Trog’dor Strife never knew his father. This turned out to be quite agreeable to him, as it ended up helping to explain or excuse many awkward and disappointing events in his young life.
It wasn’t unusual in that small town near the border for children to lose track of a parent or two, so at first, no one was especially interested in the babbling of a barmaid’s bastard. When his peculiar (though mostly harmless) draconic characteristics started manifesting during puberty, Trog’dor could fabricate endlessly about the legacy of his half-dragon (or, depending on the occasion, half-elf, or full-dragon) father. This legacy, apparently, included having small fires spontaneously start in and around the house from time to time.
Although some of the other children were taken in by his stories, people in general felt very put-off by him. Trog’dor began training to assist his mother running the inn. But, even when attempting to be polite, he was aloof and poor at conversation . He was, on the whole, extremely bad for business, and so as he got a bit older, his mother compelled him to occupy himself away from home most of the time.
An early attempt at field work turned quickly to disaster when it was discovered that farm animals were universally terrified of him. At a distance of thirty feet, horses became noticeably distresed. On one occasion, an old mule he was attempting to yoke panicked and tried to flee. It took three men to hold it in place, at which point it collapsed and noisily shat itself.
Within a few short months, Trog’dor found that nobody around town was interested in dealing with the complications that inevitably followed him, so he ended up being volunteered for several mundane, and solitary, municipal tasks. One of his first jobs was to dispose of a large volume of junk, primarily musty scrolls and books, from the attic of an abandoned house. The house had belonged to a senile old man who had apparently spent the bulk of his life alternately researching dragons and composing fantastic scenarios involving dragons and himself. In some of them, dragons would appear to bestow gifts upon him, or to reveal fantastic secrets. Other times, he would command dragons to punish members of the town that had slighted him. It had been a few years since he passed, and the town council hoped that after disposing of the rest of his posessions, now this could all be forgotten and put behind them.
Unfortunately for the town, Trog’dor could read, and was extremely taken by both the style and substance of these materials and spent a significant amount of time over the next several years privately re-enacting some of his favorites. Many wooden figures bravely lost their lives defending their piles of rocks against Trog’dor’s fury. Very few of the scrolls and books were actually destroyed, and those that were, were mostly on accident.
Things came to a head during one particularly fantastic nighttime event, where after a convincing and impressive demonstration of his righteous and honorable wrath, Trog’dor attracted the attention of a very noble and ladylike dragoness, with whom he was also immediately smitten, and as he revealed the truth of his secret royal dragon blood, they gazed into each other’s eyes, the evil lord’s castle slowly collapsing in flames around them, there was nothing for it, there was no holding them back, the dragon wedding ceremony was held at once and at the very moment the ordained dragon minister said “do you, Trog’dor” he breathed I DO, and now there was fire all around him, very real fire, that blanketed the entire side of the hill that stood between himself and the town, and while the minister was saying “man and wife” the town was waking up in alarm, assuming an invasion due to the tremendous fire and smoke and by the time everything was settled, seventy acres of barley and two houses were lost, and Trog’dor was found weeping in the ashes wearing a singed black coat with what appeared to be a charred rose pinned to his lapel.
He was enlisted in the city guard the following Monday.
This was a difficult time for him, but military service has a way of straightening out certain irregularities. Slowly, he learned to project a facade, to control certain feelings, and the peculiar way he especially could tend to intimidate and unsettle others. He came to appreciate, among other things, that casual conversations tended to go smoother if he did not highlight his majestic draconic heritage at every opportunity. Although he was not exceptional in combat or martial arts, he rapidly matured and became relatively skilled at de-escalating mundane disputes and bringing peace to a range of minor peasant issues. He hid the rest of his now undeniable fire-based abilities from his comrades.
Although he did not make many friends, he worked hard and earned some respect. He was the favorite candidate to take a captain position that was anticipated to open up upon the final retirement of an old career soldier. Unfortunately, before that old soldier could retire, the town was invaded by orcs and set ablaze, whereupon the whole town guard gig sort of fell apart and he went off adventuring.