Hi, I'm BES, the Black Dragon of the Garrote Gorge tribe. I'm considered pretty young by the Dragon standards - just 502 years old. I like adventures and fair battles, but I like wise thoughts and funny stories even more, though the most precious things for me are my home and my family...
Some members of my Dragon tribe think that I'm too indulgent to humans and other non-Dragon creatures. Maybe they are right. I admit to have a lot of friends among non-Dragons and even humans whom I've befriended in my long adventures.
No wonder in this. Consider my life that was more than full of perils. Everything went wrong from the very beginning.
I was born not in the safe warm dark cave under the watchful eyes of my Dragon mom with the Dragon dad anxiosly waiting outside. No, my actual birth and the first years of existence were happened to be among none else but the humans! I have even thought that they are my real family at first, though too soon I discovered that I was the lonely orphan, alone of my kind, the alien creature in a midst of the humans, and on top of all this, the most of them considered the Dragons as a menace for some reason...
How I got myself among the humans? Not by my fault whatsoever...
I have been stolen unborn in my egg along with my twin sister from the Mega Dragon caves in the Land of the Giants by the band of enterprising adventurers willed too much for their own good to be promoted to Warlocks. This ancient sly Warlock who used to live on top of the Thunderfist Mountain charged them to bring two Dragon eggs in order to qualify this rank.
The adventurers were good in their line of work - they have managed to do exactly what they were asked to.
They have presented the two stolen Dragon eggs to the ancient Warlock who in his turn initiated them into this much-coveted rank of Warlocks and even permitted them to keep one of the eggs. The Warlock had another egg for himself. There was no word of my sister's fate ever since...
By sheer luck it was me whom the humans took with them when they have departed from the Thunderfist Mountain. I suppose they have planned to sell the egg in the nearest town but I was hatched before due time and they got the baby Black Dragon on their hands to care about.
To their credit I must say that they didn't abandon me. They could kill the full-grown Dragon in cold blood, if they are very lucky, mind you, but they didn't harm the newborn baby Dragon. Well, they have done pretty good job as the Dragon nannies. The hard evidence of this is the simple fact that I'm here with you today and not dead 501 years back in time.
But they couldn't substitute a Dragon family for me. They were warriors sworn to fight the Kreegan invasion in Erathia. They had not neither time nor funds to raise and feed the fast growing male Black Dragon hatchling.
After some years travelling the continent of Erathia with them I had to part with my foster and the very first family...
But I'll remember them for the rest of my entire life - as the first non-Dragon creatures who were kind to me.
Most of all I remember the Dwarf, who showed me his Stone City and told me many ancient legends of his race. He was the brave warrior with his prided battle axe!
Since that time I like to visit Stone City and have good relations with the Dwarves.They are very noble and kind creatures.
Unfortunately, they are often in strained contact with the humans, the same way as the Dragons. We are alike in this.
Of course they were very happy to have me along - because of my special ability to regenerate Spell Points. Also as soon as I was big enough they used me for free rides on my back. That was fun for them and much faster than walking. But I have never been too enthusiastic about this idea.
I have travelled with them to different places on the continent and acquainted with many friends, though I understood that the world around me is the dangerous place to live, especially if you are the Black Dragon.
After I have parted with my foster family I tried to search for my real Dragon family, but the Dragons from the Land of the Giants didn't accept me as their own. I have spent too much time with the humans already at this time and the Dragons there had too huge and too deep feeling of resentment toward the humans. Can't blame them for this after all the wrongness inflicted on them by the humans in centuries...
Many years passed... I have combed the whole continent of Erathia looking for the Dragon tribe that could take me in. Everything was in vain. Dragon Slayers were too good in exterminating my kind.
The only ones left in big numbers were the Golden and the Green tribes in the Elven woods of AvLee. But the poor creatures were so thoroughly tamed by the Elves that they considered any outsider Dragon as a threat.
So, I have followed their advice and flew across the salt water to the continent of Jadame. In the lands of Garrote Gorge my long search has come to an end. I was lucky to find my new home among the Dragons freely flourished there. The unapproachable Dragon Mountains were breathakingly beautiful with the whole families of the Dragons fying in the skies. Nobody has troubled them. They even never have heard about Dragon Slayers.
Years of the peaceful and happy life have passed...
There were some strange-looking Dragons in Bracada too. But they hid from everyone trying to survive on the brink of extinction. They told me that they were fugitives from some very distant unimaginable lands and have barely avoided horrible perils they didn't even want to talk about.
I felt sad for them. They were magnificent and wise creatures never seen before in the lands of Erathia. Some were crystal ruby, others azure blue or rusty. There were even some purple ones who were adorable. These Dragons understood too well what is to be without home and advised me to check the continent across the ocean.
One day the worst possible news were brought to us that the humans have been seen in the lands of Garrote Gorge. The description matched those of Dragon Slayers. Though they didn't discover the main lairs of the Dragon families yet, but everyone understood that it was only the matter of time. The humans made their base in the ruins of the ancient castle and planned to have all the mountains methodically searched. It could take years for them to accomplish - a long time for the mortal humans and a moment in the lives of the long-living Dragons.
My home, my family, my tribe were in jeopardy. The fate of the nearly exterminated Dragons in Erathia could not be repeated here in Garrote Gorge. I could not permit this to happen.
I searched for my family too long and too hard to loose everything because of some greedy humans looking for a bounty.
I decided that what we need is some kind of magical device that would help the Dragons to be free from the Dragon Slayers' persecutions once and forever.
I have presented my idea before the Dragon Lord of my tribe and he blessed me for the search of such a device.
First of all I've decided to check with all other Dragon tribes in Jadame as nobody in Garrote Gorge had any idea how to help. I dutifully flew from tribe to tribe but without any luck until I didn't accidentaly land on one of the tiny islands of Regna because of the storm weather. Consider my surprise when I have found an ancient Dragon in the cave on the island! I didn't even know that anyone has lived there not to mention the Dragon!
The Ancient Dragon was more than 5000 years old and it is a respectable span of life even among the Dragons. He lived alone in the mountains of this island and was gracious enough to give me shelter in his cave. During his long centuries of existence the Ancient Dragon has accumulated the vast knowledge and wisdom. I was very lucky to meet him.
When I've explained to him the purpose of my quest he told me that if only the Dragons would possess the special artifact that can open a way to any of the other worlds, then our troubles will be over. All the Dragons could just leave this world to humans and go to another world where they will live happily ever after all by themselves...
The Ancient Dragon remembered that this magical artifact looked like the Silver Cup and also some kind of sword has something to do with the ritual. My joy that finally I have got the hope and proof that the dream could become true was marred by the fact that the Ancient Dragon didn't know neither where is the Silver Cup, nor how the ritual must be conducted, though he advised me to check the continent of Erathia for some clues.
Early in the morning as soon as the weather settled I have thanked the Ancient Dragon for his hospitality and shared wisdom and flew across the ocean back to Erathia, first time in many years.
What I have seen there troubled me beyond measure. In years passed since my last presence there the Dragons have been pressed even further in hiding by the Dragon Slayers. Their existence was miserable. Everyone wanted to kill a Dragon. My kind became the sport for the humans. What have we done to them to deserve such a fate?
The urgency of my quest became more and more apparent...
The dangers I've experienced while searching for any information about the fable Silver Cup in Erathia were beyond description. I wonder myself till this day how I managed to survive. Hundreds of adventurers and Magic-users tried to kill me on sight without a slight provocation from me.
The worst of them was the Wizard from Bracada by the name of Dracon who decided to best everyone and become the greatest Dragon Slayer of all ages. He succeeded in this goal and nearly completely exterminated in the process the innocent Dragons in Bracada, both native and the fugitive ones. Fortunately, some of them managed to flee in time and save themselves.
The fate of Dracon himself was not so glorious after all. At the end of his life he finally opened his eyes to the atrocities he brought to the Dragon tribe for his own pride. The enlightment was very bitter.
When I have already decided to take myself off, the Dragon suddenly bellowed with the triumph. With the red glowing eyes he told me that he know for certain who could help me. He was acquainting with the certain Faerie Dragon when these purple Dragons still lived in Bracada. He knew that this particular she-Dragon (and a very good-looking she was, added he in afterthought) was considered as the lore keeper of her tribe and was saved among the first from Dracon's persecutions in the safe place in the lands of Tularea.
I didn't waste a second. This purple Faerie she-Dragon could be nearly the last one of her tribe and already dead if this monstrous Dracon or any other Dragon Slayer would find her hiding place.
I left the Emerald Island in haste and flew directly to the Tularean Forest. Finding the refugee place of the Faerie Dragon wasn't easy even with the dragonsight. The Faerie Dragons are considered as the best Magic-users among all Dragon tribes. The art of illusion is their favourite pastime.
No wonder that I've flown over the place three times when finally spotted it. It looked no diffirent from any other around until I didn't breach the illusion barrier. There was an another world inside, full of flowers, birds and bees and other small pretty things. The purple house in the shape of the strangest castle I've ever seen was standing in the middle of the meadow. Dimensions were all wrong in this place. It could be only the house of the elusive purple Faerie Dragon. And indeed it was. Though the hostess was very surprised with my visit she didn't fail me in my expectations.
What the Faerie Dragon has told me confirmed the reputation of her tribe as the most adept and wise in the Magic. She knew the lore by heart.
There was such a Cup! It has really existed. And if one would pour the salt water of the World Ocean in this magical Silver Cup while standing on the shore at night when the Star of the West rises, and say all the necessary incantations on the Language of the Ancients, then the Magic will work!
With a sword that has been dipped in this magical water of the Cup one could slice a window to any possible place in the known Universe.
Meanwhile my search brought me to Tatalia, to my friend the Dragon Wrothmrax. He told me that he can't help, but perhaps, the old Dragon from the Emerald Isle could, though Wrothmrax was very worried for his fate with all the humans living with him on the island.
Fearing the worst I have hurried to the small Emerald Island. To my relief the Dragon was still alive and well but by pure miracle, as there was some kind of adventurers' contest in progress on the Isle. I have begged him to leave the island and to find some safer place in Erathiar or even better in Jadame. But the Dragon was stubborn. He told me that he has lived in this cave for the last 700 years when there was no sight of a single human on the island. And it is them who must leave, not him.
Failed to convince him that though his point was just, it's still very dangerous for his own life, I probed him about my quest. In growing despair I have listened to the admittances of not knowing a clue, that became so familiar by then from the previous encounteres with the other Dragons.
With her blessing the Faerie Dragon gave me all the necessary knowledge of the ritual.
The only thing she didn't know was the whereabouts of the Cup itself.
Grateful I have asked the wise Faerie Dragon would she consder leaving the inhospitable Erathian continent and moving to Garrote Gorge where she could be in more safety among the Dragons of my tribe. Unhappy about leaving her home but wise in her concern for the future she has accepted my invitation and together we returned to Garrote Gorge.
Believe me, that the unexpected arrival of the cute female purple Dragon was the huge success among young male Dragons (and not so young as well) of Garrote Gorge even in those troubled times.
In my absence many changes have happened in the lands of Garrote Gorge. During the years these accursed Dragon Slayers advanced upon the primordial ancient Dragon territories. Their base was moved to the boundaries of the Dragon Lord's home. Moreover the Dragon Slayers have dared to penetrate the lair of the Dragon Lord himself and stole the precious Egg.
I WAS OUTRAGED! (So much that I turned red!)
The history repeated itself. It was like to see your own past to reveal before your eyes.
The Dragon Lord was devastated with grief and nearly mad from helpless fury, as he could not annihilate the camp with all Dragon Slayers in fear that the Egg may be ruined in the process.
But it was not the end of the perils befallen on the lands of Garrote Gorge. The same day I have returned, the grievous news were brought to the attention of the Dragon Lord by none else than another band of adventurers. It was the small group of only five and they were either senselessly brave or foolish to present their case before the Dragon Lord after so recent attack made by humans, even if they assured most profoundly that their intentions were only peaceful.
To my atonishment they were successful in negotiating.
The problem was really too serious to ignore. They spoke about the devastating disaster that could happen anytime as the four Elemental Lords were imprisoned and have left their realms without guidance and control.
The adventurers asked the Dragon Lord for Alliance with the Dragons. That was really unprecedented in my memory and in the memory of every living Dragon as well. The Alliance was forged in order to set the elemental powers back in place and consisted of those brave adventurers, the Minotaurs of Balthazar Lair tribe, the Necromancers of Shadowspire, the Dark Elves and the Trolls from the Ironsand Desert. This quest was just and the Dragon Lord gave his consent on behalf of the Dragons, but in exchange for the service of reclaiming the stolen Dragon Egg.
Anxious of the fate of the poor unborn baby Dragon in the Egg, I have asked and received permission from the Dragon Lord to attach myself to the adventurers in their attempt to return the Egg home to Garrote Gorge.
What can I say - I got my fair part of the aventures and not all of them were pleasant. There were fights and battles, wounds and victories, heat and cold, rain and snow (brr!), hunger and thirst. I was used as the transport device by the party. They liked very much to fly on me and became so accustomed to it that they even fell asleep on my back. Can you imagine that! They were good friends, especially for non-Dragons.
Well, we managed to retrieve the Egg. It was hidden in posession of the treacherous Ogre tribe in Ravage Roaming.
My party was nearly all killed in the Ogre Fortress if I wouldn't suspect an ambush. I have devastated the Stronghold of the Ogres and seriously injured their leader Zog. I doubt that he will ever try to cross Dragons in his miserable Ogre life anymore.
There was joy and celebration when we have returned with the saved Dragon Egg to Garrote Gorge and not the small part of it was the vengeance brought upon the Dragon Slayers, that finally could be safely executed without any risk for the precious Egg. We cleared the entire territory of Garrote Gorge from this plague.
This ordeal with the Elemental Lords was finished luckily as well...
My home is safe for now.
But my quest for the magical Silver Cup still continues. And I think that many new adventures and battles, friends and enemies, wise and funny stories, everything that life consists of are waiting for me ahead.