Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: January 2013

Chapter 2-3

Despite enjoying his time outside the lair, Garkhen had little love for being carried aloft by his mentor. Although Solkh’Tolkharkha attempted to be gentle, his grip had to be uncomfortably firm to keep the young half-dragon secure, and he could do little about the chill wind that whistled between his clawed toes. Garkhen endured the discomfort in silence, not only because it was difficult for him to speak through the wind, but also because he refused to let minor physical inconveniences elicit a complaint from himself. 

After some time aloft, Solkh’Tolkharkha spoke. “There is something I wish to speak of with you before we arrive. You have attended well to your studies, and unless I have sorely misunderstood, you show great interest in the teachings of the Platinum Dragon.”

“Yes.” Garkhen had to shout to be heard, as he lacked the great lungs of a full-grown dragon. 

“As you know, the Great Convocation is a meeting of those who follow Bahamut. What I have yet to tell you is that it is the time that new Warders may join his order.”

Garkhen’s eyes widened as he realized what Solkh’Tolkharkha was suggesting. “And… I would have that opportunity?”

“I would speak for you, should you desire to serve,” the gold dragon rumbled in reply. “Your faults are the faults of youth, but your heart seems to yearn to protect. The Warder’s calling is for such.”

Garkhen was silent for a moment, considering a response, but before he could speak again Solkh’Tolkharkha added, “Do not make your decision now. We have many hours to fly, and you would be wise to consider such a momentous choice carefully. If you have questions, you may ask, but otherwise I will leave you to your thoughts. Think deeply not only on the what, but the why.”

Garkhen followed his mentor’s advice for the rest of the long flight. He asked few questions, but his mind was full as he thought of what he had learned and read, and what he knew of himself. When at last, with the sunset glittering off gold scales, Solkh’Tolkharkha glided toward a ledge in front of a cave to land, his young half-dragon charge felt he was certain of his answer.

 

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Honestly, if I’d been on top of things this would have been posted yesterday… but oh, well. It’s here now. So, yes, it’s kind of odd that Solkh‘Tolkharkha would spring this on Garkhen so suddenly, but I think he had his reasons. Perhaps they’ll even be explained at some point.

Chapter 2-2

One day, the gold dragon told Garkhen to prepare for another journey. Thinking it would be another visit to one of the nations of men in the area, he did what little preparation he required, then returned to the main chamber of the lair. Solkh’Tolkharkha looked his little charge over, and then spoke.

“It is time for the Great Convocation, Garkhen ze’Darkhen’Sem’dor. It is unusual for one who is not a full dragon to come, but it will be good for you to be there.”

Garkhen’s eyes widened slightly in surprise. Solkh’Tolkharkha had mentioned a Great Convocation only once, saying that it was a gathering of all draconic followers of Bahamut that could come, from all parts of Draezoln. It sounded exciting to the young half-dragon… but also somewhat frightening. Most who followed Bahamut were of the metallic dragons, who had little love for the chromatic dragons, whose heritage he bore. He doubted any would strike against him simply for that, especially with Solkh’Tolkharkha bringing him, but he could not help but feel a small quiver of fear.

“Let us depart,” Solkh’Tolkharkha said. Garkhen held still as the gold dragon gently grasped him and took off.

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Yeah, it’s a short post. I wrote a lot of other stuff this weekend, so I didn’t end up writing much for this.

Chapter 2-1

Chapter 2: Hymns of Dragonkind

Why do I follow Bahamut? It is true that Solkh’Tolkharkha’s influence has much to do with it, as I would likely never have given his teachings much thought were it not for my mentor. However, he did not force the worship of the Platinum Dragon upon me, and I had a great deal of exposure to other deities and philosophies through his library.

Yet none spoke to me as Bahamut’s doctrine did. To dedicate oneself wholly to the defense of the weaker, to live, to fight for another’s life—I found in this ideal a goal I could strive for. As with any worthy ideal, I have not lived up to it perfectly, especially in my early years, but having the teachings of Bahamut to guide me, I continue to strive despite my imperfection.

And that is not all. I find, in doing this, a… peace, an inner calmness that contrasts with the savage rage I struggle against. Perhaps this is so with all the goodly gods, but I know I have found it in following Bahamut.

As he matured, Garkhen found comfort in another source, as well. From his earliest memories, he had noticed Solkh’Tolkharkha sometimes looking at or tracing an odd symbol, and from other references and the gold dragon’s own occasional teachings slowly learned of Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon, God of the goodly dragons. It took him longer to discover that his mentor was, in fact, a powerful and respected Warder—a priest of Bahamut.

Once Solkh’Tolkharkha could tell that his young charge was interested, he started teaching him more earnestly of Bahamut and his ways. Garkhen eagerly listened, not only because of the time and attention the gold dragon devoted to him, but also because what Solkh’Tolkharkha spoke of stirred something deep inside the young half-dragon. The ideal of self-control, and of self-sacrifice, in the doctrine he learned touched him, much as the stories he had been reading did.

As he grew older, Garkhen studied more of Bahamut and his ways, as well as much about the world. The more he learned, the more he desired to make a difference for good in the world. He began to feel constrained by his virtual imprisonment in Solkh’Tolkharkha’s lair, not for his own sake, but because he could do nothing to apply what he was learning. His mentor would only say, however, that it was not yet time, that he had much to learn and to improve upon before he could leave. With effort, Garkhen accepted this patiently and continued his studies.

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I debated on splitting this into another chapter, but I think it’s better to do so. Next post will likely be more narrative as opposed to summary.

Chapter 1-2

Garkhen spent hours upon hours every day reading, from the day he first learned how. There were few books in Solkh’Tolkharkha’s hoard written for children, but soon the young half-dragon learned to comprehend more mature works, and slowly, he discovered just how much there was to know in the world. His mentor seemed pleased by this development, and would sometimes spend evenings with his adopted son debating the words of a philosopher or discussing the inaccuracies of a history.

What pleased him less was Garkhen’s temper. His anger was easy to arouse, and he often expressed it explosively, demonstrating the lightning breath of his father. Solkh’Tolkharkha blamed the temper on Garkhen’s blue dragon heritage, as well, and warned his charge that it would destroy him if he did not learn to master it.

Solkh’Tolkharkha occasionally took Garkhen with him on journeys outside of his lair. Sometimes it was simply to the untouched wilderness, but more often it was to the world of men. Garkhen visited elven courts, dwarven halls, and human castles, for his mentor was acquainted with many men and women of power. In these visits, the young half-dragon stayed mostly silent, but he watched and listened, and so learned.

Despite exceeding what nearly any dwarven child his age could do, Garkhen sometimes felt that Solkh’Tolkharkha viewed him with distant disapproval. Perhaps it was simply because, despite all his talents, he could not match a young dragon, or perhaps it was simply his own perfectionist personality, but whatever the case, he put all that he had into trying to fulfill what he thought the gold dragon’s expectations were, but it seemed to him that he only succeeded in making himself angry and frustrated.

When he had almost reached the breaking point, he stumbled across a book in a corner of Solkh’Tolkharkha’s library he hadn’t perused much. His adoptive father had been rather dismissive of that portion of his collection the one time he had made reference to it, saying only that it held “Old stories of the glories men wish they had accomplished.” But Garkhen, far from finding the worthless drivel he had expected, found a tale that resonated with him.

Here was a hero who arose from demanding beginnings, who tried and failed and tried again. Almost he could not bear to continue reading after the hero was brought so low, but neither could he stop, and so Garkhen found what became of the man. After his many setbacks, after trials and tribulations which would have broken most men, this hero somehow rose above it all, not for himself, but for others. His final end was an unpleasant one, death by poison at the end of a long battle, but he died knowing his death had saved many others.

This story touched the young half-dragon deeply. His own trials and struggles seemed small compared to what this man—a simple human, even, without a drop of dragon’s blood in his veins—had suffered through. And yet, in the end, what dragon could have given more?

From that day forward, Garkhen found a new source of patience in knowing that all his struggles and failures might well end better than he knew. Still he struggled with his anger, and still hi found his life at times lonely and dull, but knowing that such struggle could end well gave him the hope he needed to persevere.

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A brief glimpse into Garkhen’s early struggles in life. I think his developing character will be better displayed in coming chapters which are more of a narrative instead of a summary, though.