Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: October 2015

Chapter 8-5

The inside of the hut was as humble as the outside—a few rough mats were arranged around a central fire pit, though no fire burned there now. A variety of dried herbs hung from the ceiling or were neatly arranged along one wall. In the back was a small stool, on which sat another Wyre—a gray-furred wolf-woman, with an odd patch of white fur on one hand, a staff in hand. She stood smoothly as the two half-dragons entered.

“You have come. Good,” she stated, calmly.

“You are Whitepaw, yes?” Garkhen asked.

The Wyre nodded. “I am. And you are Garkhen, you are Almonihah, and the griffon outside is Zakhin’Dakh. You have not made information about yourselves hard to find.”

“What’s that supposed t’ mean?” Almonihah growled.

“It means the many who no doubt seek what you carry cannot fail but to recognize you wherever you go,” Whitepaw stated, calmly. “Which means we have little time.”

Almonihah snorted. “Not much t’ do about being covered with scales…”

“It is not an accusation. It is a fact you shall have to account for. Now, may I see your burden?”

Both half-dragons hesitated a bit, so Whitepaw added, “That is why you came, yes? I can scarce aid if you do not trust me thus far. I certainly do not plan to touch it, if that is your concern.”

After another long moment, Almonihah reached into his pack and pulled out the box holding the Amulet, then set it on the ground. After a bit more hesitation he opened it, revealing the multicolored stone in its chains.

Whitepaw shuddered. “Such an ugly thing…” she murmured. “Garkhen, you participated in sealing it once, correct?”

Garkhen looked at her with surprise. “Yes, I did… at least, in creating a container to seal its power temporarily.”

“That shall be the best I can do. You are tired still, so I will ask you only what you remember of what was done. Quickly, now. You have little time to spend.”

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Here, a late, short post. I’m going to be rather busy evenings for the next while, so short posts is probably going to be the norm. Not that I’ve been writing long post much recently anyway.

Chapter 8-4

It took them two more days’ travel to reach the Pack’s den—largely because maneuvering a large griffon through the underbrush was rather slow going. Several times Tirel had to look around for a different path than the one he was accustomed to in order to accommodate Zakhin’Dakh’s bulk.

As evening wore on, Almonihah glanced aside with a frown. “That’s not th’ way a normal fox acts,” he commented.

The whole party stopped and looked where he was. Sure enough, a fox slipped out of the underbrush and looked up at them… then shifted into a clothed, humanoid form.

“You’ve got sharp eyes there, Bronze-scales,” the fox-Wyre commented, grinning.

Almonihah shrugged, unsurprised. “You learn ‘f you live long ‘nough in the wilds. Or die.”

“Such a cheerful fellow you’ve brought, Tirel,” the grinning fox-man commented to the other Wyre. “He a friend of yours?”

“A friend of a friend, at least,” Tirel replied, grinning back. “Garkhen you’ve heard of, and these are his friends, Almonihah and Zakhin’Dakh.” He pointed at each in turn as he introduced them. “And this is Eznin,” he finished, pointing at the fox-Wyre.

Eznin gave the group a little bow. “Greetings, greetings all! I’m guessing Tirel’s filled you in on our little group?” Without waiting for an answer he slipped ahead of the group and started walking. 

“Well, we’ve heard a bit about you, too. And that means you go straight to Whitepaw. No messing around.”

There almost seemed to be a note of disappointment at his last statement.

It wasn’t much longer before they came into… it wasn’t quite a clearing, but more an area cleared of underbrush under the canopy of the forest. A few simple huts were built around the largest trees. It wasn’t much to look at… but the inhabitants were. A dog-man, a hawk-man, a stag-man… and who knew if some of the animals around the area were actually Wyre?

“Welcome to our humble little home,” Eznin said, turning and bowing again. He pointed to one of the huts. “Whitepaw’s waiting for you in there.” 

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Yeah, short post, I know.

Chapter 8-3

Garkhen rode Zakhin’Dakh as they followed Tirel across fields and towards a large forest. Almonihah had insisted that Garkhen rest longer, rather than march on his own, and the half-blue dragon had reluctantly agreed. Tirel led the little group, trying to keep more to the low-lying areas so as to avoid sight. A few times they saw a farmer off in the distance, but no one ever troubled the odd (and dangerous-looking) group.

By night, they were again under the shade of trees, this time at the edge of a much larger forest. They had turned somewhat from the course Zakhin’Dakh had been flying before—they were further to the west, now, rather than heading south.

After Garkhen dismounted, Zakhin’Dakh collapsed on his side with a huge sigh. Almonihah looked over at him with a bit of amusement.

Tired, Zakhin’Dakh?

Not like walk, the big griffon replied.

Tirel looked surprised. “You can speak with him?”

Almonihah nodded slightly. “Understands Human, too.”

Zakhin’Dakh perked up and screeched happily, nodding.

The Wyre grinned. “Is that so, big guy? Well I’m sorry I didn’t talk to you earlier! I’d just never met a griffon before.”

I smart griffon! Zakhin’Dakh interjected.

Tirel looked over at Almonihah. “What’d he say?”

“Said he’s a smart griffon. ‘nd he is.” He glanced between the two of them. “Not sure I want to translate a whole conversation, though.”

“Well… I suppose I’ll just show you this, then,” Tirel said, grinning. Swiftly his form flowed and changed, until there was a large, grinning tiger looking up at the huge griffon.

Zakhin’Dakh shrieked in surprise, then ‘oooooed’. That’s cool!

Almonihah watched with less surprise. “So that’s what it looks like.”

Tirel changed into his hybrid tiger-man form. “You’d heard of Wyre before, then?”

“Rangers ‘nd druids I know ‘ve talked about Wyre. Blessed of Naishia to take the shape of animals in defense of the land, ‘nd all that. Thought there were hardly more ‘n a few of you, though.”

“There aren’t many of us. Maybe twenty here in Ferdunan, and nowhere else has as many Wyre. No one seems to know why there’s so many of us here, though my guess is it’s the recent war… and that Amulet.”

Almonihah nodded. “Makes sense.”

Suddenly a loud crash interrupted their conversation. Almonihah turned, hand on Eldereth’s hilt, and saw that Garkhen had dozed off, the crash resulting from him falling over on his side as he had fallen asleep.

Of course, he was awake now, and he grinned sheepishly at his friends. “It would appear I am still rather fatigued, my friends.”

Tirel laughed. “I guess so! Maybe it’s time we made camp.”  

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Griffons are made for flying, not walking!

Chapter 8-2

It took several days for Garkhen to recover enough to travel—several long, nervous, lean days, while Almonihah watched anxiously for signs of more Javni’Tolkhrah, and Zakhin’Dakh had to fly ever-further afield to find hunting grounds. Yet no more attacks came—not even some nervous warriors following the griffon back to the trees. The Amulet was quiet.

It all made Almonihah anxious.

“No way that thing’s really being quiet,” he grumbled to Garkhen.

The Warder didn’t have to ask what his friend was speaking about. “Perhaps it must recharge its power?”

Almonihah snorted. “No way we’re that lucky.”

“And yet there is nothing we can do if it is somehow subtly preparing for another attack upon us, my friend, and so we had best plan our next move.”

“Mage’s Guild. Ferd,” Almonihah growled. “More mages. ‘Cause that worked so well.”

“There was a single traitor,” Garkhen began.

“That they found,” Almonihah growled back. He stood again, making an angry gesture with one clawed hand. “But we have no other options. So we’ll just have t’ try again.” He snorted.

“Almonihah…”

“I’m going,” the half-bronze dragon grumbled. “Just quit trying t’ convince me to like ‘t.”

Garkhen sighed, but said nothing more. The argument had grown tired long ago. Instead, he stood up, and opened his mouth to speak.

“It’s a good thing that griffon’s around, or I would never have found you, Garkhen!”

The half-blue dragon jumped, recognizing the voice instantly. “Tirel?” He said, turning.

Almonihah had drawn his blades, and was looking at the unassuming-looking man who had just walked to the edge of their encampment. “Friend ‘f yours?”

Garkhen nodded, smiling. “Yes, a good friend. We fought together briefly in the war, and sometime afterward.”

“And then you went and got new friends,” Tirel teased, grinning as he walked forward. “At least you look glad to see me.”

Garkhen’s smile picked up an edge of a grin in return. “Always, my friend. But I should introduce you. Almonihah, Zakhin’Dakh, this is Tirel, a Wyre warrior of Naishia. Tirel, this is Almonihah the Ranger and his friend, Zakhin’Dakh.”

Almonihah relaxed a bit at the mention of Naishia, noting also the simple leather loop around his neck, much like the one around Almonihah’s own neck that held the rampant unicorn symbol of Naishia. “Wyre, huh? Heard ‘f you, but never met one.”

“Well until Garkhen here, I’d never met a half-dragon either. I guess we’re both rare breeds,” Tirel replied, turning his grin on Almonihah.

The half-dragon grunted, sheathing his swords. “So you’ve been looking for him?” He said, nodding at Garkhen.

“For all of you,” Tirel said, his voice suddenly serious. “As soon as Whitepaw heard of what happened to the Rangers, she sent us out searching for you. I stopped by Elifort and… well, that’s a nasty hole in the wall.”

“Whitepaw?” Almonihah asked.

“The leader of our little Pack, and a Druid,” The Wyre replied. “A powerful one, at that. She heard what Llitthos was able to determine, and… you really shouldn’t be carrying that around uncovered.”

Almonihah snorted. “Wouldn’t ‘f I had a choice.”

“Well, she may be able to do something about that. What’s more… well, she might be able to figure out a way to destroy it.”

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Hey, look! It’s a familiar charcter!