Eleven Dragons

By Montgomery Graf.

[Webmaster's Note: the following history was written as backstory for Montgomery's Transformed Dragon campaign.]

"Since the beginnings of recorded history, there have always been eighty-one dragons. Once they were free to roam the land, but the wide spread success of man, and mans' inherent fear of dragons changed all that. When it no longer became safe for the dragons to move about in their true form, the serpentine behemoths disappeared. Sixteen of them found safety in the bowels of the earth where they sleep to this day. The remaining dragons changed their shape to human form.

"The dragons sought out each of the three other spiritual animals (phoenix, unicorn, and tortoise) so that they could teach them to change shape and save themselves. The phoenix, confident in its ability to survive any obstacle, and the unicorn, vain in the beauty of its true form, each refused. The tortoise, even though it had the least to fear, accepted the dragons' offer and learned to change shape. The tortoise, always scheming, taught the mundane animals the shape changing trick and recruited them in an effort to oppose the humans. At first, the dragons opposed such efforts, but when the humans fought back, they did not limit their destruction to those that were in this alliance. Instead, they fought against all of the transformed. When the success of the human sorcerers threatened the lives of the dragons, fifty-four joined in active battle against the humans. The remaining eleven insisted on a peaceful resolution and became outcasts - accepted by neither side. Having no other recourse, they fled through time and went into hiding. Since then, the eleven dragons have maintained their original stance in the Ascended War. At times, they actively opposed the transformed animals, or fought openly against the human sorcerers, in other times they sought diplomatic resolutions, and at other times, they mearly hid. They have always remained eleven strong. When a dragon was near death, it would seek a mate and produce offspring to whom it would teach its ways as best it could. Many times, the parent would expire before such knowledge could be passed on, and in those cases the new dragon would be contacted by others of the eleven."

Such was the history taught Li Lung by his father. He has, in turn, passed this information on to the others he has found, but this task wasn't always easy.

Ru Sho was the first to join with Li. Traveling under the name of Lord Crimson, Sho was a large man with a fiery temperment who scorned Li's initial efforts to recruit him. Li decided that the only recourse was to earn his respect. He joined a martial arts tournament that Sho was involved in and fought his way to the final round where he met Sho in open combat in the ring. As Sho charged across the ring towards his opponent, Li waited calmly with his hands at his side. Sho unleashed a blow mighty enough to crush the skull of a lesser man straight into the face of Li. Blood splattered and Li took a couple steps to regain his balance, but remained standing. "This is not your fight," was all he said. Twice more Sho struck, and twice more Li responded in a similar manner. The two stared eye to eye for the remainder of the round, and when the bell sounded, Sho knew he had met the first of his kind since his childhood. Sho joined with Li and has been with him since.

The two traveled to the back streets of Hong Kong where they found Mr. Black. Li spoke to Sho, "With him, as with you, only strength will turn him away from the path he has chosen." "I'm not going to let some young punk knock me around for a full round," Sho responded. "Trust your own wisdom," Li replied, "I must go off to find yet another."

Sho went on to find the young dragon. When he found Mr. Black, Sho proceeded to beat him until he was a mass of blood and bruises. Sho stood over his victum and said, "You lost because you do not realize what you are. Come with me and we will show you the way." Mr. Black joined without hesitation.

When the two found Li, he was with the fourth member of the team: Mr. Blue. Li explained all that he knew of the secret war, their heritage, and how traveling in time was done. "All well and good," Mr. Black said when Li was finished, "but what are we supposed to do with all this new found knowledge?" Li looked at him with the same unyielding eyes he had once faced Sho with and spoke, "We fight."

Last modified: November 30, 1996; please send comments to durrell@innocence.com.