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.