Chapter 1: Of Birth and Lost Beginnings
“It is a strange thing, not knowing one’s family, one’s place of birth, or even one’s name… sometimes I long for these things, for I feel keenly the lack of… foundation, the sense that somehow my very self is hidden from me. And yet, at other times, I appreciate the opportunity I have. Most men are born with expectations, opportunities open and closed to them, as if the tapestry of their life had already been part-woven before they even started it. I, however, have no such thing… my life is finally and entirely my own.”
Every half-dragon inherits differently from his draconic forebear, and the one known as Garkhen ze’Darkhen’Sem’dor did not inherit the ability to recall his earliest moments of life. So it is that he depends on the accounts of others for his past.
Garkhen was born to a dwarven mother somewhere in the Southern Continent of Draezoln. His father, a blue dragon, had revealed himself to the dwarves and flown off shortly before Garkhen’s birth, and so his mother had already been ostracized and cast out to the edges of the hold. Despite this, she somehow managed to care for her son for several months before receiving an unusual visitor.
He appeared to be a strange dwarf, but soon told her he was a gold dragon. He had learned of her plight, and offered to take her half-dragon child as his own. What may have passed through her mind, and what discussion they had, may never be known, but in time she agreed to the offer.
And so it was that Garkhen’s first memories are of an isolated lair in the mountains, and of a caring but distant mentor and adoptive father, sometimes in the form of a human, more often in his true form as a huge, gold-scaled dragon. In the way of gold dragons, his name was far too long to be comfortably repeated, and so Garkhen knew him mostly as Solkh’Tolkharkha—Sun-Toucher, in the Common Tongue.
Solkh’Tolkharkha was a good father to his adopted son, as dragons go, but dragon hatchlings are different than the children of the Races of Men, and so Garkhen, caught halfway between the two, sometimes felt a lack he could not quite define. He enjoyed his time with Solkh’Tolkharkha, and as he grew older he appreciated the time left to himself, as well, but it seemed to him sometimes that there was too much of the later and not enough of the former.
From an early age, he found consolation in books. Dragons are notorious hoarders, but it is less well-known that not all hoard gold and precious gems. Some hoard knowledge, others magic power, but Solkh’Tolkharkha hoarded books. Nor did he heap them up untidily—one large room of his lair consisted of a massive library, shelves upon shelves of books and rare tomes, sufficient almost to rival the great Midport Mage’s Guild Library.
So now we truly get into Garkhen’s book. The first chapter or two will probably be more summary-like, as with this bit, interspersed with bits of dialogue.
You’ll hopefully notice a bit of change in style, here. Garkhen speaks much differently than Almonihah, and some of that comes across in the details he shared with Elque.