Origin In Death

Time heals all wounds, but scars always remain. Mine run deep, though others never notice. When I close my eyes, I see them. Scars carry memories—pits and wells of trauma.

May Amethyst forgive me.

Genai reassured me that neither he nor I could have prevented it—that the greatest of us possessed wisdom of the universe even other dragons could not comprehend. The death of Amethyst might occur-needed to occur—for the salvation of all intelligent life. I wish I could accept such absolution.

Even I knew Amethyst held secrets forbidden to the rest of us. Some credit him with creating all dragons; some push further and praise him with the creation of all life upon this world, a claim Amethyst much denied. I remembered him declaring that if a true god were infinite, then the greatest dragon would be as distant from godhood as an insect the moment before being crushed underfoot. For saying such, I attributed a sense of humility to my friend and nothing more. He refused such worship, but they still prayed. What else would one consider— some unseen, unproven, undeclared entity with no miracles or cataclysms to his credit? When Amethyst flapped his wings, wind would flay bark from timber. When he roared at the earth, mountains would shatter to dust. Even I would swear devotion to such power. Yet, Amethyst laughed at the notion, for a god cannot be slain. A god cannot feel fear.

Yet I know he possessed such. He kept his secrets locked deep, revealed not even to me. Why? Aurannis of Dust, my dear friend from the Holy flesh, believed that Amethyst kept these secrets to shelter the rest of his children and their flocks from his despair. I had not considered Amethyst would possess such misery, but Aurannis was correct. I too saw the sadness shielded behind his azure eyes. Perhaps Amethyst was
older than we believed. Perhaps he deceived us all with his benevolence. I cared little for the answer, for I enjoyed the world and what it offered us.

In a sweeping pass of the globe, the shadow turned half our numbers and a million of our fey allies. The darkness settled under a black sky in a land called Kakodomania. Finally, I understood what Amethyst feared, his mirror, Mengus. Though no one ever saw the evil, we could all feel it. Our brothers and sisters vanished on the night of his arrival, marching willingly to the gloom, forever changed.

After centuries, the forces of good and evil remained in stalemate. Kakodomania stopped growing, it’s expanding cloak over the land faltered. None outside entered this cursed land and returned. A million years passed. Finally, they emerged to start the final war. We stood prepared. We fought back. The final victor failed to emerge, as a random act of fate stepped in to stop the struggle.

We called it the "Hammer of God." A great rock, possibly from those very same unspoken and unnoticed gods, appeared in our sky, fated to rain death upon the living.

We saw it approach. Only days remained. The battle lines were recalled and both forces fled under the shelter of their empires. Amethyst directed everyone to hide inside the realm of Attricana, the star hanging just above the sky giving life to us all. Everything imbued with the power of magic left into the realm of trances and dreams, a world devoid of form and time to most. The doors would close, reopening when the spirit of Earth healed from the disaster to come. I wished not to die. Amethyst, my greatest ally and closest friend asked me to join with him outside the portal when it closed. Only Amethyst could survive outside, but he insisted I could remain. He would ensure it.

He wished a friend to accompany him for the millions of years alone in a world devoid of magic. Amethyst seldom chose mates, often developing lasting and loyal friendships with leaders of the greatest nations of the world. I felt fortunate to fall into the latter, even more so when asked to stay with him, observing the evolution of a new landscape.

I declined.

I feared a world without magic. A world I considered hopeless, I preferred living formless in Attricana than wander a barren landscape with no wonders. I feared losing myself to the new world, reduced to the level of dim-witted lizards already roaming the planet. I entered the portal, the last through the door. I watched as Amethyst stayed behind, so powerful was he that even with the gate closed, he would not fall into dust like so many other enchanted creatures incapable of the voyage. I never knew how he could accomplish that. He would remain to open the door again. No matter how powerful the forces of chaos were, they could never slay the greatest of us.

Still, Mengus attacked Amethyst. Demons from the dark rose up from hiding and struck at the great Dragon. How foolish their efforts. He swatted the bugs away in simple annoyance. Mengus revealed his secret. Three corrupted artifacts of immense power approached the dragon, wielded by a constructed evil, the Demonicas Mechas. Gebermach.

Before the door closed, I looked back and saw the realms of the underworld open. Genai told me I could not have helped Amethyst; I could not have passed through the portal in time. I still do not believe him. The darkness assaulted Amethyst. My treachery felt worse even though I know Amethyst's spirit lives immortal, and only his body fell slain. I fear death before seeing his greatness rise again.

The remaining forces of evil, found themselves unprepared for the dying Dragon's retribution. This not only destroyed Gebermach's physical form, but that of the surrounding evil army as well. Amethyst opened his jaws and let loose a thunderous shout enough to shatter the heavens. How surprised the demons must have been when it actually occurred. The sky cracked and splintered and fell as glass upon the ground. From behind, the reflection of normality shone a sky of pure light with no definition, just a solid brilliance, like a sheet of fallen snow under midday sun. The light began to draw together, akin to pulling on a white silk sheet. The dragon sacrificed everything left within him to bring down the greatest spell ever cast upon the planet. The power funneled down from the heavens to across the world and slammed into Ixindar, encasing the ground around the black star in a dark unbreakable stone. The spell passed and the natural cloudy blue returned. The sacrifice cost the dragon his mortal form. He vanished in a soft glow, the last second I would witness before Attricana finally sealed. Both realms were closed to the world.

The Hammer fell.

Under the guidance of science, mammals grew into men, and thus began the uncontested drive of evolution, of industry, of technology. Humanity, obsessed with power and growth, blinded by greed and selfishness, broke the sacred vows made on their behalf when God gave them the ability to dream and build. Retribution came swift and severe.

They called it the "Hammer of God."

By wave of wind and water, the landscape changed. The two gates emerged again, the white star of Attricana, the black sun of Ixindar. A world forgotten, except for myths and legends, returned. Dreams found form. Nightmares clawed into reality. I emerged again, my last thoughts as cloudless as the day I let him die.

Earth was not the same. The remnants of humankind rose up, wielding the great knowledge of technology and science from their past. Though many welcomed the new world, others fled and walled themselves in with their machines and firearms to protect them. Meanwhile, our allies the fey descended and continued their lives. Though the world had changed, we all still breathed the same air and drank the same water.

As for me, I settled into melancholy. I experience few pleasures in my existence. I am old. Mates attempt to enrich my life but fail. Others of my kin find fulfillment but I cannot. I committed a sin. They forgave me. I will never.

Amethyst is dead.

Long live Amethyst.

Lazarus the Pure
Bible of Drasago

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