Garble wasn't exactly the type of dragon most would call "decent" when it comes to his behavior, but he didn't care. Yet, he refuses to be seen as a "softie" by any dragon or anyone else for that matter, but even despite that, there is one dragon he won't tolerate anyone badmouthing: his mother, Aase. She loved him back just as much, given that he is her only child, but even if she had other children, she would love him the same, and she doesn't condone most of Garble's behavior towards others. Tonight was different, and Garble could tell from how solemn his mother appeared while laying by the mountain of gems behind her when he arrived home for the day.
"Garble... we need to have a talk..."
Garble, though he would never admit it, was starting to feel a bit nervous, mostly due to the fact that he had never seen his mother appear so full of sorrow before. He made his way next to his mother in relative silence, and Aase sighed.
"Garble, sweetie...*sigh* I think it's time I tell you about your... father..."
She hesitated, as if recalling saddening memories from times past, when in fact, as Garble was about to learn, it was much worse. There was a minute of silence before Aase spoke again.
"You see, I've never told you about your father before, but now that you've grown older, I think it's time you knew."
Garble looked up at his mother into her deep, sea blue eyes, her frilled ears lowered.
"Long before you were born, there was a great golden dragon named Mordred. He was a brutal dragon that only cared for himself and wanted assurance that he would someday have a child to carry his name for generations after him, regardless of how that child would come to be. But because of his, dare I say, monstrous behavior towards any being that got in his way, most dragons would flee the area as soon as he was seen approaching. Then one day, he was furious at not having found a mate yet, and, unfortunately, the first dragoness he laid eyes on was me..."
Aase paused, and Garble was starting to visibly show concern, something he didn't do often.
"He then forcefully dragged me to his cavern and told me that I was going to carry his child or he would kill any other children I might have had with any other dragon. I refused to do so with such a brute as him, as at the time, I wasn't even planning on having any children, but I would have refused anyways. Of course, Mordred wasn't having any of that, and he fell into a fit of rage and attacked me, tearing the membrane of my left wing. There was hardly anything I could do to fight back; he was at least twice my size, both in height and in bulk. And at some point in his rage, he knocked me unconscious for several hours. And when I woke up... he told me that he had impregnated me, so there was nothing I could do about it..."
Garble just stared in silence at his mother's words, eyes widened in horror that a dragon once treated his own mother so brutally.
"A few months later, while Mordred was away seeking more gems, I took the chance and fled as far away from that cavern as I could. I eventually made it here to the Dragonlands, where I carved out this cave just enough for it to be decent when I realized I needed to make nest for an egg I was about to lay. It wasn't much, given the circumstances, pretty much just a circle of rocks and a few gems, but it would have to do. After the egg was laid, I vowed to myself that I would protect it with my life."
Then Garble spoke for the first time since before he appeared before his mother earlier that evening.
"Was... that egg... me?..."
"After a few more months of tending to your egg, Mordred found me. Of course he was already furious that I fled, but things only got worse when he saw your egg. He was enraged that the egg was 'so small', and he lashed out at me with the intention of killing me. Remembering my vow to protect your egg from harm, I fought him back with everything I could throw at him. The battle between us lasted for what felt like an eternity, and I was losing terribly. Just when Mordred was about to attempt to kill your egg, Dragon Lord Torch appeared before us and stopped Mordred before he could lay a claw on you. From what I can remember from the next few moments, as I was terribly weakened from my wounds, Mordred and Torch engaged in a brief scuffle, before I heard something about Mordred being exiled or life from the Dragonlands."
Garble couldn't believe what he was hearing. His own father had attempted to kill his mother and tried to kill him before he even hatched!? And on top of that, old Dragon Lord Torch technically saved his life!? Garble could feel something wet in the corners of his eyes, and his mother noticed.
"Garble, I'm telling you this because one of the last things I want is for you to grow up and be like your father. You're already showing signs of inheriting some of his personality, and that's why for the last couple of years I've been coming down on you more on your behavior around other dragons, especially that purple hatchling that came through during the Dragon Migration a few years back."
Garble remained silent as Aase embraced him in her forearms and gently laid her head on top of his.
"Garble, I want you to promise me something: Promise me that you'll work on your behavior around other dragons, and maybe show some more respect to Torch. Can you do that for me sweetie?"
Garble was tying not to let the tears flow, but some were already escaping his eyes as he quietly muttered,