Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: January 2016

Chapter 10-3

After a moment of shock, the other councilors all burst out into arguments at once, their voices blending into a cacophony of senseless noise. After another moment, it died down, as discipline overcame their first instincts to object.

Once they had restored order among themselves, the louder of the two humans said, “Perhaps it would be best to discuss this in more… comfortable environs. It is clear we must at least allow these… people into our village.”

The other councilors nodded in agreement, and soon the elves who had watched them on their way here materialized out of the forest around the three friends to guide them in less hostile fashion. For all this, though, there was much mistrust in their gazes as the odd group made its way through the jungle.

Almonihah watched those around him with equal mistrust. He knew they’d been ready to shoot him just a few minutes ago, and he didn’t doubt they’d be just as willing to do it now if their leaders decided they should. He just wondered why they were all elves when half of the councilors hadn’t been—maybe only the elves came out to hunt?

The Ranger also noted the way these elves moved. Zrathanzon was half-elf, and so the half-bronze dragon had learned something of elves from his mentor. But these elves were not like any Almonihah had seen or heard of before. The elves he knew of were lords and ladies, or merchants and craftsmen, or farmers and laborers. These… they moved like the jungle was the only home they’d ever known. Were they natives of this island? And if so, why did they differ so much from their kin on the mainland?

Garkhen caught none of this, but he did watch how the councilors spoke among themselves. It seemed that the female elf held some seniority or authority above the others, but that did not mean they agreed with her. The non-elves seemed to be arguing the hardest—including the dwarf, in contrast to his comparative quiet earlier. But he didn’t know who was arguing for which point.

Zakhin’Dakh didn’t really understand what was going on. He thought these other people were threatening his friends, but they weren’t fighting, so he guessed everything was okay.

It took a couple more hours before they reached their destination. It was heralded first by a thick layer of underbrush, which their guides led them through in an odd pattern that Almonihah realized was probably done to hide tracks.

At last they broke out of the underbrush and came face-to-face with a rough stockade. The front of their group was already entering a nearby gate, and their guides soon led the three friends in behind them. Behind the stockade was a village of surprising size, its homes oddly elegant compared to the rough nature of the stockade protecting them. They still had a certain roughness to them, but the wood was carefully worked and closely fit.

Almonihah and Garkhen were led over to a small building with a large, fenced yard.

“You will stay here while the council deliberates,” one of their guards told them. “You may stay in the yard,” he added, looking at Zakhin’Dakh.

The griffon, pleased at being addressed individually, perked up and nodded his head with a cheery chirp, then jumped over the fence and settled down in the yard. Almonihah followed, while Garkhen went inside the building.

He came out to join his two friends after a few moments. “It is empty,” the Warder stated. “I do not think they intend for us to stay long.”

Almonihah shrugged. “Don’t really want t’ stay.”

Garkhen nodded. “Indeed. I only hope that they will aid us, for we are in sore need of help.”

The Ranger snorted. “Could say that.”

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Sorry for missing the post last week! I’m still getting my schedule for this semester figured out. I’m rather looking forward to being done…

Chapter 10-2

Try as he might, Almonihah could catch only glimpses of their captors. He could tell they were all around his friends as they led them through the jungle, but they moved like they were part of the trees. All that Garkhen or Zakhin’Dakh could keep track of was the voice ahead of them, telling them which way to go.

Eventually they stopped, in a patch of jungle that seemed much like the others.

“You will wait here,” their guide said, still concealed in the underbrush ahead of them, “While I go and inform the council of your presence.”

And with that, he was gone. They waited for a long, tense time… maybe an hour, Almonihah guessed. At last someone returned… and this time they showed their faces.

A small party of people—three elves, two humans, and even a dwarf—emerged from the jungle. The elves moved like their brethren, unseen and unheard until they chose to reveal themselves. The other three… well, they weren’t as bad as Garkhen or Zakhin’Dakh, but the elves certainly put their skills to shame.

“Well!” The dwarf exclaimed as he made his way into view. “This is quite the little group, eh?”

“Well-armed, clearly dangerous,” one of the humans remarked, looking at the two half-dragons and the griffon suspiciously.

“The bronze one moves as if elf-trained,” one of the three elves commented—their guide, from his voice.

Another of the elves, the only female of the group, held up her hand as if to stop the discussion. “We will hear them out before making our judgments,” she firmly stated.

“Yes,” the third elf agreed. “What brings so unusual a group to our shores?”

“Javni’Tolkhrah,” Almonihah stated, flatly. “Madness-Touched. Big one attacked our ship, so we drew it off ‘nd landed here.”

“Why didn’t you return to your ship?” The suspicious human asked.

Almonihah glanced over at Garkhen. He didn’t really want to talk about it…

Garkhen sighed. “We carry something that we wish to destroy, which seems to attract such creatures.”

That caused some rapid discussion amongst the small group.

“We certainly don’t want something like that here!” The suspicious human said, loudly enough for the three to hear.

The other human, quiet until now, spoke up. “And yet such a thing would hardly be less dangerous in the hands of the pirates.”

“I don’t know, maybe it’d get some of them eaten!”

Things continued in this vein for a while, until the female elf again cut the rest of the group off. Once they were quiet, she turned to Garkhen.

“What is the nature of this item you carry?” She asked. “It seems we shall decide little without knowing more of it.”

“Dangerous,” Almonihah stated, scowling. “Not safe t’ talk about.”

“It… has shown the ability to tamper with memories and desires, yes,” Garkhen said to his friend, “But I think speaking of it is safe, so long as we do not remove it from its protections.” He turned to the group questioning them. “We do not know its true nature, save that it is difficult to destroy and possessed of considerable chaotic powers. We know not how to destroy it, for which purpose we were going to the mages of Midport. And we have had no desire to experiment with its powers. But it seems capable of drawing the Madness-Touched to it of its own accord.”

“We have no more desire to bring trouble upon you than you have to receive it, but we have no way to safely dispose of it. I fear that, were it cast into the ocean or deep in the earth, it would twist the animals or the soil itself to its purposes. We must destroy it… we need only know how.”

Almonihah growled, unhappy at how much Garkhen had revealed… but it was too late now.

The six were silent for a long moment, taking in what the half-blue dragon had said. At last the elven woman looked at her companions. All nodded at her, though the louder human seemed reluctant.

She turned back to the three companions. “Then we must aid you.” 

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Gasp! Help? But can they trust it? 

Chapter 10-1

Chapter 10: The Price of Shipping

“The ends do not justify the means, nor the means the ends. That the goal was righteous does not excuse evil deeds, nor do good deeds cover an evil heart.”

“And yet does this mean that evil deeds can never be done to stop a greater evil? My heart says no, but my mind…”

It wasn’t long before Zakhin’Dakh wanted to hunt. Almonihah wanted to get further from where they’d been spotted, however, so he urged his friend to fly a little further.

When he spotted some prey below, however… there was no stopping him.

Almonihah kept a wary eye out for any pursuit while Zakhin’Dakh ate and Garkhen stretched his legs. He doubted anyone could follow them very quickly through that thick of jungle, but… it never hurt to be sure.

Zakhin’Dakh had just about finished eating when the Ranger heard a soft sound. He nocked an arrow and raised his bow… only to spot three arrows pointed at him.

“Your ears are keen, dragon-man,” an elven voice said. “But you are outnumbered, and our arrows fly true. Put down your weapons.”

Almonihah growled softly, and Zakhin’Dakh growled much more loudly. Looking around, Garkhen raised his hands.

“My friends, I do not think it wise to fight…”

Almonihah just bared his teeth in response… but slowly, he lowered his bow, and stored his arrow back in his quiver. Zakhin’Dakh kept a wary eye on all the arrows pointed at them, but he stopped growling.

“Now,” the elven voice said, “You will follow us, and we will see what we should do with you.”

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Yeah, a short post because I had too much fun with my time off. But hey, another cliffhanger!