Spoiler: Graphical inspiration
Had you asked any of her early childhood teachers, if they could imagine her burning down the north wing of the Great Library
, they would have agreed without hesitation. Of course, none of them could actually predict that exact outcome of her What could possibly go wrong?
-attitude. Nevertheless, it was the exact thing that happened when she was at the tender age of 13.
Since she was could read, she had always shown a knack for reading, especially during the long winter nights, curling up in some nice, warm place with a good book to call company. While those of her peers who were into books preferred fiction, she loved to burrow deeply into obscure pieces of knowledge, even if she only understood a minor fraction of what she read. Most prominently, she was excited by the writing style of arcanists: a strange mix of passion and objectivity, she could imagine the authors burning for what their research, in a constant fight to arrange the words to form unassailable arguments. What started with reading strange pamphlets of amateurs, continued with studying old, delicate grimoires in the enormous library of her home town Skaldenhall
, or as the Skaldenhallers called it: "The last bastion of civilization and wisdom in the north", located in the large, arctic nation of Alltidvit
, which in turn was separated from the warmer parts of the continent by the vast tundra known as Grönkant
in their tongue.
It was one of those days in winter, where the sun would not even bother to rise over a bleak Skaldenhall. Another of those days best spent in one of the cozy armchairs in the library with a huge tome of ancient, cryptic knowledge. For the last few weeks, she had delved into an old diary of a sorcerer who had traveled the world; a book full of travel reports, short magical studies, and dragons
. The author's passion for the matter of the scaly, winged beasts was unmistakable, constantly mixed with the absurd arrogance of being one of their descendants, describing rituals to awakening the heritage hidden from deep inside him. Torn apart between marking the author down as deranged and believing every single of the nicely written words, she digged deeper and deeper, sometimes hiding when they would lock the halls for the night, and continuing to read in the light of a small lamp. Just like she did on this winter day that would tear her peaceful life apart and tragically turn it into an adventure. Today, the lights in the library went out early, and again she was alone in the huge building. She had reached a part of the diary describing a ritual, claiming that it would turn a worthy subject into a dragon. Of course, she did not believe the claims. Of course she could not resist to prove that, though. Fortunately, all the requisites for the ritual could be found in the library, and without former thinking about consequences, she performed it to the best of her understandings.
Little did she know the actual magic she performed with the ritual, while chanting the invocations she had found in the book. When the ritual was over, she could feel the static in the air, and she knew that something had happened. But when she inspected herself in one of the mirrors, she found herself to look exactly as before: no scales, no wings, no tail, no nothing. While she had suspected it before, she was kind of disappointed about the outcome of her little experiment. She started to recreate the room from before her ritual, and put back everything into place, including the old carpet that she had needed. She carried the thing that was probably older than herself back to its position, letting it fall into place in her frustration. A cloud of dust ascended let her cough excessively, bringing forth... flames
. The fire felt hot in her mouth but didn't even burn her lips as they found their way out. Struck by fear, she had to observe how the flames went over to the shelf in front of her, the flames starting to eat their way through the books. Her desperate tries to extinguish the fire failed, and the smoke let her cough and spit even more flames, forcing her to flee the building. Outside, the quickly raised alarm, but it was already too late for this part of the library.
Naturally, her deeds did not stay unpunished. However, instead of agreeing that she had burned it down out of utter carelessness or even intent, she claimed that it was an accident, and that it was not her fault that the magical ritual had turned her into a dragon. However, no one believed her, and she was accused of being an attention seeker, a troublemaker, and that it now became clear that it was nothing but intent. Enraged, she spit dragonfire through the court room before she was finally subdued. The court of Skaldenhall honored tradition and knowledge, and it was not known for its mercy. After all, she had not only burned down a wing of the library, she had also endangered the members of the court themselves in her outbreak. As she was only a teenager, and had not killed anyone, her punishment turned out non-fatal, but nonetheless devastating: Banishment
. One brought the devastated teenager to the borders of Alltidvit, gave her food and warm clothes, and forced her to walk out of the country into the icy tundra of Grönkant, to never return again, leaving behind everything, the few family and friends, and everything she ever had called home.