Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Category Archives: Chapter 1

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.

Chapter 1-1

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.

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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.