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The young griffon circled the city square, looking down at the people with nothing more than curiosity. They were all screaming and running around like ants, which they almost were to Mia. An arrow whizzed by her ear, causing the griffon to cry out. These people though she was a threat? She would have to prove otherwise; Mia slowly started to descend through the buildings, avoiding arrows and rocks that were being hurled at her. She finally came to a stop in the middle of the market place and folded her wings. Several guards with long spears came filing towards her and surrounded her, ready to stab. Mia just lay down and rolled onto her back like an obedient dog, hoping someone here would realize she wasn't a threat.

(Mind if I join?)

It was Nathan's arrow that had whizzed past the griffon's head; a warning shot meant to drive the creature away. Instead it continued to come, and at a terrifying speed.

"Move!" he yelled to the guards blocking his aim. Bella, the black wolf at his side, tried to weave her way between the armed men, seeking to keep her eyes on the majestic creature above.

He drew his bow once again, sighting for the heart, when the creature landed and...did the completely unexpected gesture of turning onto its back, inviting an attack on its unprotected belly.

But with the unusual posture, he knew two things instantly. First, that this creature was intelligent. And second, that it wasn't going to hurt anyone.

"Stop!" Nathan yelled over the roar of panic. "Don't hurt it!" The nearest guard panicked however and was trying to stab the griffon---when an arrow blossomed from his chest. Only the vibrating bowstring indicated that it had come from Nathan as he rushed towards the frantic scene.

Mia rolled back onto her feet and nudged the guard who had the arrow protruding from his chest as he collapsed. Most of the guards turned away from the her and were now focused at the man who had shot the arrow. The griffin gave a concerned caw, trying to bring attention to the wounded and dieing man on the ground. She looked around frantically, not knowing what to do and not wanting to hurt anybody.
"Stop! Stop it!" she shrieked. She has no idea whether or not the humans could understand her but hoped they would at least get the message.

"Crap." Nathan hadn't wanted to turn them against him, but he could see his mistake now. The griffon regaining its feet sent chills up Nathan's spine. Was it friendly or simply playing a trick? At least it didn't look like it was going to eat the guard.

The cawing sounded like an order, but he wasn't sure what. Not until Bella suddenly sprang in front of him and howled to the skies. He froze in mid aim, his eyes on Bella. She rarely howled.

With him frozen in surprise, the guards took advantage and within moments had secured him and stripped him of his weapons.Primarily his bow and quiver. "Wait," Nathan called. "I can save him. Let me go to him...I can save him."

Mia loomed over the shoulders of the guards around the man and they all turned to her startled. She walked back over to the wounded guard and picked him up by the back of his shirt in her beak. She set him down closer to the other guards and backed away.
"Well then do it. You're still under arrest for the assault of a city guard, but get it out of him."

Nathan wasted no time. He drew a hidden dagger from his boot top--one the guards had evidently missed--and cut the man's shirt off. He pressed one hand against the flesh where the arrow had penetrated and then firmly gripped the arrow. Closing his eyes he concentrated.

The man's breathing eased as he fell into a deep sleep. Nathan then began working the arrow free, healing as he pulled it out. At last he held the arrow in his hand and the wound beneath his hand was gone. There wouldn't even be a scar. Lucky man.

Nathan looked back up at the Griffon as the city guards took possession of the new dagger and the arrow. "If it hadn't been for me, you would have been a pin cushion by now."

Mia cawed sadly, "I know," she understood what he had meant, but didn't want to hurt anyone to set the man free. She looked down at the black wolf and scooped her up in one of her forearms, which were eagle feet and then dove benieth the man who had removed the arrow so that he was sitting on her shoulders. The griffin shrieked defiantly and spread her massive wings, taking off.

Of course guards went sprawling as her wings flared out, and Nathan had only enough presence of mind to grab handfuls of feathers to cling to the griffin's back. This really wasn't what he had in mind in terms of making a getaway. But he was too smart to argue.

He clung with everything he had as they soared upward. Despairingly he watched as his weapons spiraled out of reach--held captive on the ground while he was spirited away. But, he had an impressive ally now, so it would seem.

"Ah, thanks for that," he said over the roar of the wind. "And sorry for earlier."

Mia wished the man could understand her, but there was no way right now. She just turned her head an smiled as much as she could with a beak.
About an hour of lazy flying later, the griffin set down in a clearing, making sure she put the wolf down before actually landing so as not to crush her. She lay down and folded her wings so the man could get off.

Nathan slid off the griffin's back, but as much as he tried to be graceful about it, but between the long flight and the adrenaline wearing off from the earlier fight, he had pretty much killed his sense of balance. He stumbled forward and finally knelt before he could faceplant.

Bella fled to him, her tail between her legs, whines escaping her like there was no tomorrow. He held her close, ignoring the coarse fur around her body, and looked up at the griffin. It was big. Huge from his viewpoint.

"Thanks. Any idea where we are?"

Mia tilted her head in thought and flapped her wings, making it just above the tree tops and looked around. When she landed again, she used a talon to draw an arrow towards a small village and attempted to draw small huts to show what it was.
"The city we just came from is about 75 miles back, there's a village only a few miles away," she crowed.

Nathan looked in the direction of the arrow. A village or someplace nearby? He might be in luck. Unfortunately he wasn't able to understand all of the crowing, though he had the impression the griffin was trying to tell him about how far it was.

"Um, I get the feeling you're pretty intelligent," he said after a moment, "but why did you insist on, well, visiting the town? Didn't you know they would attack you?"

Bella calmed down by this point and she went over to sniff the griffin's sketch.

Mia shook her head. "It's only an option," she cawed. She looked deep in thought for a moment, then gave a happy screech. The griffin lay down and motioned for the man to get back on her back.

Nathan understood the gesture well enough, and he looked back to Bella. The wolf would prove more trouble for this way of travel. "Bella, stay." He ordered, as he hefted himself onto the griffin. Finally settled, he leaned forward to keep himself flat against the griffin's back.

"Alright, I guess you're going to show me something" he said, bracing himself for flight.

Mia nodded and quickly took to the skies. It only took about 15 minutes of rapid flying to get their destination, a large tower nestled in a valley. There was a large staircase leading up to a platform which served as a deck for any manner of things. The griffin landed lightly on the platform and gave a friendly call. After several minutes, an young woman came out.
"Ah, Mia my friend!" she said and hugged the griffin around her neck. Mia nuzzled the woman and started cawing at her. "I see..." she turned to the man on Mia's back, "She says she wants me to give you a potion so that you can undersand her. I might have one in my back room. Would you like to use it?"

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Forums > Fantasy Roleplay Forum > Decadence (OPEN)