Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: September 2013

Chapter 8-7

Garkhen swung his mace down, smashing the bones of said hand as the animated skeleton was pulling itself up. Undeterred, it simply lifted up its other hand, which the half-dragon quickly treated likewise. Somehow, the undead creature managed to get its head above the level of the wall without its hands… so Garkhen knocked off its head. That sent what remained of it tumbling back down off the wall.

Then an arrow ricocheted off his armor. Startled, Garkhen stepped back slightly and looked up, remembering that he had not only the ladder to worry about. Unfortunately, that gave the next skeleton time to get itself up the ladder. The young half-dragon just had time to realize his mistake before he had to block its first sword-swing. It struck his shield with surprising force, but it would take much more power to move Garkhen. He stood his ground and swung back, rather clumsily. The skeleton had only to move back slightly to dodge, and then it took advantage of his over-extension to stab its sword straight at his heart.

Garkhen felt the impact of the blade’s tip on his armor, and then heard a loud snap as the end of the blade simply broke off, the force exerted on its rusted metal too great to bear. Now the skeleton was off balance, and so Garkhen could easily smash his mace through its attempt to defend itself, and then through its ribcage and spine. It disintegrated into a heap of bones, the magic that had once held it together crushed together with its bones.

But now an animated corpse had already heaved itself up onto the wall, and another was close behind it. Garkhen realized that he was being to slow this way, and so, as he deflected the zombie’s first swing with his shield, he inhaled deeply… then exhaled a bolt of lightning straight into its chest. The magical thunderbolt blasted a hole through the zombie, as well as through the neck of the zombie that was just mounting the wall behind it. To the half-dragon’s surprise, a hole in its chest did not stop his immediate opponent from attempting an uncoordinated counterattack, but it was now so clumsy that he easily finished it off with a blow from his mace.

For just a moment, Garkhen had time to shake his head, trying to refocus. Using his draconic lightning breath always made him feel rather light-headed, and he could not afford something like that at present.

*******

Apologies for not posting last week. Grad school homework has begun in earnest. But, now we get to see Garkhen fight! He’s not particularly good at the whole melee thing… but when you’re a half-dragon priest in nearly impenetrable armor, you can afford to be somewhat clumsy against lesser undead creatures, apparently.

Chapter 8-6

Sergeant Gerim awakened his squad as evening fell. Garkhen arose with a bit of stiffness in his limbs, and a hint of fatigue irritating his eyes, but arose he did. Quickly he put on his armor, grateful for the magic that made that task much easier for him than his fellow soldiers, and then joined his squad for a hurried meal.

What little conversation there was among them was subdued, and the relative hush around them suggested others also had little desire for talk. Once they had finished, the squad marched to its post. They lined up along the crenelations at the edge of the wall-walk, peering out into the gathering darkness for a hint of their foes.

They did not have to wait long.

Garkhen’s draconic eyes could pick out the advancing army of the walking dead, and even some of the hooded figures among them. Some of the undead carried ladders, and he thought he could see a long log, likely a ram, off to the east nearer the gates. Then he noticed some of the robed figures stop.

He had only enough time to realize what they were doing and chant a warding spell-prayer before the first spells hit. A ball of fire exploded in midair in front of Garkhen, blocked by his ward. He jumped slightly at the sight of it, and at the realization of how near it had come to striking before he was ready. Other spellcasters had thrown up similar defenses along the wall… but not everywhere.

But the half-dragon had no time to look around him. More spells came pounding in, and he found himself hard-pressed to maintain his ward, chanting and holding up his symbol of Bahamut. The twang of bows next to him startled him slightly, but he kept his concentration and the shielding magics it held.

Finally the barrage ended, just in time for the first ladders to swing up to the wall. One clanged onto the stone to Garkhen’s left, and he instinctively moved over to it, pulling out his mace as the archers made way. He was dimly aware that some of his squad-mates were following him, exchanging places with the archers who were less well-equipped for a melee.

He had just gotten himself into position when the first skeletal hand reached up to the last rung of the ladder.

*****

Hey, look, we’re finally getting to the battle! Aren’t you all so happy?

Chapter 8-5

Garkhen slept deeply, but soon he was awoken by a messenger with his orders. He read over them quickly. They were simple, ordering him to report to Sgt. Gerim, as the Captain had said, but helpfully containing a few concise instructions on where said reporting was to take place.

Soon, the young half-dragon was handing said Sergeant his orders. The man looked at them for a few moments, then back up at Garkhen.

“Being reassigned to me, Private Garkhen?” Sgt. Gerim asked, then continued without giving time for Garkhen to respond, “We’ll be glad to take you, but don’t expect it to be easy. After last night…”

He shook his head slightly. “We may want your healing abilities as much as your combat skills.”

“I would prefer to use the latter to preclude the need for the former,” Garkhen replied, quietly.

“Well, what’s your specialty, then, Private?”

Garkhen thought over the question for a moment. “I am a Warder of Bahamut. I am trained for defense, by both physical and magical means. In addition, my armor is made of adamantine, despite its appearance, and is finely crafted and enchanted.”

The Sergeant’s eyebrows raised a little at that, but after a moment’s pause he asked, “And what can you do on the attack?”

Garkhen’s hesitation was more pronounced. “I have some few offensive spell-prayers… I have my breath, and a little training with a mace.”

Gerim sat back a bit, frowning slightly. “Hmmm…” He thought for a while, then seemed to have an idea. “Our squad supports an archer formation’s flank. You will be on our flank right next to them. Last night, those walking dead tried to scale our walls. Make sure they don’t get to the archers. Am I clear?”

“Yes sir!”

“Good. Now I’ll introduce you to the rest of the squad.”

The introductions didn’t take long. There were supposed to be a total of twenty-five soldiers in a squad, but right now they were at nineteen, with Garkhen. Two of the empty spots were just because Telarnen didn’t keep all his squads at full strength, but the others were wounded from last night. Once they had been introduced, Sgt. Gerim ran them through a few drills. Garkhen… did not perform very well at them. Eventually the Sergeant dismissed them.

“You’ve never been a soldier.” His tone of voice made it clear he wasn’t asking a question.

Garkhen answered anyway. “No, sir.”

“Well now is not the time…” The Sergeant shook his head. “But the Captain wouldn’t have assigned you to me if he thought you’d be a liability. Just… make sure not to hit anyone on our side with anything.”

“I will not, sir,” Garkhen replied, stiffly.

“Dismissed.”

********

Garkhen is… definitely not a trained soldier. Nor even a trained warrior, really. He was much more interested in the more… scholarly portions of his training.

Chapter 8-4

Captain Telarnen wasn’t hard to find. Garkhen simply had to follow the constant stream of messengers heading into the area that was now the headquarters of the Ferdunan forces, state his purpose to a couple sentries, and soon enough he was ushered in to see the Captain.

Telarnen looked closely at the young half-dragon as he entered. “Private Garkhen. I hadn’t expected to see you today. What do you need?”

“I am requesting reassignment, sir,” Garkhen replied, holding out the message from Lt. Ailill.

Silently, the Captain took the rolled-up parchment, untied the string, unrolled it, and read. After a few moments, he said, “I see.” Suddenly he smiled. “It seems that Lt. Ailill’s hunch was correct. Though you lasted longer than he thought you would.”

“Sir?” Garkhen was taken a bit by surprise by this.

“He said from the beginning that you wouldn’t be content to stay behind the lines,” the Captain explained. “Though I believe his explanation of why changed over time. Regardless, Private, I approve your request.”

He motioned to one of his aides, who soon brought inkwell, quill and parchment. As he did so, Captain Telarnen continued speaking.

“I will assign you to Sergeant Gerim’s squad. You’ve met him, and his squad is taking a watch on the walls tonight. He’ll no doubt appreciate another soldier in his squad, and he’s been with the Company long enough he can fill you in on everything you may not have learned under Lt. Ailill. For now, though, you should go get some rest. You’ll have your orders shortly, but you’re not going to do anyone any good without some sleep. Tonight…” his voice dropped, “Will likely be another long night.”

*******

This was a fairly busy week, so I’m afraid you’ll have to make do with a short post. It’s a good section for a single post, though, since it’s pretty much a single scene.