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The Quest of a Dragon Slayer
In Relviorus, a small farming town north of Britoria, the capital city of Revan, lived a man named Redderin, who was in need of work but had no farming ability. His father was a military general, who had made him train constantly so that one day he would follow in his footsteps. But due to some rash decisions as he was growing up, Redderin was unable to even join the Revan military, let alone be a general. His fighting skill was way beyond anyone in Relviorus, yet he had no home. He made an agreement with the innkeeper of The Bronze Tankard, to be allowed to live there on the condition that he would work for free.
One day, Redderin was mopping the floor when a customer asked him if he would like a drink. He accepted the offer and sat down at the man’s table. The innkeeper brought them two drinks. The man took a sip of his drink and said, “I want to offer you a job.” Redderin looked at the man with a curious look on his face. The man returned Redderin’s gaze with a smile and continued, “I know who you are. You are Redderin, son of the famous military general, Faustius.” Redderin nodded and asked, “What’s the job?” The stranger replied, “I am from up further north in Trimon. There is a dragon there that keeps taking livestock and sometimes even people. I am willing to…” Redderin cut him off and exclaimed, “You want me to kill a dragon?”
Everyone in the inn looked at them for a long while before going back to what they were doing. "Yes, but you won’t be doing it alone. I already have two people to help you." Redderin looked down at his hand. He was wearing a special ring his father had given him. Something inside him was telling him to accept the job. “How much will I get paid for this job?” Redderin asked, looking at the man. "You will get paid quite a bit. How does 15,000 dracores sound?"
Dracores was the currency used by the people of Revan, and 15,000 dracores was enough money to live on for a long time. Redderin knew this meant a new life for him and he would never get another chance like this, so he said, “When do we leave?” The man stood up and replied, "As soon as you’re ready come and meet me at the northern edge of town, by the ruined watchtower." He then turned to the door and left.
Redderin sat where he was, thinking about this job. There were so many things bouncing around in his head. He was nervous and excited. He stood up, walked over to the counter, and said to the innkeeper. "Casius! I'm going to be… gone a while. I was just offered a job and I took it. It is a high paying job and I will be able to afford my own place to stay." Casius looked down at the cup he was holding and replied, "That’s good, Redderin. If you ever need a job, there will be one here for you." As he headed towards his room, Redderin replied, "Thank you, Casius. Goodbye.”
Redderin had mixed feelings about this quest. He was really excited about it but at the same time very nervous. He had never seen a dragon before. He had heard stories about them. They were supposed to have rock-hard scales and razor sharp teeth, but the worst part about them was their ability to breathe fire.
Redderin had little to pack. After he had finished packing, he strapped on his sword. This reminded him of his dad which made him unhappy. He was a harsh man but he was still his father, so he missed him.
Redderin enjoyed the warm day as he walked towards the edge of town. He was going to miss Relviorus. He might never see it again. If this job went badly he would no longer be alive. He often thought his life never meant much, but now he was worried.
The watchtower was soon in sight. He could make out three people, the man at the inn and two others. The man saw Redderin coming and said, "Ah, there you are. I never introduced myself back at the inn. My name is Trovius. That is Trevial,” he said, nodding at a man, standing by the ruined tower. "And this is Kalmerran," gesturing to a wood elf. The wood elf walked over to Redderin and reintroduced himself. Trevial acted like Redderin did not exist and stayed by the tower. “Don’t worry about him,” said Kalmerran. “He doesn’t see the point in anyone helping him.” As he looked over at Trevial, Redderin said, “Well it’s nice to meet you, Kalmerran.” Turning to Trovius, he asked, “Will you be coming on this journey as well, Trovius?" "I will come with you till we reach Trimon. Then we part ways," answered Trovius, "Come. Let’s get moving."
It was around midday and they walked in complete silence except for an occasional cough or sneeze. Everyone was worried about the task ahead except for Trovius, who could care less.
They finally stopped around dinnertime to set up camp. They then all sat around the roaring fire to share their stories, while they ate. "What brings a wood elf to Revan?" inquired Redderin. Kalmerran answered, "I came down from Alviar looking for work when Trovius here was in a bit of trouble. I helped him out and he offered me this job. At first I planned on declining it, but then I thought more about it and ended up accepting it." "Yeah, I was debating turning it down myself," remarked Redderin. "What about you, Trevial?"
"You haven't heard of me?" asked Trevial, surprised. "No, I have not. Sorry," replied a confused Redderin. Trevial announced, "I am the famous monster hunter. I thought everyone in Revan had heard of me.” Redderin shook his head.
"Well, we still have quite a ways to go tomorrow so we need to get some sleep," announced Trovius. Redderin said, "I will take first shift on lookout," as he grabbed his sword and stood up to find a comfortable place to spend the next couple of hours.
The other three found a place on the ground and were quickly asleep. The night was silent. Once, Redderin thought he heard something, but it went away and he did not hear it again. After a few hours Redderin went over and shook Trovius, "Wake up! It’s your turn to take watch." Trovius did not look happy to be woken up.
Redderin slept peacefully until the sounds of morning woke him. Only Kalmerran and he were awake. Redderin walked over and stood next to Kalmerran, who looked worried. "Are you okay?" he asked, putting a hand on Kalmerran’s shoulder. Kalmerran turned to look at him. "Have you ever seen a griffin before?" he asked. "No, why?" asked Redderin with a confused look on his face. "Well you’re about to, because there is one not too far from here and it feels threatened by our presence," replied Kalmerran. “Go awaken the others.”
Redderin woke Trevial and Trovius and told them to get ready to depart. Everyone was packed and ready to leave when they heard a sound similar to the screech an eagle makes, but deeper. They all spun around to see what the noise was, and saw a giant half-lion half-eagle creature. They all scattered as the beast rushed towards them. But Trevial was not fast enough to elude the griffin. He was hit by the creature’s huge eagle wing, which sent him flying into a tree knocking him out.
The griffin screeched again and started walking toward Trevial. Redderin ran and jumped on the griffin’s back. The creature flung its head back, knocking Redderin off balance but not enough to lose his grip. The griffin started running around frantically, smashing into trees and jumping like a mad horse, trying to knock Redderin off.
After a while the griffin, exhausted, stopped to rest. This was what Redderin was waiting for. He stabbed his sword straight through the griffin’s neck. It let out a final cry, then died. With much effort Redderin pulled his sword out of the griffin’s neck. "I feel much better about killing this dragon after seeing that," said Kalmerran as Redderin walked towards them.
Redderin did not say anything. He just walked over to see if Trevial was injured. Trevial awoke and opened his eyes. "Are you hurt?" asked Redderin. Trevial stood and said, "No, I think I’ll be fine. Just give me a little time."
Since there was no longer a threat, they decided they should make an early meal before setting off again. About an hour after they had cooked, eaten and cleaned up, they were on their way. As they walked, Trovius came up next to Redderin and said, "I have heard many different stories about how your dad died. What really happened?" Redderin went from a fairly happy mood to a sour grumpy mood. "It doesn’t matter what happened," said Redderin angrily, speeding up.
They walked all day, stopping only for a short meal. It was dark when they arrived at Trimon. Trovius said, "I have to speak with someone. I will meet you at The Colored Drake. It is an inn not too far from here. It is also the inn where you three will be staying.”
"Well, I guess that means we need to find this inn," said Trevial as Trovius walked away. "Off we go then," exclaimed Kalmerran.
Trimon was a small unpleasant town with most the houses looking ready to fall down. Fortunately, it did not take them long to find the inn, and they went over to talk to the owner. "Travelers I'm guessing, by the look of you," said the innkeeper, looking happy to see new faces. Smiling, Trevial replied, "Yes, we would like three rooms. The innkeeper said, "Right this way,” as he led the three down a hall to the rooms. "You may choose who gets which one," said the innkeeper as he smiled and turned back the way he had come.
After they had all chosen their rooms and unpacked, they went to buy drinks. The inn was a lot nicer than most of the houses in the town, but except for a few people it was fairly empty. They all sat there and talked until Trovius walked in, sat at their table, and said, "I have arranged for a guide to lead you to the dragon’s cave.” Redderin asked "How far away is it?" With a small smile Trovius replied, "No more than half a day walking.” "And when do we leave?" continued Redderin. Trovius answered, "You leave first thing in the morning.”
Just then, a man walked through the door, looking very lost and confused. "Is this The Colored Drake?" he asked. "Ah, Pug, you made it," said Trovius with a smile. "Come sit." With a discouraged look, Trevial asked, "This is our guide?" As Pug sat down, Trovius replied, "Yes, but don’t be fooled. He knows the woods around these parts like the back of his hand. He just doesn’t know his way around towns!”
After ordering a drink, Pug said, "So, this dragon you guys are going to face is a female Sryphro Dragon. They are very territorial and there is a small chance she has babies.” "What’s wrong with her having babies?” asked Redderin. Pug replied, “They become very aggressive when they have offspring to protect.” "But the chances are small, right?" Redderin continued. Taking a long sip of his drink, Pug said, "Yes, you should not have a problem."
The next morning each of the group seemed to have a hole in his courage. But they all had to get over it. This was a job they could not back out of. Outside, there was no one on the streets this early in the morning except Pug and Trovius. As everyone gathered, Trovius said, "When you return with the dragon’s head, your pay will be waiting for you.”
So they set off on their long walk. Trevial looked at the Kalmerran and said, "Who has to carry the head?" They both looked at Redderin. He looked back, puzzled, and said, "What?" As a red dragon flew over their heads, Pug said, “Quiet!” "Is that her?" asked Redderin as he watched the dragon flying away. "Yes, it is, so stay alert. We are close," said Pug as he began to walk again.
They soon came to a cave in the side of a mountain. "Are we going to go in or wait for the dragon to come back?" asked Trevial. Pug replied, "It would be best to go inside and make our plan there."
They entered to see that, strangely enough, the cave was bright and one could see clearly. There were two passageways, one going off to the left and the other going to the right. "Which one?" Kalmerran asked. Pug replied, "Let us explore both ways so we will know which is the better place to stake out. Kalmerran, you and Redderin go right, and Trevial and I will go left. Meet back here soon."
Redderin did not know what would be down the hall. So he was tense and held his sword ready to strike as he walked down the passage. The tunnel had many twists and turns. He and Kalmerran kept walking until they came to a big open cavern. There were animal bones all over the ground. In the center of the cavern there was a ring of bones forming a nest. "Baby dragons," exclaimed Kalmerran.
"This is very bad,” said Redderin. He was worried, but also intrigued by a rock at the other side of the cave. The rock had a strange symbol on it. Redderin recognized this symbol, remembering that the ring his dad had given him had the same symbol on it. "Kalmerran, look at this," he said, showing him his ring. "My dad gave me this before he left to go to war with the Tarigarian Dusk Elves. He never told me what it meant."
The symbol on the rock was glowing orange. Redderin touched it. As he did, both he and Kalmerran were thrown into a vision that seemed very real. They saw a man standing in front of them wearing an all-black robe. Redderin could not see his face, which was concealed by a hood. The figure also had a pair of black wings that looked like dragon wings. Looking at Kalmerran, Redderin asked, "Where are we?"
The hooded man turned around and said, "You are in the Kolvridge, sanctuary of the Davawin." "Is that what you are? A Davawin?" asked Redderin trying to see the man’s face through the shadow of the hood.
"Yes I am. Davawin are born of dragons to protect dragons," said the man. "Born of dragons?" asked a confused Redderin. The Davawin replied, "It is not my job to explain to you how we are made. Only to guide you towards your duty. That sign on your ring is a dragon rune. It means ‘dragon friend.’ Your mother was one of us. She was a Davawin. Your father knew this, but they both kept it from you. They were afraid if they told you, an evil man named Arcalos would try to kill you. That is who killed your parents, but you knew that." The Davawin put his hand on Redderin’s shoulder. "It is your duty to follow in your father’s footsteps and protect dragons." Redderin looked up into the wise and strong face of the Davawin and said, "He always told me to follow in his footsteps. I just did not know that’s what he meant.”
Redderin and Kalmerran were thrown out of the vision. They both felt very dizzy and had a ringing in their heads. As soon as it went away they could hear Trevial running down the passage. When he got to them he told them, "Redderin, the dragon is back! Pug is dead. The dragon killed him." He stopped to catch his breath and continued, "Are we going to face her?" Redderin replied, "No we are not. We are going back to Trimon." "Why?” said Trevial. “Our job is to kill the dragon, not chicken out as soon as we get here!"
Redderin did not say anything. He just walked past Trevial, and Kalmerran followed. "You coward!" shouted Trevial. Without turning around Redderin asked, "Are you coming?" Trevial knew that he did not stand a chance to kill the dragon on his own, but his stubbornness made him say. "No. I’m going to kill this dragon on my own."
Redderin stopped and turned around. He was not angry with Trevial, but felt sorry for him. "I know you want to do this and get the pay,” he said. “We all do, but I do not think the dragon was the one who killed those people.” "Why do you say that?” asked Trevial. “We will explain on the way back to Trimon. We really need to get out of here,” said Redderin.
Trevial agreed to come with them. As they walked to the entrance of the cave they heard a roar. The dragon had landed right in front of the cave. Trevial pulled out his sword. "No, stop!" shouted Redderin. He then took a step closer to the dragon, holding up his hands. "We were wrong to have come here,” he said. “Please let us leave.”
Then something happened that none of them was expecting. The dragon transformed into a woman quite a bit older than Redderin. She wore a robe exactly the same as the Davawin, except hers was maroon. "Friend,” said the woman, “why do you disgrace this place and me?" Redderin explained, "Before I came here I did not know that dragons were intelligent in any way or that my mother was part dragon. I have now sworn to protect them with my life.” The woman replied in a soft yet powerful voice, "I knew your mother very well. She was my daughter. She is also the only reason I am letting you go.”
Relieved, Redderin thanked her and started to walk away but the woman stopped him. "Redderin, do you know how often I have offspring? Not very often. You are very lucky that you are who you are or you all would be dead for killing my child."
Redderin whirled around to look at Trevial, who said, "It wasn’t me! It was Pug.” "Why didn’t you stop him?" asked Redderin. "It was our job!, answered Trevial. “Any of us would have done it!.
Redderin just walked off without saying a word. They all walked for two hours in complete silence until Redderin turned to Trevial and said, "I'm sorry for blaming you back there. I was being a fool." Trevial replied, "It’s OK. I'm just happy we made it out of there with our lives. “ He patted Redderin once on the shoulder and walked on.
Kalmerran came next to Redderin and asked him, "Redderin, how are you going to fulfill your promise to protect the Davawin and the dragons?" Redderin tightened his fists and said, "I'm going to start by killing the man who killed my parents.” "What will Trovius say when we come back without the dragon’s head?" asked Kalmerran.
Redderin had not thought of this, but he said nothing and just walked on. It was starting to get dark so they decided to set up camp and finish their walk in the morning. They were all sitting around the campfire when Kalmerran asked Redderin, "How do you intend to kill the man that killed your parents? He must be pretty strong if he killed your father." Redderin broke a stick, threw it into the fire, and said, "I'm going to have to figure something out. It’s going to be a little hard to find him, though.”
“I’ll take first shift," Trevial said while grabbing his sword and standing.
The night felt never-ending to Redderin because he had so much to think and worry about, but before he knew it he could hear birds chirping. It was morning. Both Trevial and Kalmerran were already up and making breakfast for everyone.
Redderin started packing his stuff. He still had all those thoughts floating in his head but the cool peaceful morning helped calm his mind. As soon as he was done packing, breakfast was ready. As they ate, no one talked. They were all busy thinking about the troubles ahead. Soon after they had finished their meal, they were back on the road to Trimon.
After walking for over two hours they arrived in the town. As before, there was no one on the road. They walked up to Trovius' house to find him standing in front with a hooded figure in a white. Redderin’s heart burned in fury but he stayed cool. He could recognize the hooded man anywhere. It was the man who murdered his parents.
"Where is my dragon’s head?" asked Trovius. Trevial was about to speak but Redderin stopped him. "We didn’t kill the dragon," he said. "Why not?” Trovius asked. “Did you lose your courage at the last second? And where is Pug?" "Pug is dead.” Redderin replied. “He died while cruelly murdering a baby dragon. And who is your friend here?" "Oh, yes,” said Trovius. “This is who was going to pay you for killing the dragon. He is a Naris named Arcalos.”
Redderin couldn’t take any more. He drew out his sword and rushed at Arcalos. Arcalos did an elegant side step and stuck his foot out. Redderin tripped and fell. Enraged, Trovius yelled, "Stop! What are you doing, Redderin?"
Redderin stood and spat dirt from his mouth. "The dragons never killed anyone, did they?" he said. "That was you, framing them." Trovius looked at the Naris with a confused look on his face, and asked, "Is this true?” "Why would I kill people just to frame a dragon?" said Arcalos without changing his facial expression.
"Because you feel the need to end the lives of anyone greater then you,” Redderin replied. “You were jealous of the dragon’s power, and your kind won't rest until they see every last one killed."
Arcalos was relaxed and said, "I have never killed anyone before." "Except for both my parents," replied Redderin.
With a surprised look, Trovius said to Arcalos, "What? Is this true?" Arcalos, looking at Redderin, said, "I don’t even know who you are, so how would I know who your parents were?”
As he stared straight into Arcalos’ eyes, Redderin responded, "You killed my father while he was trying to protect my mother. You were trying to kill her.”
Arcalos said with a smile, “You’re still blaming me for that? You killed him. I only ended your mother’s life.”
Everyone looked at Redderin. Nobody knew what to say. Redderin looked at the ground and said, “He told me that my father was an evil man and was planning my mother’s death. I was young and didn’t know what to believe.”
Kalmerran walked over to Redderin and put a hand on his shoulder. Redderin looked up and pulled out his sword. Arcalos pulled out a dagger and stabbed Trovius. He then looked at Redderin, who was backing up to stand next to Kalmerran and Trevial, who both pulled out their swords as Arcalos pulled his.
Redderin suddenly felt a strange new power enter him. He ran forward, leaving the others behind. He swung his sword hard at Arcalos' feet. The Naris made a swift jump over the sword and elbowed Redderin in the back, causing him to stumble and almost fall over.
Kalmerran swung at Arcalos to distract him while Redderin made a lunge from the back. Dodging Redderin's sword with a spin, Arcalos hit Kalmerran’s sword with his own. Trevial stepped forward to swing at Arcalos but Arcalos was a skilled fighter. While spinning and dodging Redderin's swing, he blocked Trevial's attack.
Redderin swung at Arcalos but, swinging with much greater force, Arcalos knocked Redderin's sword from his hand. Redderin quickly backed out of Arcalos’ range. Backing up to where Redderin's sword was lying on the ground, Arcalos picked it up and said, "Only a human." Redderin squeezed his hands into a tight fist and said, "What do you mean?" "Only a human would use such an ugly sword like this," said Arcalos tossing it at Redderin's feet.
Enraged, Redderin grabbed his sword and rushed at Arcalos. The Naris was expecting this and stepped aside but not before Redderin struck him on the arm causing extremely dark blood to flow. Arcalos did not even flinch. He looked at Redderin, then swung his sword with tremendous force. Redderin knew he could not block this attack, so he jumped out of the way.
Trevial rushed in from behind. Arcalos thrust his elbow back hitting Trevial flush on the nose. The force of the blow staggered Trevial and he dropped his sword. Arcalos spun around and stabbed Trevial through the abdomen. Redderin and Kalmerran could do nothing but stare in horror as their friend fell to his knees. Arcalos grabbed Trevial around the neck with one hand and lifted him off the ground. Redderin saw an opportunity and dashed forward to cut big gash on the back of Arcalos' leg. The Naris fell to one knee, dropping Trevial. Redderin walked up to Arcalos, got down on one knee and put a hand on Arcalos' shoulder. He then thrust his sword through Arcalos’ chest.
Arcalos fell over, dead. Thinking of Trevial, Redderin turned his head to see Kalmerran on his knees mumbling a prayer in elfish. Redderin stood and walked over to Kalmerran. By this time a crowd had started to gather, but no one said anything. Redderin placed a hand on Kalmerran’s shoulder. Kalmerran looked up, on the edge of tears.
"We should bury him," said Redderin. "No,” Kalmerran replied, standing. “I want to do it the elven way. Where can we get a boat?"
"I have a boat you can buy," answered someone in the crowed. Kalmerran looked at Redderin and said, "We have no money." Redderin felt sorry for his friend, and then he remembered something. "The money we were supposed to get paid with! He said. “It’s probably in Trovius' house." Kalmerran said, "You go look for it and I will see if I can get everything else we will need."
Redderin walked over Trovius' house, which was probably the nicest house in Trimon. It was not hard to find the money. As soon as he entered the house he saw a box on the table with the money inside. Taking it, he returned Kalmerran who asked, "Is that it?" "Yes," said Redderin as he handed the box to him. "What else besides the boat do we need?" Kalmerran replied, "Well, first we need to buy the boat. Then we need flowers, Arcalos, sword, Trevial’s sword, and some new clothes for him.”
After they had gotten all these things, they just needed one last thing. "Where’s the closest lake?" Kalmerran asked the man that had sold them the boat. "It is not too far from here, said the man. “I will take you.”
It would have taken much less time to get there if they were just walking, but they had to carry everything down with them. The few people who carried the boat had to stop constantly. Once they arrived at the lake, they set the boat at the edge of the water and neatly put the flowers at the bottom. Then they placed Trevial on the flowers and put his and Arcalos' swords on his chest, crossing them to make an X. Three men pushed the boat out into the lake.
When the boat was about twenty feet away Kalmerran said, "Chensume." The boat burst into flames. "It is strange how sad I am that he is dead since I only knew him for a week." said Kalmerran.
They stayed there until Kalmerran said he was ready to go back to Trimon. When they got to the town they were both feeling better. "How much money do we have left?" Kalmerran asked. Redderin replied, "About 14,500 dracores. We can split it evenly if you like." Kalmerran replied, "I have nothing, no friends, and no home. Nothing. When you give me the money, which will be all I have besides what's on my back.”
"I have a duty to protect the Davawin and my dragon kin," said Redderin. "I would be honored if you would join me on that adventure.”