A cloud of darkness in a blade of steel.
A chained heat and a leaping flame.
A warrior hooded, a deadly menace.
An old tradition and an ancient way.
A brooding power constrained,
a force unleashed.
The youngest male of that first generation was Digaleig, and his wife-to-be was born as a twin to the Mannish girl after him. Her name was Gleiza. They were darker in skin than all but the family to be named the dwarves. Their hair was dark and wavy, and their frames were strong and powerful. Their eyes confused and made the others marvel. At rest or at play they shone and sparkled like veritable black diamonds. In love and in deep thought they changed to a meditative gray like the clouds over a softly breaking sea. In anger they glowed and blazed with a deep sparking red like the embers of the heart of a coal fire. And when after they were blessed, they used their authority and power, their eyes lit up with a mighty violet light that shone in darkness and day alike. At all times they seemed to embody lamps hung behind their eyes or within their depths. Some have said that if you looked too long into their eyes, seeking for their bottom, you would be enchanted and fall into a deep dream in which your every action and perception was influenced by what you saw in their eyes.
As they grew up they were the most active and assertive of the fourteen children. They always sought the hardest and the most difficult challenges, and they most often prevailed. With passion they combated the others for predominance and victory.
When the time cam for the blessings to be given, their family was given the name dragons. To them was given the rule of heat and fire. At their will and word they could command a flame to spring up in their hand, ignite a blaze in a tree, or they could banish heat from a thing so that it froze. To them was also given great strength in the Tälcön. This was a gift of authority given to each tribe, but especially to them. It had two parts to it: the Aurein, and the Torein. Both controlled motion of distant or not so distant objects, but in different ways. Both were invisible to those who do not have the gift of seeing it (elves, mostly), but they act like solid bodies, capable of motion and action.
The Aurein was more constrained near the body, and followed the definite shape of another human, albeit winged, linked to the user of the Aurein at the center of gravity. Its limbs can move independent of the physical body of the Aurai, the user of the Aurein, and pick up and manipulate things. Using the Aurein’s wings, one can with effort slow a fall, assist in a great leap, or accelerate or brake when running. It is, however, still impossible to fly with the Aurein.
The Torein was in the shape of several or one tentacles issuing from the Torai’s body, guided by his arms. These tentacles were more liquid in shape then the Aurein, in that they could fuse as one, stronger arm, branch out into many, weaker arms, extend out, or retract in closer. The strength of the Torein lay in its pulling, grasping, and pushing capabilities, not in being able to lift objects perpendicular to themselves. For that they were not very useful. Yet they could be used with great effect to do many things at long distances.
Not satisfied with these gifts, Digaleig sought to gain the power of the elves, and in failing that he sought to mix their lines to gain both strengths in his progeny. When refused, he stole the elvish queen Ëniuël. There was a great battle between him and Ëlwëth over her, and at last in revenge, anger, and hatred, Digaleig killed Ëniuël. He was justly banished with his wife from the consort of the Lords. He fled to the mountains and built a city there with his family. He trained them up in hate and taught them war.
In the year 121 there arose strife among the Council of Lords, and the men and dwarves abdicated from it. They went to the fast growing kingdom of the dragons, still lead by Digaleig. They aided him and built up a great empire of war, concealed under the mountain. The dragons had previously come into contact with several creatures of great power and intelligence. These creatures took on various forms and subverted them into preparing to march war on the rest of the tribes. These creatures were the Zeighor: demons manifested in natural form. These great, immortal Lords of Darkness created terror in the hearts of the rebel tribes, and bound them to their rule and command in exchange for greater power. They offered great and transcendent ability, as well as long life if the tribes sold their lives, their souls, their wills, and their bodies to them. Most agreed, out of lust for power and revenge. Then, over time, their bodies changed. Some became terribly malformed, bound to figures of hideous ugliness. Others were given bodies of wondrously seductive beauty and compulsion. Others became like dense figures of power, able to cow great warriors by their mere presence. They had become Ducahoi: Darkened Ones.
In the year 148 the great force marched on the other tribes. Until 259, over a century later, they won, and Ithelak was held in bondage to darkness. Those who maintained still a faith in the Lord of Creation were slaughtered and attacked, until there were very few left in hiding. At last in the year 1023 the hidden Council of Free Lords launched the first rebelution of liberty. For over four hundred and forty years they strove with the forces of darkness until at the last there were only fourteen of the Faithful miraculously preserved by God, fleeing to a secret valley revealed in visions to them by a wizard. There were two from each tribe, including dwarves, men, and dragons. In the valley they were defended by wizards while they built a great ship to protect themselves and all of the floods of incoming animals and creatures from the impending cataclysmic flood foretold to them. In the year 1465 it struck and wiped everything away, except for the ship with them on it.
After the Deluge has subsided the tribes began to grow and spread abroad again. They tried to set up governments, but due to lack of experience and lust for power, they did not last long and generally ended in revolt. The nations spread apart and in many cases animosity grew as they did. Wars erupted and settled down, driving many to seek greater power. Several of these nations turned to the old legends of the Ducahoi, and desired to gain that sort of power. And in secret, many did. In the 18th century since the creation of the world, these amassed themselves into a great host like unto that from before the Deluge and marched on the free peoples of the world. This army was led by the ancient sworn foes of the elves: the dragons, dwarves, and men, who had reformed the ancient alliance of darkness. That war waged for seven centuries, covering the surface of Ithelak with destruction and havoc. In the end, the Men forsook their troth and mixed with the other tribes as a punishment for their rebellion. What was left of the dwarves surrendered many of their cities and fled or were driven deep into the mountains.
The dragons were cornered in their deep fortress cities in the Tskarnorian mountains. For many more years they fought on, until all but a handful were exterminated. All lines but a few destroyed, or were mingled with the lines of the other tribes if they surrendered. One of these last cases stands out in history: that of what was known as the Basin War.
High up in the eastern mountains of Tskarnor there was a great fortress made before the Great War by a dragons and his cohorts. He was still there in the year 2500, but he was at bay there, blockaded by a great host of elves. The story of that war is a subject worthy of its own book (which I intend to write someday), but I can only tell you part of the ending here. All but one girl dragon of that line was slain, and she was saved only because she loved and was loved by the victorious elvish king, whose name was Xzantaria. They wed, and of their mingled line came the first ruling dynasty of the Tskarnorian empire.
By the year 2900, there were only twenty or so pure dragon lords left in the world. Only one of these inhabited Tskarnor. But the line of the Xzantarians had many histories and they come into many of my books.
A last word of clarification. Due to a deficiency on the part of the Common tongues of Tskarnor and and Minor (through many myths and misconceptions spread by superstitious rumors), there is only one word that is used for the three separate dragon beings. Kcumai (also translated as Wyvern, or non-sentient, reptilian beast), Diosän (wizards in wyvern form), and Agmÿlai (the dragon tribe which this article is discussing) are all translated as Dragon. Although there is a close affinity between these three things, they are very different.
With joy and peace in Christ,