Chapter 12: Secrets of the Chains
“Hate having no good choices.” –Almonihah
“There are times I regret that my heritage did not grant me wings, or at the least longer legs.” –Garkhen
The room itself was enormous, but even with its size the combat filled most of it. Almonihah drew his blades with a growl as one of the mages fell, screaming, as a Javni’Tolkhrah penetrated his last wards. As one, the three friends charged into battle.
Garkhen crashed into the back of a seven-legged, vaguely canine beast with his shield, drawing its attention. It whirled to face him, only to see his flaming mace descending, at which point it twisted away, its long body impossibly agile even in the crowded space between it and a wizard’s wards. Somehow seeming more serpent-like now, it lashed out at the half-dragon with its fanged maw, but Garkhen managed to get the edge of his shield up in time to deflect it, though the force of the blow almost knocked him over.
Almonihah nimbly stepped behind a distracted Madness-Touched monstrosity, his blades flashing through the air as he hamstrung one of its hind legs. It stumbled and tried to turn to face him, but as it did, the mage it had been assaulting had enough time to hurl a blast of jagged ice shards at its head. One of them struck it straight in the temple, piercing through its skull and instantly dropping the beast. Without a word, the half-bronze dragon turned to the next target.
Zakhin’Dakh’s talons clicked on the stone of the floor as he scrambled to catch up. Hey! He shrieked at the mages. Want big again so help! Amazingly, one of them apparently both understood him and knew how to reverse the spell, for he returned the griffon to his usual massive size with a brief word and sharp gesture. Delighted, Zakhin’Dakh shriek-roared at the Javni’Tolkhrah and tore into the flank of one nearby him.
It was quickly obvious that the arrival of the three friends had turned the tide of the battle. With one best dead, one distracted, and Zakhin’Dakh’s… very distracted, there were now a couple mages who were no longer so worried about their wards that they could not attack effectively. The wolf-serpent-thing still chewing on Garkhen’s shield suddenly jerked as a bolt of lightning blasted through it. It struck the half-blue dragon as well, but it was clear that the mage knew it would not harm him.
The beast Zakhin’Dakh had attack writhed in the giant griffon’s talons, but he had a firm grip upon it, and it could not turn to attack him effectively. Zakhin’Dakh, however, had a beak free, which he soon put to good use striking its back, severing its spine. The Javni’Tolkhrah collapsed to the ground, gasping out its last breaths.
Eldereth arced through the air in Almonihah’s hand until it struck the flank of another Madness-Touched. The longsword bounced off the creature’s surprisingly tough feathers, but it jerked slightly at the electric shock the sword’s enchantment delivered. It turned to face him, away from the wizard it had been mauling, baring bloody fangs at the Ranger as it opened its mouth to bite him. Said Ranger replied by stabbing Zithrandrak into its mouth, freezing some of the blood on its teeth as the enchanted blade slid between them and into the roof of its mouth. It staggered, listed to one side, and then fell, ripping Zithrandrak from the Ranger’s grasp.
Hurriedly he seized its hilt and yanked it out, only to look around and see a freshly arrived group of wizards finishing off the last of the Javni’Tolkhrah. Once the last of them lay unmoving on the floor, some of the new group rushed in, racing to those of their guild lying bleeding on the ground while pulling potions out of pouches.
While they did this, one of the other mages stepped towards Almonihah. As he approached the half-dragon realized it was Archmage Illusin.
“What happened here?” The Archmage demanded.
Almonihah snorted. “Hoping you could tell us.”
New chapter! Yay! You’ll notice it has the same title as the old chapter… because the old chapter didn’t get as far as I thought it would. You’ll also notice (if you go back) that the old chapter now has a new title. It’s the magic of the Internet!