Chapter 2: Dangerous Cargo
“Should’ve known there was something more going on. ‘Course, at th’ time, suppose I was… not thinking straight. Hate magic like that. Messing with your head. Shouldn’t be something someone can do t’ you. Man’s mind should be his own.”
Before Garkhen could respond, a loud shriek interrupted them. Almonihah looked up, then stood as he saw Zakhin’Dakh charging towards the door.
Calm down, Zakhin’Dakh, he called out in Great Eagle. They’re trying to help.
The two druids were looking behind themselves nervously at the huge griffon that was suddenly looming over them.
“’t’s all right,” Almonihah said in the Common tongue this time. “Nobody’s trying to hurt me. No enemies here.” He paused, then glared at Garkhen. “Better not be, at least.”
Okay… Zakhin’Dakh screeched uncertainly, settling down on his haunches, clearly still wanting to keep an eye on what was going on with his friend.
Garkhen gazed back at Almonihah. “I certainly have no intention to aid the Mad God,” he stated, evenly. “As with the other gods, Bahamut stood with Naishia against him.”
Almonihah snorted, but before he could say more the Ranger commander interjected, “And from what Llitthos says, you must have his blessing to still be yourself. Now, let’s not throw around accusations. We have a problem to solve.”
“Right,” the elven druid said. “I think… we’ll need to gather more of the circle. The three of us,” he nodded at his companion and at Garkhen, “Can keep it contained here, but we’re going to want something… mobile.”
“So you’re saying you can’t do something about it here,” the Commander prompted.
Llitthos nodded. “Perhaps one of the others might have an idea. However, I rather suspect that unraveling this magic will take a wizard’s talents, not a priest’s. It seems to be warded specifically against divine power.”
The Ranger Commander frowned. “Well, we’ll call the circle together. I hope you’re wrong, Llitthos, but if not…”she turned to the two half-dragons. “I can’t say I like letting two strangers carry this thing around, but you got it here, and you both are telling the truth.”
Almonihah nodded, his head-frill stiffening slightly as he noted the certainty in her tone. Was there some kind of truth magic going on she hadn’t mentioned?
“You’ll need to take this and have it examined by some wizard you can trust. We’ll do what we can for you, but…” she shook her head slightly, “I can’t spare any druids from the Line here, and I don’t think I could pry a Ranger free as quickly as you’d need, either. So it will be the two of you.”
Zakhin’Dakh screeched from outside. Almonihah grinned. “He said three.”
The Commander’s eyebrows rose. “Right, three. Now, then… it will take a couple of days, and I’d rather not have that thing sitting on my doorstep the whole time. Can we move it?”
Llitthos hesitated. “I believe… with the Warder’s help, and if we prepare a place, we should be able to temporarily. If you would…” he looked expectantly at the blue-scaled half-dragon.
“Garkhen. And yes.” He narrowed his eyes, focusing on his connection to his god. His symbol glowed brighter.
Llitthos nodded. “I shall go prepare, then.”
I debated about putting the chapter break here, but decided I wanted to shift more to Almonihah’s point of view, and thought it appropriate to do a chapter break for that.