Category Archives: Drake the Dragon

continuing story of the one little dragon who started it all and his adventures in a time long forgotten

1.4. The High Council Of Magic

At the end of the Great War, 3 centuries ago, the societies and civilizations on Earth which still existed were in total chaos. Milennia of warfare for survival against the Forces of Darkness had taken their toll. The enemy was defeated and driven back into their own territories behind the Great Barrier, a gigantic wall of magical energies no dark magic can penetrate, not even the Lord Daemons were able to break this seal and use their magical powers to cause destruction on the other side. But victory came at a price, and while the dark forces were effectively sealed behind the barrier, only able to send their weaker troops through whenever they managed to conjure enough creatures again, the Forces of Light suffered from much greater losses.

Just like the enemy they were almost completely defeated. No fortresses remained intact, countless cities and settlements were destroyed, the noblest of the noble have fallen in battle and there were only little trails of order and leadership left. The mystical Order of Light, which was leading the last forces of Earth’s civilizations allied into battle and finally achieved to end this seemingly-endless period of total war, had disappeared throughout the last and deciding battles. Whether it was due to them having lost almost all their soldiers and fortifications in battle or a potential unknown strike against their highest leaders in an attempt to stop mankind’s surprising advances in combat, nobody knew why suddenly all contact to the order was lost. All that remained of them were their temples and monasteries, burned to the ground, their fortresses and fortifications, every single one in ruins, and the last survivors of their elite order of fighters for peace and justice, the once-glorified Guardian Order, now left without any guidance by their suddenly-disappeared leaders.

Three of the mightiest sorcerers on the side of the light, high-ranking commanders of parts of the allied forces, realized, while the rest of the world would be occupied with rebuilding of what was lost and regaining order and control over what was left of their realms and civilizations, the enemy would have time to regroup without their knowledge and far beyond their ability to intervene another time. So they decided to stay close to this unnatural border the Great Barrier was with the remaining troops still loyal to them and do their best to defend this last line of defense with their own magic and, if necessary, with their life. They created the Realm of Magic, soon to be a welcoming home for all magical creatures left on Earth, their troops became the Council’s Guard, they themselves the first High Council of Magic, and in less than 20 years the realm fortified the whole area along the magical barrier with the strongest fortresses one could imagine, using both technology from all remaining races and powerful magic combined to oppose this always-present threat the Realm of Darkness still was.

What was left of the Guardian Order, now on its own, decided to stay with the Realm of Magic and continue protecting Earth from this worst of all evil they fought for milennia. Soon they became the High Council’s elite fighters and helped maintaining peace and order amongst all the different species now living together in this last refuge for magical beings the realm soon had become.

“Guardian Drake? The High Council’s waiting for you, Sir. I can’t remember having heard of you ever being late for a scheduled report.” a heavily armed guard in front of a huge ornamented metal door leading into the Council Chambers, the place the High Council’s always meeting in, asked, a slightly concerned look on his face. At least that’s what Drake thought he saw behind the closed helmet the guard was wearing. From all the beautiful artisticly ornamented armors members of the Council’s Guard were wearing the ones of the High Council’s Honor Guard were the most sophisticated and impressive in this young dragon’s eyes. He was an admirer of beautiful artwork and sophisticated ornaments, mostly because he was a dragon and those, in their thriving for perfection, did always put an enormous amount of design and artwork as well as function into their craftings. But now he was late and didn’t have time to adore the designs as much as he wanted to. He didn’t even have to slow down his pace, as the door was quickly swung open by the guard to his left, standing aside to let him pass, while the guard to his right stepped inside, raising the High Councilors’ attention by calling: “Your Highnesses, Guardian Drake arrived for his scheduled report!”

“Ah, Guardian Drake, it’s good to see you back and in good shape. You were away for quite long this time. Been busy hunting down these criminals?” a bearded man in his mid-50s said while standing up from his seat and walking towards the young Guardian quickly entering. A few feet away Drake stopped and saluted, the way it is common for members of his order. The bearded man stopped as well, accepted the salute and signaled the guard to leave and close the door behind him.
“It’s a pleasure, Your Highness, as always. Guardian Drake reporting in.” Drake answered, still standing at attention, “I apologize for the delay.”
“Don’t worry, Guardian Drake. We are already informed about the incident at the tavern. How’s the wound doing? Healing as quickly as usual I hope? How did that happen anyways? I know you’re sometimes getting injured, but not in such a simple bar fight.” the man asked concerned while notioning Drake to follow him back to the others.
“It’s doing fine, Sir, no need to be worried. Dragons won’t stay injured for long. It was all my fault. I wasn’t… focused for a moment during the fight, that’s all. It won’t happen again, My Lord.” the dragon answered.

While both were walking towards the end of the huge hall, along a broad red carpet, passing large artistically ornamented pillars like trees in an alley, up a small flight of stairs towards three majestic thrones standing side-by-side, the vacant one in the center being a little larger and bearing more of the golden ornaments resembling certain magical symbols than its occupied neighbours, Drake remembered the many other times he did exactly the same, walking behind Lord Councilor Dakon, head of the High Council of Magic, Lord of the last remaining Gargoyles and the mightiest known sorceror of this time, back to his throne in the middle of the 3 High Councilors after a rather informal, personal greeting on half of the way. Well, “remembered” didn’t quite catch it. Due to the photographic memory his kind possessed it was rather like “living through it again”, witnessing everything exactly as if it was happening this very moment again. It was always a warm feeling, wandering through these honorable halls from times long past, already existing for longer than he was living. Ever since he did this walk for the first time, shortly before giving the oath of unlimited loyalty and dutyful service to the High Council and the Realm of Magic, the new protectors against the Realm of Darkness after the end of the Great War and at the beginning of the restoration of peace and order, Drake was always reminded of this time in his life, when he made the most important decision the little dragon ever made. How would his life have been like when he just returned to his kind then, living amongst the little that was left of what he could call his “family”, hiding below the mountains, deep inside the huge endless cave systems like the one he hatched in, never even thinking anymore on what’s going on in the outer world, a world no longer their’s? But these thoughts were always quickly subsided by remembering it would have been treason to all the little dragon knew, all he ever fought for, all his comrades and friends fallen in battle during the last years of the Great War, they would have died in vain. It would have been giving up his dreams of a peaceful and orderly future, another Golden Age. It would have been denying what he is, what he always wanted to be since he was but a hatchling, since he learned of the great dragons of the past, and wanted to one day be like them, a real dragon. Abandoning mankind and the outer world was never an option for Drake, but still he never got rid of the thoughts “what, if”.

It was Lord Dakon, 300 years ago, who attempted to take up what was left of the Forces Of Light and reunited them to protect Earth from the dormant yet still present threat that was the Realm of Darkness. He created the High Council and declared himself the first Lord Councilor and founded the Realm of Magic right next to the ever-lasting border to Darkness. By this time he was quite young and ambitious but very knowledgeable and his magic was powerful. Together with the 2 other Councilors, all mighty battle mages themselves, and the combat-proven soldiers and fighters on his side this gargoyle managed to keep Darkness at bay until the border was finally fortified enough to ensure a long-lasting period of inactivity from both sides, a stale mate. Over the years Drake witnessed initiation and passing of several other High Councilors, but Lord Dakon, the person he had sworn ever-lasting loyalty to, was always there.

The dragon admired this gargoyle, fueling the little flame of hope burning so lightly in his soul after the battles finally ended, world lay in ruins, almost everybody he ever knew and cared for… dead. He was sure this was the end of his dreams, no hope for Earth to survive, too much to rebuilt, too much lost forever. The Order of Light, he put all his hopes in and gladly would have given his life for, destroyed, most races of magical origin he knew of, extinct, mankind returning to what was left of their homes, already starting battles with their neighbours, they once went into battle with side-by-side, for land and resources, all while the real enemy was just licking his wounds and preparing for another strike, the final one. But then out of nowhere this gargoyle sorceror, this high-ranking commander of the Alliance he was so proud of, stood up and called all remaining troops loyal to him to stay at his side, to rebuilt what was destroyed and to fortify the most vital border in the history of Earth to keep this stale mate situation for as long as possible, for mankind to regain its strength, to once return for battle, allied again, to finally drive these evil Forces of Darkness from the face of its homeworld, Earth, once and for all. Yes, he admired this gargoyle, for believing in a safe and peaceful future more than the little dragon did, and he promised to the Ancients never to loose faith anymore.

When they reached the stairs to the thrones, Drake stopped while High Councilor Dakon moved on to his seat. It was the man to the left, an elderly human in his mid-seventies, dressed in an artistically ornamented red mages’ robe with golden embroidery, who was the first to speak up: “Ah, Guardian Drake, you finally decided to return to report what damage you’ve caused this time. Tell me, how many civilians were harmed during your last missions?”
“Greetings to You either, High Councilor Zingon, always an honor to meet You. And none, Your Highness, I would never endanger a living being intentionally. If anybody gets injured during my missions, it’s myself, for this I apologize.” the young dragon answered, respectfully as always.
When Councilor Zingon opened his mouth to respond to the dragon apparently ignoring his insult, he was quickly interrupted by the person to the right, the last of the three High Councilors: “Ssilencce, dear colleague. Your sseemingly never-ending perssonal quarrel with Guardian Drake iss not ssubject of thiss meeting. Greetingss, honorable dragon, I’m glad to ssee you back alive and in one piecce. I’m very interessted in hearing your report now. Four more of the mosst wanted criminalss from our ssearch-and-arresst list were brought to jussticce I’ve heard?”

“Ss’ishrass, High Councilor Arumin. It’s always a pleasure to meet You.” Drake responded bowing down towards the majestic Kaiser Cobra, upper half scaled human body with the head of a cobra, lower half a long muscular snake tail, towering quite some heads above them all but seemingly having trouble to stay on the seat, which was obviously designed for a more humanoid body and didn’t provide enough place for a large long snake to coil up on. It was hard to hold back a chuckle by this sight, but the respectful dragon he was, Drake did his best not to be amused by it. He would never show such disrespect towards an honorable member of the High Council, especially knowing it was probably the last of its kind, a sad but undeniable truth.
“And it’ss alwayss a pleasure being greeted by you in my mothher tongue, and withhout any acccent, old friend. Some time you musst tell me how you manage to sspeak all thesse languagess sso fluently.” the High Councilor answered, seemingly enjoying the dragon’s presence.

Once Lord Dakon was seated again he signaled the others to silence and officially opened the meeting by speaking up: “Guardian Drake, your report please. We’re a bit short on time today so you can leave out the unimportant parts we’re getting to read in your written report anyways and immediately start with a status update about your search for Rizlaff Chingorn, number two on the list… Yes, dear Arumin, I’m sorry, but there will be no story telling this time.”
“I’m sorry, Your Highness, but I think it’s important to inform You about something I confiscated a few days ago first.” the Guardian responded, taking a piece of golden jewellery out of his pocket, “I believe it’s a part of the mythic Medallion Of Loss.” he said, holding it up for everyone to see.

“Imposssible!” High Councilor Arumin called out, “Thosse pieccess were hidden for sso long we already sstarted to believe it’ss only a mythh! Where did you find it?”
“‘A myth’, that’s what most people think about us dragons as well, yet here I stay to prove them all wrong.” Drake responded, stepping up closer, “I confiscated it from Warlord Aron Perkins, number 12 on the list, last month and immediately recognized its dangerous magic. I didn’t quite know what it was by then, but the uneasy feeling I got from touching it told me to keep it safe myself until I know what it was.”
“Well, well, and what are you going to do with it now, dragon?” High Councilor Zingon interrupted.
The Guardian stepped up closer and handed it towards High Councilor Dakon, responding: “Why of course I’m giving it into Your safe keeping, Your Highnesses. Even as only a part it is way too dangerous to remain unprotected. But I’m afraid I also have some bad news about it.”
Lord Dakon carefully took the piece from Drake’s hands and investigated it, speaking: “Indeed it is a part of the Medallion Of Loss. The magical flow inside of this piece is impossible to be mistaken. You must have sensed it yourself, my dear dragon friend. This is a great find. Having this part of the Medallion under our protection will prevent its reassembly and assure the safety of our world from its destructive powers. But what is the bad news you were talking about?”
“I’m afraid I know nothing about magic, Your Highness, apart from having it flowing through my whole body that is… and an odd sensation when getting in contact with other types of magic now and then. Anyways, I fear we are not the only one in possession of a piece of this artifact. When I arrested the warlord I also interrogated him about this piece with a magical flow about it and managed to gather the information that he was unearthing it for his superior, a commander of the Forces Of Darkness, who is said to be in possession of one, if not more, part like this already. I’m afraid the Realm Of Darkness is trying to collect all parts of it to reassemble the medallion and use it for their plans to destroy this world.” the dragon answered, shaking his head in concern.
“Thiss iss bad newss indeed, Guardian Drake.” Master Arumin responded with a stern look in his face. “When Darknesss managess to get hold of thiss dangerouss artifact, our world iss in great danger, I’m afraid. We have to keep thiss piecce ssafe by all meanss.” the Kaiser Cobra said, looking at his fellow colleagues.

“Agreed. We will take care of this now.” Dakon replied, putting the piece away into his robe, “Now back to your report, Guardian Drake. What’s the status of your search for Master Chingorn?”
Drake was stepping backwards to where he initially stood, answering: “I tracked him down to the old fortress ruins of the Order Of Light near Goron, Your Highness. He is said to be hiding there, away from curious eyes, to continue his studies of Black Magic. I should be able to take care of him within a week from now.”
“Goron? There is a fortress of the Council’s Guard nearby, if I’m not mistaken. They could be of help to you. Chingorn is not a foe to be taken lightly as far as I’m informed.” the High Councilor replied.
“Sssay, Guardian Drake, issn’t it true that the Order of Light never had ‘fortresssess’ itsself?” Master Arumin asked towards the dragon.
“That’s correct, Your Highness.” Drake replied, “The Order of Light was rather a religious order, maintaining monasteries and temples, libraries and schools of sorts. Only their executive department, the Guardian Order, maintained fortresses and everything military. But why are you asking?”
“Becausse You were working for the Guardianss already ccenturiess ago, even before the Realm of Magic and our High Counccil exissted, issn’t it? Don’t you know thiss placce ‘like your pocket’ ass they ssay?” Arumin answered with a smirk.
The Guardian shook his head and replied: “I’m sorry, Your Highness. It is correct that I was a member of the Order already before we became Your elite soldiers, but I wasn’t at all our fortresses or monasteries myself, yet, of course. There were way too many of them, and I had… well, other things to do at this time. I apologize.”
“Heh, now what could that have been, you filthy little reptile?” Master Zingon asked patronizingly.
The dragon became more and more uneasy by the obvious attacks from the human High Councilor. Of course it wasn’t the first time, Zingon was always that offensive towards him whenever they were talking to each other, but he couldn’t by the life of him make any sense of why the human was still that distrusting towards him. Drake was serving him, since his initiation as a High Councilor, for over 12 years now and really wished Zingon would have realized he’s not his ‘enemy’ over this time, but of course he was aware not all humans were able to befriend with a creature they didn’t know. Many were afraid of him when they first saw him in his real shape, and while he ‘knew’ why that was, the little dragon in his naive, still a little childish, mind just couldn’t ‘understand’ it,
“Your Highness, I apologize for this disrespectful behavior in speaking to You in this way, but I really don’t know why you’re always so offensive towards me. I am in no way of any danger to You. I am loyally serving You. I’ve sworn an oath to follow your every command, and a dragon’s oath will ‘never’ be broken while he’s alive. I would rather ‘die’ than deny any of your commands, Sir. And to answer Your question, by this time I was defending towns, monasteries and temples against the Forces Of Darkness together with the other Guardians, of course. We were in the middle of the Great War after all and mankind and the whole Forces Of Light were loosing.”
“Is that so?” Zingon asked, “For this we only have your word, of course, but if you’re telling the truth, which is what you want to make us believe always is the case with your kind, why don’t you prove it to me by taking your sword there and thrusting it through your heart right here and now? I ‘command’ you, dragon!”, he yelled towards him.
“Well, if this is the only way to convince You” Drake replied, “and a command of the High Council, then of course…”
“Stop it!” Lord Dakon shouted, jumping up from his seat, “Guardian Drake, put that sword back into its sheath, now! Have you lost your mind? I know, as a dragon, you were about to thrust it right through your heart just as commanded, at the same time keeping and breaking your oath to us. But I’m asking you, are you really that eager to end your still very young life compared to what’s usual for your kind, just because you can’t deny following an order of one of us? And You, human, fellow colleague, Master Sorceror, High Councilor, are You really that suspicious of one of our most valuable servants, that You’re about to risk never being able to have him serving us anymore like he did serve Me for more than 300 years now?!”

Drake sheathed his sword, bowing down and stepping back in shame about what he almost did, “I apologize, My Lord. Of course I’d rather stay living, serving You, protecting the realm and mankind just like I always did. But You know I… I didn’t have any choice. I’ve sworn to follow His orders as well as Your’s. And I ‘really’ can’t break my oath… I have to admit, we dragons are somewhat ‘extreme’ in this regard.”
“No need to apologize, little dragon.” Lord Dakon replied in a calm voice, shaking his head, “I know you couldn’t simply disobey him. Then you wouldn’t be a dragon after all. But I have to admit, sometimes I just can’t understand your kind… Oh well, you can leave now, I think. We’re done with your report. Good luck in your upcoming task, Guardian Drake!… And We, Master Zingon, have to talk!”

0.1. The End Of The Feral Age

As far as they knew, Dragons were the first sentient species on Earth and thus the oldest. Their usual lifespan was about 3 millennia and they were easily the strongest, most agile and most knowledgeable species in existence. They also were one of the so-called ‘Magical Creatures’, beings of magical origin, magic flowing through their whole bodies, not necessarily spell casters or magicians, but magic was part of their life. Being the first, they originated from the purest form of White Magic, later called Dragon Magic for this cause. It was their essence, their source of life, and quite likely also the source of all their powers.

After they reached a state of mental development at which reasoning and logic replaced instincts and primal urge, they stepped forth from their caves to explore the world they lived in. It was a strong need for them to gather all knowledge they could and by time pass it on to their successors. Knowledge and wisdom became the highest-valued possession and their inborn irresistible curiosity drove them to all places on Earth.

It was at the dawn of their civilization when Draconus, Eldest Dragon and suspected ancestor of most of them, decided it was time to take another place in history after their rather violent and instinct-driven past. So he designed a set of, let’s say, ‘moral rules’ for all his ‘children’ to follow from this time on. Draconus was convinced it was the duty of the strong to help and protect the weaker, and his race being the strongest resulted in an inborn duty of them to protect all living beings. Not all Elder Dragons shared his vision, but nobody wished to oppose their ‘father’ who was slowly reaching the end of his lifespan already.

Following Draconus’ wish the Elder Dragons assembled the Codex Draconis, something comparable to a ‘code of honor’, but dragons being a very honorable race and loyal to their Elders without exception, it was quickly accepted as ‘rules’ to live after and to obey by all means. No dragon ever dared disobeying the Codex, dishonoring Draconus and thus all their ancestors. It was just a few sentences, but they became the new basis of all their actions.

The Great ‘Codex Draconis’ for all of Dragonkind to live after, from now till eternity
By Draconus The Eldest on behalf of the Council of Elder Dragons
Year 5102 in the Age of Dragons

  1. “Never kill a living being. You’re not the one it received its life from, you have no right to take it away.” – Killing an opponent in fight should be prevented by all means. Only when it’s really inevitable to protect the life of others in imminent danger, you may end the life of the threat to save them, but even then it is still a great loss and your failure to prevent it. The best fight is a fight not fought.
  2. “Never a word leaves the tongue of a dragon which isn’t the truth.” – Be true to yourself and to others and search for the truth in all things.
  3. “Protect the weaker, fight for the helpless, help the needy.” – We are gifted with incredible abilities no others possess. It’s our duty to use them to the advantage of all.
  4. “Seek for knowledge wherever you are, as it is the key to wisdom. Share your knowledge for all to profit.” – There can never be enough you know, you’ll always need more. Curiosity is the only urge we can’t resist, so sate it at every opportunity and share your wisdom with everyone you meet.
  5. “A true Dragon never values itself or Dragonkind higher than others.” – We might be superior, but by no means are we any ‘better’ than other races. We only had significantly more time to develop. Always be aware of ‘your’ superiority and use it to ‘their’ advantage.
  6. “Never lightly give your word. What you promised, you must keep.” – It’s a question of honor. Don’t dishonor your race by breaking your oaths. It’s a binding contract you’re bound to with your very own life. Keep this in mind before making promises.

(Loosely translated from Ancient Draconic tongue)

Soon other sentient races appeared on Earth, and while the dragons were constantly expanding their colonies and settlements, so were most of them. It became vital to create a peaceful relationship in coexistence, but the dragons’ violent past and their appearance being intimidating to most other species of course didn’t help in this endeavor. Some millennia after Draconus’ death most animals were getting used to dragons acting as protectors. They were still careful and kept their distance but at least didn’t fear them anymore. Their instincts told them they were safe in a dragon’s vicinity, nobody would dare to harm them with a majestic beast like this nearby.

The dragons also got quite used to their role and by then most of them understood why this was so important to Draconus. It felt so good looking into the eyes of a poor critter, still heavily shaking but obviously calming down in your presence, you just saved from guaranteed death simply by letting out a single loud roar. They did understand the other animals’ need to feed and their instinct to hunt other animals for food, wasn’t it much different for them just some millennia ago, and never would they dare telling another being what it may or may not do, but still being hunted by other animals for food wasn’t the only danger and even the fiercest predator avoided hunting when a dragon could be watching.

The first sentient beings after the dragons were the other Magical Creatures. Earth’s surface was covered by streams of magic, natural sources of supernatural power. It was in the air, in the ground, in the trees, magic was flowing through all material. Where different streams of natural magic met they occasionally intertwined, mixed with each other, grew in strength and very rarely created a new form of life, most often a hybrid of sorts, a mixture between existing races, or something really new and unknown. There were for example Gryphons, half bird, half lion, or humanoid forms of other species, like the Kaiser Cobras, head of a snake and humanoid, upright-walking scaled body, or even the Gargoyles, half living being, half stone, they all were created by these random occurrences, thus their classification as Magical Creatures.

Some of them instinctively remembered dragons from their feral time, making attempts to get in contact a bit easier, but without means to communicate these rare exceptions were the only contact dragons could make with other sentient beings. This was unacceptable. It was impossible to teach others their tongue, as these lacked the organs to voice most of it, so the dragons fell back to learning the others’ languages instead, which turned out to be way easier anyways, as each was just another piece of knowledge to gain, another one of nature’s riddles to solve.

In their search for knowledge about the other species dragons soon became the first anthropologists in history. And as real anthropologists they of course also had to live among the civilisations they studied, taking part in their rituals and everyday activities, getting to know them in a way as if they actually were one of them. Quite soon dragonkind was spread all over the world, mixing in with all civilisations they could find. New colonies were founded when their number at a place was large enough.

The Council of Elder Dragons quickly changed the way its members were selected to adapt to the changes in their social structure. The Eldest Dragon from each of the major colonies automatically became a member of the Council, so when they met they always exchanged their experiences from all places on Earth and the Council was always well-informed about the world-wide situation of dragons and the other races. Rarely was it necessary to decide about any changes in direction which would affect all of dragonkind in these peaceful times, thus the Council of Dragons soon became rather a group of scolars and scientists collecting and spreading knowledge from one colony to all the others, so the younger dragons could be educated in all they needed, or wanted, to know about the world they were going to live in.

Dragons soon were valued by the other races not only as protectors but also as wise and very knowledgeable scolars or teachers. Their urge to share their knowledge with as many others as possible became quite attracting and soon all borders between them and others dropped, all last doubts and mistrust faded, dragons were heartily welcomed wherever they stopped.

1.3. Treatment And The First Spell

It has been a long time since he last saw the huge majestic dome that is the center of the Council Hall in the middle of Magia and his way up the large long stairs at the front was quite a different sensation this time than he was used to. He was late for a report before the High Council, a thing which never happened before, and he was in a hurry. Every step causing a burning pain in his left stomach didn’t help him speed up his climb either. Some steps he even stumbled, lost balance or simply had to pause for an instant. His draconic reflexes prevented any serious falling though, but still it slowed him down, much to the young Guardian’s dismay. The two guards at the main door were already looking quite concerned even when finally this young boy in the most-ornamented Guardian uniform they’ve ever seen was rushing, no falling, past them. Nevertheless they didn’t forget greeting as it was in order for a person of his rank and reputation.

The hallways were moving by in a flow, hardly did Drake manage to evade numerous collisions with other people walking along the halls towards their own business, when suddenly he heard a very familiar voice shouting very familiar words from behind: “Hey, you silly dragon! Where do you think you’re going?” A cold chill suddenly going down his entire spine made him shudder. Drake became frozen in place and only slowly started to turn around. In all his hurry he forgot about one very important thing. He actually did run past Master Ambrosius’ chambers already!

The white-bearded man in his late seventies, wearing quite an ornamented and elegant red-and-brown robe bearing the emblem of the Order of Healers, with a dusty ancient book in the one hand and two vials filled with some strange glowing elixir in the other, was slowly moving towards the young dragon in human shape, who finally managed to turn around and look into the old man’s eyes for a moment, but then quickly reconsidered and finally ended up looking down to the ground in an attempt to apologize for his mistake. “Did you really think you could just slip past me on your way to the High Council after what happened down there in this outer district? I was expecting you to know me better.”

“I-I’m sorry, Master Ambrosius. I didn’t mean to run past your workshop, honestly.” the young man started to explain. “Besides, I do know you better, of course. Else I might just be hurt by the inpolite words you greeted me with.”

“Well, well, can I really believe the words of a dragon such as you?” the healer asked, still with a stern look on his face. “Why, of course I can! Welcome back, Guardian Drake. It was a long time we haven’t seen each other.” the old man said, now smiling all over from seeing an old friend again after quite a long while. “Hurt you are indeed, but not by my words. Why is it we both seemingly never meet without you being injured one way or another? Wouldn’t it be a nice present of you, if you would come visiting me once without bleeding or suffering strong pain for a change? Ah, well, I guess that’s a ‘no’. After all, I am a healer. People come to me when they need healing, just like you do now. Let’s go inside so I can take care of your wound. The High Council already agreed to wait for you until I’m done. But who would dare arguing with their personal healer anyways, eh?”

“Well, a little treatment won’t hurt, I guess.” the young dragon replied, seemingly relaxed again, “I indeed haven’t talked to you for quite some time. I was already missing our conversations about the different magical and non-magical healing methods we know. Keep in mind though, for a dragon the period wasn’t that long. …uhh…” Drake suddenly bent down holding his side, “We should go in. It is becoming painful standing here.” he said while gritting his teeth. Master Ambrosius took Drake’s arm over his shoulders and helped him inside. While closing the door he said: “Sit down on this bench already and take off your shirt. I’ll fetch some utensils and healing medicine especially for dragons and then I’ll take a look at you right away. Oh and you better shift back into your real shape first, as I don’t know if it will work otherwise.” Drake did as he was told and while walking towards the bench he shifted back into his normal dragon shape, filling the room in this bright white light. Master Ambrosius didn’t pay any attention though as he knew this process already and was used to it. Suddenly the dragon almost dropped to the ground, now realizing the shape shifting was too taxing for his wound, causing much stronger pain in his stomach than before. He quickly managed to regain balance though and finally sat down on the bench and relaxed, making a mental note not to shape shift while wounded again. While the healer was cleaning his wound and preparing some sort of balm along with fresh bandages, Drake couldn’t help taking a closer look at the vials lying next to him. Curiosity was very strong in dragons, especially in young ones like him. While concentrating on analyzing the substance’s ingredients with his eyes, the dragon didn’t even feel the burning sensation when the wound was finally sterilized. “Now that’s something I never understood of you, my friend.” Ambrosius started, “Why is it there are moments you seem to simply ignore any pain, for example when concentrating or while still in fight, and then there are others you’re literally screaming over it?”

“Hmm? Oh, yes, you got that right.” the dragon answered after he became aware of his surroundings again, “I was indeed taught how to ignore pain and such when the situation doesn’t allow it. Apparently it also works while concentrating on one of my senses completely, but unfortunately that’s not a mental state I can keep for longer periods. It’s just too taxing to be performed without real need. However, …what is that strange substance in those vials over there? It smells unfamiliar, and that means something when coming from me. I was trying to analyze its ingredients with the Eye Of The Dragon, but even knowing this now doesn’t help me figuring out what it is.”

“The Eye Of The Dragon? Ah, yes, I remember. You told me about it already, didn’t you? Isn’t it this mental training you dragons use to access the additional information from your incredibly developed senses your brain is usually suppressing, not to overwhelm your mind with too high awareness of the details of your surrounding? And you really analyzed all ingredients already just by looking at it? Even their individual mixing ratio?!” the healer asked surprised, but Drake was just nodding and answered: “Yes, you’re right. That’s it. We would be too overwhelmed and disoriented to even walk straight alone, if our brains weren’t blocking this overhead of information from our senses. Let alone imagine the sensory overload that would damage our brain cells, if we were constantly receiving this insane amount of information. Fortunately we learned how to concentrate on breaking this barrier temporarily for a short targeted release of all details we need. And yes, I now could write you a recipe of what’s in those vials. But still, knowing the parts alone doesn’t make you knowing the assembly. I could mix this stuff myself now, but I still am clueless about what it is!” Ambrosius was still trying to get over the shock of learning how far this enhanced draconic awareness actually goes when he took the old dusty book from the ground where he placed it and reached it towards his young friend. “It’s a mixture especially designed for a dragon’s metabolism.” the healer explained, “It is said to increase the rate of your natural regeneration for a medium time period of around an hour or two. I was impatient to try it out, but, as you can imagine, I didn’t have a dragon at hand until now. I found the recipe in this ancient book, together with some other substances and quite detailed depictions of you dragons’ anatomy. I was amazed when I stumbled across this, as literature about your kind is really hard to come by nowadays. As you can see though I already put it to good use, didn’t I? I knew it would come in handy sooner or later… and considering your tendency towards combat injuries, rather sooner than later. You won’t believe where I found this treasure though. It was lying in a pile of crumbled paper and notes on one of the market stands last month, imagine that! That strange emblem on the front cover made me curious so I gave it a closer look. You can imagine how surprised I was when I found it telling about dragons right after the 3rd page! Just so you don’t worry though, I let it get authenticated by the scholars before I took anything in it for real of course.”

“That’s amazing! Scientific literature about my kind? I thought it was all lost ages before my birth already.” the young dragon replied, curiously looking at the book from all sides, turning pages by pages skimming through the text, “This emblem you discovered actually is of draconic origin. Though the text within was clearly written by a human. It says it was a biologist or something, a member of the Order of Light. I wonder how it got to the market place though, considering their archives like all their structures were burned down during the Great War… ah, well, but what is this? No, that can’t be!”

“What is it? Oh, that’s some sort of spell I also found on this page. ” Ambrosius said, “But I couldn’t make any use of it yet, as it’s written in a language I don’t understand… you, however, seem to recognize it, don’t you?”

“If I recognize it? Are you kidding? These are symbols from Ancient Draconic! It’s my mother tongue!” the young dragon replied, seemingly surprised to find something like this in the outer world, “Did the order know our vocabulary? But that makes no sense. Noone else but we dragons can even voice it!” The puzzled Drake was now skimming through the pages before and after this particular section containing these all-too-familiar letters, “Shhz shalamay cha delemn…” he started, instinctively remembering how to voice each symbol, organs somewhere deep inside his throat producing sounds Ambrosius could only hardly perceive, while his split tongue kept whistling some sort of varying static all over it, “Powers of nature within me…” Drake quickly translated, as he realized his old friend didn’t understand a word, “energies of magical source…” he continued, now always the draconic original first and a proper translation quickly afterwards, “concentrate inside my body to revitalize me and give me strength.” When Drake finished this he suddenly felt very uneasy, a mysterious tickling sensation was travelling through his whole body until it finally concentrated at the area in his left stomach. The wound slowly started glowing and then all of a sudden also closing on its own, stopping further blood loss and sealing the opening cut. Both him and Master Ambrosius jumped in surprise.

“Holy god, Drake, what was that? I wasn’t aware you know magic!” the surprised healer said. “Me neither, Master. I never used magic before. I didn’t even know I was capable of this!… Well, apparently this seems to be a draconic healing spell of sorts. If I read it correctly, it enhances the natural ability to regenerate by using the target’s own inner magical resources… or those of the caster. It’s quite similar to what those vials do, but it will only work with magical creatures such as me. You humans for example don’t have your own magic inside you like we do. It isn’t your source of life… It reads here the spell was working in both, the draconic original and the human translation. Now why was it written down in Ancient Draconic then?… Alright, I will best write it down for you so you can use it for your other patients as well. I think it could be quite helpful for you to know a powerful spell such as this one… Hey, that wound completely closed already. This spell is great!” the dragon said, bending his previously wounded lower body into all directions to test for left injuries underneath, “I still can’t believe I actually managed to cast it though… and also only by accident that is!… really weird…”

Master Ambrosius examined the wound more closely though and issued a word of warning: “Don’t take it too lightly, Drake! You’re seemingly still wounded underneath. The spell only closed the outside and stopped the bleeding. I’m only not concerned because you dragons’ cellular regeneration is incredibly fast anyways even without such aid, but still you have to be careful, see?” and he gently pressed two fingers against the healed wound, causing Drake to bend down again realizing it did indeed still hurt. The healer applied some of the balm he prepared to the hurting region below his scales and finished the bandaging he started before. When he was done Drake shifted back into human shape, again feeling the pain increase shortly, reached the piece of paper he wrote the translated spell down on over to his friend Ambrosius, still trembling a little, but rather from the sudden realization he could use magic without even knowing how to than from his injuries, which were now mostly gone, and issued a few words of warning while putting back on his shirt again and preparing to leave, “One thing I must tell you about this kind of spell though, Master. Regardless of whose inner magic it uses to do the healing it will be quite taxing on your psychic strength the longer the casting lasts. If you humans cast it longer than you can stand it, you might pass out and maybe even take similar brain cell damage to what we dragons suffer from when letting our senses overwhelm our minds. By all means stop concentrating as soon as you feel weaker or even sleepy! A dragon could easily kill himself while consuming his magic, his life source, to heal others, or himself, this way, but you humans won’t be a lot safer either! Keep that in mind, please. But I know you will. And thank you for your treatment.”

“Now wait a moment there, dragon!” the healer replied, “You donate me this translated spell, add a warning such as this, and that’s it? You’re leaving already? I didn’t even tell you to dress again yet, and by all I know I am the healer of us two!” But when Master Ambrosius finished his speech and turned around again he realized Drake wasn’t even sitting in front of him anymore, but instead was already opening the door to leave.

“I’m sorry, Master, but I have to go now. The High Council is waiting for me and I don’t want to delay my report any further, now that my wound is taken care of and I’m already feeling better. I will get back to you when we’re done, before I leave the city to my next mission, but now I really have to leave.” the young dragon told the still stumped healer, and this one, now seeing no way to hold the Guardian any longer, finally agreed and gave his approval for the dragon to leave. “There’s no sense in arguing with you, as you always win. Over 3 centuries of experience are hard to beat by a puny little human in his late 70’s. But you really do come back later, or I’ll send the guard to return you, got me? See you later, troublesome little dragon.” the old man said, standing in the door and waving with one hand after the young man leaving towards the Council Chambers.

1.2. The Fight He Didn’t Want

Shazri Trolls weren’t really the smartest of their kind, but they were fierce fighters and deadly when in rage. Due to their dark nature and tendency towards major crimes troll kind in general was tolerated rather than welcomed in the Realm of Magic, but there were some who really tried to become valued members of the society. The realm and its protectors, especially the Council’s Guard, provided safety for everyone in the most unstable and insecure times. That’s why most trolls tried to obey the laws, so they won’t get into trouble and risk exile. The world outside, even when you left into the right direction away from the Realm of Darkness in the North, wasn’t really welcoming creatures of magical origin. Some realms even insisted in denying their existence altogether, treating them as subjects from myths, legends or even fairy tales. But the worst of all were the small regions they weren’t known in, where people actually still believed everything unknown would be evil by nature, sent from hell or something along the line. Most magical beings or creatures related to magic fled to the Realm of Magic to finally find some peace, some safety. Those Shazris however really were a never depleting source of trouble. It was so easy to get into a fight with them. If you just happened to be of the wrong race or maintained the wrong business in their eyes, it already was enough to offend them.

With a loud noise of cracking barrels and breaking crates the Shazri crashed into a pile of empty containers for transporting food and beverage which was standing in one corner of the alley. The group witnessing the fight couldn’t believe what they just saw over the last 10 minutes. Seemingly the young Guardian never hit, not even touched their friend Throzar, but still he was already stumbling and fell to the ground several times, as if he just lost balance and dropped down, nobody could see why he did. He was feeling the pain, which didn’t help him cooling down, but his power was reducing quickly now, he was almost out of breath. “Why can’t you just stand still and fight so I can hit you?! Do you coward always have to dodge and jump away??” he shouted. “Who’s the hilarious one of us now? I told you, you won’t stand a chance against me, didn’t I? Do you really want to continue this till you faint? I beg you to stop this now, or I will have to stop it!” the young man answered, seemingly not fatigued the slightest bit, still evading hit after hit with the same ease and quickness as to the beginning of this. “You want me to stand still and receive a few hits, do you? Well, I’m getting tired of this, so I will give you what you want. Go on, hit me. I won’t dodge this time!” Throzar didn’t really believe this, but still he swung his fist towards his opponent, aiming for the chest… and hit! The stupid little boy really didn’t evade it this time! Now that fight’s over!… or so he thought. “Uh, well, that was all? Here, try the face, the face next!” was all he got as an answer. Alright, this boy seemingly was used to some fighting, but still a few well-placed hits should knock him out. Nobody can withstand a Shazri!… and again he was wrong, as all he gained by hitting the face of the Guardian was an aching fist, this boy just wasn’t collapsing yet! After the young man turned his face back towards him, licking a few drops of blood from his lips, he commented in the same calm voice as all the time: “Now that wasn’t bad. Really a good hit and quite a strong strike as well. Unfortunately it’s still not enough to bring me down, I’m afraid. But the first blood was spilled and I couldn’t keep my intentions. That’s enough now, next one I’ll strike back, so be warned.” That was enough. This filthy little bugger actually dared talking to him like that… and he didn’t even show the slightest sign of pain or anything! Who did he think he was? He’s gonna pay for that!

The troll stormed forward and swung for the stomach of his opponent, who simply stepped back a little so the strike stopped only inches before it could hit. The boy was still only playing with him, which only drove him mad more. A strike to the face passed the head a few inches away. This time his opponent didn’t even move his body at all. The next one towards the chest ended in the void, when the young man turned aside, let the strike pass in front of his chest and then quickly gripped his arm and pulled him towards the next wall, using the speed of his very own attack for this. This was intimidating! Throzar couldn’t continue like that, or his friends won’t ever talk to him again. He was almost twice the size of this little human and his strength should have been thrice or fourth the amount of his opponent, but still he couldn’t manage to hurt him seriously enough for this fight to end quickly. Something wasn’t right. The boy must have been cheating with a dirty trick of his filthy white magic! Again the Shazri jumped towards the Guardian, his fist aiming for the stomach… and again he missed by only a few inches. This time however he quickly jumped back to not receive any potential return strikes, triumphantly posed himself on the other side of the alley with an evil grin in his face and all of a sudden started laughing loudly. The young Guardian and all bystanders were puzzled for a moment. Was Throzar gone crazy? After he stopped laughing it got deadly quiet in the alley. The Guardian could even hear the others breathing… not that it was something unusual to him. What was unusual however was that strange sound he suddenly heard, seemingly coming out of nowhere. It sounded like water dripping on stone, yet there was no water in the broken barrels or anything else that could be dripping in sight. Then he felt it, a sudden pain on the left side of his stomach. When he was looking down to see what it was, the Shazri in front of him started to laugh again, but this time everybody in the alley knew why he did. “How did that happen? Why didn’t I see that coming? Am I that much out of practice already?… No, this can’t be it. I defeated Warmaster Roughlin two days ago and he was a sword fight champion, yet he didn’t come as close as this Shazri just did… Get your mind straight now, you’re still in a fight, silly!” the young Guardian was thinking while he was holding the deep bleeding wound with his hand. Throzar was licking some blood from a small dagger he was holding in his hand, obviously enjoying the taste… yet there was something unusual… he couldn’t make out the species from the blood, he never tasted this one before. It didn’t matter much though. It was the taste of his victory over this stupid little boy daring to fight with a Shazri like him. Soon he would die, even if Throzar would have to accelerate it a little.

The crowd got worried. Seeing the blood on the ground they knew it wasn’t a regular bar fight anymore. The boy was unarmed and wounded, bleeding seriously, trying to hold it back with one hand. And their friend Throzar was just about to finish him with another strike from this dagger he had hidden all the time. This was going to change from a fight into murder and they were right in the Capitol City, the safest place in the whole realm. This meant trouble, serious trouble! What if the boy really was a Guardian even? This meant the worst punishment waiting for their friend and maybe themselves even as they didn’t stop him. They shouted for Throzar to end this, to not kill the poor guy, but he didn’t listen. The troll gripped his dagger firmly in his right hand and jumped towards the boy, aiming directly for his throat. A second later a loud metallic clank was to be heard and Throzar’s attack was stopped in mid air, a good distance away from the young Guardian’s throat. The dagger was caught between two other blades of odd shapes that blocked its thrust. Looking down the Shazri realized it was a tail he was looking at, a long scaled tail with horny spikes along the spine and quite some metallic looking blades at the tip! The crowd was stunned, as was Throzar. They didn’t know what was going on anymore. Who was that boy? What was he? “We’re fighting with weapons now, are we?” the young man shouted. “Well, let me introduce you to one of my favourite weapons in my arsenal then!” and with this the tail quickly wrapped around Throzar’s arm and pulled him up into the air throwing him right over the young man and into the next wall. That hurt and the troll was quite dizzy, but still he didn’t want to give up. He pulled a second dagger out of his vest and prepared for his next attack. The Guardian however ducked down, placing all 4 limbs on the ground, the tail raised over his head in a combat stance similar to a scorpion, and opened his mouth. The next moment Throzar suddenly dropped his dagger, feeling a strong pain in his hand. When he was looking down he realized the blade was glowing and smoking! “What was that?!” he yelled. “Nothing else than another one of my favourite weapons.” the young man answered, still in the scorpion-like pose. “I didn’t want to let it come to this, but you didn’t let me any chance either. Now look at my true shape and hopefully you’ll reconsider your wish to fight with me to death!” that said the Guardian started to glow in bright white light, so bright that most of the watchers closed their eyes to not get blinded. After the glow went away again they couldn’t believe what they saw. Never before have they seen a creature like this. The whole body was covered in sturdy red-brown scales with a golden shine, a mighty reptilian looking head with sharp razor like teeth and two long horns coming out of its back. The long sharp claws on hands and feet really looked like natural weapons, the spikes and blades coming out of the arms were just adding to it. But the most unusual thing of it were two large, leathery wings, spread out to the sides. The spikes from the tail were now going down the whole spine from neck to tail tip and the already unusual golden eyes were now glowing really fiery, yet not showing any sign of anger or aggression. It was a strange vision. There was this creature standing in front of them, every body part provided with one or more deadly weapons to use in combat, nobody has ever seen anything like this before, but still they didn’t feel even the slightest trail of fear!

“If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m a dragon!… Don’t tell me we don’t exist, as we obviously do. We are no fairy tales or imaginations either, we are real. You can believe your eyes, if you don’t want to believe my words. And I am also a member of the Guardian Order, as I told you. Not only did you attack me, you also even wounded me. I didn’t want to do that, but it’s the law. In the name of the High Council and the Council’s Government I’m serving I take you under arrest. You will be brought before the court and your case will be judged, though my word alone is all the judges need to let you receive the highest punishment there is for attacking a Guardian, life-long imprisonment in one of the council’s prisons, which in your case will be quite a long time already, Shazri. I really regret it had to come that far, I still don’t want to do that, mind you, but the pain in my stomach and the blood of a dragon spilled all over this place tell me, it’s inevitable… I’m sorry,… please don’t resist further or I, not You, will regret it!”
“A dragon?! That’s impossible! You’re lying! Take that, you filthy magic user!” was all the Shazri wanted to answer to this, still not believing what he saw. He started another attack, to either slay the beast or to stop this filthy magic from working. It didn’t matter to him anymore. The dragon only shook his head, closed his eyes and waited patiently. When Throzar was about to strike with the third and last dagger in his possession, he was suddenly grabbed at his throat and pulled up into the air. The dragon was now standing on his hind legs, the wings folded in and the tail lowered down to the ground, the eyes still closed as if he didn’t want to see what was coming next. While he was bending back a little to catch the thrust with which the Shazri sprung towards him, he quickly pushed him forward throwing him right into the next wall. This time however some stones broke out of the wall, Throzar was immediately knocked out and collapsed down to the floor unconscious. At the moment this happened the dragon did the same, his eyes still closed. “I’m sorry.” was all that could be heard and a few tears were collecting in his eyes. He was lying there on the ground, blood still dripping out from under his belly scales, but didn’t move anymore. “Is he…?” one of the others started to ask. “No, he’s just unconscious… I won’t kill anybody… not if I can prevent it!” the dragon quietly answered. “But still this must have hurt. He’s surely injured now. I hate myself for my inability to prevent it… yet worse is what’s coming next.” and all of a sudden really every door or gate in range sprung open and armed soldiers stormed in, surrounding every being in sight, shouting: “In the name of the High Council, nobody moves! Drop all weapons and don’t resist. You are surrounded!”

After a few moments one of them with golden ornaments on his armour stepped forth and asked: “What’s going on here? What’s all that noise about? Was there a fight going on? Fighting on the streets within the city walls is prohibited! Why is this looking like a battlefield? And…”
“That’s my fault, Guard Captain. I’m responsible for this.” the dragon interrupted. “Who the…? Oh my god!… Guardian Drake, it’s you, isn’t it?!” the Captain asked, almost shocked when he first saw the dragon. “Well, if you know another dragon in the realm, please tell me.” Drake answered and chuckled. “No, Sir, of course I don’t! I was just… what happened here? Were you fighting? You know that’s not allowed, not even to you Guardians!… Wait, is that blood? Your blood?!” Now the Guard Captain was really getting concerned. “Well, do you see Him bleeding?” the dragon asked pointing towards Throzar, “Then it must be mine, yes… He insisted in a fight. I couldn’t prevent it. I take all responsibility for this.”
“You know that’s not going to work, Sir. He attacked you, a Guardian. Therefore his life is forfeit. No judge in the whole realm will punish you for self protection, regardless of how much you beg them for it. How about your wound? How are you, Sir?” the Captain answered. The dragon looked down to the ground and analyzed the amount of blood on the rough stones. “I’m fine, really.” he said, “It’s just a small cut. You know we don’t need that much blood to survive. The wound will close and I will recover soon. There’s no need to worry about me. I’ll just…”
“No, Sir, you won’t!” the Captain interrupted, “With all due respect, you’ll go to Master Ambrosius in the Council Chambers immediately and get your wound cared. Then the High Council is searching for you. You missed your scheduled report during this fight, Sir!… Here, take this to stop the bleeding. I know you Guardians know how to do that.” The Guard Captain reached inside his belt pouch and pulled out some bandages which he held in front of Drake, waiting for him to take them. “Hmm, thank you. They might actually really help. The High Council’s searching for me? Then I’d better report there at once. As I know you, you’ll tell Ambrosius about this right away, won’t you? So I can as well make a short stop at his workshop. I won’t get past his door anyways, when he knows about this.” the dragon said with a smirk and started shifting back into human shape while standing up and pulling his sword out of the ground. His last look went into the eyes of his troll informant, still shaking from fear, and, while leaving back towards the district gate he came in through, shouted: “Now you know how powerful I am. Consider this source of all your fears, the evil wizard Chingorn, out of business already. Farewell.”

1.1. The Hesitant Informant

It was a misty morning in Magia, the Capital City of the Realm of Magic. Although there were a few people rushing along the narrow streets of the southern suburb towards the entry gate to the Central District, where the great market place is located, busy gathering their goods to present them on their stands to the customers soon to arrive, the whole area still had quite a sleepy feeling about it. He likes this time of the day, so peaceful and quiet, yet everything’s beginning to become alive, you can almost sense it how the city’s awakening. Not long and there will be life around you everywhere. A cloaked figure slowly moved towards the gate to the suburb, dressed in a dark grey coat of linen supported by leather parts, only grey leather boots sticking out, his head covered by a dark grey hood, drawn down far enough to hide his face in shadow, only fiery golden faintly glowing eyes giving away a glimpse of magical presence.

When he came closer to the gate the soldiers at both sides suddenly stood at attention and saluted. The man lowered his face, closed his eyes and slowly shook his head. He couldn’t believe what just happened. When he was next to them he stopped and whispered: “Don’t salute me, friends. I’m on duty.” The two soldiers froze in place, their faces showing their starting panic. “Now calm down, there’s nobody around, it’s ok. Nobody witnessed it… this time.” he tried to reassure them. “S-Sir, we, we didn’t know. I-I’m so sorry!” they started to apologize. “No need to apologize, just calm down, guys, before anybody gets suspicious after all. How did you know it’s me anyways?”
“W-We, we… it’s just… this grey clothing, the cloak, the way you hide your face in your hood… just as you Guardians are always described, Sir, trying to look unsuspicious. Yet a cloaked figure like this walking around in the capital city in the early morning… I mean, there are no assassins or the like here, not even thieves dare to venture this area, too many wizards and sorcerers around, they would get discovered in mere seconds. Sir, I apologize, but your appearance is not quite as unsuspicious as you might like it to be.” Now the man was quite puzzled, that was an answer he didn’t expect. Then he started to chuckle, laughing about himself, and said: “I should have known! Well, that’s what you call superior intellect, eh? I’m too much used to walking around like that in all those townships and little villages in the far ends of the realm. It was always comfortable being mistaken for an adventurer or something out there. I should have known it wouldn’t work here in the heart of the realm, our home-base. Oh well, it’s been a long time I wasn’t here. I’m not used to the whole city life business anymore, but it’s good to be here again after all those years. So many things have changed since I last visited the city, I couldn’t recognize most of the districts anymore, and that’s a serious statement coming from one of my kind… Now, I think I won’t need this anymore then.” and the man threw the hood over his head revealing his face and his dark black hair ending close above his shoulders. This however puzzled the two guards now and one of them asked: “What? You’re quite young, friend. You’re sure you are a Guardian? You look like around 20!” The young man didn’t show the slightest sign of being taken aback, but chuckled again. “Actually it is 25, if you have to know… in human age anyways.” he answered, opening his coat, revealing his insignias for a moment, so only they could see. Now the two were shocked again, the whole situation slowly making him feel uneasy. “I apologize, Sir! I hope I didn’t insult you. Does this mean you’re a Magical Being then, a Shape Shifter?”
“Could you please stop calling me ‘Sir’ already?” the young man quickly interrupted “No, you didn’t insult me. You can’t. Yes, that’s right. I’m much older than I look. Though… my own kind still references to me as a ‘young one’, so it’s not that far away from the truth, I guess. Anyways, in reality I’m…” Suddenly the other one of the guards interrupted the young Guardian: “Stop, Sir, we’re getting company!” he said, pointing towards a group of merchants coming closer with their carts full of goods, “We wasted enough of your precious time already anyways. Weren’t you up to some important mission?”
“Hey, why did you… sure, you’re right.” the other one was about to complain, now really interested in the young man’s story, but he also understood the importance of the Guardian staying undiscovered for now, “It was an honour to speak to you.”
“Good day, citizen.” both guards said, now no longer whispering, “Glad we could help you.”
“Oh, ehm, yes, I think I will find it now. Thank you… and good day.” the young man answered, quickly taking up the two guards’ intention to sound like this was just the usual ‘asking for the way’-conversation, but still he was a bit sorry he couldn’t tell his whole story. He loved to tell stories, and he always had quite a lot to tell after all. “Boy, what am I doing? I’m on a mission! Don’t get always side-tracked so easily, silly one!” he thought to himself, starting to continue his walk down the street into the narrow suburb.

After a good number of corners and back alleys the young man arrived at a broader street leading towards the outer wall of Magia. The streets were empty in this part of the city, quite dirty compared to the overall clean and ordered appearance of the capital city, and the air smelled unusual yet familiar. He knew he was at the right place. There was a noticeable scent in the air, exactly what he was looking for, Shazri, a subspecies of Trolls, the worst sort actually, their easily distinguishable scent was just about everywhere. Not that he ever would have trouble distinguishing one species’ scent from another, but these were almost too easy to make out. There was a small and quite shabby looking bar further down the street, from the noise coming out this was the place he wanted to go. As soon as he entered the bar the place became deadly silent, everybody staring towards him, the intruder into their personal realm of remoteness. He could see quite a couple of Shazri Trolls sitting around at the tables. This must be their meeting point of sorts. Some were raising their heads, taking in some air with their nostrils and quickly moving their heads away in disgust. They must’ve smelled him. It was the bartender, a rather well defined muscular human of middle age, somebody you wouldn’t want to mess with in his bar for sure, to first break the silence: “Well, hello, Stranger. What can I bring you? Interested in some Ale, Beer or maybe a good bottle of Wine?”
“Pah! You don’t have any ‘good’ wine, only cheap one… and dirty that is!” one of his customers objected. “Shut up, you worthless son of a bitch! How about you finally pay your bill instead of driving away my customers?” the bartender tried to silence him. “Hey! My mother might have been a bitch, but she was a Troll Bitch, that’s a difference!” he answered. Loud laughter filled the room, nobody really cared about the stranger slowly moving towards the bar anymore. “Only a cup of water, please, I didn’t drink anything for a while.” he ordered. “Water? What do you think this is? A public cistern?… Oh, well, if you insist… here’s your ‘water’, Stranger.” the man said, slightly taken aback, not counting on too much money from this customer, and handed over a really dirty cup filled with what you’d rather describe as ‘mud’ than as actual ‘water’. The young Guardian however didn’t hesitate and took it, taking a huge gulp, filling his dry throat and stomach with some fluid, and then added: “And bring some bread and a well done steak for my friend over there. I guess he’s hungry.” while pointing at a cloaked figure sitting at a table a bit separated back in a corner of the room. The creature jumped up, looking at him a little panicked, then calmed down and seated again, waving the young man to come over and sit down.

After the Guardian sat down next to him, he padded one hand on his shoulder and said: “No need to worry anymore, I’m here to protect you. Now about that information you wanted to give me…”
“Protect me? Are you kidding, kid?” the troll said, getting slightly pale, “How could ‘you’ protect me? Oh, this was a huge mistake. I should never have come here! It’ll be best I leave town immediately before he finds out.”
“Calm down. You didn’t contact me for nothing.” the young man said, his hand still on the poor being’s shoulder. “How could I ever calm down? If he finds out, I’m dead… worse than dead! He’s mighty. He can do things to me I can’t even think of now!… And he ‘will’ know.” the thing objected, almost starting to cry now. “You have my word. You’re now under the protection of my order, in behalf of the High Council itself. Tell me where he is and tomorrow this time he won’t be a threat to you anymore… or to any other being that is.” the young Guardian tried to assure him, but the frightened troll wasn’t convinced yet, “You must be mad! Tomorrow? Even if I tell you where master Chin-, ehm, you-know-who is, you’ll never be able to beat him, not even an army of you!… Oh I’m so dead. I won’t even survive the next day, that’s for sure!”
“Oh, come on, you’re safe now!” the man said, desperately trying to calm him down, “Here you’re inside the capital of the realm. The city’s full of soldiers of the High Council’s Guard, its perimeter magically watched by the High Council’s Mystics, and there are members of our order everywhere to maintain peace and order within the city boundaries. Also there’s no need to fear calling Chingorn’s name out loud. After all he’s only a wizard. A mighty evil wizard, granted, you don’t get on the top 3rd place of the High Council’s Search-and-Arrest List for nothing, but still only a wizard, and one whose days are counted already, not to forget. Just don’t leave the city and you will be safe, nobody will hurt you. As soon as you leave this building two from my order will watch your every step. And whenever you’re in doubt, simply go to the Council Chambers, the safest place in the whole Realm of Magic. Now, just tell me where Chingorn’s hiding, will you?” He took his hand off the miserable being’s shoulder and just sat still on the opposite site of the table, staring deep into him with his fiery golden eyes. “For goodness’ sake, don’t speak his name! I beg you, go away. Just leave me alone, will you? He’s in Goron, in the ruined old fortress of the Order of Light! Now go, leave immediately, get yourself killed over there, crazy child. I’ll see you in the afterlife tomorrow!… Oh I’m so dead by now. I know it.” That was it. Now he had what he was here for, but the young Guardian couldn’t leave, yet. He couldn’t leave this poor being behind like this. “Look into my eyes! You can trust me, you feel it. You ‘must’ feel it.” he said, again to assure the miserable one, “You must have sensed already I’m not your regular every day’s child. Let me assure you, I’m doing this for over 3 centuries now. The top entries of the list are my responsibility. I would have died already many times, if I wasn’t really good in my job, believe me. The High Council personally assigned this task to ‘me’, to nobody else. They trust me. Why can’t you?” The troll was a bit surprised to hear that. He knew already there was something irregular about this person on the opposite site of the table, but he couldn’t really make up what. A human of this young age was already a Guardian? That was impossible. Now he heard ‘3 centuries’ and was really clueless about who or ‘what’ he was talking to. It was a magical being, no doubt, but he never heard about one with such a long lifespan. The top of the Search-and-Arrest List were his responsibility? How could that be? How could he possibly be that strong? This young man certainly didn’t look like that. “W-Who, no, what are you?… No. Don’t tell me. I really don’t need to know. I don’t ‘want’ to know. Just leave me already, will you? You have what you want, leave me alone now! I-I don’t know what to think of it anymore… Get lost! Please…” The young man didn’t want to bother the poor being any longer, took a part of the bread for his way and said: “Well, I’ll leave you now. But never forget, as long as you stay here, you’ll be watched by us. You can feel safe now, trust me. This wizard will never get you, I promise. Soon he’ll be out of business already. Now, enjoy your meat, friend, I hope it’s tasty. Farewell.” With this he stood up, took his stuff and started to leave, walking over to the bar.

“Here, that’s for the meal. And thanks for the… uhm… ‘water’, yeah. If my friend over there needs anything, give him whatever he wishes as long as this lasts.” he said to the bartender handing him a small but perfectly cut diamond. This was a surprise. He wouldn’t have expected something like that from this poorly clothed young stranger. Hesitantly he took the stone and, believing it would only be some sugar crystal or something, took it into his mouth and bit on it before the young man could say a single word of warning. He almost broke a tooth, but in spite of the pain his eyes widened in joy. It was really some sort of crystal, and quite a valuable one, that’s for sure. He was already counting the gold coins he would get for it on the market while still trying to figure out what exactly it might be and especially where this strange guy could have it from in the first place. The young man however turned around, uttering “The rest is for you. I have no use for things like this.” and started to walk away, when suddenly he was stopped forcibly by one of the taller trolls, a really mean looking Shazri with an expression of pure hate in his face.

“Not so fast. You’re not going nowhere, filthy little creature!” the Shazri said with a loud booming voice, certainly freaking the heck out of a regular human, maybe even a tough soldier, “Who do you think you are, coming in here like that, disturbing our seclusion and causing all the annoyance with this stench of yours? This is no place for you filthy magical creature scum! You should’ve never come ‘ere.” The young man wasn’t really surprised by this. Quite used to dealing with trolls and this kind of beings already, he was expecting something like this to happen sooner or later. “Well, then it’s just good I’m already on the leave. I won’t disturb you any longer with my presence, Sir. However,… last time I read it up you trolls were beings of magical origin as well, or am I mistaken?” he stated, slowly starting to walk away already, but the thing stopped him again, yet a bit more violently than last time, “No, no, no. You’re not going anywhere unless I’m done with you, got it? You know what I meant. Of course I meant you dirty pathetic White Magic users, fanatical never-do-wrongs, Gargoyle, Kaiser Cobra, or whatever filthy abomination you are. You think you’re that much better than we others, isn’t it? You’re standing above us, looking down on us, just because of your origins!”
“Hey, now, stop it already! You can call ‘me’ whatever you like. I couldn’t care less. You can never insult me anyways. But don’t insult the honourable members of the High Council themselves, Gargoyle Lord Dakon, head of the Council or Councilor Arumin, one of the last living Kaiser Cobras! Some of them are protecting ‘your’ butt as well as others’ for longer than a century now, don’t forget that!” the young Guardian dropped in, “And anyways, none of us is downgrading any other beings. They as well as I do respect you all, regardless of what you are. This I can tell you!”
“Now look at that! Why so protective about the High Council’s honour? You don’t look like an Official.” the Shazri snapped back, “But even if you were, I couldn’t care less. We didn’t ask them to protect us, but we won’t complain about them risking their lives for ours either… after all, it’s better one of them bites the dust than one of us.” Having said that the creature started to grin evilly, waiting for his selected victim’s response. The young man couldn’t believe what he just heard. This poor ignorant creature actually insulted the honourable High Council, while itself just living inside the capital city of their realm, the best protected place on Earth! It wasn’t easy to hold back his temper, his anger slowly starting to climb up, quite close to taking over. Quickly he reminded himself about what he learned in his youth, what they were always told by their teachers and sometimes even some of the elders themselves. It wasn’t really becoming dangerous yet, but still feelings like hate and anger uprising inside of him wasn’t right for his kind, he didn’t like himself being that weak right now and quickly started to meditate a little, to reorder his thoughts, and calmed down. After breathing in and out deeply a few times he regained his inner peace and started to talk his way out of this situation, trying to prevent unnecessary fights the best he could. “Alright. Now why don’t you simply let me leave in peace so you can go back to your business, whatever it might be? I don’t want any trouble with you and you don’t want any trouble with me, believe me.”
“Hah! How pathetic. ‘You don’t want any trouble with me, believe me.’ That’s hilarious. I’m gonna crush you right ‘ere, filthy little thing!” the Shazri answered, definitely not intending to let him leave without a fight. “Stop it, you two, right now! This is not the place for a bar fight, got it?” the barkeeper dropped in. “Now wait a minute… where’d be the place for a bar fight if not in a bar?” one of the other customers objected, quickly silenced by the barkeeper “Shut up! You better start paying your bills or you won’t get any wine from me anymore, got that? Now as for you, Throzar, let this boy go or you’ll get into trouble with me, understood? How dare you offending my valuable paying customers?”
“I’m sorry, Sir. I don’t want that, but it seems he won’t let me leave without a fight. After all, that’s what he intended the second he first saw me coming in. I don’t think you can stop him now.” the young Guardian excused. “That’s bloody damn right! Must’ve used your precious white magic to read my thoughts, didn’t you?” the troll interrupted. Only shaking his head the young man answered “No. Apart from me not knowing how to use any spells, it wasn’t necessary after all either. I could simply read it in your eyes… Now if that’s what you’re after, let me warn you one more time. A fight with me won’t do you any good. It’s not me but only you insisting on it, so simply forget about it and I’ll leave right now. But I sense this is not going to happen unfortunately. So let me show you something.” saying that he suddenly threw his coat away, revealing the uniform of a high-ranking member of the Guardian Order, the secret protectors of the Realm of Magic, responsible only to the High Council itself.
“A Guardian? YOU?! Pah, impossible! You’re lying, filthy little magic user! That’s nothing else than a cheap and dirty trick to scare me, an illusion or something, hah. I won’t fall to that prank, that’s for sure.” the Shazri countered, now even more angered than before. “That’s right. I am a Guardian. You know what punishment awaits you for attacking a Guardian in this realm? Attack me now and I’ll arrest you right away. Believe me. You won’t stand a chance against a Guardian.” The young man could again only shake his head about such ignorance. The rest of the crowd inside the tavern however now got absolutely quiet. They haven’t seen a Guardian in person ever apart from the few rare occasions when some of them were performing a parade escort through the streets for honoured guests of the realm on an official visit to the council chambers. They clearly remembered the uniform however, with all its shiny metallic insignias and ornaments. Some of them even started to warn their friend that this is not a trick, this is really an authentic uniform and this young boy really must be a Guardian, but he didn’t seem to care for it anymore. The troll was in a rage now which could only be calmed by a fight. Unfortunately it seemed this was inevitable right now.

“Oh well, if you insist, you don’t leave me any option. But why don’t we go out into the back alley? There’s more space for a fight and we won’t damage anything inside here.” The Shazri agreed hesitantly, but otherwise he would’ve gotten into trouble with the barkeeper for damaging the furniture, so it wasn’t that a bad idea. They left through the back door, the barkeeper and most of the customers quickly following. Nobody wanted to miss this fight, especially because they all wanted to know how such a young man could actually be a Guardian. The back alley wasn’t that much larger than the bar was, but still there were no tables, stools or lamps in the way and nothing valuable could get broken easily. “Now first let me get rid of this, I don’t want to spill any blood in this fight.” the young Guardian said pulling a long red-golden-coloured sword with many artistic ornaments on the hilt and the blade out of its sheath. “Hah, isn’t that thing a bit too big for you, boy? I doubt you can even wield it!” the troll shouted with a smirk on his face. “Trust me, if there’s need to, I can very well wield it… with ease.” the young man objected taking the sword in both hands, swinging it around once and then thrusting it deep into the solid stone ground to half of its length, like a knife through butter. While he was walking towards the puzzled looking Shazri to get ready for the fight he never wanted to fight, the blade was still stirring, sending light vibrations through the ground and air. One of the bystanders got curious and carefully touched it, only to realize he couldn’t move it a single inch, and the blade was actually emitting quite an unusual warmth. “Still insisting on our fight?” the Guardian asked, getting into position and closing his eyes. After he realized his jaw had dropped down by the sight the troll quickly shook his head to focus on the fight he wanted more than anything else right now and shouted: “Bring it on! I want to make you suffer for what you are! And I am going to spill some blood… Your blood!”