Angeltorch: The Mystery of the Griffith

by Tomesquire

Preface

Thanks to

Tamora Pierce, whose books got me into this genre and style of writing, period.

My family, who gave me ideas and brought a me into this world.

To my cousin, who is my soul sister and is always there to role play and chat with me, no matter how far apart we are.


Angeltorch: The Mystery Of The Griffith

By Tomesquire

     "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" I scream, shooting down the pit. My name is Kantie (CAN-tee) Deritinan (dare-it-in-an), grandkid of Jainya Windrunner Deritinan, and I am currently falling to my death. How did I get here, you may ask? It's a LONG STORY.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It all started out in Bean's, the local yummy-but-bad-for-you store. I am just biting into a quadruple layer Much Fudge Brownie when I get a pigeon mail from my mom.

    "I gotta go, Gary!" I announce, addressing the bartender, and dash out the door. Five sprinted blocks later and I'm standing in front of the capital building, the place where Angeltorch is run. I dash up the steps and take four magically-upward-spiraling-staircases (MUSS) up to the fifteenth meeting room. I burst in, and take in the lot of people there. There's Royal Advisor Ferra (my mom), High General Jainya (my grandmother), Supreme healer Aristotle, Royal Mage Huna-ai, High Ranger Canin, King Allzri, and Queen Kinthkri.

     "Your majesties. Advisor. High General. Mage. Healer. Ranger." I say, addressing everyone by rank, adding bows.

"Kantie. We have a mission for you," the Queen says. "Recently, there have been attacks on many of the villages to the north of us. Those asked about it said that there was a giant glowing wolf at the front of the attacks, leading hordes of Thyarns, or people of stone-and-sky. It seemed to have a great intelligence in its great eyes and has a raging hunger for human food. There have been troops sent for it but it seems to attack randomly, so we are never ready for it. We need a different strategy, one that does not require a sharp blade. We have heard of your great detective skills. Will you help us?"

     "I would be honored, your majesties." I say. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I start the investigation with the survivors. Data gathered:

Yes, a giant brown glowing bear attacked

Survivors recalled 20-35 Thyarn bandits

The bear ate only human food, not directly attacking humans, instead motioning for its pawns to do the job for it

The attacks have been only to the north of the capital (Angeltorch)

One woman saw a flicker of a hooded figure on the back of the bear. The cloak had golden trim around the edges and a bear pattern on the back

The bandits always burst from the trees/mountain outcroppings around the villages

They have mostly just stolen food and supplies, not taking ransom prisoners or slaves

     Using this information, I journey north with two guards and my friend/sidekick, Ferdy. When we get to a town, Fillsbury, that had been attacked, we dismount and approach the scene cautiously.

     "Don't touch anything. We don't want to contaminate the scene." I inform Ferdy.

     "Yes, Doc." says Ferdy, rolling his eyes.

     Something catches my eye. A scrap of black fabric, caught on a tree. A tree that has claw marks on it. I sniff at the fabric. Orange perfume, wool, leather... and arsenic. I look around, and find heeled shoe marks in the mud. I follow the footprints and find a dusty patch with what looks like wing impressions. A feather lies on the ground nearby. I quickly make a sketch of the footprints and wing impressions and a rubbing of the feather.

     "Ferdy, we're going home." I say.

     "Found 'im already, Kantie?" askes Ferdy.

     "I believe so, F."

     We mount up and gallop back to Angeltorch.

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     My footsteps echo in the dark hall. Ferdy and the two guards, Hooky and Cinnamon, wait at the door.

     "Hello?" I call out. I take a step forward and trip. Clanking noises. And then I'm free falling.

                                                                                     ~~~~~~

     Yup. Here I am. Falling to my death next to three other people.

     "Hang on!" Cinnamon shouts, and grabs Hooky. Hooky's hook grabs Ferdy, Ferdy grabs me, and I barely catch my magnifying glass as it slips out of my pocket. Cinnamon wedges her axe in a crevice in the wall, and we're all slammed against it.

     "Whoooooa," I say, "Everyone here?"

     "Yup." Is the reply I get.

     "Cinnamon, let go of the wall," I say, "Seriously, the ground is, like, one foot below us."

     "You got it, chief."

     When we are all on the ground safely, Hooky lights a torch. We are in a cylindrical pit with smooth sides. The faint outline of a small door stains the side of the pit. The lock is in a niche in the wall.

     "Ferdy?" I ask?

     "On it, K."

     In seconds the lock swings open.

     "Ain't a lock that can best me." Ferdy boasts. "Pretty bad design, 'f you ask me."

     We walk through the door into a brightly lit chamber. Cinnamon sends up an Angelguard flare through the hole. The unique sound summons 10 Angelguard soldiers.

     Sitting at a desk across the chamber from us is a figure wearing a veil the color of robin's eggs.

     "Senator Darthia of Nottining, you are under arrest for theft and murder." I say, taking out my boot knife.

     "What? Who-who's there?" Darthia askes, whirling from her chair, "I didn't do anything! I'm innocent!"

     Just what someone guilty would say, I think.

     "You, Darthia Spinning, attacked villages along the northern border of Angeltorch's borders, killing innocents and stealing food with your simulacrum, a magic creature that must eat human food to survive. A scrap of your cloak was caught on a tree, smelling of oranges (your perfume), sheep (your county's main animal), leather, and arsenic, a mineral that is found only in your territory of Nottining. Yes, this sounds preposterous and you could have been easily framed," I say as she opens her mouth to protest, "But how can you explain the wing and claw marks of a Griffith, a griffin with an extra set of wings instead of front paws? And a Griffith feather was found next to the marks. Now, let me explain Griffiths. Sorcerer-made, they are only found in Nottining and their every move is monitored by the Nottining Guard, in case they escape and create half-breeds. Angeltorch has politely asked to set Griffiths free, but been refused many times."

     "Anyway, on the way back to Angeltorch from Fillsbury, a town you attacked, I stopped by Nottining and found that the only Griffith that had taken flight on the day of the attack on Fillsbury was your private steed. No one saw any other attackers other than the Thyarns, the big bear, and the hooded person. The markings on the ground were from the time of the attack. I, Kantie Waythrow Deritinan arrest you for theft and murder."

     "Rrrrrrrrgh."

     "Excuse me?" I ask.

     "Kantie, get behind me!" yells Hooky. I stumble back as Senator Darthia pulls out a knife and grows fangs. She yells in fury as her skin turns to rock and her eyes emit yellow smoke.

     "Yarrrrrrrgh!" yells another voice. We hear 10 thumps outside the chamber, and see the glint of golden armor. In steps Jainya, High General of the Angelguard.

     "Thought you needed some help." she says as her companions shackle and lead away the not-so-much senator. "Thank you. You've saved many lives and uncovered those guilty. That's more than I can do most of the time." Her back cracks unpleasantly. "I really am getting too old for this. The queen expects you."

     "Why did you do this, Senator?" I hear her ask as Ferdy and I walk away.

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     One day later, I'm sitting on a hill overlooking Angeltorch with Ferdy.

     "So they offered us a job?" askes Ferdy, handing back the papers.

     "Yup," I say. "Wanna do it?"

     "Anytime, K."

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