Keystone Alpha Unit 41 (Codename: Stimulus)
Race: Elder Silver Dragon
The silver dragons are the most gallant of all their kind, embodying the pure honor of Bahamut. A silver dragon’s word is their life, as they would die before they broke any oath they swore. Unlike their golden cousins though, they do not seek to rule so that they can protect. Neither are they like their bronze cousins, who will instill order at any cost. They simply protect the weak because they are the knights-errant of the dragon world.
Ornlex was already an elder dragon by the time the Outsiders attacked Chafesek. His lair was situated in the frigid mountains outside of Undoko. A dedicated student of Erathis, he believed in the principles of a well-ordered civilization, to the extent that it was the best method at protecting and nurturing its citizens. He watched from his mountains as the Outsiders descended upon Undoko, wiping out its leaders, and scattering its citizens. Although he had sworn no oath to protect the small kingdom, he felt that in the absence of Human leadership, he needed to step in to fill the void. He began fighting off Outsider attacks, single-handedly pushing back entire Outsider battalions. He quickly organized competent men and women to lead their people to the safety of Niketos while he held back the Outsider threat.
After the war ended, he did not demand tribute as most dragons would have. Neither did he demand to be appointed their leader as other dragons might have. On the contrary, he welcomed the new royalty that King Gabriel had appointed, preferring to see the lesser races rule themselves as he knew that a day would come when he could not protect them. He had not done it for glory or title. Rather, he did it because he felt it his duty. Tribute and honor did come his way though. Undoko changed their kingdom’s symbol to that of a silver dragon and a statue of Ornlex was erected above the city’s frozen gates.
With the peace of Niketos established, Ornlex would watch the Planar Confederation grow. Although he did not involve himself too much, he would occasionally take a Human guise, that of a high priest in the church of Erathis, and advise the royalty on issues of governance. In his free time, he collected works of art and fine craftsmanship. Amongst his favorite pastimes were reading the deeds of heroes long passed. He took a special interest in the Chaos Breakers themselves and personally met all of them except for Titus the Chooser (deceased before he could have met him), Belmont the Twinfated (on a difficult to find plane), and Damocles the Rememberer (location lost to the histories). Upon each Chaos Breaker he bestowed a gift, created by his own magic. He even spent a decade teaching shape-changing magic at the Academy, wishing to pass his knowledge to others.
A century and a half would pass after King Gabriel’s death and his descendant, King Tov would take the throne. One day, an unexpected guest trespassed into Ornlex’s lair, King Tov himself. King or commoner, silver dragon or not, a man took his life into his own hands whenever he so boldly walked into a dragon’s lair uninvited. Demanding to know the nature of his trespass, King Tov explained that the bronze dragon Aryterelgr had declared open war on the ancient red dragon of the North, Myvillion.
Aryterel was the unofficial head of the Platinum Monastery, and an unrelenting champion of Bahamut. He crusaded against all members of the chromatic flights. He had slain dozens of Tiamat’s children. But even for this mighty warrior, this was suicide. Myvillion had ruled over the barbaric orc tribes for over a millennia, wiping out all thought would not pay his terrible tribute. Reds believed themselves to be the pinnacle of creation, and at Myvillion’s age and power, very few dragons existed that could challenge that claim. Reds were the apex of draconic greed and pride. The fact that this young bronze had challenged him would mean that Myvillion would stop at nothing to make sure he had asserted his dominance.
Worst of all though, Aryterel had flown up to Skadar and commandeered its troops to fend off not just the incoming ancient red dragon (which would be enough by itself to level a kingdom) but its orcish armies as well. And an insulted red dragon would not merely stop at Skadar; Myvillion would no doubt attempt to raze the entire Grand Kingdom of Niketos with his hoard.
King Tov informed the silver dragon that he would die before he let his kingdom fall. Despite the fact that it was not him who had declared the war, war was now coming and he had to defend his people. He was going to the front lines himself to lead the charge of a hopeless defense. Ornlex marveled at the bravery and humility of the young king. But most importantly, he was impressed that this king understood his responsibility and weight of his crown. A leader did not stand behind his armies but in front of them. He was not a politician looking to assign blame on a crazed, crusading bronze dragon, but was truly a king in every form of the word.
It was suicide, but Ornlex volunteered for the cause. He allowed the young King to ride on his back to the battlefield. Once there, Ornlex took a calculated risk: he challenged Aryterel’s command over the battle. He knew he could defeat the younger bronze dragon, but he knew his only hope of defeating the ancient red was to attack it together. He gambled that the bronze dragon would understand this and not wish to weaken himself in a fight with a fellow metallic dragon. The gamble paid off and the bronze angrily relented.
The day of battle came and it was fierce. While the equally well armed Human and orcish armies duked it out, the three dragons clashed in the skies. Frost, lightning, and fire spewed from their mouths as talon and teeth tore at their thick hides. Early in the battle, Myvillion’s caustic flames burned away one of Ornlex’s eyes. As the battle raged on, Myvillion seemed to grow in power. The struggle moved to the ground, the trio of dragons casually tossing the armies of orcs and Humans to the side. Tired and worn, Aryterel was pinned to the ground by a swat of Myvillion’s powerful claws. Gleefully, the red ripped through the bronze’s hide with its teeth, tearing out his throat and ending its life. It roared with blood-stained teeth, thinking itself to be the victor. But Ornlex had yet to give up. Calling on the power of Erathis, he struck at the throat of the gloating red. His breath filled with both his naturally arctic magic and the holy power of Erathis, he let loose his breath.
Myvillion howled in pain. The divine cold cut through his neck muscles like a knife. His neck slumped, unable to lift it. Ornlex tried to continue the attack against the wounded dragon as Myvillion used its powerful wings to take to the air, but Ornlex was too worn out and wounded himself to keep up the chase. It had cost Aryterel’s life, Ornlex’s eye, and thousands of Human lives (including King Tov’s life), but the Humans were victorious.
In an unprecedented act, Ornlex lead in the services of King Tov. For saving their kingdom, King Tov’s son paid the ultimate tribute to the silver dragon. He commissioned the most powerful of Il-Atrova’s wizards to build Ornlex a new lair. This lair would be a flying fortress befitting the great silver dragon of Niketos. Svantorn Nakta, the Skysilver Keep, still floats over the plains of Niketos, a testament of the promise Ornlex made to protect the kingdom.
Ornlex remains the most unique member of the Planar Confederation. Though he holds no vote in Confederation matters, he still holds an advisory seat despite representing no interests other than his own (the other advisory seats are held by various churches, powerful business interests, vassal states of voting states, academic societies, and arcane cabals). How involved he is depends on who you believe. There are those who say he took the honor of the advisory seat but never uses its power because such trivial matters as governance are beneath the nearly ancient silver dragon. Others say that although he does not attend most formal meetings, he is a very active player behind the scenes. Common sentiment though is that he does not involve himself beyond the immediate matters of Niketos. Confederation members outside of the Niketos royalty all remain wary of the dragon. While his deeds and words are consistent with that of a noble silver, he is still a dragon and will always be a source of lingering fear.
In addition to being a prominent member in the Court of Niketos and the Planar Confederation, Ornlex also is a well known member of the Order of the Wall, a powerful sect of Erathis-worshippers who focus mostly on the protection of those you‘re given charge of (very popular amongst policeman, soldiers, and paladins of Erathis). Ornlex is known to give sermons amongst the order from time to time (though some contend that he uses his considerable shape shifting magics to teach there regularly under the guise of one of its Vicars).
Though his mating days are over, it is not unheard of to see Ornlex stray from Svantorn Nakta to converse with his descendants. While all his children left for other planes (it would not be easy to establish their own territories so close to the shadow of their powerful father) half a dozen or so of his grandchildren have returned to Chafesek and established their own territories within the borders of the Grand Kingdom of Niketos. Chief among them is Sgosithaeli, who took up residence in her grandfather’s old lair above the city of Undoko after he moved into Svantorn Nakta, thereby inheriting the mantle as protector of the city’s protector.