This is the beginning of a tale of unknown quantities and freakish behavior. Click to read it.

The crack of the door as the axe slammed into it, sent a shiver down Leon’s spine. The pounding echoes of the smashes from the weapon’s impact with the wood, once more reminded him why he should avoid these kind of situations, at all costs. Splintered pieces of wood surrounded the circumference of the doorway. Between the small cracks in the door, he could see large blood-red eyes staring hungrily through, seeking entrance.

Death awaited…

The noise in the room became deafening. Until all he could later recall hearing were the feral snarls of whatever awaited on the opposite side of his door. His saviours belatedly showed up, just in the nick of time, as usual. Leon turned his head to inspect the remains of the door; the one thing that had kept him briefly between life and death. Chunks and pieces of wood lay discarded upon the floor. The door looked like it had been put through hell.

Cries of death assaulted his ears, as his would-be attackers were brought to their end. A rather unexpected laugh escaped from him, surprising even himself. He followed this up by grinning from ear to ear. He lived.

A small man stepped gingerly through the gaping hole in the door. “It’s a good thing that brute was so big or he might’ve gotten beyond this door,” he commented. He then turned around, again, to inspect the door, like Leon. A rue smile appeared on his face. Glancing over his shoulder, he noticed Leon’s appreciation for remaining alive and well written across his face.

Openly, he stated, “You were lucky to live.”

“No shit. A brute, you said? He must have been big to not fit through the mess he made of that door.”

The newcomer laughed, a warm sound to Leon’s ears, after what had came just before. “One of the giant-folk, from who-knows-where. Why he was chosen to come here, and why you were selected as his target, I can only guess.”

Leon had never heard of people among the giant-folk being hired for assassination work. The decision to do so had proven to be a bad one. Who would be so clumsy as to pick such a creature for a job, like this one, that would have been far better suited for an Artist of Death? The assassins cult must have done something wrong to put them in poor standing in the Kingdoms.

“A curious case, anyway,” he continued. “Whoever picked that thing, either didn’t care if it was a success or not, or had a misguided trust in giants skill at killing humans.”

Leon stared blankly at the dirty floor, gathering his thoughts, then looked back up at the small figure standing before him. The man’s name was Offi, a dwarf exile; a dwarf very good at his job, as well, so Leon knew only too well, that Offi had probably already figured it out and decided on things himself.

“Someone wants us to increase security, in particular on your tower,” he said, speaking in a calm, confident manner. “Why anyone would wish this is guess work, better suited for other times. All I can think is – you’re now on the Kings mind, which is never a good thing…”

Leon started to reply, before Offi cut in. “I know you’ve done absolutely nothing wrong, and I’ll confer this onto his majesty. However, it can’t be helped, nor sorted. The King will be thinking of you; eyes will be on you. People will think you dangerous. What other type of man would attract such a beast? For gods sake, the giant tore his way through ten of our guards on his way here. The hallway was covered in bodies, which, of course, the servants and gods know who else saw.”

Shaking his head ruefully, Offi looked sympathetically at Leon. “Word is out, already, I’m sure.”

And there’ll be sun, sun, sun;
All over the corpses;
There’ll be sun, sun, sun…

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