Garkhen let out a quiet sigh as the hymn ended. The echoes of hundreds of draconic voices slowly died in the cavern, replaced by the muted sounds of scales and claws shifting on stone as dragons settled down into more comfortable positions. Solkh’Tolkharkha and Zerkheth coiled loosely on either side of Garkhen, and Garkhen simply sat back on the floor, one hand resting lightly on the stone beside the thick base of his tail.
Suddenly the crystals around the cavern dimmed, save for one high up above. Craning his neck, the young half-dragon could see another gold-scaled dragon glittering in the light. While it was difficult to tell, he got the impression that it was huge, vaster even than Solkh’Tolkharkha, which meant he was very old indeed, even among dragons. Something seemed… different about him, as well, though at this distance Garkhen could make out too little detail to be certain what it was.
He only barely had time to register the profound silence of the cavern before the huge dragon spoke.
My siblings in the ways of Bahamut, he began. His voice rang out, echoing through the caverns, and even their vastness could not disguise the power of his speech. It has been nearly two centuries since we who follow in the wake of the Platinum Dragon have gathered. Much has happened… and we are even fewer than before.
There was a hushed silence as he paused. But let us not dwell on that. There is much to discuss, but we are not without joy in these times. Let the new initiates be presented!
After a moment, two dragons flew over from one of the other entrances into the grand cavern—one large, one small. While Garkhen could not make out their voices, he was fairly certain that the older one introduced the younger to the great dragon who had spoken, who then proceeded to question the younger dragon. After several minutes the two dragons returned to their perch, and the great dragon roared out, Let us greet Kharelvekh to our number!
In unison, all the other dragons roared, Kharelvekh! Garkhen could almost feel his head ringing with the echoes of that roar.
This process was repeated several times. As they watched, Garkhen asked, What is his name?
Solkh’Tolkharkha answered without turning his head. His name has long since been forgotten, by all but a few. He is known to us now only as Guardian.
Garkhen’s eyes widened in surprise. Guardian in Draconic was… Garkhen.
We will go next, should you still desire to walk this path, Solkh’Tolkharkha rumbled quietly. The young half-dragon nodded.
As the pair currently speaking with the Guardian departed, the great gold dragon gently picked his young charge up in one claw and flew up and across the cavern. As they approached, Garkhen could appreciate just how huge the ancient dragon truly was—easily more than a hundred feet long, perhaps closer to two hundred even from his snout to the tip of his tail. As Solkh’Tolkharkha glided in for a landing, Garkhen noted nervously that some of the massive dragon’s scales were nearly as big as he was. Not only that, but he could now see what seemed odd about him—he did not quite look like other dragons. His scales seemed sharper-edged, he had more horns, and small spikes on his back, knees, and tail, and there was simply a… feeling about him, one of raw, barely contained power. Yet the look in his eyes was one of ages-won wisdom, and behind it a deep, profound sorrow.
A longish chapter split up into smallish parts, but we’re actually nearing the end. Now good night.