The Legend of Hammerholt
“Greetings young adventurer! Grab a chair by the fire.” Finn the Dragon surveyed the disorderly clutter of books distributed all through the den. “A-ha, there it is!” he exclaimed, clambering up the mound of books like a staircase. From the uppermost shelf, he extracted a large leather-bound book. As he held it aloft, a sparkling cloud of dust sprinkled into the air.
With a hop and a skip, he bound off his precarious perch of periodicals down to a well-worn seat nearby the fire. Its burgundy armrests embraced the small dragon in an upward hug. Settling in, Finn started without hesitation. “Tonight, I'll tell you the tale of the origins of the extraordinary Blue Kingdom of Hammerholt.” Cracking open the magnificent tome upon his scaly lap, he began his story.
Long before my grandpappy could even sneeze out his first spark, the Realm of Light was a united land. But following the great war, the four children of the king left the ancient Centerlands. The reason for this is a story for another day. As they scattered, each carried a relic of power imbued with the power to transform the world. They would use these to build their own kingdoms filled with the character and magic of the relic.
One of those relics was the Dragonspark Hammer. The rough-hewn hammer struck down thousands during the war and has been seen cracking open the earth itself with a thunderous pound. All this power was placed in the hands of the young prince of the Centerlands. With a sad farewell, he and his three siblings began their journeys off in different directions into the unknown.
Many of the specifics of the voyage have been forgotten like so many old tales. As he wandered the Realm, a promise guided him. There would be a sign that would clearly show him his destination, a kingdom-sign, a place where he would know to build his fortress to protect the realm from another war against evil.
He passed through lovely glens, quiet rivulets, and abundant plains but still, he found nothing. These splendid locales gave way to barren deserts and engulfing forests. Wild creatures would assail him out of thirst, yet his steadfast Dragonspark gave him the security he required.
Still, he detected no sign. Resolute, he kept looking while others would have given up. Starved and unaccompanied, scratched and bruised, he kept on.
As he ascended the stony Suncleft Mountains, a gentle blue glow came over the Dragonspark. At first, the prince thought it was just the sun's reflection, but a backward glance revealed something far more mystical. The same blue glow was flowing from the spots where he'd stepped! The stones themselves turned blue. The plants, trees, and even the flowers donned the new blue cloak. As the prince traversed the peaks and crags, the blue-hued magic followed him and spread in every direction.
"I must be getting close," he must have thought as he hiked from peak to peak. But the full sign had not yet arrived.
As he ascended a particularly sharp peak, he noticed something new. The animals began to change too.
If you've never been to the Suncleft Mountains, there's something you need to understand. They're literally crawling with Hyrax. They're strong little creatures, like a little stone-crawling badger. Hyraxes are known for their strength, but they don't grow more than a few feet tall.
But that day, on the top of a lonely peak, the prince noticed these Hyrax begin to grow. They swelled in size until their claws ripped through boulders and their weight crushed trees. A long blue streak shot through their fur. The whole world was changing around him, clearly affected by the Dragonspark's magic.
With the strong sense that his sign was just over the next peak, the prince summoned his strength for a scramble to the top of the neighboring rock. With a final gasp, he hoisted himself up onto the ledge. He almost fell backward off the cliff at the next sight.
Lux. The low-hanging stars of the realm had formed a zigzagging constellation that hovered directly over a massive plateau. The Dragonspark started humming as though the Lux themselves were talking to it. The piercing blue light of the lux made the hammer glow like never before.
“Here will be my kingdom, my home.” The prince knew this was the sign he'd been looking for. Just like the hammer and its magic, this was a place of strength and fortitude.
The prince’s eyes gleamed with resolution. They were the eyes of a king.
Finn gently shut the book and set it to his side. “I wasn't there at the beginning, but the Hammerholt kingdom is one of the grandest and most beautiful lands I've ever ventured. The tales I heard and sights I saw in my two week journey filled three journals! The construction of the Gontlet, my favorite ramblodon recipe, the great Sproot-Galoot prank war of the Old Moon Spring!”
The small dragon almost melted in a pool of his own excitement. He cleared his throat with blue smoke and was about to tell another story, but looking at the old ticking clock on his mantle, he thought better of it.
But there's always another day and another magical story at Finn's Den.
"Until next time, young adventurer, keep on exploring!”