Campaigns; The Conundrum Dragon
author: Lee "Fevil" Scolin
The Conundrum Dragon
The ancient creature they called Bellatrix once again awoke from the same dream that had haunted it for more than five decades, one of total and complete darkness, so absolute not even the sun above the Orb its race had colonised could penetrate it.
Bellatrix was used to visions, during its meditations it had had many, most of them prophetic and every one acted upon, how else could they have so successfully defeated the Child-Gods earliest attempts at driving them off of their Orb where it not for Bellatrix's visions? As is the nature of prophecy however, not everything is made clear as was proven when the unforeseen union of the upstart Child-Gods and their Titan parents began to exact a heavy toll. This vision was different however; it was not clearly prophetic in any way and even now eluded deciphering. What did the darkness mean? Could this herald the realization of the Great Work finally? The subsequent incarceration of the Demi-Goddess Drendari, while invaluable for the Great Work, did little to shed light (how ironic) on Bellatrix's vision. Indeed it only left Bellatrix seething with anger and frustration every time it was forced to dwell on it.
The Slarecian shifted its weight to a more comfortable position within its immense bed chamber and allowed its slaves to feed it. Bellatrix was unsure whether "Slarecian" was a misnomer now as it had become much more since the transformation into what its slaves and servitors called a "Dragon", a vulgar word that did not do Bellatrix any justice at all. What it had become surpassed those primitive reptiles. It was a paragon of its race, the first to undergo the risky and potentially fatal process although many were intrigued that the new form was so similar to the True Dragon race, coincidence perhaps? Primitive was also a word that could be used to describe much of the so called "intelligent" species on this particular Orb, indeed the specimens are so primitive they could not even pronounce the Dragons true name, instead coming up with "Bellatrix", a word better suited to their limited language abilities. Even their Gods were primitive beings, powerful yes, but still primitive and ill suited to serve the needs of the Great Work, with Drendari being the exception that proves the rule. The Titans however were something different, forces of nature unfettered by ideology and instead beings of instinct, slaves to what their servitor races call The Cycle. These beings could well be the reason why Bellatrix and her race were drawn to this Orb, time will tell, it always does.
Bellatrix's thoughts were interrupted by a deep rumbling and a tremor that caused dust to seep through the cracks of its chamber ceiling and with a thought it dismissed its slaves. With great effort the immense form of the Slarecian Dragon stepped off its bed and began to make its way through the halls of the fortress, the din of battle could be heard ahead and for a moment Bellatrix was amazed that the invaders had managed to breach the fortresses defences so quickly. That amazement was quickly replaced with grim resolve as another large tremor shock the structure so violently that most of the hall Bellatrix was in collapsed in on itself allowing the sun to hit the stone floor for the first time in over a millennia. Through the dust and debris the Dragon began to make out shapes working their way over the rubble and prepared to do battle, and as those shapes came into focus Bellatrix knew that their aggressors had upped the stakes of the conflict.
The Dragon recognised most of its opponents immediately, The towering form of Kadum could be seen laying waste to what remained of Bellatrix`s fortress through the gaping hole in the wall and in front of the Slarecian was the Storm Goddess, Belsameth, Vangal and a fourth being it did not recognise, this… thing looked like a huge lion with a pair of eagle like wings sprouting from its back and a humanoid face. Not that it mattered as all four would soon be joining Hedarus in the Gods Graveyard.
Then it happened, before Bellatrix could even collect her thoughts they struck, but not as expected, the Child-Gods unleashed powerful magics that gnawed away at its confidence and willpower sending its mind reeling from the shock of such an unexpected form of attack. The Dragon managed to strike back however, sending shockwaves of pure thought so violent that Vangal was knocked back through the hole he entered and both the Storm Goddess and Belsameth were forced to their knees in agony. Only the strange lion like creature remained and as it looked into Bellatrix's eyes, the Dragon could have sworn that it had sorrow in them, before Bellatrix could rip that sorrow from its sockets however the creature uttered a word and the dream that had consumed Bellatrix`s every thought for five decades was finally fulfilled. Darkness engulfed the Slarecian Dragon.
Belsameth stood up and looked at the pile of complex puzzle pieces that had once been Bellatrix and then at the Sphinx, divine blood seeping from her ears and eyes and staining the stone floor a dark red.
"It worked then? Surprise, surprise. It’s a wonder you were not conscripted into this conflict before now Athentia, we may even win."
At these words Athentia turned to the Hag Queen and very softly and deliberately replied. "I have done what was requested of me Belsameth, the bargain has been fulfilled, I will not aid either side again, your petty squabbles are not mine."
Picking up the ornate horn from the pile and gazing longingly at the still kneeling form of Enkili, Belsameth said: "And what if we decide you will Athentia, hmm? What then? You cannot take on the might of us all can you?" The smile became a leer as Belsameth finished her sentence.
"You cannot threaten me Child of Mormo, I have a word for you also, do you wish to hear it? Or would you rather we dispense with the threats and disperse the pieces as was planned?"
With the leer fading from Belsameths face and Enkili finally rising to his feet, the pieces of what was once the first Slarecian Dragon were gathered up, scattered across Scarn and deliberately lost, but not forgotten.