It is a strange thing, feeling so foreign one's entire life. But it was my fate to feel isolated from the society in which I lived most of my young years, and until recently I never knew why.
I have little memory of my very young childhood -- I recall only fragments of the hostel in which I was raised; several kindly clerics cared for me in those delicate years. Someone gave me the name of Khajag, or "blue-eyed" in the native dialect of that village. The village itself has spiraled into obscurity in my mind, though the pangs I feel when reflecting upon its fading visage tell me that it was a happy place, something I distantly miss.
I cannot remember when it was exactly that I left that village, but memory becomes clearer as I think back upon the hard-packed roads I traveled that eventually led me to Galehart. It was a bustling town, mostly Human in population, though some other races passed through fairly often. I set up residence at a comfortable inn, working the wheat fields behind it for free room and board. This pleasant arrangement lasted for a few months, though I began to grow restless with hard labor -- I somehow felt that I was destined to be more than a farmhand. I began to seek different work within the city in my spare time. It was then that I stepped inside a temple for the first time in my life -- Galehart was a predominantly Odarian town. I thought perhaps I could find work within the temple library, but an uncomfortable feeling swept over me as soon as I entered. It was a pleasant enough place, adorned in tiger's eye and alabaster, but I felt ill at ease and turned to leave. On my way out, I was approached by an Odarian priest who looked mildly surprised at my presence (and taken aback my my abnormally tall stature), but as if he could sense my thoughts, he asked if I was looking for work. I hesitated, and so he suggested we leave the temple, and that is what we did.
Quellus (for that was his name) led me to his home and I was acquainted with his wife Ylsai and their young daughters Tahnie and Liesyl. It was then revealed that I was meant to tutor the girls in their studies. I was confused, for I had had no formal education, but Quellus explained to me that I was to meet with their instructor at the academy daily while the girls were at play on their break. The instructor would then give me the proper information and materials to be able to further teach the children during the evenings. The idea was quite daunting to me, but Quellus assured me that he felt I would catch on quickly and that we would all benefit from this arrangement.
I was offered a room in Quellus's guest house, and was paid 50 gold a month for my role as tutor. I learned many things from the academy's instructor, Madame Gelfrey, and Tahnie and Liesyl were the better for it. Things carried on like this for three years until Tahnie, the eldest, left Galehart to become a merchant's apprentice. With only one student to tutor, I became restless once more. I was rather fond of (and good at) teaching, for the structure and methods satisfied me greatly. I approached Madame Gelfrey and inquired whether she could use my help as a full-time instructor. She told me to speak with Quellus first, and so I went to him. I explained my desire to become a teacher and he listened on in his kindly manner. After expressing my restlessness with the current situation, he chuckled ruefully and looked me up and down rather oddly.
"Khajag," he sighed, looking strangely wounded, "Have you ever wondered why you are so very tall?"
I was taken aback at the question, considering it had nothing to do with the topic at hand.
"Certainly, but there are abnormalities in every race. I am just different, that is all. And truly, I rather like my height. It helps in my position as a tutor, for it commands attention."
Quellus raised his finger and continued, "You say there are abnormalities in every race, Khajag my friend. But.. well, what race do you consider yourself a part of?"
I shifted the weight from one large foot to the other. Such a question was not quite as strange as it might be for anyone else, for I had felt quite alien for as long as I could remember. I had often gone over this question many times within my own mind, but being asked it aloud somehow made my peculiarity very, very real.
"I am not Human?" I cried, pitifully.
"You are not Human, Khajag."
Deep within my soul, I knew this. I had lived my short life trying to convince myself otherwise, but it was out in the open now. I had never seen another like me, with these slightly slitted pupils and this thick, shiny skin. I hung my head and rubbed furiously at my eyes, determined not to weep.
"What am I, Quellus? Can you tell me what I am?"
"Khajag, you are.. a Dragon."
I almost choked. It made such sense, and I was astonished I hadn't realized it on my own. The very histories I taught Tahnie and Liesyl told me that Dragons begin their lives as creatures who very closely resemble Humans.
"A Draco, I am a Draco!" I exclaimed, and a sense of great relief washed over me, soothing the wounds that were formed from feeling different all my life. I understood now that I could not stay in Galehart, I could not become a teacher, for in time my body would need to change and grow and Galehart would be much too small for my grand dreams.
Quellus was pleased with my reaction, and as if he understood my need to move on, he went to fetch my things. He presented me with six month's pay to assist me in seeking my destiny. He also gave me a map of Aradath and pointed me towards Spur, explaining that it and the areas surrounding were a popular place for Dragons and Secians (oh how I couldn't wait to come face to face with a Secian!) to make their homes.
I thanked Quellus and Ylsai for their kindness over the years, and said my goodbyes to little Liesyl. I was given provisions for the road and I set out that very hour. My past began to seem less and less important, and while I was grateful to the people who had gotten me this far, I knew that my true life as a Dragon was just beginning.
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