Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: May 2016

Chapter 11-8

Zakhin’Dakh had been re-shrunk by one of the Guild mages when they returned, and now they were back to waiting. Garkhen reported that nothing had happened while they were away, so Almonihah grumpily settled down to wait again, until Zakhin’Dakh trotted over to him.

I want to see the thing! He screeched, excitedly.

It took the half-bronze dragon a moment to realize what his friend was talking about. The map, he stated for Zakhin’Dakh’s benefit, guessing the griffon didn’t know the word for it.

He pulled it out and unrolled it on the ground, and Zakhin’Dakh all but pounced on it, looking up and down it excitedly. And after a few moments, the questions started.

Zakhin’Dakh was still asking a constant stream of questions when the entire room suddenly shook, as if struck by a giant. A dull roar echoed dimly down the hall outside, audible even from within the room. As one, Almonihah and Garkhen turned and ran to the door.

They found the acolyte outside looking about wide-eyed. “What’s going on?” Almonihah demanded of him. The young man could only shake his head.

“Which way’d it come from?” Almonihah demanded instead. The bewildered acolyte hesitated a long moment, then finally pointed one way down the hall. The two half-dragons charged off in that direction, with the still-shrunken Zakhin’Dakh following close behind.

Almonihah recognized which way they were going—the stairs they’d come up were right… here. A hint of something in the air caught his attention, and he sniffed as he ran. Smoke…?

Stopping at the stairs, he looked up, and then down. “Smoke coming from below,” he growled, then charged downwards, his friends behind him.

Two floors down, the smoke was visibly pouring out from the entryway into the stairwell, and Almonihah’s keen ears picked up sounds of battle. Following them the group soon burst into a scene of pandemonium: at least a dozen wizards were flinging fire and ice at twice that many Javni’Tolkhrah, all within an enormous room. At the center of the room the flaming wreckage of some sort of structure sent up billowing clouds of acrid smoke.

“Javni’Tolkhrah? Here?” Garkhen gasped.

Almonihah reached the same conclusion the Warder had. “The Amulet.” 

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

And here it’s unfortunate that I name my chapters before they’re done, because this ended up not getting as far as I’d thought. So the chapter name is not really applicable to this chapter, but rather the next. XD

Chapter 11-7

Their rooms were far nicer than where they’d stayed on the Pirate Isle, Almonihah had to admit… but he preferred it there. At least there he could sleep outside and wilderness wasn’t far away. Here, he could feel the walls around him, the hundreds of people living in close proximity to him…

Well, perhaps not literally feel them, but still, it made him more anxious than he cared to admit.

Zakhin’Dakh, on the other hand, seemed to be enjoying every minute of it, looking at all of the weird people things over and over again, pestering Almonihah with every question he could think of, and just generally acting more like a rambunctious kid than an apex predator.

Garkhen, for his part, thought little about their quarters. Instead, he was focused on the problem that had brought them here. Would the mages of Midport truly be able to find a way to destroy the Amulet?

For now, however, this question was unanswerable. There was little for them to do but wait.

After a few minutes of pacing around, Almonihah abruptly turned to Zakhin’Dakh. Want to go see the city? He asked in Great Eagle

Yeah! Zakhin’Dakh screeched, excitedly.

“’m going t’ take Zakhin’Dakh out,” he told Garkhen. “Back soon.”

Garkhen was surprised, but nodded. “It is probably best if he is not kept inside too long,” he said with a grin.

Almonihah snorted in agreement. Zakhin’Dakh, meanwhile, was jumping around excitedly.

Where we going to go? Can we go in more people places?

We’ll look around and see, Almonihah answered as he walked to the door of their suite.

The apprentice who had led them in was sitting on a chair in the hallway looking bored when the half-bronze dragon opened the door. He stood up, surprise clear on his face.

“Is there a problem, sir?” He asked, carefully.

“Just want t’ take a walk,” Almonihah replied curtly.

“Ah, with… the griffon?” The apprentice asked.

Almonihah responded with only a nod. The apprentice hesitated a moment before saying, “Ah… the Archmage said to inform you that the griffon’s shrinking spell will only work inside of the Guild. If you leave he’ll return to his normal size, and the spell will have to be re-applied when you return.”

The half-dragon shrugged. “Don’t mind, do you?” He asked Zakhin’Dakh.

The griffon shook his head, though he screeched a bit regretfully. That would mean no going in people places.

“Well, then,” the apprentice said, sighing, “I’ll lead you out.”

Zakhin’Dakh’s return to his normal size was sudden. One moment he was the size of a large dog, the next, Almonihah was stumbling backwards because his big friend’s wing had struck him on the way up.

Zakhin’Dakh stumbled a bit, screeching uncertainly as he regained his balance after the sudden change. A few people on the street looked over at them with some concern, but soon shrugged it off. They were near the Mage’s Guild. Weird things walked out of there all the time.

They drew somewhat more attention as they got farther into the city, though most of it was irritated rather than frightened. Between Midport’s griffon riders and Mage’s Guild, most of the people didn’t think much of a giant griffon and a dragon-man walking down the street. Probably it was some wizard’s experiment, they no doubt thought.

Zakhin’Dakh, on the other hand, was endlessly interested in his surroundings, just as he had been inside the wizards’ tower. Always he was looking at this or staring at that, sometimes stopping and asking a question, but never lingering long on one thing.

But then something caught his eye, and he suddenly bounded forward, not noticing he knocked over a flower pot as he landed. His beak was near a window, and Almonihah hurried to see what had caught his attention.

It was a cartographer’s shop, with a large map displayed in the window—the window that had a giant griffon beak inches from that. Zakhin’Dakh made an odd, low sound, rather like an “oooooooooo”.

What’s that? He asked, not taking his eyes off of the map.

“It’s a map,” Almonihah stated. After a moment, he added, “It’s… a picture of what the land would look like from very, very high up in the air.”

“Ooooooooooooooooo,” Zakhin’Dakh crooned again, fascinated.

Almonihah couldn’t help but grin just the tiniest bit at his big friend. Glancing around, he didn’t see anyone too disturbed by the whole thing, though the cartographer might complain about the knocked-over pot. He righted it, decided it was probably fine, and then looked back at Zakhin’Dakh.

“What ‘f I got you one?”

The massive aquiline head swiveled to focus on Almonihah. Would you? Zakhin’Dakh asked, excitedly.

“See how much they cost, but prob’ly,” the Ranger replied. “Just wait here.”

Zakhin’Dakh watched excitedly as his friend walked in the store, talked with the cartographer, and a few minutes later walked out with a big roll of parchment.

“Biggest she had,” Almonihah explained. “Let’s take it back.”

Zakhin’Dakh screeched an enthusiastic agreement as they turned back the way they came. 

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

I realized I hadn’t brought up Zakhin’Dakh’s love of maps yet, and this seemed like a good time for him to discover it. And yes, I did just replicate the scene in this picture. 😀

Chapter 11-6

There was a long moment of silence before the wizard at the head of the table shook himself slightly, looked down at Garkhen, and said, “Yes, it must. So you have come here in hopes that we might discover how it might be done?”

“Yes,” The half-blue dragon replied with a nod.

There was another silent moment before the head archmage spoke again. “It will require time and study for us to discover how this may be done, for the working of this artifact is such that it may not be undone easily.”

Almonihah growled softly in his chest. “We have t’ keep our eyes on it,” he stated.

“Impossible,” one of the other archmagi responded, flatly. “We must work without interruption.”

Almonihah snorted, but before he could speak, Garkhen interrjected, “Perhaps we might arrange something…”

“Impossible,” spat the same archmage.

The head archmage held up his hand. “Do not be so… hasty, Archmage Ganver,” he said. “They have reason for their request. I believe something can be arranged.”

“But not without price,” the archmage who had brought them in interjected.

“Not without price,” the head archmage agreed. “You have something in mind, do you not, Archmage Illusin?”

“Nothing too costly, I assure you,” Illusin replied. “It is not every day that we have the opportunity to study such unusual specimens as you.”

Almonihah’s head-frill went stiff, and he growled again. Illusin quickly added, “Nothing invasive, of course. Simple observation, collection of shed scales and feathers, that sort of thing.”

“That is reasonable,” Garkhen swiftly responded. “And in return for these things, we shall be allowed to observe your operations upon the amulet?”

“As well as room and board,” Illusin agreed. “I think that would be entirely appropriate, yes?”

No one contradicted him, so he sat back and nodded at the head of the archmagi at the table. Said archmage nodded back. “Very well, then, we are all agreed. Illusin, you will see them to the quartermaster.”

Illusin stood and gave the other archmagi a slight bow. “If you will follow me, we shall see to your arrangements while we prepare a place for your artifact,” He said to the two half-dragons and griffon.

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

Sorry I haven’t posted much recently! Vacation time was not as productive for writing as I had thought it would be.

Chapter 11-5

Zakhin’Dakh… cooed as he shrunk down, fascinated by the change of perspective. Fun! He proclaimed in Great Eagle as he stopped shrinking, his shoulder now coming up only to Garkhen’s shoulder height.

“Now, then, let us go in, where we might discuss your issues in greater comfort,” the head wizard said, turning and walking towards the spires of the Mage’s Guild. The rest of the group followed, Zakhin’Dakh looking around excitedly at everything as they entered the building.

It was clear to Almonihah that this entryway was made for the express purpose of impressing visitors. Images flickered and moved in midair on either side of them, portraying scenes of mighty wizards calling storms, felling dragons, and generally showing off their arcane power. They walked through this display for far longer than seemed possible, until the half-dragon’s keen senses caught the trick.

“Getting tired ‘f walking down th’ same piece ‘f hallway,” he grumbled.

The spokeswizard glanced back at Almonihah, a faint grin on his face. “Why, whatever do you mean?”

“We get you’re powerful wizards,” Almonihah growled. “But teleporting us back ‘nd forth down this hall’s stupid.”

“Oh?” The wizard looked somewhat surprised for the briefest moment before he disguised it behind a smile. “Are you trained in the arcane arts?”

Almonihah snorted. “No.”

“I see.” The wizard considered a moment longer, then snapped his fingers. A staircase appeared not far down the hall from them. “Very well, then. Come along.”

The stairs spiraled upward a floor, exiting into an opulent hall. Their guide breezed through, waving off an attendant as he directed his guests towards a room off to the side. Within, another half-dozen wizards were waiting, seated around a long table.

The spokeswizard gave them a small bow. “Fellow archmagi, our guests have arrived. These are Almonihah, Ranger of Naishia, Garkhen, Warder of Bahamut, and Zakhin’Dakh.” He pointed to each in turn. Garkhen gave his own bow, Almonihah simply nodded, and Zakhin’Dakh was far too busy looking around at all the cool human stuff to notice.

The archmage at the head of the table waved for the group’s guide to sit along the side of the table, then looked at the three friends. “Come, you are our guests here. Please, sit. Even you, fine young griffon. You’ll find we’ve arranged something for you.”

The two half-dragons came and found seats that seemed designed just for them. For Zakhin’Dakh, there was a sort of… stool-platform. After examining it for a bit, the griffon jumped up on top of it, then settled back on his haunches, his head and shoulders poking up over the table.

“Now, then,” the head archmage said, “If you would explain your request, good sirs?”

Garkhen looked over at Almonihah, who gave a small nod. Garkhen pulled out the box holding the Amulet, and cracked it open. Several of the archmagi recoiled from it. Garkhen looked the group over and said, “This must be destroyed.”

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

Sometimes Garkhen can be straightforward. Occasionally.

Also, new Zakhin’Dakh art! http://katiehofgard.deviantart.com/art/Window-Shopping-606623617