Article written by Jean Rabe, PsychaDurmont, Kranar Drogin
When Dhamon Evran Grimwulf (? – 422 AC) was a young man who's hair was the color of ripened wheat, body that was well muscled, and black eyes that flashed with curiosity and defiance. His hair would later turn to a dark black coloring through magical means. He had no idea the trials that awaited him, the lost loves, gained treasures, betrayals. That wasn't a terribly long time ago, not even a heartbeat as far as the age of the world was concerned. But in some respects it felt like forever.
Dhamon grew up in the small village of Hartford in Solamnia along with his younger brother. He was the son of a shepard, but had a desire to be more in life. His family could trace their origins back to wealthy Istar merchants around 800 PC. His best friend, Trenken Hagenson, was a little older than him, and when he became old enough he joined the Knights of Solamnia. Dhamon saw this and wanted to also join, but his father forbade him. A short time later, Dark Knights were training near his home, and Dhamon decided to join them. He left with his father's blessing and a family coin passed down from Grimwulf to Grimwulf. He would later have to bury this coin in the soil of Nightlund to show his dedication for the Dark Knights.
The Dark Knight Years
Dhamon joined the Knights of Takhisis when he was thirteen; leaving behind a family he hadn't realized was more valuable than any treasure he could accumulate. He saw only the glory, honor, and adventure in becoming a Dark Knight; his young years blinded him to other aspects of the Order. In the knights' ranks he grew up quickly, becoming strong and hard-minded and developing an appreciative taste for battle. He learned to wield practically any weapon, though he favored the sword. He became so expert with it that he lost count of the men he killed.
He was trained to mend his fellow knights who had fallen on the battlefield, a grisly but necessary task. He learned the use of herbs and poultices, watched in awe as the Knights with healing magic worked their wonders on the worst of the wounded. But those priests were never plentiful, and they were not always around. And so he found himself making quick decisions on who to help and who to let die, who should lose a limb or an eye. Those images haunted him when he thought back to those times. But they were not all bad. He saved many men. Too bad it took him so long to save himself.
He thought he would stay with the Knighthood always. It had become his family, and he had no desire beyond following orders and advancing the cause of the Dark Queen. He rose through the ranks, and was one day assigned a blue dragon— Gale he was called. Looking back, he thought that his best, happiest moments were when he was partnered with him, and they shot through the sky, lightning dancing all around. There was wildness and a sense of freedom in those days that he never quite recaptured.
Dhamon left Gale and the Knighthood because of an old Solamnic Knight named Geoffrey Quick. He nearly killed Dhamon in a duel, so arrogant and cocky he'd become. And rather than deal the final blow that he deserved, he nursed him back to health . . . all the while preaching about the good gods of Krynn and the merits of the Solamnic Order. Despite Dhamon's hard-mindedness he succumbed to his words, and he turned his back on the Dark Knights.
Dhamon wandered the countryside for a time, feeling out his newfound righteousness and desiring to avoid any confrontation with Knights of Takhisis he spotted stationed in various cities and villages or camped near trade routes. Some of them might recognize him, and neither did he want to face the punishment for leaving the Order or listen to persuasive words that might lure him back.
Dhamon couldn't say when it was that he started hearing voices inside his head. Maybe shortly after the old Solamnic Knight died and he struck out on his own. Maybe after spending months away from people. Looking back, Dhamon thought the voices were actually one voice— Goldmoon's. And he thought her subtle words coaxed him to the Tomb of the Last Heroes where he spied a diaphanous image of her. She beckoned him then, perhaps had been calling to him from the moment he left the Dark Knights. But he heard her this time . . . clearly . . . even over the chattering of two Kender who were also visiting the tomb.
Dhamon was lost, and in a way she was offering him a chance to find himself again. She was looking for a champion, and his heart was looking for a cause. She was an old woman, and yet she had a power about her he could never achieve. She wanted to go against the Dragon Overlords who held Krynn in their talons. And he threw his lot in with her. Others joined him— Rig Mer-Krel, Shaon of Istar, the two kender at the tomb, Blister Nimblefingers and Raph Tanglemop, a half-ogre named Groller Dagmar who kept company with something passing itself off as a wolf named Fury, the dwarf Jasper Fireforge, a Solamnic knight named Fiona Quinti, and Ferilleeagh Dawnsprinter. Go against the dragons they did, picking away at their holdings at first and trying to divine the secrets of their schemes. During a battle with Gale, Dhamon was thought to have been killed. Thanks to the Bronze Dragon Shimmer, he was saved.
Even the great Palin Majere helped them, and together all of them managed some measure of success. They managed to slay the overlord Brine, a Sea Dragon that had terrorized ships and the Dimernesti Elves. And they stopped the overlord Malystryx from ascending to godhood—or something close to it that she was attempting. Dhamon never felt such bone-chilling fear as on that night they went against her and the other Overlords. The greatest dragons of Krynn were assembled at the Window to the Stars portal . . . waiting for her ritual to commence.
He hated the red overlord with all of his being.
Though he was Goldmoon's champion, he had become Malys' puppet. One of her servants, Rurak Gistere, in his dying moments, ripped a dragon scale off his chest and slammed it against his leg. It adhered, branding him as surely as a farmer brands a cow. And the longer it stayed a part of him, the more Malys was able to seep inside his head. The scale had been hers, he learned, and she'd ensorcelled it so she could control whoever wore it.
Dhamon hated her more than he'd ever hated anything before.
So on that night at the Window to the Stars he had his chance to confront her and fight her. But he was only a man then, and even with the help of Rig and Feril and the others, we could do nothing more than stop her plans. He couldn't even scratch her.
Dhamon later learned how she died, by forces far stronger than what they threw at her. Dhamon hoped her spirit was rotting in the deepest layer of the Abyss.
Dhamon was undone in those few years he acted as Goldmoon's champion . . . but not by any great dragon or army. It was a Kagonesti Elf, Feril, with hair the color of fall leaves and a face he couldn't erase from his memory. He had not expected to fall in love. He had no time in my life for such a frivolity. But he fell deeply in love nonetheless, and their first kiss never escaped him. At one time he dared to entertain thoughts of spending the rest of his life with her . . . however short that might have been because of our quest against the overlords. Rig had Shaon, and then Fiona. He thought he might have Feril at his side.
Such was not to be—Feril left our little company after the fight at the Window to the Stars. She said she needed time to herself and time to embrace nature again. He should have argued with her, begged. But by his pride, he said nothing.
He let her go, and he lost the best part of himself in that moment.
Another woman came into his life, a Half-Elf thief who loved him fiercely. He thought he was her world for a time, and he grew fond of her, but he can't say that he loved her. When he held Riki close at night, he saw Feril's face. Still, Riki filled a need—female companionship, and she was a kindred soul in that they were out to gain as much treasure as they could before the dragons took over the entire world. Being with Riki also meant being with her thieving associates Fetch, a kobold, and Maldred, an ogre-man who disguised himself as a man.
Together they took on Goblins and the Legion of Steel, giant spiders and creatures that had long ago died. They risked much and backed down from nothing, and all the excitement and danger kept his mind occupied.
Like Feril, Riki also left him. However, thinking back he realized he pushed her away. She was pregnant at the time, with his son. But she let another man believe the child was his . . . and once more he said nothing.
Dhamon cannot look out onto the face of Krynn and see Riki and his son. He hoped that they are well and happy. And he hoped Riki taught the boy to keep his heart clean.
The dragon scale that had linked Dhamon to Malys led to his eventual downfall. He thought he'd found himself free of it, when a Shadow Dragon and a Silver Dragon named Silvara, claimed to have broken the enchantment. But when he was in the company of Riki and Maldred, he discovered that the shadow dragon had not broken the enchantment at all, but rather had mastered it and put him under his talon. He was dying, this vile beast, and he was grooming Dhamon to be the vessel for his spirit. The scale pained him to the point he sometimes passed out. And when he was awake he often found relief in tankards of ale. He thought his spirit became as dark as that damnable scale, and only thoughts of Feril . . . and sometimes of Riki . . . kept him from killing himself.
In the end he fought the shadow dragon, with the help of Fiona, Maldred, and a wingless draconian named Ragh. That he survived the battle amazed him. Fiona died in that cave. The human he'd been died, too, and he was transformed. The shadow dragon's insidious magic worked even after its death. And he became the vessel it had sought.
Dhamon became a singular dragon, and was referred to by Sable as Dhamon-dragon. When Dhamon took the form of a dragon, he appeared to have been made from various types of dragons: horns of a young Red Dragon, wings of the first Blue Dragon the shadow dragon killed in the Abyss, webbed claws from a White Dragon, and black-blue scales that shimmer silver. He was also able to take the form of a human, and become the shadow of someone.
He found joy again in this massive, wretched form . . . but only in that he could fly. He recalled times he soared on Gale's back when he was a Knight of Takhisis. He soared alone now, concentrating on the feel of the air whipping around his wings—that helped take his mind off his lost humanity.
Like any dragon he found himself needing treasure. It's instinct, he realized. And though he'd once mastered the pain caused by the scale, and defeated his penchant for ale and stronger things, he could not beat this. He gathered treasure, built a lair, and took more and more land in what was the overlord Sable's swamp.
His soul company was the wingless Draconian Ragh . . . until he again met up with Feril. That she could see "Dhamon" in him was near unimaginable.
That she could reach the human spark he still held . . . .
That he could entertain thoughts of again becoming a man . . . .
Death and Redemption
Dhamon died fighting the overlord Sable, though not before he slew the foul creature. In that instant he lost Feril forever, but he regained the best and most human part of himself. Following his death, Feril buried him in the shades of trees near a lake in Sable's Swamp through the use of her magic. Perhaps someday Dhamon will see Feril again.
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