Brightflame Accension (Book 1)

Brightflame Accension (Book 1) by D.B. Penner

Book: Brightflame Accension (Book 1) by D.B. Penner Read Free Book Online
Authors: D.B. Penner
or you’ll be late for your next exam. I’ll see you both tomorrow,” Bottleleaf waved them out the door.
                  “I owe you my thanks, Will. I’m sorry for my jealousy; my farm boy japes were-”   
                  “Not taken to heart,” Will interrupted, thumping his friend on the back. They made their way down the stairs and outside into the warm autumn air. Approaching the other students, Will’s stomach growled violently, and he remembered that he hadn’t eaten that morning.
                  “Here we are, Masters Stormhand and Tableground, I presume,” a broad man chortled in a booming voice. His sideburns were long and thick, extending to the corners of his mouth; his black hair was shaved short; and his bright, merry eyes and a large, round nose made him look the part of an odd but lovable character. His name was Alan Wadsworth Bloomington the third, simply Worth for short. He wore a large, worn fur coat that was much too big even for a man his size and a belt that consisted of various tools and bulging pouches. He had a dry sense of humor yet, at the same time, he seemed perpetually entertained, beginning to explain the exam parameters as if they were the rules to his favorite game.
    “Your first task is to befriend a red-banded griffin. These are a rare subspecies of the vicious dwarf griffin; so be careful, even though they have relatively mild dispositions,” Worth said, smiling. Will looked at Art nervously. “Then, presumably having made progress in the first task, you must protect a griffin egg from three ravenous egg-goblins,” he informed them happily, indicating a large cage.
    The goblins shrieked from behind the steel bars. Their hands reached towards the students as if they would throttle one of them if they could only reach. Their tough hides were a stomach-turning green. Their noses were long as were their pointed ears. The goblins gnawed at the bars with sharp teeth, and Will looked upon them with revulsion, for they were hideous creatures.
    “They aren’t as big as their cousins, who prefer meat to eggs, but let one get too close and you’ll find yourself wishing you hadn’t,” the professor cautioned with a grin.
    The wary recruits followed Worth as he led them around a small shed and simultaneously gasped. There, at least seventy griffins were tethered to wooden fences, each in its individual stall. Gazing at the impossibility of the creatures with lion-like bodies, the heads of eagles with razor sharp beaks, and massive wings that when folded looked like small tents, Will was stunned. They varied in color and size; however, each had a stripe of red plumage spanning its powerful wings. They, in stark contrast to the goblins, were absolutely gorgeous. Dumbstruck, Will stared in wonder at the majestic animals.
    “Go ahead, find one, and begin your exam,” Worth said jovially. The students rushed forward to pick a griffin. Will didn’t know how he would befriend such a proud beast, but he would do whatever it took to make a griffin like him.
                  Will now stood before the most fearsome griffin, riddled with scars on its feline body. All of the other students had avoided it, but Will was drawn to its unique stature, perhaps it was the alpha of the group; Will noted that it held its head higher and prouder than the rest. Its black plumage was broken only by the red stripe. It peered at Will with sharp, yellow eyes and clacked its serrated beak. Will shed his fear of the royal beast, approaching the griffin with no clue as to how to befriend it. He could do nothing but admire the griffin. Seeing no logical way to honor the beast, Will knelt before the griffin’s enormous talons.
                  Rise. Will stood and looked around to see who had spoken; the voice sounded close. It is I who should bow before your celebrated lineage, Furialist. The griffin knelt gracefully, tapping Will’s dirty boots

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