Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: February 2014

Chapter 12-2

The sun was already halfway up the eastern sky when Garkhen arose. He stretched, feeling for the consequences of the last day’s battle, but felt nothing. Indeed, he felt rested and whole, just as if he had not been injured or even exerted himself yesterday. Thinking on it, the half-dragon could only conclude that his healing spell-prayer the day before had been more powerful than he had thought. Perhaps Bahamut had lent it extra power.

Whatever the case, he felt well enough that he could fight again today. He donned his armor, gathered his equipment, and left the tent. The mid-morning sun shone brightly in a clear sky, reflecting brilliantly off of his armor. Looking about, he could see Lt. Ailill coming towards him.

“Private Garkhen,” the elf began as he neared, “I assume you have enough sense not to wear armor while wounded.”

“Yes, sir,” Garkhen replied. “I am fully recovered.”

“Hmm.” Ailill sounded unconvinced. He looked carefully at Garkhen. Finally he said, “Very well, Private. I will… accept your self-diagnosis.”

He paused a moment longer, then called an aide over. “Take Private Garkhen to the command pavilion.” The lieutenant turned back to Garkhen. “You are to report there if you are well enough to fight. I trust if you think otherwise, you’ll report back to me.”

“Yes, sir,” Garkhen responded, then followed his guide through the camp.

It did not take long to reach their destination. Familiar faces waited there, as well as many that were less than familiar. It seemed that all who had fought the Infernals yesterday had again been gathered for this day’s battles. Soon Garkhen was again with those he had fought with the previous day. The Wyre grinned at him.

“Good to see you again, Garkhen,” he said.

“And you as well,” Garkhen nodded at him. “I, ah, fear I never asked your name.”

“It’s Tirel,” the tiger-man said, extending a hand. Garkhen reached up and shook it. “I guess you don’t know any of our names, do you?”

At Garkhen’s head-shake, Tirel started pointing at the other members of their group. “That’s Jesil, the warrior of Mashano, there’s Khera, the mage, and that’s Mirthin, the master archer. Quite the little collection, aren’t we?”

******

Nooooo, it’s not an adventuring party…

Chapter 12-1

Chapter 12: An End to War

“One of the great—ironies is perhaps not the right word, but it shall do—of my life is that I loathe war, yet I often engage in conflict. Indeed, it would not be inaccurate to say I seek it out.”

“Why is this? It is quite simple. I have been blessed with great physical strength and hardiness by my heritage, and Bahamut has blessed me with his power. If I were not to use these gifts in the defense of those without such, I would feel myself guilty of their blood should they fall due to the lack of my protection.”

“While this is true… I do long for peace, at times. To be able to settle, to read, to have a home… but while evil threatens the lives of the innocent, I cannot be still.”

****

Apologies for the short, late post. Ironically, it’s because I’ve been writing so much elsewhere–both software for homework, and for my characters in some role-plays I’m doing with friends.

Chapter 11-5

Garkhen awoke suddenly. It was dark, but that was no difficulty for his draconic eyes. He sat up and looked around. He did not recognize where he was for a moment, but as he awakened more fully, he realized that it must be a small tent that had been set up for him. Or perhaps it had already been prepared for the care of the wounded. Whatever the case, he was sitting on a bedroll, with a large chest next to him. He opened it, and was glad to find his armor and other equipment neatly stored within.

The hazy memory of waking up to Lt. Ailill’s voice returned to him. So he was clearly under the care of the healers. Carefully he got up. His stomach growled, and Garkhen realized he was quite famished. He spoke the word for his armor, and waited as the pieces took their places. Given the darkness, it must be night, which was likely why no one had yet noticed he was awake.

Once he was fully equipped, he lifted the tent flap and stepped outside. He could see he was in the midst of the camp, but few fires burned. It was a cloudy night, so there was little enough light around. There were other small tents nearby, and beyond them a small fire. Feeling the emptiness of his stomach, he walked towards the fire as quietly as he could.

Quietly for a half-dragon half-dwarf in full plate mail is… not very quiet. While he hoped he had not disturbed any who were sleeping, he had not even made his way into the light of the fire before he could see a young human female looking over in his direction.

“Oh!” She said as she saw him. “We didn’t think you would awake before morning. Master Ailill said you had exhausted yourself quite thoroughly, on top of your wounds.”

She frowned, odd shadows playing across her face in the firelight. “You should not be wearing armor with those wounds!”

“Ah…” Garkhen paused. He had not thought of that. “They… do not pain me.”

The healer pointed sternly at a stool by the fire. “Sit, where I can take a look.”

Obediently, Garkhen sat by the fire. The healer looked him over, her expression growing increasingly confused.

“I was told you had many cuts through your armor,” she said at last. “Where are they?”

Surprised, Garkhen looked at himself as well as he could. His armor seemed pristine, as if it had been freshly forged, not as if it had been torn at by demons the day before.

“Ah… It would seem that my armor has repaired itself,” he said, uncertainly. After a moment’s pause, he added, “I believe my injuries were here, and here, and here, and on my tail,” he indicated several different locations on himself. “But truly, they are not troubling me.”

The healer slowly shook her head in disbelief. After a few seconds, she said, “Well, then, what do you need?”

“I am feeling rather hungry,” Garkhen said, with a slight smile. “I suspect it was my appetite that awakened me.”

She nodded. “Well, you have been asleep for many hours. We do have some bread and dried meats, and I could warm some broth…”

“The bread and meat will be sufficient, I think,” Garkhen replied, not wanting to make her do unnecessary work.

She went over to a nearby tent, entered, then came out with a plate with the bread and meat upon it. Garkhen took it with a word of thanks and ate quietly. Once the healer was certain he was well, she moved off to check on a few other patients.

While he ate, Garkhen wondered briefly at his armor. He had not thought about it before, but its ability to repair itself was truly remarkable. He wished he knew more of its history. Surely it had served in other battles than those ancient ones Solkh’Tolkharkha had told him of.

Once he was done eating, the half-dragon found himself feeling weary again. When the healer returned, he told her he was returning to bed. She watched him go with a look of concern, but said only that he should check his wounds.

When he was back in the tent, he again took off his armor, thinking briefly that it was odd he had even put it on. But as he realized just how much of a treasure it was, he found he was increasingly reluctant to let it out of his sight. Once it was done, he checked over himself, and found that his wounds were already mostly healed. Garkhen wondered if his earlier healing spell-prayer had been a more powerful one than he had thought. But then weariness told him it was time for sleep, and so he lay down again and drifted off.

*******

Garkhen goes to sleep, and so do I. Good night!

Chapter 11-4

Then he realized something—with his build and armor, he likely weighed much more than the Infernal. Managing to free his hand from his shield, he was able to grasp it with both hands and roll over, mostly pinning it beneath his weight. It squealed in pain and bit desperately at any part of him it could reach, until Garkhen exhaled a bolt of lighting into its face. He grimaced as fatigue (and a few bits of Infernal) washed over him, then realized that, while he had been preoccupied with his own safety, he had let his wards lapse.

Quickly he got to his feet and looked about him, ready to refresh his wards—but it seemed it was unnecessary. The remaining demons were in full retreat, less than half of their number surviving. Surprised, Garkhen looked about. The first thing he noticed was a huge red dragon off on one flank of their forces, just coming to a landing by the disintegrating corpse of what he supposed was an Infernal it had savaged. He wondered, idly, if the dragon was also a follower of Bahamut.

As he looked more closely at his surroundings, he realized that he must have lost track of time as well as his surroundings while focusing upon his wards. He started to take a step forward, only to stumble and fall to one knee. He noticed there was blood on his armor. Slowly, the thought percolated through his brain that the Infernals didn’t leave blood behind, so this must be his own. It seemed his foe’s attacks had not been as ineffectual as he had thought.

He fumbled for his holy symbol and murmured a weak spell-prayer to stop the bleeding. His mind seemed to grow even fuzzier as he finished it. Exhausted, Garkhen simply knelt, dully gazing at the ground, the thought that he ought to be doing something dripping through his mind like molasses.

“Garkhen, right? Let me help you up.” A striped paw-hand suddenly intruded into his view of the ground.

Slowly, the half-dragon raised one hand and took the proffered help. He noted idly that his hand was larger than the tiger-man’s. There was a loud grunt as the Wyre pulled on Garkhen’s hand.

“You’re… quite heavy… aren’t you?” The tiger-man panted as he helped Garkhen to his feet.

“I am… sorry…” Garkhen murmured.

He felt a hand slap on his shoulder. “Nothing to be sorry about. All that muscle and armor certainly seems to have helped today, though I think your magic helped more.”

“Bahamut’s… power…” he mumbled. Glancing up at the Wyre, he noticed blood. “You are… injured.”

“And you are in no condition to do something about it,” He replied, gently steering Garkhen back towards the camp. “I’ve stopped the bleeding. I’ll be fine. But you definitely need some help.”

Garkhen nodded slightly, then focused on getting one foot in front of the other.

Soon enough he heard the sounds of the camp around him, but he was too exhausted to look up. As soon as he saw something that looked like some sort of bed in front of him, he collapsed, asleep almost before he hit the ground.

He awoke groggily to a voice. “Garkhen,” it called. “Garkhen!”

Blearily, he opened an eye part-way. He could vaguely make out Lt. Ailill above him.

“Private, your armor has been quite insistent about not coming off,” the elven healer said once he saw his patient was awake. “I can’t tend your wounds properly with it on, and I don’t think you’ll like how much worse it will make your bruises feel in the morning. Now, if you…”

Garkhen mumbled the command word, and felt his armor starting to take itself off of him. Somehow, it even gently slid out from under the side he was laying on.

Lt. Ailill waited until the clatter of armor ceased, then continued, “Good. Now, Private…”

But Garkhen was already asleep again.

*********

Garkhen is really not skilled in combat, but he’s built like a four-foot-nine-inch tall gorilla and wears the fantastic equivalent of tank armor, so he manages in a melee. He does eventually learn to not wipe himself out in every battle, but it takes him a while. It’s as much a matter of learning to channel Bahamut’s power with more finesse so as to drain himself less as it is a matter of learning restraint, though.