Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: April 2014

Chapter 13-4

Lt. Ailill was quiet for a long moment, before quietly saying, “That is quite the gift you’ve been given there, Garkhen. I would advise that you take every precaution with it. That armor would be worth a very great deal of money to the unscrupulous.”

The half-dragon nodded slightly. He was well aware of just what he had been entrusted with—even more aware than Ailill, even if he hadn’t known about all the things it could do.

After another long pause, Ailill said, “Now rest up. You’ll want to be on your feet soon.”

Garkhen’s eyes widened a bit as a thought occurred to him. “The others…?”

The healer paused on his way out of the room, and turned back to look at Garkhen. “Those who were with you all survived, and in better shape than you. If you ask about the army as a whole… it was war, and a terrible one. But it would have been worse were it not for the destruction of their leader. Some of the demons just disappeared in the middle of combat, and some seemed weakened. As far as we can tell, it happened when you defeated the one in the former Cathedral.”

“I see…” Garkhen breathed.

“Now rest. That’s an order.”

“Yes, sir.” Garkhen smiled slightly as the door closed.

It was almost a week after the battle before Garkhen could leave his room. Once he’d been able to manage sitting up, the young half-dragon had been ravenous, as if he had to make up for all the meals he’d missed while asleep. Lt. Ailill thought it a good sign, and it seemed that provisions were plentiful. Garkhen tried not to think about why that might be.

His first shaky trip to the mess hall was… quite an experience. As soon as he saw other soldiers—well, others than the healers—he noticed they stood at attention and saluted him, their expressions a little awed. Garkhen felt a bit embarrassed, but mostly was just focused on walking. He wasn’t quite sure how it had been so easy before, but he supposed a week spent mostly lying down would do that.

A cheer greeted his entry into the mess hall, and the healer escorting him had to speak rather sternly to the soldiers who tried to crowd around him. Instead, the table he sat at was soon filled, with only a little space around him won by the healer’s glares.

For the moment, they left him in peace, but he could hear the rumors flying around him.

“…twenty feet tall! And he smashed its head off with his mace, then its corpse fell on him!”

“…and that tiger-man wrestled with it, until the paladin got his holy symbol in its face…”

Each story seemed more exaggerated than the last, though they all seemed to agree on the core idea that he and the small group he had been with had fought something very large and important, and it was their victory over it that had resulted in the sudden turning of the tide of battle. While he was glad that meant they no longer looked at him like he might suddenly jump on someone and try to bite their face off, he wasn’t sure he preferred this attention. Well, it was better, admittedly, but he still didn’t like it.

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Garkhen is not good in large groups. Something about mostly being around one dragon for most of his life, I suppose.

Chapter 13-3

The next time he awoke it was light, and Lt. Ailill was in the room, speaking with the healer from before.

“…mostly just the effects of fatigue, now,” Ailill was saying. “All we can do now is give him food and water when he wakes, and trust his stubbornness will see him through.”

Garkhen moved slightly, and both healers turned to him.

“You’re awake, Private,” Ailill stated. He turned to the other healer and nodded, and she hurried out.

Lt. Ailill turned back to Garkhen. “Do you feel like you can speak?”

“A little,” the half-dragon replied, his voice weak and scratchy.

Ailill nodded. “Good. You’re healing quickly, given that you just channeled enough magic through you to banish an incredibly powerful demon and then had a few tons of stone collapse on you.”

He shook his head slightly. “To be honest, Private Garkhen, even with that armor of yours I’m surprised you’re alive. But I suppose when you cross a dragon with a dwarf, I shouldn’t be surprised you’d be so stubborn about staying alive. And… I’m rather glad you are.”

Garkhen managed a small smile. “Thank you, sir,” he rasped.

The other healer returned with water and broth. Again Garkhen drank. He felt somewhat better when he was done—enough that he could look around a bit more. The room he was in was plain and unadorned, but clearly was in a well-built home.

“My armor?” The thought suddenly occurred to him that he was not wearing it.

“It was surprisingly willing to come off,” Ailill answered, giving Garkhen an odd look. “We packed it in a chest, which is now underneath this bed, along with your other belongings.”

Garkhen nodded, relieved. He wished to see it… but he could feel he did not yet have the strength. “It is… whole?”

“It was badly damaged when we dug you out of the rubble,” the elf replied, “But by the time we got it off you… I would not have known it had been used.”

Garkhen’s gasp of surprise informed him that he was still somewhat bruised. “I did not know…”

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Sorry I’m going through this so slowly. Just distracted by other writing projects.

Chapter 13-2

Garkhen felt a bit more cognizant the next time he awoke. He wasn’t in the lair anymore. He had been doing… something important. There was a war… undead… demons…

Slowly he pieced his memories back together. As he did so, his body slowly started to awaken, as well. It promptly informed him that it hurt. All of it. He groaned and shifted slightly. He realized he was laying on his side (which he usually did, his tail making laying on his back impractical). Had he fallen that way…?

No, he was on something soft… some sort of bed? He tried to force his eyes open. They did not want to obey, but slowly, he was able to convince one to open a bit. He could make out that he was in a dark room, but not the one in which they had fought the huge Infernal. Likely they had set up a healer’s area somewhere. Had Lt. Ailill seen to his wounds…?

He heard voices, and then a door opening. Light came into the room, throwing color onto what he had only been seeing in black-and-white, though stone walls were hardly much different in gray. He stirred slightly, trying to sit up or at least turn his head enough to see who had come in, but his body simply wouldn’t respond.

“He’s awake!” An unfamiliar voice said. After a moment a white-robed body entered his vision, shortly followed by an elven face as the person bent down.

“Good, your eyes are open! Can you speak?”

Garkhen tried to greet her, but could only manage a soft mumble. She nodded, smiling.

“Good, good. You must be very thirsty after three days.” She turned her head. “Mellaril, bring some water!”

He could hear footsteps as the elf turned back to him. “You’ve had everyone worried. The others who were with you told us about your part in banishing the chief demon. That was very brave.”

The thought slowly swam through Garkhen’s mind that she was speaking to him almost as if he were a child. Of course, at present, he hardly felt like he could think on more complex terms…

The footsteps returned. A clay mug appeared in his vision.

“Do you think you can open your mouth?”

Slowly, Garkhen was able to open his mouth slightly wider. The elf smiled, then turned her head to her assistant.

“Help me hold up his head.”

He felt strong hands gently pick up his head, and the elven healer slowly poured some water from the mug into his mouth. He swallowed, and she poured some more. It took two or three times for him to finish the water.

“Now, isn’t that better? Let’s try some broth next.”

The hands set him down, and he caught a brief glimpse of another white robe out of the corner of his eye. The healer with him talked of small things, the weather outside and the like, until the footsteps again returned. Then she gently fed him broth while the other healer held up his head. By the time all was done, he felt exhausted.

“There, now that you have a little something in you, you should start feeling better. But you look like you want to rest again.”

“Yes,” Garkhen managed to say, though his voice was hardly a whisper.

The elf beamed at him. “Good! Well, rest up. We’ll let your friends know you’re getting better.”

Footsteps, and the door closing, and then he was asleep again.

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So yeah, pretty boring post… but Garkhen’s not dead, and he somewhere safe! That’s good, right?

Chapter 13-1

Chapter 13: Soldier Without Battle

“War is a terrible thing. Its cost goes so far beyond the lives and limbs lost in battle. There are the cries of widows and orphans, the hunger of those whose fields were trampled, and the privation of those whose homes were destroyed.”

“Yet there is another cost, as well, oft-forgot in the more physical suffering caused by the sword. What becomes of the soldiers who lived? The thought of joyful reunions with family is true, but for many, there is no home remaining to go to, no world left to them outside the field of battle. Where do these go? What shall they do without war?”

Garkhen returned to consciousness slowly. It was dark and quiet. It must be time to get up for his morning studies. Solkh’Tolkharkha was probably already out sunning. Though usually he told his young charge to wake up before going outside. So maybe not… besides, he felt so heavy and tired…

He wasn’t sure how long it was before he started sluggishly waking up again. Funny that Solkh’Tolkharkha still hadn’t woken him up. Or… was there someone else who was supposed to wake him up? Something in the back of his head seemed to say so. But that was silly, wasn’t it? There wasn’t anyone else in the lair.

The lair, right? Wasn’t that where he was? Where else did he sleep? Maybe if he could get his eyes open he could see… but they were so heavy. Just like the rest of him. He couldn’t quite seem to muster the energy to move anything. For some reason, it seemed like that should bother him, but it didn’t. Maybe tomorrow…

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Sorry about the short, late post. I’ve been distracted and writing thousands of words on role-plays instead of here.