Garkhen found griffon-riding to be a rather… uncomfortable experience. The saddle was clearly made for someone of Almonihah’s dimensions, rather than his own, and there was certainly no allowance for a tail. Still, he was grateful that he was in the saddle, as opposed to the bronze-scaled Ranger, who was simply laying down and holding on to the back of the saddle. He wondered why Almonihah did not simply fly with his own wings, but thought it best not to ask.
They flew for a while, and then Zakhin’Dakh shrieked something above the roar of the wind. Almonihah grimaced as the griffon slowed.
“’Nother Javni’Tolkhrah. Flying one,” he growled. “Zakhin’Dakh ‘ll sort ‘t out.”
After a moment the griffon shriek-roared and dove suddenly. Garkhen clutched at the saddle as the air rushed past him, and caught a brief glimpse of a bat-like monstrosity before Zakhin’Dakh plowed into it, tearing and biting. It made an odd, wailing screech, and soon was dropping to the ground.
Almonihah patted one hand on Zakhin’Dakh’s flank, saying something to which the griffon replied with an enthusiastic screech. Then he looked up at Garkhen.
“Feel better ‘f we burned th’ corpse, but I think ‘t’s better t’ get t’ the Ranger Order faster.”
“Why is this?” Garkhen asked.
“Don’t like letting th’ animals eat something corrupted by Jivenesh,” Almonihah growled in reply.
Garkhen nodded silently in understanding.
They flew for most of the day, stopping a few times to let Zakhin’Dakh rest, hunt, and drink. Almonihah offered nothing to Garkhen, but he was well-provisioned, so the half-blue dragon did not complain. As the sun sunk low in the sky, the Ranger spoke again to his friend, and they descended into a small valley.
“We’ll camp here,” he said, and immediately went about taking gear off of Zakhin’Dakh, leaving Garkhen to scramble to dismount before the saddle was unbuckled from beneath him.
He pitched his own tent while Almonihah cared for the griffon, suspecting (rightly) that he would be fending for himself in this thing. Once both of them had prepared for the night, Garkhen spoke.
“I have been setting wards for myself while I have been traveling, given the frequency of attacks by the Madness-Touched. I believe that this precaution is still necessary, yes?”
Almonihah stared suspiciously at Garkhen for a long moment, then muttered, “Go ahead.”
He watched closely as the Warder set his wards, enough so that Garkhen wondered if he actually understood anything he was doing. He did not say anything further, however, instead turning to Zakhin’Dakh and speaking a little. Then the griffon flew off to hunt again.
The two half-dragons did not speak that evening as each prepared his own meal. The silence made Garkhen uncomfortable, but he rather suspected his companion would not respond well to attempts at conversation. And so instead, he listened to the sounds of the wild mountains until Zakhin’Dakh returned. Not long after, he retired to his tent to sleep.
Awkward enough there, you two?