Pahara, the Lady of Mahday
Pahara, whose name means both “hill” and “guard”, is a quiet, self-contained being. She doesn’t consort with the other dragons, and keeps no communications open. She doesn’t play their social or political games. She has no desire to expand her territory. However, what is hers is firmly hers, and she defends it fiercely, including the people who have made their homes in her territory. When the previous lord of Mhadhavi thought he could expand his territory to the east, Pahara ambushed him. She destroyed his army, and attacked him so violently she nearly ripped his wing off. He bore the scars to his dying day.
Unlike the other dragon rulers, Pahara doesn’t keep a home, or rule from a specific city. She is constantly patrolling her territory. Her people believe she is seldom seen, but the truth is that she is seldom recognized. She likes to visit cities and towns in a shape-shifted form. As a wandering merchant or cleric, people talk to her. In this way she keeps abreast of the events in her realm.
Pahara loves her people, but in the same way she loves her forests. She has strict regulations for how much game, fish, and even timber can be harvested in a season. If a community is taking more deer than prescribed because they need more meat to feed more people, she will cull the community until it’s a sustainable size again. This is true of any resource – if they are using more than they should, she will correct the imbalance in her own way. The end result of this unforgiving rule is that her lands and waters, and everything that dwells within, are strong and healthy.
Pahara is not secretive. She just minds her own business, and expects others to do the same. If her people advance and become more powerful, fine. If they don’t, fine. If her children grow up and survive the Trial at Yashaskar, fine. If they don’t, fine. She is aware that she will someday die. All things do. Fine. In the meantime, she will enjoy, and protect, this little part of the world that is hers.
The featured image on the page is a photograph of the Blue Ridge Mountains by photographer Alex Grichenko. You can see and download his work at http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/browse-author.php?a=49311
This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.