* Dracorys and Davyrma share an entry

Dracorys and Davyrma were the epitome of star-crossed lovers.  Harnor made them gods (Ealar, if you’re keeping track)  after Deridean refused to give dragons a reservation at the Elder Races banquet table.  The Lord of the Spires thought if he made one male and one female dragon god, they’d hook up, nature would take its course and there would be dragons, dragons everywhere.  But Harnor hadn’t counted on the lengths Deridean would go to see him denied.  Norath was cut from the same cloth as her father and when golden Finbardin let her decide Harnor’s sentence, she came up with a punishment so devious as to be almost cruel.

The Seeress decreed that the dragons gods would spend eternity apart, never coming together until such a time as Dracorys, the male of the pair, gave birth to a child.   Well, since Dracorys didn’t have the right anatomy for child bearing everyone thought this a lifetime sentence and that’s a very long time for a god.  Dracorys and Davyrma went to separate mountaintops, far from one another, dreaming of the day they would reconcile.

If it hadn’t been for Celetran and her plan to create the Vanara, the dragon gods might very well have stayed on the mountaintops until the Gates of Heaven crumbled and been mere footnotes in history, but Norath had seen far when she pronounced her doom.  The Lady of Esel’s plan was the perfect jumpstart for the dragons to break the doom and begin the life they’d been meant to lead, even if that life wasn’t quite what Harnor had envisioned.

Davyrma wasn’t very receptive to Celetran at first.  After centuries dreaming of Dracorys, the last thing she wanted was to lose her cherry to someone else, but she had to admit, Umbar wasn’t a bad second choice.  She could have been stuck with Kandalla, who was a big blowhard or Solare, who thought he was special because he had three summer homes.  She finally acquiesced and went to the Lord of Sea and Storm intent on seducing him.  She worried he would find her unattractive – it would take a special kind of god to find her huge winged form pleasing – so she decided to give herself an advantage and came to him as Lillandra, a very beautiful goddess by any standard.

Dracorys was easier to convince.  How hard did you think it would have been, after centuries with just his memories and his hand?  Dracorys may have been a god, but he was also a guy and by the time Celetran approached him, his gigantic dragon balls were blue as Esel.  The Lady of Esel assigned him Garruth the Laughing god, Spollnar’s long-time mate.  To seduce Garruth, Dracorys needed Spollnar’s cooperation and her smile.  The first, Celetran secured and Spollnar went off to spoon with Shamran.  The second, Dracorys took care of himself by changing into Spollnar’s likeness.  This wasn’t any simple shapechange either.  Dracorys had to change all his plumbing, but it worked.  Garruth fell into his arms as planned.

It was a race between Pugnar growing in Dracorys’s womb and Beldar in Davyrma’s to see who’d pop out first and Pugnar won.  Dracorys though, couldn’t maintain the deception during childbirth and when Garruth saw the truth, he was fit to be tied.  But Norath’s doom was calling and Dracorys flew off before explaining the situation to the Laughing God.   Davyrma heard the call too and with her belly still swollen (Beldar needed a bit longer in the oven), appeared with her intended mate before the Seeress.  When Davyrma left Umbar, she still wore Lillandra’s guise, and he was content in his ignorance.

The dragons consummated their long delayed love, but it was swift and brutal, without a drop of tenderness and when the Seeress asked Davyrma to choose, she chose Umbar not Dracorys.  You know the saying, “once you have Umbar, he’s never far”?  It’s not as catchy as “once you go black … “, but you get the idea.

Davyrma’s decision made the morning headlines.  No one was expecting it, except maybe the Seeress.  Norath proclaimed her doom fulfilled and the two dragons flew off, each crying as they went.  The dragon tears fell to Sangrar, where they hardened into eggs and from them, the first wyrmkind hatched on the world.

The dragon queen flew back to Umbar and announced her love, but he told her to skedaddle after learning how she’d lied.   She fled back to her mountaintop and gave birth.  Davyrma was a terrible mother.  Beldar reminded her so much of Umbar that she couldn’t stand to look at him.  She threw herself into the sea, but Rabyn, who was watching unseen, rescued her before she drowned and nursed her back to health.

While recovering, Davyrma simmered and her love for Umbar turned sour.  She joined Rabyn’s “I hate Umbar” club (those two would make a great sibling rivalry case study) and their shared hatred became the foundation of their relationship.  They called it love, but it wasn’t.  It was anything but love.

Rabyn had already gone over to the Dark Lord and convinced Davyrma that hitching their star to One-Eye’s wagon was their best shot at getting revenge.  She didn’t say yes right away.  Despite everything, she’d always stood against the Dark Lord, but then she caught wind of the lies Umbar was spreading in Heaven and the kid gloves were off.  Hussy indeed!

Dracorys had an easier time of it than Davyrma.  Garruth calmed down, once Spollnar got to him.  She told him that she’d been in on it from the beginning and that was enough for him to forgive Dracorys’s deception.  Dracorys wasn’t happy about Davyrma’s decision, but he couldn’t hold it against her.  All he wanted was for her to be happy.  Doesn’t that just make you sick?

When the Seeress had said they would be lovers or enemies forever, Dracorys didn’t want to believe her.  He couldn’t imagine Davyrma as his enemy, even after she’d turned him down.  Loving another?  Dracorys could forgive that, but not swearing to the Dark Lord.  The Seeress was right after all.  Davyrma was his enemy – she’d left him no choice.

The dragon tears landing on Sangrar contained all manner of wyrmkind.  Drakes were the lowest form, only size and an aggressive nature made them stand out from lizards.  Wyrms were next on the draconic Darwinian scale.  Unlike drakes, who relied on instinct, wyrms could reason things out and they flied, making them a whole lot scarier.  Dragons were the shining stars of wyrmkind.  Smart enough to join Mensa, these powerful creatures could draw from the Spires like sorcerers, to cast spells and breath deadly blasts.  Some could even change shapes and walk among men incognito.

It’s a fact – some dragons are good and some are evil.  I’ve heard plenty of old wives’ tales about how to tell them apart, the most popular said that color gave it away, that dragons with metallic colored scales were good natured and those favoring brighter colors were to be avoided at all costs.  I’m here to set the record straight.  That is a load of bunk!  Color didn’t mean squat when it came to a dragon’s disposition or its breath.  When the villagers of Glenfarthing saw silver-winged Gaugerimax overhead, did they cheer and invite him down for a barbeque?  Scaladaxus was red as the blood moon and as kind-hearted as your grandfather.  In fact, when he wanted to, he looked just like someone’s grandfather.  If that old wives tale was right, then both of those dragons should have had their heads examined.

It’s even a fallacy to assume that every dragon chose between good and evil.  Many people don’t make a conscious choice to play for one side or the other, they just stumble through life making decisions the best they can.  It’s not that different for dragons.  Sure, it’s harder for a dragon to go through life without facing some gut wrenching decision with ginormous moral implications. For one thing, they live a long time, so that works against them.  Sooner or later, some quandary or another is bound to pop up.  Also, they’re magnets for attention (aka dragon hunters) and kill or be killed qualifies as a life changing moment.  Not surprisingly, most dragons choose to live, which IMHO shouldn’t automatically qualify them for Dr. Evil’s team.

The most famous dragon of the age was golden Azatoth, the mount of Pelavin the Conqueror.  He may or may not have been evil, one could argue that either way, but he certainly wasn’t one of the so-called good dragons.  He did what his master asked.  The bond between Azatoth and Pelavin was unusual.  Dragons tended to be solitary creatures, but those two were a matched pair.

Pelavin’s origins can only be guessed.  The most accepted theory is that he was the son of an Angrakoran barbarian and a Sangritharian noblewoman.  His mother’s carriage was intercepted by marauders along the River Andurant and nine months later, Pelavin arrived.  His Sangritharian grandfather, ashamed of his bastard grandson, abandoned the infant on the slopes of the Irontooth Hills.  Somehow, the babe survived long enough to be found and taken in by a band of Angrakorans.

Pelavin grew tall and strong.  Years later, he led a dragon hunt into the caves beneath the hills.  Of the eight men going into the cave, only Pelavin emerged and he was on the back of golden Azatoth, a majestic dragon as long as a football field.  The legends say that earlier in his life, Pelavin had killed a dragon and eaten its brain, giving him command over wyrmkin, but I don’t believe it.  If that were true, wouldn’t there have been others with Pelavin’s power of command?  I think his gift was just one of those random things that happened on a magikal world like Sangrithar.  Maybe the Prophecies had a hand in it?  Pelavin was a Warrior and Ardallin might have been a Prince, but if there was a Priestess in the mix, her identity eluded me.

In the year 1191 RT, Pelavin joined forces with the warlord Ardallin and Torloch, an archmage cast out of Colcester after one of the blackest episodes in my alma mater’s history.  The three of them formed a triumvirate of power that came to be feared across the face of Fanar, and eventually, even Tyrnavalle.  Two years later, their combined armies razed Sangrithar to the ground.  By then, Azatoth was not the only wyrmkind in the barbarian army.  With Azatoth’s help, Pelavin had rounded up wyrm eggs and given them to his strongest warriors.  When they hatched, the wyrmlings grew swiftly into an unbeatable airborne cavalry.  When Sangrithar was razed, nearly two dozen wyrmkind took wing with Azatoth to unleash devastation upon the city.   When it was over, barely a shack was left standing.  Even Gloryngael was decimated – Tintammil remained, but little else.  The Garden of the Gods though didn’t lose a single blossom.  Thar’s magik still protected it.

The invaders worked their way southeast down the coast, eventually coming south to Tyrnavalle by way of Enlas.  Ardallin, the supreme overlord of the barbarian horde, dispatched Pelavin to Renk, along with the wizard Torloch, who was sent as much to spy on Pelavin as he was to insure victory over Renk.  In 1202 RT, Pelavin and his riders soared over the city and breathed a firestorm upon the people, wreaking as much destruction as they had years earlier in Sangrithar.  Afterwards, this was known as the Dragon Rending of Renk.  Pelavin, now known as Pelavin the Conquerer, and his dragon riders wielded magikal lances that spat fire just as hot as their mounts’ breath.

One of those slain was Tort, the Wizard of Renk (he lived in the tower my friend Tarik built centuries earlier, a tower that only a wizard could live in comfortably).  Tort came down from his tower to face Pelavin and Azatoth, but his spells were like bringing a knife to a gunfight – not nearly enough.

Three years later, Pelavin’s army met up with Ardallin’s and surrounded Halitai, the oldest kingdom on Tyrnavalle (Hali had founded it 1205 years earlier after toppling the Pearl Throne).  By the time it was over, not a single building remained standing and those that still lived fled, running as fast as their legs would carry them.  Pelavin though, was slain during the battle and the details around his death never quite added up.  Some thought that he was assassinated by the archmage Torlach on Ardallin’s orders.  The overlord considered Pelavin the strongest threat to his rule and might have had his competition knocked off so that he could sleep a little easier at night.

Whatever the reason, Azatoth and the other dragons took to the skies the night Pelavin died and were never seen again, at least not en masse.  Torloch absconded with the dragon riders’ lances and took them to Ardallin in Enlas.  The Conquerer’s son, called Pelavin the Ancient (eventually, he was still young at that point) viewed this as theft and it precipitated the falling out between the two barbarian dynasties.

The barbarian occupation of Renk lasted nearly three centuries.  Pelavin’s son of course, being only human, passed away (peacefully as it turns out) long before his people were driven from Tyrnavalle by  Clarestor, the spiritual heir of Deridean’s avatar,  Murtav.  Clarestor defeated the overlord in Enlas and with his death, the remaining barbarians returned to the continent and abandoned Tyrnavalle to the southerners.

Dragons were most common in mountains.  Whether it was the Dragonback Ridge in northwestern Fanar, the Daladorn Mountains on the eastern side of the world, the Ironteeth, or the Achmads of Tyrnavalle, wherever there were mountains, you’d find dragons.  Now, dragons weren’t all that common, you wouldn’t trip over one if you went for a stroll, but if you knew what you were looking for, you could find them, or if not a dragon, at least a drake or a wyrm.

Despite the fact that most dragon lairs were in the mountains, I was never convinced that dragons were overly fond of that terrain.   I thought it was more a matter of convenience, and heritage.  Mountains provided privacy other locations couldn’t and flight gave wyrmkind easy access.  Some of it might also have been instinct – dragons came from Dracorys and Davyrma’s tears and the dragon gods spent an age or two on mountaintops.  Dragons liked swamps, too, and the Shadowgrim was home to many wyrmkind.

I said before that most dragons weren’t inherently good or evil, and I stand by that statement, but some did choose.  Those hatching from Davyrma’s tears leaned towards the dark side, and those from Dracorys’s had a better chance of growing up Jedi, and, I repeat, color had nothing to do with it.  Emerre spent several centuries in the Shadowgrim and fought dragons of every color in the rainbow.

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