On the shores of Xilantra, one of the largest of the colonial isles of Cellinor, in the principalities of The Isles of Dread, lies a small port town named New Perrin. Like a raised and infected bite from one of the insects that dwell there, it stung. It ached. It itched those who had to live there, wondering how long it would be around.
New Perrin itself was nothing exceptional for most of it’s difficult existence. There were a few streets, and a “governor’s” estate. It was though also a judicial hall which served as the governor’s dining room when the accused were not being judged. Of course the Governor also served as chief judge of the colony owing to the fact it had for many years no chief Temple, or clergy thereof. The governor of New Perrin, wasn’t always serving as governor, nor presiding over the accused, he also was making bread, in the colonial town’s only bakery. Such was the town of New Perrin. It was said that life there was so hard it took one man three days to feed himself for a single day.
Little of New Perrin was exceptional at all, except of course for the denizens of the isle. You see, the first explorers to drop anchor in the little natural harbor on the south side of Xilantra became stranded and were waylaid by sahuagin, the sealizard men which Celns now called “underwater pirates”. Little is known about this attack but what is known is that during the battle, when the Celn sailors holed themselves up in their last defended ship, the island’s inhabitants, what today are known as “lizardfolk” stormed the sahuagin from the beach and essentially saved the entirety of this Celn expedition.
As thanks for this brave deed, the Celns set up a settlement on the isle at the river mouth there and traded with the lizardfolk. Many of them were intelligent enough to learn speech as we know it and because of their fascination with metal weapons and armor, they became purveyors of anything the Celns wanted. Being a curious race, several of the reptilian creatures became fascinated by the elements of Celn society once they could speak common, especially the idea of the divine power of the flame. A particular Captain, who was ordained in the Iron Order himself, invited them to become branded through the Order’s ritual, and in so doing the lizardfolk pledged their undying allegiance. Of course, this allegiance came at a price, one which they would only later discover.
As the years turned to decades, several of the leaders of that first expedition moved on. Others moved in. One of them, a powerful member of the Order of Crimson from Cillandar, had decided to seek solace in Xilantra, in order to find his way and established a Temple Light which attracted others seeking illumination, especially from Far Realm. While on the island, he is said to have wandered into the jungle whereby he observed one of the lizardfolk’s holy rituals. Disgusted and enraged by what he witnessed there, he returned to the port town of New Perrin where he instituted what was later known as “The Code Writ of the Colonial Isle of Xilantra Concerning Less Civilized Races and Halves”. The lizardfolk considered the brand a badge of honor and respect, wanting to align themselves with a much powerful people in their view, the Celns. However, the brand also sealed their servitude. Within a few years and at the behest of this Captain as well as the new doctrine, the many branded reptile men were brought for reconditioning and illumination. Not all came willingly, and on the 22nd year of the town’s establishment, the island’s lizardfolk rose up against the Celns and fought a battle which nearly burnt the upstart colony to the ground, literally. Many Celns were said to be massacred, and as retribution for the uprising in the next several weeks that followed, Shield infantry marched into the jungle destroying every lizardman dwelling they could find.
The few that were young, were taken in, branded, and as they grew, were kept to do what lizardfolk do best. But none ever forgot what happened that midsummer night.
Thrak Yak was one of those small creatures captured by the Celns during those first raids into the islands’ interior. Small for his age, he had always regarded the brand that he had been given as a sign of his destiny. To lizardfolk, destiny was something that one took very seriously, and so to him the brand and it’s call was sacred. He had been meant for something larger in life than just this island home. He was smart, for a lizardman. He learned the common tongue quickly and learned his place even quicker. Protecting his Celn patrons was just the start of his destiny to come he was sure. Named after the sounds he often made when he stumbled over the human’s language, Thrak was a favorite, even among the less scaly. In particular, he seemed to attract the human’s children who would sometimes seek him out in packs, to ride on his back or try to “jump the tail”. His duty was to guard the walls and look out for sahuagin and other enemies that might come by sea. But like most days, the day he was to become hunted, there was little to do.
And so the children had found him once more.
To be continued…