Judge Krakatau and the Gift of Truth
Judge Krakatau is a dragon from my pilot story and the direct sequel, Hybrid. He’s the dragon husband of Anna, a girl he’s known since she was a child. Krakatau lives in Crête Isolée, a standalone mountain about about three days from Ganpon. In the pilot, he was 110 years old. He’s an avid reader, something that most dragons aren’t, and that’s what drew him to Anna as she grew up. She, too, is an avid reader. The Judge lives alone, watching over and protecting Anna’s village from his mountain. He first came to the Crête Isolée region seventy years before the start of the story, claiming the Lonely Peak as his domain. The mountain itself is far older, having been an experiment made by High King Genbu who was testing his earth-moving powers as far back as 5,000 years, give or take a few centuries after the Descent of All World (analogous to the Fall).
Krakatau is called Judge for one thing. He hold the Almighty’s Gift of Truth, meaning he can tell if you’re innocent or guilty of an accusation with merely a glance. He came face to face with Anna when she stood accused of the death of another villager (an accident, in truth) and the Headman’s son, Jen, saw fit to have her chained to a post outside the village to await sentencing from Krakatau. The dragon himself has a penchant of eating guilty humans and his God-given gift makes his verdicts irrevocably true. But Krakatau is also one of mercy and he will not eat the guilty party if the crime they committed was less than murder. In short, he’s the death penalty.
Jen had further designs for Anna and Krakatau than he let on. He knew Anna was innocent of the crime she was accused of but he was planning a coup against the Emperor of the time, Hayato. Jen, not satisfied with the life of a peasant, wanted to overthrow the Imperial Family and save others in his position. He wanted to trap Krakatau as a tool of war, using Anna as bait. Jen also knew that Krakatau had affections for Anna and been sneaking into the village in the guise of a human for three or four years to close to her. He intended for Anna to draw the Judge from his mountain, capture him, and then start a revolution.
The plan failed. Krakatau didn’t come flying in that day so Jen set up guards around the execution field to catch him should he come. In the dark of the night, Krakatau snuck past them in a human form and freed Anna. He didn’t let on who he really was. When they were discovered, he held Anna to his side and told Jen he and his people have disappointed the Judge. He then took off with the girl. He told her who he really was and told her he wanted her to stay with him at his mountain. The rest of the story (True Friendship Transcends) can be found on my DeviantART page.
Krakatau is a red dragon with a black hair line along his spine and green eyes. He’s a re-imagining of a dragon named Durango from my first series. The Judge is your typical fire-breather but unlike dragons in other stories, he has no use for a treasure hoard, mostly because All World doesn’t have a monetary system. His cave at the top of Crête Isolée holds practical items and he has a shelf to sate his hunger for books. His best friend is a phoenix named Royeren, the second to High King Suzaku himself.
Krakatau died at roughly 140 years old , I believe, in a cave in Verboden Waaier. His wife, Anna, passed away at the age of 60. He himself lingered on for at least ten years afterward, until he finally lost all hope of life without the one he loved. Dragons form tight bonds with family and friends but their strongest bond is with their mates. It’s not uncommon for a survivor to pass away not long after the death of their mate. Suzaku was the only one present at his death (which is against dragon law) and he cast a spell to preserve the dragon’s body, just as Krakatau had done for Anna. Suzaku then sealed the cave with a stone, turning it into a tomb.
I had my reason for axing Krakatau. I was thinking that his Gift of Truth made him too powerful. Krakatau was often summoned away from the Crête Isolée region to various areas around the Continent to use his power as a Judge to settle things. Killing him off frees All World to use their own judgment as they did in the old days before Krakatau was born. I had also done as much with him as I could because my stories have expanded into exploring other characters. I may revisit his half-human daughter, Isis, and her husband, Kemet, someday but we shall see.