the room, including everyone who was trying to eat. “Cuthbarn it all, are we finding that summoner or not!” he demanded.

“Is that what you were trying to do?” said Gigas in mock disbelief. “There are ways of looking for people without announcing your intentions to an entire inn, you know.” The sounds of conversation slowly started up again. People turned away from them, and the innkeeper sensed that now was the time to go back to serving mid-afternoon tea. “Look, come outside with me a moment,” Gigas urged the three adventurers. After exchanging brief nods, they did.

Once they were outside, Gigas stopped and turned to Zookle, the one who was his height. “I heard he might be here, too,” Gigas said, speaking quietly.

“So did we,” said Zookle. “But like we said, we’re not sure. And if he is here, we need to know what room he’s in. We can’t go knock on every door, asking, ‘Excuse me, anyone here for the demon summoning tonight…?'”

Gigas laughed, though the two taller adventurers looked unamused. “I think I can help you with that,” Gigas offered. “All we need to do is look in the windows.”

“You can see from down here?” asked Xanaphia, in surprise. “The inn is only three stories, but the windows are tiny — even my elven eyes can’t see into the rooms from this angle.”

“No, not from this angle,” Gigas agreed. “But.” He stepped up to the wall of the inn, and kept right on walking, his new slippers adhering to the wall and carrying him up the side. He turned around to flash a grin at the party. Zookle was practially applauding, Xanaphia’s eyes went wide, and the paladin just whistled. “Pee-lor! That’s a fine trick.”

Gigas walked up to the third floor windows first, and started looking into each one surreptitiously as he walked by. From his point of view, the windows were in the floor, and he had to bend over a little to peer into the rooms. He noted the inhabitants of each room as he walked by. Halfling. Halfling. Halfling. Drunk human sailor. Halfling. Halfling. Human in black robes speaking to a demonic spirit in his fireplace. Halfling. Suddenly Gigas realized what he’d just seen, and jumped with a start. And jumping when you were climbing up a wall was not a very good idea.

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