We arrived at the island in the dead of night. Their leader, Willa Garvenne, warned me to keep my distance from their quarry. “Keep your eyes open too and be ready to move, watcher,” she said. “Just because a Drask is far away doesn’t mean it can’t melt your bones while you’re standing around watching.”
“Drasks can melt bones?” I asked in mild horror. “The Orrery has no such reports.”
“Maybe, maybe not,” she replied with a sardonic grin, “but I wouldn’t want to be the one to find out.”
The Behemoth was not hiding from the Slayers. Indeed, it seemed to welcome the challenge with a distinctive roar and a crackling aura of shock aether. Garvenne sent up a flare in response and battle was joined.
The Drask’s heavy hide deflected the Slayers’ initial attacks as talons the size of a man’s arm tore up the earth beneath its feet. The Slayers were careful to avoid the bludgeoning swipes of its heavy tail, sometimes successfully. But while the Slayer team rained down blows on the beast I realized with growing dread that I’d caught its baleful eye. Its glowing maw was the only other warning I had and it wasn’t enough. I threw myself sideways but the lightning bolt caught me in the shoulder and threw me to the edge of the island. It took everything I had to hold on to a tree root and not plummet into the Sky Below.
Sparks and Ice
I hauled myself back to the scene to find the Slayers knew this well. As Garvenne charged her weapon with aether a distinctive amber halo wreathed her hammer in flame and caused the Drask to recoil - the power of blaze aether was anathema to the creature. The team hit the Drask with blazing strike after blazing strike, expertly maneuvering away from the massive reptile’s lightning bolts as they wore the Behemoth down.
I allowed myself a small shout of triumph amid the maelstrom of battle. It certainly was rewarding to see one’s theories proven in the field. Especially when one’s life was at stake. The shout died on my lips when I saw the attacks had only enraged the beast further. It roared, its maw crackling with aetheric power, and all at once the air around the Drask - the air in which we all stood - erupted with a literal shock wave which knocked every one of us to the ground.
Garvenne was the first back to her feet. She hefted her hammer and gave a determined half-grin. “All right,” she snarled. “So that’s how it’s going to be.” With one hand she pushed me back to safety and launched herself into the fray once more.
From the Field Report of Watcher Nisha Saray
Fourth Quarter, 1008 A.U.