Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: September 2016

Chapter 14-2

The three were silent for a long moment. At last, Almonihah slowly said, “I still think Zakhin’Dakh’s faster ‘an them.”

Garkhen frowned. “Yes… but surely you are not suggesting…”

“Probably the only way,” Almonihah growled. “If he can draw enough of them away, I could probably dive in there and grab it.”

“No! It is too dangerous!”

“Got a better idea?”

“I hardly think suicide is a valid option!”

Suddenly Zakhin’Dakh shrieked a challenge and turned, diving down close to the swirling mass of Javni’Tolkhrah. Spiting a curse in Draconic, Almonihah dove off the griffon’s back, trying to put some distance between himself and his friends so that they could put their desperate plan into action. Garkhen swiftly summoned up a ward around the valiant griffon.

He had to draw surprisingly close before the monstrosities responded, but when they did, it was as one. Zakhin’Dakh only just barely managed to pull aside before the teeth of those in the lead caught him. Pumping his wings as hard as he could, the huge griffon sped off, trailing a massive swarm of Javni’Tolkhrah. Even most of those on the ground were following him.

Most, however, was not all, and Almonihah didn’t like the look of the few that were still milling around the man holding the Amulet. He’d grabbed a rag earlier—he didn’t trust touching the Amulet with his bare skin, especially not how it was now—and he wrapped it around one hand, watching the Javni’Tolkhrah around his target… and then dove. Swiftly he soared over them until he neared the Amulet, then dipped down and siezed the Amulet’s chain with his wrapped hand.

In spite of seemingly being dead, the man’s grip was firm, and while Almonihah’s fly-by snatch succeeded in pulling it out of his hands, the force required upset his inexpert flight, sending him tumbling to the ground just beyond the remaining monsters. Cursing again as he rolled to his feet, Almonihah immediately had to dodge a charging boar-tiger beast. Thinking quickly he leaped on its back as it passed, then jumped off and took to the air again as it rolled to try to throw him off.

As he flew away, one of the other beasts spit spines from a hideous tongue at him. Most missed, but one pierced his boot and stabbed into the foot within. He gritted his teeth against the pain as he fought to gain altitude, then turned to follow after Zakhin’Dakh. He hadn’t thought this next part out too carefully.

Zakhin’Dakh, however, was loyal to his friend. In spite of the Javni’Tolkhrah on his heels, the big griffon turned in a big loop, staying just out of their reach as he came around to pick up his friend. Seeing the situation Almonihah turned himself, so as to be flying in the same direction when Zakhin’Dakh caught up to him again. Garkhen reached out a hand as they neared, and Almonihah managed to grab it and pull himself onto the griffon’s back.

“Get to Midport!” He shouted as he changed his grip to the back of Zakhin’Dakh’s saddle. “Only hope now’s that they can help us fight these things off!”

“Indeed!” Garkhen agreed.

Now that he wasn’t flying on his own, Almonihah had time to lift his foot. The wound looked bad, but he pulled the spine out, grunting with pain as he did so. Garkhen saw what the other half-dragon was doing, and murmured a quiet spell-prayer of healing, stopping the bleeding and mostly healing the wound.

“Thanks,” Almonihah said, a bit grudgingly. “Now save your strength. Going t’ need it all soon, I think.” 

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Yeah, there’s going to be a big battle soon. A very big battle. 

I have no idea how I’m going to write it. XD

Chapter 14-1

Chapter 14: Desperation

“Things don’t always work out like stories. Sometimes none ‘f the choices are good, ‘nd just living’s the best you can do.”

None of the Javni’Tolkhrah seemed to react as Zakhin’Dakh flew closer. Which wasn’t to say any of the group were happy about what they saw. More monstrosities than they had ever seen flew and prowled around the source of the light. Almonihah could just barely make out a man standing at the center… holding something above him.

“Think that’s th’ Amulet,” he said, unnecessarily.

Garkhen nodded. “But what are we to do about it? I fear we cannot face so many in open combat…”

Almonihah growled. “Well we can’t just turn around. Only going t’ get worse.”

“Indeed,” Garkhen agreed, “But that leaves us with the question of what to do.”

They were all silent for a few moments, save for Zakhin’Dakh’s wingflaps. Almonihah stared at the gathering of Javni’Tolkhrah.

“Not a one ‘f them look like they can fly well,” he commented. “Bet you could outfly ’em all, Zakhin’Dakh.”

The big griffon screeched proudly in response to this praise. But Almonihah was still considering the sight below them.

“Think ‘f I shot that guy it’d break whatever spell’s going on?”

“It seems our best chance,” Garkhen replied doubtfully, “Though it seems it will be a difficult task.”

Almonihah grunted as he nocked an arrow. “Just try t’ hold steady, Zakhin’Dakh.”

For a few agonizing moments, the half-bronze dragon held his bowstring taut, looking for an opening. At last he loosed… but his arrow struck one of the many monstrosities circling the man and the Amulet. It roared in pain and swerved, leaving the swarm to chase after the three friends.

The Ranger growled back and fired another arrow, this time aiming at it deliberately. It dipped slightly as his arrow struck it in the shoulder, but it kept coming. His next arrow only skimmed its head. His third arrow, however, pierced its skull, and it tumbled from the sky.

“Least we could pick ’em off,” Almonihah commented. “’less they changed their minds and all came after us.”

“As they likely would,” Garkhen agreed. “And so…”

“Keep shooting,” Almonihah stated, nocking another arrow.

He waited a long time to take his shot, watching for the perfect opening as Zakhin’Dakh slowly circled around the swirling mass of monsters. Finally he fired, his arrow sailing straight through a gap between two Javni’Tolkhrah and shearing through the man’s arm and into his chest.

None of the Javni’Tolkhrah so much as looked in their direction. Nor did the man lower the amulet he held. Almonihah growled.

“Not sure that guy’s even alive any more,” Almonihah stated after peering for a little while longer at his target. “Doesn’t seem like he matters, at least.”

 Garkhen nodded solemnly. “And so, now what are we to do?”

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Wheee, cliffhanger!

Chapter 13-6

 “Are we already that close?” Garkhen asked.

Almonihah growled. “Too close. Can’t you feel ‘t?”

Garkhen was silent a moment, focusing. At first he didn’t know what the Ranger was talking about, but then a wind blew from the south for a moment, and the Warder shivered at the touch of wrongness it brought with it.

I don’t! Zakhin’Dakh interjected.

Almonihah patted the big griffon’s leg. “Just trust me. We’re close.”

Then we should go fast!

Almonihah nodded. “Ready t’ go?” He asked Garkhen.

The Warder nodded, and after a moment, they were both on Zakhin’Dakh’s back, Garkhen in the saddle with Almonihah holding on behind, as usual. They flew along the path, watching for any signs of places someone could have left the trail… but soon enough they didn’t need to.

What that? Zakhin’Dakh asked, suddenly pointing a talon into the distance ahead of them.

The two half-dragons on his back strained their eyes in the indicated direction. After a few moments, Almonihah grunted. “There, see ‘t too. Don’t like that I can, though…”

After another moment, Garkhen caught sight of what his friend had seen. Off in the distance, a small light on a low mountaintop… one that was rapidly shifting in color and brightness.

“I cannot think that good,” Garkhen agreed, as Zakhin’Dakh flew on in the growing darkness.

Almonihah grunted his agreement. “All right, Zakhin’Dakh, fast ‘s you can fly!”

The big griffon shrieked agreement and started flapping heavily, building speed towards the distant lights. They hardly looked better as they closed, especially as the three started to make out shapes moving around the lights.

Many shapes. Very, very many.

“Javni’Tolkhrah,” Almonihah growled.

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Yeah, I had to leave it at the cliffhanger here. 

Chapter 13-5

Zakhin’Dakh brought back part of a mountain goat, so Almonihah had something to eat, and left some for Garkhen. The big griffon settled down afterward and soon was napping, but Almonihah couldn’t stay still. He was too tense, too conscious of just how much was at stake… not to mention it was still mid-afternoon. While they’d fought hard, Almonihah wasn’t really tired, at least not in the way that would lead to sleep anytime soon.

So he scouted ahead a bit. He’d been nervous about stopping looking at tracks, but as far as he could tell, more people had walked this way recently. Sure, he couldn’t guarantee they were the same people, but who else would they be? He did wonder a bit about why they were walking, though. They clearly had powerful wizards among them—why not use magic? Almonihah couldn’t shake the uncomfortable feeling that there was more going on here than they knew, and that it was going to bite them just when they could least afford it…

He returned when the sun was reaching the horizon, having seen no more enemies, but plenty of tracks. Zakhin’Dakh met him in midair.

There you! He shrieked happily when he saw his half-bronze dragon friend.

I was just looking around, Almonihah called back as he flew nearer. Didn’t see the bad guys, though.

Not see when hunt either, Zakhin’Dakh agreed.

Is Garkhen awake yet?

Yeah! He wake up! Me too, but not see you, so come look.

Sorry, I couldn’t sleep, Almonihah replied as they neared their campsite.

Garkhen waved at them as they approached. “I am glad to see you well,” he said to Almonihah as the other half-dragon came in for a landing.

“Thanks,” Almonihah grunted.

“I apologize that I slept so long. If I but had more endurance…”

“Stop.” Almonihah snapped. “’f it weren’t for your wards we’d all be dead twice by now. So don’t be sorry that you can’t carry a mountain, too.”

Garkhen blinked, taken aback by his friend’s gruff admonishment.

Almonihah didn’t give him time to come up with an argument. “Moon’s mostly full tonight, ‘nd it’ll be up soon enough. ‘f we fly for part of the night we might catch them camping.” He paused. “Though I think we might find ’em already in th’ Madlands.”

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Yeah, Garkhen doesn’t accept his own limits well.