“Back up,” Timenall warned and followed the order with a shove of his wing. “They’ll see you.”
The hybrid and his dragon allies were stationed all along either side of the rim of the canyon the Varda were about to enter. The plan was to separate the caravan into smaller units so the human’s couldn’t put up a unified defense. Last night the dragons placed large boulders in the path that the Varda would need to navigate around and over in single file. As this broke up the line of the caravan the dragons would push some even larger, strategically placed boulders down the canyon walls. At the opposite end of the canyon the dragons blocked the exit totally with boulders and fallen trees. The Varda would not be able to see it until they rounded the curve in the canyon. By that time it would be too late. There would be nowhere to run and no way to drive the cage full of hatchlings through.
Once the humans were separated Farloft and Melozzo would swoop in and grab the cage of hatchings. While they were winging them to safety the other dragons intended to wreak as much havoc on the Varda as possible. Timenall, being the smallest of them, and the one the gryphon colony members knew, would work on releasing them to join in the fight.
It was not a flawless plan, but it was the best they could come up with in the short time they had before the caravan entered the canyon, which they all agreed was the best place to ambush it. Though Farloft thought it an exceptionally well thought out attack, Timenall, being older and a lot wiser, knew they would not make it out of this without casualties. He just hoped they were few and it did not become an all out slaughter. He knew what Ram was capable of and if the man was pushed too far, he might just turn on his captives out of spite.
“Get down,” Timenall ordered as he saw the first Varda leading a heavily packed gryphon.
Farloft tucked his wings tightly to his sides and flopped down on his belly, scrunching himself flat, just his horns, golden eyes and nose above the rim of the cliff.
It was agonizing to watch the slow progress of the caravan. All the gryphon looked exhausted. For creatures that usually flew and glided effortlessly in the air, being over burdened and made to walk for almost a week had beaten them down into a submissive posture. Their heads hung and their paws drug.
Timenall waited for the string of Varda, each leading a gryphon, to pass below them. The first part of the caravan got past the two large boulders spaced out along the trail, but the cage was too wide to pass the second boulder in their path. The human’s stopped to discuss what to do. Timenall and the dragons could see hands waved in agitated discussion. The hybrid could not believe their luck when the Varda began to unhook the pair of adult gryphon from the cage they were pulling. The rest of the train of men and gryphon began to spread out in a long string, any minute the first would be around the bend and spot the blocked exit. They had to move now.
“Ready?” Timenall whispered to Farloft.
Farloft grinned in agreement.
“Go!” the hybrid said and nudged the young dragon with his wing.
Farloft rose to his full height, let out a deafening roar that echoed off the walls of the canyon. He launched himself at the cage and was pleased to see the surprised humans running for cover. As he plummeted toward the cage he saw Melozzo drop from the other side of the canyon to meet him.
Timenall screeched a call to attack!