You wish to know the prize for victory? I can tell you what I know of what was won by the Red Dragon’s mortal champions the very first time they took the field. I can tell you what I know of the first victory of the DrachenFest. Is it all true? To know for sure you would have to ask one of the few, the happy few that were there the day that the Red Dragon’s mortal champions prevailed. But this is what I was told: The Dragons’ world was dead - covered in a black and lifeless sea, the very air shrouded in mist. All was still. All was darkness. But after the triumph of the Red Dragon’s champions, something changed - where once there was silence now there was the sound of wind and waves beating against rock. A cold and howling wind parted the mists to reveal a small and stony island, its steep rock peak stabbing towards the sky like the tip of a spear. In the wind swept scrub of the island’s hills and amongst the cracks and crags of its cliffs, red poppies grew; a clear sign of whose deeds had snatched this trophy back from the tomb of a dead world. And yet, this was not their prize. Though this island offered precious little land fit to build on, the victorious champions raised a settlement there. It did not look as it does now, it was a humble place with little more than a cramped barracks for the champions to rest and take shelter from the howling wind in, a rough training ground to test themselves in, a hall in which to take meals and council and a small dock, though the angry wind churned the seas and at the time there was nowhere else in all the world to sail to. Humble as this settlement was, it was an unprecedented beachhead in a new world. It was a home the happy few could choose to stay in. And yet, this was not their prize. The champion’s settlement may have been unimposing - but one building stood apart: The Foundry. Some say the very breath of the Dragon was what lit its forge and gave it heat enough to stave off the furious wind. On the walls of the foundry in orderly rows hung the marvelous tools the champions had brought from their many worlds - tools fit to make wonders and legends. Indeed, it is said the very sparks and smoke that rose from that enchanted forge were blessed with the defiant testimony of those happy few: “By our deeds and our craft, we will make our future here.” And yet, this too was not their prize.
Though many legendary weapons have been made in that blessed forge - more unassuming ones have been as well. Whether they be ornate or simple, all weapons forged in that supernal fire pay tribute to their birthplace; whether it’s with a brilliant ruby or a simple ribbon all are adorned in red. And yet, even these enchanted wonders were not their prize. No, the prize won by the Red Dragon’s mortal champions reflected their deeds. And their most consequential deed was not one of conquest or skill at arms: It was the audacity to find trust and fellowship despite coming from many strange worlds and taking many strange and often conflicting roads to the Red Dragon’s path. So the prize that the Red Dragon’s mortal champions have enjoyed ever since is the trust of our Dragon, the trust to use the tools our deeds won us to find worthy comrades to fight at our side. So take this weapon, wreathed in red, that was made for you in that bless’d forge on that impossible island that mortal champions stole back from Death. Trust me, take it in your hand, close your eyes and listen carefully… can you hear it? Can you hear the Call?