Burn Ard

Crashed to earth in a 5 sided egg cluster (all sides effervesing with the types of dragonborn's breath that the egg that side contained). A short time after the "Black Pilar" plunged to earth and created the "?" crator.

As word spread of the "Black Pilar" and the dragonborn eggs that fell to earth in that same crator they began being seeked by those who thought this was significant, believing that there must be something special about these particular dragonborn and that they may have some power linked to the "Black Pillar".

Mine was not discovered for some time, until a Dark Lord sent out his trained minions to search for one of the remaining eggs as he had need of a dragonborn and what could be more collectable and prestigious than to say you had one of these few. Besides, his purpose was as dark as the "Black Pillar" which fell to the same crator and the more powerful or exotic the dragonborn the better.

The Dark Lord's minions discovered my egg and returned to to their master. As he had no knowledge of how to incubate or hatch a dragonborn, he employed dark mystics to work their incantations over my shell, maturing me to the point at which I might come forth. Then, the darkest and oldest of them used his last energy to crack the shell and release me.

From this point and enslaved grey wizard was appointed to raise me, as he had the greatest knowledge of drangonborn ways and history and had lived with them for many years to study their ways.

This grey wizard was a good man called Meillor Vellosso. He had been captured by the Dark Lord's minions for the specific purpose of raising me, as what the Dark Lord wanted he would always get… one way or the other…

One day, close to my 8th Birthday, the Dark Lord's men came to the hut where I was held captive and took Meillor Vellosso away. I never saw him again. I assume he had served his purpose and was disposed of but he was a clever and resourceful old man, the only reason he had been captured to begin with is because he trusts people too much and negatiated with the Dark Lord. When Vellosso told the Dark Lord he would not help him, no matter how much the rewards, he thought that was an end to it but he was caught off guard and taken by force.

I will always remember him and the things he taught me, about myself, my people but also (to the objection of the Dark Lord) about life and how to live…

From then on my life got very very much harder and I was treated, for the most part, like an animal. I was brutally trained in combat, if I was hurt I must fight on, no days were spared and rest was only granted after I had fulfileld the hour the Dark Lord required. I was also fed and trained with weights to bulk me up so I was stronger than any man and as strong as the best and biggest of my race.

I had no idea what this training was for, all I knew was that I must do it. If I refused I was tortured, beaten and starved for days. I leant the lesson quickly "To fight is to live, to relax is to die".

This continued for years, my only real contact was with the occational "friendly" trainer, that might speak to me for a time whilst we ate. As I was trained in many differant ways and places my trainers changed frequently, so conversations were few and far between.

I was eventually taken back to the Dark Lord's mountain fortress, where he looked me over. He approved that my training was complete and that I would serve my purpose well. He then told me what my prupose would be. Firstly I would be kept in his court, at the dise of his thrown, to display to visitors and intimidate them adequately as they introduced themselves to the Dark Lord, but my true purpose was to fight his senior trainees as they asscended from the ranks to the senior circle. Before they reached a level that they would be allowed into his inner circle, from where they would, under his reign,control their group of evil mercenaries and shadowy assassins.

They would be invited to see the Dark Lord and talk to him in person. They would be stripped of their weapons, as they were not permitted close to him, and shown into the royal court. At this point they would find themselves alone, the lights were extinguished the magical chains to my enchanted shackles would fall away. The lights would then be raised as the Dark Lord entered his viewing area to watch me and the prospective senior officer fight. I was made completely aware that, if I did not fight any person, to the point at which my dark master had his say over weather I slaughter the individual or not, I would be totured and killed. This was not too much of a burden on me as I had skill and strength, but also years of motivation to destroy as many members of his dark organisation as I could.

Anything in the room was a valid weapon, although all obvious items had been removed before hand. If the challenger had a concealed weapon and drew it, he would be immediately struck down by the Dark Lord's most powerful mage, as he should not have had any weapons and this was a betrayal of the Dark Lord's trust. We would fight, some times for an hour or more, until one us us could fight no more. The vast majority of contenders were beaten down by my raw strength, and I would be instructed to end their suffering in the most brutal of ways. On occation I would be told to spare the defeated, however this was no form of mercy as the Dark Lord would usually humiliate them and then kill them himself. Very rarely I would suffer a defeat, the Dark Lord would order me to be spared, but would then punish me severely, resetting bones then and there, torturing me till I was no longer concious and keeping me in small cells for weeks with the smallest of rations and no light.

My day of escape came when I new Sorcerer arrived at court, I'd seen the routine many times before. My Master would ask the man to join him, offering dark power and more rewards than you could possibly imagine. If they accepted, they would join at the bottom of the organisation (and may eventually meet me in combat), if they refused they would either be slain then and there or (the more valuable) would be captured and used against their will (I rarely saw these people again). The man on this day was very different…

The man was smaller than most and had a very slight frame, a long brown hood cloak covered his face and extended to the floor. He approached the throne gingerly and spoke in a quiet (some might say weak) voice to the Dark Lord. As he walked forward I noticed a tail dragging slightly below the back of his cloak, a I realised he must be a Tiefling. I'd only seen a small number before in passing, but Vellosso had spoken of them to me. Our races had a mutual respect as rivals and friends and, from Vellosso's teachings I knew why.

He refused to join the Dark Lord and the debate between them escalated to a shouting match. He took down his hood and I saw him fully, his large head with horns inset and eyes, wide and deep. Although he was meek of stature I knew instinctively that great power lay within him. As the argument raged the Dark Lord's men grew in number and moved in closer, as he was closely surrounded an ultimatum was issued "I respect you for your strength of mind and not backing down under my retoric but I must ask you now and make no mistake in your response…. Join me or die here and now!!!".

Silence fell throughout the hall as all present waited for the reply…

"I shall never join you my Lord"

At which point the men decended on the man and held him. They pushed him down on his knees and bowed his head. The Dark Lord drew his blackend blade, in preparation to slay the man but as he raised his head somethng had changed. His eyes were now as orange as fire, the Dark Lord hesitate for a second and sparks of energy began to skim up the man's body and especially around his head. The minions holding him were throw away by some invisible force. More and larger men approached while the Dark Lord drew another blade. Sparks flew in his direction, but he simply corssed his swords and deflected the power away. He took a few steps backwards and then disappeared in a explosion of smoke.

As the the energy increased the men grew closer. The man turned to see more than 50 men then spun and pointed at me, I froze in terror as I was chained and could not move, but I need not have feared. He pointed at my chains and let fly a burst of energy that shattered them, only the cuffs remained…

The men took a step back…

Sensing my chance I ran into the centre of the men, grabbing and throwing, tearing and ripping, shredding and crushing… I was in a rage… a frenzy of killing… more than I can remember. The man had progressed towards the entrance and was firing magical energy off everywhere, exploding structure and men alike. I followed as closely as I could. As we exited the hall into the courtyard I moved next to him, he spun at me and raised his hand to fire at me too. I looked directly at him and shouted "No… Please… Take me with you!!!" He stopped, then fired, I closed my eyes and feared I would never open them again… only to open them and see he had fired over my shoulder and at a soldier bareing a spear behind me. "Thank you" I said, he said nothing but motioned to the main gates we ran that way as fast as possible. He stood 10 yeards from the gates, as I looked back at him I could see he was charging his energy for a huge burst, but men were now following us. I ran back and killed soldier after soldier, taking weapons from one and using them on the next then suddenly BOOM, I spun round to see the gates had exploded and my new friend was collapsed on the ground. I ran toward him, picked him up on the run, slung him on my shoulder and made my way through the gates. Coming up behind us were three men on horses, as I felt them near me I turned and breathed acid up and into all three, they fell from their horses to the ground in agony. So grabbed the best looking of the horses and I continued our escape. I had no idea where to go so we just rode and rode until the horse could run no more. I saw a number of caves very close so made my way there with my savior over my shoulder. Once inside I set him down on the floor, I leant against the opposite wall and fell to sleep.

Burn Ard

Cercidian Chronicles MutantNME