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|Elec and Adok by William Kenney|
As they crept forward again, they finally caught a glimpse the source of the snoring—a giant!The thing was massive, easily reaching more than twenty feet in height, and surely weighing in excess of one thousand pounds. There were animal furs covering most of its lower half, while its chest and upper torso were bare skin, bristling with coarse hair and corded muscles.As they neared the sleeping giant, Elec noticed that it had the widest jaw he’d ever witnessed on a living creature. He had seen ogres before, raiding his village once after they had somehow crossed the waters of Sunrise Bay to attack them, but they were reminiscent of children when compared to this giant! It was balding with only a tuft of auburn hair upon the top of its head and a scruffy clump on either side of its jaw, framing its face. It was somewhat bloated, as the ogres had been, but had muscles everywhere along its arms and chest. Scraps of animal parts, bones and uneaten flesh lay all around the sleeping behemoth, and also piles of animal hides piled so high that Elec was uncertain as to whether the skins were mere pelts or whole creatures.Shardrin circled the giant, short swords in his hands, as it lay sleeping, its back up against a crop of rock that projected up from the floor and was covered in skins. Elec approached also, sipping an elixir, then removing his sword from its scabbard. As he neared, he heard a crunch underfoot that echoed throughout the chamber.The creature first opened one black eye—the shade of the darkest of nights—and then the other, affixing its gaze upon the approaching elf, curiously at first. Then its brow furrowed and it snarled at Elec. Its mouth opened and it displayed a misshapen row of yellowed teeth, with some missing, but those that remained were sharpened at the tips. As it stood, reaching its full height of twenty-five feet, it remained hunched-forward, its substantial arms stretching almost all the way to the ground, reminding Elec of a carriage resembling that of a gorilla. The giant barely fit within the vast expanse of the spacious cavern now that it was upright.Elec froze, paralyzed by fear at the sheer enormity of the giant. It was truly massive, thought Elec as it reached for a club, which was in reality the trunk of a tree, the base of which was worn smooth, no doubt from incalculable usage.It swung the tree across its body, meaning to turn Elec’s bones to powder, but the elf regained his sensibility. He rolled nimbly backward and under the swing as the club slammed into the wall of the cavern, creating a thundering cacophony that echoed throughout the chamber, seeming to shake the very walls themselves.Elec looked up from the ground and glimpsed flashing blades as Shardrin leaped from a ledge above the giant, landing squarely on its back. He disappeared behind the girth of the mighty behemoth but must have landed a solid strike as the giant howled in pain and dropped its weapon. The giant turned slightly in a vain attempt at wresting the elf from its back, allowing Elec to see that Shardrin was out of the reach of its grasping hands.“Strike!” Shardrin called out to Elec, who held his enchanted blade firmly in both hands. He downed another potion quickly before running straight at the giant, slashing wildly many times and scoring several hits. He remembered that his uncle had told him of the magic within the blade and trusted that this was exactly the time and place to make use of it.
All artwork by William Kenney
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