Here Be Dragons

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Here Be Dragons

Post#1 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:51 pm

Originally posted April 27, 2017 by UO Dev Team on the UO Herald:

By EM Malachi

High in the Dragonhame Mountains, a small dragon fidgeted. Mirendel balanced herself on one leg, moved pebbles around with her talons, and scratched shapes in the snow. A peak nearby started to shift, shaking off layers of ice and snow to reveal a much larger Platinum dragon. Matriarch Aesthyron lowered her head to stare at Mirendel, “You are supposed to be meditating.”

“I did. Done now. Tell me a story.”

“Ah, the impatience of youth. Very well. I shall share a piece of lore on why we value reflection and patience. Watch now. Kal Quas Wis Ort Por.” The great dragon moved a talon in casting, cutting a window into the Ethereal Void. The magic of the spell focused on the monuments and wayposts of the endlessness between worlds. Important features looked close enough to touch even though it would take a human lifetime to travel directly to them. “What do you see, little one?”

The baby dragon stared in awe, her eyes darting between the various mysteries and magics of the Void. “I see stars twinkling, red and blue.”

“That is the Xorinite Wisp.”

“A big scary flat stone with runes.”

“That is the Plane of the Shattered Obelisk.”

Mirendel focused on another object, “A pretty, shiny thread.”

“That is the spell the Britannians cast, their Silver Gate.”

“A little human in a floating house.”

“That is…That’s new…But it doesn’t matter. The Ethereal Void was our home for generations after we left the cradle of Sosaria for a time. While some dragons stayed behind as guides and protectors, most of our kind left this world to give the younger beings a chance to thrive and to protect them from our destructive conflicts with the Crimson dragons. We were arrogant then, impatient to stretch our wings and test our true power.”

The young dragon hopped onto a boulder and asked, “What happened next?”

Aesthyron composed her thoughts and began to recount the history, “It was during a conflict with the Crimson dragons, our first beyond the bonds of Sosaria. Our greatest wyrms facing three times their number, unleashing unrestrained dragon fire and spells that would have destroyed entire cities or forests on this world. Returning in victory and filled with foolish pride, they found all of their egg caches raided, and an entire generation of kin stolen.”

“The theft drove all into a fury, and assuming duplicity by the Crimsons, our kind prepared to escalate the war against them. If not for a few level heads on both sides, we would have wiped out our misguided cousins, never knowing the truth. The Crimsons had also been raided, and an unseen third party has stolen their eggs as well.”

The Matriarch continued, “The greatest threats you cannot always see directly. It took us much to learn who had stolen our eggs. They were called many things – world-builders, oppressors, raiders, thieves, but we always called them what they called themselves – the Kotl. They had the means to travel easily through the Void, and they liked to take things that were not theirs. As long as this was true, our eggs were threatened.”

“The magic that allowed the Kotl to raid worlds across the Void also made their home, Eodon, inaccessible and unmappable. We could not strike them directly, but we could send a message.”

“In secret, we shared our plan with the Crimsons, and for one brief moment in untold generations, we were united again. With the next cycle of eggs, we made a big show of meeting the other dragons on the field of battle, but we left a majority of our forces guarding our eggs, hidden by illusion.”

“Thieves are driven by greed, and the Kotl came as we expected. We then turned our fury against them: a storm of flame, tooth, and claw. We left a handful alive, enough to tell the Kotl civilization what had happened. That lesson kept the Kotl away. Still, never again did we leave our eggs unguarded. Even a dragon can learn humility.”

After the story ended, Mirendel thought for a moment before asking her question, “What happened to the missing eggs?”

“Those eggs were forever lost to us, but I often wonder what became of our stolen kin.”

*****

Krett was fascinated by the lost Kotl civilization and their tinkering. The tunnels of their ancient city were a vast collection of mysterious contraptions. Sadly, most of them were smashed and broken, but Krett believed he could learn much by repairing them. The one he was currently fixing seemed like a strange combination of a stasis chamber and an egg incubator. He hurried to replace the activation mechanism so he could learn exactly what it did.

The chamber slowly opened, draining away a silvery liquid metal to reveal several large eggs. Suddenly, the surface grew bright and warm as midday, and golem limbs started to turn the eggs. Krett was watching and taking notes, when he heard a great rumble. Turning around, he saw dozens of other chambers were also coming alive, each with their own collections of eggs.

“I think now would be a good time to return to Minoc.”
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