The Stones of Arcory Chapter Twenty Two
Giants at the Pass
Missive to Council
Season of the Hot Sun Fourth Quarter Fourth Fallow Day
I might remind Council, while my mission does take precedence over all else, including events of limited and local importance, both the emptying of the Vale and the protection of it’s former peoples is an event of generational importance and it behooves a voice hand and eyes of Council to watch this occasion and provide an account for posterity.
And as Council has seen fit not to provide the protection requested by the former, if self styled sovereign of the Vale of Elasch, I have taken it upon myself to show the respect and allowance for a man of honor and belief, of which I am granted by our very oldest tenets. As such you will be provided the accounts and I have served my honor by enabling the safe escort of the men, women and children for which the laws of balance obligates us to protect under the royal treaty between the king of the Bellestrae and the king of the mountain giants. Once I am finished with this duty, I will happily return to my given mission.
Massiter Goldenstar was grinning widely while the rocks continued to rain down from above the slowly moving train of the sad and miserable people who once called themselves the Men of the Vale. His magic seemed as inexhaustible as his boundless enthusiasm. As for myself, I was beginning to regret my choice of agreeing to help him protect the mountain caravan out of giant territory. The knuckles of both my hands again ached with effort of gripping my staff while maintaining the spells that protected us from the rain of stones.
“They certainly are persistent,” he offered loudly over the sound of the falling stones. Thankfully for him and me, the protections we’d placed on the wagons were still, mostly, deflecting the smaller boulders. Still, the racket was hard to endure as the local giantry, who clearly didn’t have much regard for their king’s treaty, and showered us with as much available large and loose mountain rocks as they could find.
“Do you think they are likely to cease any time soon,” I called from the fore of the train. I was keeping an eye on the cliff side road before us. It looked perilous, made even more so by the skittering stone fall ahead.
“I dare say they will continue raining it down on us as long as they have such boulders at hand,” he shouted back.
And it would be another two days of slow traveling before we reached the highlands of Gent, out of giantic territory and escape from the constant onslaught. I began to wonder if even together the two of us could maintain the magic necessary to keep the refugees safe for such an extended period.
As such, I was relieved when we reached Lowing Pass and the rain ceased. But turning around the great stone pillar gates still known as The Welcoming Hand, I knew my relief was premature, as three mountain giants stood waiting on the declining road, their great forms blocking the whole of our route to safety.
“Only three,” Goldenstar offered, smiling again as he joined me at the halting fore. Only three, but mountain giants are amongst the largest and most belligerent of their kind. Each of the behemoths stood three times the height of a man, and were equally broad. He called the head of the guard, who joined us with four of his fellows, swords bright in the light of the sun which was falling behind us.
The gathering of warriors and wizards didn’t seem to have much of an effect on the giants. They stood still, great stone axes in their massive hands in wait. But for what?