Well my friends, we are nearing the end of the epic saga of Onyxia, the black dragon. For this segment, we’re going to fast forward about 50 years into the future in-game time, at which point, my children have all reached the ‘Young Adult’ age category for a dragon. This essentially means that their size has increased to ‘large’ (which makes them each as big as a grizzly bear), and that they’ve also started to develop some magical prowess as well. As for me, my character had just started to reach middle-age, and given the life expectancy of a half-elf, I knew that in a hundred more years…I’d probably be dead. As such, I decided to devote my time to helping my children to find their proper place in life, for I knew that in the grand scheme of the world, the strength of a dragon could do a lot more good than I.
Therefore, I resolved to expose my children to the concept of religion, as I felt that a ‘high power’ might help to guide their steps.
Although I wasn’t a divine spellcaster myself, my character was still deeply religious and a devoted follower to Erastil. However, I knew that such a God would not appeal to my children, for while they certainly valued both family and hunting, the teachings that Erastil promoted would never fit their nature. Thankfully though, my brass dragons quickly managed to find their true calling, as Arthas became a follower of Cayden Cailean (the god of freedom, wine, and bravery), while Valeera and Nefarian adopted Desna as their patron (the goddess of dreams, luck, and travelers). I approved of this of course, for I knew that Desna and Cayden Cailean were both very goodly Gods.
However, as you might imagine, Onxyia proved to be much more difficult, for after looking over the Gods in the primary pantheon, there weren’t really any that seemed to match her save one, and I simply refused to expose her to Gorum, the God of battle. Unfortunately, I soon learned that ‘Our Lord in Iron’ did not take kindly to this, as an unexpected visitor eventually arrived at my doorstep.
She was a beautiful human woman clad in heavy armor, with a massive greatsword strapped to her back and a dark fearless look reflected in her eyes.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“Who I am is not important, weakling,” she said in response. “I have come in the name of my God to find a potential follower, and I demand that you take me to them at once. You know of whom I speak, so do not play dumb.”
It was then that I learned that this woman was a powerful anti-paladin of Gorum, and she had apparently been sent to recruit Onyxia into her church.
“And what if I refuse?” I asked in defiance, to which the woman merely shrugged and made a gesture towards her sword.
“Then I will happily force you,” she explained with a deadly smile. “And while I welcome the chance for battle, know that even if you manage to kill me, my God will just send others. The only way to stop this is if you grant me an audience with the one I wish to see.”
In that moment, I truly did consider fighting this woman, but another part of me realized that although I hated the idea of exposing Onyxia to Gorum, my daughter had the right to make her own decisions. And so, with great reluctance, I allowed this vile woman to have a meeting with my daughter.
Over the next few hours, I sat in the barn in silence as the anti-paladin pleaded her case, offering my daughter the chance to experience a life of endless battle under the guidance of her God. I didn’t say a word and merely stared at the floor, while Onyxia listened closely with an obvious degree of interest. However, throughout the anti-paladin’s speech, my daughter would occasionally glance over at me with a calm, unreadable look, before turning her attention back to the woman and listening once again.
The joys of slaughter and the rage of war: that was the life that this woman was offering. Because of her alignment, she was openly promoting the most wicked aspects of Gorum’s faith, which quickly had me regretting the idea of exposing my daughter to this meeting in the first place.
At the end of her speech, the woman asked if Onyxia was finally ready to answer the call of ‘Our Lord In Iron’, yet rather than answering, my daughter gently looked at me and asked a simple question.
“What do you think, father?” she said.
It took me a long time to answer her, but when I was finally ready, my DM asked for a diplomacy check as I prepared to give my response.
“It is your life my daughter, and if the word of Gorum truly calls to you, then I encourage you to answer it. However, if you are asking me if I like this, then I’m afraid the answer is no, for I still believe that your life is meant for more than battle. In the end, the decision is up to you and I leave it in your hands, but know that no matter what…I will always love you.”
I ended up rolling an 8, and I knew that wasn’t enough. However, my DM was apparently so moved by my speech that what happened next truly caught me off guard.
Onyxia slowly stood up and looked at the woman, before shaking her head in silence and motioning towards the door.
“The word of your God does not reach my ears. Leave my home now and never return, for I fear that the next time we meet, we will both surely be enemies.”
To my surprise, the woman merely smiled and said “So be it,” before turning on her heels and leaving the barn in peace.
“Why did you reject her?” I couldn’t help but ask, to which Onxyia merely smiled and nuzzled her nose against my chest.
“Because it wouldn’t have made you proud.”
After that, I soon began researching as many Gods as I could, hoping to find someone who could possibly match my daughter. Eventually though, I finally settled on one who I thought would be perfect, and after making a quick apology to Erastil, I started to offer prayers to this God and asking him for guidance.
“Please,” I begged. “I know that I am not a follower, but I believe that my daughter has need of your word. I ask that you might send someone, so you can see this for yourself, for I believe that you alone are the answer to her prayers.”
A few days later, an unexpected visitor arrived at my door wearing a full set of chainmail with a bastard sword at their hip. He was a grizzled looking half-orc who went by the name of Bruthus, and he said that he had been sent here to answer a vision from his God.
“I know why you have come,” I said, as I recognized the holy symbol that was displayed upon his shoulder. “I believe that there is someone that you are destined to meet.”
From there, I quickly lead Bruthus into Onyxia’s barn, and upon seeing the mighty dragon within, the half-orc couldn’t help but stare in surprise. However, after recovering from his initial shock, Bruthus finally spoke in a strong, determined voice.
“I am honored to finally meet you,” he stated politely. “I am a warpriest of Ragathiel, and I have come in the name of my God to offer you His word.”
Now, for those of you who don’t know, Ragathiel is the Empyreal Lord of chivalry, duty, and vengeance. And although he is a goodly God and champion of the light, he also possesses a fearsome nature that promotes violence against the wicked. In addition, because he is the son of Dispater (a powerful devil), Ragathiel constantly struggles to keep his darker impulses in check (which was something that Onyxia could obviously relate to).
Of course, as soon as Bruthus began explaining all of this, Onxyia quickly became enthralled and urged him to continue. We sat together for hours as the half-orc began to preach, and by the end of it all, my daughter was on her feet and nodding her head in approval.
“Yes! This is it! This is who I wish to follow!” she said, before looking over at me and asking if I approve.
In response, I offered her a gentle smile and nodded my head as well.
Not long after that, Bruthus and Onyxia started going on several small adventures together, hunting down the wicked and avenging the innocent. However, as the campaign slowly started to near its conclusion, I was eventually approached by my daughter once again, who informed me of an important decision that I had prayed would never come.
“Father…I’m sorry to say this…but it’s time for me to leave,” she said. “I wish to go to the Worldwound and fight in the crusades, for I know that if I remain here, I will never fulfill my calling.”
My heart sank in my chest, for as much as I might wish to deny it, I knew that deep down…my daughter spoke the truth. She would never accomplish much if she remained on this farm, and the world truly needed a champion like her.
And so, with a heavy heart, I said I understood.