Hamaon’s Musings, pt. 2: Pepper

By   March 2, 2016

When I first arrived in Dragonloft, the citizens immediately struck me as some of the most interesting people in the world. I once thought that these kinds of people existed only in my dreams, but now it was clear that they were simply hiding together in the Trover Mountains. I met many fascinating and dynamic people during my first day in Dragonloft, including Marco Francesco, Novus Loreis, Ms. Angelou, and Josephine Sunborn. There was one person in particular that fascinated me with her demeanor. Her name was Pepper.

If there was a single person that embodied the spirit of Dragonloft, it would have been Pepper. She was stunningly beautiful in her own right, with a small frame and salt-and-pepper hair that matched her name. She held her head high and spoke with a great deal of dignity and authority. She was also a master seamstress; a true artist, with a needle as her paintbrush and cloth as her canvas. Her designs were breathtaking. Indeed, she was a Draconian, with the body, mind, and spirit of a dragon.

After years of searching, I was finally in the presence of someone worthy of my attention. Almost desperately, I reached out to her and asked if she was searching for an apprentice. At the time I had no interest in tailoring whatsoever, but I needed to get closer to this dynamic personality. After some thought, she decided to give me a chance, and gave me a task to see if I was worthy of apprenticeship. I would design a piece of clothing for her, and it would have to be pleasing to her critical eye.

The hands of fate work in strange ways. For years I had searched for salvation from a meaningless existence, and I was about to find it here, in the very moment that I began to sketch out my first design. To say that this moment was a miracle would be an understatement; the same muses that granted Pepper her gift were now speaking to me, whispering the most amazing and beautiful words. I saw the ghost of a design take shape on the page of my journal before I even began to draw it. In that moment, all of my doubts that I have ever had about my existence instantly vanished. I was spawned to create.

And so, my life as a Draconian began. In the next years, Pepper and I worked as a well-oiled machine; our level of collaboration was incredible. One of us would find inspiration, and then we would bounce ideas back and forth until the end product was absolutely flawless. Raw creative energy passed between the two of us during those times, and filled the two of us with indescribable pleasure. We both grew rapidly in skill, and our business flourished. Everything was perfect. At least, until her sister entered the picture.

At first, I only heard very little of Pushka. The sign on the Boutique mentioned her as one of the shop’s co-owners. Pepper would occasionally mention her in conversation, commenting on her reckless, uncultured nature. But most curiously, I would hear people mistaking Pepper for this Pushka woman. Naturally, I was curious. Who was this woman? Why have I never seen her before if she also owns half of the business? One day, I asked Pepper about this mysterious character.

I had never seen Pepper as frail as she was in that moment. Slowly, she told me everything. She explained that two souls existed within her body, constantly at war with each other. The Pepper that I knew was the stronger of the two, but when Pepper grew tired of fighting for control, Pushka would emerge. She recalled how the other side of her was seen as a demon by those closest to her, and that in the past Pushka had pushed away those who Pepper had loved. Foolishly, I thought that I could handle Pushka. When I saw that Pepper was growing weary of holding control of her, I urged her to rest and allow her sister to come out. What I saw then horrified me; a stranger inhabited Pepper’s body. She spoke with Pepper’s mouth, but her words were cruel and terrible. Her movements were hideous compared to Pepper’s beautiful, measured steps. Truly, a demon had taken her.

The shock of the incident caused me to sleep for a long time, at least for a year. When I woke up again, Pepper was gone. She had also fallen into a deep sleep, but she would never awaken again. Perhaps she spent her final moments battling her sister for control, but in the end the demon won. For a long time, I blamed myself for her passing. If I hadn’t fallen asleep, maybe then I could have helped her. But because of my weakness my greatest inspiration, my muse, my dear Pepper, was dead.

The Musings of Hamaon Pride of Dragonloft, written on Day 4971