Of Gods and Man - Wallace's Gambit Ch.6
After trusting Gillibee's "Experimental person-to-matter travel confibulator device" to bypass the treacherous frost giants that inhabited the icy valley, they were forced to pause, regain their bearings, and in a moment of clarity and impeding dread, realize that just on the other side of a door not far away, a massive creature stomped about. When asked where they were, she responded, "I-I-I don't know...B-But I don't think we're alone!", and she was right. Upon further inspection by torchlight, it seemed they were transported on a shelving unit with a frost giant but a room away. Although the frosty behemoths were not known for their intellect, there was an unspoken appreciation for just how viable the shelf was. Roughly hewn, but assembled with some level of structural integrity, even housing multiple compartments, and one of which that would catch Thystle's analyzing gaze. "Master Toren'Domir. Is this what we're looking for?" His plant fiber finger extending to point below and a few feet away.
It seemed that the group was in a difficult situation.
There it sat, shimmering in an ephemeral tranquility that belayed their natural fear. It was only able to be made out due to its consistent glow and shimmer, almost hidden under otherwise mundane trinkets and garbage, wreathed in as much filth as it was in irony. To think that such a powerful weapon could be set beside what looked like mammoth molars, various discarded roots, and rusted kitchen utensils to name a few items of oddity. "Good find, Thystle. Now help me over." Quickly the group devised a plan, tying a few cloaks together and using it to gently lower one after the other, careful not to make a sound lest they wake their unwitting host. Eventually, hopping through chasm like breaks in the shelf, not to mention having to swing each other around the cubby holes, as precariously built as they were, they were able to reach their goal, and after stepping atop what they considered to be a trash heap, Toren gripped the handle and hefted it free, lifting it into the air. The blade appeared like finely hammered glass. In fact, this seemed to go all the way down, even to the haft and pommel, only bound in silken cloth where the hand should hold. But this fragile appearance was only in aesthetic alone...the weight, by itself, told a story otherwise. This was as sturdy as any masterfully crafted sword, and clearly thrice as sharp. Perhaps most striking was its dim glow that seemed to sweep throughout, as if sentient and purposefully travelling the surface. "I don't know if I can properly wield a weapon so mighty. Senera, I feel this would be better in your hands." He whispered, slowly holding it out to her, only to be rebuffed. Her hands extended slowly easing it back towards him. "Toren, you need to be more confident. You cannot rely on others so much. Remember what I taught you, and you'll be just fine." Her fingers curled around his, a reassuring smile offered to her younger sibling who only responded with a nod before easing it to his belt. Yet the others weren't so patient. The vacant space on the shelf was a commodity at best, and while they did well to squeeze in, not all of the knick knacks were so safe. An iron bell, the size of one of the Halflings, began to teeter from an accidental nudge, rocking precariously and threatening to fall at any moment. Lobir, always behind the group due to nature to shuffle his feet in despair, was in a position to react, grasping it long enough to halt its descent and allow the others to tug it further in, but not without his fingers slipping and his own feet giving way. Unable to yell after him, the group watched in horror as, with a look of justified serenity sweeping over his visage, he plummeted down to his long awaited death. And what a soft, plushy death it was. It seemed he was spared his ultimate end as he sunk into the surprisingly soft mattress of the bed just below, much to the wide eyes of his companions who watched with baited breath. Their vision had grown accustom to the dark, especially since the torch could not be carried when they moved to retrieve the trinket, lest they accidentally set fire to something. With a hesitant look to one another, they silently agreed there was no other option, and, one by one, leapt from the shelf onto the bedding. Atop the shoddy hides and linens precariously stitched together, never before had they felt so minuscule. It was a trek as, like mice scurrying, they moved towards the dim light pouring from under the door. Each breath was slow and calculated, each movement weighed by precise judgment. With confidence at their heels they journeyed to the edge of the bed, only to pause as the door slowly opened, bleeding candlelight from the adjacent room. Their surprise was matched by their speed as they made haste for the foot of the bed and under a crack just large enough for them beneath a claw footed trunk, likely used as just as much rubbish storage as the shelves. Each thunderous step shook the very floor, yet just when the figure moved to past, they sprinted for the slowly closing door, surely unwilling to be trapped like rats in a cage. One by one they shuffled through, heavy sighs of relief, like casting aside heavy chains, were equally shared as the door closed behind them. The scenery before them, however, was just as perplexing as the one just left. From what they could deduce, this was the kitchen, made readily apparent by the bonfire esque fireplace and a cauldron the size of a small house just over it. More important to the group, however, was the door on the opposite side, and as they moved around the table to get a better look, the shoddy iron deadbolt that, although hanging on but a few dilapidated screws, was enough to keep the exit clasped firmly shut. "Well what do we do now?" Relomas posed his concerns, his eyes locked on the obstacle that prevented their escape. The crack under the door wasn't large enough for them to squeeze under, and attempting to carve a hole would either take too long, or make enough noise to rouse their host and they couldn't risk . "Can you magic us back?" A valid question that sent the group peering to the gnomish duet. "What? A two way transporter? Now that's just silly! Nope! Only one way!" Gillibee astutely pointed out, true to her heritage where, even if the answer seemed practical and pragmatic, their needlessly complex reasoning was oft to overlook such convenience, much to the chagrin of the troupe. Senera, teeth grit to avoid recklessly lashing out, huffed, "Let's just get higher up and see if we can throw the bolt. We can figure out what to do after." With no other lead to follow, the group rallied together, spotting a sausage link, the thickness that was akin to a young tree trunk, that dangled just above the floor. After quick preparations, they began to ascend, using climbing pitons to counter act the slimy, foul smelling exterior, not that the top of the table was in much better arrangements. Slabs of meat, varying in freshness, lay in large cuts, a job apparently unfinished as the biggest hunk, apparently chopped from the haunch of a mammoth, bore a crude butcher's knife hefted in the middle. "This would make for some great stew if we had some way to carry it all back with us!" Mused Lalia, laughing at the prospect of hauling a slab of meat that, if she bore a large enough hole, she could live reasonably inside. Yet before anyone could retort, they froze in place at the sound from where they recently emerged.
by SMK MK
"Where is my lucky toothpick!?"A chilling question, not simply because it revealed that frost giants could speak common, nor that this mysterious weapon that could apparently pierce any material was being used as a simple means for crude dental hygiene. No, it was concerning because it meant that he was actively looking for it, and no doubt would be thorough in his search. Attempting to slowly and methodically move throughout to escape was no longer an option, and with their wits at the heels of their impending doom, they rushed to their objective: The edge of the table facing the dishes that had stacked haphazardly up and along the wall. "Ok. I'll jump first, loop the deadbolt with the cloaks, then Thyst-" Relomas was interrupted as none other than the gargantuan figure itself, and as the group turned to assess their situation, the frosty gaze of the homeowner assured them their presence was well known. "Who dares enter into my home?! I will crush your bones!!" He bellowed forth, stomping towards the table and slamming his hand atop the wood to try and squash them. Fortunately they were quick, darting behind a prime cut of once-bleeding meat. His closed fist caused all manner of items to leap in place, including the group, who began to scatter, some running behind a mug laid flat on its side, others tucking under a large tree-nut husk. Even Vigo would pop his head from a hole in a large hunk of cheese, "Are you saying you won't not crush our bones?" A perplexing proposition, as the giant shoved his finger to the hole to try and squash his head, left only with a wedge of cheese mushed around his digit, "Yes! Wait! No! I will not not crush your bones! You will not be not crushed!" "Wait, i'm confused!" Moro chimed, diving into some flour, his voice expelling in little puffs of smoke in various locations from his white powdered mountain, "If you're not going to crush us, then just don't do it! Leave us alone!" If he wasn't enraged before, he certainly was now. All sorts of items were being swept onto the floor, Thystle and Senera caught in a cup until they leapt free and onto the table. "You do not tell me what to do! I will squash you like the insects you are!" "Then do it!" Vigo ran into the open, arms out to draw attention to himself. Much to the groups confusion, he exclaimed, "Then squash us! Crush us beneath your mighty thumb!" His face lowered nearly to her level...gaze intense, as if a roiling rage lay just beneath the icy stare, and his voice trembled with that same fury, "I will not be ordered around by a chittering rat! You will leave this instant!!" And just like that, he was snatched with impatient haste and tossed into a bag, his companions faring the same, bundled up like coins in a purse. What happened next was out of their sight, but judging by the grumbling, stomping, and swinging of doors, it almost seemed like they were being transported, and with a mighty toss, they sailed through the air, aided by landing in the soft, powdery snow. Although they were alive, it was not without a few bumps and bruises from clattering against one another, not to mention that their landing was only so soft...but they counted their good fortunes in tandem with counting heads, and began to emerge from their burlap prison. It was just as they had entered...Twin snowy peaks flanking them on either side, complete with steady drops of snow and a brisk wind lightly ruffling their cloaks. Or it would be just how they had entered...
If it wasn't for the three towering giants surrounding them with malice in their eyes.