|Chapter 1 Ė Crimson Chaos
The air was putrid. An arid landscape littered with flesh and cloth was all that was visible. Shattered wood sprung from the ground with glints of metal stinging the crimson sky. A vicious wind raped everything in sight, toying with the disorder below it. The midday sun was clouded by smouldering colour that rose from the scorched ground below as a sorrowful, immense pair of wings soared overhead. One of the greatest races in existence had been forcibly removed from this world. Not even the Greatest Powers [that be] could interfere in their usual manner and prevent the utter carnage. Carnage was the only word that did the massacre below him any form of bitter justice. And so, with great haste, the immense wings and powerful tail flew to the Inner Kingdom. She was in great peril and her numerous protectors were dead.
Fyros the dragonís wings roared through the battered sky. So fast and ferocious was he that the clouds appeared to part leaving a swift journey for him. He had never considered that wizards would fight so fiercely amongst themselves. A most dark and pure evil had managed to venture into the land he oversaw. The very notion burned in his chest, greater even than all the fire he himself could summon. At first the High Council, consisting of one representative from every species, seemed intent that the single wizard known as Orat was the target of this venomous evil. Yet, as corruption gnawed Oratís mind it became evident that all the wizardís were under threat. Armed with this knowledge their minds could still be stolen from them. The utter evil infected the wizards one by one until at least a score had minds no longer their own. These twenty, although unaware, were abused by an intellectual evil. It never revealed its hold over the wizards when they were amongst the pure but it burned deep and angry. Especially because itís plan did not allow for the lengthy time it took to destroy the wills of a mere twenty wizards. By some bizarre quirk of fate half of the wizards were higher and more respected in this land. Through a combination of their potent powers and evilís wickedness the fallen wizards managed to corrupt more, rapidly furthering the evil plot. The result of all this betrayal, deception and intoxication had been acted out beneath the crimson sky. Fyros was the swiftest of all his kind and She had sent him with something that might have thwarted the tragic battle. But for whatever reason Fyrosí powerful wings could not carry him quickly enough and he arrived to see the finale of the slaughter. His sensitive nostrils attracted the stench of pure magic and evil magic. In the distance he viewed the grandest wizard alive performing every shielding summons he knew. This man was known only as Zurma. Clad in a humble brown and a typical pointed hat he walked with the straightest staff in existence. It was this he used to channel his powers through. Yet he was old even for a wizard and some claim he was the oldest. When Fyros arrived he saw the tragedy that was ten younger wizards clad in more blackened clothing mauling him until a particularly violent and lucky magic sidled through a tiny slip of Zurmaís concentration. It was that day that the greatest of all wizards was cruelly felled by his protťgťs. That same day was the day that wizards became extinct. Some say that the almighty roar and desecration of these final ten by Fyros are represented unto forever by a beautiful and raging red sunset. In Zurmaís honour. However, evil cared not for this and still decided to serve its dreaded purpose upon every single living thing.
* * *
On a serene hill near a great green dome a vicious wind gathered. They tormented the trees but the supple branches danced among each other. They took a firm hold on each other and tree-by-tree formed a lock to prevent the inhuman winds from ripping them clean from their roots. A sexless monotone voice emanated from the eye of this cruel storm.
ďAs the black cloud comes,
There is but one hope,
In the end of which,
There is only beginning.Ē
On the final word, the winds vanished abruptly. The fair flutter of shredded leaves blanketed the fertile mound.
Chapter 2 Ė The Green Domed Doom
A crushed Fyros burned through the darkening sky. A beautiful darkening, deep blue night graced the air through which he raced. Flecks of light glittered the sky as his red form trailed a path amongst the anxious stars. This dragon was beyond weariness, exhaustion and fatigue as the colossal green dome bloomed within the wild gaze of his ice blue eyes. It was a truly awesome sight that inspired wonder with every casual glance. In these times of old villages and buildings were constructed entirely of plants unknown to eyes of any modern era. Walls stood taller and stronger than anything that could be produced because life flowed through each wallís very essence. The most majestic of this astoundingly natural world was this central dome. Her abode. The Council therefore realised that this beautiful structure created purely by nature would be the prime target for evil. If evil could destroy such a magnificent sight then perhaps it had a chance to take an icy, suffocating grip upon everything. At least that is what the Council informed the general population. Fyros was privy to the extra knowledge from this Council even though he was by no means the dragonís representative. It was this that caused a bewildering panic. Even though he was in the security of the Innermost Kingdom he felt rampant fear. She lived within that dome and all the living structures attached to it. Originally the wizards were to have guarded the beautiful creation yet, fortunately, the plan was finally changed and wisdom saw the wizards posted discreetly throughout the Outer Kingdoms and the more unruly sections of the Land.
The furnace within Fyros went utterly cold. Whatever fuelled this fire ceased to be shovelled into the ravenous fire and was rapidly replaced by a deep frost. The youthful Fyros had left with eagerness and delirium. It was the pride of being sent on an important errand that was only heightened by the more senior dragons that blessed and accepted him with a special dragon honour. These dragons were no longer the more youthful red but they had aged towards the more fear inspiring green-brown that dragons were renowned for. They replaced Fyrosí swift agility with a more graceful power and strength that resonated throughout the sky from every smooth stroke of their mighty wings. It was the last line of defence, a last ditch effort to guard her from the evil in whichever incarnation it chose to wield its wicked power. These scaly masters hovered over the dome casting a cynical, aged eye over the verdant expanse spanning towards the impressive sunrise of that cool blue morning. Frosty and fatigued he forgot to power his plentiful wingspan. Fyrosí agility plummeted to the lush ground below. A thunderous sound erupted from the exact place that Fyrosí stomach connected with bewildered soil. The night was still and Fyros could assemble no strength in any of his limbs. Even with his panic and fear he mused how beautiful the stars above his blurring eyes seemed. It was rumoured amongst the older dragons that a new star was born every time a dragonís earthly fire was extinguished. Fyros had never believed it, it was merely a comfort for grand old dragons that were nearing death.
Somehow he got to his feet. He threw his panicked eyes towards the electric sky. He hoped that they had failed him. They had not. Not a single dragon adorned the sky or ground within the domeís vicinity. His main concern was her. Somehow he mustered a spark of flame within his breast and stalked towards the dome, his crumpled left wing began to send embers of agony through his brain. The heavy stumbling caused his claws to drag through the soil leaving large trenches pointing towards the startling creation. Dragons preferred not to use their legs and Fyros clumsily collapsed. His substantial form tore through the structure. Breathless and awe inspired he gazed upon her. Evil incarnate plagued her. She was the exact opposite; Ďvirtue incarnateí. A rainbow aura was clearly visible around her. A vibrant range of imaginable and unimaginable colours glowed and emphasised her femininity. Beauty. As she turned round Fyros attempted a bow from his humble place on the floor. His thoughts were confused but he was the first of any species to see worry in Mother Natureís eye. For it was Mother Nature who stood before him, it was Mother Nature that evil wished to destroy and it was Mother Nature that was experiencing absolute fear as Fyros' furnace burned out and a radiant glistening star formed in the night sky.
Chapter 3 Ė A Glistening Warning
He stood among the Outermost Kingdom and watched as flesh and flame mingled. The flame lapped against the tortured figures. A lonesome figure watched in awe. In pain. For after the mighty Fyros had disposed of ten younger wizards the next stage of Evilís plan took place. Fyros had unwittingly aided evil by freeing the spirits of these corrupt conjurors. The spirits joined. Throughout the land the remaining few wizards were rapidly consumed by the evil spirits and by the following day the last blessed staff had fallen.
His silver fur grew grey as the smoke and chaos enveloped him. The Evil was surging beyond control and his four spindly yet sturdy legs made haste across the arid landscape before him. The trail left by Fyros led in the opposite direction from his. At least he thought Evil cannot have reached Mother Nature yet. It was this thought that spurred his horse-like form to do that which the dragons had failed to. Kael could not boast to have the same speed that dragons were graced with yet by the horn between his eyes he intended on being nowhere near as incompetent. Although admittedly if he had a wingspan that great, or even wings at all, and could exhale fire on a whim he may also have felt that nothing was indestructible. Kaelís pace meant the land churned beneath him as he urged himself onward adding smoke and debris to the smothering disorder. Thundering along it seemed the cloud would not pass remaining there as a mark of this terrible time yet it became evident that the smoke was becoming wispy and there were fewer bodies for him to avoid disrespecting.
Then the wisps dissipated. The grey remained entwined with his fur, the dust behind had made that certain. Yet before him the sky gleamed as night encroached. The vibrant orb of light that graced every morning sky was slowly hiding letting the time of rest take bloom. The supple plants leaned towards this orb, offering respect for the continuous energy it brought. They danced in the soothing breeze. Kael did not stop though he felt a little warmth within himself. It was pleasant that only the wizards had felt the wrath of this Evil as of yet but he knew it would not be long before others felt the might of the mysterious force. The brilliance before him would only be consumed by the darkness and he could not admire the beauty while he knew it might not remain. His hooves now roared through lush fields until he glimpsed a flicker of white beside him. Restless, he moved towards the fabled plant. To most they were a rumour, hearsay, a nice idea. There were few who had set eyes upon such a special plant. They were Cybeleís favourite. Kael was bound to Cybele, or Mother Nature as they would call her, for only a few even knew she took a physical form. They were brilliant and white and Kael had seen it only once before. His imagination had conjured the exact image when she had described the special flower to him. With this ultimate image came panic and fear. The glowing orange orb would soon shine out upon a planet of darkness yet its orange glow would not permeate the darkness set to engulf the land.
A new vigour aided Kael in shaking the dust from his weary fur. Once more a shimmering grey silver adorned his being and he forced himself onwards. For the plant he had seen was not real until that moment. It was his confidantís signal to him. A signal that meant only one thing. The Evil had touched her. That she was dying.