This is the tale of a female half-dragon, dragon knight. Her name was Celeste and this is her story of how love triumphs.
Our story begins with me getting a bunch of friends playing a 5th edition homebrew campaign we had been working on together. A story where magic was outlawed and people with magic were hunted by an order known as the Pentra Inquisition. Lead by an evil woman named Deshnah, a High elf, hell bent on controlling magic and making it seem evil. Having convinced the nations of Dentavar that evil and magic went hand in hand, she began a long war against magic users.
Fast forward to our adventure group of eight. A dark Aasimar swashbuckler named Lucifer, one of my greatest friends. Another paladin who focused more on support and healing named Cerberus. A crazy human necromancer named Baldawin. A half elf sorcerer name Thaila. A hilarious dwarf female cleric named Sarahya. A human gunslinger named John Wright. A genasi firebender named Klarissa and me, a half dragon female paladin homebrew known as a dragon knight that served a dragon lord named Varkas, a sort of volcano dragon and my father.
I was tired of playing a rogue, ranger or wizard so I decide to really change it up by playing a character of the opposite sex and a class I had never played before. A paladin.
The dragon queens and lords had vast power like the gods along with other deities but could not commune with their followers due to the inquisition disrupting magic so much. Our group of heroes all meet each other on a wagon ride that turned sour after witnessing the inquisitors cruelty first hand. We banded together to aid in numerous quests to undermine the inquisition’s efforts.
Fast forward to level 10 and things start to get really juicy when our party is introduced to a lovely maiden by the name of Ismeralda, a sister to Lady Aurora, the leader of one of the most powerful elven houses in Dentavar. The story started off by completing the very important job of returning wish scrolls to Lady Aurora. The plan was to use the scrolls, so magic could be used freely once again.
Now with the necessary resources we began to slowly but surely dismantle Deshnah’s wicked plans.
However, something else happened. Ismeralda began to join in our adventures. Not wanting to sit idly by, she endeavored to make the world a better place. Her elder sister Aurora was not too happy about this, but Ismeralda snuck off to join us anyway. Smart and cunning, she aided in our efforts to thwart the Pentra inquisition. But one night, everything changed.
Trying to acquire information at a local lords banquet, we tried the persuasion route. We talked our way in and begin working our group’s charm to see what intel we could gather. Everyone rolled quite well, which gave us quite a bit of juicy info on how the Pentra inquisition was being funded.
Then the orchestra began to play the Royal Dance. Our party had to choose two members to represent our group to show respect to the local lord who loved music and dance. In order to appease the lord or to protect him from any offence, Ismeralda and I were chosen to represent the group. Keep in mind that I was this warrior paladin dragonknight, not some dancer, which made for some awkward moments, but with some encouragement from the swashbuckler and the group, I took to the floor with Ismeralda in hand. What I thought was going to be a simple dance, that was going to end quickly, ended up being the beginning of an unforgettable night.
Before this dance we had gotten to know Ismeralda quite well during the time of our adventures. She enjoyed writing poetry and was good with a crossbow. She learned from her aunt who we discovered was an underworld assassin. Ismeralda always had some encouraging words to keep up our fighting spirit and to not lose hope. She and I got close as she loved hearing tales about the dragon knights, having never seen one in person. I loved her poetry. Furthermore, our DM expertly crafted this character, resulting in her personality making us really bond with her that much more. Being a dragon knight paladin I did not know much about love as I swore to myself to my mission. I never really thought about love. But that all changed when we started to dance.
The music for the dance started slow and soften. We each rolled for performance with both of us getting some pretty nice rolls. It was then that the mood changed. Halfway through the dance, Ismeralda asks me if I have ever loved someone. I cared about my friends, sure, but loved someone? Never really gave it much thought. She looked at me with those soft green eyes and her dirty blond curls seem to sway softly as she leaned closer in.
"Celeste, could you love someone regardless of their flaws? Broken by experimentation and stripped of magic?" She asked with a look of sadness. As she proceeded to explain to me that she was one of many victims we had encountered in our story who had been stripped of their magic abilities by cruel experiments by the Inquisition, leaving her body broken and unable to use magic correctly. She wanted magic back not just for herself but everyone else who had it ripped from them as well. She began to cry and I did the only thing I could. I leaned down and brushed my fingers against her cheeks and wiped away her tears. “Look at her,” I said.
"Just because you are broken does not change the fact that you can still fight. Magic deserves to be shared with everyone. Your heart is pure, Ismeralda, and if magic was stripped from you, that makes our fight only that much more important. I will never stop fighting until you are restored and all those broken pieces are fixed. You are worth the fight. Every smile, every laugh we share. Those moments are why my love for you will never die."
Having confessed my feelings to her, I immediately began to doubt myself. Should I have said that? What if I was wrong? Is this what love felt like? But all my worries faded away as she smiled and brought me in for a romantic kiss.
But our story would take a dark turn.
The doors to the hall were thrown open as Deshnah walked in. The room fell silent as Deshnah cast her gaze across the room. Her eyes fixated on Ismeralda. “You,” she said coldly, then unleashed hell. Waves of magical energy ripped from Deshnah’s hand. The party are incinerated. Most fled, some tried to fight, but all who stood against Deshnah were slain. I held onto Ismeralda’s hand throughout the chaos but she was ripped from my grip magically and pulled to Deshnah’s feet. I tried to run to her but a wave of magical energy threw me backward into a wall. With a final scowl, Deshnah vanished with Ismeralda.
My love would be put to the test as we set out to rescue Ismeralda.
As a mention swashbuckler, Lucifer who in real life was my best friend turned out to be my best friend in the campaign. Our friendship grew even stronger as he helped me to overcome my guilt and pushed me to find Deshnah and ruin her plans. Fast Forward to lvl 20 and we learn that Deshnah was no inquisition leader but a lich planning to use Ismeralda as a sacrifice to enhance her power. In this universe, those born of royal blood had magic within them. We tracked her down and what came next was the ultimate showdown of my life.
As we proceed into her lair, my morality would be put to the test one more time. Deshnah had one more scheme up her sleeve. As we entered the lair, my party members were imprisoned by a powerful spell that was slowly starting to kill them. I was faced with a choice: save my friends or Ismeralda.
I decided in that moment that I would not make the choice between my friend and Ismeralda. I would save them all.
The dice gods were in my favor that night. I managed to break the swashbuckler free from his cage. I charged Deshnah while he set the rest of the party free. Single-handedly, I laid into Deshnah. I managed to distract her long enough for the rest of the party to join me. We battled it out fiercely, spells being thrown back and forth as blade bit into flesh. I raised my blades above my head and rolled to smite her. My swords bathed her in righteous fire, destroying her and her phylactery which she wore around her neck for the sacrificial ritual.
We found Ismeralda laying on a stone altar. She was frail and sickened as the lich had been draining her life force. I lay my hands gently on her frail, withered form, and cast lay on hands. The spell was purged from her body and she was restored. She threw her arms around me and pulled me tightly into a loving embrace, and then smiled and said:
"You came for me? Why?”
Which I answered "Because love never dies. My friends are my family. You are someone special to me and I can’t imagine a life without you in it." And with that we embraced and I carried her to the party where we all embraced as friends. And with a new found love and respect for each other, our campaign ended with Deshnah being destroyed and magic being returned to the world.
At the end of the campaign, we were all hugging and smiles. Some of us with tears in our eyes. Even are crazy necromancer shed a tear as the power of good friends and love conquered all. It was the most wholesome thing I have ever felt in a DnD campaign, and I embraced everyone and the DM for this awesome journey.