The Lost Dragon King
Born in a village in the mountains, Rook Heikkinen, had a difficult childhood. He was the only half-elf for leagues. His mother ran what passed for an inn. She had a home with a few extra rooms and a pen in the back where travellers could leave their horses. His father arrived with a storm, a heavy spring storm full of thunder and lightning. He left three days later, before dawn, barely having stepped out of the inn the entire time. He was long gone when Rook’s mother discovered her predicament.
Rook’s parentage was obvious at birth. The superstitious villages named him demon-spawn. The other children took every opportunity to torment him. Name calling and thrown dung were the least of them. Rook grew up an angry boy. He spent most of his time in the hills and mountains surrounding the village, wandering.
One spring, just shy of his 14th birthday, Rook found the cave. A winter avalanche had uncovered the entrance to a passage leading to a small cave. On a small rough-hewn stand, almost like a low altar, he found a book wrapped in hide. In front of the book was a rod of ebony, richly carved. It was a book of the secret path. Rook bundled the items and took them home. He would stay up late at night and study the book. When he could he would go to the mountains and practice.
One boy in the village was worse than all the others. Rickar, only a few months older than Rook, took great delight in putting “the cursed half-breed” in his place. As they grew older, the name calling became sticks and stones. In their 16th year it became beatings. One day he and his friends saw Rook heading out of the village and decided to have some fun. They found him in a clearing, reading the book. Rickar knocked it out of his hands and stomped on it. One of the other boys picked it up and started ripping the pages out of it. They all laughed at the look on Rook’s face. He reached down to pack and grabbed the rod. Rickar taunted him, having no fear of the pipsqueak and his stick. Almost without thought, he cast Hellish Rebuke on Rickar.
Rickar burst into flames. He ran screaming until one of his friends knocked him down and smothered the flames. In the confusion, Rook quickly gathered up the book and what pages he could grab and fled the clearing. After dark he snuck back to his mother’s house. He was packing his few possessions when she found him. She didn’t stop him or ask him what he was doing. She watched him with a sad look on her face. When he turned to leave, she handed him a pouch. In it was some coins and a pin. It was all she had of his father’s. She told him that Rickar would live, but he was badly scarred. She told him he should go, maybe his father’s people would accept him. He hugged her and left. He never returned.
He found his father’s town a week after a raid from the North slaughtered everyone in it, to the smallest child. To the anger and resentment of his childhood, a hatred for the North for denying him the chance to find a home was added. Four years later, still filled with anger and hate he joined the army.