The Dragonkin

The History of the Dragonkin as taught by the Magisters of Fortuna in the Academies.

The history of the Dragonkin is one of blood and destruction, war and conquest. A warrior like people they came to Fortuna when the planet was young but settled only in a small enclave in the far south among the volcanic islands of the archipelago. At first they took little interest in the indigenous population, who lived solely on the northern continent, preferring to remain apart while they mined the magma for transport to their home planet. The people of Fortuna were content to let them do so this, they had no interest in the volcanic rock themselves.

After a millennia of peaceable co-occupation a new leader of the Dragonkin came to inspect the workings and, unlike his predecessors, he saw the potential in the rest of Fortuna. Returning to his home planet he took seven eggs from the latest clutch laid by the great worm, Caecilia, and carried them in thermal caskets to the volcanoes of Fortuna. There he had his slaves stoke furnaces of magma and into these he dropped the stone eggs. Then he waited.

The gestation time of dragon eggs is not a constant. Some may hatch in a matter of weeks, others not for years. General Terrell, for that was his name, watched his furnaces with a patience alien to those of his kind for he knew that, if he was successful in bonding with the hatchlings he would become that which he craved to be: a fully-fledged Dragon Lord.

The first hatchling to break the stone shell of his egg was a small red and Terrell named him Aeron, the slaughterer. Despite their size, reds were known to be ferocious fighters, and Terrell had in mind a dragon squadron the like of which even the Dragonkin had never known.

Next out of her shell was a female gold, and this one Terrell called Heulyn, ray of the sun, and she was as beautiful as she was deadly.

The third was another female, this time a green. Her name was to be Eilir, the butterfly, for she immediately fluttered her shimmering wings and attempted to fly.

Then came Clydno, the devourer, a huge black beast with red eyes. Even as a hatchling he struck fear into all who laid eyes on him and, after Aeron, Terrell loved him best.

After these four, the fifth egg did not hatch for a year and Terrell had almost given up hope. Happy as he was with his four, fire-breathing, children he still hoped for more. He had almost given up when a message reached him that the fifth egg had started to crack. He went immediately to the furnaces to check that this was true and by the time he arrived another red male had fought its way to freedom. This one he named Fflamddwyn, the flame-bearer.

Another huge black emerged from the sixth egg only a few days later. This one was Cadell, as he had battled his way to freedom over many hours.

This left only one egg. The smallest and whitest and Terrell visited it daily unable to believe it would not, at some time, give him another beautiful dragon child. One man and seven dragons could have all the glory they desired and Terrell desired it all.

Two months had passed before a crack appeared in the white egg and once again he rushed to the furnaces in fiery anticipation. But the crack grew no bigger and he was disappointed. After another agonising three days a messenger arrived to tell him that the egg was rocking. The hatchling was alive but unable to break free.

None doubted that Terrell was a brave man but that day he proved it beyond all question. In a dragonscale suit he walked into the flames and brought out the egg in his own hands. Taking a huge hammer he set about it with a strength born of his desperation to see the last hatchling survive. Seven mighty blows it took to free her and he collapsed exhausted as she took her first breath. When he removed his helmet and looked on her for the first time he knew he had been right to risk his own life for hers. She was a white, that most rare of beasts, and her eyes were as golden as Heulyn’s wings. ‘Crisiant’, he whispered to her. ‘For you are the brightest of all’.

Terrell’s success with birthing and bonding with seven hatchlings took the Dragonkin by surprise. Bonding with one dragon meant a man was blessed, bonding with two assured him of great power, but to bond with seven? A man with seven dragons could rule as he pleased and that was exactly Terrell’s plan. A year later he was the undisputed leader of his people and, as his power increased, so did his ambition.

Time passed and as the dragons grew Terrell began to cast his eyes northwards, from the barren archipelago to the temperate and fertile lands of northern Fortuna. With the enclave well established and the dragons becoming ever more confident why not give them the whole planet for a playground?

When the enclave was first established the Dragonkin had been forbidden, by the terms of the formal agreement made with the Fortunian wardens, to bring their beasts from Ignis. But, in Terrell’s mind his beasts were Fortunian dragons and had every right to live on the planet of their birth. He knew little of the Fortunian people but expected minimal resistance from a race of farmers.

He first tested his strength on the towns of the eastern provinces and had some small success but the juvenile dragons proved unpredictable and Terrell found he had entirely underestimated the power of the mages. He was forced to withdraw and reconsider his strategy and made the decision to take the seven to be trained in their mother’s house deep inside the volcano Astrapes. It was foolish, he realised, to think he could do this alone. Better that his children received their education at the hands of the most powerful dragon left alive.

Terrell and his dragons returned to Ignis and for ten years Fortuna continued in its peaceful existence. The Dragonkin maintained a limited presence on the archipelago but eventually abandoned the enclave when the mines were no longer productive. The mages, however, having seen beyond Terrell’s initial campaign, counselled the High Warden to prepare for war.

The Dragonkin’s first attack took place in the spring of the twentieth year of the Archmageship of Osgar and the ninth year of the High Wardenship of Leofric.

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