Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: April 2016

Chapter 11-4

 “Now, then,” the spokeswizard said, turning back to Almonihah and Garkhen. “While we’re waiting, why don’t you share a bit of what you’re here for?”

Almonihah growled a bit. “Not out in th’ open.”

The wizard raised an eyebrow. “That sensitive, is it? Well, then…”

He chanted for a few moments, and a shimmering, translucent dome popped into being around the group. “There! No one outside of our little group will see or hear us. So I ask again, what sort of business do you have here?”

Almonihah glowered around at nothing in particular, but Garkhen cut in before he could speak. “That should be sufficient. We carry with us an artifact of terrible power, closely aligned with the powers of Chaos and Madness. It has already lured many men to their deaths, and drawn in Madness-Touched to kill many others.”

“It must be destroyed, but we have not the means to do so, and thus we have come here, to the greatest center of magical learning on our world.”

The spokeswizard nodded thoughtfully. “We had, of course, detected a powerful magical aura with you as soon as you drew near our shores. That does explain why you have come here…”

He looked over the three thoughtfully. “If this is as you say, we will, of course, have an interest in seeing to the destruction of this item. However… you will need a way to pay for your stay here, will you not?”

“We have sufficient gold for our stay,” Garkhen stated, cautiously.

“But we are uninterested in gold, and you will wish to visit often to observe our progress, will you not?” The spokeswizard smiled, and Almonihah’s head-frill went stiff at the predatory look in his eyes. “A small deal, then? We would be interested in a few samples—nothing much, just a few scales, a few drops of blood, a couple feathers…”

Almonihah growled, but Garkhen put a hand on his arm and murmured, “Now is not the time, my friend.” The half-bronze dragon bared his teeth, but said nothing.

“Perhaps we might discuss this further once we are inside and you can examine the artifact,” the Warder said once he was certain his friend would not act rashly.

Just at that moment, the mage who had disappeared earlier reappeared, with another wizard alongside him. “Master Verithuss will work the griffon’s desired magic,” he stated.

The spokeswizard nodded, his eyes still glittering with desire as the transmutation Master began chanting. 

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Hmmmmmm… not suspicious at all…

Also! Some new art! Here’s Garkhen in his preferred environment: a library. 🙂 http://silverwarden7.deviantart.com/art/Garkhen-604911794

And here’s Zakhin’Dakh saying hello to another griffon: http://almonihah.deviantart.com/art/Zakhin-602907314

Chapter 11-3

A few more days of sailing brought them into port at last. The tired men cheered as they neared the dock—until they noticed that a large group of people was waiting on the pier they’d been directed to. The cheers trailed off into uncertainty as they drew nearer and could make out several ornately-dressed wizards in the company.

“Greetings, unfortunate travelers!” One of the wizards called out as they drew close. “We have heard of your harrowing escape, and welcome you to Midport! We shall make certain you are well-taken care of.”

He turned to look at Zakhin’Dakh, who was very obvious on deck. “Now, to the more… unusual members of your crew, we understand that you need to speak with us. We shall escort you to our guild at once.”

Their procession drew quite a bit of attention as they wound their way through the city. While the people of Midport were more used to griffons than most, thanks to their griffon-riding cavalry, a griffon of Zakhin’Dakh’s size was still unusual. The two half-dragons, however, drew even more curiosity. But their escort discouraged questions, so they passed through the city’s streets without being stopped.

They went northwest, through winding streets and over wide bridges, past the fortress that served as Midport’s capitol building and towards the spires of the Mage’s Guild. Wizards are a notoriously antisocial lot, and the relative isolation of this, the largest of all gatherings of wizards, seemed to lend credence to that notoriety.

The influence they clearly exercised in the local government, however, argued that they were perhaps not so above associating with other men as the stereotype suggested… at least not if it were for the sake of power.

Whatever the case, the group halted at the first bridge from the mainland to the cluster of small islets from which rose the mismatched spires of the Mage’s Guild. One man, who wore a silvery-white breastplate, turned to Zakhin’Dakh.

“I’m afraid this is where you have to part ways with your friends for a bit,” he said, jovially. “You remember the last time you were here, right? Spending time with all of the other griffons?”

Don’t want to go, Zakhin’Dakh screeched, turning away from the man.

The griffon knight seemed taken aback. “Was… that a no?”

Almonihah snorted. “Yeah, said he doesn’t want to go.”

The armored man took a moment to gather his thoughts. “You… do know that you can’t fit in there with your friends, right?” He asked Zakhin’Dakh.

“That may not be true, Commander,” the lead mage interjected. “In fact, if he’d like, I’m certain we could shrink him down enough to fit inside.”

Almonihah shot the mage a suspicious look, but Zakhin’Dakh cooed, Really? Cool! After a moment’s thought, he added, Go back big later?

“He wants to make sure he’ll return to his normal size,” Almonihah translated, still looking suspicious.

“Oh, of course, of course. It’ll just take a moment with one of our transmutation specialists,” the lead mage said, gesturing to one of the other mages. Said other wizard chanted a brief incantation and disappeared. “You’ll simply have to wait a moment.”

The griffon knight took a moment to suppress the disappointment on his face, but said nothing. Zakhin’Dakh, on the other hand nodded excitedly with a happy screech. He’d never been inside a human place before!

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Hmmmm… you should never trust wizards that have political power. It never ends well. 

Chapter 11-2

One of the Midport ships closed quickly, while the other hung back somewhat. As it drew near, Almonihah could make out several people watching warily from the prow, well-armed and armored. They soon saw him… or maybe Zakhin’Dakh behind him, which caused a stir among them, but no weapons were raised.

Once the ship was nearly alongside theirs, it executed an impossibly agile turn (some of the sailors muttered about the mages of Midport showing off) and soon was next to them, matching their speed.

“We’re coming aboard,” shouted one of the group. “Keep your hands where you can see them, and that beast under control.”

Hey! Zakhin’Dakh shrieked, indignantly.

“Calm down, Zakhin’Dakh. He’s just being a typical human,” Almonihah said, pitching his voice just loud enough to be heard on the other ship.

“You’re welcome aboard,” the captain called back, trying to head off any kind of confrontation. “Much more welcome than those ships behind us.”

One of the men on the other ship waved, and a translucent archway formed between the two ships. Across it walked about a dozen men, most clearly men-at-arms, but a couple dressed in the robes of magi. One of said magi walked straight towards Almonihah, past the captain and the others waiting to greet them.

“You are the dragon-man that passed through our city some time ago, yes? And that is your griffon. But there was not another dragon-man with you,” he stated, looking at Garkhen.

“Ah, no,” Garkhen agreed gently. “I only recently became acquainted with Almonihah and Zakhin’Dakh. Having been born in the south, I have never before had the opportunity to visit Midport.”

“Hmmm,” the mage replied, eyeing them suspiciously. “And what brings you to Midport with pirates in your wake?”

“These dragon-men, as you call them, and their griffon friend, saved us from the pirates,” the ship’s captain explained. “We’ve escaped in one of the pirates’ ships, which likely explains why they’re after us.”

One of the armored men laughed. “Stole back one of the ships they stole, did you? That’ll rile them up, that’s for sure.”

“Hmmmm,” the robed man eyed them all again. “And what were these dragon-men doing that they were in position to be freeing pirate captives?”
“Trying t’ get t’ Midport,” Almonihah stated. “Ended up stranded on th’ Pirate Isle instead.”

The mage looked at Almonihah suspiciously for a little while, then suddenly turned. “Very well, I am satisfied. They can pass.”

The rest of his group seemed a bit surprised, but followed as he went back over to the Midport ship. Once they were back aboard, the magic bridge disappeared. One of the armored men turned back and shouted over, “Keep on course to Midport, we’ll see to these pirates!”

A ragged cheer went up from the former prisoners as the Midport ship again turned with impossible agility, signaling its companion with a flash of magic. Together the two ships raced to meet the pirate ships while the other ship sailed onward toward Midport.

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Hmmmm… things are going awfully well right now…