Without being told, Zakhin’Dakh dove for the ground, shriek-roaring his battle challenge. There were, indeed, a large number of assorted Javni’Tolkhrah that had slipped through one of the mountain passes while the aerial battle raged and were now making their way down towards the steep slopes and cliffs that dropped down to Midport.
“Don’t know how they plan t’ get down,” Almonihah commented, again nocking an arrow to his bow, “But I don’t plan t’ find out.”
He fired just as Zakhin’Dakh plowed into the first one, tearing into it with talon and beak. Almonihah’s arrow struck home in the shoulder of another monstrosity as the big griffon put down the first. Garkhen, weariness wearing at him, still spat out a bolt of lightning through the horde, then braced his wards for the retaliation.
But there was none. The Javni’Tolkhrah simply charged past, towards the city, as more of the griffon-riders dove down around them to join the fray. Even with all this, the Madness-Touched simply charged forward, many dying as they left themselves open to griffons and riders, but some still getting through. Almonihah refocused his attention on those already past, while some of the griffon-riders moved to take off again.
“No! Stand your ground!” Captain Theris suddenly shouted from above, flying back towards the cliffs the Javni’Tolkhrah were headed for. “You’ll let more through if you take off again! Leave these to us!”
The handful of riders with him dove down into the remaining Madness-Touched, tearing into them with talon and blade. Somehow, they managed to finish them before any of them reached the cliffs, though a couple died just as they reached it. And still, the Javni’Tolkhrah poured in… and now that so many griffon-riders were grounded, the aerial battle was growing desperate.
Then there was a tremendous blast of flames. Almonihah glanced back.
“Looks like th’ wizards arrived,” he commented.
Standing on a half-dozen assorted wooden platforms which were now hovering in midair were some of the remaining mages of the Mages’ Guild. All were staring into the melee, and here and there, one threw a bolt of lightning or a ball of fire, whereever there was a gap in the griffon-riders sufficient to do so relatively safely.
With their addition, the tide of battle again began to turn back against the monstrosities still pouring in over the mountains. At last, their stream of reinforcements began to slacken.
Garkhen frowned as he struggled to remain aware of his surroundings. “There is something… do you hear that?”
Almonihah grunted while continuing to fire his arrows, not sparing the time for a more understandable response in the midst of battle.
Before Garkhen could say more, however, the source of his worry appeared. Trundling over the top of the mountain into view, a horrific creature came. It was enormous, large as the greatest of dragons… nor was that the end of its draconic features. At the end of a long neck it had two great, toothy maws, stacked upon one another, with eyes scattered about its head nonsensically. From snout to tail it was covered in slate-gray scales, and it moved on a dozen clawed feet.
Almonihah turned his bow on it. “Least it doesn’t have wings,” he growled as he began firing.
Yeah, that might be bad. Apologies for not posting last week. I blame it entirely on Civ VI.
This Javni’Tolkhrah may or may not be inspired by this picture…