They soared onward for a couple of hours in silence, Garkhen concentrating on his ward, Almonihah and Zakhin’Dakh focused on their surroundings. It was the griffon who spoke up first.
Something there! He screeched, nodding his head to one side.
Almonihah peered forward, then got his bow ready. “Looks like we caught up t’ the Javni’Tolkhrah.”
As they neared, it became clear this was only a half-dozen of the monsters that had been harassing them. But this time, when Almonihah sent an arrow soaring just past one, they all turned around and started flying towards the three friends. Zakhin’Dakh shriek-roared a challenge at them and flapped harder, ready to meet them with his own beak and talons.
They were smaller, weaker Javni’Tolkhrah, but still dangerous. Garkhen switched from warding against the chaos around them to warding Zakhin’Dakh from claws and teeth, while Almonihah brought one of the monsters down with his arrows. Then they were upon them, and Zakhin’Dakh tore into one with his talons. It died swiftly, but the other four struck with claws, teeth, beak, tentacle, and stinger. Garkhen gritted his teeth as he held his wards against them, but none penetrated to harm the big griffon… quite.
Then they were past one another, Almonihah pivoting to keep his bow in play. Both Zakhin’Dakh and the Javni’Tolkhrah turned, angling to attack once again, while the Ranger blasted another arrow into one of the monstrosity’s sides. Its flight faltered for a bit, but it steadied after a moment… just in time for another arrow to hit it, this time in the shoulder. It still struggled on, until a third arrow pierced its skull.
Zakhin’Dakh’s slashing talons accounted for another before the last two struck… this time aiming for the half-dragons on his back. A stinger glanced off Garkhen’s armor, but Almonihah didn’t quite dodge the other Javni’Tolkhrah’s claws, and got a nasty gash on his arm. Cursing, he almost dropped his bow, but managed to catch it with his other hand.
Of course, that did involve hurling himself to one side, which lead to falling right off of Zakhin’Dakh’s back.
Injured, and suddenly far too busy flying for himself to aim his bow, Almonihah could do nothing to fire at the remaining two Javni’Tolkhrah. As he felt his friend fall off, Zakhin’Dakh turned as sharply as he could to interpose himself between the half-dragon and their foes. Garkhen tried to summon up the energy to do something, anything, but his vision wavered as unconsciousness tried to claim him, and he soon found himself clinging to the saddle in spite of the straps holding him in.
Almonihah managed to get himself under control and started heading towards his griffon friend, but the Javni’Tolkhrah returned before he could get back. Zakhin’Dakh intercepted one and quickly bit through its spine, but Almonihah had to dive to evade the other one. It shredded the sole of one of his boots as it flew by, but didn’t quite get its claws deep enough to draw blood.
By the time it came back around, Almonihah was clinging to the back of Zakhin’Dakh’s saddle with his good arm, and the giant griffon’s beak made quick work of the last Madness-Touched. Garkhen reached to heal him, but Almonihah shook his head angrily.
“Save it,” he growled. “We need t’ land, ‘nd then I can patch myself up a bit.”
Sorry this took so long. I’m not sure why I’m struggling so much with this section. Maybe I just want to make sure I’m making the finale appropriately interesting.