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?
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?