DnL -About Ganareth/The legend of Al-Drifa


AL-DRIFA was born of the love affair between Sventiane, an Elf, and Helebore, a Man, famous for his talents for building. Like his mother, Al-Drifa became a fervent worshipper of Neutra. He inherited his builder’s skills from his father, but these gifts were revealed only much later on.

Al-Drifa had a twin brother; both of them were born at the time of the domination of the Dragons, but it was not until their father’s death that they felt their cruel grip. Al-Drifa and his family lived in the heart of the Broariàn forest, but his father had to leave this haven of peace in order to help Men to fortify the city of Graveriad. During a Dragons’ assault, Helebore was crushed to death under huge stone blocks which had fallen off the wall under construction.

Al-Drifa and his brother then took the oath to avenge his death, whatever the cost and whatever the time it might take. Al-Drifa’s brother joined the Alliance forces to carry on a heroic and merciless fight against the Dragons. Some of the Elvish chants were dedicated to him to praise him for his courage.

As to Al-Drifa, he found refuge in revering Neutra. Much to the venerable Elves’astonishment, Al-Drifa seemed to have a privileged relationship with the God. A few years later, Al-Drifa followed the very path his father, before him, had taken. One day, he came up to a Dragon and spent long hours watching him closely. He had brought rare roots along in his pouch and he set fire to them. The Dragon realized he was there, but he did not attack him. The roots had a hypnotic effect upon him. When they had ceased burning, Al-Drifa collected part of the remaining ashes in his palm and cast them into the air, letting the wind carry them to the Dragon. His steaming nostrils dilated and inhaled part of the ashes Al-Drifa was throwing to him. The following day, Al-Drifa heard a crack in the trees: the Dragon was standing there again. There was no fire lit, as the rain was pouring down that day.

Al-Drifa pulled some other roots out of his bag and put them down on the ground. The beast approached slowly and his breath consumed the roots almost instantly. Before collecting the ashes, Al-Drifa laid a wood pile in front of the beast and waited. He could feel his breath upon his face; the Dragon was staring at him and his eyes seemed to be probing the depths of him. His head was now but a few centimetres away from Al-Drifa’s. Time was suspended.

With all his heart and soul, Al-Drifa was praying the God who had led him all the way. A gleam appeared in the beast’s eyes, and all of the sudden, he started belching out flames on the wood. Fire was now crackling in front of Al-Drifa. He went to his knees, collected some ashes in his hands and held them out to the beast. The Dragon moved his mouth very close and inhaled what Al-Drifa was offering him.

After a few months, the Dragon could be stroked by anyone, and Al-Drifa even ventured to ride on his back. The beast reacted sometimes oddly and Al-Drifa remained extremely suspicious. He could not forget his father’s death and he always kept in mind the reason why he was acting this way.

During the next five years, other Dragons came to inhale the ashes of Al-Drifa’s roots. During one night of the year 4034, the three Dragons who had come up to him began quarrelling in order to get the small amount of ashes remaining. Al-Drifa almost lost his life in the terrible fight that followed, but one of the Dragons intervened to protect him. The giants were tearing one another to pieces and Al-Drifa watched them, his heart filled with fear and satisfaction. He was at last awarded for all these years of patient work. Two of the Dragons were lying, bathing in their blood and covered with their own entrails.

Al-Drifa was thirty-four at the time and he had just made the dream of nearly every inhabitant of Ganareth come true. However, if he wanted to fulfil his project, he had to prevent that kind of incident.

Four hundred years after he established the first relationships with the Dragons, Al-Drifa had such special bonds with them that he was practically safe when he was with them, and that he had gained what might be called their confidence. But the fierce hatred he felt for them had not diminished with time; this hatred was matched only by the fervour with which he recited his prayers.

According to Al-Drifa himself, it was Neutra who gave him the idea of building a city in which all kinds of creatures, whichever, could mix and trade in complete peace. To honour the memory of his father, Al-Drifa decided to erect his city on the ruins of Graveriad. In exchange for ashes of roots, the Dragons helped him to lay the foundation stones.

On the 44th day of the year 4444, the city of Al-Drifa was inaugurated.
Some buildings were already completed, many others awaited construction in the future. The Dragons, who came in larger and larger numbers to Al-Drifa, began to get acquainted to the various peoples of Ganareth. In this region, the Dragons grew more and more peaceful and consequently, the people there lived in relative tranquillity. The city of Al-Drifa became an asylum for those who wanted to escape from Dragoon and his troops. The members of the Alliance often sought refuge there in the course of the Dark Age.

Round the year 4445, Al-Drifa created a coin in order to facilitate the trade between the different races. The Dragons were bringing along ores or goods and, ignorant of their worth, they were trading them off against ashes of roots Al-Drifa was still the only one to produce them from his pouch. For the most part, the ores that the Dragons were bringing along were used by the Dwarves of the Alliance to manufacture rudimentary weapons. The immense fortune Al-Drifa accumulated that way was mainly used to buy goods, which enabled the combatants to eat enough to keep their strength.

People came from all realms to dwell in the city of Al-Drifa. Many of them did so at the risk of their lives. All these years spent under the domination of the Dragons had bled Ganareth practically white. The city of Al-Drifa was an oasis in the middle of a vast desert and yet, Al-Drifa continued to provide the Dragons with roots, without ever going out of the city. He had only to plunge his hand into his pouch to bring out instantly what he was looking for. Nobody ever knew Al-Drifa’s secret and nobody ever dared asking for it, for fear of causing the magic to stop.

Al-Drifa was over four hundred years old when he left the city for the first time. He went through the network of galleries the Sprites had been digging, and across the charred plains, without anyone noticing he had left, apart from his brother and some of his closest friends.

When he came back, as he was approaching one of the underground galleries’entrance, Al-Drifa was alarmed by the growling of Trolls who were quarrelling. At that very moment, he heard a voice which was familiar to him. It was telling him that he had to avoid the galleries and enter the city incognito.

Therefore Al-Drifa entered the city precinct, swathed in a long black pelisse. To his amazement, the people he came across seemed to express great anxiety, and even anguish, at his sight. He went near a group of people who had gathered on the square, and he listened to what they were saying:

“ Al-Drifa‘s gone mad, the Dragons are furious since he‘s been raising the price of his damned powder. People in the neighbourhood don’t receive any help from him anymore, what‘s he doing with all the money he gets from his trade? "

"Yeah, there’s somethin’fishy in this story, an’ I’ll risk me neck to know what...He’s sent hundreds of those damn’Trolls by the entries of ...you-know-what, you’d think he’s ‘fraid of Dragoon himself comin’ in person...”

Al-Drifa suddenly understood what was going on: his brother, who was to stand in for him while he was away, had decided to take his place for good, and he was ready for anything to keep it. It was obviously high time he came back. In the street, there was growing unrest in the angry, shouting mob. Al-Drifa managed to slip into his house, taking secret alleys known only to him, and he looked for his brother to have an explanation. When the latter caught sight of him, his face froze, suddenly stunned and terror-stricken.

If Al-Drifa had now no more doubts about his twin brother’s intentions, he could not resolve to kill him. Anyhow, he would not the least have been able to do so, as his brother was much stronger and more experienced than he was. Nobody knows what really happened between the two of them. The only certain thing is that the following day, Al-Drifa announced to the malcontents that everything was back to order.

A week after Al-Drifa got home, life was indeed back to normal, and the city was just like before he had left. Yet, the master of the city had become sullen, and he refused to see anyone. Ever since that day, very few people were fortunate enough to see him and nobody ever heard again of his twin brother...

Some people say that he is still alive, others that he is dead, but they all agree on one thing: his spirit is still guarding the city named after him.

Circeliane (Barde)

madoq at 15:31コメント(0)トラックバック(0)Dark and Light  



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