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