The Dragon Quest

by BarkerJr, June 29, 2008

The Southern Lands

There had always been plenty of dragons in the world. Some had chosen to hire themselves to humans for their strength. Others would go out into the world on their own to carve out their own spot in human society.

Some people see "here there be dragons" on the edges of maps and assumed that they were put there to scare sailors away from those edges. That the edges of the map were the edges of the world. In a way, they were correct, because those were the edges of their world. Traveling any further would usually lead to them being turned back with delusional stories of sea serpents.

On this southern edge of the maps is where I live. In a large monastery on the mountain, overlooking the one patch of landable shore on the Southern Lands. Though peaceful, we are considered to be the guardians of the Southern Lands. Occasionally, lords from the Northern Lands, wishing to expand their influence, would visit. They are always turned away, though, as what we do guard is far too valuable.

While our monastery is the only point of the Southern Lands on the maps, we do not hold claim to the only community. To the south of our monastery, there is a misty valley which extends east and west forever. Granted, it might not really extend forever, but none have found the end of it yet. This valley is full of thick foliage, with the exception of a path leading due south.

This path leads to the dragon monastery. The dragon monastery is built across the misty valley. Most days, the mist is so thick that one cannot see across the valley. But even on clear days, one could only barely see the outline of the monastery, and non of its winged inhabitants. The misty valley is the border between our world and the realm of the dragons. No one, save the masters and-of course-the dragons, know what lies beyond it. What we guard is much more valuable than land or gold.

We are the guardians of the entrance to the realm of dragons.

The Preparations

I've never been outside of the monastery walls before, yet here we are on the start of a quest. Let me explain. Apprentices are never allowed outside of the walls. But, by definition, journeyman must journey. I, and two other apprentices, had recently been promoted to journeyman. And none too soon, either.

Over the recent years, dragons have been disappearing from human society. No one knew what was happening to them, not even the other dragons. They were there one day, and gone the next. Relative to humans, dragons are large and quite strong. It would take something powerful to make them disapear without a trace.

Due to some ancient magic, the two monestaries are mirrors of each other. I'm not just talking structurally. There are the same number of masters and journeymen here and there. Each journeyman and master human has a counterpart journeydrake and master dragon. If one should perish, his counterpart must then leave the monastery forever or will perish himself.

Today, we met our counterparts. We pledged ourselves to each other as we readied for our journey. My counterpart is a red, named George. To save time on the first leg of our journey, our counterparts would fly us across the ocean to the northern lands. We would then proceed on foot so as not to miss a clue to the disappearances.

Each of the journeymen was given a silver statue of a dragon and a large magical bowl, which transformed any water placed in it into food. Each of the journeydrakes was presented with a statue of a human and a piece of cloth, which when touched to the ground, transformed into a shelter just large enough for a dragon and a human. The bond between human a dragon, though, was emphasized by the statues.

The statues served as homing devices. If the human or dragon was ever in need of the other, he would just need to squeeze his statue. The counterparts statue would then quickly become warm, and become cooler as the two got closer together, finally resetting when the two were within two meters. These would serve to keep everyone safe on their journey north.

The first stop on our quest will be Castle del Mar, on the west coast of the central lands.