Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Monthly Archives: March 2013

Chapter 3-3

Garkhen froze. While he had thought of the need for weapons in defending himself and others, actually facing the implements, and thinking of handling them…

Then he thought of the heroes he read of, and of Bahamut’s teachings. I may not have the might of a full dragon, but I cannot stand by while darkness threatens the world, he thought to himself. Slowly, he walked forward and pulled a mace off the wall.

Solkh’Tolkharkha nodded. Very well. Now then… He waved a claw and spoke a few words of magic. A semi-transparent orc appeared facing Garkhen. This illusion will be your opponent. Begin.

Hesitantly, Garkhen brought his weapon up and faced the illusory orc.

It felt like hours before he was done for the day, but when they walked back out into the main chamber of the lair Garkhen could tell from the angle of the sun that it hadn’t been more than an hour. He was feeling bruised (from his own errors), exhausted, and disheartened. It had not been difficult for him to discover how little he knew about fighting, but he had also learned that his mentor had little more idea of how to fight with a weapon, rather than tooth and claw. Garkhen had said nothing about this, but the idea of having to more or less teach himself how to fight was even more frightening now than the thought of combat itself had been. Or perhaps it was the idea of going into combat with no more training than he could now anticipate.

Garkhen simply wished to rest, but Solkh’Tolkharkha insisted he return to his studies. With great effort of will he obeyed, though he wished dearly that he could at least sit to read the Book. But there were no chairs in the dragon’s lair, and Solkh’Tolkharkha would not suffer the Book to be moved from its place.

In the afternoon, the gold dragon again brought his young initiate to the library, but this time he went to a different area of shelves. As you know, Warders are so named not only for their capability in physical defense, but for the power Bahamut gives us to ward off harm magically, Solkh’Tolkharkha said after he stopped. Such efforts can be as exhausting as bearing shield and armor in battle, but you especially will find it necessary. We will begin with the most simple of wards.

He lightly etched a circle around himself with a claw. Symbols such as these are not truly necessary, but they focus the will and aid in binding Bahamut’s power to the world. Some powdered silver can be used for an even greater effect, but for training, the circle shall suffice. It is necessary, however, to make certain the circle is evenly drawn, as near perfect as possible. Practice this, and later we will begin with the ward itself.

Garkhen tried several times to scratch a circle in the stone, but all of his attempts met with his mentor’s disapproval. As the day wore on, Solkh’Tolkharkha shook his head. I fear I had forgotten how difficult this was at first. Let us adjourn for the day before you wear your claws out entirely.

*****

Yeah, Solkh’Tolkharkha doesn’t really get the whole not-dragon thing entirely, despite the time he’s spent in human form. Just one of those things about being a dragon, I suppose.

Chapter 3-2

Garkhen nodded in understanding, looking at what was so hidden. There was a small podium, with a large book, bound and decorated with precious metals and gems. Without knowing why, he slowed, noting as he did that Solkh’Tolkharkha also approached respectfully… reverently, even. When they drew near the book, Garkhen noted that he could see no title on the book.

What is it? He asked, almost whispering.

Men call it by many names—perhaps because so few know of it, that those who do each name it for themselves before they learn of what others have called it. Perhaps the most common name their scholars have for it is “The Book of the Law of Bahamut”.

Garkhen was silent a moment, thinking this over. And what do dragons call it?

Solkh’Tolkharkha waved a hand slightly. Writing is an invention of Men. For most dragons, they do not think of such things. For those of us who do, it is enough to say it is The Book.

The young half-dragon frowned a little as he thought. Was this then not written by a dragon?

His transformed mentor shook his head. It was written by the first of mingled blood to join our number, back when the races of Men were young in this world and there were still many who remembered the voice of the Gods.

It took Garkhen a little while to take this in, then he inhaled sharply. Now the precaution of hiding it made sense. Is it still…

It has been well cared-for, by both mundane and magical means. Save for a… brief lapse in guardianship, which I… corrected. Solkh’Tolkharkha’s tone suggested it had not been a pleasant experience for whoever had been responsible for the lapse. It was made to be read, and read it you shall. I doubt you shall find that unpleasant.

Garkhen shook his head slightly, still awed by the history before him. Hesitantly he took the last few steps toward it, then looked back at his mentor. At his encouraging nod, the young half-dragon opened the book and began to read.

When first they looked on the emptiness of creation, they thought it not fit for it so to be. And so they gathered their powers and began to create…

It would be wise to rest now.

Garkhen was startled by his mentor’s voice, but recognized the patient tone. He had stayed up too late in the library again.

He opened his mouth to answer, and surprised himself with a yawn. Clearly he had been reading too long. Regretfully, he closed the book and made his way to the small side cavern he slept in.

The next morning Solkh’Tolkharkha awoke him at his usual time, which felt far too early this morning. To Garkhen’s disappointment, they did not go to the library after breakfast, but to a smaller chamber off the main portion of the lair. He had been here only a few times before, and knew this was where the gold dragon kept a few of Men’s weapons.

A Warder must always be prepared to fight in the defense of others, Solkh’Tolkharkha said, when they had both entered the room. A dragon would fight with claws and teeth, but for you, it would be wise to learn the use of tools of war. Choose whichever you wish, and we will begin.

*******

Gasp! A post that’s on time? Can it be? Yes, it is!

Chapter 3-1

Chapter 3: Warding Against the Future

The common conception of dragons among the Races of Men is that they are somewhat like territorial predators, suffering no competing dragon to approach. The truth… is much more complicated, as is often the case. A complex social order exists among dragons, even between chromatic and metallic dragons. Man’s idea of the lone dragon is largely a product of too little observation and too short a viewpoint, for dragon relationships are centuries in the making and may last for thousands of years.

Garkhen remembered little later of the rest of that day, of the flight home, or of falling asleep exhausted just as dawn began outside his mentor’s lair. Solkh’Tolkharkha let him sleep for a time, but still he awoke the young half-dragon before he was truly rested.

Come, my young Initiate, the gold dragon rumbled, It is time to begin down the path you have chosen.

So… you will train me in the ways of Bahamut, sir? Garkhen asked.

Solkh’Tolkharkha nodded. And in the ways of a Warder in particular. He shifted into his human form. Come, let us go to the library. We will begin there.

The great library chamber was Garkhen’s favorite place in his mentor’s lair, but the shapeshifted dragon led him to a corner that he had somehow never noticed before. Glancing back, Solkh’Tolkharkha must have caught the puzzled expression on his young charge’s face.

It is hidden from the eyes of those who are not Warders, he explained.

****

Yes, I know, I’m horribly late. Oh, well.

Chapter 2-8

Solkh’Tolkharkha exchanged polite Draconic greetings with the ancient dragon. After that was done, the Guardian asked, Who do you bring before me, young gold?

This is a young half-dragon, whom I have raised and taught, and who has chosen this path of his own free will, sir, Solkh’Tolkharkha replied respectfully.

The huge dragon turned his gaze on Garkhen. Despite having claws as big as he was and being able to fit a couple dozen of him in his cavernous maw, Garkhen found he wasn’t afraid… just nervous. Or perhaps it would be better to say he feared not for his life, but to fail whatever test he was facing.

The Guardian spoke. And what is your name, child of man and dragon?

I am called Guardian of Small Dragons, sir, Garkhen ze’Darkhen’Sem’dor replied.

The Guardian was quiet for a moment. I see, he rumbled, then paused again. A name most appropriate for the path you would walk, though not the one you were given at birth. Somehow he made his words both a statement and a question.

Garkhen shook his head. I know not that name, sir, just as I have no memory of my mother. This is all I have ever had for a name.

And will you make it yours, hatchling? The Guardian gazed straight down at the young half-dragon, and somehow Garkhen felt like the dragon could see the answer in his soul before he said it aloud.

Yes. That is why I have come here. Any doubts he had once had seemed to be evaporating, as if burned away in the heat of the great dragon’s gaze.

You will walk this path of your own choice, despite all pain and sorrow you will face?

Yes.

Then tell me. What is the path you will walk?

Garkhen was silent for a long moment, collecting his thoughts, thinking of how to say what he felt and thought. I will stand as a protector of the innocent from the malevolent. I will shine as a light in the darkest of hours. I will set my hand against those who stretch their hands to seize the lives and hopes of others. I will… be a Guardian of what is good.

For a long time the ancient dragon was quiet, staring at Garkhen. He felt as if the power of his scrutiny was greater than the heat of his breath. After what seemed like an eternity, the Guardian relaxed, slightly shifting his position.

Then I accept you into our ranks, young Guardian of Small Dragons. By my power and authority as Master of the Order of the Gold, I hereby declare and ordain you to be an Initiate of the Order of the Copper, a Warder of Bahamut. Learn well from your teacher here, he nodded slightly at Solkh’Tolkharkha, and follow what you have said, and you may yet see and do things that will long be remembered by both Man and Dragon.

While Garkhen was still taking this in, the Guardian turned and rose up slightly, addressing the cavern. Let us greet Garkhen ze’Darkhen’Sem’dor into our number! He roared. This close, Garkhen could feel the power of his voice hit him like a hammer, shaking his very bones.

Garkhen ze’Darkhen’Sem’dor! Somehow the response from the cavern seemed louder too, as if he were the focus of all voices in the cavern. And he supposed, for this moment, he was.

*******

Draconic has a lot of ways to indicate respect, given or deserved, so all the ‘sirs’ running around here are just a poor attempt to indicate where someone’s speaking respectfully. You know, there’s a way a younger dragon speaks to an older one, a much older one, and one who just might bite his head off, and there are several ways for that older one to speak back, and… yeah, you get the point, right?