Excerpt from “Lord Foul’s Bane” by Stephen Donaldson ~~Giant~~

picture-LordFoulsBane-DonaldsonThe Giant kept his silence as he approached. For the last distance, he swung the tiller over so that the boat’s prow aimed squarely at the riverbank. Then, just before the craft struck, he drove his weight down in the stern. The prow lifted out of the water and grounded itself securely a few yards from Atiaran and Covenant. In a moment, the Giant stood before them on the grass, offering them the salute of welcome.
Covenant shook his head in wonder. He felt that it was impossible for anyone to be so big; the Giant was at least twelve feet tall. But the rocky concreteness of the Giant’s presence contradicted him. The Giant struck his perceptions as tangibly as stumbling on rough stone.
Even for a being twelve feet tall, he appeared gnarled with muscles, like an oak come to life. He was dressed in a heavy leather jerkin and leggings, and carried no weapons. A short beard, as stiff as iron, jutted from his face. And his eyes were small, deep-set and enthusiastic. From under his brows, massed over his sockets like the wall of a fortress, his glances flashed piercingly, like gleams from his cavernous thoughts. Yet, in spite of his imposing appearance, he gave an impression of incongruous geniality, of immense good humour.
‘Hail, Rocksister,’ he said in a soft, bubbling tenor voice which sounded too light and gentle to come from his be-muscled throat. ‘What is your need? My help is willing, but I am a legate, and my embassy brooks little delay.’
Covenant expected Atiaran to blurt out her plea; the hesitation with which she met the Giant’s offer disturbed him. For a long moment, she gnawed her lips as if she chewing over her rebellious flesh, searching for an utterance which would give direction, one way or another, to a choice she hated. Then, with her eyes downcast as if in shame, she murmured uncertainly, ‘Where do you go?’
At her question, the Giant’s eyes flashed, and his voice bubbled like a spring of water from a rock as he said, ‘My destination? Who is wise enough to know his own goal? But I am bound for – No, that name is too long a story for such a time as this. I go to Lord’s Keep, as you humans call it.’
Still hesitating, Atiaran asked, ‘What is your name?’
‘That is another long story,’ the Giant returned, and repeated, ‘What is your need?’
But Atiaran insisted dully, ‘Your name.’
Again a gleam sprang from under the Giant’s massive brows. ‘There is power in names. I do not wish to be invoked by any but friends.’
‘Your name,’ Atiaran groaned.
For an instant, the Giant paused, indecisive. Then he said, ‘Very well. Though my embassy is not a light one, I will answer for the sake of the loyalty between my people and yours. To speak shortly, I am called Saltheart Foamfollower.’

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1 Comment

Filed under Fiction, Literature

One response to “Excerpt from “Lord Foul’s Bane” by Stephen Donaldson ~~Giant~~

  1. Stephen Donaldson was born in Cleveland, Ohio on 13 May 1947. ‘Lord Foul’s Bane’ was published in 1977 and is the first book of The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever.

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