Name: Riktor, sometimes shortened to Rik
Age: 127 (more-or-less full grown)
Class: Low to middle – his work pays well, but the costs of constant travelling mount up pretty quickly.
Riktor stands about 19 hands high (6'4”) at the shoulder, and is about 18' long. He is very lithe, built for speed, but with a massively deep chest that gives him impressive endurance as well. His 37' wingspan means he is not the most agile flyer by a long shot (his turning circle would make most dragons laugh), but it allows him to soar for hours if he can catch a thermal.
His copper-green hide is thick and leathery, but tight against his body to make him streamlined and efficient in the air. He lacks any kind of armour plating, and his horns are small and unimpressive. His front feet are more like hands in their delicacy, and aren't particularly good for running on. However, his back feet sport large, sickle-like claws that he uses to hunt.
Riktor is an amiable sort, for the most part. Being the size of a very large draught horse makes dealings with humanoids a little tricky at times, but those who aren't put off by him will find him good-natured and eager to please. He can be a little flighty at times, often hesitant to set down any kind of roots due to his lifestyle of being constantly on the move.
He is devoted to his work and holds himself to incredibly high standards, not only for the sake of his customers and reputation, but also for his own draconic pride. Riktor is bluntly honest, occasionally to the point of being tactless, and he will react with extreme anger to lies and manipulation. Unfortunately, even after many years in the business he instinctively assumes most people are honest, so it is not uncommon to find him seething over some customer's deceit.
He is not particularly good at empathising with the woes of everyday folk – he sees pain in arduous journeys, bandits and broken contracts, not jilted lovers or difficult landlords. He tries, gods know he tries, but he is often much too pragmatic for simple words of comfort. Riktor fails to understand that immediate attempts at problem-solving are not always what a person wants or needs.
Riktor's only real magic is that of all dragons, the gift of fire-breath. He uses it rarely, mostly only in self-defence on dangerous journeys, and to entertain small children. He occasionally chews small pieces of metal to make his fire burn interesting colours.
Riktor was hatched in the far northern Dragonlands, among mountains and clouds. In his youth he saw people only rarely, usually only the most desperate or daring. They fascinated him for the first thirty-odd years of his life, and he would always go out of his way to observe any he came across from a distance. As a naturally nomadic dragon, too small to carve out any kind of respectable territory, Riktor would follow whatever humanoids he could find for miles upon miles. With each group of travellers he ventured further south, until past the foothills that marked the southern border of the Dragonlands he could see out into the heartland of the kingdom beyond. He made several trips into the northern reaches of humanoid territory, watching the trade caravans make their way from place to place.
A few times he was spotted, spooking the horses (and the traders). After the first couple of stampedes he backed off whenever he felt he might be getting too close, but after a while most people passing through the area became accustomed to the inquisitive dragon. He never took livestock, never stole valuables, just watched. Some traders even took his presence as a good omen, leaving gifts of food and small trinkets to curry his favour. Once he understood the behaviour, Riktor began repaying them in kind; travellers would wake up to find whole stags or wild boar lying dead near their campsites, as well as handsome rocks and flowers. Riktor's usual observation point came to be known as 'Dragon Pass'.
Superstition began to abound about Riktor's pass; that travellers must always leave an offering to ensure safe passage, that one must never swear or curse until one had passed through, that the dragon was a protector spirit who would punish anyone who threatened the peace of his land. The third one turned out to be true, in a sense. A group of bandits, either ignorant of the pass' reputation or arrogant enough not to care, began to harass traders as they travelled through, traders who by now Riktor considered his own.
When the bandit clan was unfortunate enough to strike a caravan where Riktor could see them, the retribution was swift. The overcast day kept his shadow from warning the otherwise occupied thieves, and his descent came suddenly and without mercy. Riktor scattered the bandits' horses, burned their wagons, and killed several of their number as the trade caravan fled behind him, and the stories of the Little Dragon of the North went with them.
Once the flames had died down, and the wounded had been dragged away or had died, the leader of the trade caravan carefully, carefully approached Riktor. Riktor backed away, having never been so close to a live human before, but, recognising the man from his many journeys through the pass, did not flee. Years of listening had given him a modest understanding of the human language, and he was able to comprehend the caravan leader's words of gratitude. The man offered to take him to the town on the other side of the pass, where he would no doubt be handsomely rewarded, and Riktor spoke his very first word in the common tongue; “Yes.”
For many more years Riktor remained with the townsfolk, guarding the pass and enjoying humanoid hospitality. Soon he was helping with the convoys himself, hauling freight and bearing messages quicker than any overland party could. Assignments took him further and further afield, and, after a time, he found it easier and more profitable to operate out of the trade city of Riverport than a little mountain town in the high north. The people wept to see him leave, and if he were capable he would have wept as well, but he felt in his marrow that the time had come to move on. With the townsfolk's blessing, he made his way south.
In Riverport, Riktor found far more work than he could have dreamed of. He took whatever jobs happened to be available, from carrying heavy burdens across the city to bearing critical news all the way to the capital. There are few places in the Heartland Riktor has never been.
1. Riktor, like most dragons, loves shiny things. Unfortunately, he only keeps what he can carry on his person, and so every time he is paid in goods it breaks his heart to sell the beautiful things for more practical coin. For this reason, he polishes every coin he owns to a high lustre.
2. Riktor once ate human flesh when he lived in the Dragonlands, scavenged from the kill of a larger dragon. He found it surprisingly soft, and not unpleasant, but his curiosity about humanoids kept him from killing them for food.
Familiar? No, thank you.
Password: Flammenwerfer (it werfs flammen.)
The embers of the campfire had gone cold, and dawn was just a heartbeat away. Riktor woke early, before the sky had turned from early morning grey to the pink of a proper sunrise. He stretched out, mindful of the various other traders and travellers who had decided to seek safety in numbers that night. Several had already left, or were preparing to leave, shovelling the night's snow off their carts and tying down their goods against the winds that were already beginning to pick up again after a brief, quiet night.
Riktor shook the layer of snow from his back and wings, sending it flying and eliciting a variety of curses from those sleeping near him. “Sorry!” he called, and tried to gently brush off the snow he deposited on the closest trader. She swatted him away with another curse, and shrugged as much as she could off herself before rolling over and going back to sleep.
He backed off a little, leaving her to get what little extra rest she could on the long road to Angeth. One hand instinctively went to the harness he had slept in, checking the feel of every piece of cargo he had lain on top of for fear of theft. Nothing was missing – the fine jewellery, packed in a small, sturdy box enchanted to shriek if anyone but the intended recipient opened it, the dossiers from Whitson and Whitson, tied with an undisturbed thief's knot, the thirty pounds of ground ash root for some mage's inscrutable purposes, it was all there.
With a roll of his powerful shoulders, Riktor tested the ties and buckles on his freight harness like he did every time he prepared to take off. His cargo shifted and settled against his body, falling into a far more comfortable position than it had been when he had been lying atop it. He could feel where that little box had poked just below his ribcage. He tightened a knot here and there, and took the opportunity to check his fingers and toes for frostbite. Numb, but undamaged; that was good enough for Riktor.
Those few traders who knew each other, or were naturally more gregarious, or who wanted to talk but not to the fourteen hundredweight dragon, spoke quietly so as not to wake those still sleeping. It stung a little, Riktor had to admit, but he himself wasn't exactly being sociable; he had exchanged a few words with people upon his arrival, and almost everyone had been nothing but well-mannered in their alarm at a dragon descending upon the makeshift camp. But when one has spent eighteen hours battling a crosswind coming down from the mountains, bringing wailing snow and ice in its wake, no conversation is more appealing than food, a fire, and sleep.
Riktor considered speaking up, but he thought better of it. Once certain there was nobody on either side to give a concussion to, he spread his enormous wings, each one alone longer than his entire body, and shook the night's sleep out of them. The sun was just beginning to send little tendrils of pink up into the winter clouds, and he hoped that it might bring just a little more warmth today.
“Leaving early, then?” came a voice behind him, and Riktor turned his head (slowly – his neck was stiff from the cold) to see one particular trader, pulling on a pair of sealskin boots as she perched on a crate that had yet to be loaded back onto its relevant cart.
Riktor nodded. “We can't know how long this calm will last. Better to be moving as soon as you can.”
“Too right,” said the trader, setting to work on the opposite boot. “This early freeze'll be the death of the overland route this year. At least with a bit of luck, the goblins'll think twice before coming out in this cold.”
“Or they'll become desperate, and start raiding at random as their supplies run low.”
The trader glared at him, then took on an unhappy smile. “Say, you're a big fellow...” Oh, Riktor knew where this was going. “Care to lend a wing to our caravan? We could use someone watching from the sky, you know. No bandits alive would go after a caravan with a dragon above it.”
Just when he had thought someone just wanted to make conversation... Riktor narrowed his eyes, and said, in the most diplomatic tone he could manage, “I suspect my deadlines are a little stricter than yours.”
The trader deflated. “Oh. Of course. Of course, you must make a lot more headway than us on the ground, huh? Lucky for some, I suppose.”
What in the world was one supposed to say to that? Riktor lowered his head, breaking eye contact with the woman. “I suppose?”
She looked away as well, as good a sign as any that their conversation was over. Riktor sighed, and beat his wings a couple of times to begin to generate lift. “Safe travels,” he said over his shoulder, so at least he could leave with no slight or rudeness.
“Fly safe,” the trader replied, waving nonchalantly as Riktor broke into a canter, kicking up the fresh-fallen snow behind him. His wings began to catch the air beneath them, and after a short sprint all it took was three massive wingbeats before he was aloft, flapping hard to gain altitude. The makeshift camp fell behind him quickly, as the eastern sun peered up over the crests of the mountains.
Congratulations! Your character has been ACCEPTED!!!
With no familiar, as you have requested. If at any point in time you wish for your character's familiar to manifest, simply post in the Updates section of the forum with three preferred species, and I or one of the lovely moderators will set you up with one!
Riktor has, however, come across the following item: a choker necklace! It is a tarnished gold color with the images of dragons etched into its five bands. As Riktor continues to grow in size in the many centuries to come, the choker will constantly re-size itself to fit him snugly. Its magic is ancient and recognizable among dragonkind: should Riktor will it, the choker will glow and augment his breath weapon, turning his normally fiery breath into a bright and loud explosion of fiery light. While not capable of igniting materials, it will nonetheless leave anyone in the immediate area blinded and deafened temporarily, Riktor included. Once used in this fashion, the magic is expended from the choker, and will rejuvenate itself over the course of five days before being usable again. Very handy for quick escapes!
So that's it! Again, welcome to Rivyn! If you like the item, you can get started role-playing right away! If not, let me know via PM, and we'll work out something different!