earth_tyrant: (A thought just occurred., Observe)

Rolling sand and shifting earth...

Just keep walking the path.

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Created on 2012-05-29 22:45:06 (#1634194), last updated 2012-05-29 (277 weeks ago)

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Name:Ki'nam Pietra IV
Description of World: Non-humans lead an interesting life. most of the time they live among the humans, hidden, blending in. There are of course those that like to "stretch" their legs in a manner, and also those that simply will not live among the humans. Then...There are those that have been enslaved as work animal or pets. For the slaver's safety, this is only done by poaching dragon eggs, or taking non-humans that are simply too weak to defend themselves(not many of that sort). Dragons make fine beasts of burden, with their broad backs they can carry a lot, especially earth dragons. However a great many are highly suspicious at the thought of using pure earth dragons, as their size often makes housing and feeding one exceptionally difficult.

It is unknown why they grow so large, perhaps it was their love of strength back so long ago when the non-humans were still young, and humans were only infants. They loved the fight, and to prove their strength, even more so than the other races. Or perhaps it came slightly later when they discovered their delicate balance with nature, living from the land, and giving back as best as they knew how. This knowledge being shared with select groups of humans who in turn did the same. This perhaps gave them the knowledge of the land, which might be said their great fortitude comes from.

Or, perhaps for the more far-fetched minded, Stride and Gait merely found it pleasing(and amusing) to mold them so. As their size grew, their wings so diminished until they were left without, then finally the started losing their back legs.

Now, this is not to say that earth dragons actually followed a set evolutionary path, as a dragon's physical make up isn't really determined by anything other than "guidelines" that follow certain elements, but it did seem that earth dragons shunned their wings as they had no use for them, and it is so said because it is exceptionally rare for an earth dragon to even have wings, even with multiple elements going into their birth. Instead they are known to have bladed tails, long and whip-like, they can be used in all manner of ways, from arcing over the head like a scorpions, to flailing it around, just like a whip.

Because of these issues, earth dragons are generally avoided, and, should one come to live near a human settlement, they are often dealt with by chasing them away or the call of a dragon slayer(which is why they are paid so handsomely, many has the life of a slayer been stopped short by an angry dragon), and by way of this, the earth dragons still give back to land; their flesh dies away to make soil, and the humans are careful to use every piece of the dragon's body they can, as it is quite valuable. Dragon bones, teeth, and claw are some of the hardest materials to make weapons of, and dragon scales when treated properly make for stunning armor, and failing that, a very pretty bauble for the obsessive collectors of trinkets and nick-nacks out there. Infact some dragons make a fine living off of simply selling their shed scales to the humans.

For their living areas, an earth dragon's preferences are perhaps the easiest to please; they like warm to hot weather(though admittedly, the hotter the better), and land ranging from arid to forested and even jungled(If the land is too arid they simply tend it to encourage plants to grow, which attracts food and grows shelter). They do like a water source nearby, but that can be anywhere from a few feet to a couple of miles, they are not known to drink heavy amounts of water.

In place of this, they are prone to slightly odd behavior which irritates the humans, like eating a certain amount of stone and minerals per year; they claim it's to enhance their abilities, but for some earth dragons, they even start to take on appearances and attributes of the earth, it's not uncommon to see ancient earth dragons with small plants growing upon them(actually living in a small layer of moss that sometimes sprouts up, but this is only the case for earth dragons that do not take human form at all), or having a look of carved stone. This is another reason why humans are not particularly fond of earth dragons living near by, but if they cannot be rid of them, they cannot be rid of them and simply allow the earth dragons to consume buildings that would normally be demolished by human workers(thus a balance is found even in an unwanted relationship).

Background: Ki'nam is 1,721 years old. His origins start in the wastes of Tryeos, found on the continent of Austrevion, effectively an island as it is cut off from the other continents save for ship and air travel. He was born to Ki'nam Pietra III and Zeas Areia, from a clutch that bore six siblings. Ironically, though it is considered the most common body type among earth dragons, only Ki'nam was born with a two-legged, wingless type, a fact several of his sibling tried to make light of, until they found he was strong enough to silence them.

His usual day as soon as he could walk without aid consisted of training, study, more training, eating, and finally sleeping, as per his dad's order. Not old enough to understand the deeper philosophy of this, Ki'nam simply understood it was to make him strong. When he finally was old enough(appearing around nine years old, but actually 50), his father took him to be officially initiated into his clan. His particular rite of passage was a choice between surviving for two weeks by himself, or fighting one of the elders to have his skill determined. It was noted that while much quicker, the latter choice was substantially harder, and if he failed he would be subject to enduring their training regimen, or face exile when he turned 150. Being rash, he chose to fight an elder, Lan Ro Shaia and predictably because of his rashness, also lost without even scratching her, and left her very unimpressed.

Embarrassed, his father passed Ki'nam into the care of the elders with no hesitation in hopes they would be able to make a better dragon out of Ki'nam, as apparently his own teaching was not enough to break through his stubborn hide. This of course included training with magic and direct element manipulation to be come more accustomed with his element. While he quickly took to the physical training, he constantly shirked anything else. This included mediation, something important to most earth dragons. By mediating and contemplating the earth around them, they increase their mental and physical(as earth dragons tend to mediate for almost absurdly long periods of time) endurance. Ki'nam failed his rite of passage twice more and only then acknowledged his weakness enough to ask what he was doing wrong.

"Ki'nam, you are surely as strong as stone, but also surely as dense." Was the reply from the same elder as before. Lan Ro Shaia then took it upon herself to personally train him, and show the merits of actually following it. One particular epiphany that occurred was when she made him sit and mediate with her, unmoving, for three days. While he could not quite manage this feat, he observed she did, without seeming tired or hungry. Her reply to his asking about it was that a true earth dragon is not only as strong as stone, but also as hard as steel. This was perhaps the biggest thing that made him take everything seriously. Throwing himself into the other aspects of his training he neglected, he started advancing fairly well, though it was noted his aptitude for magic was surprisingly low. Not exactly an uncorrectable problem, but it required much effort, and Ki'nam despite this has always seemed a little slow in his advancement. Finally having passed on his fourth attempt he was now 70, and an officially recognized member of his clan. Bidding the elders a polite farewell, he returned home, to find he was the last to pass but thankfully was not ridiculed. This was better for everyone else than for him, since due to his slow progression, he'd made up for by being stronger still, enough to impress the elders, who again reminded him that strength by itself is not enough, just to make sure he got it.

Get it he did, but he also quickly discovered that strength worked well enough most of the time. He expanded his family's territory greatly, until he found a human town that was setting up nearby, which was fine, he had more than enough room to wander a fair ways and not encroach any further on anyone else's land. By this time he was 301 and had made a fair name for himself as something of a brawler(some dragons have always been fond of the odd scuffle for bragging rights), and also something a thug(dragons and other non-humans also sometimes forcefully take the other's land by a fight, the loser obviously has to leave, and the winner's land is larger, the only unspoken rule is that another's territory has to be directly adjacent to their own, lest it seem like petty bullying). Naturally this frightened the humans until finally after several generations sat in fear, and the town expanded right to the edge of the border they shared with the dragon's territory, they enacted a plan.

Ki'nam's father found out about the plan, and went on a rampage, laying waste to the town, when the slayer they called arrived. Not having time to gather information with an angry dragon staring him down, the two clashed, destroying more still of the town. Finding to his great surprise he was outmatched, Ki'nam's father fled into the wastes to keep any of the townspeople from mentioning there was a group of dragons.

Alone and after a long arduous fight, Ki'nam Pietra III died, leaving a very mentally broken Colin Enno Diederich III as the victor. This anguish was only exaggerated by Ki'nam IV, who confronted Enno as a human. Instead of a fight, he merely provoked Enno with words, berating him, and finally informing Enno of the full situation; the humans wanted to expand their town further, had never been in any danger of an attack until they had declared they were wiping out the family, and Enno had just left his mother a widow. Sufficiently pleased by his reaction, which was to depart, taking one of his father's scales, Ki'nam turned his attention to the true source of his ire; the town.

"Dealing" with it, he left the ruins and buried his father. Packing up everything and moving the family some distance away, he watched over things for a small time before he became unable to remain around his family, he'd grown angry, rude, and violent in the years without his father. Now 382, Ki'nam faded away into the wastes, losing all contact save for the very occasional letter. The wastes were harsh for a dragon on their own, even a strong one. He was forced to fight for even the barest scraps of food and water. His bulk decreased and he adopted a slimmer, more agile form, it's supposed even by him that the lack of nourishment stunted his growth a small bit, though he was still massive to the humans. He ran and hunted, finally cutting a path across the continent to the coast. He certainly could not claim a territory out in the wastes. He could make temporary shelters, but food was much too clever and scarce to be available in the quantities an earth dragon needed it in. So he blended in with the humans, taking a few brief jobs and tossing the money into a bank to collect interest for a decade or so, as he eked out his life in the wastes for a while longer, before taking his savings and departing on a ship to another continent to see what it held for him.

Finding some amusement with the humans, his pain from years ago almost forgotten, he started up a touring service, taking people, for a price, through his new home. The purpose threefold; learn to tolerate the humans again, make a little bit of money, and learn a small bit about the area he'd chosen to stay in for the time being. He celebrated his 682nd birthday alone, contemplating the family he'd left behind three centuries ago. It was almost funny to him; he had kept them and home far from his mind for so long, that he actually missed it now. His revelry was quickly broken up however.

His small home had suddenly caved in and he found himself face to face with a strange looking dragon; it's scales were the white of sun- bleached bone, and it's eyes were two midnight blue orbs that glared menacingly. Obviously Ki'nam was not going to stand for this, and demanded the name of the dragon and why it was here. He was replied to with this, "Di Rel Lai - The bone grower. I'm here because you're famous." Ki'nam could not argue, it was a direct challenge; a test of his pride, the only answer was to accept. The fight was strange, and something Ki'nam to this very day still thinks about; his opponent started at least twice as big as he was. The title bone grower was not anything for flare though, Di Rel Lai attacked by growing and shaping bone structures from his very body to assault Ki'nam, combined with constantly shifting the terrain through earth manipulation. This made his foe more like a mobile weapons platform as Di Rel Lai mostly attacked with projectiles. As the fight wore on however, Ki'nam noticed the other dragon was shrinking, apparently using the calcium from his own body to fuel the attacks wasn't being replaced. About halfway through the fight, Di Rel Lai changed tactics, rushing Ki'nam and making it a close battle, a test of whose tail blade was sharper(in skill).

The fight had a slightly anti-climatic finish; Di Rel Lai suddenly grew a claw out of his shoulder, gouging out one of Ki'nam's four eyes(the eye he lost being the left most one on the left side). In turn Ki'nam, staggering back and flailing as he was blinded completely from the pain, shattered one of the supporting boulders that held them and they fell. Ki'nam vaguely saw his foe start growing bone shielding, shrinking until he was smaller than Ki'nam, and looking more like a runt now, before they hit. When Ki'nam woke he looked around for his foe, finally discovering he'd fallen further, the weight from the bones had caused another rock to give and he'd crashed into the bottom of the mountain Ki'nam had made his house on. Giving the crash site only the briefest of glances he noticed the head plating had cracked with small crimson trails flowing from it, and assumed that Di Rel Lai had crushed his own skull in on accident. He left without checking to see if the other dragon still breathed or not, for Ki'nam now had a much more serious problem.

He'd lost his leftmost eye completely; which mean as a human he only had sight in his right eye. Thus he adopted his famous eyepatch and set out for home, disoriented and border-line useless(mostly in his opinion). Avoiding his family for the time being, he instead looked for his old teacher; Lan Ro Shaia, only to find she'd passed some years ago. Reluctantly, as the other elders reminded him this was not the time to be stubborn, he allowed the others to show him how to function with his new change of perspective. Thankfully his superior non-human eye could much better differentiate spatial issues than a human could, he did fairly well quickly, much harder was fighting with only three eyes, he'd grown so used to taking in much of his area around him using all four eyes, and it quite difficult to train one eye to do what two used to do.

It wasn't until his 1,125th year that both he and the elders were sufficiently convinced he had recovered and grown used to the diminishment of his sight. Only then did he return to his family. His mother, Zeas had passed as well. His oldest sister, Szaryenne'ia cited the reason as a broken heart from losing their father, and she had passed a mere decade after Ki'nam had left. Disheartened, he sunk to his lowest level, silently returning to his old room and sitting on the bed. He sat unmoving for a solid three weeks before in his meditation he decided that he'd grieved enough, and it was time to move forward. Calling his sibling around he informed them that perhaps it was time they all left this home and made ones of their own. He didn't wait for a reply, instead saying that if it was their fate; the paths would cross again.

Departing once more, he again took the difficult path. Cutting through the wastes, which took time despite his strength, and arriving once again at the coast he sailed once more and then cut through the next continent's wastes. It was during this arduous journey word reached his ears of an earth dragon of unimaginable power, frequently he met non-humans that had challenged this dragon for just a small piece of his massive territory, only to find themselves denied again and again.

Ki'nam decided he would challenge this dragon, Wyome Grieta IX, and win. If not; he'd keep trying until he did, proving his might to all. By defeating this legendary foe, he would take the territory and settle down. Carving his path to it's end finally he again reached a coast. This time he knew his destination for certain, and made sail for the continent Tentressa, and the town of Toban, now 1,721 from his long years of travel and fighting.
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