A Dragon of the Wind
This short story was written to create a backstory for my character in Vanguard, which I play as a 'dragon-druid'.
My true origins are unknown even to me. A dragon in her egg is really no more aware of her surroundings than an unborn elf in the womb. Just a distant memory of once feeling warm and loved.
When I hatched I found myself on a sandy beach, with the morning sunlight falling gently on my damp scales. I crawled about awkwardly, stumbling over not just the broken shards of my egg but much other debris as well. Though I didn't understand at the time, I was the sole survivor of a shipwreck the night before. In the dark of a heavy storm, a smuggler's vessel had smashed against the rocks outside the harbour at Tawar Galan. My egg had been amongst the smuggler's cargo, and fortunately for me I had washed ashore safely with the flotsam.
I was rescued a few hours later by one of the Gladesworn who came to investigate the wreck. As he searched through the debris he was stunned to find a tiny red dragon starring up at him. I did not know his race but trusting the gentle look in his eyes I cried out, begging him for help.
The wood elf carried me back to his garrison in Tawar Galan, and I spent my first few weeks living there amongst them. But though the Gladesworn took good care of me in those early days, they were uneasy about keeping a growing hatchling around. Nor could they answer my constant questions. How did I come to be here? Where were my own kind, and why was I not with them? So when the time came to deliver their monthly report to Ca'ial Brael, the elves took me with them.
My arrival in the forest city caused quite a stir and it was not long before I was presented to the Council of Wardens. These were clearly elves of authority, and as one so new to the world their stature scared me a little. They were not unkind, yet they asked me questions I could not answer and their opinions towards me were greatly divided. Some were intrigued, curious to learn more of my race, whilst others were afraid of what I might grow to become. After hours of debate, they settled on the course of action that would shape my life. As they had accepted the raki people when they came seeking a new home, so they would accept a lost infant dragon amongst them. With that decision and having no knowledge of my own kin, they gave me an elven name, Ysora Eshari.
The wardens decreed that I was to remain in Ca'ial Brael, at least until such time as I could be judged to have reached maturity. Until then I would be under the care of Zephiria Wolveskin, the Warden of the Wind, that she might help me understand my place in the world. For although wood elves are generally reclusive in nature, their diplomats will travel throughout Telon and those who follow the wind have the most experience with other races.
So it was that I lived my first few years amongst the wood elves. A forest city is an unusual place for a young dragon to grow up, yet as I had never seen anywhere else it seemed a perfect home to me. I spent many happy hours flying between the twisted walkways, chasing the gataros and splashing in the river.
During the early months I continued to grow until I matched the size of an average elf, but then I grew no more. It seemed the time my egg spent tossed in the cold waters of the Kojani sea had stunted my growth. Although they tried not to show it, my relatively small size for a dragon was much to the relief of the elves who were providing me with food and shelter.
Zephiria was a good teacher. Over time she taught me about Telon, the continents and the cities. I would stay with her for hours as she told me stories of the races and the beasts that existed. Her words filled me with an eagerness to travel and see the world for myself. But she also taught me to be cautious, for not all will welcome the sight of a dragon.
As a creature of magic, the spellcasters were tasked with developing my combat skills. Within the Hall of Glyphs they taught me to focus my power, and to absorb the arcane qualities of rare armours to amplify my own magical talents. The druid Elindrila Summerbloom recognised my strong connection to the natural world, and she trained me in their ways of manipulating the earth and the elemental forces of Telon.
At Zephiria's request, the raki psionicist Atlen also gifted me with one of their abilities - how to assume the appearance of another race. Though it did not come naturally to me, once I had mastered his illusion spell I could pass as a wood elf when it was more diplomatic to do so. It was noticeable however that my elven self always appeared with wild and fiery red hair.
After a few years in Ca'ial Brael I had become a small force to be reckoned with. But for all the knowledge I gained, it seemed none could answer the questions I first asked of the Gladesworn in the days after I hatched. Zephiria had instructed her diplomats to make enquiries as they travelled, yet though they returned with stories of dragons in Qalia they could not approach these creatures directly.
As time passed I grew ever more impatient for answers, and the cautions of the wood elves could no longer hold me back. So the time came when I left my hatchling home in the hope of finding my kin. On that day I took the title of the elven diplomats to honour my teacher Zephiria, a title I have carried ever since.
I set out for Pankor Zhi, the Qalian city of the dark elves that I had heard so many stories about. I did not trust my small wings to carry me safely over the vast ocean, so I found passage on a ship sailing from Tawar Galan to Khal. From there I flew south-west across the plains, excited by the unfamiliar, arid landscape around me. Eventually I reached the fertile valleys of the dark elves, and there at the gates of Pankor Zhi I saw them with my own eyes.
The guardians Natiizir and Illidarian were a magnificent sight to behold. Beautiful dragons with their scales shining in the warm light of the sun, I trembled as I approached them. These elders greeted me as one of their own. They spoke to me of the god Haelifur, the father of dragons, and how they watched over Pankor Zhi as the city of his chosen people. But as for my own origins they were less forthcoming. They knew not of any lost offspring and would not speak further of it, almost refusing to believe an egg could ever be stolen from a dragon. They mocked me for my small size and they pitied me for spending time amongst the wood elves, considering them a weak race.
I left the guardians feeling troubled and confused. How could what they said be true? That this mighty god of dragons would allow me to be taken from my mother, and then leave me to the mercy of the sea before I had even hatched? That the people who showed me kindness and raised me were one of the two elven races despised and cursed by him so long ago? The god Haelifur was clearly no father to me. That night I did not join the other dragons, but crawled into the depths of the Rockspine Lair to sleep.
The next day I turned my back on Pankor Zhi, rejecting the dragons I had found there. I vowed to align myself not with my kin or any other race, but with all those who are kind and pure of heart. On my first journey across Qalia I had seen but a small piece of this vast continent, and I became resolved to explore the rest of Telon. So without really knowing where I was headed, I flew out of the valley to discover more of my world, content to be a dragon of the wind.