Dragons of Ethior
As told by Ghorash:
The virtues of our culture were instilled in me as a young child: honor, nobility, loyalty. While our territory may be a small shadow of its former self, it is adequate for our needs. “We serve as masters of the art of combat.” I recall my father telling me once. “We are the protectors.”
My two older brothers would look down upon me. They, being elite guards of our leader, didn’t think I could achieve their rank. It didn’t take me long to prove them wrong. I fought and studied much more rigorously than the others in training, sometimes going for days without sleep. When I was finally old enough to be tested, I was immediately awarded a spot alongside my brothers. My mission was simple: Keep our leader safe at any cost.
..That last line has always left a funny feeling within me: “At any cost.”
I fought alongside my brothers in battle for many years as we fearlessly protected our great leader. Nobody fought harder than us. We could practically read each other’s thoughts. We defended our land together. We protected the defenseless together. We bled together.
But then something happened to my people. After returning from a three day absence, I awoke one morning to a loud rumble and crash. As I emerged from my hut I saw smoke. I ran as quickly as I could to the center of the city. There was a flaming heap of debris where our temple used to stand. All that witnessed this blasphemous act acted nonchalant, as if it were an accident.
Over the next several days, I saw new banners popping up all over the city; banners displaying a black dragon. Whispers of new objectives were making their way through the streets. A small village in Fangfen Marsh was to be targeted for attack. I followed my marching orders even though, for the first time in my life, I wasn’t supplied a reason for the affront.
While the brave Dragonborn of my tribe taught me honor, loyalty, and respect, they also taught me something else: insanity.
We came upon Fangfen, and the air was quiet. As we neared the village, something didn’t feel right. From my spot toward the back, I could see some of the villagers. It seemed like a very peaceful place. There were no guards. no walls, no security at all.
As the attack commenced, we were undefeated to all who opposed us. Even the ones that shifted into animal forms couldn’t inflict more than a scratch. I did my duty. I protected our leader. Soon enough, all the armed men were dead. The battle was over.
But then something happened. As a child wandered from his home to see what had become of his family, my brother hardly hesitated as he raised his weapon and fell the child in one blow. And then it happened: Our commander looked back at us and said “You know what to do.”
I watched in horror as my people went from house to house, slaying not just the remaining men, but the women. And the children. Until there was no one left. I stood there, unable to move, as I heard the screams of the innocent. One of our men bumping into me was the only thing that could shake my consciousness. I did the only thing I could: I ran. I sprinted north through the marsh, hearing footsteps several paces behind me. I had no idea how many chased me, nor for how long. All I remember is hearing my brother’s voice shouting my name as I made my escape.
Some time has passed since my desertion. Going back now would only mean one thing: a charge of treason. I travelled north along the road. All I have is my weapon and my armor. I’ve been trying to find a way to advance my skills. When I return to my people, it is to be for retribution. I am not going to be following any more orders.
On my way north, I came across a few new allies that appeared to be in need of some help. I will do my best to defend them in battle. One of them in particular seems very familiar. I can’t say as of yet if he has any ties to Fangfen Marsh, but one thing is for sure: These new friends are my lifeline, and I theirs. And the rumors of the army moving north under the black dragon banner are becoming more and more pressing.