The Silver Talon, an epic fantasy by A.J. Cunder

Name: Arius 

Race: Human 

Date of publication: Second season of the New Era

Age at the time of publication: 18 summers

Occupation: Dragon Rider

Family: Mother deceased, Father deceased

 

Orphaned as a child, Arius grew up with a close friend of his parents. As a traveling merchant, Lodus was forced to take young Arius with him as he spanned Farahdin selling his wares. Their specialty product was exotic knives, usually bought from the coastal cities and carried by wagon north and east to the mainland cities.

Because of their nomadic living, Arius didn’t have a chance to build friendships with other children. As such, he grew close to his surrogate father, although as a youngster he carried a rock with him for a few months, insisting that it was his new friend. He even named the rock “Darrian”. Looking back, Arius admits that he never really was able to have a conversation with Darrian, as much as he tried.

As a boy, Arius would always enjoy hearing Lodus’ stories of magic and dragons, although he often doubted his mentor’s credibility. His favorite story was of the first dragon rider, Navarro, and his dragon, Faleor.  “I would sometimes dream at night that I was Navarro,” Arius says. “That I could fly on the back of a dragon, fighting anyone who threatened the realm.”

And there were certainly many who did threaten the peace of Farahdin. Living under Contemno’s reign, there was a constant threat of imprisonment. Arius always reviled the power the King’s Men enjoyed, at the expense of the people of Farahdin. There was one incident that Arius witnessed that he will never forget, an incident that would go on to alter the course of his life. But even with his disdain and his eventual involvement in the business of the king’s soldiers, Arius didn’t realize the full impact Contemno’s tyranny had on his family. Later in life, though, Lodus told him the truth. 

In his spare time, Arius practiced sword fighting with Lodus, steadily advancing in his skills. But no matter how proficient he got, Lodus always won when they sparred. This was one of Arius’ best pastimes, often spending hours in the evening battling Lodus when they camped in the forest. Another activity that Lodus used to help occupy the time of traveling from one city to the next was teaching Arius his letters. Lodus purchased a new book in almost every major city they passed through. “They were always expensive,” Arius recalls, “but Lodus said it was worth it for me to receive a proper education. And sometimes, I would even read a good story or two, although they were never as good as the ones Lodus would tell himself.”

 

Arius’ childhood was far from ordinary, as he lodged in nearly every city in Farahdin. But as he began to enter into his early adult years, his life became even more exotic. In fact, his world was turned upside down and reality was transformed for Arius as he was abruptly submerged in a world of magic that rivaled even the most fantastic of Lodus’ tales. Read on to discover how life was changed for Arius, throwing him into a realm that had previously only existed in his wildest dreams.  

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