Chronicles of Draezoln

Tales of the world of Draezoln

Category Archives: Chapter 3

Chapter 3-4

Days blended into months in like manner. Always there was more to do than Garkhen could possibly do, and always Solkh’Tolkharkha seemed both understanding of and slightly disappointed by his charge’s struggles. Slowly, the young half-dragon grew in strength, magic, understanding, and faith.

Somehow, though, Garkhen always felt like he was falling short of the gold dragon’s expectations. Part of him wondered if, just maybe, the ancient dragon didn’t really understand the limitations of a young half-dragon, but he nonetheless felt the hovering, thinly veiled disappointment keenly. At times he almost felt like despairing, as if his will was as exhausted as his body often felt, yet somehow he always found the strength to continue on.

Years passed in this fashion. In time Garkhen reached his full growth—roughly four feet nine inches, a giant among dwarves, and broader-shouldered than many humans. He also gained skill with the spell-prayers of Bahamut, though not with arms and armor. Despite Solkh’Tolkharkha’s best efforts, he could not teach that which he did not know, and so his student’s skill with the mace remained lacking.

Still, Garkhen rarely saw the outside world. The only time he went farther than a few miles from Solkh’Tolkharkha’s lair was when the great dragon took him on a journey to the Kingdoms of Men. Always he visited some king or lord among humans, or more rarely elves or dwarves. The visits were brief, and Garkhen could little understand the words Solkh’Tolkharkha shared with those he visited, but always he was struck with the certainty that there was great importance behind them.

The half-blue dragon continued like this until it was, by his estimate, nearly his fiftieth birthday.

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Just to be clear, 50 is about adulthood for a dwarf, and teenage for a dragon. So for Garkhen, it’s somewhere in between.

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 3-1

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.

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