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.
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.”
Griffons are made for flying, not walking!