Friday, July 27, 2012

The best laid planes of hamsters and gnomes

Date: One year ago (approximately).
Location: Mount Sneafang.

Gerromy read the report with alarm.
‘Thereanthor’s moved one of her children into Khajag?!’
Although young, Gerromy had defeated the arrogant interloper Lucas in the battle for leadership. The young gnomes simply hadn’t trusted the psionic, older gnome and, although still an advisor, he was viewed with suspicion.
‘This is a disaster! The magical messages have been sent out and we’ve no way to recall them.’
Standing up and starting to pace, Gerromy tries to think while his inner circle of advisors look shell-shocked.
‘It’s too late to do anything about it now. It’s just one of several sites and we’ll just have to hope that our protective magics will keep them safe until they can move out’.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The blue prince

It was an unheard of plan for a dragon. Dragons were an independent species that considered their children to be self-reliant as soon as they reached young adulthood.
To set them up within your own territory and to encourage them to build themselves a stronghold?
This was something new.
Thereanthor was aware that one day these children would be forced by their very nature to battle each other and eventually even her for supremacy.
Still, by then she’d probably have reached her twilight years.
Ultimately though, Fissa was hers and after all her struggles, even after her death, Thereanthor was determined to keep it in the family.
Her ‘lost’ daughter Sybille was safe in Fewham. A princess waited upon hand and foot. Thereanthor had recently even managed to send a message to her despite the wards and protection spells placed over her.
It was time they reconnected; especially now that she was letting her other children spread their wings.
Her other daughter, Uwibami was sent far north.
Her largest son, Yddraig to the south.
And Narsiss, her handsome but conceited son, was sent to Khajag.
Khajag is a diamond-mining town. Profitable but unfortunately close to his cosseted, human raised sister. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

The remaining royals

The guard was doubled for Thereanthor’s remaining wyrmlings. There had been two females and two males, now only the males and one of the females remained.
They were kept safe and pampered for over a decade before their mother was ready for them to face the world.
In that time though, Thereanthor had discovered the location of her missing progeny. The Black cloak nurse had stolen her charge and carried it back to her home town of Fewham. Once there, she had used her sorcerous powers to transform the infant dragon into a human child. A child that the young Lord Rician passed off as his own.
The initial demand for her return had resulted in Lord Rician’s polite but undisguised threat. The young dragon would be killed if any attempt to rescue her were made.
It was a bold gambit but a foolish one.
Despite the young dragon being removed while still so young, it had already inherited centuries of knowledge.
It knew what it was.
It knew who it was.
It knew how to best protect itself.
Thereanthor considered her options.
Her daughter ‘Sybille’ would have to fend for herself. She’d be treated like royalty and be safe enough as, despite their threat, the people of Fewham would have to protect their 'bargaining chip' or suffer total annihilation from her armies without her daughter to hide behind.
Thereanthor could wait a few decades before retrieving her ‘lost’ daughter.
Her remaining three wyrmlings were also spoiled and indulged over the next twenty years.
It is when they begin to squabble more fiercely that Thereanthor decided to give them more freedom.
Her stolen daughter ‘Sybille’ has become heir apparent in Fewham. A princess much loved by her ignorant people. Even Lord Rician has been duped into believing that his ‘captive’ dragon loved him like a father.
Using this as a model, Thereanthor allocates three towns within her kingdom to her remaining offspring.
They are still young, but better to let them rule a small area of their own then to battle and possibly damage each other.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Impossible theft

Her male consort is given lands in the western regions of her empire and dismissed until such time as the blue empress need him again. Thereanthor then retreats deep into her cavernous stronghold to protect her hatchlings.
She leaves the day to day running of her empire in the sycophantic hands of her head Black cloaks, while she nurtures her four tiny progeny.
The massive dragon though, still relies on a special cadre of nursing Black cloaks.
Four female sorcerers to look after the needs of the wyrmlings.
After a few months, Thereanthor returns to her throne. She visits the nursery daily but leaves the four tiny dragons care to the four sorceress nurses.
Then one day, despite all of her guards and protection, one of the infant dragons disappears, along with her nurse.
Theranthor was distraught. Many of the Black cloaks and dragon-borns were killed in her fury but the missing wyrmling was not to be found.
Not until several years later.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dragon immortality

After years of expansion, war and entrenchment, Thereanthor felt secure.
Secure enough to consider her future.
It had been seventy years after her first entry into this world. Despite her victory over the undying Pit fiend, she was pushing ‘ancient’ already and had to accept that she would not live forever.
Children were to be her immortality.
Seeking out a suitable mate, she found one in the nearest continent to hers. He was inferior to her but acceptable.
Her first clutch, just over thirty years ago contained four eggs.
Precious, blue sheened, dragon eggs.

Red hate

Dragged straight back to hell by the clawed hands of scores of lesser devils, Zartak found himself securely back in his former prison.
It’s large and he has servants of course. Grandeur to suit his station but he is not allowed to leave.
A cage, no matter how gilded, is still a cage.
Silently he broods.
Silently he plots.
He shall have his revenge in the blue dragon.
He shall see her fall. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blue triumphant

No one was surprised when the war came.
What was surprising though, was the outcome.
The devil was more powerful and his army was larger in size.
Unfortunately his troops were neither as well trained or as loyal as he was used to, as a prince of hell.
His human armies deserted at the first opportunity.
Zartak was forced further and further back into the northern territories until he was finally cornered.
Thereanthor had come personally to lead her dragon-borns and Black cloaks.
Thousands of Dragon-borns had been unwittingly pulled back through to Fissa at the time of the portal rend.
They were loyal to her and grateful as she protected them from harm even as they threw themselves blindly forward.
Thereanthor had a secret weapon though.
A group of troops that she'd kept secret until that moment.
Thousands of them.
Zartak had been unaware of his own contribution to his own destruction.
When he breached his section of the planar barrier, years before, the tormented legions of half human, half devils had been released into this world.
Despite their heritage, they hated all pure-blood devils.
A hatred they directed at Zartak.
Tens of thousands died in that last battle but it was the dragon herself who ended it.
Her jaws closed around the giant devil’s throat.
Her entire weight upon his.
Zartak wasn’t killed though.
You can’t kill an immortal.
His massive body crumbled into chalk-like pieces and his essence was pulled back to the pits of his fiery prison.
As his body coalesced, his screams of vengeance shook the gates of hell. 

Purple allegiance

After the resistance had been utterly destroyed, the Dragon and the Devil carved up the massive continent of Fissa between them.
Thereanthor took the southeast and Zartak, the northwest.
It was an acceptable agreement and suited both the devil and the dragon…
Soon though, Zartak felt the need to expand his empire. He built up an army of slaves to equal that of his erstwhile partner.
Theranthor, being no fool, built up her defences in reaction to the devil’s growing forces.
War was inevitable.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Red assistance

Intelligent enough to understand the price to be paid, Thereanthor accepts the ‘assistance’ of the red skinned, devil Zartak.
After a month of organization the Black cloaks try again to breach the barrier from their side.
This time though, forces on Fissa work against them.
Armies of orcs led by mysterious leaders attack the mountain stronghold.
The shadowy Grey elves of the surrounding forests, harry them constantly.
The Black cloaks were forced to hire mercenaries to protect them. Tough but naïve adventurers.
These adventurers kept the Black cloaks safe and slaughtered hundreds of the strangely well-organised orc legions.
Still they came though.
There were thousands of them, supported by the arrows of the Grey elves and the aerial support of well-trained, giant eagles.
The magical barriers were about to fail but still the hired mercenaries held their ground.
The ceremony was ready.
A split in the fabric of reality appeared and widened.
Thereanthor sensing the rift, poured her primordial power into it. Pushing it further. Stretching it ever wider.
She could see her way through but the window was still too fragile. Still too small.
With a psychic message to Zartak, the once-prince of the underworld exploits the damage already done and struck at the barrier between worlds with his diabolic energy.
Under this triple assault, the barrier cracked.
Both Dragon and Devil seized their opportunity and slipped through the gap between worlds. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Fiends in low places

Although unable to see anything from his prison, Zartak: the once prince of Hell, feels the assault against the planes in his immortal bones.
Something is trying to free itself from somewhere.
Something with power.
A dragon.
A dragon with the power to rock the barrier between planes.
But not enough to break through.
The devil smiles.
Whoever it was has failed.
It needs more power than it commands.
Zartak smells desperation.
Zartak smells opportunity.
Summoning an imp, the massive devil composes a message to his soon to be ally.
The dragon shall be free but at a price.
The price of his own liberation.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Blue impediment

Nearly two centuries ago, after hundreds of years of research, Theranthor discovered a way to reopen one of the portals back to this world.
It was dangerous and would involve tremendous amounts of primordial energy but it was possible.
After decades of work, she was able to prise open a crack between worlds. Wide enough to send telepathic messages through to those who were both sensitive enough and had dragon blood coursing through their veins.
Slowly she recruited an army. Secretly at first but slowly more overt.
Sorcerers all and zealots to her cause.
It took time but time was something Thereanthor had plenty of.
Slightly over a century later, she was ready.
Ready to rule again after a millennia of surviving in this barren wasteland.
Ready to rule over the squirming masses of small and inferior creatures.
After preparing her minions, Thereanthor ordered them to begin the ritual needed to enable her return.
The skies ripped.
The ground shock.
The portal shimmered and, for the first time in their devoted service, the Black cloaks gazed upon the terrifying face of their mistress.
Then the portal collapsed.
Enraged, Thereanthor threw herself at the stoney ground and screamed at the heavens above.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Time of the dragons

Once upon a time, dragons ruled this land. Blue, Red, Silver and gold. Dragons of every colour crowded the skies.
They waged constant war on each other; vying for superiority with no regard to the ‘lesser’ races they shared the world with.
As the battles became fiercer and the conscripted armies became larger, the casualties became worse and worse.
Eventually the greatest wizards and priests of their age, banded together. At the cost of tens of thousands of lives, hundreds of portals were created that sucked the vast majority of the dragons, both good and evil, through them and into a different plane.
The portals were sealed and the few dragons who’d managed to cling on, emerged to find a world no longer quaking under their taloned feet.
Unforeseen by the great wizards and priest though, was the loss of the Dragon-borns. Hundreds of thousands of them were pulled into the plane of dragons.
Not a single one was left behind.