Interlude: Azorius First-Wing

 
Interlude: Azorius First-Wing

Varen ducked just in time to avoid getting his head smashed by a passing bridge as the griffin took a sudden dive in a deliberate attempt to kill the human frantically trying to keep its hold around the creature's neck. Things were not going as smoothly as he had planned.

Desperate times, his employer had said when she handed over the first fifth of Varen's payment. She was smiling as she aid this, but then again she was always smiling. The job was almost certain to be a total disaster. But wasn't that was exactly the kind of job that Varen enjoyed most?

Apparently a bunch of imps were on a rampage this morning, and they happened to be lucky enough to murder a mid-ranking member of the Syndicate who happened to be wearing a particularly valuable ring infused with particularly potent enchantments. However, this same bunch of imps was unlucky enough to run afoul a patrolling Azorius First-Wing which promptly tore the imps to shreds and ate most of them on the spot. Including the ring.

The trick was to intercept the griffin before it finished its patrol and returned to Prahv, because if it did, the ring would be lost for good, and so would the rest of Varen's payment. If he did manage to take the creature down, however, the guildmage promised that she would take care of "extracting" the ring, but the Guildpact prevented her from actually killing the griffin herself. All Varen had to do in order to receive the rest of his money was to deliver the corpse.

Sounded simple enough, but these things rarely were, as Varen might be quick to tell you if you asked him why he was currently hanging off the back of a thrashing griffin, tearing between the towers at terrifying speeds.

A routine job. Yeah right. The second you got into the field the job immediately turned anything but routine. "What is with the Azorius and these things?" He said aloud to no-one in particular. "Keeping the peace shouldn't include creatures that can eat you!"

Focusing his mind, Varen drew on the maelstrom of time that whirled within his soul. It had taken him a long time to learn how to navigate those dangerous waters, but learned he had. Reaching out to the river of time around him, Varen imagined a clear smooth ball surrounding the griffon, halting the flow of time around it. He felt the wave of energy build within himself, and the wash out into the city sky, seeking to halt the flow around this admittedly majetic creature.


Varen felt time bend to his will and yield in his grasp as he created a bubble around the griffin, isolating it from the world around it. However the creature flew effortlessly through the maelstrom of time, its potent accumulated resistance to magic allowing it to remain completely unaffected.

To add insult to injury, the First-Wing took another sharp dive, forcing Varen to hold on with all of his might in order to prevent the roaring rush of wind from ripping him free of his prize. The griffin was aiming, it would seem, for a massive beast hauling a cart full of smoldering coal on its back. Already the griffin was tucking its wings in preparation for the roll that would soon see Varen bathed in the red-hot embers.



Varen cursed to himself. "I'm getting too old for this crap!" He exclaimed, totally serious. He really was getting too old for these kinds of stunts. Even though he could still physically perform all the tricks of the trade, he could feel the train it was putting on his person that he'd never felt before. And here he was about to do something else really stupid and dangerous. Without missing a beat, Varen 'ported into the air above the First-Wing, and hurled his razor-edged boomerang at it, aiming for a wide looping arc. As soon as the weapon left his hand, Varen 'ported again, gripping the safe side of the First-Wing before it rolled with one hand as he plucked the razor boomerang expertly from the air on its return arc.




Varen's boomerang struck the griffin in the back of the head, disrupting the creature's concentration on its spinning dive. Rather than angle such that Varen would be the one cast into the bed of burning coals, the griffin's body struck the cart full of embers at full force. The stench of burning feathers and the creature's bird-like shriek of pain filled the air. The beast's burden was dislodged from its back, spilling the contents all over the busy street. The griffin tumbled into a carriage led by a pair of molochs, knocking it into a group of passing goblins that were hauling a sled containing large canvas-wrapped object, and absolute chaos erupted.

The first-wing came to its feet quickly, staggered a few feet, and tried to shake off Varen so that it could take to the skies once again.


Pressing his advantage, Varen reacted fast, planting a hand on the cloth-covered cart and shifting it with him high into the air, aiming to drop the heavy cart right on top of the staggering griffon. His goal achieved, Varen shifted back to the cobblestones, almost crashing into a wall as the wave of exhaustion hit him. Yeah, REAL clever, causing property damage like this. He thought to himself. As if the Wojek's didn't have enough reason to dislike you.

'Disturbing the Peace' was about the nicest thing Varen had ever been charged with, but he couldn't waste time thinking about that now. Shaking off the exhaustion, Varen readied himself for the First-Wing's next trick.


As the goblins started bickering amongst themselves about who was responsible for not avoiding the molochs and, therefore, who would have to carry the statue the rest of the way by themselves, Varen wasted no time running over to the shrouded object and pulling it with him into the air above the griffin. For one terrifying moment, he and the object hung suspended in midair and Varen realized that whatever was wrapped in cloth was much lighter than he was expecting. But it was too late to do anything about it now, and he got himself out of there in the blink of an eye.

The griffin only had time to screech in protest as the huge bundle fell through the air, the canvas around it falling away to reveal the form of a prone golem composed entirely of glass. As it shattered in a multitude of musical notes, shards of glass went flying in every direction, and the bystandards on the crowded street dove, shrieking, for cover. The griffin's body was pierced in several places, killing it instantly.

The ground was now littered with gleaming shards, forcing everyone on the street to remain where they were, as merely walking around had become a very risky proposition.





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