chapter eight: leaping thri-kreen, sleeping giants....
by, 02-13-2009 at 12:05 AM (1155 Views)
In the Eve of Moonday, 6th Month of the Year of the Emberhound. We are now rested and fed; the time for our preparations is drawing near. I have now recovered sufficiently to relate the events of the preceding night. I had best set them down now, lest with the oncoming raid, they be pushed to forgetfulness.
We waited until deep dark lingering in the woods within view of, but hidden from, the giant's stronghold. What an edifice it was! No mere split logs for the outer wall, but tree trunks entire! There is even a tower, squatish and ugly, despite it's actual height. There appear to be sentries in the tower, but we have not seen them against the light in some time. I touch Pik and unleash some of my power upon him. He fades from sight. I hear the scuff of his claws as he leaps forward into a bounding run. When he reaches the base of the tower he will leap up to the wall and run up the rest of the way. The mind-force fragment embedded in his slippers allows him to literally run up the wall as if upon level ground. We wait tensely. After what seemed surely much too long, we see his spindly from in the window, flashing the light from his four blades in the prearranged signal.
It is a hurried crossing that we made. We know that the gates are closed, and the wolves inside.... Yet one should not depend upon the fortunes of fate or luck. Not if one has a choice. We reached the tower base and soon the rope that Pik had carried slapped the rough wood besides my head. Gramblin and Sabriel made their way up, Nadem and I clung to the bottom as we are pulled up. Pik muttered something in our speech about being on the hunt, by which i took it to mean that someone has said something. As I am pulled into the room, I see the dead giants upon the floor; spilled tankards and heads loosened from shoulders. I reply, also in the tongue of my first-kin, that they cannot be faulted for having been raised in ignorance of the Way. Nadem proved himself, and he has vouched for them, so will they not likewise prove of worth? Sabriel called upon her faith, and draws around upon us a silence. It settled upon us like a shroud, as if drawn whole-cloth from an ancient sanctuary. I must admit I had always wondered why such places seemed so quiet. Now I know.
Deaf and mute, we made our way downstairs and into an entry hall. I take a moment to drew my own shroud around us, this one of the unseen mysteries. This one is less concentrated than the one I placed earlier upon Pik, more fragile. It is always a novel experience for me to see ourselves fade to a nigh transparent shadow of ourselves. We used some hand signs that Pik had taught everyone and arranged ourselves around a door. Before we can open it, it opened of itself! Some giants walked into the hall, and we scoot around to avoid them. As soon as the doors closed, we strike. The shroud of vision frayed and fell away, expended. I felt somewhat guilty at the unannounced attack, at first, but I soon recalled what these giants have done to the defenseless villages described by the Duke's men-at-arms.
We quickly dispatch them, and dragged them into a shadowed corner. A short time later a few more giants appear, looking for the others. We deal with them in a manner like the first. We decide to retreat and leave the message time to be received. I take a rope in my hands and send my power along it's length, seeking for a gap. A few moments and I feel a suitable one, and insert the rope into it, letting my power flow upwards, blossoming into a bubble between the warp and woof of the world. We climb upwards and disappear into the otherwhere bubble. Last of all, the rope was drawn in, and the interface rippled slightly as the rope end passed through. We were then sealed in. The surfaces of the bubble are slightly rough to the touch, somewhat near the texture of the rope which anchored into the misted grayness of the boundary. We settled back to wait and see what response the giants will make to our 'message'.