Worryingly, they were harried again and again over the next few days. Every time the Javni’Tolkhrah would approach them, and Almonihah would drive them off with arrows. Every time he injured or killed one or two of them… and every time even more returned.
“Don’t like th’ way this ‘s going,” he commented, watching as well over a dozen monstrosities flew away after the latest attempt.
“Perhaps it is better than if they simply waited until all had gathered?” Garkhen suggested.
Almonihah grunted. “Like they’re getting us used t’ it, or something,” he commented, ignoring Garkhen’s optimistic thought.
“We shall have to remain vigilant, then,” Garkhen replied. “Perhaps more that are capable of invisibility are gathering?”
Almonihah shrugged slightly. “Never tell with Javni’Tolkhrah. Could do just about anything.”
“That is hardly reassuring,” Garkhen stated. “I shall do my best to ward us, but it is draining.”
“Save it for when they attack,” Almonihah replied. “I’ll keep watch.”
“Me, too!” Zakhin’Dakh screeched. “I’ll watch too!”
“Let us hope it is enough,” Garkhen said, worriedly.
They flew on in silence for a little while, then Zakhin’Dakh screeched again, “What if we chased them?”
Almonihah grunted. “Chasing them’s prob’ly what they want. They always fly off in th’ opposite direction from where we’re going.”
Garkhen frowned, thinking over what he’d seen and realizing Almonihah was right. And something else, as well. “Then how are they always in front of us again?”
The Ranger paused to think, then growled. “Who knows if they have t’ sleep.”
Garkhen shook his head slightly. “They still seem to be living creatures, surely they must sleep.”
Almonihah grunted. He didn’t immediately respond, instead looking around. There was something to Garkhen’s words… something… something wrong around them. He narrowed his eyes, looking at the ground beneath them. They were zooming past it, but…
Wait. They weren’t going that fast. Things suddenly clicked into place as he took a hard look at their surroundings. They weren’t making a lot of headway. Instead the ground beneath them was… blurring, giving the illusion of motion, while they fought against a headwind that made it feel like they were moving fast.
Almonihah swore under his breath. “Garkhen, can you do something ’bout this?”
Garkhen, confused, tried to look over his shoulder at the Ranger. “About what, my friend?”
“Th’ blasted wind,” he growled in response. “Look hard. Th’ ground’s actually trying to fool us. Doing a good job ‘f it, too.”
Zakhin’Dakh screeched a wordless question, then peered at the ground himself. “Yeah!” he agreed after a moment.
“Let me see what I can do,” Garkhen replied after looking himself.
He half-closed his eyes as he thought through the spell-prayers he knew. He’d never run across one for wind… but if this wind was Chaos-wrought, he might be able to do something.
The Warder raised his symbol of Bahamut and chanted a prayer. The change was subtle, but as Almonihah watched the ground, he saw that the illusion of motion was quickly becoming truth.
“That did ‘t,” he stated.
Garkhen nodded briefly. He didn’t want to mention how much it was going to strain him to maintain this ward. Fighting back Chaos in the Madlands was draining, and he suspected they’d need all of their strength in times to come.
This section brought to you by the difference between air speed and ground speed. Also by the Madlands being, well, Mad.