Dragonknights: Into the Birthright Frontier
Young Val (Valentarius) was born into a faithful Ishtarian household and had a promising life ahead of him. His family was old money, old blood and well connected to the east even though they have come west on the family’s behalf to secure their holdings, profit, and prestige. On the thirteenth year of his birth he went through the Rite of Calling to use the power of his noble blood to call forth a companion, a familiar to stand with him for his life and see what sort of omen or portent it would hold for his future. Would his familiar be a raven, a sign that business was his calling, or would it be a toad, hinting that the army would be his future? His family stood by with the assembled guests as he carefully called upon the Saints to bless him, ring the silver bells with exquisite timing, chanting just so and then in a moment of silence every stared at the summoning circle. As the fog cleared everyone leaned forward in anticipation only to recoil in shock. What stood in the circle was not an omen regarding his place within society, but a foul creature. A small flightless dragon sat there, looking to Val. The poignant silence changed immediately into an awkward silence. Into that strange, painful silence a word was whispered by Val’s father, “Blasphemy.” Whispered, only to be repeated more loudly, then into a roar, “BLASPHEMY! One of the Accursed!” Looking around he sputtered, shocked, affronted, before turning to Val, “Begone imposter, apostate, foul, unclean,” he struck Val, “travesty, wicked,” the blows fell harder and faster, “loathsome, disgusting…. creature!”
A broken, bleeding, Val was tossed into the swamps nearby, left for dead. But a small “dragon” a creature from another era, another time, who had hid during the beating, spoke to young Val’s heart, to his soul of the future, of hidden powers, and the future. Val, confused and heartsore, nonetheless heaved himself to his feet and was able, somehow, to heal himself as a priest might. Without a look back at his “home” he hobbled deeper into the swamps, the frontier, the darkness.