Ghidorrak and the ‘Dragon of Dream’

Here’s the original ‘Dragon of Dream’ sketch by Kim Dingwall (@kimdingwall ). As mentioned in a previous post, I initially purchased it as a coloured book cover, but I liked it so much that I wanted it inside the book as an illustration too. In the book, I used it at the end of Ghidorrak’s fifth story, entitled ‘Dreams and Beginnings’, which describes the time when Ghidorrak, as a child, saw a dragon for the first time. Ghidorrak is a very important character to me; he is the first character I created in the first real fantasy story I ever wrote back in 2006. Back then it was a very basic story about an unnamed knight visiting a tavern to get information and then visiting a dragon’s lair and dying there, the dragon too big and strong for him; the story changed and became the short story ‘The Dragonhunter’, as time passed and the ‘Otherworld’ started taking shape in my mind, and even more characters entered the mix.

Back in 2006, a few weeks later I found myself wanting to write more about the unnamed knight, but how could I have done so, when my first story about him told of his death? I decided to go back in time and wrote an early version of ‘The Bane of the Alfar’ (the initial title was ‘The Dragon of Autumn’ or something similar, betraying my love for the ‘Dragonlance Chronicles’), and followed the same route backwards for the rest of the stories I wrote. The knight did not remain nameless for long however. I initially borrowed Ghidorrak’s name from the great Yannis Rubulias (@rubus_the_barbarian ) who back then was writing and drawing a fantasy comic under the title ‘The Dracophoenix Chronicles’; in the comics Ghidorrak Dragarorth is a demigod-emperor who has managed to conquer a Europe-like continent and forge an empire out of various tribes and races, yet on one hand is facing a coup from within the royal family and on the other an alliance of characters are trying to murder him. I really liked the name and it stuck, so when writing the second story, decided to shamelessly steal it. Sorry Yannis!