How Ozur Dragonfriend got his name

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This is the story of the coming-of-age ritual of my current PC, Ozur Dragonfriend. The campaign is based in a variant Glorantha. The local area is a large archipelago and Gont is one of the smaller islands. Gont is also the name of the mountain in the centre of the island and the name of the god that lives there. The culture is pretty much Orlanthi barbarian. Gontish children become adults at about 15 by completing a quest on the mountain of Gont. No adult speaks to the children of what is involved, but the adult takes their name from an unusual happening during that quest. The story is written as Dragonfriend would tell it to the other adults one evening on Gont (assuming, of course, that he lives that long!).

I started my quest for my true name on the sacred day of Orlanth the Adventurer [1], Windsday of Movement week in Storm season. The day dawned clear and cold, with a layer of snow covering the land. Soon after dawn I was summoned to Broken Cup's hearth [2]. There he greeted me and gave me kind words about my upcoming quest. As we parted, he gave me a viridian cloak [3] to keep me warm on my quest and after. Then his son, Wolfleap, led me to the circle of standing stones that is sacred to Gont. I had never been beyond this point, as I was still a child.

Once there, Wolfleap explained my task to me. I was to find five things: some snow, some red earth, a small white and blue flower, some food, and my true name [4]. These were to be retrieved from the mountain of Gont. With that, he left and I started on my journey up Gont.

I resolved to first reach the summit of Gont, where I would gain a clear view of the island that is my home, communion with Gont and a clearer insight into the world of Orlanth, king of Gods and Storms. I spent much of Windsday climbing Gont. While I climbed I searched and I found the first of my quest items, some red earth. By nightfall, I was near the top of Gont. I found a place to camp and built my fire there.

That night, I dreamt of my fire and of my return to the Great Steading [5]. I was woken near midnight by the sound of a wolf howling. I peered into the night and saw the wolf. It was pure white, and came towards my fire, where it sat and warmed itself, watching me without malice. After a few moments, thinking I might befriend this animal, I threw it some of my meat. The wolf ate this and then walked off into the night. Perhaps this was the wolf that gave Wolfleap his name? With this thought in my mind, I soon slept again.

I awoke when Yelm disturbed my slumber. My fire was still burning, though I had not fed it well. I gave thanks to Gont for this gift of warmth and headed up the mountain again. Just after noon I reached the summit of Gont. I could see forever in the warm and still air. Not even the snow was cold to the touch. All of Gont the Island was below me, open to my gaze. I gave thanks to Gont and to Orlanth for my safe passage to this place and I then proceeded to search for this elusive flower.

As I dug in the snow, I became aware of another of Gont's gifts. The warm snow of Gont rubbed my hand as I searched and healed a small burn on my hand from the fire the night before. I praised Gont for this extra gift and resolved to take some of this healing snow down with me. I searched for a little while and soon found the flower I was looking for. Tired from my labours and the climb, I lay back in the healing snow and drifted off to sleep.

While I slept, I had another dream. This dream was not a normal dream, but seemed almost as real as being awake. In this dream, a strange creature approached me. It was very tall, standing head and shoulders above Flowerhair, the tallest man on Gont. I recognised it from the skalds' tales as a dragonewt, though this creature was different to those described in the stories. The dragonewt did not speak, but it approached me in a spirit of friendship. The dragonewt guided my dream self down the mountain and back to the stone circle where I had started my journey. Once there, the creature stood on the altarstone and raised its hands above its head until they met. Then I awoke.

After collecting some of the healing snow, it only remained for me to find some food and return to the Steading. I followed the path the dragonewt had shown me and I was most of the way down Gont by the time I had to make my camp. I slept without dreaming that night, though the while wolf again visited my fire. I offered it food again, and it took meat from my hand. then it left, and I slept again.

In the morning, I continued on the path shown to me by the dragonewt. On the way, I found a bird nesting in a tree and slew it, to complete my quest and to honour Orlanth. I soon arrived back at the starting place of my quest and, like my dream-guide, I stood on the altar and raised my hands. At the instant they touched above my head, a might magic appeared about me. There was a great roaring and rushing of wind and I was propelled across the world to a place I know not where. I arrived at a great stone pyramid. It was ancient and made of huge dressed blocks, bigger than a man, that fitted together so well that I could barely see the joins between them. I was propelled inside the huge black structure and I met my dragonewt guide again.

The guide played that role again and took me through all the myriad rooms, corridors and spaces of the pyramid. All was empty and without any sign of life and I felt a great sadness in my guide. I also became aware that it was my destiny to help bring this ancient and holy place back to life. Then my spirit returned to my body on Gont.

After clearing my mind as best I could, I performed the final act of my quest. I placed the red earth on the altarstone and planted the sacred flower in it. I watered it with melted snow and fertilised it with the blood of the bird I had slain. I offered all this to Gont, with thanks for his bounty, and Gont replied that he was pleased with me.

When I approached the steading, Wolfleap greeted me with the welcome that is given to a stranger, as he had never before seen the man that I now was. I gave him my name of Dragonfriend and I was escorted with joy to Broken Cup's house. Broken Cup took me inside and told me of a strange happening. At the time of my journey to the pyramid, Broken Cup was visited by the ghost of my dragonewt guide which had presented him with a scroll and indicated that I was to have it. On the scroll was a map of an unknown place, with writing in a strange hand. This map was to guide me in my second journey to the dragonewt's pyramid and to many great adventures. But that is a story for another night.

[1] In case you don't notice, Dragonfriend is a bit of an Orlanth wannabe.

[2] Broken Cup is the headman of the Gontish people.

[3] Viridian is a much sought after mineral dye, found only on Gont. It is a blue-green colour and is sometimes referred to as Gont's Blood.

[4] Dragonfriend is never told the reasons why these items are chosen, though he realises why by the end of the quest.

[5] Only a dozen or so huts, but the biggest settlement on Gont.