Friday, March 26

A giant and a sneak attack? (Original Fiction by Xan)

Zander just shook his head as they began back down through the swamp water and through the passage on the other side. He gave his small friend ample room to run off ahead but still kept him just within his sight. Beasley seemed to dart between the darkness and cracks in the cave wall like an animated shadow. Zander was amazed to see how skilled his little friend was.
The halfling froze a few paces ahead of the giant. He held his hand up in a fist and the lumbering tower stopped in his tracks. Beasley tapped his nose and winked at Zander. Zander took a deep smell through his large nose. A thick musk filled his nostrils and almost immediately he turned his head and his last meal nearly topped his throat. He quickly put his hand to his mouth and slowly moved to where his small friend was trying not to laugh at his lumbering friend turning greener than normal.
Zander peeked around the cave corner and viewed five slender bipedal lizard-like creatures. They seemed to be arguing with each other, creaking and croaking like a couple small tree frogs in the summer night’s warmth. The smell emanating from these dirty creatures was nauseous and Zander was astounded that Beasley shrugged off the smell but he was having a hard time keeping his eyes from tearing up.
Beasley put his finger over his mouth as he put his hood over his head and twisted his ring and vanished as a cloud of smoke dissipates in the wind. Zander looked at the ground and watched the dirt on the cave floor smash in small footprint like patterns. Zander tried to hold his breath as he twists his ring and flickers out of sight.
“You can’t have all the fun little friend.” Zander scoffed in halfling in a small whisper.
“Shhh… you need to learn how to prey on those not paying attention.” Beasley said in a tone like an aged instructor says to a pupil.
Quietly, like a couple of lions hunting a pack of gazelles, the two slipped unnoticed around the clutch of troglodytes while they continued to chatter and groan at one another.
It seemed they were arguing over a steel pot, probably discarded or lost by a traveling band of gypsies or ‘confiscated’ from an adventuring party who had descended into the pit. Unknowing to their surroundings the troglodytes did not even notice the two lions stalking them. The biggest of the three lizard kin was standing by as the smaller two fought. Without warning one lunged at the other, the two flailed on the ground lashing at one another with claws and crude knives.
“NOW!” Beasley shouted as he appeared on the back of the top troglodyte and made quick work of one with his sword and it went limp falling on top of the other. The second one, dazed by its victory, pushed the dead body to the side and tried to get up. As it started to stand, it stiffened, gurgled, and dropped to the ground. The crazed eyes of Beasley glowed with a fire of adventure as he stared at the larger troglodyte clutch leader.
The clutch leader stared in awe at this small man appeared out of nowhere to drop his two clutch mates with not so much as a blink. The large lizard man growled and drew its crude stone axe from the leather belt slung crudely from its waist. The stench of the leader filled Beasley’s nostrils as he raised the axe. Beasley felt his stomach turn as the noxious fumes paralyzed him. The toothy grin of the clutch leader seemed to grow larger as he ominously approached the frozen halfling, the glint of the stone blade glimmered in the torchlight. In a blink of an eye, the clutch leader flew across the tunnel and fell in a slump. The crushed head gave no hint that it had once been a troglodyte had it not been attached to his body.
“You aught to watch out for yourself.” Zander chided Beasley as he lay on the cave floor still covered in the gore of the two slain troglodytes and the grey matter of the clutch leader. Zander appeared like a reflection on a pond after ripples subside. He was holding his large hammer in his hand and was wiping the blunt face with his cloak.
“You have room to talk,” Beasley sputtered in the common tongue. “I scotched two of them before you decided to come out of hiding. You big yellow brute!” Beasley stood and wiped his face with a scrap of cloth from his pack.
“You got the two smaller ones,” Zander growled. “I was just waiting for my moment to strike, unlike you I don’t have size on my side to hide.”
The small man looked up to his large compatriot and laughed a hearty laugh loud enough to make even the giant proud.
“Come on, let’s get going.” Beasley slapped Zander on the knee with the gore-covered rag and laughed again.

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