Incredible! Fairy Tales do come true!
I heard what I learned was a “Children’s Tale” in Baldur’s Gate. It told of a boy who planted a bean, and it grew a massive “beanstalk” that he climbed. He bed a Giant, slew its mate, and stole a golden goose, a magic harp, and a bag of treasure. His folly was in returning to do this three times.
Jillian ate a bean, and felt strange. Though she protested, I knew that a beanstalk would sprout. I tried to see if something was growing in her mouth, and felt her stomach. She got upset, and swatted me away, denying that such a thing could happen. She started to feel strange, and indeed, a massive structure of stone, shaped like a pyramid appeared – in her mouth – and she spat it out. It grew massively, just as the story tells.
Excited, I was very eager to enter and find my own Giant to bed (and magic items, too).
The others did not want to go in. They began bickering; they are quite good at it. At times, I wish I could understand the things Lissie and Jillian say to one another. They decide they don’t want to go in. Crestfallen, I consider the options. We have spent days in this place, even though I don’t like it. I’ve been tricked into participating in the foolish human celebrations, even though that toy-maker made it clear that I am not welcome in this town.
I dug my heels in. Jillian got her way even coming to this home. I’ve worked with them to loot and spoil a dozen times over. We’ve entered every home of treasure we’ve found, but we were not going to go up the beanstalk?
I told them that I still wanted to go. Ogg, my heart of stone, spoke up, and agreed to go with me. He grabbed my hand, and the stone grew warm. He spoke a bit of magic, and we vanished from view. I could feel the pulse in his hand. We moved forward, and descended into darkness.
Inside, we only found a single Giant. Dodging, we jumped left. I pulled Ogg with me, careful not to lose his grip. I worried that my hands would sweat, and he would let go. The steps of the monster far outstripped my own, and it caught up with us fairly quickly.
We pulled against the wall, desperately hoping it could not see us. Though it did not seem to see us, magic prickled across my skin, and I felt pressure in every tissue. I could feel the magic of my cloak push against it. Large amounts of power wafted off of it. We stopped moving. I held my breath.
It walked fully into the room, searching from side to side. I felt the magic seep into my bones, trying to grab me. Ogg’s grip stopped, paralyzed in my hand. I pulled, determined to squeeze behind the giant and scout the rest of the structure.
As I pulled, Ogg resisted. I tested, and found his grip limp. He’s frozen. Unmoving. He’s afraid of being cursed.
A new feeling pushed through my body. Not magic, but a strange sensation, much stronger than before. Fear. I wasn’t simply afraid. I was afraid of Ogg getting hurt. I was afraid of losing Ogg. I said a silent prayer.
Forgive me Ogg.
I turned, stepping in front of Ogg, placing myself between Ogg and the Giant. I could smell Ogg as I pressed my body against him. He was still warm, but he didn’t resist as I forced him to move. I drew a rune on his skin and on the wall as I pressed my chest against him, and we both sunk into the wall. Suspended, I couldn’t feel the warmth of his body, but I knew that we were here, together.
Guilt immediately set in. I did not ask permission before casting a spell on Ogg. I’m no better than that monster.
We stayed suspended until I felt the pulsing of the Giant’s magic fade as it left the room. I stayed, knowing that if I rested, I could rest my body and regain use of the orb’s magics. But I couldn’t communicate with Ogg; I couldn’t make a plan.
… One Hour Later
Teldorthan? Is are you okay? Lissie’s voice appeared in my mind.
_Bless her and her witchcraft. _
Is Ogg okay? I asked.
Yeah, he doesn’t know what’s happening. You’re in a wall?
Yes, I used my power to pull us to safety in the stone. I relaxed, knowing that Ogg was fine. I have a plan! Can you make a distracting noise, long enough for use to finish exploring?
She assented, and relayed the plan to Ogg. I regained my arms, and began pulling myself from the stone as I pulled and reformed Ogg behind me. I stepped out, and helped him down. “I’m sorry,” I whispered.
“It’s fine,” he replied; relief washed through me.
I took his hand and pulled him forward, moving silently. I saw the monster before me, wrapped head to toe in strange strips of cloth. His guttural voice echoed through the chambers of the building.
I remembered the poem bits. Fee Fie Foe Fum, I smell the blood of a baker’s son. Be he living, be he dead, I’ll grind his bones and make my bread. Fresh fear gripped me.
We snuck behind him, and headed for the area behind the monster. We found a large bier, and I investigated. There was a strange circlet there, embedded with a single jewel on its front. I put it on my head, and suddenly the voice of the beast was there also.
“Show yourself, stop being a coward! I will destroy you and whoever is here with you.” The monster’s voice suddenly was understandable in my head. I could hear the guttural utterances and their meaning simultaneously.
Remembering the harp that could speak, I accepted the first of three treasures and we moved on. I saw a long hall, and ignored it in favor of the shorter one before us.
Careful not to run into any potential Giantess, we entered a room to our right, where we found wonderful things. Piles of treasure, loot, weapons, and art lay in small mountains around the room. Ogg grabbed a bright blue rope that was obviously magical. His own Goose with golden eggs obtained, a smile split his face, vibrant as the sun.
“Keep the ability to go invisible, yeah?” Ogg nodded to me happily in response.
He piled a bag full of loot, and I grabbed a large chest. Now all three pieces of the beanstalk story had come true. He touched me, and I felt flushed. He had cast a spell that made me stronger.
How are you doing? Lissie’s voice asked as the banging stopped.
Keep going please. Stop in a moment – I’ll tell you when okay? She assented, and the banging started again.
We traveled close, and Ogg ran right as I melded into the stone behind the monster.
It’s okay to stop now, I told Lissie, and I heard the banging stop, the sounds of the retreating Giant, and then silence.
Lissie told me that Ogg was about to leave, invisible. As he passed, I squeezed out, and followed him out into the sun, so very grateful that we did not have to face the same problems that Jack did.