Garkhen's Last Words

Author: Almonihah

In case you couldn't guess that.

That was… so many years ago now. After this, we traveled together for a few years, having many adventures and, I should like to think, bringing much good into the world.
But as with all else, our companionship ended in time. I heard of troubles in Ferdunan again, but was unable to convince my companions to accompany me. And so I returned alone, to again fight for this nation that has become my home.

My actions during this war attracted the notice of the King, who saw fit to give me the duchy of a Duke whose line was destroyed in the fighting. I ruled as such for many years, at first alone, and later with my beloved by my side. How she won me I have written elsewhere, and that we cared deeply for one another my numerous descendants can attest, so I will pass on for now to my friends.
Almonihah Zrathanzon and Zakhin'Dakh journeyed together for a few years more after my departure, until a lady griffon nearly as large and perhaps even more intelligent than Zakhin'Dakh attracted his attention. The two laired together in the Stormpeaks, leaving Almonihah to wander alone. Their children were of similar size and sometimes even more intelligent than their parents. Whatever made them so bred true, and so a new race of griffons was born. Men once called them Noble Griffons, but now again they are called simply griffons, for men of this age have never known another kind, the smaller and less intelligent variety having been by now wholly absorbed into the new griffon civilization.

Much else has changed since then. Griffons are not the only race to have claimed a place as civilized beings in the past millennium and more. But I get ahead of myself.
Zakhin'Dakh, to his lasting delight, slowly grew throughout his life, so that only dragons could challenge him for size by his death. He died some eighty years after I first met him, happy even in his final moments, surrounded by his descendants and friends.

I saw Almonihah Zrathanzon for the last time there. I had heard a little of his activities in the time between, stories and songs of great beasts slain by the Bronze Ranger in both the Northern and Southern Continents. I spoke briefly with him, but… not enough. He disappeared sometime after his friend's death, but before the end of the gathering, and similarly slipped from the pages of history.
As for myself, I returned with my family to my duchy in Ferdunan. After many years and many upheavals, I became its King, and my reign and reforms are likely familiar to the reader.

As for Almonihah… since that last sight of him, I have search from time to time for further mention of his name or news of his doings. I have found nothing. I know not if he was slain alone in the wilderness or if he simply escaped into the anonymity he craved. The closest I ever found were stories of a "Bronze Beast" which would appear to save travelers or woodsmen from monsters of the wilderness, only to disappear once the danger was past. The wild inconsistency in description of this creature and the continued creation of stories about it even now, centuries after even a half-dragon with human blood would have died, lead me to conclude that, even if Almonihah once had a connection to these tales, they have long since become divorced from any truth.

As for myself… I am old. My longevity brings me respect even among dragons, but despite Bahamut's grace in continuing to grant my body strength, my soul feels the great weariness of age. My beloved has gone before me centuries ago, along with most of my children and associates. I know I will soon go to join them.

I wonder, how many of them will I see on the other side? Will we rejoice together, or will our devotion to different deities and ideals separate us? I hope we shall at least be able to visit… Despite all I have uncovered, it seems the gods still wish to keep secret the details of life after death. No matter. I shall discover them shortly…

It amuses me somehow that I shall die much like my old griffon friend, surrounded by descendants and associates. Somehow I think it would amuse him, too.

Garkhen ze'Darkhen'Sem'dor

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