Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Category Archives: Chapter 7

Chapter 7-10

Heedless, the monsters dove in, driving themselves onto the pikes. One pike snapped under the force applied to it, but that monster fell dead with the pike head, its head pierced through. The other two survived their insane dives, taking wounds to the shoulders instead. The soldiers dropped their pikes and drew short swords, forming up between the two spellcasters and the two Javni’Tolkhrah.

The two Javni’Tolkhrah—one a vaguely feline beast with bat-like wings, the other more reptilian—sprang at the soldiers. One of the men was borne down by his foe’s weight, screaming as it tore at his face. The other two soldiers managed to fend off the other with their swords, in spite of its frenzied efforts to reach those they were guarding. Finally one soldier stabbed his sword through one of the Madness-Touched’s eyes, ending its life.

The other, however, charged towards Garkhen… or more accurately, towards the pack on his back. Unable to force himself to move, the half-dragon could only watch as it leaped at him, claws outstretched. It impacted him with a great crash, knocking him on his side as it bit at his pack.

Then came a loud shriek-roar, as Zakhin’Dakh dove from above on the remaining monstrosity. Garkhen gritted his teeth as his armor withstood another impact, glad for its impossible toughness once again.

The huge griffon made short work of the distracted beast, then pushed its corpse aside to check on his little half-blue dragon friend. Garkhen was unconscious (again), but breathing.

Almonihah landed just then, looking over the scene. He saw that the Javni’Tolkhrah were all dead, nodded, and then turned to Zakhin’Dakh.

Keep watch here. I’ll see if the walls still need help, he said in Great Eagle.

The big griffon nodded as his friend took off again. Almonihah flew back towards the wall, noting that he didn’t hear any further shouting. As he neared he could tell that all the Javni’Tolkhrah he could see weren’t moving, which he took to be a good sign.

He came in to a landing near where the Guard Captain was ordering about some of his men. He looked over at the half-dragon, his face contorting into a mask of anger.

“GET OUT!” The Captain shouted. “Leave my city! Take that accursed amulet and never come back!”

Without a word, Almonihah took off and flew back towards his friends.

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This was a hard chapter for me to write. I knew, when I neared this point in the story, that it had to happen, but I hadn’t really planned out the how, which turned out to be a problem. But it’s done now. 

Chapter 7-9

Zakhin’Dakh didn’t fully understand the danger of the amulet… but he knew his friends thought it was bad, and that was enough for him. As soon as his first target was dead, he took off again, trying to catch another of the Javni’Tolkhrah. Unfortunately, those that were still alive were mostly the fastest among them, and it looked like he wouldn’t reach any of them before they got where they were going.

Gritting his teeth, Almonihah forced himself to move, to aim, to fire. The angle and distance were only getting worse for hitting his targets, but there was no way he’d catch up to them. But he had to stop them, of that he felt certain. So he stood and fired, ignoring the shouting on the wall behind him.

Most of his arrows missed or caused only minor wounds, but one managed to cut part of one of the beasts’ wings, slowing it. Zakhin’Dakh saw this and angled his flight slightly, managing to catch up to it. So focused was it on its goal that the huge griffon caught it completely off-guard, which made it easy prey for his talons.

But four more Madness-Touched still flew on. They turned slightly and dove, angling towards a building near the courthouse… and then there was a huge explosion of fire. One more of the monstrosities dropped from the air, but the other three continued their dive.

Archivist Maritha watched them with fear clear on her face. She was no trained battle-mage—she’d learned the classic fire spell as much out of tradition as anything else, with no expectation of ever using it. And now… well, she had only prepared for casting one. She heard Garkhen clanking out of the building behind her, but she doubted in his condition he’d be able to do anything.

Garkhen gritted his teeth as he called on Bahamut. He knew he was still drained from his past efforts, but there was no longer a choice. He threw up a ward… in midair.

The first Javni’Tolkhrah slammed headfirst into an invisible wall, and Garkhen groaned, falling to his knees as the effort to maintain the spell-prayer drained what little energy he’d managed to recover. He dropped the ward, and the Javni’Tolkhrah dropped also, clearly killed by the force of its impact, but three more followed it.

Almonihah swore under his breath as he ran. He’d already lost sight of them, and he didn’t know what had happened with that explosion. Probably the mage had some magic, but the lack of more explosions didn’t seem like a good sign to him. 


As the Javni’Tolkhrah descended, Garkhen tried to force himself back to his feet, to summon forth the energy for another spell-prayer… anything, but he could not. Next to him, Maritha was desperately chanting one last spell, though he knew not what it was. It was all he could do to force his head up, so that he might at least gaze upon his foes as they fell upon him.

Maritha finished her chanting, and held up her hands. For a moment nothing happened, but then a chair flew out of the open door behind them. Then another, and another, followed by a table and various other pieces of furniture. They flew into the air and started beating on the descending Javni’Tolkhrah. While it didn’t stop them, it did slow them down, as they tried to evade the assorted objects trying to strike them.

Then came the clatter of armor as a trio of soldiers came around the corner. Hastily they ran over to the pair, readying their pikes awkwardly to face the diving monsters.

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I forget how long combats take to write sometimes. Particularly when I’m not writing a lot at once.

Chapter 7-8

The guards on the walls looked rather nervous at having a giant griffon land behind them. Sheepishly, Zakhin’Dakh waved at them, but that didn’t seem to calm their nerves.

“He’s with us,” an officer called out. “Keep your eyes on the threat!”

Again Zakhin’Dakh took off, flying up to see what was coming. He screeched softly in surprise at the sight—even more Javni’Tolkhrah than they’d fought in the Madlands, charging and flying towards the walls of the city in a disorganized horde. Not the kind of thing for a single griffon to go charging into. Instead he circled above the walls, waiting for the right chance to strike.

Almonihah reached the walls just as a voice cried out, “Fire!” He didn’t take the time to run up the stairs, instead leaping into the air, taking a couple flaps of his wings to reach the top of the wall. Then he brought his own bow to bear, blasting sizzling arrows into the mass of Javni’Tolkhrah rushing at the walls.

They were close now, or at least their vanguard was. They’d only grown more disorganized as they’d charged, and by now those that could fly were a few hundred yards in front of those who could not. Most of the archers were focusing on these ones, and a couple fell before they reached the walls.

Now Zakhin’Dakh saw his chance, for they were completely ignoring him. He flew up higher, then dove on one of the largest just as it reached the wall of the city. It tried to dodge him, but that only brought his true target in reach—its wing. He plowed into the wing with all his might, snapping bone and tearing the flesh. It tumbled from the air, smashed into the wall, then dropped to the ground, dead. Zakhin’Dakh narrowly averted a similar fate, the tips of his wings tapping bows and helmets as he flew over the wall.

In spite of the casualties, there were still a good half-dozen of the Madness-Touched that still lived to fly over the wall. They ignored the guards, instead heading towards…

“Zakhin’Dakh! They’re headed for th’ amulet!” Almonihah shouted. He turned and continued his barrage of arrows, quietly praying that none of his stray shots landed on someone in the city.

The big griffon shrieked a challenge as he attacked the nearest monstrosity he could reach, one with eagle’s wings like his own but a body much more like a giant warthog’s. It tried to slash at him with oversized tusks, but it was smaller than Zakhin’Dakh, and he soon brought it to the ground.

In the confusion, the ground-bound Javni’Tolkhrah had neared the walls. By now the Guard Captain had asserted control over his men, and he shouted, “Pikes!” Just in time, the guards turned back outwards, polearm-equipped men bracing their weapons as the most agile of the Madness-Touched leaped up onto the walls.

In this they succeeded mostly in impaling themselves upon the weapons… but even in death, they brought misery. One with a stinger sprouting from its back impaled its killer back as it died, both dropping to the ground almost at once.

Another… exploded.

The detonation had such force as to knock men off their feet more than a dozen yards away, including Almonihah. The half-bronze dragon was thrown entirely off of the wall, and he reflexively opened his wings as he fell. That bought him a softer landing, but he still felt bruised and dazed as he shakily got back to his feet. Behind him he could hear the shifting of stone and men shouting, but he put it aside. Whatever else happened, he had to stop those flying Javni’Tolkhrah from reaching the amulet. 

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Apologies for the late post! Hopefully it was worth it.

I didn’t realize this chapter was going to be so long. Maybe I should have split it up…

Chapter 7-7

Almonihah swore in Draconic. “Knew that amulet’d been too quiet!”

At the same time, the Captain was making his way over to his man. “How many? How long do we have?”

“Uh… I don’t know how many, sir, but only a couple minutes at the rate they were going…”

Now the Captain swore, and in a language everyone present could understand. By now he was jogging down the aisle towards the door the soldier had come from. “Notify all posts. We need every able-bodied man on the walls.”

Suddenly he stopped and looked back. “Your Honor, if I could have Almonihah’s aid in the defense of the city…”

The judge was still overcoming shock, but after a moment he responded, “Yes, of course! If he will aid in the defense of our city…”

“It is his fault we’re under attack, after all,” the accuser pointed out, though he seemed as shocked as any.

Garkhen slowly got to his feet. “And I will go, too.”


Almonihah snorted. “Yesterday you had trouble standing on your own. ‘ll just get in th’ way.”

Garkhen shook his head defiantly. “No. I will go. I cannot stand by while others die.”

The half-bronze dragon grunted as he started moving to leave, following the Guard Captain out of the court. “Not going t’ do much good ‘f you knock yourself out again ‘nd get stepped on by some Javni’Tolkhrah.”

Garkhen started to follow, but Maritha’s voice from the crowd stopped him. “And what of the amulet? Is it wise to take it closer to these creatures?”

Garkhen paused. “I… am not certain.”

“Should it not be kept from the walls? It is clear we need to re-establish some sort of containment on it. Perhaps if you had come seen me when you returned we might have prevented this…”

Almonihah snorted again, his arms crossed. “Trouble only started after we told you.”

The Archivist’s face darkened. “I understand your concern, but I would ask you to not accuse me…”

“Please!” Garkhen half-shouted. “Let us not argue amongst ourselves! We must work together, not against one another.”

Maritha looked between the two half-dragons. “Then what of my proposal? I and those of my team I most trust can do something to block out the amulet’s… call, whatever it’s doing to bring the Madness-Touched here.”

Almonihah growled, baring a few teeth, then looked over at Garkhen. “’f he watches,” he stated, pointing at Garkhen.

Garkhen hesitated a moment, then nodded slightly. “I will do this.”

After another moment of silence, Almonihah pulled the amulet out of his pack, still wrapped in cloth as he had left it. Garkhen walked forward and took it, then turned to Maritha.

“Let us go.”

The Archivist followed him out, while Almonihah turned and jogged out of the building. His first instinct once outside was to get Zakhin’Dakh, but a quick glance at the sky told him that wouldn’t be necessary.

The huge griffon’s wing-beats stirred up dust from the street as he came into a landing in front of his friend. Almonihah! He shrieked. Bad things!

Yes, Almonihah responded, speaking Great Eagle back, More monsters. Let’s go get rid of them.

Yeah! Zakhin’Dakh screeched, taking off again. Almonihah followed, sprinting towards the walls.

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Yeah, someone else has to convince Garkhen to not knock himself out again. That’s a problem of his.  

Chapter 7-6

Getting into the court turned out to be much more of an ordeal than Almonihah had imagined. It wasn’t that it was much of a journey—rather, the ceremony around being admitted to the court, the judge addressing the audience, and on and on took far too long. It set Almonihah on edge, all this ceremony while he was carrying that blasted amulet around in his pack.

Of course, the fact that he’d had to leave his weapons at the door made him at least as nervous. He hated being without his weapons… he felt naked, like something would attack him at any moment and he wouldn’t be able to defend himself. Not that he was bad with his claws and teeth, but they were hardly as good as his blades and bow.

A gentle nudge from Garkhen brought him back to his surroundings. Almonihah couldn’t believe he’d done that… paying attention to his surroundings was one of the first rules of survival. But this whole ceremony thing was just so stupid

“Almonihah Zrathanzon,” The judge continued, looking straight at the half-dragon as he mispronounced his name, “You killed two men—whose names as yet remain unknown.”

The judge snorted at this, then went on. “Garkhen ze’Darkhen’Sem’dor, you were present and aided in this. Is this so?”

Almonihah nodded, curtly. Garkhen quietly said, “Yes.”

“And yet you claim to have reason for this, do you not?”

“Yes,” Garkhen said, more loudly. “They broke into our room at night, and stole a powerful and dangerous magical artifact.”

A man stood up on the other side of the judge. “And where is this dangerous magical artifact now?” he asked accusingly.

Almonihah patted his pack, which he’d somehow been allowed to bring in. “Here.”

“If it is so dangerous, why are you bringing it into a court of law?”

“So ‘t doesn’t get stolen again,” Almonihah replied, a bit of a growl in his voice.

“Perhaps you might show us all this ‘powerful magical artifact’, then?”

Almonihah stood up. “’nd I’m supposed t’ think that’s a good idea?”


Another voice came from the crowd—Archivist Maritha. “Good sir, as an expert on magical devices, and having examined this one myself, I must protest its display. It is extremely dangerous, and we have evidence that its mere appearance has in the past altered the minds of those viewing it.”

The judge nodded. “Thank you, Archivist. Accuser, it seems your request must be denied.”

The accuser scowled. “Very well, then. But I must still ask, why did you bring such a dangerous thing into our city in the first place? We have had trouble enough without you bringing more.”

“I found it here,” Garkhen stated, calmly. “And here was the nearest place I knew of someone to consult upon it,” he nodded in Maritha’s direction, “when the spell upon my memory was broken.”

“Indeed.” The accuser crossed his arms, clearly unimpressed.


“Accuser, may I remind you that you are accusing them of murder, not of carrying dangerous items into Elifort, however disturbing that may be,” the judge said.

“Ah, but this artifact of theirs is at the heart of the murder, is it not?”

Before anyone could respond, a shout from the door interrupted the proceedings.

“Captain!”

The Guard Captain, who had been watching from near the front row, stood and turned to see one of his men running into the room.

“Captain! There’s… there are monsters, a whole horde of them! They’re headed right for the walls!”

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Hmmm, court case getting boring… time for a monster attack! Okay, no, there’s reason for it, as you might guess. 

And yeah, maybe I should have researched medieval justice more, but this is supposed to have a rather… off feel to it. Ferdunan has some problems that our heroes are only briefly glimpsing here.

Chapter 7-5

It was two more days before the healers released Garkhen to stand trial. Two long, slow days, with nothing for Almonihah to do but practice, keep track of Zakhin’Dakh, and attempt again to make conversation with Garkhen.

It wasn’t that Garkhen was unwilling to talk… it was just hard for him to keep up a conversation all by himself. Almonihah didn’t know why he couldn’t seem to talk with Garkhen… no, that was false. He had a pretty good idea of why. He didn’t know what to say. He hadn’t exactly been the friendliest to Garkhen, and now… well, he’d certainly proven that Almonihah had no reason to doubt him. And yet, he still struggled to be civil to him. There was absolutely no reason for it to be true, and yet it was. Of course, his irritation at this fact probably made it even harder than the deep-seated discomfort Garkhen’s blue scales brought him.

And so, his visits were brief, with only few words exchanged. Really, he spent more time with Zakhin’Dakh. The big griffon was (grudgingly) allowed to leave the city to hunt—mostly because no one really wanted to try to feed him, rightly guessing it would be an expensive proposition. He was probably even more bored than Almonihah in the city, though, since they wouldn’t let him wander around and look at all the funny human things. So he would go out and hunt, then come back and sit in the courtyard, and watch the funny looks the soldier-people gave him.

At last, the word came that the healers would allow Garkhen to stand trial. The Captain of the Guard came to see them shortly after the Warder had rejoined his friends.

“I’m glad to see you on your feet,” he said to Garkhen, “And not just because we need to get this business behind us. I still remember the part you had in the battle here, and I’d like to see your name cleared.”

“Now, given you’re both foreigners, you probably don’t know about how trials here work. There’s a judge, of course, and he’s the one who’ll decide if you’re innocent or guilty. Usually your accusers would face you in front of the judge and accuse you, but, well… we can’t even find next-of-kind for these fellows, which helps your case a lot. None of those left alive on the scene are… trustworthy enough in the eyes of the law to speak, which means another judge will take the place of the accuser.”

“You’ll both have the chance to speak your piece, as well as respond to the accuser. Once everyone’s said all they can, the judge will deliver his verdict. Understood?”

Almonihah nodded, curtly, while Garkhen said, “Yes, I understand.”

The Captain nodded back. “Then let’s get you to the court.” 

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Apologies for the late, short post. I struggle at writing connective bits like this. 

Chapter 7-4

It took some work to find accommodations for Zakhin’Dakh. His scent spooked horses, and his size meant he needed a lot of space. In spite of Almonihah’s suggestions to the contrary, the Captain of the Guard insisted that the big griffon stay in Elifort, and so eventually they settled on having him stay in the courtyard of the former duke’s castle. Now that time had passed since the war, it was all but abandoned, with only a skeleton garrison to keep watch for squatters. These few soldiers seemed a bit nervous about Zakhin’Dakh’s presence, but accepted the arrangement without protest.

One very nervous day passed without much sign of stirring from Garkhen. Almonihah was restless the entire time, spending his time practicing archery and swordplay in the courtyard while Zakhin’Dakh (and a couple soldiers) watched on. He was all too aware of the amulet in his pack—which he never let out of his sight. He was even more aware that they’d never retrieved its warding box, for he remembered what had happened with Garkhen. So far he’d detected no sign of it influencing his thoughts… but that’s just what he’d think if it had.

Finally the next day the healers sent word that Garkhen was stirring. Almonihah came quickly, to find the half-blue dragon sitting in bed, wearily drinking some broth.

“You’re up, Blue,” Almonihah observed.

The Warder nodded slightly. “I have been informed that we are to stand trial as soon as I am well.”

“Yeah,” the Ranger replied.

For a while, silence reigned in the room. The two half-dragons looked at one another—Garkhen trying to read Almonihah’s expression, the Ranger silently struggling for words. Finally Almonihah just turned a left, leaving Garkhen to slowly shake his head and return to his broth.

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Sorry for the short post–this has not been a good writing week.

Chapter 7-3

The Druid nodded in sorrowful agreement. “There is much to mourn this day… but if you do not destroy the Amulet, our suffering this day will be as nothing. Please, go quickly, and may the Lady of Forests watch over you.”

They stayed only long enough for the druids to heal their wounds, and then the three companions moved on, in spite of fatigue and, in the case of Garkhen, unconsciousness. With the help of one of the remaining Rangers Almonihah had been able to get the half-blue dragon into a slightly more stable and comfortable position, but he showed no signs of rousing.

Zakhin’Dakh flew, if not swiftly, at least steadily. Almonihah gripped his saddle behind Garkhen, his own wings spread to, he hoped, reduce the load on his tired friend without straining his own already-weary muscles.

In spite of their efforts, they only traveled a couple of hours at best before they simply could not continue. Zakhin’Dakh landed without his usual energy in the sparsely-forested foothills, and Almonihah did his best to get Garkhen off without simply dropping him on the ground. Then he took off Zakhin’Dakh’s saddle, and the two friends slept as best they could.

To Almonihah’s amazement, nothing troubled them in the night, and while neither he nor Zakhin’Dakh were feeling great in the morning, they at least had more energy than the night before. Garkhen, however, was still unconscious.

Zakhin’Dakh screeched worriedly and lightly tapped the Warder. Wake up?

When that failed to bring a response, the griffon turned to Almonihah. He not wake up. You help?

Almonihah shook his head slightly. “Only thing that can help’s time, I think, Zakhin’Dakh,” he said. “Did too much magic during the fight, ‘nd has t’ get his energy back.”

Zakhin’Dakh screeched in unhappy acceptance, then set about helping get Garkhen back in his saddle.

They flew on as long as they could, then stopped and rested for a time. They continued in this pattern until it was evening, and the walls of Elifort finally came into sight. Exhausted, Zakhin’Dakh came to a landing about a mile from the city.

The griffon hesitated as Almonihah walked toward the city. Cities usually weren’t good places for him…

Almonihah glanced back. “’f people complain about you after all you’ve done, I’ll let ’em know just what they’d be in for ‘f you weren’t around.”

Zakhin’Dakh screeched happily and followed.

The guards were watching the little group nervously as they approached, until one pointed in their direction and spoke to the others. One of them ran off, leaving the others to watch.

As they drew near, a guard called out, “Come no further ’til the Captain’s come!”

Almonihah grunted, but in reality, he was tired enough to appreciate a few moments of rest. But it didn’t take long.

The guard captain came up onto the wall. He looked rather… surprised, to see Zakhin’Dakh, but when he saw Garkhen slumped over his saddle, he called out, “What happened?”

“Fought Madness-Touched… ‘nd a cultist of Jivenesh,” Almonihah replied, darkly. “Just about killed us… ‘nd probably would’ve, ‘f not for him.”

“And… what of him?”

“Knocked himself out, doing magic,” Almonihah replied.

“I see…” The Captain replied. “If that’s the case… you must still stand trial, but I cannot do it until he awakens. Come in, and we’ll care for him until he’s well enough to speak for himself.”

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Garkhen! Quit knocking yourself out! It’s not good for you!

Chapter 7-2

Amazingly, nothing else attacked them as they slowly made their way out of the Madlands. Tiredly Almonihah wondered if all of the powerful Javni’Tolkhrah nearby had already made their attempt, and so the area now had nothing to attack them. But he did not make the mistake of growing complacent. Whatever the case, these were still the Madlands, and the land itself might well threaten them as they passed.

The trio finally made it to the border of the Madlands, passing across that invisible line that separated them from the solid, sensible world.

Better here! Zakhin’Dakh screeched.

Almonihah nodded. “We’re out ‘f th’ Madlands now. Not safe, but better.” He paused. “Now we just have t’ decide where t’ go…”

Lots hurt… Zakhin’Dakh commented.

The Ranger nodded slightly. “Not exactly ‘n good shape… have t’ make for th’ Ranger Headquarters. They left a couple ‘f druids there. Should get us in shape t’ head back t’ town… ‘nd figure out what’s next.”

It was getting dark by the time they heard an odd bird-call. Almonihah perked up slightly.

“We’re alive,” he called out, fatigue plain in his posture and voice.

Another Ranger melted out of the trees. “And the others?”

Almonihah shook his head slightly. “Not many.”

The other Ranger quickly hid his pained look as he led the three back into the Headquarters clearing. Llitthos ran over to meat them as they came into view.

“What happened?”

Almonihah described the action as briefly as he could. The druid was obviously saddened by the news, but he quickly set to work caring for the three’s wounds. As he worked, he spoke.

“It is clear you cannot stay here. It seems having that accursed amulet so close to the Madlands is far too great a risk.”

“Yeah,” the half-bronze dragon agreed. “Question’s how t’ destroy it.”

“Such a thing will not lightly be accomplished.” Llitthos sighed slightly. “Would that I had the knowledge to guide you, but I fear this is beyond my skill. It will likely take the knowledge of many powerful priests or mages to unravel such a mighty enchantment as the amulet bears.”

Almonihah growled slightly. “’nd it’s hard t’ trust any just now.”

“You shall have to find some to trust, and quickly,” the druid pointed out. “We can ill afford another such battle.”

The Ranger shook his head. “Can’t stay here. Soon ‘s the blue’s awake,” he jerked his head in Garkhen’s direction, “We’re leaving. Back t’ the town first, I think, ‘nd after that…”

“To wherever you may hope to find aid,” Llitthos finished. “Very well. I shall tell the Commander where you have gone when he returns, but I doubt we can furnish further aid.”

Almonihah growled again. “Wouldn’t want ‘t if you offered. ‘nough dead Rangers already.”

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Not much to say here, I suppose.

Chapter 7-1

Chapter 7: Urgency

“Hate Javni’Tolkhrah? Not really. More like… having t’ kill a mad dog, t’ use something city-types say. Something that has t’ be done. Th’ one I hate’s Jivenesh.”

In spite of Garkhen’s weight slowing him, Zakhin’Dakh caught up to Almonihah before he reached the Madlands. It wasn’t hard to see why—the half-dragon was on foot again, having utterly exhausted his ill-exercised wing muscles. Feeling rather light-headed and weary himself, Zakhin’Dakh angled down to meet him.

Almonihah whirled, tensing as he heard wings behind him, but relaxed as he saw Zakhin’Dakh. Then his face grew grim as he saw Garkhen.

“Th’ Rangers?” He asked as Zakhin’Dakh set Garkhen down.

Zakhin’Dakh screeched sadly, then added, Some come still.

Almonihah looked over the big griffon and the other half-dragon. They looked pretty chewed up… of course, he wasn’t looking so hot himself. But some of those cuts on Zakhin’Dakh looked pretty bad, and he seemed a bit unsteady on his feet.

Almonihah reached into a pouch on his belt, only to curse softly as he felt dampness. Somewhere in there he’d landed on his potions! Well, he could do a little something… calling up some old memories, he lifted the unicorn symbol he still wore around his neck and chanted the only spell-prayer of healing he’d ever learned. It was a weak one, but it still made Almonihah stumble a bit from exhaustion. But at least Zakhin’Dakh was looking a little better.

Garkhen… well, he was just out cold. He’d probably got banged around enough in that armor to knock him out without killing him, Almonihah thought. Whatever the case, though…

Something in him whispered to just leave him. Irritated, Almonihah quashed the thought. Yeah, he was half-blue dragon, but… well, he couldn’t pretend he was a bad person after getting to know him. Certainly not the kind of person you’d leave to the Javni’Tolkhrah. But they needed to move fast, and even Almonihah wasn’t strong enough to move the Warder himself.

He looked around, trying to compare Zakhin’Dakh’s shoulder height to some nearby rocks. One looked about right.

“Think you can put th’ blue up there?” Almonihah asked, pointing at the spot.

Okay… Zakhin’Dakh replied uncertainly. Carefully he picked the unconscious half-dragon back up and gently placed him on top of the rock.

“Now stand next t’ it,” Almonihah instructed as he climbed up on top of the rock himself.

Zakhin’Dakh came over and stood nearby, looking confused. Almonihah waved him closer.

“Touching it. Going t’ try rolling him ‘nd strapping him in.”

With a low screech of understanding, Zakhin’Dakh scooted over, touching his shoulder to the stone. Once he was in place, Almonihah got as much leverage as he could and literally rolled Garkhen over. It made a horrible racket, and even with leverage it was hard to move Garkhen (how much did that armor weigh!?), but somehow, he managed to get the Warder on Zakhin’Dakh’s back. With several minutes more of work he had arranged Garkhen in Zakhin’Dakh’s saddle, strapping him in well enough that he probably wouldn’t fall out.

“Let’s go, Zakhin’Dakh,” Almonihah said at last, dropping to the ground and walking southwards. The big griffon screeched in agreement and followed. 

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Zakhin’Dakh’s saddle has straps so that a rider who can’t fly is less likely to fall to their death. Because that would be unpleasant.