Hatched to a melody of wind whistling through bamboo, Brogden entered the world with little fanfare. There was nothing miraculous about his birth - save, perhaps, the fact that his egg hadn’t been blown away in a storm, but that was the same for any egg that successfully hatched in the Windsinger’s lands - nor did he show any indication of being anything other than a normal imperial. Whatever classified as normal for a breed dogged with as much darkness as them, anyway.
He grew up listening to stories. The Windswept Plateau was never short on stories to tell, nor dragons to tell them. Minstrals and bards performed renditions of great deeds done by heroes and the gods (and, sometimes, both), and Brogden would curl up a grove over from the display, watching from afar where less dragons gathered. It was clear, even to a young Brodgen not yet fully grown, that he would never be the subject of songs. All those great dragons were special, marked as different straight from the egg, and he was as ordinary as they came.
His hatchmates went to serve the Windsinger, called away by songs in the air one night. He would never forget the sight of them spreading their wings and following the call of their name, enamoured and flustered at receiving summons to serve their deity. Brodgen’s name wasn’t whispered by the winds; so ordinary, not even the Windsinger knew of him.
Other dragons had never been his preferred company, and with his hatchmates gone Brodgen embraced solitude. His parents had moved on to other places, the good old travelling itch in their wings, and now fully grown, if still adolescent in maturity, Brodgen spread his wings to follow where the wind might take him. Even if the dragons didn’t pay him any mind, the wind always blew for him (or maybe he was so insignificant they never noticed their passenger).
The winds took him across Sornieth, through the frigid lands to the south, and then through the scorching lands in a never-ending spiral that visited the territories of all Eleven in turn. Nothing called for him to stay, and he had no skills that made him desireable enough for any clans to look at him twice (and those that didn’t care for skills often instead held a darkness Brodgen had no desire to linger near - Emperors were not feared by all and once, he narrowly escaped a mad dragon intent on turning him into part of one).
He was resigned to spend a life in solitude, drifting from one place to another, when he landed for the night on a deserted island far above the seas below in the Arcanist’s lands. It was not his first excursion to the Starfall Isles - nor his second, and perhaps not even his tenth - but this time was different. The island was a new one, and while the winds whipped around it with a ferocity to rival the Twisting Crescendo, there was something homely about it. Odd, for a deserted island.
It may have been deserted, he found out at dawn the next day, but its neighbour was not - although neighbour was perhaps the wrong term. Mother seemed a better fit, as Brodgen realised his safe haven for the night was merely a broken off chunk of a far larger island. Other, smaller islands dotted the immediate vicinity, likewise torn from the whole, but it was the Mother island that was very much inhabited.
He didn’t venture onto it, but dragons ventured over to his, expressing welcome and an open claw if he wanted to settle. Looking at the many, many dragons scattered across the land - it was not an overly large clan, not compared to others he had seen, but it was not small, and for Brodgen’s little travelling band of one it was almost intimidating - he declined to join them.
The small, deserted island, however, called to him over and over again, whenever he readied himself to leave. It took him far too long to realise he’d finally found his home and, while he almost never joined them on the main island, a clan.
Self esteem has never been Brodgen’s strength. He fails to see where he excels, and instead always focuses on what he can’t do, what he could do better with just a little more time, practise. No matter how they try to persuade him, he remains wilfully blind to the fact that the life lessons he’s learnt have left him almost an old, wise dragon.
He’s also never liked crowds. Even as a hatchling, he chose to loiter on the edges of festivals, and that hasn’t changed with age. Instead, he’s become even more of a recluse, although he no longer outright rejects company - if he knows the dragon.
Role Within The Clan Edit
Really, there’s nothing Brodgen actually adds to the function of the clan. He’s merely a loiterer on one of the lair’s minor islands, just the way he likes it. The rest of the clan, however, find him a calming presence when they want silence - nestling themselves on the far side of his island to him so as not to unduly disturb him, although sometimes he’ll seek them out.
On a more practical level, Brodgen has taken it upon himself to care for the island he’s made his own. Flora and fauna of all types have thrived in his care, although it’s still much a wilderness in the eyes of others.
Brodgen isn’t old, per se, but he’s hardly young either and that’s most visible by the look in his eyes. No-one would describe them as haunted, although he’s certainly seen and experienced things that other dragons might find nightmarish, but they’re deep and rarely focus on another dragon.
At some point, a host of fireflies found his hide a convenient place to settle, and he hasn’t scared them off yet.
To put it in so many words, Brodgen is ruthless. It’s a habit born of necessity to survive more than any other reasons, but in battle, he’s experienced and well respected by the warriors of the clan for his skill with claws and teeth. Being large enough to crush many things beneath a single claw doesn’t hurt.
Magic is a part of him, as much as it is any dragon, but he tends to ignore its presence if he doesn’t need it. After realising what, exactly, imperial magic could be used for, he’s decided that it’s only in the most dire situations that there’s ever a need for it.
His relationship with his mate is hardly a usual one, as the span of time that can lapse between their meetings can be excessive, but despite his often-absence from her life he truly loves her. She’s too social to live a life of solitude with him, and he doesn’t care for constant companionship anyway, but she’s faithful and always willing to wait, so it works.
- Brogden comes from the Old English brocdneu, which means stream in a valley