Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: December 2015

Chapter 9-6

Eating and resting felt good. In fact, it felt like maybe they shouldn’t bother continuing on until the next day. After the terror and flight of the morning, all of them were rather exhausted. Even the normally energetic Zakhin’Dakh seemed to be drooping a bit. And thus, they decided to camp for the night, even though sunset was still hours away.

Soon Garkhen and Zakhin’Dakh fell asleep… but Almonihah forced himself to stay awake. They were, he reasoned, in a likely hostile locale where who-knows-what might be prowling the night. One of them, at least, had to stay awake and keep watch, and if the other two were too tired to do it, well, he’d have to. Maybe he’d wake Garkhen later in the night. But for now, he would pace about to keep himself awake, looking warily into the jungle with its noisy creatures as the last light of day faded from the sky.

He awoke with a start the next morning. At some point he’d given in to the desire to sit down for a moment… and fallen asleep himself. Almonihah stood up abruptly and looked over their little campsite. Zakhin’Dakh and Garkhen were still asleep… he checked his pouches. Everything seemed to still be in place.

Still wary, he walked the perimeter of their camp again, but still saw no signs of nighttime intrusions. He was just about to relax slightly when his sharp ears picked up something that didn’t blend in with the bird calls and other sounds of the jungle around him.

Voices in the distance.

He ran over to Garkhen and rapped on his armor (he’d slept in it!), urgently whispering, “Get up!”

While his fellow half-dragon awoke, Almonihah hustled over to his griffon friend and similarly woke him. In a few moments, the three were all awake, huddled together at the center of the clearing.

“People coming. Should get away from here,” Almonihah stated.

“Because they are likely pirates?” Garkhen surmised, then sighed. “We cannot evade them forever if we wish to get off this island.”

“Still not a good time t’ meet them,” Almonihah asserted.

What those? Zakhin’Dakh interjected inquisitively.

“Pirates are… bad people. Who kill other people t’ take their stuff,” Almonihah replied, after a moment’s thought.

The big griffon growled deep in his chest. Not kill you. Me kill if try.

“Going t’ fly away for now,” Almonihah stated, as he started getting Zakhin’Dakh’s saddle ready. “Don’t know ‘f there are too many t’ fight, and don’t want to.”

“But at some point, we shall have to,” Garkhen added.

It took only a few minutes to break camp, and they were soon airborne again. Behind them they heard shouts of alarm, but they soon faded behind them as Zakhin’Dakh sped away. 

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Yeah, neither Almonihah nor Zakhin’Dakh know the Great Eagle word for ‘pirate’. 😀

Hope everyone had a good Christmas! I should figure out Draezolnian religious festivals sometime. Hmmm…

Chapter 9-5

Once he was satisfied no danger would immediately attack them, Almonihah turned back to his two friends. “Not going t’ pass out again, Garkhen?”

Garkhen shakily got to his feet. “No… I think I am well enough off,” he stated, though his voice seemed uncertain.

The half-bronze dragon walked over to Zakhin’Dakh. Are you okay?

The big griffon screeched quietly. I hurt everywhere.

Almonihah looked him over as Zakhin’Dakh also stood. “Nothing’s broken that I see,” he stated, patting the griffon lightly on a leg. “Just bruised.”

“We are… fortunate,” Garkhen stated as he carefully walked over to join them. “I doubt I could channel much healing power in my present state, and we are far from any aid.” He paused, then added more quietly, “I pray the ship survived.”

Almonihah nodded. “Well… got t’ find a way off this island,” he said, after another long moment of silence.

“Indeed,” Garkhen agreed. “And given the name of this place, I doubt any others we meet here will be friendly.”

“Pirates ‘ll have ships, though,” Almonihah replied. “Won’t want t’ let us use one, but they’ll have ’em.”

“Yes…” Garkhen trailed off, thinking.

“Better start walking,” Almonihah said, after waiting briefly for Garkhen to continue. “Don’t think we can do much here.”

Walking good now, Zakhin’Dakh added. Wings tired.

“Think we’re both grateful for your tired wings, Zakhin’Dakh,” Almonihah said as he led the way into the jungle.

Traveling through the dense underbrush of the jungle’s edge was slow going for the little group—particularly Zakhin’Dakh. Almonihah could only hope there wasn’t anything hostile nearby, for the massive griffon was making enough noise making his way though the vegetation to tell anyone for miles around they were there.

Well, perhaps that wasn’t true. The jungle was scarcely a quiet place. The calls of birds, monkeys, and stranger beasts filled the air, and the three friends were scarcely the only ones disturbing the underbrush (though most other movements nearby seemed to be going away from them). The Ranger paid close attention to the sights and sounds of their surroundings, thinking that he’d have to hunt for at least Garkhen here, given that they’d hardly packed for a jungle expedition. Hopefully Zakhin’Dakh could hunt for himself, though…

They fought their way through the jungle for hours. Finally they reached a clearing. Almonihah looked over at Garkhen, who was clearly fatigued.

“You stay here. Zakhin’Dakh ‘nd I ‘ll go hunt.”

Hungry! Zakhin’Dakh agreed.

Garkhen nodded, too tired to wish to speak much, and sat down on the trunk of a fallen tree while the other two took off.

They returned a while later with half of some sort of hoofed mammal. It was… sort of like a deer, and Zakhin’Dakh had enjoyed the half he’d eaten, so Almonihah figured it would do for himself and Garkhen. The griffon set the other half down as the two hunters landed. Almonihah set about starting a fire and cleaning and dressing the remaining… beast. He, at least, had a few useful things in his belt pouches, and he could cram some cooked meat in them after they’d eaten their fill. 

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Yeah, sometimes even adventurers have to do boring things like get food. 😀

Chapter 9-4

The next moments were a blur of noise and chaos. Men stabbed and chopped at tentacles with spears, axes… whatever they had on hand. They seemed to do little more than annoy the beast, which responded by seizing them and pulling them underwater or crushing the life out of them before tossing them aside. The ships’ mage somehow managed to stay clear of the tentacles, but even his spells hardly seemed to slow the beast.

Garkhen, meanwhile, was chanting as swiftly as he could, putting every ward on the ship possible. He had nothing that could hold the beast back, nothing that could save the sailors from being snatched by tentacles… but he could keep the ship in one piece for just a few moments longer.

Just… a few… more… seconds…

Almonihah had taken off, his unsteady flight betraying his lack of practice with his wings. But he had such a huge target that wavering about in midair hardly mattered for his aim. Not that his arrows seemed to phase the massive creature. He caught a brief glimpse of Tirel in tiger form, dangling in midair as he held on to a tentacle with his teeth, but then he lost sight of the Wyre again.

Zakhin’Dakh was also in the air, darting in to slash at a tentacle here and there when he could, then flying back out of reach. His talons, at least, seemed to do actual harm to the monstrosity, but it simply had so many tentacles.

Almonihah growled deep in his throat. This was hopeless. There was no way out. Everyone on the ship was going to die, and he and Zakhin’Dakh… well, unless they could make it to that Pirate Isle…

The amulet, he muttered to himself, coming to a sudden realization. This thing was probably a Javni’Tolkhrah. And that meant…

Zakhin’Dakh! He yelled out in Great Eagle. Get Garkhen!

Unquestioning, the huge griffon looked for a break in writhing mass of tentacles. Finding one, he dove down, weaving between death and danger to his other friend. With a loud shriek, he plucked the half-blue dragon up off of the deck, then flew back upwards.

It was clear he had the beast’s attention now. Garkhen only just barely had time to process what had happened before he saw tentacles closing in on them from all around. With a quick spell-prayer, he summoned up a ward. He couldn’t hold it for more than a brief moment… but a brief moment was enough them to break through to clear air.

Almonihah was there waiting for them. We have to take the Amulet away from here! He shouted in Draconic.

Garkhen gasped in sudden understanding. “But where shall we go?”

See land! This way! Zakhin’Dakh shrieked, guessing that he was being helpful. He started flying to the west.

“Prob’ly that Pirate Isle they were talking about,” Almonihah commented, looking behind them.

The massive beast had, indeed, ceased attacking the ship in order to follow them. Zakhin’Dakh’s flight was leaving it behind… but he was leaving the half-bronze dragon behind, as well.

Hey, Zakhin’Dakh, let me catch up, he called out.

The griffon looked behind, saw he was leaving his friend behind, and slowed down until Almonihah could reach him and get in his saddle. Then they flew off westward, thunder rumbling behind them.

A griffon can see far across the sea, and it turned out the island Zakhin’Dakh had seen was quite distant. By the time they were nearing its shores the griffon was struggling to stay in the air, and Almonihah had gotten off to fly alongside him to lighten his load.

The island did not look particularly hospitable. Two low cone-shaped mountains, cracked and topless, trickled smoke into the steely-gray sky, while waves crashed on craggy shores below them. Between the two a dense jungle grew, dark and threatening under the stormy skies.

It was towards this jungle that Zakhin’Dakh directed his tired flight. He practically crashed rather than landed, sending Garkhen sprawling on the ground to his side while the big griffon came to a stop, panting heavily. Almonihah landed next to them, warily looking about for danger.

But for now… all was quiet, save for the crash of waves on cliffs behind them. They’d lost sight of the beast sometime as they’d flown… but none of them doubted it was out there, waiting…

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Yeah, bad day. Sorry this is a week late–last week I was writing an academic paper instead of for fun.

And no, you don’t get to know what happened to Tirel just now. >: D