For #NationalWritingDay I am sharing two short stories I have written for the Dungeons & Dragons universe, Persalor’s Rainbow and Wild Magic.
All children of Faerûn have been taught the legends of Feyrith Persalor, one of the bravest dragon-slayers of the last century. The name of this courageous elven hero is sung by bards from the Sea of Fallen Stars to the Sea of Swords. It is said that during his campaigns, he severed at least one head from each colour of evil chromatic dragon across the realm– Black, Green, Red, Blue, and White– earning his exploits the name “Persalor’s Rainbow.”
Feyrith Persalor was not born into adventure. In fact, as the only child of a conservative banker and homemaker in a small village in the Silver Marches, his path seemed to be ordained for a quiet, careful life like that of his parents and their families before them. If Feyrith got into scuffles in school and had trouble sitting still for lessons, his parents assumed it was just a youthful phase. His teachers were mostly indulgent toward the cheerful and convivial youngster.
Despite his tendency towards truancy and the lack of seriousness with which he approached his studies, Feyrith earned good marks in school and secured admission to the great university the Conclave of Silverymoon. Those who knew him during his time at college would later say that he was bright, funny, and articulate but never studious or serious about his degree. This lack of seriousness would become evident in his second year, when he abruptly left school to join a group of adventurers travelling to the notorious Dragon Coast along the southern shore of the Sea of Fallen Stars. While no dragons were slain during this campaign, Feyrith tasted enough adventure testing his mettle against rogues and bandits to crave more. He returned to school the following term, but his stay was brief and he left university for good a few weeks into classes.
During this fleeting return to the Conclave, Feyrith reunited with the lively and beautiful Marial Gorinet, whom he had spent many afternoons courting the previous year. Marial finished her degree in music and the two were married in the capital and settled into a small cottage within the city walls. Their first child, a daughter they named Ani, was born within the year and the little family enjoyed a happy, peaceful life, Marial teaching music and caring for Ani and Feyrith working at the mill. Years later, neighbors recalled the sounds of music and laughter carrying over the low walls and filling the air with the family’s joy.
Sometime the following year, as Marial was expecting her second child, Feyrith started taking adventuring jobs that kept him away for days or even weeks at a time. These jobs almost always paid well, and Feyrith answered Marial’s misgivings about his absences and the dangers he faced with more gold to pay for things for the children and the house, so she grudgingly accepted this lifestyle, perhaps reassured by Feyrith that it would only be temporary.
The need for brave men and women to beat back the danger of lawlessness and fear intensified with the growing boldness of Dragon Cults throughout Faerûn. Feyrith began taking part in longer, more intense campaigns. His first documented slaying of a dragon (an ancient and particularly vicious Red) was the night before his son was born. Feyrith was at his next battlefield a week’s journey away when he received word.
Throughout the next decade, Feyrith would continue to leave home for months at a stretch. On several occasions he was wounded, sometimes seriously, but always he would return to his campaign, leaving his family behind as he continued to paint Persalor’s Rainbow across Faerûn. During this era, his name became widely known and at many points there was a large price for his head, bounties placed by Dragon Cults leaders and other nefarious powers. Marial and the children could not safely leave Silverymoon, with its protective mythal against dragons, for fear of being targeted in retribution.
The effect of all this served to strain Marial into illness. She became depressed and withdrawn. She stopped teaching music and was hardly ever known to leave her home during this time, though her love and dedicated care of her children was never in question.
Feyrith Persalor died a hero during a campaign in the Western Heartlands. While no written eye-witness account survives, folklore and countless campfire songs all tell a variation of the same story: Feyrith and twelve of his fighting men and women were pinned inside a cave after a treacherous party member betrayed them for gold. Vastly out-numbered and assured a bloody defeat, Feyrith performed a spell to compel all fire and magic to strike him alone so that the rest of the party could escape through a mountain pass to freedom.
Upon her husband’s death, Marial was left with four teenage children and a modest fortune. Over the years, she eventually recovered a fraction of her once-light spirit but she never fully forgave Feyrith for choosing adventure over his family. Her children, having witnessed the grief his absences and eventual murder caused their mother, all vowed never to be adventurers, and never, ever to hunt dragons.