Nira -- Background

I was raised as most dragonborn are. I was taught what most are taught when we are young. Loyalty. Obedience. Honor.

Honor

Honor is order, they said. The world is balance, order. Therefore the world is honor. Remember this, they said, and live with honor. Die with honor.

Once upon a time this was true. I know better now. Some never learn. Some learn soon enough. Some learn too late.

My family learned too late. And I learned soon enough that the world was changing. Corrupting.

We lived in the shallow caves of a cliff-face on the edge of a verdant forest. I remember waking up to bird calls and warm breezes rustling through the leaves. I remember there was always food, always prey, and innumerable freshwater springs. The humans, disrespectful things that they were, had not yet encroached upon this area. It was clean. Natural. Ordered.

I was taught to use a longsword and light shield at an early age. Being a fighter, I was also taught to use most types of armor. So when they came, not long after my fifteenth birthday, I knew how to fight. And I did. But we never stood a chance.

It was night, nearing time for dinner, and my hunting party was the first of two to return. We had just put down our bags when they came. From the sky came a great dragon, looking as if it had just crawled from its grave, still rotting. It’s wings were ripped and torn and its eyes glowed with a cold blue fire. It rained black fire down upon us as it passed, and my clan all dove for cover and their weapons, always nearby.

From the trees came what I first thought to be the other hunters, returning at last, before I noticed their unnatural blue scales. The five of them wore little armor and carried wickedly curving swords and skull shields. Lightening crackled around them and singed the air.

Maybe they were after us. Maybe we were just in the way.

I don’t remember much of the fight. I wasn’t badly hurt when I woke up, just a few cuts and burns, a large knot on my head and a headache to wake the dead. I didn’t remember being hit, but it must have happened.

It was still dark, except for wavering firelight peeking through the brush at me. I crawled out of the trees and grass, the world spinning wildly. But I could smell the smoke, the acrid stench of blood. Most of it was dragonborn. I didn’t need to see to know what had happened. To know we had lost.

I spent the rest of the night burying my family.

Honor is order, they said. The world is balance, order. Therefore the world is honor. Remember this, they said, and live with honor. Die with honor.

Honor my scaly ass.

Where was the honor in this? In slaughtering and being slaughtered like prey?

Nowhere.

The world was changing.

I cleaned the blood and dirt from my scales and equipment in a nearby spring. I grabbed my bag, full of small creatures we had hunted, and cut the meat into smaller strips. I tossed the remains into the forest, knowing no creature would willingly enter this clearing for years to come.

What was the world now, then? The world was chaos and death.

I salted the meat so it would keep longer and wrapped it in cloth. I placed it into the bag after I cleaned it. I wandered about, grabbing a few herbs I knew were good for injuries and illnesses. I wrapped those, too, and they joined the meat in my bag.

What was I? I didn’t want to be chaos. I didn’t want to be death. But…

I gathered the useful supplies about our homes and took the gold. There wasn’t much, but it would do. I slung the bag over my shoulder, picked a direction, and never looked back.

...I would be. For a price.

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Nira -- Background

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