They were astral dragons. The least of them — Roroku, surely — possessed a hundred capabilites, breath with the heat of suns, a vô to break any spell, parents who had conquered worlds. The greatest of them — Osoth ruled life and death, Gyovanth never lost a battle. And together they broke gods to splinters and small people to dust.
But ultimately they found or constructed a foe against which claws and teeth and breath and sorcery alike were useless. And it was simply, that they were astral dragons.
Of course I wasn’t there for any of the interesting parts of this story — or or even for the boring parts that I hope I’ve snipped out of it. I am a fairly busy lizard — and, because of some serious misinterpretation of my mating flight, I either have plenty of honor and to spare, or I have dishonored myself beyond all hope of repair, I’m not sure which. In any case, I don’t need to go exploring, or maybe I don’t get to go exploring.
But I do get to arrange and sponsor explorers.
And, as an inevitable and semi-enviable consequence, I get to tell their stories afterwards. This is particularly important when many of them can’t tell their stories themselves, and others could but won’t. If the prize of the explorer is honor, and the penalty dishonor, then then who but the queen should distribute the prizes, and with liberally-spread claws at that?
So, apologies in advance for certain fictions and inaccuracies, in case your veriception is better than the concealment spells I have used while composing this story. I have, more than once, made up whole conversations from a few scraps of description: Roroku told me “Then we talked about our mating flights for a while”, and, as I knew Roroku and Tultamaan and Yarenton fairly well, I filled that out into a great many specific words, to be a memorial of sorts for those who are lost. When I didn’t know someone well — Xilobrax, say, or the non-dragons — I generally assumed that they spoke with all the eloquence and wit that I could come up with.
Events happened more or less in the order I wrote them down in, except in the case of selected castaways. But only “more or less”. If you’re a diligent historian — be aware that I am not one. Nothing close. Contact me or the survivors for more details.
Starting up the Exploring Company was not a terribly urgent matter, and nobody was in much of a hurry about it. If Tultamaan hadn’t reminded me frequently, it might not have happened at all. It took about four years from the time that Quel Quen moved to Hove to the time that the company set off.Support this project! Show that you're reading it by exchanging notes with the characters, other readers, and the writer at sythyry.livejournal.com. And/or buy Bard Bloom's books on Amazon, especially Mating Flight which is the prequel to this story. Also: Glossary and Dramatis Personae.