The agony of the spear ramming through his shoulder blinded him for a moment; Benedikt wasn’t sure where he was. He opened his eyes long enough to see two enormous creatures standing over him, then one of them whacked him with a club and it was lights out again.
When Benedikt came to, he found himself stuffed into what appeared to be an enormous, stinky burlap sack. The pain in his shoulder burned; the spear had been pulled out of the wound roughly, and he could feel his blood seeping into the cloth underneath him. He cautiously felt around for his mace and shield, but they were nowhere to be found. He couldn’t hear any of his compatriots anywhere nearby.
But he did hear muffled voices — large, deep voices, the voices of Giants — somewhere above him. Then, someone opened up the bag. He immediately closed his eyes and pretended to be dead.
“Are you dead, Littlie?” a large voice asked, speaking in rough Demorian. “If you are alive, I have something to talk to you about. But if you are dead, I will have you cooked. Are you alive?”
Benedikt grumbles for a moment, curses in his native tongue, “Of course I’m alive, takes more than twig to kill followers of Crom.” He says back, trying to find a position that didn’t hurt his wound overly much, and mostly wondering where his mace was.
Benedikt looked up to see an enormous face looming over him. “My guards caught you sneaking around the stronghold,” he said. “You are lucky it was my men and not others. They would have taken you straight to Balor. My men were smart; they took you to me.”
“What is your name, Littlie?” the Giant asked. “I am Zind, chief of the Snow Mountain Clan, and second sub-chief of the mighty Balor.” He spat on the ground. “That is why you are here, yes? Because of Balor?”
Benedikt regarded the Giant for a brief moment, “I am Benedikt Of Crom, The Great Warrior. Crom, I mean, I am merely Good Warrior.” He nodded, “Benedikt rarely sneaks anywhere.” He shook a finger, “If Balor is the one causing all the magic to go wrong, I am here for him.” Benedikt stroked his beard for a moment, “It’s a good thing I ran into your first, Crom directs me only to the best of the best. We should talk.” He looked expectantly at Zind.
“Magic,” the Giant rumbled. “Yes, Balor has great magic. Big magic. His magic brought back the old days, the days of war, the days when Giants lost too many sons and fathers. And for what? Nothing. Only for his glory, not ours.” He spat again.
“I do not want any more of my people to die because of him. I do not want to fight the old wars again. You talk big for a little man. If you are here to kill Balor, I will help you. With one condition.”
Benedikt smiled beneath his beard, “Fighting is good, fighting for new glory is better than old glory. What is condition you speak of?”
“This is my condition,” he says. “I have three sons. I want them to learn the ways of humans – how to pull iron from rocks, how to grow plants to eat, how to make houses, how to make paper talk and listen. When this is over, when the old days are gone again, you swear to take my sons back to your city of stones and teach them the ways of humans. If you do, I will help you, even if it means I die.”
Benedikt thought for a second, “I think Baron of these lands might like this deal. Pretty sure this was mission of peace before Captain got angry. She is one you really want to talk with. Have feeling you might meet her soon.” He stroked his beard, “I will act on behalf of Baron and welcome peace to Giants. I promise your three sons will be taught our ways.” He nodded, “Is good deal, Baron is good man, you like him I think. I suggest you not die so you can make strong alliance.”
The Giant laughed, a deep, rumbling, growling sound. “I do not want to die either, little man. But I want the old days gone even more. Remember what you have sworn before your gods and mine, that my sons will be taught the ways of humans. The gods will punish you if you break your promise, if I do not find you first.”
“Now get up and follow me. The other littlies who came with you, I know where they are. We should find them before Balor does.”
> The Giant laughed, a deep, rumbling, growling sound. “I do not want to die either, little man.
> But I want the old days gone even more. Remember what you have sworn before your gods
> and mine, that my sons will be taught the ways of humans. The gods will punish you if you
> break your promise, if I do not find you first.”
“Benedikt forgets no promises.”
> “Now get up and follow me. The other littlies who came with you, I know where they are.
> We should find them before Balor does.”
“Probably good idea. They a bit hasty.” Benedikt nodded, “Just moment, if you please, twigs not kill me, but they hurt pretty good. I need to have Crom’s blessing to heal wound so I am fit for next fight.” Benedikt will cast a healing spell if given the opportunity.
Benedikt casts a prayer over himself; the bleeding stops and the pain subsides. He (or one of the others) will still have to sew the wound shut for it to heal the rest of the way properly. But it’s OK – Crom appreciates scars. The Giant then leads him through a series of darkened corridors, past the lights of the great hall. It seems that the party is over; the sounds of feasting and laughing have stopped.
“This is not a good sign,” Zind says. “Usually, Balor likes to feast until nearly dawn. Maybe your friends have already been found out. If they are as sneaky as you are, this seems likely.”
He slips through another door; there is a massive set of stone stairs going down into the earth…