[Forenote: The following is a long-forgotten legend rediscovered from a distant unknown land. It’s a cautionary tale of corruption and tragedy meant for aspiring clerics. OOCly, it’s for a Patron of Tahariae - a higher power which isn’t necessarily a god. This is the first story in a holy-book project by the clerical community.]
[White Dragon by sandara]
-Sordran, the Blinding Flame of Tahariae, basks in the sun.
Deep in the dusty sections of the Cloud Temple library would rest a tome bearing the clerical eye. It seems odd for it to appear here now when it’s never been here before, but you approach it regardless. Opening into its first pages you’d find the story of Sordran, the Blinding Flame of Tahariae.
In the beginning times, Dragur created many children we’d come to know as the dragonkin. Among them was a young white-scaled dragaar named Sordran. Much like his sibling dragaar, he’d scour the lands in search of knowledge and curiosities. Unfortunately for him, the blights of Iblees soon fell across the land and corrupted many of his siblings. The day came he’d see his sister twisted and malformed into a dreaded drakaar, never to be herself again. This deeply saddened Sordran, who soon fled to a distant continent.
Sordran spent many years isolated in the wilderness of these lands, far away from Aegis. One day he saw a man with a scar across his face wearing billowy travelling robes. Despite his appearance, the man walked with an aura unlike Sordran had ever encountered before. Interested, the dragonkin pursued him.
Eventually they came to a small farming village. The robed man went to the most dishevelled hut there. Taking on his humanoid form, Sordran walked in behind him. What came next inspired and awed Sordran for the rest of his life. Invoking the power of Tahariae, the robed figure subsequently healed numerous lepers and wounded in but a day’s time. For the first time in Sordran’s life, corruption could be opposed.
Sordran went on to befriend the man while commending him for his noble deeds, coming to know him as Titus. Titus was a devout servant of Tahariae, independent in his pursuit of purity and justice. Sordran became great friends with Titus before ultimately becoming his disciple.
Years pass as Sordran was taught under Titus as a disciple of Tahariae, fine-tuning his connection with the Archon of Justice. The day came where Sordran’s immense draconic soul allowed him to surpass his master as a cleric. Little did he know that his lineage would allow such vast magical power as he was only interested in the virtue and purity of being a servant of Tahariae. Instead he found great power, and close friendships.
As the exploits of Sordran and Titus spread, new aspirants came to them week after week. One day they began gathering recruits, creating a temple, and establishing an order of their own known as the Vehement Eye. Descendants from everywhere came to them for their wisdom.
In their prime, the Vehement Eye was a force to be reckoned with. Threats came to the land one after the other, and every time the servants of Tahariae rose up to oppose them. Sordran appeared in every battle, becoming widely known as the Blinding Flame for his hit-and-run tactic of flying over and breathing a carpet of holy white fire over enemy soldiers. The enemies of Tahariae fled or died every time, disintegrating in the radiance of Justice.
[Ceremony of the Flame by merl1ncz]
-A ceremony held in honor of the Vehement Eye after a victorious battle.
Many celebratory nights followed the victorious battles of the Vehement Eye. The Knights of the order came to respect and love Sordran like a fatherly figure. Titus still led with Sordran, but his humanity was always overshadowed by the greater dragon’s splendor. Time passed and Sordran heard news of Iblees’ campaign on the descendants approaching their land. Even though his soul was protected by Tahariae, Sordran was a corruptible dragonkin. The Blinding Flame feared the oncoming threat of the Betrayer God.
Far sooner than expected, the forces of Iblees arrived on Sordran’s shores. The Vehement Eye rushed to prepare a defense before a great battle was shared. The corruptive forces of the undead clashed against the purifying light of the Vehement Eye. Sordran still attended for his duties, but he was cautious. The opposition knew of Sordran’s fear; they could sense it in his bones.
Despite Sordran’s apprehension and the sudden appearance of the undead, the attack was easily countered. The Knights celebrated as was their custom after a successful battle, but Sordran couldn’t help but feel sorrow for his cowardice. There could have been fewer casualties if he were bolder. The Blinding Flame did his best to push it out of his mind.
The Vehement Eye Knights turned in for the evening after ample celebration. Sordran on the other hand knelt before the altar in his humanoid form, repenting for his sin of cowardice. A scuff from a boot sounded behind Sordran who didn’t turn to look. He knew it was his old master Titus. The man he’s always loved and trusted like a father.
A sharp pain followed by a seering, warm sensation ran down Sordran’s back. The dragon’s eyes widened as he turned to see his master wielding a blade. An illusion rippled as Titus’ face showed undeath, rotten and wicked. With a thunderous roar and rapid transformation, the temple crumbled and heaved under the newfound rage of a holy dragaar. A battle ensued between Sordran and his former master with other corrupted Knights. A blight seethed through Sordran’s heart both by heart-ache and the wound left by a tainted dagger. The assassination was unsuccessful. Sordran, broken by injury and grief, performed the final strike to end Titus’ unlife.
Wounded physically and emotionally, Sordran lowered his draconic head before the altar. The blight continued to ravage him, threatening to transform him into a drakaar. Yet, Sordran’s soul remained guarded by his Lord. With a grim understanding, Sordran entered a deep and unbreakable prayer.
As the last of his body was threatened by corruption, Sordran’s eyes erupted with clerical light. Sordran exploded in all directions with a Blinding White Flame. As the dragonkin’s life finally ended, his intact soul became whisked away to the realm of Purity by the hand of Tahariae.
[Concept Art by Morgan Yon]
-A divine explosion erupts in the Vehement Eye temple, rocketing the dying dragaar’s soul into the skies above.
Let this be a reminder to all clerics, old and new. Purity is a fragile thing which must be protected at all costs. Your friends may betray it, your body might wither and die, but your soul is eternal. Never forget this, servants of the Archon of Justice. Perform your duties well, as Sordran did. Let this be a testament to His glory.
As such, you come to the end of the ancient tale. The pages are yellowed and decrepit, but the wisdom therein may very well be immortal. What exactly happened to the Vehement Eye, or to Sordran? It might all be fantasy. Who knows?