Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: January 2014

Chapter 11-3

The lightning lanced through the air, blasting through two of the smaller Infernals. They howled in surprised pain, the holy power infused in the lightning searing them worse than the electricity itself. Garkhen gritted his teeth as a wave of fatigue washed over him, then jumped as a blinding flash of light exploded in front of him. The injured demons fell to the ground, and some of those following them roared as they too were burned by sacred light. The young half-dragon was peripherally aware of other explosions and roars further away, but then the first of the troll-like Infernals roared and charged at him.

Garkhen raised his shield as it swung a huge claw towards him. He felt the impact first with on his wards, as they stole the force of the blow, and only then on his shield. Despite being robbed of much of its power, Garkhen still grunted as the strike drove his shield arm back against his chest. More worrisome, however, was the fact that the demon was still moving forward, a raising a clawed foot to stomp down upon him.

But red-scaled foot met sacred blade as the Champion of Mashano to Garkhen’s left stepped forward. The Infernal howled in unearthly pain as silver light scorched its flesh around the huge gash in its foot. It stumbled backward, overbalanced, and fell on its back. The heavy thud of its fall was lost in the crashes and roars of combat as other Infernals met armed men to either side of the Warder.

He saw the Wyre leaping forward, his claws glowing green as they slashed at one of the smaller Infernals. The armored Champion was stepping forward, slashing through another demon as he sought to finish the one he had felled before it could stand once again. But for himself, Garkhen found that he now had to focus almost entirely upon the wards he had set. He felt every blow and blast of dark flame that rained upon his companions, and the wear of channeling Bahamut’s power to weaken the attacks was quickly draining his stamina.

One of the smaller Infernals darted through the battle and leaped at Garkhen. He did not have time to get his shield up before the demon landed on him, claws screeching on his armor and fangs struggling to find purchase around his throat as it knocked him to the ground. With a clawed hand of his own, Garkhen desperately struggled to fight back, scratching at his foe, trying to grab it and pull it off of himself.

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BWAHAHACliffhangergoodnight!

Chapter 11-2

The Infernals were still in sight in the distance. The champion of Mashano was staring at them. He grumbled, “Why do they stand there? Why do they not attack?”

The Wyre spoke. “They haven’t exactly shown the best tactical sense so far. Their timing for their attack was rather poor, for earlier or later and they might have well trapped one of our armies against the other, instead of getting between us. Perhaps they don’t recognize the opportunity to attack while we get ready.”

It had not occurred to Garkhen to think of that. It was odd, somehow, thinking that the Infernals might be unskilled in warfare. They were, after all, savage and evil. But he supposed that did not make one tactically knowledgeable.

“I’m not complaining, either,” the Wyre continued. “I certainly hope it’s true, because the only other reason I can think of is that this is a trap.”

The champion grunted. “And where is that dragon that was with you? It does not seem that fire magic would be of use here, but his claws and teeth would.”

The Wyre simply shrugged in response. He opened his mouth to speak, but then a shout came from down the line. It was time to move out.

They marched forward in their small squads, warily watching for ambushes. None materialized. Only the growling, roaring, shouting lines of Infernals outside the walls of Elifort could be seen. As Garkhen approached, he could see that they were not truly so numerous—there were perhaps a couple hundred of them. But that was more than they had faced earlier, and there were a greater number of larger ones.

As they neared, Garkhen began chanting, calling upon Bahamut, weaving wards against fire and claw around his squad. He could hear other voices doing likewise, calling upon gods or magical energies to protect or prepare an attack.

Whether because they heard their foes preparing for battle, or because the names of goodly gods drove them to wrath, the Infernals before them roared and charged towards them. His preparations complete, Garkhen observed those that were making for his squad. Several smaller ones, only slightly larger than a man, as well as a pair of troll-sized ones, and one even larger quadrupedal beast. They outnumbered and out-massed his squad, but the young Warder felt no fear.

Instead, he loosened his grip on his shield, grasped his symbol of Bahamut, and brought it up before his face. As the two swiftest Infernals neared, he chanted a brief spell-prayer, inhaled… and then exhaled a bolt of lightning through his symbol.

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And so another battle begins! But it’s late now, so I’m going to bed.

Chapter 11-1

Chapter 11: Shield and Claw

“What is honor? That is… a difficult question to answer well, for honor is fundamentally an individual matter. So, it is better that I answer what honor is to me.”

“To me, honor is to defend others, to stand between the civilized world of peace and whatever would threaten it, be that demon, monster, or evil men. It is to be compassionate to those who suffer, to be a beacon to those without hope, to bring light into this world.”

“Whether or not my efforts are ever recognized, this is honor to me.”

Garkhen stood with a half-dozen other soldiers… though they, like he, were rather unorthodox soldiers. One was a champion of Mashano, a warrior encased in armor and wielding a huge, glowing, two-handed sword. Another was a sort of tiger-man, who Garkhen learned was what was called a Wyre. Apparently, he was like the wolf-woman he had seen amongst the leaders of the Rebels, a person chosen of Naishia and blessed with the ability to assume the strengths and form of an animal, as well as this intermediate form. He wondered, briefly, if perhaps there were some that could turn into sparrows or some such innocuous creatures, and if that had been a factor in the Rebels’ scouting abilities.

His other companions were unusual in similar manners, all expert warriors or priests. In some ways, Garkhen felt out of place… and yet, he knew this was where he was meant to be. He only prayed that Bahamut would give him the power to help fight the Infernals before them, and that his armor would keep him alive to do so.

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Well, here we are, the start of another chapter! Likely one more chapter will wrap up this war, and then a few more will bring us up to the point where we’ll meet some old friends… 😉