Gigas’ Tale: The Best Laid Plans of Gnomes and Men

“Okay, two very important things,” reported Gigas. “First, I totally meant to jump down here that first time, and I would have been fine if you all weren’t standing underneath. Second, the dark summoner is definitely up there, talking to something called ‘Lebranche’ in his fireplace. Apparently, Lebranche is going to send him a signal when it’s time for… something.”

After Gigas’ fall, he was a bit bruised, a condition which Bashsweckler quickly remedied with a few slightly painful pokes from a curative wand. Gigas had quickly gone up again to get a better look, and managed to hear a few words of the conversation by pressing his ear to the window glass. Now he and the adventurers were talking now around the corner from the Purple Worg, planning their next move.

Xanaphia groaned. “So he is speaking with a demon. Tonight, he leaves town, and summons something to wreak havoc on the city.” The elf’s pale face looked bitter. “I’d really rather not have to fight a demon… I wish you had heard more.”

“Well, I got what room he’s in,” said Gigas, “and what he’s up to.” The three adventurers looked at each other with looks of worry. “Can I ask a question?” asked Gigas, who felt he was being ignored. “Who is this guy? Why’s he summoning a devil, or whatever?”

“He’s summoning a demon, not a devil,” said Zookle. Gigas, who didn’t know there was a difference, stared at him blankly. “The man is a human supremacist. He basically just wants to summon up something that will wreak havoc on whoever’s around. Halflings, elves, and gnomes all. And humans who get too friendly with them.”

“Unholy shark-livered varmint,” growled Bashsweckler.

“Not sure how many elves and gnomes there are around, present company excluded,” Gigas said. “And I agree with you, Mr. Paladin. So, he’s a human supremacist, dark summoner, named…”

“Ness,” finished Zookle. Gigas gave him a what-kind-of-a-name-is-that look. Zookle shrugged. “Common name in Lugenik, I think.” The gnome had to explain about the city of magic. “And yes, we do think he actually came here from that far away. Probably running from the law, although we don’t know what exactly he–”

“All right, I reckon he gets the idea,” cut in Bashsweckler. “Now, we gotta go in there and wrangle that cuthbarned snake so he can’t a-summon up nothing at nightfall! Who’s a-with me!”

Everyone looked a bit startled at the paladin’s sudden call to arms. He must have been getting bored, thought Gigas. Xanaphia spoke first, though. “Actually, it occurs to me that we might want some kind of plan, instead of just, you know, charging in.”

Bashsweckler stamped on the ground again. “Then make it quick, heirnabbit!”

“All right,” said Xanaphia. “It would hurt too many people, I suppose, if we just blew the whole place up. So I say… ambush. Wait until he leaves the building tonight, and as soon as he steps out of the inn, we all shoot him down.”

“What’s to stop him from teleporting straight to the summoning spot?” asked Zookle. “Actually, it might be close enough for a dimension door. He might fly, if he has the spell prepared, or–”

“Yes, okay,” said Xanaphia quickly. “Then we need someone to go in and draw him out. Probably you, Cressel, since he only likes humans. Lead him outside, the normal way.”

“How in the byss’m I supposed to get the summoner to follow me?” Bashsweckler demanded.

“Tell him that demon, what was his name? Lebranche? Tell him Lebranche sent you to fetch him, and that he needs to follow you, because teleporting will ruin the balance of astral energy and disrupt the summoning. That will make him come out!” suggested Zookle. But Bashsweckler practically exploded at that idea.

“I’m a paladin! I can’t lie! If I see that cuthbarned summoner, I’m a-gonna to smite him back to the Abyss!”

“All right, all right,” said Xanaphia soothingly. “But he hates everyone but humans, so… he’s not going to listen to anyone else. We need a human for this. Do you have another suggestion?” That shut them all up for a few minutes.

“Well…” said Gigas, tightening his prototype magic belt.

Next time: What does G.I.G.A.S. stand for?


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