NL: Could you tell me the story of Starside, one of the Dragons of Behradorn who became a hero to the people of Fyn, your people, in one of their darkest hours.
Mr E: Well, yes, this happened a long time ago, way before my father’s time. This story involved a neighboring country and a conflict that quickly turned into a war and could have been the end of Fyn.
NL: What happened?
Mr E: You see, when you’re in the hierarchy like we are, when you are royalty, there is a lot of wheeling and dealing when it comes to marriage. And, in this case, the trouble began when my great, great, great grandfather, who was king of Fyn at that time, refused to agree to a marriage between his son and the daughter of the king of a bordering country.
NL: Why did he refuse?
Mr E: The thing is, he didn’t want to join the two families, or the two countries, together because he didn’t trust the king or his politics. The neighboring king was a ruler who felt the best course of action was to take all he could get without worrying whether it was right or wrong. He was corrupt; his moral compass waned more than occasionally.
NL: In what way?
Mr E: Basically, he was taking things from his people that he shouldn’t have been taking, and there was what you call money laundering and lots of unfair money dealings.
Being a king isn’t an easy job, you know. I respect my great, great, great grandfather for standing his ground because he didn’t want to be connected to anything that had any tinge of faultiness about it.
NL: I think that was a great decision.
Mr E: Right, what kind of a country was this? Was this a country that cared about its people and wanted to become stronger that way? Or was it a country that only cared about its rulers and didn’t care about the suffering of its lower ranked people. You know what I’m saying?
NL: So, the issue was the king.
Mr E: Yes, that’s where they had the problem. It would have been a shame if the couple were in love, but they weren’t, it was entirely a political thing.
As it happened, it wasn’t just the neighboring king’s daughter that was up for consideration, there were many others. Unfortunately, the fact that Fyn refused her right away was an insult which caused a strong reaction on their side. They thought they had to uphold their honor, so they threatened Fyn. And, after they threatened, Fyn threatened back, and it became a nasty brawl.
NL: How large was their country compared to Fyn?
Mr E: It was maybe half the size of Fyn, but they started spreading rumors and gossip got around, giving Fyn a nasty reputation. You know, they don’t just fight by themselves, they find their friends and bring them into the fray with them.
NL: Was anyone on Fyn’s side?
Mr E: Yes, there were quite a few others that supported us, and we also had the Dragons of Behradorn.
NL: How long was this brewing before it came to a full boil?
Mr E: It was probably brewing for about six months or so before the actual war broke out. When the marriage decision was made, and they realized Fyn chose someone else, that’s when things got difficult. The war came on suddenly and truthfully, it was almost a coup.
The king of Fyn and his advisors didn’t know the neighboring country had gathered all these other countries behind them because they hid their true intentions until the right moment. Their strategy was to catch Fyn off guard with no allies nearby, and it would have worked, if it hadn’t been for Starside.
NL: So, how did Starside become involved in this war? He’s one of the dragons of Behradorn, but he isn’t the leader. Thorne is the leader.
Mr E: Well, you know, Thorne and Starside are very close, he’s Thorne’s right-hand man and you never see them argue. Those two are of like mind in a lot of ways; they think the same dragon way.
When you are a dragon, and you are bored, you observe a lot of things, and one of the things Starside paid keen attention to was war patterns, war strategies. Eventually, Starside worked his way up to being in charge of elven armies and any other species of army that he came across. He watched the tactics they used, learned from them and improved upon them.
NL: When the war was imminent, wasn’t it Thorne who was counseling people of Fyn?
Mr E: Yes, Thorne was counseling the military and telling the townspeople to stay in their cellars if they could. It was bad; it seemed to be impending doom.
When the news came that the enemy was coming for them and had crossed Fyn’s border, the king panicked. Fyn’s allies were days away so he was cobbling an army together the best he could. Anyone who was able to fight enlisted in the army and the rest were told to hide in their cellars.
In the castle, the king was gathered with his advisors, trying to come up with a plan, but there was nothing they could do with so little time to act. He ran out into the castle courtyard and looked to the skies for help. In the distance, he could see Starside flying overhead, and the dragon landed immediately to speak with him.
NL: Why did he show up instead of Thorne?
Mr E: It just happened to be that way. The dragons had been going back and forth, watching the situation. He was basically on a surveillance mission. He was the one that was out scouting and he was the one that came down to talk to the king.
Starside knew the situation needed immediate action and he spoke bluntly to the king. “Look, they are on their way and will arrive in about 6 hours, so there isn’t any time to employ the usual tactics of war. As I see it, the only way Fyn’s going to survive this war is if I give you one of my scales.”
With that, he ripped out a scale from his side and instructed the king to fasten a leather band to it so they could use it as a shield.
“This scale is enchanted because I’m enchanted,” he explained. “The man wielding my scale as a shield should be placed in front of your army. If you do that, an energy field will surround your entire army, and it will protect you from all harm.”
True to his word, nothing could penetrate the shield Starside gave them, and their army remained safe from all of their enemy’s attempts to do them harm. As soon as they realized it was impossible to win the war, the enemy gave up and quickly withdrew.
NL: So, Fyn was saved but only because of Starside.
Mr E: Yes, he put energy into himself and then he pulled the scale out. And even though he knew this would make him more vulnerable to those who might want to harm him, he decided to give up some of his own security to protect the people of Fyn. That is why he is considered a hero of Fyn even today.
NL: Why did he make himself vulnerable like that?
Mr E: Because he loves Fyn and its people. Most of the dragons of Behradorn are in love with Fyn. They are very attached to the people and beings that live there and they guard them like they are their gold.
NL: If Starside has the power to save Fyn like that, wouldn’t he or any other dragon be almost invincible? Wouldn’t they be impossible to kill?
Mr E: The thing is, there is a god force law which states that they can protect others using this type of magic, but they can not use it on themselves. That law is in place because, without it, they would become too powerful and the world would not be in balance.
NL: I see. So, the reason he is called Starside is because of the scale that he ripped from his side, which is his only vulnerable spot. Isn’t that a bad way to pay tribute to him by pointing out his vulnerability?
Mr E: In a way, but his vulnerability is also his nobility. We concentrate on his nobility, not his weakness.
NL: How did the people of Fyn react to what Starside had done?
Mr E: The people were overwhelmed with gratitude. They made songs of Starside, you know, songs about the great dragon that saved them and even in the present time, they do a little dance that depicts what he did.
Fyn’s Starside tribute usually happens at festivals and celebrations, especially if we do a historical celebration. My people like to get together and tell stories of great deeds like this in order to honor and remember them.
NL: Does Starside visit Fyn very often?
Mr E: Oh, he comes every once in awhile, probably as often as Thorne does. His job is still to protect Fyn, so he is always making sure everyone is safe.