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