Here’s the next chapter of Gigas’ Tale. I’ll release the remaining three chapters as soon as I’m done editing them. Fun fact: This part of the story, along with the title G.I.G.A.S., is the first part of the Tale I thought up.
“Wait. LeBranche?” asked Tiva, looking puzzled. “I used to know him.”
“Really?” Gigas blinked. “Well, that’s awesome. What kind of demon is he?”
“A psychotic one.”
“Well, yeah, he’s a demon…”
“I mean, even for a demon, he’s nuts,” the succubus said, not at all insulted by the remark about her kind. Most demons hadn’t had the benefit of being redeemed by a dragon, after all.
“How nuts is he?” asked Gigas, dramatically. Tiva shrugged. “Come on,” insisted Gigas. “Was he, like, a little weirder than most demons, or was he completely crazy-go-nuts?”
She stretched her wings restlessly. “Suffice it to say, he was so crazy that an archangel, a Solar, took it upon himself to lock LeBranche up in a special cell, hidden on the Negative Energy Plane. Trapped in a dimension of nothing but dark energy and mindless undead.”
“Oh,” said Gigas, his face suddenly falling. “Negative Energy Plane. Yes, that’s where he was opening a gate to. Negative energy is the raw force that drives decay and death… and undeath. That’s why… on that day… all those zombies…”
“Go on with the story,” Tiva interrupted. “You told him you were from LeBranche, and got him to follow you out?”
“I am sent to report that the nexus is complete,” Gigas told the human, stroking his beard in what he could only assume was a very human-like way. Frankly, the beard was much harder to get used to than being six feet tall.
“Hahahahaha,” said the summoner. He didn’t actually laugh, Gigas noticed — he just said it. “Soon,” the human said with a sneer, “we shall release our master and purge these little halfling rats.” He gestured out the windows at some halflings in the street below, to make his point.
“Yes, indeed,” agreed Gigas. “Little IS what these halfling rats are.” He thought of the magic belt that kept him sized like a human, and touched it unconsciously.
“Let us teleport to the summoning site, then,” said the human, extending a hand.
“No!” Gigas said, commandingly. “We mustn’t use teleportation magic here.”
“The planar alignment is perfectly attuned to our master’s domain,” Gigas said, looking down at the summoner. Admittedly, being taller than a human was also weird.
“Ah, and a conflict with the Astral Plane would break the alignment,” nodded the short human.
“Exactly,” said Gigas. “But no matter. If you’ll follow me, we can simply walk to the– ow.” He had bumped his head against the ceiling. Funny, this was supposed to be a human-sized room.
“What’s wrong with you?” the summoner asked, suspiciously looking up at Gigas.
“Nothing!” Gigas exclaimed. Again he touched his belt nervously. Suddenly he hit his head again, and had to sit down on the floor.
“What in the Abyss…” swore the summoner, backing away. Gigas was now 12 feet tall.
Somehow, the memory of his town, healthy and alive, seemed more real than the deadness outside. Gigas found himself able to chuckle as he relived his mistake.
“Magical mishap?” Tiva smirked.
He feigned indignation. “I prefer to think of it as pioneering!” he said. “With my belt, I broke the boundries for halflingkind — I was the first doubleling in Hobbitania!”
“Doubleling… so, four times a halfling?”
“Well, actually, the prototype belt was so screwed up, I was a quadrupleling by the end of it,” laughed Gigas. “But that’s not the point right now! I didn’t come back to my ruined hometown for the first time in years, risking significant emotional trauma, to argue figures with you!”
“No, indeed,” observed Tiva. A succubus always had a good read on people’s feelings. “I couldn’t hope but notice that you seemed decidedly untraumatized by being here.”
“Well, I say this is the first time back. I’ve been here a hundred times in my dreams,” he said heavily. “Besides, I haven’t gotten to the bad part yet.”
“All right, well, what did he do when you started filling up the room?”
“Oh, he escaped out the window,” said Gigas, dismissively. He walked up the side of a counter and sat on the bar. “I think I managed to convince him not to teleport, or else the others must have blocked him, somehow. I kind of missed the beginning of the fight.”
“Yondangit!” shouted Gigas, in a disturbingly loud voice that only a 25-foot tall halfling cramped in a hotel room could create. He heard the sounds of incantations and explosions floating in from the night air. Zookle, Xanathis, and the paladin Bashsweckler must have been fighting for their lives outside. Meanwhile, the sorcerer was bent over double, his enormous head pinning his rapidly swelling hands to the wall, his legs spilling out the door into the hallway. And his beard hair was everywhere.
“Can’t… reach…” he grumbled, trying to touch the point on his belt that would make him shrink.
His grotesquely enlarged ears picked up a faint hissing sound. Something crawled over his mountainous stomach. Suddenly, the swelling stopped and reversed.
“Hup!” exclaimed Gigas, his lizard familiar crawling onto his huge (but shrinking) face. “You’re a lifesaver! Ah, I have absolutely no idea what I’d do without you.”
The lizard licked his face.
Gigas shrunk slowly, so he used the time to plan his attack. He had his first invention, the magic wall-climbing slippers, so getting down and out of the room to join the others wouldn’t be a problem. Maybe he’d cast Mage Armor to protect himself. Then, he’d open up with the Magic Missiles.
“Okay,” he said to Hup, once he returned to his normal, halfling-sized height. He grabbed his familiar and walked over to the window. He was about to put Hup on his shoulder, but thought better of it. “You can climb down next to me, all right?” he suggested. The lizard stuck its tongue out affirmatively.
“You know, Hup,” said Gigas a moment later, standing sideways halfway down the wall, “I might be feeding you too much. You’re getting a little fat, you know?”
The lizard hissed indigantly.
“Well, you are! I mean, I can practically see you growing before my eyes… Oh. So that’s why it’s taking so long to get down.”
“Gigas, where’d you go, buddy?” called Zookle, trying to dodge curses from the summoner and find the halfling at the same time. It wasn’t easy. After all, Gigas was now only a few inches tall.