Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: July 2015

Chapter 7-3

The Druid nodded in sorrowful agreement. “There is much to mourn this day… but if you do not destroy the Amulet, our suffering this day will be as nothing. Please, go quickly, and may the Lady of Forests watch over you.”

They stayed only long enough for the druids to heal their wounds, and then the three companions moved on, in spite of fatigue and, in the case of Garkhen, unconsciousness. With the help of one of the remaining Rangers Almonihah had been able to get the half-blue dragon into a slightly more stable and comfortable position, but he showed no signs of rousing.

Zakhin’Dakh flew, if not swiftly, at least steadily. Almonihah gripped his saddle behind Garkhen, his own wings spread to, he hoped, reduce the load on his tired friend without straining his own already-weary muscles.

In spite of their efforts, they only traveled a couple of hours at best before they simply could not continue. Zakhin’Dakh landed without his usual energy in the sparsely-forested foothills, and Almonihah did his best to get Garkhen off without simply dropping him on the ground. Then he took off Zakhin’Dakh’s saddle, and the two friends slept as best they could.

To Almonihah’s amazement, nothing troubled them in the night, and while neither he nor Zakhin’Dakh were feeling great in the morning, they at least had more energy than the night before. Garkhen, however, was still unconscious.

Zakhin’Dakh screeched worriedly and lightly tapped the Warder. Wake up?

When that failed to bring a response, the griffon turned to Almonihah. He not wake up. You help?

Almonihah shook his head slightly. “Only thing that can help’s time, I think, Zakhin’Dakh,” he said. “Did too much magic during the fight, ‘nd has t’ get his energy back.”

Zakhin’Dakh screeched in unhappy acceptance, then set about helping get Garkhen back in his saddle.

They flew on as long as they could, then stopped and rested for a time. They continued in this pattern until it was evening, and the walls of Elifort finally came into sight. Exhausted, Zakhin’Dakh came to a landing about a mile from the city.

The griffon hesitated as Almonihah walked toward the city. Cities usually weren’t good places for him…

Almonihah glanced back. “’f people complain about you after all you’ve done, I’ll let ’em know just what they’d be in for ‘f you weren’t around.”

Zakhin’Dakh screeched happily and followed.

The guards were watching the little group nervously as they approached, until one pointed in their direction and spoke to the others. One of them ran off, leaving the others to watch.

As they drew near, a guard called out, “Come no further ’til the Captain’s come!”

Almonihah grunted, but in reality, he was tired enough to appreciate a few moments of rest. But it didn’t take long.

The guard captain came up onto the wall. He looked rather… surprised, to see Zakhin’Dakh, but when he saw Garkhen slumped over his saddle, he called out, “What happened?”

“Fought Madness-Touched… ‘nd a cultist of Jivenesh,” Almonihah replied, darkly. “Just about killed us… ‘nd probably would’ve, ‘f not for him.”

“And… what of him?”

“Knocked himself out, doing magic,” Almonihah replied.

“I see…” The Captain replied. “If that’s the case… you must still stand trial, but I cannot do it until he awakens. Come in, and we’ll care for him until he’s well enough to speak for himself.”

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Garkhen! Quit knocking yourself out! It’s not good for you!

Chapter 7-2

Amazingly, nothing else attacked them as they slowly made their way out of the Madlands. Tiredly Almonihah wondered if all of the powerful Javni’Tolkhrah nearby had already made their attempt, and so the area now had nothing to attack them. But he did not make the mistake of growing complacent. Whatever the case, these were still the Madlands, and the land itself might well threaten them as they passed.

The trio finally made it to the border of the Madlands, passing across that invisible line that separated them from the solid, sensible world.

Better here! Zakhin’Dakh screeched.

Almonihah nodded. “We’re out ‘f th’ Madlands now. Not safe, but better.” He paused. “Now we just have t’ decide where t’ go…”

Lots hurt… Zakhin’Dakh commented.

The Ranger nodded slightly. “Not exactly ‘n good shape… have t’ make for th’ Ranger Headquarters. They left a couple ‘f druids there. Should get us in shape t’ head back t’ town… ‘nd figure out what’s next.”

It was getting dark by the time they heard an odd bird-call. Almonihah perked up slightly.

“We’re alive,” he called out, fatigue plain in his posture and voice.

Another Ranger melted out of the trees. “And the others?”

Almonihah shook his head slightly. “Not many.”

The other Ranger quickly hid his pained look as he led the three back into the Headquarters clearing. Llitthos ran over to meat them as they came into view.

“What happened?”

Almonihah described the action as briefly as he could. The druid was obviously saddened by the news, but he quickly set to work caring for the three’s wounds. As he worked, he spoke.

“It is clear you cannot stay here. It seems having that accursed amulet so close to the Madlands is far too great a risk.”

“Yeah,” the half-bronze dragon agreed. “Question’s how t’ destroy it.”

“Such a thing will not lightly be accomplished.” Llitthos sighed slightly. “Would that I had the knowledge to guide you, but I fear this is beyond my skill. It will likely take the knowledge of many powerful priests or mages to unravel such a mighty enchantment as the amulet bears.”

Almonihah growled slightly. “’nd it’s hard t’ trust any just now.”

“You shall have to find some to trust, and quickly,” the druid pointed out. “We can ill afford another such battle.”

The Ranger shook his head. “Can’t stay here. Soon ‘s the blue’s awake,” he jerked his head in Garkhen’s direction, “We’re leaving. Back t’ the town first, I think, ‘nd after that…”

“To wherever you may hope to find aid,” Llitthos finished. “Very well. I shall tell the Commander where you have gone when he returns, but I doubt we can furnish further aid.”

Almonihah growled again. “Wouldn’t want ‘t if you offered. ‘nough dead Rangers already.”

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Not much to say here, I suppose.

Chapter 7-1

Chapter 7: Urgency

“Hate Javni’Tolkhrah? Not really. More like… having t’ kill a mad dog, t’ use something city-types say. Something that has t’ be done. Th’ one I hate’s Jivenesh.”

In spite of Garkhen’s weight slowing him, Zakhin’Dakh caught up to Almonihah before he reached the Madlands. It wasn’t hard to see why—the half-dragon was on foot again, having utterly exhausted his ill-exercised wing muscles. Feeling rather light-headed and weary himself, Zakhin’Dakh angled down to meet him.

Almonihah whirled, tensing as he heard wings behind him, but relaxed as he saw Zakhin’Dakh. Then his face grew grim as he saw Garkhen.

“Th’ Rangers?” He asked as Zakhin’Dakh set Garkhen down.

Zakhin’Dakh screeched sadly, then added, Some come still.

Almonihah looked over the big griffon and the other half-dragon. They looked pretty chewed up… of course, he wasn’t looking so hot himself. But some of those cuts on Zakhin’Dakh looked pretty bad, and he seemed a bit unsteady on his feet.

Almonihah reached into a pouch on his belt, only to curse softly as he felt dampness. Somewhere in there he’d landed on his potions! Well, he could do a little something… calling up some old memories, he lifted the unicorn symbol he still wore around his neck and chanted the only spell-prayer of healing he’d ever learned. It was a weak one, but it still made Almonihah stumble a bit from exhaustion. But at least Zakhin’Dakh was looking a little better.

Garkhen… well, he was just out cold. He’d probably got banged around enough in that armor to knock him out without killing him, Almonihah thought. Whatever the case, though…

Something in him whispered to just leave him. Irritated, Almonihah quashed the thought. Yeah, he was half-blue dragon, but… well, he couldn’t pretend he was a bad person after getting to know him. Certainly not the kind of person you’d leave to the Javni’Tolkhrah. But they needed to move fast, and even Almonihah wasn’t strong enough to move the Warder himself.

He looked around, trying to compare Zakhin’Dakh’s shoulder height to some nearby rocks. One looked about right.

“Think you can put th’ blue up there?” Almonihah asked, pointing at the spot.

Okay… Zakhin’Dakh replied uncertainly. Carefully he picked the unconscious half-dragon back up and gently placed him on top of the rock.

“Now stand next t’ it,” Almonihah instructed as he climbed up on top of the rock himself.

Zakhin’Dakh came over and stood nearby, looking confused. Almonihah waved him closer.

“Touching it. Going t’ try rolling him ‘nd strapping him in.”

With a low screech of understanding, Zakhin’Dakh scooted over, touching his shoulder to the stone. Once he was in place, Almonihah got as much leverage as he could and literally rolled Garkhen over. It made a horrible racket, and even with leverage it was hard to move Garkhen (how much did that armor weigh!?), but somehow, he managed to get the Warder on Zakhin’Dakh’s back. With several minutes more of work he had arranged Garkhen in Zakhin’Dakh’s saddle, strapping him in well enough that he probably wouldn’t fall out.

“Let’s go, Zakhin’Dakh,” Almonihah said at last, dropping to the ground and walking southwards. The big griffon screeched in agreement and followed. 

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Zakhin’Dakh’s saddle has straps so that a rider who can’t fly is less likely to fall to their death. Because that would be unpleasant.