Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: August 2016

Chapter 13-4

Garkhen gritted his teeth against the fatigue, forcing his ward to stay up through sheer force of will as Zakhin’Dakh flew towards the two men. One was clearly the wizard throwing lightning, while the other fired an arrow. The big griffon flapped a bit harder, rising enough for the arrow to pass underneath just as yet another lightning bolt struck Garkhen’s ward. The Warder closed his eyes as he fought back another wave of fatigue.

Then Zakhin’Dakh was upon his foes. They split, running in opposite directions as he neared, but he was far faster on the wing than they were on foot, and so easily caught the caster. The big griffon reached out and grabbed him with his talons, piercing through the wizard, killing him swiftly. Swiftly he turned, dropping the dying man down the side of the mountain as he did so.

The archer desperately fired another arrow, but Garkhen’s ward held, though Garkhen himself almost fainted. Then Zakhin’Dakh was there, his beak shearing through flesh and bone, and the archer was dead. Garkhen shut his eyes, simultaneously glad it was over and not wanting to see the carnage, while Zakhin’Dakh looked back over his shoulder and saw Almonihah approaching.

Almonihah! He shrieked, proudly, I kill bad people!

The half-bronze dragon grinned just a bit in relief. “Good job, Zakhin’Dakh!” He shouted back.

The three met in midair, Zakhin’Dakh and Almonihah circling around while Garkhen slumped on the griffon’s back. Almonihah noticed this, and shouted, “You hurt, Garkhen?”

The Warder blearily opened one eye. “Not physically,” he replied.

Almonihah growled. “We’re making camp. You’re not fit t’ travel, ‘nd I don’t think we dare go without you. We’re faster ‘n them, anyway. Catch up tomorrow.”

Garkhen tried to form an objection, but was simply too tired. Almonihah looked around, and spotted a fairly flat space a little ways up the mountain for them to land. They landed there, and Almonihah looked up at Garkhen to tell him to get off, only to notice he was already asleep. With a snort, the half-bronze dragon jumped up to Zakhin’Dakh’s back and undid the straps to his saddle.

“Going t’ need some help, here, Zakhin’Dakh. Get over… there.” He pointed at a steeper spot on the mountainside. “Not as much of a drop ‘f you go over there and crouch down.”

With some difficulty, they managed to get Garkhen off of Zakhin’Dakh’s back, after which Almonihah took Zakhin’Dakh’s saddle off. He wanted to get the Warder’s armor, off, too, but after seeing the kind of magic it did, he didn’t think he could. So he did what he could to make his fellow half-dragon comfortable while Zakhin’Dakh took off again to look for something to eat. 

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No, I’m not going to string this out much longer. Just in case you were wondering. 

Chapter 13-3

Almonihah took off, flying low over the mountain path, looking closely for any sign of anyone straying from it. He didn’t think it very likely with how steep the sides of the path were, but they couldn’t afford to take chances. Not with this.

He didn’t see any sign of anyone leaving the path, though, so they made fairly good time. Zakhin’Dakh circled as much as flew, Garkhen dozing on his back as the big griffon stayed slow enough for Almonihah to do his work.

Hours passed with little change save in the scenery. The view here was truly beautiful—dramatic mountainsides, with snow-capped tops and wooded canyons feeding down into small valleys.

Zakhin’Dakh was getting rather bored with it, though, since Almonihah had to go in and out of the canyons, following the mountain path, while he could just fly across them.

I fly ahead! He finally declared.

Almonihah looked up at him sharply. He should say no, but he kind of doubted the energetic griffon would listen. “Just be careful—fly back ‘s soon as you see someone.”

Okay! Zakhin’Dakh screeched cheerfully, then zoomed ahead.

By now Garkhen was feeling somewhat less fatigued, and so he opened his eyes as the big griffon flew. “I will keep watch as well, Zakhin’Dakh,” he stated.

The griffon screeched happily and nodded, and Garkhen smiled. “Perhaps someday I shall have to learn your language,” he murmured, to be met by another enthusiastic agreement.

They flew further from Almonihah than he would have liked, but it was too late for him to say anything—there was no way his voice would carry that far. If something happened, there’d be no way for him to catch up in time… Uneasy, he flew higher and faster, shoving the persistent whisper that always seemed to accompany the wind when he flew to the back of his mind.

And soon enough his fears were realized. A bolt of lightning lanced out from the mountainside, and the small shape in the distance that was Zakhin’Dakh dropped…

Zakhin’Dakh shrieked in pain as the bolt of lightning struck him, his muscles spasming as the electricity coursed through them. Quickly Garkhen called upon Bahamut to heal his friend, and soon enough the griffon pulled out of his dive. Turning his head, Garkhen saw a pair of figures on the mountain, too distant to make out in any detail. He swiftly started forming a ward around them, bringing it up just as another bolt of lightning struck.

Almonihah bared his teeth as he saw his friend stop falling. He had to get there faster… he pumped his wings as hard as he could, trying to close the distance between them.

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Look, more fighting! I did not know, when planning this, that I would get so tired of writing all this combat…

Chapter 13-2

Almonihah was less surprised this time when Zakhin’Dakh suddenly reverted to his normal size. Illusin had shrunk the griffon down to fit him in the building with them, then cast the spell to send them on to… wherever here was. It was up in the mountains, certainly, but not in the Madlands.

It was also a trap. Of course, they’d expected that, which was why Garkhen had warded all of them heavily before they’d departed. He grunted now as the barrage of arrows bounced off the air around the trio, forcing him to channel more energy into maintaining the wards around them. Almonihah, on the other hand, had a clear shot at the half-dozen archers around them, who were standing with no regard to cover, confident their ambush would have killed any pursuers.

An arrow to the chest quickly disabused one of the ambushers of that notion, and the rest quickly backed up, desperately searching for some sort of cover while they reached for more arrows. There was little to be found, however, at least close by—the teleportation circle had placed them on mountain path, in a place where the path spread out somewhat. The archers were on both sides of them, trying to back up down the path without getting to near to the steep drop-off on one side.

Zakhin’Dakh shrieked and leaped forward, wings half-opening in the time it took him to be upon one of the archers. His talons scrabbled for purchase on stone as he bit into one of the men, but there was simply not enough room for him, and he was soon sliding off the path with a dead archer in his beak. With a powerful leap he pushed off of the mountainside and began to fly, wheeling back around to rejoin the battle.

Almonihah had enough time to shoot another of the archers before they had recovered, though his arrow only hit an arm. Still, it was enough to cause the man to drop his bow. The remaining three archers fired on Almonihah, only to have their arrows again brushed aside by wards.

Zakhin’Dakh swooped back in before they could nock more arrows, seizing a pair of them and throwing them off the mountainside as he turned back towards open air. Almonihah’s next arrow took the remaining, uninjured archer in the chest. The injured man had, by now, drawn an axe with his uninjured arm, and now charged at the two half-dragons.

Garkhen blocked his attack with his shield. “Surrender!” He growled at the attacker, whose only response was to lift his axe again.

Almonihah’s next arrow made certain he no longer drew breath.

He then glanced around at their surroundings, then waved Zakhin’Dakh back over. “Better get out ‘f his way,” He commented to Garkhen.

The two of them stepped back as the big griffon came in for a landing. “Get on,” Almonihah commanded the Warder.

Garkhen looked surprised. “I am…”

“You’ve been throwing around those wards all through this battle,” Almonihah interrupted, “’nd I’ll bet you’re about t’ fall over. Get on, ‘nd save your strength.”

Garkhen could not argue with that logic, and so, with some difficulty, climbed up into the saddle on Zakhin’Dakh’s back.

“I’ll figure out which way they went, ‘nd then we can fly along th’ path,” Almonihah continued, turning to look at the ground.

Zakhin’Dakh and Garkhen waited, the griffon watching curiously, the Warder closing his eyes for a bit of rest, while the Ranger searched for tracks. It was difficult to tell, with the path more stone than anything else, but there was enough dirt for him to gradually piece together which way a number of humans had recently gone.

He looked up at the sky, gauging which direction they had gone. “Southeast. Should’ve known.”

“Towards the Madlands,” Garkhen agreed, quietly.

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In other news, look at this fun Zakhin’Dakh picture!

Chapter 13-1

Chapter 13: The Wake of Chaos

“I often question why there are those who are so foolish as to believe the promises of power given by beings such as Jivenesh. Perhaps I should not be so surprised. There are those, after all, who look to drink or worse for joy. Perhaps rather I should be glad that I was shown another way early in my childhood.” –Garkhen

“If you would cease to state the obvious, I might have time to examine the scene more thoroughly,” Illusin haughtily replied to Almonihah.

Almonihah snorted, but said nothing more, instead examining the room. Garkhen did likewise, looking more closely at the bizarre collection of items in the room. He recognized few of them, for he had made little study of wizardry, and they seemed to be wizard’s instruments to him. The repeated theme of the chained, multi-hued stone, however, was all too familiar.

Suddenly, something clicked in Garkhen’s mind. The multi-colored stone, the implements of wizardry…

“They are Chaos Mages…” he breathed.

Illusin inhaled sharply. “Are you certain?”

“Certain? No. But I see nothing else that would fit,” the Warder stated.

Almonihah’s quizzical gaze told Garkhen he needed to explain further. “Chaos Mages are those who combine the worship of Jivenesh with knowledge of arcane magics.”

“They are banned from within the city,” Illusin added. “The penalty for worship of Jivenesh is death.”

“’nd the Amulet’s some kind ‘f Chaos artifact,” Almonihah growled, catching on.

“Nothing good can come of its use,” Illusin agreed. “Fortunately, I believe we may discover where its bearer has gone, for that,” he pointed at a circle of runes in the corner of the room, “is a teleportation circle. It will take me only a moment to trace where it leads.”

He cast a spell, and concentrated for a few moments, then said, “It is somewhere to the southeast… near the Madlands.”

Almonihah snorted again. “Where else?”


“Can we follow?” Garkhen inquired.

“I can send you, but unfortunately, without the keyword to this circle, I shall have to remain behind when I cast the spell,” Illusin replied.

“Be nice t’ have Zakhin’Dakh along,” Almonihah stated.

“That,” Illusin said, “I believe I can arrange.”  

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Oh, this is definitely safe. It won’t be hard at all.

In other news, I got a cool new Garkhen picture!