Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

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…

***********************

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

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