Legend of the Fallen

Once, there were ten gods of Millirand; ten of the Light, which shone down on us all from the heavens far above. And these opposed the five of Darkness, who strove ever to even the odds. It was a beautiful time, a time of peace, when the Dark Five were locked away an the Ten reigned supreme.

But all was not as it should have been.

A Lord rose; a terrible creature, a twisted human, fashioned in the shape of a man with the tail of a serpent and wings of a dragon. This fell beast, Lord Gorg'rauth, sought only to destroy the reigning dragons and their kin from the face of the earth itself. He created, in the image of himself, the snakekind - but that, m'boy, is a tale for another day.

Wars came and went, and the world descended into darkness underneath his reign. The Ten were powerless to stop him; every path they chose he countered with sharp cunning and deadly strategy, and many, many died. Omar, the Ether, was the last to fall before the gods took things into their own claws, before the world as a whole was thrown into oblivion.

Omar was destroyed - the first Ether to die, they say, never to awaken from the healing slumber. Millirand's poles began to break apart and the end of the world was nigh, save for an army of dragon mages struggling to keep it alive. Five of the Ten disappeared; the mages started to die. One by one, all of them fell, and it seemed our end was near... but then one rose above them all and proclaimed to be our savior, the new Ether, the being who was to set all right.

The gods deserted us that night, when nearly half of all dragons disappeared; our numbers were very few, little more than a few hundred, fewer still when the Ten forsook this land and fled to their Felnovian haven. Gorg'rauth attacked and drove with his serpents through our forces easily, destroying Ki-Lia, the royal family scattered to the four winds.

We fled deeper into the mountains, and hid for years, his reign of terror moving to the humans, then the elves. A time of slavery grasped the Realm, and we were powerless to stop him. Nothing our ragtag group, our Remnant, could do would shove him from his seat of tyranny.

The humans, the elves, the dwarves; all rose to fight his menace. His serpents eventually fell to their blades, but many were killed. In truth, much of the Realm! For years, cities lay in ruin as Gorg'rauth withdrew into his desert stronghold. These races recovered with time. Believing that the Ten, the dragons, the magic beasts of the world had deserted them, we fell into myth and legend.

Did we survive? Yes. But barely. Our leadership gone, scattered away to where we knew not. We did not recover as the others did. At last, a cousin took the abandoned throne; those who had fled to the ends of the earth and into obscurity slowly returned. Lost was the old ways, and lost were the olden heirs. The Remnant watched the world below as silent sentinels, wary of the world as it turned.

One Royal returned to us, just one. The other rumored of we never saw. When Gorg'rauth made ready to return, ready with his armies to move out of the secluded desert, he came - a great Black with indigo streaked through his night-dark scales, markings an ever darker obsidian. Violet eyes filled with fire and wind controlled under his wings, he came with a rider and claimed blood to the throne. Zephyr was his name, Zephyr Firetalon, son of Marflax Firestriker and Kyranie Skytalon. His rider was Valyn, a half-elf of purest heart.

But our leader would not submit. Generous and kin Zephyr was, for his age - both dragon and rider became knights under our Lord's rule, and together they brought the Remnant to its full strength, what little that may have been. Through Zephyr's counsel - and unfaltering courage - they were able to confront Gorg'rauth before he had left his desert stronghold, before he could attack the other free races. Leaving behind only those young and too old to fight, our army flew hidden in the clouds and dropped on Gorg'rauth like great birds to the kill, their serpents prey beneath our claws.

The battle took many lives. Far too many lives. Of what happened to the young Black and his rider, few may tell. We drew back when the fire-blast of Gorg'rauth's defeat flared in the sky, and the keening wail of his forces signaled the breaking of their bloodlink with his mind. Fleeing back, some wounded fell to the arrows of those once considered allies; forced to fly below the cover of clouds, elves of Rynorel spotted us in the sky and shot those few unable to dodge down to the unforgiving earth. Weary of battle and hatred kindled in our hearts, mistrusting the world, we fallen victors withdrew into Arrowhead and hid ourselves from sight.

So few were left. So few are. We are the Remnant, the Fallen, those dragons left behind. Our leaders were gone, our forces ravaged. Friend had indeed become foe.

And so we live yet, unable to venture from our mountains where no human may roam. Alone we live.

Alone we die.

- anonymous Black, Elder of Arrowhead

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