Arkady

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Arkady
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Arkady

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Character Profile

Name: Arkady
Date of Birth:
Breed: Unknown (Feral)
Captain: None
National Loyalty: None
Appearance: Pale grey with brown markings and red patch on face; smaller than a Yellow Reaper
Special Abilities:
Status: Active (Britain)


Biography

Arkady was the leader of the feral dragon tribe Temeraire, Laurence and their crew encountered in the Pamir Mountains between China and Persia, while they were on their way to Turkey. Arkady's leadership was based on his cleverness and force of personality, since he was not the largest or strongest of the group.

He was an excellent story-teller, entertaining his troop and Temeraire one evening with a complicated draconic epic about treasure and mating. His performance style combined narrative recital with interpretive dance and included audience participation, with the other dragons (including Temeraire) chiming in with their own contributions and arguing about what ought to happen next. (Dragons may particularly enjoy interactive creativity, since similar group involvement was evident during the geometry discussions aboard the HMS Allegiance en route to Cape Town in May/June of 1807.)

Turkey and Europe, 1806

Impressed with Temeraire's own stories of his travels, Arkady declared that he would lead his troop to accompany Temeraire to Istanbul and meet the Sultan. Only the boldest of his dragons accompanied him, and some abandoned the journey partway through. As soon as they reached Istanbul, Arkady and his ferals attacked a herd of cattle, provoking the inattentive Turkish guard dragons and their captains. As Laurence attempted to placate the chief guard captain, Ertegun, the ferals grabbed all the cattle they could carry and headed back to the Pamirs.

After leaving Turkey and reaching Prussia, Temeraire and his crew were pressed into service. Their guide Tharkay left them to journey back to the Pamirs. As Tharkay spoke the draconic language Durzagh - the ferals themselves did not speak any human languages and were too old to learn - he was able to talk Arkady into bringing twenty dragons to Europe to help "rescue" Temeraire, promising him that the British would give each feral a cow per day in return. Arkady and his band arrived just in time to help evacuate the Prussian troops from the Siege of Danzig, with all of the dragons donning impromptu carrying harnesses based on the mass transit dragons which the British aviators had seen in China. As a feral, Arkady had never been harnessed before, but Temeraire made a point of nonchalantly adjusting his own harness, encouraging Arkady to allow a makeshift carrying harness to be placed on him and even show off his new accoutrement for his troop.

Britain, 1806+

Arkady and his band arrived in Britain in December 1806 with Temeraire and Laurence to discover that the Dragon Plague was destroying the Aerial Corps. Besides Temeraire and Iskierka, who had been hatched in Prussia and returned to Britain with them, the ferals were the only healthy dragons in Britain. Admiral Roland was therefore quite happy to negotiate with them over the promised cows, suggesting only that sheep or goats might be substituted from time to time - at a suitable rate of exchange, of course - in order to provide variety.

Despite their lack of discipline and formal training, the ferals were assigned to patrol the Channel, at first under Temeraire's supervision and later on their own. When they achieved their first solitary victory - turning back a Pou-de-Ciel attempting to reconnoiter the quarantine grounds to assess how many British dragons were ill - Roland presented Arkady with a "medal" (a brass chain and a large dinner plate inscribed with his name). For once - and for only a moment - Arkady was speechless with amazement.

Temeraire and Laurence were sent to Cape Town with the rest of Lily's formation to find a cure for plague. In their absence, Iskierka and the ferals developed a strategy for capturing French ships as prizes. The ferals would fly out at night looking for suitable ships and convey the news to Iskierka, who the next day would pretend to her captain, John Granby, that she was only going in such-and-such direction on a whim. With Iskierka shooting flames, the ships would quickly surrender and allow themselves to be herded back to Britain by the ferals. However, Arkady retained his status as leader of the feral band. He regarded Iskierka as a "force of nature" rather than as a rival leader.

When Napoleon invaded Britain in late 1807, Iskierka, Arkady and the ferals joined Temeraire's regiment. Temeraire's runner Demane had been assigned to ride Arkady, as Demane had picked up both English and Durzagh in addition to his native Xhosa. He would tell Arkady what the signal flags meant, and then he and Arkady together would decide whether or not they were going to obey, neither Arkady nor Demane having much use for unquestioned authority.

After Napoleon was expelled from Britain at the Battle of Shoeburyness in March 1808, the HMS Allegiance was sent to Australia, partly as a prison ship (carrying Temeraire and Laurence as well as other convicts) but also to convey three dragon eggs. One of these eggs had been sired by Arkady on his lieutenant, Wringe. He was quite honoured to see the egg go to wide-open and unclaimed territory, but made Temeraire promise to look after it and ensure that only someone very rich would be allowed to become captain. The egg eventually hatched out Caesar, who met Arkady's expectations but disappointed Temeraire's by choosing Jeremy Rankin as his captain.

China, 1812

In 1812, Arkady accompanied Tharkay in a hasty mission to deliver news of Napoleon Bonaparte's planned invasion of Russia to Laurence and Temeraire.

Bypassing Guangzhou, however, Arkady and Tharkay were captured by dragon forces loyal to Lord Bayan, General Fela, and the Chinese conservatives. Seeking to dethrone Prince Mianning, the Chinese conservative forces tortured Arkady for a month, chaining him in an excruciatingly painful way so that the feral would not escape. Furthermore, they planned on framing Arkady for transporting opium illegally into China.

Later rescued by Temeraire and the British covert, Arkady was freed. After his rescue, Arkady inquired of Temeraire the fate of he and Wringe's egg. Temeraire informed Arkady of the hatching of Casesar, and Jeremy Rankin becoming Caesar's captain. Arkady, expressing relief and thanks to a disgruntled Temeraire, the feral mentioned proudly to Temeraire that he had mated with Wringe a second time.

It is yet unknown if Wringe produced a second egg, Caesar's sibling, by Arkady.

Due to his grievous injuries, it is likely that he stayed in China to recover. It is also possible Arkady could have gone to the Peninsula, or Spain, with the rest of the British covert.

Arkady's band

Known members of the nineteen feral dragons who accompanied Arkady to Prussia and Britain:

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