The Extinction of Dragons

When our kind first crossed over into the Realm of IIo, it was with great surprise that we encountered the dragons. These mighty and terrible titans seemed left over from the creation of the universe. Despite the great power and pride of our ancestors, we know they were left trembling in the presence of these creatures.

Thankfully for our race, the dragons were busy. Despite the summoning of the armageddon in the form of the Comet, their genocide of the saurians was incomplete. The dragons spent decades, centuries even, wiping out any trace of the saurian civilization and reordering the world, until only the bones of the saurians remained. Ample time and space remained for the Alyres to establish itself upon IIo.

This was time our ancestors put to good use. As we were taking our first faltering steps on this new planet, fleeing the death throes of our own, and amidst the mighty struggle between dragon and saurian, the First Gate was forming.

Powered by the very exploding sun we were fleeing, the First Gate would be our ultimate weapon.

There are those that say we were forsaken by the gods of our homeRealm when we fled from Lysia, but the elves alive 65 million years ago saw the dragons for what they were: the gods made flesh. When the gods finished their genocide, settled themselves and looked around, they saw our kind stretched out across the planet. That was when our forefathers knew that the gods had not forsaken us; they were waging war against us.

The Alyres crumbled before the mighty god-beings that were the dragons! Our armies faced massacre after massacre. Back and back our ancestors were pushed as our Heavens burned and fell to the planet.

Finally, the dragons pushed all the way to the very gates of Atlantis! Here, our arch-wizards were able to wield the full power of the First Gate in the defense of the city. Here, elf held out against dragon!

But only just.

Millions of elves died in that last battle. Millions died. But we held our ground. As to how many dragons died that day, the facts are less clear. Some estimate nearly 100 of the gods made flesh lost their lives. From all the data we have available, I feel that these estimates are far too optimistic. It is our opinion that no more than 20 dragons died that day.

Yet still, we were victorious.

The dragons saw our resolution. They knew we would fight to the very last. Knew that we would not give up our new home, that the hundreds of millions of elves still living would die to the last before being pushed back into Lysia to die under the accursed exploding sun. And maybe some of them were weary of violence, weary of genocide.

To the immortal dragons, the ten centuries or so each of the high elves lived was nothing. And so, instead of risking more life, the dragons withdrew from Atlantis and gave up their war against the Alyres. They allowed the elves to spread across the world once more, confident that we would be our own undoing and that our entire civilization would last no longer than a dragon-sized nap.

Unfortunately, they were right. We grew too proud of our mastery over the planet. Our magickal manipulation of the base creatures of IIo to be our servants was a folly our esolon wizards have never lived down. The Tauren races revolted against the Alyres.

Atlantis, the city that had stood up to the gods, fell. Plummeting from the sky, Atlantis hit the seas, creating a massive tidal wave, before sinking beneath the depths, never to be recovered.

Even more grievous than this travesty, the Tauren races sealed the First Gate and banished our ancestors back to Lysia, the Dying Realm.

For nearly 20,000 years, our race eked out an existence in the wilds of Lysia. All of our magicks were dedicated to survival and we could not flourish as an empire. When a chance came to return to IIo, we took it.

We did not return to a world ruled by dragons; the dragons had left the world to the humes, and the humes had in turn lost the world to the galts. With our return to IIo, we expected the First Gate to return to us.

We were wrong.

Without its power, we could not defend against the galts. For the first time in our glorious history, our race was made the thralls of another.

Then the dragons came.

The gods made flesh had been weakened. Inextricably tied to the Realm of IIo, every wound in the planet was a wound to the dragons. So yes, they were no longer gods, but they were something else: something more and something less than what they were before--they were the champions of the planet.

Elf, hume, dwarf, and all the other races of IIo believed in them. Hoped for them. And yes, when the time came and we knew the dragons could not fight and win alone, all the races of IIo fought alongside of them!

The galts never stood a chance.

We pushed them back to their capitol, Prometheus, and there we learned of galtean treachery. The explosion the galts unleashed was such that, in a single flash, the city of Prometheus was no more. A third of the continent it stood on cracked and fell beneath the incoming waters of the oceans.

Our forces were doomed, but a few courageous individuals thought quickly. Our navy let the rushing waters bring them to our forces! And the dragons, the only creatures not in danger from the tide, brought countless soldiers away from the brink.

But the cost was too great.

I say again, no more than twenty dragons died when they stormed Atlantis and the dragons turned back. I can say with certainty that dragons are not cowards, for on that dark day in history, thousands of dragons died and yet they never stopped. Not even when the Undying Storm manifested around the center of the explosion, tearing even ancient dragons from the ground to be swallowed by the storm.

Flying no longer possible, the dragons swam, pulling the boats with them. Others clawed their way across the ocean floor. For every dragon that died that day, ten ships full of soldiers and sailors escaped the devastation. And thousands of dragons died.

The galts were effectively destroyed, and without a common enemy and with so few dragons left to hold us together, the alliance of the races fell apart.

The loss of the alliance was not the greatest loss felt that day. It was the loss of the dragons, of the gods made flesh, of our champions.

After the battle, the few remaining dragons did not live long. Already feeling the damage from a million wounds to our planet, the galtean explosion was too much to bear. Within a few hundred years, the last dragon died. Its bones are on display in the Royal Collection at Yesuria.

Cry for the dragons! Cry for the Gods Made Flesh! Cry for the Champions of IIo!

I can still remember the abject terror I felt flying helpless through the air towards the Undying Storm. In my fright, it seemed that the storm itself was alive. A terrible malevolent spirit that wished nothing but to destroy all the planet. I swear I saw the dull red glow of some great monster's eyes before, at the last second, I was snatched from the sky in the fangs of a true leviathan of a dragon. Channeling magick to dull its teeth, it carried me through the storm to a departing ship. With the last of its strength, the champion spat me onto the deck of the ship and pushed the vessel away from the great pull of the storm.

I watched in horror as the leviathan fell back from our ship and began floating towards the terrible storm. It struggled against the current, but its strength used up, could make no headway. It finally gave up and let the current pull it back into the storm.

I looked into its great eyes and what struck me was not the terrible horror I knew I would find, but the infinite sadness there also. The sadness of a gardener that was forced to leave his garden to weeds.

Those eyes have stayed with me to this day.

The dragons may now be extinct, but their spirit lives on! Cry for the dragons, but rejoice for the new gods of IIo! The Alyres is the only thing that can save IIo, and soon, the Alyres will inherit the world!

 ~Teyrauror of the Alyres
500 ALM (the fifth century anniversary
of the Lumen Masolovat, 136  years
after the death of the last dragon.)
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