Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: December 2014

Chapter 3-3

Garkhen followed just in time to see Almonihah run up some stairs at the back of the room beyond to reach a trap door. The half-bronze dragon pushed against it, then shoved it with all his might, but it hardly moved.

 

“Stuck something on top ‘f it!” Almonihah growled. He stepped back a bit, took a deep breath, and exhaled a bolt of lightning.

 

It struck the trap door right next to its hinge, blasting a smoldering hole in it. This was followed quickly by the door collapsing inwards. Almonihah leaped aside just in time to avoid the large rock that fell through and crashed into the stairs. 

 

“Thought it was heavy,” he commented before lifting himself up on top of the stone and then outside. Garkhen followed as quickly as he could.

 

They came out in a back alley near the city gates. Almonihah was growling again.

 

“Must’ve left town,” he said, baring his teeth a bit. “Easier to find out there.”

 

Before Garkhen could catch his breath, Almonihah was on the move again, sprinting towards the gates… until he realized they were closed. He slowed to a stop, allowing the shorter-legged half-dragon to catch up to him.

 

“They must have gone elsewhere,” Garkhen pointed out, only slightly winded. Things had happened quickly… but they had not really traveled that far.

 

Almonihah snorted. “Yeah. Where?”

 

Garkhen shrugged slightly, armor creaking with the motion. “I do not know… and I believe the man whose cloak we used to track them thus far is… still within.”

 

The half-bronze dragon nodded slightly, nostrils flaring. “So what now…”

 

After a moment’s thought, Garkhen suggested, “The box and the amulet both have powerful magic. Perhaps they might be located by magic detection?”

 

Again Almonihah snorted. “’nd we’re supposed t’ go back to th’ wizards when it got stolen th’ night after we talked t’ them?”

 

Garkhen sighed. “I should have been more wary, yes. But what other option do we have? We must retrieve the amulet as soon as possible, and I think we have reached the limits of our own efforts.”

 

Grudgingly the Ranger nodded. “So now…”

 

Garkhen turned to look back the way they came. “No doubt the city watch is now at the inn. We will have to answer for our actions this night…” 

 

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This post is shorter because I was busy losing to my brother in Beyond Earth today. 😀 

 

But yes, this isn’t going to be resolved quickly or easily. Especially since now Almonihah and possibly Garkhen might be accused of murder. 

Chapter 3-2

Almonihah growled low in his throat. “I’ll go after them.” He turned and ran down the stairs and out of the inn.

 

Unfortunately, by the time he arrived, he saw no sign of the robed assailants. With a grimace, he took to the air, circling wider and higher, searching for any sign of them. He still hated flying, but this was too important to let that get in the way. But despite his search, he saw nothing that would indicate where they had gone. And so he landed and looked closely at the ground… there! Where one of them had jumped from Garkhen’s window, he’d left footprints in the soft ground… but he had soon gotten onto cobblestones. Still, it gave him a direction.

 

Meanwhile Garkhen had looked around the room more thoroughly. The innkeeper had been up to see what the commotion was, and he had simply informed him that thieves had broken in and stolen some of his possessions. Once he was again alone, Garkhen had looked around the room again and noticed that there was a small piece of black cloth on the ground—likely torn off of one of the attacker’s robes while he had fought them. He knew a spell-prayer that could use such a thing…

 

Soon enough he was armed and armored, walking briskly out into the night. The piece of cloth floated above his outstretched hand, pointing the way to the rest of the robe. He had never thought he’d be using a ‘lost item’ type of spell-prayer in such a manner, but it seemed to be working.

 

He was startled to see Almonihah flying towards him. The half-bronze dragon landed beside him and followed as he led. Almonihah nodded at the floating piece of cloth.

 

“That’ll lead us to ’em?”

 

Garkhen nodded slightly in return. “At least to the robe this was torn from.”

 

“You make enough noise t’ let th’ whole town know you’re coming.”

 

“Let us hope they do not realize what it means.”

 

They hurried on in silence after that, save for the sounds of Garkhen’s armor. It was difficult to follow the direction of the spell, as they sometimes had to go around a house to another street to continue in the indicated direction. Eventually, however, they reached a house that the little piece of cloth pointed straight at no matter where they stood.

 

“Must’ve taken it in,” Almonihah commented.

 

“Yes. Now…”

 

Before Garkhen could finish his thought, Almonihah ran at the door, drawing Eldereth as he turned to strike it with his shoulder. He burst through in a shower of splinters as it broke around the door’s latch, and pointed his sword at the first person he saw within.

 

“You. Th’ men that came here. Where’d they go?”

 

Garkhen ran to catch up to him, hoping to head off whatever disaster looked imminent. As he did so, he caught a glimpse of the man the Ranger was threatening—a large man in a familiar dark robe, but what caught his eye was the hint of an iron chain around his neck.

 

The man looked down at Almonihah’s sword, which was now barely an inch from his throat, and then up at the half-dragon. He visibly swallowed.

 

“They… they went… downstairs.” He pointed to a doorway opposite him.

 

Without hesitation, Almonihah turned and went through. Garkhen paused a moment, considering the still-trembling man.

 

“I am afraid I cannot leave you here to your devices,” he said, raising his holy symbol. He uttered a spell-prayer, and his symbol flashed a bright silver light. When the light faded, the man was perfectly still. Garkhen took a moment to make certain he was truly locked in place, then followed Almonihah.

 

There was indeed a staircase down in the next room, but at the bottom was another door. Almonihah had clearly not had as much luck breaking through it as he had with the one upstairs, for he was now hacking at it with Eldereth. He looked up as Garkhen arrived.

 

“Might do better,” He said, nodding at the stocky half-blue dragon.

 

“Perhaps,” Garkhen agreed. He pulled out Silverflame, lifted it over his head with both hands, and brought it down with all his might. 

 

His mace smashed through the wood of the door, and then a swift kick finished its ruin. As soon as he was through, however, a bolt of fire soared out of the room beyond and struck him in the chest. Garkhen winced, but sent up a silent prayer of thanks for the enchantment on his armor that turned what would have been a searing flame to a comparatively mild heat. It still hurt, certainly, but it was not lethal.

 

Close your eyes! Garkhen shouted back to Almonihah in Draconic, then shouted another spell-prayer, this one flashing a brilliant light into the room ahead. 

 

When he opened his eyes, Garkhen could see three black-robed men in the room beyond, all clearly trying to recover from the blinding light. He charged ahead, and lacking a better option, punched the nearest of them in the gut with all his strength. The man fell back, striking his head on the wall as he did so, then crumpled to the ground. The half-blue dragon stared at him in shock for a moment, hoping that he had not just killed the man.

 

Almonihah, however, had no such compunctions. He charged past Garkhen, plunging Zithrandrak into the chest of one of the still-recovering men, and slashing the other with Eldereth. Once he was certain none of them were still a threat, he started searching them and the room, looking for the Amulet. 

 

“Almonihah!” Garkhen exclaimed, the shock of what he had seen enough to refocus him. “You… killed those men!”

 

Almonihah gave him a strange look. “They tried t’ kill you first.” He went back to searching.

 

“But…” Garkhen was at a loss for words.

 

Suddenly Almonihah looked up. “Someone else here,” he said, and charged through a doorway in the back of the room.

 

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Almonihah is not a nice guy.

 

Also, I think this shows more clearly than usual the fact that Almonihah and Garkhen are, quite frankly, superhuman. Draezolnian dragons tell the laws of physics to pack up and leave, and while half-dragons aren’t as good at it as full dragons, both Almonihah and Garkhen are stronger and tougher than should be possible with their muscle mass. And both of them are quite fit to begin with.

And yes, Garkhen is actually stronger than Almonihah, despite being two feet shorter than him.

Chapter 3-1

Chapter 3: Loss

“Righteousness does not mean that all things will go right, only that we do right with the circumstances we are given. Often this means coping with the consequences of the unwise choices of others. In such cases, I prefer to assume ignorance or folly to actual malice, and even in cases of proven evil strive to bring to the paths of light. But… I fear there are times when to allow evil to happen is a greater evil than causing harm to those who would commit the evil.”

The first warning Garkhen had was of his alarm ward being triggered.

 

It took him just a moment to reorient himself. He was in the inn… they had returned there after showing the Amulet to Maritha’s colleagues, as it had been rather late. Almonihah had gone off to see to Zakhin’Dakh, returning late in the night. And Garkhen had felt he should ward his room…

 

He now saw it was wise. The intruders had thrown open the door when his alarm ward had started sounding, and he only just had time to grab his mace before they were upon them. He didn’t have time to count, but there were at least three robed men. Then one was upon him with a knife, and Garkhen had no more time to observe.

 

He fell back out of his bed as he dodged the first slash, then caught the man’s wrist when he tried for another. The half-blue dragon squeezed, applying his superhuman strength, and his assailant cried out and dropped his weapon. Then Garkhen felt a sharp blow on his back, and turned to face another foe, who was cursing as he saw the Warder turn to face him. 

 

Garkhen had no desire to kill these men, despite their obvious intent to harm him. And so, instead of activating Silverflame’s power and swinging, the thrust it into the second would-be assassin’s gut, knocking the wind out of him. Then he punched him in the face. He feared for a moment that he struck too hard when his foe stumbled backward, but he heard the other one behind him moving and had to turn to face him again.

 

However, he found he did not have to defend himself against another attack, for the man was fleeing now. Whirling again he saw the other attacker throw himself out of the window of Garkhen’s room. He turned again and ran out into the hall, just in time to see Almonihah running over to him.

“Th’ Amulet!” The half-bronze dragon almost shouted.

 

In horror, Garkhen realized his companion was right. What other reason could they have for their assault? Hoping against reason he knelt and examined his pack. After a frantic search he stood back up and solemnly shook his head.

 

“They have taken it.” 

 

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Sorry for the late post. I had fun yesterday with setting up my shiny new computer. 🙂

 

And yes, Garkhen did pay for a nice inn room, while Almonihah did not. 

Chapter 2-7

Garkhen recognized one of the soldiers at the gates of Elifort, though it was clear that both recognized him. The Warder felt vaguely embarrassed by how much his reputation had clearly grown in the telling as they spoke with him, but they were more than happy to point the two half-dragons towards where the remaining wizards in the city had set up shop.

 

Almonihah was clearly unaccustomed to the kind of attention they drew as they walked through town. People would walk up and greet Garkhen, asking for confirmation of rumors of him single-handedly defeating twenty Infernals or other such exaggerated deeds. The half-blue dragon corrected the stories in good humor. For his own part, Almonihah noted just how much respect his new companion clearly had… and wasn’t sure how he felt about it.

 

If he were perfectly frank… he was a bit jealous. After dealing with suspicion or outright hatred in many places, seeing this kind of treatment was like rubbing salt on old wounds. But at the same time, he had to admit, this was not the reception of someone evil. Unless the half-blue dragon were very good at hiding his true nature, Almonihah had to admit to himself that he had probably been wrong to so mistrust his fellow half-dragon. And yet… it was not so easy.

 

“Just what’d you do?” Almonihah growled to Garkhen when they had a quiet moment.

 

“I was one of a number of champions who faced the head of the Infernals during the war not too long ago,” Garkhen replied, gazing off into the distance rather than meeting the Ranger’s eyes. “My… heritage makes me rather recognizable even to those who never met me, and of course brings the interest of bards, so I have gained something of a reputation over time.”

 

He looked up at his companion with a bit of a grin. “My heritage also made me of interest to mages, which will now aid in our cause, will it not?”

 

Almonihah snorted in grudging agreement, but said nothing more.

 

The place the guards had directed them to was a large home across the street from the ruined temple of Mashano, where the story the pair had just been discussing took place. Garkhen shook his head slightly as he looked at it. 

 

“Still we do not know just what happened or how…” he murmured. “No doubt this is why the wizards are working here… and I must wonder if this amulet did not have something to do with it.”

 

Almonihah grunted in agreement. “Maybe.”

 

A single guard stood at attention by the door as the two half-dragons approached. Garkhen did not recognize him, but it was clear he recognized Garkhen.

 

“Say, you’re the half-dragon champion… Grekhin, was it?”

 

“Ah, Garkhen, yes,” the half-blue dragon replied, “And this is Almonihah, a Ranger. We had hoped to consult with some of the mages here, if we might?”

 

The guard nodded, smiling. “I’m sure they’d be glad to speak with you!” He turned and opened the door, spoke briefly to someone inside, then turned back to them. “All right, come on in!”

 

As they passed, Almonihah heard the soldier murmuring to himself, “Not one, but two! Never thought I’d see even one half-dragon in my life…”

 

A servant greeted them in the small antechamber within the grand home, and directed them to a sitting room, then ducked out with a bow. Soon he returned, leading a woman in deep purple robes.

 

“Greetings, greetings, good sirs!” She said, taking a seat across the room. “I am Archivist Maritha. You,” she pointed at Garkhen, “I know by reputation, but I’m afraid I have no knowledge of you,” she pointed at Almonihah. “However, based on what I know of Garkhen, I suspect you’re here for something important. Am I correct?”

 

Almonihah snorted, surprised (pleasantly) by the Archivist’s straightforward approach. Garkhen seemed a bit more taken aback, but quickly recovered, grinning slightly.

 

“I am indeed Garkhen, Archivist, and this is Almonihah, a Ranger. You are correct that we are here on a matter of great import, as well. To explain, after the end of the war, I spent some time investigating the castle here in Elifort. While doing so, I stumbled upon on odd amulet, which seemed to be fashioned of some sort of multihued, rough stone wrapped in chains. As soon as I placed it in my pack, I completely forgot about its existence.”

 

Archivist Maritha’s expression grew concerned, but she did not interrupt as Garkhen continued. “I carried it unknowing until shortly after I met Almonihah. When he learned that I had been attacked quite frequently by Madness-Touched beasts, he grew suspicious, and took me to meet the Commander of the Southern Ranger Order. When we arrived, the amulet… reacted to the wards set by the Rangers, which allowed me to remember its existence. Their druids examined it, and while they have not been able to divine its purpose, they have confirmed that it seems somehow to be connected to the chaotic power of Jivenesh. However, they were not able to discern a method by which it might be destroyed. Instead we have fashioned a container warded sufficiently to quarantine its powers, and have come in hopes that a more permanent solution might be discovered.”

 

The mage’s voice was as solemn as her face as she responded. “This is grave news indeed you bring, though if you found it in the castle here, it is likely connected to the mysteries we have sought to uncover here. Might I see the amulet?”

 

Garkhen nodded, and pulled its box out of his pack. As he did so, the Archivist murmured a quiet spell. Holding it in front of himself, he opened it slightly. Maritha gasped slightly and anxiously waved a hand.

 

“Close it! Close it up again, please.”

 

Garkhen obliged, and the Archivist breathed a slight sigh of relief. “That is, indeed, the most powerful source of chaotic magic I have ever had the displeasure to encounter, and containing such creations is my specialty. Speaking of which…”

 

She frowned in thought for a moment, then shook her head slightly. “I don’t remember. I’m sure it will come back to me later.”

 

It was Garkhen’s turn to look concerned. “Is it possible the amulet’s powers are blocking your memory as it did mine?”

 

Maritha cocked her head to one side slightly, then shook it. “No, I’m pretty sure this is just me getting old.” She laughed a bit—Almonihah noted that she hardly looked middle-aged for a human. “There was just… a little something in the aura that seemed familiar from somewhere. If I dared take a closer look at it, I’d probably be able to remember what it was, but we need more power in the room in case something happens before I’d dare let you open that box again. Let me go round up my colleagues here and we’ll see what we can do.”

 

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There, a little longer of a post to make up for last week. 

 

I wish I’d covered more of how Almonihah and Garkhen dealt with townsfolk and such before, but… I never did. Oh, well.

No post today, sorry

I’m afraid I’ve been working on a project for school this weekend (I know, terrible), so I haven’t written anything to post. However, if you check out Zakhin’Dakh’s character page, you might see something new… 😉