Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: January 2017

Chapter 16-1

Chapter 16: Flight to the Storm

“What is required to resist evil? Good is, of course, the obvious answer, but a somewhat insufficient one. The mere existence of good does not combat evil. Rather, it is the doing of good, the spreading of hope, the performance of kind deeds… these are the first defense against evil.”

“The last is blade and fang.” – Garkhen

At last they were ready to depart. Almonihah and Garkhen both had new bags hanging from their belts—small bags that were much larger on the inside. Zakhin’Dakh now had a saddle-bag, though given the unusual shape of his saddle, it was on the back rather than the side of his saddle. All were filled with provisions, especially drink.

Other preparations were not as physical. When not speaking with the Mage-Archivist, Garkhen discussed warding against chaotic forces with wizards of the guild. Almonihah, for his part, dredged up his memories of Llinos, trying to recall what little he had learned of Naishia’s magic. Zakhin’Dakh… simply enjoyed exploring human things.

The most critical preparation, however, was a container for the Amulet. Given its proven ability to draw in Javni’Tolkhrah, it was imperative for the success of their mission that they find a way to limit its influence. To this end, the mages of the Guild, Garkhen, and even a few priests of Mashano worked mighty wards and other spells into a box made of layered metals—lead, mithril, and steel—to block as much as possible the power of the Amulet. Garkhen now carried that box, with the Amulet within, in his pack as they met one last time with the Archmagi of the Mages’ Guild.

“We have done all we can,” the head Archmage said. “We would send more with you, but a small group is easier to guard against the corrupting influence of Jivenesh, not to mention easier to supply. One last thing we give you, however.”

He gestured, and an apprentice wizard came forward with two small boxes. He opened one, displaying a small rod with intricate runes carved all along its length.

“These are beacons. Break one when you near Midport again, and it will alert us to your location. We can only go so far into the Madlands before magic itself is too unreliable to aid you, but should you find yourselves in need not too far from us, we will come.”

“Thank you, Archmage,” Garkhen said, taking one of the small boxes, while Almonihah took the other.

There was little more to say after that. Those assembled wished the two half-dragons and their griffon friend good fortune, and then they departed. Almonihah, Garkhen, and Zakhin’Dakh walked out of the Mages’ Guild, the griffon again re-assuming his true size as they exited. Zakhin’Dakh crouched down next to a low wall, and first Garkhen and then Almonihah climbed on his back. Then he took off, flying southeast towards the Madlands. 

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It struck me today that I hadn’t posted yet this week. So apologies for the lateness, but it’s not quite next week yet!

Book III Interlude

Book III Interlude

That, as you might guess, is how I acquired the material for this book. After gleaning bits and pieces of their tales during their research time, I simply had to record their full stories. They are, as I might point out, heading into the heart of the Madlands, which very well may be the death of them. Thus it behooved me to get as much information on their lives from them as I could before they left. Not that I expect them to die, of course, but I must take precautions.

I was quite surprised by how talkative they were, I must say. Particularly Almonihah. If you can tolerate his ‘accent’ and get him talking, he’s actually quite the intelligent fellow, if not very well-spoken. The griffon was the most unusual one to interview, however, given that he could understand me but I had to rely on a translator. I considered the use of magic, or asking one of my colleagues who knows Great Eagle to translate for me, but Almonihah was willing enough to translate.

Zakhin’Dakh himself is an interesting riddle. Was he more intelligent before his odd growth, or did the same influence that expanded his body expand his mind, as well? Or do we simply underestimate the intelligence of griffons? The griffon-riders of our guard are quite clear on their beasts being more than animals, but even they would hesitate to claim quite the degree of independent thought that this giant among griffons shows. Perhaps if he returns he might be convinced to allow himself to be studied for a time?

Garkhen is an oddity of a different sort. Quiet in spite of his heritage, somehow… unassuming, even when wearing armor built to withstand dragons. And yet with an adamant core. Knowing his past tells something of how he come to be as he now is, but I still feel as if I miss… something.

Whatever the case, even as I write, they fly into danger, carrying doom with them. We can only hope that their mission is successful, for I dare not think what might happen were it not…

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Who still remembers the frame story? Anyone? Well this is the last you’ll hear of it. From here on out, I won’t even maintain a pretense of there being an in-world author. It was a fun idea seven years ago, but… well, I don’t really think it’s worth it.

Chapter 15-4

Silence met Almonihah’s statement. At last, one of the archmagi said, “That’s insane! No one has lived to reach the Maelstrom!”

“I did,” Almonihah growled. “Lived t’ come back, too. I was alone then. Better chance with a group.”

There was another long pause after this. “Well, I suppose that makes you the only qualified guide in the world, then,” another of the archmagi commented at last.

The head archmage spoke at last. “We will give you what support we can. Recent events have proven amply that this Amulet is too dangerous to retain, and too hazardous to our world to let go. If you can destroy it, it is in our interests to aid you in doing so. What will you need?”

Almonihah thought for a moment. “Food ‘nd water are th’ big things. Can’t eat or drink anything out there. Hard t’ carry enough with us, though.”

“That, I believe we can aid with,” another archmage stated.

The discussion then turned to the logistics of their journey to come. Gradually, they created a plan… but it was a plan that would take days to prepare. Days to enchant bags to be capable of holding enough food for the journey for two half-dragons and (especially) one giant griffon. Days to devise some sort of enchanted container that would restrict the Amulet’s power to attract Javni’Tolkhrah.

Days for Almonihah and Zakhin’Dakh to be very, very, bored. At the least, that was what they feared. For his part Garkhen looked forward to browsing the unrestricted sections of the Mage’s Guild library. But neither the Ranger nor the griffon were particularly interested in such activities.

It was here that Mage-Archivist Delanoche suggested telling their story. Somewhat to Garkhen’s surprise, Almonihah agreed (Zakhin’Dakh’s agreement was immediate and enthusiastic). And so it was that the three friends sat together for the better portion of most days, speaking with the Mage-Archivist, telling the story of how they had gotten to this point.

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A short post, but hey, a post! I often struggle with these ‘connective’ sections–the ones that explain how the protagonists got from one plot point to another. I guess maybe I could gloss over it more than I do, but I think I already do so plenty.

Also, yes, this is when most of the story was written in-universe. There will be a quick note of that from the Mage-Archivist in the next post, and then I’ll drop the pretense of a frame story entirely.