Throughout history, Vendragons, commonly known as Not-dragons, were a widely discriminated race. For a large majority of their existence they were sold as weapons of war and tools of mass destruction. In increasingly excessive amounts, humans and elves would trade and if necessary murder not-dragons by the thousands. Time went on as such for millennia, but when the Vendragons had depleted in numbers to such an extent that they were in danger of extinction, one solitary hero rose up from the battered masses.
His name was Eldren Graythorn, the last King of the Not-dragons. When the world’s preservation was being threatened by age long wars between the humanoids, and dragon races, Eldren took a final stand and sought the intervention of the Great Spirit Gods of Everafter.
Eldren flew higher than any living creature could, to the top of the mountain where the Spirit Gods dwelled. He proposed to them that if they were to grant him the necessary power, he would stop the war that would surely end the world, and bring peace for the dragon races once and for all.
The gods forged Eldren a blade unlike any other. It was titled The Graythorn, and Eldren wielded it as if it were a part of his own body – in a sense it was. The blade was unique in that as Eldren grew angrier the blade would as well. And it would grow and do crazy things people usually didn’t live to talk about. With this blade Eldren almost succeeded in uniting the world once again, but he was assassinated mysteriously one evening, and the blade was stolen.
Now Eldren’s only son waits ponderously in his keep at the top of Mt. Graythorn. He hasn’t come down for centuries, and his existence is mere legend.
But his blade is calling him, and trying to communicate with him through nightmares and visions. He has had enough, and is finally going to take back what is rightfully his.
“Sir, do you know where I might be able to get my hands on some Naga hide armour?” Fyrebrand asked a street merchant who was struggling with pulling some sort of wolf pelt over a circular piece of bronze.
The merchant looked up from his half-made shield and was jolted by what he was facing. Not-dragons are a curious sight in real life even if you’ve seen many pictures. They are half man and half dragon with a human head, only throughout the head’s hair there are various horns sticking out. They walk upright like a human, but their bodies are much bulkier. Their skin comes in each colour of the spectrum and is always a rough hard scaly texture, resembling that of lizard-kin. The rest of the body was covered in much the same skin, except for the palms, and bottom of the feet. Not much else seemed different from a human except for size, (not-dragons are a minimum six feet tall), the horns, the wings, the varying sizes in tails, and the vibrant colours.
As for Fyrebrand, he was royal blue and his belly up until the underside of his chin, his lips, and his palms and soles were gray. Fyrebrand wore a black robe draped askew over his face. He wore no footwear, and thin bear-hide pants underneath the robe.
“I do master yes,” The merchant said, “ It is fine taste you have.”
“Save your flattery, and I am no ones master. Now what must I pay for you to smith me full Naga-Hide plate mail?” Fyrebrand slammed a very large sliver of ruby onto the merchant’s wooden counter.
The merchant immediately picked up the red stone and began inspecting it closely. “Is this a real ruby? If it is I will not be able to cut it for the life of me. I know you’re a not-dragon and with that comes nobility, but I must be sure.”
“Do what you must old man.” Fyrebrand nodded.
The old merchant took his dagger out from his belt, by it’s lovely golden hand carved handle. He held the blade in the air above the gem and slammed it down forcefully. The ruby remained unscathed, but much to the merchants surprise his blade had shattered on the stone and was left in pieces on the counter.
“There is plenty more where that one came from. And I will pay for buying you a new blade.” Fyrebrand insisted, “So, how long is the wait for my armour.”
“I will be finished by the end of the night, come and see me in half a moon.” The merchant looked down at the Ruby lying beside his shattered dagger. “I keep this then?”
Fyrebrand nodded and turned away. He went to the town bar next, in search of any information he could find about bandits and thieves in the area. The bar was well populated, busy with laughter and the sounds of glasses hitting the tables. When Fyrebrand entered people paid little attention to him, which made him feel well. “Much has changed since I last left my keep on Mt. Graythorn. A pint of Field mouse broth barkeep!” He said as he took a spot at the bar.
“An excellent choice foe ya kind sir. See we gets slims to none of the not-dragon types ‘round here, an humans nae have the taste foe Field mouse broth, so we always gots a nice untapped supply of it.” The barkeep had a strange accent compared to the merchant, Fyrebrand wondered which one most humans sounded like. He hoped it was the merchant.
“Thank you,” Fyrebrand said as he lifted the broth to his lips and let the warmth of it heat his face. “And please if you could talk to me normally, and stop treating my like royalty that would be for the best. I want to ask you some questions about this place.”
The barkeep, which was no stranger to long conversation, nodded encouragingly. “You in Grey Ridge stranger. This village has been situated under Mt. Graythorn foe five hundred years, an’ remains the busiest town foe a few moons away.” He wiped the bar down in front of Fyrebrand and leaned in close to talk quietly with him. “I know who ya are,” he whispered, “You Graythorn’s son, an’ I knows why ya came down from that there keep o’ yours.”
“You do?” Fyrebrand was intrigued and impressed by the human’s outward manner.
“You’ve come ta hunt foe that blade of yours. The Blade of Everafter, The Graythorn.”
As the bartender said this Fyrebrand's nostrils began to brew smoke. He had not heard his sword’s name spoken out loud for a thousand years, and here was a human spitting it out as if it were a shard of bone. “You know where my blade is?” Fyrebrand stared the man in the eye.
“ ’Eaves nae friend, I only know o’ the myth that goes along with it.” The bartender went on. “The story goes like this. You father ‘ad always been a powerful being, the King o’ the Not-dragons. And there were always races in opposition, races that wanted ta see yoe father fall. Foe centuries nobody in the world could figures out a weakness in him, until somebody got the idea to kill ‘im with ‘is own blade...”
“That was my blade!” Fyrebrand yelled out. Some patrons from the bar turned and looked at him and he carried on quieter. “That blade was mine, my father had given it to me and it was in my possession for fifteen years. It grew with me and grew as a part of me. Being separated from it weakens me and now I can’t take it anymore, I must find my blade and destroy the one who keeps it from me.”
“You must understand Fyrebrand, that in a thousand years the blade ‘as likely ‘ad several owners and been subjected to many battles. It will be nae easy task tracking it downs.”
“No, I can feel it. When that blade was forged a part of me was in it. As long as the blade yearns to grow, it will call me to it. I will find it. Now is there any further information you can give me?” Fyrebrand finished off his broth and set the mug down on the bar.
“The only direction I can points yoe in is north. Go North an’ eventually yoe will reach the hideout o’ the Galruchai. They are vicious bandits, their skin darkened from spending years in the depths o’ their caves. I’m sure their leader will ‘aver some answers foe ya. You are prepared are yoe not?”
“Well you cannae just walk in there, an’ expect them spill their guts to you. You’ll ‘aver to prove yourself strong and overpower them in order foe the leader to grant ya information.”
“Don’t worry about me, friend. Thank you for all your help.” Fyrebrand nodded to the man, threw down a bright red ruby and left the bar.
That night Fyrebrand slept in a bed that wasn’t his for the first time in his life. It took him some time to fall asleep, but once he did, it was a pleasant sleep the night through.