Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Category Archives: Chapter 3

Chapter 3-5

That’s quite the tale.” The Watch Captain sat back, pondering on what the two half-dragons had told him. Garkhen (and especially Almonihah) hadn’t told him everything about the amulet—just that it was a powerful and dangerous artifact—but they had told him everything else. “On the one hand, you have essentially admitted to murder in the city bounds. On the other hand, it was in self-defense, while in pursuit of stolen property that is, by your own admission, dangerous. The fact that Archivist Maritha backs you up on that last point is a point in your favor.”

 

He sighed. “To be honest, I should arrest you. Legally, you’d have to go to trial to have your names cleared of the death of those two men.”

 

Garkhen noted the number—did that mean the one he had struck had survived?

 

The Captain continued, “However, if this amulet is as dangerous as you’ve said, and it’s now in the hand of proven law-breakers… keeping you in jail instead of chasing after it would be detrimental to the city, or even all of Ferdunan. So let me ask you, what are you planning to do next in chasing down these thieves?”

 

Garkhen sighed. “Unfortunately, at this point I believe our hope lies with the mages. The artifact and its containment box are both powerful magical items, which they may well be able to detect.”

 

“’cept it was after telling them about ‘t that th’ robbers came,” Almonihah grumbled.

 

The half-blue dragon shook his head slightly. “We cannot assume there is a connection, and we have little other choice.”

 

“That does make my choice easier, though,” The Watch Captain interrupted, before the discussion could grow heated. “I won’t arrest you, but I will order the Watch to make certain you do not leave the walls of Elifort. If the time comes that you must leave to continue your mission before such a time that we can try your case properly, come speak with me. And with that, gentle…dragon-men, I will take my leave. I wish you well in your efforts to recover this amulet, and I will send word when circumstances change.”

 

“Thank you, Captain,” Garkhen said. Almonihah settled for a sullen nod as the Captain walked away. 

 

The Warder looked over at his friend. “This is about the best we could hope for, Almonihah.”

 

Almonihah growled. “’nd what about Zakhin’Dakh? ‘m just leaving him out there without him knowing what’s going on.”

 

“Ah.” Garkhen hadn’t thought much about the griffon since reaching the city. “I… suppose that could be a problem. Would it be possible to ask someone else to speak with him? Perhaps the Archivist might suggest someone with magical means of communication?”

 

If anything, the half-bronze dragon seemed more annoyed. “’nd so we’re just supposed t’ stay in th’ city. Like those people can order us around…”

 

“We are in their city, Almonihah, and that means we are subject to their laws.”

 

Almonihah snorted, but said nothing. Garkhen sighed again. “Let us go talk to Archivist Maritha.” 

 

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Sorry this is late. I was distracted yesterday. 

Chapter 3-4

Almonihah looked at Garkhen quizzically. “What?”

 

“I doubt the deaths of those men will long remain unknown,” the Warder pointed out, “Even if we were to try to hide it.”

 

The half-bronze dragon snorted. “Think they’ll actually talk to th’ Watch?”

 

“Why should they not? If they remain silent, the deaths become all the more suspicious when they come to light. And I would rather suspect that the families of those men are also citizens of the city.”

 

Almonihah grunted, but said nothing further. After a moment, Garkhen sighed.

 

“Come, we should return. There will be much to do.”

They walked in silence for a little while, until the Ranger suddenly asked in Draconic, Just what are you planning to do? You’re going to tell them about them, aren’t you?

 

Garkhen nodded. It is best we tell the truth, and quickly. If we are the first to speak, it should help our case.

 

Still don’t think it’s necessary, Almonihah mumbled, but he didn’t meet Garkhen’s eyes. 

 

 

The scene back at the inn was just as chaotic as Garkhen had suspected. There were several members of the city’s Watch scattered about, keeping a wary eye on the area or speaking with inn patrons or the innkeeper. One of them noticed the two half-dragons coming.

 

“There they are!” He shouted to his companions, then turned back to the pair. He gave the half-blue dragon a slight nod. “Garkhen and… companion, (Almonihah snorted in amusement) we’ve been hoping you would return. The reports we’ve gotten have been rather… jumbled, and since it seems you were the intended victims, we hoped you might clarify matters.” 

 

“Indeed,” Garkhen said, marshaling his thoughts. “Shall we begin?”

 

At the Watchman’s nod, Garkhen launched into a retelling of the night’s events. He started with being awakened by the intruders triggering his alarm spell, the struggle in his room, the discovery of the theft, tracking them, and breaking into the location they found.

 

“When we went down the indicated stairway… there were three men waiting in ambush for us. They attacked us, and we… responded in kind. I believe we killed at least two of them.”

 

“I… see.” The man was clearly still processing their story. “Could I ask you to repeat your story in the morning? I think the Watch Captain will need to hear this.”

 

Garkhen nodded. “I would also ask that Archivist Maritha and her colleagues be notified of the theft of this amulet. It is… a magical item of some power, which we had shown to them, and they will likely wish to know of these events.”

 

Sure that’s a good idea? Almonihah growled in Draconic.

 

Garkhen glanced back at him, then returned his gaze to the Watchman. “My friend is expressing some concern about this.” He turned again to Almonihah. “We have already shown it to them, and they will likely learn of the theft shortly through other means. It would be best to see if some assistance could be rendered in its discovery.”

 

Grudgingly the half-bronze dragon nodded. Once he was certain Almonihah was in agreement, Garkhen turned back to the other man. “We did not recover the amulet, for when we fought past the ambush, it was clear others had escaped, but we had no further way to track them, and could find no sign of them. Once we had exhausted our options we returned here.”

 

The Watchman nodded. After a moment’s thought he said, “If you could show me and a few others here the place you went to, I think that will be all we need from you tonight. Then you can rest, and be ready to speak to the Captain in the morning.” 

 

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Well, so far things aren’t as bad with the law as Garkhen feared… but we’ll see what the morning brings, hm? 

Chapter 3-3

Garkhen followed just in time to see Almonihah run up some stairs at the back of the room beyond to reach a trap door. The half-bronze dragon pushed against it, then shoved it with all his might, but it hardly moved.

 

“Stuck something on top ‘f it!” Almonihah growled. He stepped back a bit, took a deep breath, and exhaled a bolt of lightning.

 

It struck the trap door right next to its hinge, blasting a smoldering hole in it. This was followed quickly by the door collapsing inwards. Almonihah leaped aside just in time to avoid the large rock that fell through and crashed into the stairs. 

 

“Thought it was heavy,” he commented before lifting himself up on top of the stone and then outside. Garkhen followed as quickly as he could.

 

They came out in a back alley near the city gates. Almonihah was growling again.

 

“Must’ve left town,” he said, baring his teeth a bit. “Easier to find out there.”

 

Before Garkhen could catch his breath, Almonihah was on the move again, sprinting towards the gates… until he realized they were closed. He slowed to a stop, allowing the shorter-legged half-dragon to catch up to him.

 

“They must have gone elsewhere,” Garkhen pointed out, only slightly winded. Things had happened quickly… but they had not really traveled that far.

 

Almonihah snorted. “Yeah. Where?”

 

Garkhen shrugged slightly, armor creaking with the motion. “I do not know… and I believe the man whose cloak we used to track them thus far is… still within.”

 

The half-bronze dragon nodded slightly, nostrils flaring. “So what now…”

 

After a moment’s thought, Garkhen suggested, “The box and the amulet both have powerful magic. Perhaps they might be located by magic detection?”

 

Again Almonihah snorted. “’nd we’re supposed t’ go back to th’ wizards when it got stolen th’ night after we talked t’ them?”

 

Garkhen sighed. “I should have been more wary, yes. But what other option do we have? We must retrieve the amulet as soon as possible, and I think we have reached the limits of our own efforts.”

 

Grudgingly the Ranger nodded. “So now…”

 

Garkhen turned to look back the way they came. “No doubt the city watch is now at the inn. We will have to answer for our actions this night…” 

 

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This post is shorter because I was busy losing to my brother in Beyond Earth today. 😀 

 

But yes, this isn’t going to be resolved quickly or easily. Especially since now Almonihah and possibly Garkhen might be accused of murder. 

Chapter 3-2

Almonihah growled low in his throat. “I’ll go after them.” He turned and ran down the stairs and out of the inn.

 

Unfortunately, by the time he arrived, he saw no sign of the robed assailants. With a grimace, he took to the air, circling wider and higher, searching for any sign of them. He still hated flying, but this was too important to let that get in the way. But despite his search, he saw nothing that would indicate where they had gone. And so he landed and looked closely at the ground… there! Where one of them had jumped from Garkhen’s window, he’d left footprints in the soft ground… but he had soon gotten onto cobblestones. Still, it gave him a direction.

 

Meanwhile Garkhen had looked around the room more thoroughly. The innkeeper had been up to see what the commotion was, and he had simply informed him that thieves had broken in and stolen some of his possessions. Once he was again alone, Garkhen had looked around the room again and noticed that there was a small piece of black cloth on the ground—likely torn off of one of the attacker’s robes while he had fought them. He knew a spell-prayer that could use such a thing…

 

Soon enough he was armed and armored, walking briskly out into the night. The piece of cloth floated above his outstretched hand, pointing the way to the rest of the robe. He had never thought he’d be using a ‘lost item’ type of spell-prayer in such a manner, but it seemed to be working.

 

He was startled to see Almonihah flying towards him. The half-bronze dragon landed beside him and followed as he led. Almonihah nodded at the floating piece of cloth.

 

“That’ll lead us to ’em?”

 

Garkhen nodded slightly in return. “At least to the robe this was torn from.”

 

“You make enough noise t’ let th’ whole town know you’re coming.”

 

“Let us hope they do not realize what it means.”

 

They hurried on in silence after that, save for the sounds of Garkhen’s armor. It was difficult to follow the direction of the spell, as they sometimes had to go around a house to another street to continue in the indicated direction. Eventually, however, they reached a house that the little piece of cloth pointed straight at no matter where they stood.

 

“Must’ve taken it in,” Almonihah commented.

 

“Yes. Now…”

 

Before Garkhen could finish his thought, Almonihah ran at the door, drawing Eldereth as he turned to strike it with his shoulder. He burst through in a shower of splinters as it broke around the door’s latch, and pointed his sword at the first person he saw within.

 

“You. Th’ men that came here. Where’d they go?”

 

Garkhen ran to catch up to him, hoping to head off whatever disaster looked imminent. As he did so, he caught a glimpse of the man the Ranger was threatening—a large man in a familiar dark robe, but what caught his eye was the hint of an iron chain around his neck.

 

The man looked down at Almonihah’s sword, which was now barely an inch from his throat, and then up at the half-dragon. He visibly swallowed.

 

“They… they went… downstairs.” He pointed to a doorway opposite him.

 

Without hesitation, Almonihah turned and went through. Garkhen paused a moment, considering the still-trembling man.

 

“I am afraid I cannot leave you here to your devices,” he said, raising his holy symbol. He uttered a spell-prayer, and his symbol flashed a bright silver light. When the light faded, the man was perfectly still. Garkhen took a moment to make certain he was truly locked in place, then followed Almonihah.

 

There was indeed a staircase down in the next room, but at the bottom was another door. Almonihah had clearly not had as much luck breaking through it as he had with the one upstairs, for he was now hacking at it with Eldereth. He looked up as Garkhen arrived.

 

“Might do better,” He said, nodding at the stocky half-blue dragon.

 

“Perhaps,” Garkhen agreed. He pulled out Silverflame, lifted it over his head with both hands, and brought it down with all his might. 

 

His mace smashed through the wood of the door, and then a swift kick finished its ruin. As soon as he was through, however, a bolt of fire soared out of the room beyond and struck him in the chest. Garkhen winced, but sent up a silent prayer of thanks for the enchantment on his armor that turned what would have been a searing flame to a comparatively mild heat. It still hurt, certainly, but it was not lethal.

 

Close your eyes! Garkhen shouted back to Almonihah in Draconic, then shouted another spell-prayer, this one flashing a brilliant light into the room ahead. 

 

When he opened his eyes, Garkhen could see three black-robed men in the room beyond, all clearly trying to recover from the blinding light. He charged ahead, and lacking a better option, punched the nearest of them in the gut with all his strength. The man fell back, striking his head on the wall as he did so, then crumpled to the ground. The half-blue dragon stared at him in shock for a moment, hoping that he had not just killed the man.

 

Almonihah, however, had no such compunctions. He charged past Garkhen, plunging Zithrandrak into the chest of one of the still-recovering men, and slashing the other with Eldereth. Once he was certain none of them were still a threat, he started searching them and the room, looking for the Amulet. 

 

“Almonihah!” Garkhen exclaimed, the shock of what he had seen enough to refocus him. “You… killed those men!”

 

Almonihah gave him a strange look. “They tried t’ kill you first.” He went back to searching.

 

“But…” Garkhen was at a loss for words.

 

Suddenly Almonihah looked up. “Someone else here,” he said, and charged through a doorway in the back of the room.

 

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Almonihah is not a nice guy.

 

Also, I think this shows more clearly than usual the fact that Almonihah and Garkhen are, quite frankly, superhuman. Draezolnian dragons tell the laws of physics to pack up and leave, and while half-dragons aren’t as good at it as full dragons, both Almonihah and Garkhen are stronger and tougher than should be possible with their muscle mass. And both of them are quite fit to begin with.

And yes, Garkhen is actually stronger than Almonihah, despite being two feet shorter than him.

Chapter 3-1

Chapter 3: Loss

“Righteousness does not mean that all things will go right, only that we do right with the circumstances we are given. Often this means coping with the consequences of the unwise choices of others. In such cases, I prefer to assume ignorance or folly to actual malice, and even in cases of proven evil strive to bring to the paths of light. But… I fear there are times when to allow evil to happen is a greater evil than causing harm to those who would commit the evil.”

The first warning Garkhen had was of his alarm ward being triggered.

 

It took him just a moment to reorient himself. He was in the inn… they had returned there after showing the Amulet to Maritha’s colleagues, as it had been rather late. Almonihah had gone off to see to Zakhin’Dakh, returning late in the night. And Garkhen had felt he should ward his room…

 

He now saw it was wise. The intruders had thrown open the door when his alarm ward had started sounding, and he only just had time to grab his mace before they were upon them. He didn’t have time to count, but there were at least three robed men. Then one was upon him with a knife, and Garkhen had no more time to observe.

 

He fell back out of his bed as he dodged the first slash, then caught the man’s wrist when he tried for another. The half-blue dragon squeezed, applying his superhuman strength, and his assailant cried out and dropped his weapon. Then Garkhen felt a sharp blow on his back, and turned to face another foe, who was cursing as he saw the Warder turn to face him. 

 

Garkhen had no desire to kill these men, despite their obvious intent to harm him. And so, instead of activating Silverflame’s power and swinging, the thrust it into the second would-be assassin’s gut, knocking the wind out of him. Then he punched him in the face. He feared for a moment that he struck too hard when his foe stumbled backward, but he heard the other one behind him moving and had to turn to face him again.

 

However, he found he did not have to defend himself against another attack, for the man was fleeing now. Whirling again he saw the other attacker throw himself out of the window of Garkhen’s room. He turned again and ran out into the hall, just in time to see Almonihah running over to him.

“Th’ Amulet!” The half-bronze dragon almost shouted.

 

In horror, Garkhen realized his companion was right. What other reason could they have for their assault? Hoping against reason he knelt and examined his pack. After a frantic search he stood back up and solemnly shook his head.

 

“They have taken it.” 

 

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Sorry for the late post. I had fun yesterday with setting up my shiny new computer. 🙂

 

And yes, Garkhen did pay for a nice inn room, while Almonihah did not.