My family works for one of the local Oligarchs digging for precious metals, mostly gold. We were never well off and I lived with my widowed grandmother, my mother, and my father in a small dwelling on the outskirts of town. Well, I did until my parents died in a tunnel collapse. From then on it was just me and my grandmother until I was old enough to participate in the digging pilgrimage. Just before I left my grandmother told me the true story of our family;
We are the lineage of a marriage between a human and a Gold dragon. Zastri Aurum, my namesake, was a monk at the H’Ank temple. During one of his many mountain pilgrimages he went into a cave to study the magical mushrooms that were only found there. During his venture he slipped and fell into a crevice falling for what seemed like an eternity. Slowly, a flashing golden light appeared and the most beautiful woman he has ever seen emerged from it.
Aluria, her name was, explained that she was hiding from the Sisadi and she claimed to not know what they wanted her for. After aiding Zastri’s return to the temple he insisted that she stay to live and work in the villagers. The monks bid no care to the past of someone, even if they were wanted by the Sisadi. Not wanting to reveal her true level if infamy, she politely refused not giving a strong reason as to why. Zastri was suspicious but put those thoughts aside and let her go.
Aluria returned to the village one day, apparently very ill. Zastri asked her what had happened, and she explained she was looking for food and had come across a mushroom. Zastri’s eyes opened and his jaw dropped. “she must have eaten one of the death mushrooms” he thought, “but that would have killed her in mere minutes, it was a half hour trip at least to the caverns where I fell”. Putting his suspicions aside once more, he aided her as best he could. Giving her water and medicine. Remarkably Aluria recovered, but felt it no longer safe to try and live in the caverns. She started to live with Zastri where they eventually fell in love, and later married.
It was some 15 years and 4 children later that the Sasadi invaded the village. They were after a dragon. The Monks and villagers were forced into the main hall of the temple where they were beaten and interrogated for information. Aluria, not wanting any more harm to come to the people who let her into their life owned up to the Sisadi to the bewilderment and shock of all those around her. Zastri’s suspicions had been correct, she was something else.
The Sisadi general gave the order to attack. “No traitor should live, you have aided in the hiding of a criminal, you are all guilty here!”. They attacked and Aluria was fatally wounded. As the Sisadi closed in on her family she let out a burst of blinding light and wished her family and as many villagers as she could to the furthest place she could; Deep.
The knowledge of this event was kept with only my Grandmother. All the other villagers either bore no children as Monks, had died in tunnel collapses, or had attempted to make the trip back to the H’Ank temple, never to return.
The bloodline of Aluria left her kin with a fiery arrogance and a lust for Gold. This allowed them to assimilate into the culture of Deep, with their love for digging and finding metals.
I was awestruck by this knowledge. no way could I be of a dragon. But by grandmother assured me that this was true. She even held an amulet made of pure gold. Etched in the coins were the words “When the light of Gold and Fire is cast, evil has nowhere to hide”. This wouldn’t be that amazing to me, for I had no idea what that meant. The thing that stuck out to me though, was that it wasn’t in common, yet I still knew exactly what it meant.
It was Draconic.
My grandmother handed me the amulet telling me that if I’m in a dangerous situation, speaking the words etched in the coin will help me.