Bruk stood atop the large boulder he favored and looked down the side of the mountain to the pile of scree below. “How many?” he asked the stone giant next to him, Klug, his most trusted advisor.
“Ugh,” Klug replied, “five?”
Bruk grunted and looked over his shoulder at the half-dozen stone giants standing at the ready. They were a ragged bunch, hungry too, and each of them had seen better times. Ever since the dragon had cut back on their pay and then their rations they’d been struggling. Many were even thinking of swallowing their pride and heading down to the mines to look for work. It was no secret that pickings had been slim lately, what with the level of Hirelings coming up Mount Misery falling off substantially in recent months. Whatever had been the cause of that Bruk hadn’t a clue, all he knew was that his belly was rumbling, his breeches had holes, and his wife wouldn’t stop nattering at him to start earning the family a decent living. It was useless trying to tell her that making a decent living was next to impossible when no Hirelings were coming up the mountain like they had been in droves years earlier, but suddenly the sight of this small group changed all that. After all, five stupid adventurers meant at least ten different pockets to rifle through once they’d had their heads smashed in with boulders.
Bruk nodded to himself, proud of his feat of mental stamina. Of course to Bruk’s mind it just sounded like “Hirelings…Kill!”
He turned his body to face the other giants.
“Kill!” he shouted, and gnarled and toothless smiles came to the giant’s faces as they hefted up their stones.
“Watch out!” Glinny shouted just before she dove down to a small crevice between two boulders.
The large stone, about the size of a barrel, smashed down where she and Ziggy had been standing. It broke into dozens of smaller pieces, many of them the size of the spellcaster’s head.
“What are they doing!” Dorn shouted.
“Probably still trying to get up there!” Toes shouted back as he too dove for cover, a large stone landing just where he’d been.
“Well they better get up there soon or–”
Dorn ducked out of the way as a stone flew overhead, its speed blowing back his hair and nearly taking off Edgar’s head.
“Or we’re screwed!” Edgar finished for him, his eyes wide and his hand going up to his head to make sure it was still there.