Chapter 20 ½: Phoenix
Translator’s Note: I found this chapter scrawled on several sheets of parchment stuck in the copy of the book I acquired at this point, with this small note written on the back of the last page: “Since this isn’t staying on Draezoln, I can actually tell you about this.” While translating the Draconic and Great Eagle contained therein was even more difficult than the Common Tongue contained in the book itself, I was curious to discover what it contained. This is what I found.
So. Haven’t written a lot like this. But someone should know about this, and since whoever’s getting this isn’t Draezolnian, I can tell you.
As the Mage-Archivist was saying, Zakhin’Dakh and I were flying around the Northern Dragon’s Teeth, thinking we were just enjoying ourselves on our way to the west. Then we found that odd pass. Could swear I’d passed there before and not seen it, which made me curious. Besides, it… felt right. Can’t explain how or why. But it did.
The little canyon was almost too narrow for Zakhin’Dakh in spots. It didn’t seem like a natural canyon—the walls were too sheer, it was too straight. Seemed more like something magic had made it.
Eventually we came out into a small valley. Seemed like a pretty nice place, the kind of thing you might want to keep hidden for yourself.
Like where met! Zakhin’Dakh screeched happily.
A bit, I agreed. It did remind me of that valley I’d found him in, though smaller and better hidden.
It didn’t have giant deer in it either, to my big friend’s disappointment. We explored around for a bit, didn’t find much interesting. Then Zakhin’Dakh saw a funny red dot on a mountainside down on the other end of the valley. We didn’t have anything else to do, so we flew over to take a look. As we flew, I had a feeling like something was watching. Looked down, thought I might have seen something, but just figured it was a manticore or something else smart enough not to bother us.
The red thing on the mountain was much more interesting. As we got closer, we could both tell it was something bird-like. At first I thought it might be a Great Eagle, or maybe just a dire eagle, but I’d never heard of a red one. The closer we got, the more we both realized it was big—bigger than Zakhin’Dakh, even. He screeched a bit unhappily at that part. The other thing was, it wasn’t just red—it was more… flame-colored. Oranges and yellows mixed in with the red.
Then we heard a voice. Not out loud, but in our heads. It was weird… it felt like a warm campfire on a cold night, but with words. Can’t really explain it.
I do know it said this, though. There you are. I have been waiting.
You have no idea how hard it is to translate Great Eagle! Much harder than the Common Tongue. Even harder than Draconic. I didn’t even know it had a written form… it was a huge headache finding some reference materials for it…
Anyway, this is chapter 20 1/2. I’m rather excited to be able to share this bit–I wasn’t sure until recently if Almonihah was going to let me say anything about this episode, and now we get to hear about it from his own writing!