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The Order of the Drake


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Cold is the wind as the howl is born

A trumpet to chill the blood and bone

Shadows slide and raise the dust

And Old Crones speak their warnings thus,

”The wolves have come, child.

The wolves have come.”


Rain lashed down from the heavens, the prelude to the storm heralded by dark clouds on the horizon, and obscured by the twilight of the sleeping Eye. The Hall of Bards, vibrant in its audacious optimism, sat in stark opposition to the elements, and many apprentices were busy inside preparing windows and buckets. Feeding the hearthflame inside with their spirit. Three figures stood outside the great welcoming door, their silhouettes towering a head over man, and their sleek black reflective eyes gazing emptily at a monolith lightyears away in their mind’s eye. The lead figure raised a metal fist and struck the door, a thunderous crack in time with the talon lashed lightning in the distance.


The air was silent save the pattering of rain on iron and a low ambient buzzing.

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The pounding of armored fists rose over the pounding of rain against the pitched roof of the Hall of Heralds, demanding the attention of the few apprentice bards and scriveners still awake at the late hour. Bundled in the customary blue of her order, the most senior of the apprentices slid up from the long bench where she'd been perusing a heavy wood-bound tome, scurrying along the long hearth that stretched the length of the hall. The doors to the Hall of Heralds were sealed only by a simple latch, and were hung with such skill that once released they swung open easily despite their size. Backed by the flickering firelight and framed by the smoke-stained rafters of the hall beyond, the young bard looked with wonder on the triune visitors.

"Ah, welcome to Rhinnar honored visitors. How might the Hall of Heralds serve you this evening?"

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The trio of strangers looked to each other as the warm hearthlight of the hall illuminated them. Their armor was a writhing mass of Cinnabar and silvery stringlike clumps connecting the joints. Onyx in paint but mottled with the revealed red metal from countless years of wear and tear. Their helmets were bug eyed, massive reflective orbs with incalculable fractal points, and a long pointed proboscis like tube connected downward to their chests. 


The lead of their company stepped into the hall and the two others followed. Their presence silent save the mechanical whir, whine, and thunk of their boots. Their lead reached up with sharp metal hands and removed their helmet. Her face was like one of many others, soft, pointed, pale, and bestowed with two great curling horns. A Merlyn no doubt, who bowed, and stood with hand outstretched.


“I am Merlyn Dewr Arthyr, champion of the Order of the Drake. We are a small band, for we have come upon a new way in the Isles of our Home, and we have a long journey to see it to it’s port. We have no wealth save that which has been given, no servants save those who stand with us, and no lands but for that which is open. We come to you in our maiden voyage, pulled by stories of you Heralds, and fair Rhinnar. We ask of you to make a Banner for us, to proudly carry into peril, and have little to offer save this poem we uncovered when we came upon the Dragon World. The bedrock upon which we were inspired to take this path, buried in soot, and mired in the ash of this new frontier.” 


The other two Merlyn removed their sharp gauntlets and produced strange jagged metal lutes with strings made of their own hair as Dewr Arthyr began to sing.


The nameless kingdom 

 Under the mountains so far

Lies a kingdom old as the stars

 Crafters of the golden runes

Now, they lay in golden tombs


The Beor, Vulf, Aegle Claw

All were one

 no-one foresaw 

That the mountains they all 

shared as one

Would be attacked

And come undone 


Many tales like this are told

Of dwarves who ruled in times of old

Who's metals and jewels were the finest of all

Who's greedy nature caused them to fall


[Intoning Hymns Break]


Though the kingdom  holds no name

Lost to time, the Dwarven pain

We tell the tale of what we lost 

For the price of Greed 

Wields a deadly cost


The mountains we trek

Cannot be owned 

With heart of gold

And skin of stone


And plentiful

The mountain gives

To those Who gives back 

To help it live 


And those who take

With no return

Shall find themselves

Without a home

For Greed  awakens 

The mountains rage 

And  kingdoms  crash down

Unto a new age

Edited by Tychris1 (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

As the horned knight intoned the words of lost antiquity, the young bard motioned frantically for a scribe. Snatching stylus and wax tablet from his confused hands, she furiously transcribed the lost stanzas, all senses turned as her training demanded towards the preservation and appreciation of history. As the last lingering echo of Merlyn Dewr Arthyr's voice was lost in the shadows of the hall, the apprentice bard slapped shut the tablet's protective cover and secured it reverently in one of her cloak's many hidden pockets.

"You have our thanks, Sir Knight, for this worthy gift. But the Hall of Heralds demands neither payment nor boon to enter worthy souls into the annals of history. However, the authority is not mine to commission a Banner on your behalf - we must wake the High Herald."

The great mass of apprentices and scribes that had surreptitiously edged closer to eavesdrop on the conversation unleashed an excited gasp, and before the apprentice could excuse herself a pair of young boys was already scrambling down the corridors of the west wing. The quarters of the Hall of Heralds spanned multiple floors of the tall building, reaching down into the first basement for the small army of servants that supported their essential work, but the finest quarters on the second floor were set aside for the elder luminaries of the order. There, in a corner overlooking the perilous Wood that loomed at the edge of Rhinnar's cultivated surrounds, the elder High Herald slept bundled in bear furs and blankets. The furious pounding on the room's heavy wooden door was far more than was necessary to wake the old man from his fragile slumber, but he was forced to endure it for several minutes more before he managed to pull a dressing gown over his nakedness and totter to the door.

Back in the central hall, stout benches had been offered to the visiting knights, though none could swear to their performance beneath the moving marvels each was girded by. Offered cups of broth and crusts of hearty black bread, the knights were offered every hospitality available to the Hall at so late an hour. Eventually, the resounding clack of the High Herald's cane signaled an end to the waiting, and the junior members of the Hall scurried like rodents as the bearded, pipe-smoking elder emerged in his dappled green robes. The color had long vanished from what remained of the auburn hair beneath his sleeping cap, and for years his vanity had been redirected to the luminous tumble of white that comprised a braided beard that reached to his waist. Squinting against the darkness, he conferred in a low mutter with the senior apprentice before she too faded into the shadows.

"So, I am told you are a knightly order in search of a Banner? Has your Order a crest regnal, or do we break new ground for your tale?"

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Each of the Drakes began to settle into the comforts of the Hall of Heralds, removing their insectoid helmets to gaze upon the crackling hearth, and tuning their tools. Be it plucking a string or sharpening a sword. They accepted the offered benches and broth, though they all politely rejected the blackened bread. “A matter of diet.” Was all one said on the matter. Before the cane had struck the ground their pointed ears had pricked to a new presence and they stood at attention. The force of one going so far as to crack the bench underneath it. Merlyn Dewr Arthyr approached the High Herald, gazed into his wrinkling human skin, and smiled.

“May I?” She gestured to his pipe


”We do have a crest with which to call our own. We three are a few survivors of the Dragon Land, true wielders of fire and smoke, to the far off east where our former captain absconded with an egg. The Salamanders of that realm defended their home viciously, scraping tooth and nail to keep us from retrieving their kin, and we wish to embody their fiery spirit. Cloaked in scales like a hundred shields we of the Order of the Drake would bear their likeness with pride and honor.”

Edited by Tychris1 (see edit history)
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