Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: February 2016

Chapter 10-7

Almonihah bared his teeth and growled, but after a long moment he shook his head. “Wish we could help, but… ‘f we don’t get rid ‘f this…”

“It may be that these purposes are not as separate as you might think,” the councilwoman interrupted.

“Yes,” one of the human councilors said, “You see, they keep their slaves not too far from their ships. And most of them are captured seafarers.”

“So ‘f we freed ’em, we might be able t’ get on a ship ‘nd get out before they could catch us,” Almonihah surmised, nodding slightly.

“It’s risky,” the dwarven councilor said, “But we’ve got some plans already. If you three are as good with those weapons as we’d guess, you’ll be a great help, and we might be able to get you off our island with that thing.”

“If you aid us in this thing, we will likewise aid you,” the elven councilwoman added. “Will you do this?”

“Yes,” Garkhen replied, instantly. Almonihah nodded.

Zakhin’Dakh screeched an enthusiastic agreement from the doorway, bringing startled looks from the councilors… and a bit of a grin to Almonihah’s face.

“He said yes,” the half-dragon explained, breaking the tense silence.

This brought some uneasy chuckles from the council, but they relaxed somewhat. “Good, we can use him,” said one of the elven men, who then turned and looked at Zakhin’Dakh. “We shall need all the help you can supply, good griffon.”

The big griffon nodded cheerily and screeched again.

The other elven councilor stood. “Come, there is much to do to prepare. We must wait until an opportune time, when most of the pirates are sailing. Those few of our number who hide among them will tell us when the time comes, but until then, we must plan and prepare. 

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Zakhin’Dakh likes being included in conversations. 

Chapter 10-6

Almonihah growled, baring his teeth. “No.”

“Almonihah…” Garkhen murmured, reprovingly. He turned to the council. “As we said before, we do not think it wise to do so, given the proven powers of the artifact…”

“We are aware,” one of the male elves said, “And thus have prepared ourselves. While you may not believe this sufficient, we cannot simply trust your word if we are to support you.”

Garkhen sighed, with a slight nod. He looked up at Almonihah.

The half-bronze dragon looked back and forth at the two druids, the council, and then down to Garkhen. Finally he grumbled, “Don’t like it…”

“We have little choice, my friend,” the Warder replied. 

After a long moment of muttering under his breath, Almonihah said, “Fine. Short look.”

Garkhen smiled slightly, then turned back to the council. “We will show you what we bear.”

He pulled a small box out of his pack, and slowly walked forward, stopping several paces from the table.Cautiously he undid the latch on the box, and then opened it, revealing the chains binding the multi-hued rock.

The two druids cried out in unison, and the elven councilwoman shot to her feet. “Close it!”

The Warder snapped the box shot and latched it, letting out the breath he didn’t know he had been holding. “That is what we seek to destroy.”

The two druids looked physically ill, and the councilwoman’s face was ashen. “You bear a heavy burden,” she stated as Garkhen put the box away. 

Almonihah snorted. “Gotten a lot ‘f people killed, too.”

“And if it is not destroyed it will kill many more,” Garkhen added. 

One of the druids managed to recover his composure well enough to speak. “That… thing must not remain here.” He turned to the council. “They have spoken truly about its danger. Whether or not the Mages of Midport may divine the means of its destruction, it must leave.”

Several of the council members nodded or voiced agreement. The other elven councilor stood.

“We now see the necessity of your quest, but you must know of our situation. Our ancestors have lived here since before living memory, making a living from the jungles here. But as men built ships and explored the oceans, pirates also followed in their wake. Many times they landed here, and many times we drove them back to the sea.”

“But eventually, they gained a beachhead, and since that time they have expanded their depredations to our own people. We have no access to the sea any longer, for it is their domain, and some of our people they have enslaved.”

At this the dwarf stood. “And some of mine, and some of theirs,” he pointed at the nearest human councilman. “We’ve been able to free some, but…” he balled up a fist and pounded on the table, “They keep capturing more!”

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I struggle with secondary characters. Hopefully these council people don’t seem too flat.

Chapter 10-5

The next morning brought the now-familiar group of villagers, this time with breakfast. After dropping off their loads, the dwarf said, “The council will see you when you’re done with breakfast. Fellthien and Gwinthel here,” he gestured at the elven guards, “Will escort you when you are ready.”

Thank you,” Garkhen said, with a nod at the dwarf.

They ate quickly, then left the fenced yard. Zakhin’Dakh again just stepped over the fence (the guards seemed a bit worried by this). The pair of elves led the three companions through the village, the big griffon looking curiously at everything around him, to a long, low building next to the opposite side of the stockade.

Almonihah looked back at his big friend. “Sorry, don’t think you’ll fit,” he said.

“Perhaps the doors or a window could be left open?” Garkhen suggested, looking over at the guard next to him.

“You can request such of the council,” the guard replied, opening the door for the two half-dragons.

Grumbling, Almonihah followed Garkhen into the council hall. It was clear the room they entered did not occupy the whole building, but it was still quite sizable. The six council members they had seen before were seated around half the arc of an oval table, facing the entrance. Two men with staves stood slightly to the sides of the table—men Almonihah was almost certain were Druids.

The elven councilwoman stood as they entered, gesturing to a seat and a stool on the other side of the table. “We greet you this morning, with apologies that your griffon friend will not easily fit within our hall.”

Almonihah pointed at the doorway they had entered with his thumb while he walked forward to take a seat. “Could leave th’ door open.”

The elf glanced at the other council members, none of whom indicated dissent. She then nodded at the guards at the doors, who stopped closing them and instead opened them wider. Zakhin’Dakh screeched appreciatively and settled down, sticking his head in to watch and listen.

The councilwoman stayed standing until Almonihah and Garkhen had taken their seats, then sat down herself. “We have discussed amongst ourselves, and we have agreed to aid you on a single condition.”

“We must see this artifact you carry.” 

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Dun-dun-dun!

Chapter 10-4

Garkhen sighed. “Yet somehow, I doubt they have ships.”

Almonihah grunted in acknowledgment, but said nothing. After a moment’s silence, Zakhin’Dakh screeched, I could fly more!

The half-bronze dragon patted his big friend on the flank. “Too far t’ fly, Zakhin’Dakh. You’d get so tired your wings’d fall off ‘nd we’d all drown.”

Zakhin’Dakh screeched in disappointment at this news. Garkhen gave the Ranger an odd look, wondering if he’d just got a glimpse of a sense of humor from the usually dour half-bronze dragon. But Almonihah’s stoic expression revealed no hint of mirth that the Warder could see.

They spent quite some time in the yard, chatting. At last a pair of elven guards, in company with a human and a dwarf carrying a couple of sacks, approached the small group.

“The council’s apologies, but their deliberations are taking… a considerable amount of time,” the dwarf announced. “While you wait, we have come with a meal.”

He and his human companion came up to the fence and lifted their sacks over it. Garkhen stood and walked over, accepting them with a quiet, “Thank you.”

“You’ll be informed as soon as the council has come to a decision, but…” the dwarf looked up at the sun, already on its way down, “I would not count on that being today. Will you need bedding for the night?”

“I would appreciate whatever you can provide,” Garkhen stated.

Almonihah shrugged. “Don’t need it. ‘nd Zakhin’Dakh’s fine with th’ ground, too.” The griffon nodded in agreement with a cheerful chirp.

“Right, well, we’ll see what we can scrounge up. Not exactly used to friendly visitors here, not least… ones so unusual,” the dwarf said, seeming a bit embarrassed. With that, he waved a farewell, and he and his companions went back to their business in the village.

The sacks held simple fare—some fruits and nuts from the village, and a fair-sized piece of meat that was enough to make Zakhin’Dakh content for the time being. After their meal, Almonihah stood up and started going through combat drills while Zakhin’Dakh watched. Garkhen was… less than enthused about this activity, but when none of the villagers seemed concerned by it, determined it was better than the restless pacing Almonihah sometimes resorted to while waiting, and settled down himself to watch and rest.

Near sunset, the same pair came with a couple sacks of ferns (“Sorry, the best we can do on short notice like this.”) for bedding, then left the three friends again. Garkhen arranged them as comfortably as he could in the small building after the sun finished setting. Zakhin’Dakh settled down in the grassy yard and soon fell asleep, and Almonihah propped himself up against a corner and shut his eyes.   

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Yep, just a quiet, short section while I work on homework.