Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Albinor Chronicles Chapter 17
"Glantri-Giants Battle"

By Marcus Pan

August 19, 003

Garron Koluna had assembled his troops the following morning, a hundred-strong knights in shining plate mail with shiny longswords. He did not mention the book to a living soul and had re-hid it beneath his mattress before he had left the guest chamber where he was residing. He put it temporarily out of his mind. The other three princes woke to see him off and planned on staying until his return so that the ritual closing of the tower could be performed with all remaining mage-princes present. Garron called the knights to order and headed off, striking a trail through the mountains heading due north back the same way Peleus had come days before. He hoped that the encampments of creatures had not begun to raid the area and had not gathered too much more strength since Peleus last laid eyes on them. He continued north.

Merely three to four hours into the day, the company of knights were going through a pass in the mountains. The pass' walls on either side, east and west, were sheer cliff faces nearly a hundred feet high. They passed through slowly on foot, only five men able to be abreast. Koluna was in the lead, followed by twenty companies of men in rows of five. They marched on and Koluna hoped this pass was not discovered by his enemies for which he now searched. The clouds in the sky were getting thicker and darker. Koluna guessed it would rain. He wanted to get this over with and return to his castle so he could study his new book of spells, that of the late Krandor Dakon. He rode on and hoped the pass would soon open up and end.

Suddenly, a loud crash echoed through the pass. A large boulder had fallen from the cliff face and smashed to the ground of the path taking with it a few knights who were badly beaten and mangled by the blow. Then another fell and the troops began to panic and rout. Koluna looked up and saw above the cliff faces, on either side, huge, stone-like faces peering down at them through the dust and haze of dirt that was forced into the air by the huge boulders the giants had thrown at them. "It's the stone giants! Quickly, men!" Koluna called loudly, but the sound of his voice did not penetrate the ears of all his men, some screaming and running violently about as more boulders crashed down the sides of the cliff face. Koluna raised his hands and yelled skyward in the strange speech of the mages and a strange thing happened then. The ledge on which the stone giants stood began to soften and suddenly, without warning, they turned to mud. The giants fell through the now-muddy ledges and tumbled to the ground. They landed hard against the floor of the pass. Garron called once more to the knights among the cursing and swearing of the huge stone men and this time they heard. Now, noticing the giants were on the ground and within their reach, the knights who still stood unsheathed they're swords and began hacking away at the hard skin of the monsters. Steel raged against stone and the giants swung heartily at the men in their path. There were ten huge beasts in all, all very strong and very powerful, able to rend a man limb from limb with their bare hands. Some picked up the boulders they had dropped from the cliff and threw them at the onslaught of humans. Others grabbed large, splintered trees that lied on the ground and wielded them as huge clubs, battering and ramming the hapless soldiers. Garron wandered around and used his skills of magic to heal those he could or help in the battle. It was a terrible struggle, lasting three or four hours of wicked fighting. The sounds echoed in the pass, growing louder as they rang off the faces of the cliffs. But the humans finally won, slaying the last giant as he wielded his tree-club. Swords were broken and armor was shattered. The huge corpses of dead stone giants lie blocking the pass. These they climbed over and rejoined eachother on the other side. If it wasn't for the magic of Garron Koluna, nearly half of their ranks would have been destroyed. But he managed to save many lives with his emergency spells, healing those that required it. They rested in the pass for the night, just as a drizzle began to fall. They piled the boulders on one side to protect from uninvited guests that may come in the night and set watch. They had lost some good men in the fight, but another battle was yet to come. They still had a camp of orcs to eliminate as Peleus had said. Garron laid to rest and consulted his own spellbook to re-learn some of the spells he had used that day during the vicious battle. Then he slept.

The above item may have been edited by the author since its first appearance in Legends No. 43.