Therys Empire - Prince Malik Vandal
The 17-year old prince Malik Vandal lay soundly asleep in his room in a bed made of gold and Mukwa wood. The bed was so large and luxurious, it was clearly a bed meant for young Princes and Lords. It was a rather lavish room with beautifully faded old wood panels which were Maroonish in colour and other objects mixed in making the room appear even more elegant. The room itself was big, not too empty, and clearly one could see it belonged to dragnar royalty.
He felt what started as a small spark of heat ignite into a full flame, burning and eating at his flesh on the back of his neck right next to his right shoulder. This startled him out of his slumber as he sprung out of bed and sat upright feeling with the tips of his fingers, the trail left by the pain. The trail took the pattern of the fire breathing dragon head that soared on the empire’s banner. The empire’s banner had the symbol of a fire breathing dragon, with wings sprung open wide looking up to the skies behind it. The birth of his dragon mark was accompanied by extreme discomfort that felt as if he was burning alive. It was as if he was getting branded by an unseen magical force that had his skin set aflame on dragon’s fire, he could smell the change in the air as it now reeked of blood and ashes in his bedroom instead of the sweet refreshing scent of autumn winds.
He then felt a foreign magic force invade his mind and he heard the words “Hello young Dragnar. My name is Eldorth: The Dragon Emperor.” He had little time to even conceive a reply as he instantly begun to slip out of consciousness but right before he was engulfed in blackness, he saw an enormous great pair of golden eyes with slits so dark you would think they had no life in them. The eyes were so beautiful, enamouring, alive, and full of abysmal magic and unfathomable power yet he felt they held a hint of darkness.
Come early morning, Malik was drawn out of his sleep by the blinding sunlight that seeped through the curtains when Hale suddenly pulled them apart, gracing his unsuspecting face with warmth and light effectively rousing him out of his sleep. The curtains were a thick red velvet that hung in generous folds around the mullioned windows such that when they were closed the room was instantly cast into dark shades of red velvet even on the brightest of days.
“Good morning young prince or is it young lord or maybe even heir apparent?” boomed Hale’s excited voice across the young prince’s bedroom.
“whatever title you prefer is fine Uncle Hale,” retorted Malik with eyes still closed.
His body refused to leave the comforts of his soft silky sheets. He felt exhausted. His limbs, muscles and joints hurt. Heck, his whole body felt like it was falling apart. The comforter on the bed was thick and irresistibly soft, like a billowing cloud. It was as if the bed was nursing him back to health considering how good he felt. Sleep, the sweetest thing known to dragnars, he thought as he tried to snuggle deeper into the bed if that was even possible.
“Malik get up or I swear to Aerlurth, I will gift your golden bracelet to your dragon as a toy!” said Hale with much emphasis and anxiety.
Upon hearing that Malik, shot up in bed like lightning. “Don’t you dare! That is the only gift I have from my mother. Wait, did you say dragon?”
“Yes, Malik. Your dragon was born yesterday and is in the throne room with your father. Yes, my insufferable know-it-all, no-fun, nonindulgent brother also known as The Lord of everything the light touches in Therys Empire, has been playing and adorning that scaled, little, feisty and aggressive blue miscreant with meat and gold. Bloody thing tore the bottom of my robe off. How my brother has little tolerance for his own kind yet adores dragons is beyond me, and I am his brother!” Just as Hale was coming to the end of his rant, a soft knock came from the other side of the door.
A female servant then came in and took a bow. “His highness asked me to tell you to report for the royal assembly in the grand hall in half an hour prince Malik,” she reported in a monotone voice. After making her report, the female servant left the room.
“And that’s my cue to leave. See you in the assembly Malik. Be quick about getting ready. We do not want to make your father wait now, do we? An angry Graymont the third, is an unpleasant Graymont the third,” with that said, Hale left his room headed for the royal court.
Malik begrudgingly conceded to his fate and got into the bath. The fountain was connected to a river that runs fresh water through the palace and out of the city. Being dragnars (dragon folk/dragon shifters) meant that they never had to heat their water. Their body temperatures were naturally warm. They found the fountain water soothing and cooling every time they bathed. After his short bath, he speedily began getting dressed. He stood sideways facing the mirror and took a long inquisitive look at the dragon mark behind his neck right next to his right shoulder. For now, only the fire breathing dragon head was imprinted there, but soon it would be a full fire breathing dragon, with wings sprung open wide looking up to the skies behind it, exactly as the symbol on his Empires’ banner that soared up high in the proud skies of Therys’ since days long past. He had taken his time to make sure his silver hair was well-groomed, his creamy white skin well oiled, and his perfectly symmetrical face with purple eyes, well cleaned. He made sure he was properly dressed with every piece of clothing in perfect position before exiting his bedroom not wanting his privacy invaded by the many servants meant to help him with every trivial and insignificant task he may desire.
He then began making his way to the grand hall. He stood face to face with the high golden gates that were decorated with intricate archaic designs. Taking a deep breath and steeling himself, he opened the golden gates.
Taking a deep breath and steeling himself, he opened the golden gates.
Upon opening them, he began to walk on the purple carpets placed for Lords and princes to take as they make their way to the high table. As he was walking to the high table, all the empires’ subjects stood up, bowed their heads slightly and gave their morning salutations saying, “Good morning prince Malik!” in perfect monotone unison.
They then stood straight and waited till he walked from the gates and sat beside his father before sitting back down in their seats as well.
Only the royal subjects and occasionally their nosy, insistent younglings were allowed to attend the assemblies in the grand hall. After taking his seat, a gorgeous, little and fierce blue dragon with vibrant golden eyes emerged from his father’s side and jumped right onto his shoulder. It then went down slowly with ease, from his shoulder right into his lap as though it was sliding from the peak of a waterfall plunging to the bottom. It looked up and stared at him directly in the eye as if seeing into his soul for a while before it reluctantly curled up into a ball on his laps.
He could not help but stare at the beguiling creature resting peacefully still beneath his questioning gaze. He was startled out of his daze by the clearing of a throat that happened to belong to his father - Emperor of the realm.
His father then began addressing the audience in a loud, clear, authoritative voice that carried power befitting of an Emperor.
“As you all know when our kind attains the ripe age of 17, their magic matures. It is able to connect not only to the magic of our world but also to that of the world of Dragons. Dragons are born from the magic that is not of this world. The world of dragons is said to reside in our sun that is surrounded by flowing rivers of gold. The sun - the biggest star that floats high up in the vast heavens of our universe.”
Taking a pause he continued, “My son attained this age two months ago and finally his dragon has been born. From now on, we will count his age not in dragnar years but dragon years.” The silence in the grand hall broke into applause as the audience congratulated the young prince.
*dragon years are normal human years while 1 dragon year is equal to 3 human years*
Continuing his speech, his father turned to him and said in a voice loud enough just for him to hear, “In this one dragon year my son, your dragon will grow rapidly and during this time, you will bond with him and your dragon’s mark will grow until complete. At that time, your dragon will not live apart from your body but within you in your dragon’s mark.
We call this state Ommin. You will then have the ability to physically transform into your dragon. Always, One vessel with two souls. Residing together in perfect unison whether in the dragon form or dragnar form. This is what you were taught by the mages in dragnar school, was it not?” His father paused and questioned him looking directly at him. Malik confidently nodded.
“I expect you to care and fend for your dragon until you attain Ommin. May Lord Aerlurth guide and watch your path my son. A toast, to the prince of Therys!” thundered his father’s voice across the royal hall.
“A toast to the prince of Therys!” echoed the reply of the many subjects that filled the royal hall. Malik smiled and took the cup of wine from his father. Though the arranged feast was for him, his father made merry and had long conversations with others purposely avoiding him. Malik drank and ate the food served around by the servants.
He did not mention anything about Lord Aerlurth and is purposely avoiding me. Clearly, he doesn’t want to talk about it. They said that when I mature and my dragon is born they would tell me and yet still nothing. What is so special about this Lord Aerlurth anyway that he refuses to tell me. The mages in school refused as well. The old sure do love their secrets. Secrets that in turn make the young grow old very fast, Malik thought. His head was swirling with these thoughts.
“I will see you later in your chambers. For now, you are dismissed. Spend the rest of the day bonding with your dragon for tomorrow you embark on a voyage”, suddenly said his father.
Malik gladly obeyed, happy to leave the royal hall. He decided to sneak out of the palace with his dragon and spent the rest of the day eating various foods he bought from the stalls on the elegant streets of the kingdom. He also visited his best friend Magnus. He stayed with him until late evening seeing, as this was his last day in Therys for a whole year.
He got back to the palace in the evening. When he got to his room, he took a quick bath while his dragon lay soundly asleep on his bed. As soon as he was done dressing down for bed, his father came in. He sat on the bed next to him and said,
“I know I have not been easy on you and expect too much from you. Nevertheless, you are my one and only heir. I have to raise an efficient Emperor, able to care for his own. I have not spent much time with you while you grew up because you remind me so much of your mother. You won’t understand this yet but there are times when one can love someone so deeply that they cannot stand things that remind them of their lost loved one because it always leads to bittersweet memories. One day you will understand. However, always know that I am proud of you and what a feisty, proud little dragon you have there. Am already quite fond of it. What’s its name?”
“His name is Eldorth: The Dragon Emperor. That is what he said as he was born,” answered Malik.
“Dragons take after the personality and destiny of the dragnar. Very rarely do they vary. With a name like that, you will be a great dragnar one day prince Malik. Never forget that it is forbidden to marry from other kingdoms. We must keep our dragnar blood unadulterated so the magic continues to run pure.”
“Yes, Father,” Replied Malik heeding his father’s words to heart.
“hmmm”, hummed the father huskily in agreement.
“I know father,” with these words, the father embraced his son once again whom he last embraced when the dragnar was 13 years old.
Little did the father and son know that this would be the last time they would ever hold a conversation.
The father then stood up to leave the young prince’s bedroom heading to his own chambers but right before he exited the room, he stood in the doorway and said “Sleep well my little dragnar for tomorrow you go to VARVALLEN.”