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A few words from your humble host

Caitlin, the player for Kali the Dragonrider has provided an extensive backstory to explain how Kali came by Libertas, as well as her motivations.  With the author’s permission I have edited this for length and into a 1st person story such as would be told around a campfire to comrades in arms.

The internet being what it is I’m not adding the author’s name just yet, but will do so if given permission.  Regardless of whether I eventually add the author’s name or not, any copyright remains with the author. Caitlin has now given permission (see the comments), and as before all copyright for the writing that follows remains with Caitlin.

But enough of me, on with the show!

The Egg

I was born in servitude to the drake-guard, as the daughter of a cook and a foot man. I served for 14 long years yet never heard a kind word or had a smile directed at me from anyone bar the other servants.

Would it be so hard for them to give a quick word of praise or to say thank you? Of course not, who would even look at a lowly servant girl?

I learned to read body language well; from the look people gave empty cups to when to dodge a pinch from a tipsy noble without causing offence. My mother said that ‘Servants were not to be seen or heard. They were to be shadows that keep their masters happy at all times.’

My mother was the perfect servant, never aspiring to a station above her own.

I am her complete opposite, for as long as I can remember I wanted to be a Dragon Rider not a servant to Dragon Riders.

I thought it was impossible, that a dragon would never choose a commoner, not when they have so many nobles to choose from.

But the fates move in mysterious ways, an accident with the hot water for a noblewoman’s bath, the kindness of the head woman Analei, and a wrong turn led me to the hatching grounds where a Gold Dragon watched over her eggs.

My heart skipped a beat when the great golden head swung my way. “You may approach and attempt to win the favour of one of my little ones if you wish” The dragons voice was strangely melodic.

“I’m… I’m afraid you have mistaken me. I am no noble to win a dragons heart.” And yet my voice was filled with a lifetime of yearning.

The dragon moved slightly, if it had been human I would have sworn that it shrugged. “What is a human title to a dragon? You live such short lives. So many have already come to try to win my little ones why would one more change anything?”

Trying to show no fear I moved forward and formally bowed to the gold dragon. I moved to stand in front of the eggs and bowed again “I am Kali daughter of Margaret and my greatest wish is to one day fly as free as a dragon, away from lords and nobles who I must bow to and serve.”

As I spoke it seemed that one burnished metallic egg glowed slightly.  I was drawn towards it, and touched it briefly, before the tolling bells pulled me back to my duties.

At the hatching some weeks later I was envious of the nobles forming lifetime bonds with the hatchlings.  One egg, that metallic one that I had touched, failed to hatch.

The Riders declared it to be dead and when the order to throw it away was given I volunteered. I’m sure I felt something when I picked it up.

As I walked towards to kitchens where the refuse chute was located I felt the egg move and gasped “I knew you weren’t dead! Don’t worry little one.” I hid the egg in my room and made sure that the fire was lit.

For a week I tended the egg in between my other duties swearing that “One day they’ll have to treat me with respect and honour and I won’t have to bow to anyone anymore!” At night I would sleep with one hand still on the egg.

Late one night the egg cracked apart and I found myself with a lap full of a beautiful brass dragon.

The Hatchling

I smiled as I heard the words *Food now?* in my mind.  The little dragon licked the tears rolling down my face and said *Not food*.

“No, those aren’t food little one .Those are tears, I’m crying.” I was a bit shocked, I hadn’t cried for anything other than pain since my mother had died.

*Why cry? Are you sad? I stop what make you sad!* I laughed at my dragon’s words “I’m not sad. I’m happy. I’ll go get you food now… Do you have a name little one?”

*Yes get food, Libertas I am, and you are mine!* “Yes little one I am yours and you are mine.”

I lifted Libertas out of my lap and placed him near the fire. “Stay here while I get food.” I slipped out of my room and quickly made my way to the kitchen. It was then that old Analei interrupted me with a cloak and a travelling bag.

Analei had known of the egg from the beginning and sent us away for our safety.  As she wisely said: “Because foolish girl while you might to be able to hide an egg, you cannot hide a hatchling. The Riders will not take kindly to a servant having stolen one of their precious eggs. So you will take the supplies I give you and leave this very night, and you will not return until both you and your dragon can protect yourselves from the Riders wrath.”

Libertas and I took her advice and left that night. As I slipped beyond the walls I swore that none would take Libertas or my freedom from me.

More than a year has passed since then and now Libertas and I fight side by side as partners.  Libertas is not yet old enough to ride, but soon he will be. Then we will be glorious together.

Afterword

As I mentioned in the session 1 report I really like the effort that Kali’s player Caitlin has gone to with this origin story.  She did base a lot of it on The White Dragon but now that I’ve (finally, with apologies for the delay) published it I think that why this also reminds me of Jane Yolen’s Dragons Blood should be apparent.

I’m happy to post the origin stories of any of the other characters, just send me an email.

I do have an alternative, “official” (as in for public, in game, consumption), instalment of the chronicles from Sebastian’s perspective that I’m also willing to post with a little editing and the author’s permission.  There may also be snarky footnotes added for the amusement of all.