What Your Father Told You: A Nibenese Half-Giant to His Young Daughter
What is the world like?
You always have the little man telling us what to do. We are bigger, and it would make more sense for us to tell the little people what to do, but no, it never works like that.
Uh – what I meant was, what does the world Look like outside the cities?
Oh. Well Sands and Stars, why didn’t you ask that in the first place? Well, uh, there’s sand. Sun. Sometimes a bush. Usually a very dry bush. Lots of thirsty critters trying to kill you. Yeah. I like the desert. Here in the city, you can’t fight unless your little master tells you to fight. Not as many little Masters in the desert, neither.
Does anyone live outside the city of Nibenay?
Well there’s the villages, you know about them. Then there is the desert. Then, a long ways away, there more cities.
Does anyone live in the desert?
Naw. Just freaks and critters.
What about other cities?
Yeah, people live there.
Uh, no, I mean - tell me about the other cities.
Uh- kind of like this one, only different. I visited another city once. Maybe I visited two. Better food than here. One city had an inn with a room big enough for me! Sands and Stars! Really thoughtful. yes”> Most people not so nice.
What sorts of people in the world?
Let’s see. There’s us and the little humans. Lizard people. Bird People.
I heard of “Elves and Dwarves and Muls”.
What are they? Naw, those are just different kinds of humans, I think. But there is a critter called a “half-thing”, that’s half human and half nothing at all. Sands and stars! yes They make me laugh!
Is there anyone bigger than us?
Naw. Have you seen anyone bigger than us?
If no one is bigger than us, then how come they call us “half-giants”?
Listen dummy, and listen good. yes, They are the little masters. They call you anything they like, and you just smile and play dumb, see? Sands and Stars! Your questions hurt my head!
Who is the King?
I dunno. Nobody ever sees him, but there are statues of him all over the city. I think he is the boss of the templars.
Who are the Templars?
Sands and Stars! You are asking a lot of questions today! The templars are the meanest and bossiest little masters. The other little masters are afraid of them. Templars use Magic, and they Read.
What is Magic?
Magic is what makes everyone obey the templars. They can control your body, or put you to sleep with a word and a wave.
What about Reading?
Reading is when little masters pretend that cloth rolls called scrolls are talking to them. . Any dummy can see that the scroll only “says” what the templar wants it to say. Maybe that’s why only templars are supposed to read. Once no one was looking, and I hit the templar on the head and try to read her scroll, but it did not say anything to me. I think Reading is a bunch of kank dung.
What about the “Way”?
What’s that? The Way is a special skill, like magic, but more normal. The Way lets you do powerful things just by thinking really hard. You usually find out what your Way skill is when someone is hurting you, or when you are scared. Your hands and legs are pinned down, so you just reach out with your mind, and wham. You say “Sands and Stars! I did not know I could do that.” Actually most people can’t, but you will, ‘cause your momma did, and I did too. I can always tell when the little masters are looking at me - it feels like an itch, and I know that I’d better look busy. Your momma – she used to go lie out in the sun, and then she did not have eat as much. Some people called “mindbenders” have lots of Way skills. Don’t mess with them!
Where do we come from?
I dunno where I come from. You, I saw you squeeze out of your momma. yes, You was smaller than a human and uglier than a kank. I saw you and cried. Sands and Stars! yes, Then my little master called, and I had to go dig a ditch.
Why are we here?
The little masters say we are here to do what they say. Not all the little ones are nasty bosses. If you find a nice human that wants to be your friend, then stick with him and protect him. Be his muscle and let him be your thinker. Hurt his enemies and stay by his side. Just try not to roll over him when you sleep. That’s how I lost my little friend.