The Dark Age Chronicles: The Fall of Night.

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The Union of the Griffin

Ihloden got up and grabbed the shirt that his mother brought for him the day before. It had been almost two weeks since the visit from the Winds and he had often though about what they said to him and discussed it a million times with Nurilah. It was safe to say that she was not a little disappointed that she missed the Winds’ arrival and was also a little angry with Ihloden for not waking her up. But they had gotten over that, thankfully. An angry Nurilah is not something he wanted. He needed her advice and friendship especially since the Winds were convinced that he was the one to find this legendary Griffin and protect it. He still moved about stiffly, his shoulders occasionally hurt despite the fact that the wounds had healed over. The scars felt weird; as if the skin had only just grown over his wounds and that if he pulled his shoulders back too much it would tear apart. Nurilah said scars healed like that sometimes, especially if the wounds were large like his were. So he decided that he had to test them. He was going hunting.

He gathered his stuff; bows, arrows, knife and strode out into the kitchen. “I’ll see you for lunch,” he said to Nurilah, “You want anything special?”

She shook her head. “Anything is fine. Be careful and don’t overdo it boy.”

He grinned and saluted her, “Yes ma’am.”

She grinned back and patted him on his head, “See you at lunch.” He left the house and plunged into the woods. He stood there taking deep breaths. Then he spun around and leaned back stretching his arms over his head, “It feels good to be better!” he shouted.

We are glad you are better,” the woody tree voices came to him.

He grinned back, “You guys finally talking to me? You were pretty silent while I was sick.”

We left you to get better,” they said sounding hurt, “We thought it best to leave you undisturbed.

“Well I am good now,” he said happily, already looking around for game trails.

“You may find good game today,” they said. Ihloden glanced up sharply at them. There was something in the way they said that.

“What’s going on?” he asked, “There is something you are not telling me.” The trees rustled around him but said nothing. He squinted at them then shrugged and moved on. Strangely he could find no game trail sign. He frowned, what was going on. Then as if on cue, the trees gave an extra hard rustle and everything went silent.

“Guys?” he asked, “Trees? Trees?” there was nothing but silence. A worm of uneasiness crept into him. He moved on a bit ahead. “Trees?” he asked again his voice sounding somewhat frantic, “Somebody answer me! Guys!” He frowned harder and trashed though the under growth and came into a clearing that he was pretty sure never existed before. In it sat the Griffin.

He stopped his breath suddenly driven out of his body. The creature sat swishing its tail from side to side, looking at him with its eagle eyes piercing into him. It gave a sort cry and broke the trance that seemed to hold him. He breathed in deeply, the worm had changed into a tight knot of fear and awe. There it was; the creature that Lyficen would kill anyone to get to. It got up and the space suddenly seemed very small. It was huge, much bigger than when he had seen it last. He had a nagging feeling that, that was the reason why there were no game trails in the forest when he had first come in.

Nurilah had said that Griffins could speak human tongue so if this Griffin wanted to say something then he would have to wait for it to speak. It took a step toward him its claws driving holes into the ground. Ihloden took a step back his eyes fixed on the claws buried in the soft earth. He was sure that his body would not be much harder than that for the Griffin. He broke out into a sudden sweat. It cocked its head and gave another short cry then took another step toward him. He took another one back. He swallowed hard, the fear growing. His throat felt unnaturally dry. Its ears came up and fluttered a bit then it gave a long eagle cry, the leaves of the trees around rustling because of it.

Keep still Ihloden,” the trees said suddenly.

“Where were you guys?” he snapped, his fear getting the better of him.

The Griffin was speaking to you,” they said, “We did not want to interfere.”

“It was not talking!” Ihloden shouted back, his voice going an octave higher than normal, “Just screeching! I thought Griffins could talk human tongue!”

“The Griffin of Legend cannot,” they said, “It was born that way.”

‘Oh great, a dumb Griffin!” Ihloden thought frustratingly. The Griffin took another step toward him. Ihloden shied away holding his hands up in front of him. “What does it want?” he yelled his voice going higher.

It wants to speak with you,” they said softly, their voices faded away, “Listen.”

The Griffin took a step again but Ihloden did not step back even though he really wanted to. He felt beads of sweat run down his face and down his stomach. It nodded as if pleased then walked right up to him. Its face was twice the size of his own. He swallowed hard again and blinked rapidly as sweat drops rolled into his eyes. “What is it that you wanted to say?” he managed to asked, his voice sounding squeaky. The griffin leaned down and touched its forehead to his.

It was like being struck by a blinding light. Ihloden screamed out and pulled away holding his head. His ears were ringing so loud it was all he could hear. He squeezed his eyes shut and gritted his teeth. His head hurt so bad he thought that it would burst open. He was on his knees, his head to the ground waiting for the pain to go. It went gradually and he finally opened his eyes and looked around.

The Griffin was looking at him intently. The forest was still silent. The Griffin cocked it head and gave a short cry. Ihloden felt curious all of a sudden. So curious in fact that he began to wonder about everything and nothing at all. He just felt like he wanted to know everything. It was so bad that he thought that if he did not know everything right now he would go crazy. The Griffin sat back down and squawked at him once again. Then he began to feel apprehensive. He glanced around sharply. Something was out there he was sure. The feeling was so great he began to move towards the trees sure that something would come out and get him. He was halfway to the tree then he glanced at the tree sharply, wondering if it might suddenly fall on him. The Griffin’s ears came up and it flapped its wings. Ihloden looked at it and squinted wondering if it would jump and try to eat him.

Then he suddenly found it amusing and began to laugh. It was a deep happiness that he had never felt before. He laughed so much he was on the ground rolling from side to side. Then a wave of sadness hit him so terribly that he began to cry. He rolled over on his stomach and buried his head in his arms and cried for all he was worth. It felt as if the world’s sadness had poured onto him. And for all he could, he could not figure out why he crying. Then it ended as suddenly as it came and a calmness filled him. He lay there sniffing then he got up and looked at the Griffin. It looked back at him with what looked like a smile on its face. He knew that what had just happened to him, all those deep emotions had something to do with the Griffin.

“What just happened to me?” he asked.

There was a quiet rustle and the trees answered, “You have been chosen Ihloden, by the Griffin. When your heads touched the bond was made. The Union has occurred you are now a Uetni isade Rodilar; a Griffin Chosen.”

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