THE ELDER DRAGON AND HER CULT OF THE BEAST
She Knew by Maria Gabriela Orellana
She knew how they felt about her. She was adored, respected, feared. Everything was clearly as it should be. The way that nature pretended it to be. The way that the universe worked. She could see all those humanoids and non-humanoids figures pullulating outside of the burned borders. They lived their miserable, insignificant life without true uncertainties, without true understanding of the threads that control the destiny of the universe. How could life even exist in that way? How could such a waste of organic matter be called a ‘living being’?
And they worshipped her. Clerics fought over her favour, which they never really had. She understood that. She comprehended every language inside that whole myriad of dialects that everyday they spoke altogether, in those despicable amounts of words they dared to call “languages”. Since the last time she was cornered in her cave, they had been doing nothing but speaking nonsense. Speaking. Even their words of love and adoration felt disgusting and pitiful. Of course, they said they adored her. She was the “Elder” as some called them. The “Queen of ashes” as some bards sung in their meaningless songs. The fire breather Monarch. The indomitable wings. The Crimson diamond. The Goddess of the scales. The immortal one. The untrustworthy Deity. The unwanted Death Machine. The red terror.
The disgusting outcast. The corrupted beast. The foreign monster.
She knew where those words came from. Some of those who lived in the
outsides of her sealed domains had something in their soul that was dark. Something that was against her. She could sense it, she could feel it, she could detect everything about it. There was something inside the hearts of those who feared her that wasn’t submissive nor silent. It was a faint flame, an almost invisible one. But it was obscure, repugnant, and most importantly: insolent. She heard the whispers, the sayings, the comments. The ideals of rebellion were contaminating their souls. Drakkenjaegar was how these weak, insipid minds called themselves, and how they were presented in their respective societies. Dragon hunters. They came from different origins, races, families, but they shared a common objective. She was familiar with this sort of people. They were like the ones that annihilated her brothers and sisters when Time was created. When the first songs were being composed. When sunlight touched the Earth, but it didn’t create deserts. When winters weren’t harsh, and food was still plenty.
She felt that lust for her blood. And it was imminent to them. They were convinced that they could do it. As if in any moment she was going to be able to hear the steps of the author of her death. They wanted that. They wanted her. Her scarlet red scales, her golden pupils, her magnificent wings, her polished claws, her sharp teeth, her elegant head. They wanted to use her head to ornament the stone halls of some king, some leader, some representant of their despondent life. They wanted to laugh at their display of power, courage, bravery. They wanted to mock her. They wanted to ridicule those of her kin. Maybe her head was going to be right next to another member of her clan. Someone that she could remember from the days when dragons could freely be the ethereal, magical masters of the sky, and nobody dared to question their authority.
But they would not do anything to her body, at least not before trying to steal her secrets. Or attempting to delete her memory. They would have to carry her to powerful bearers of magic: wizards, sorcerers and warlocks of different species to see who was going to be blessed with her knowledge. Disgusting beings that think they know how the world works, how destiny is forged, when they could not even scratch the surface of true knowledge. They would try to read her mind, to reveal her secrets, to go against what the cycle of life dictates. And all her wisdom of the past ages would have left her body. She would have felt empty. A pointless vessel. A hollow tree, a blank message. A mere ignorant beast just like them. She would have been pathetic. She would have been nothing.
Of course, as if that was even remotely possible. She was aware that in this period of silent, patient wait for her hunger to be insatiable and her fire indestructible, she was going to be able to make her enemies surrender without a single fight. The weapon of no commoner was going to put an end to her life. She was older than some of their races. Wiser than most Councils. More powerful that the mightiest kings. More terrifying than all their armies joined together. More Divine than most of their wretched gods. How would a mere mortal, a disgraceful and deplorable mortal, even dare to think about the idea of killing her?
The cave trembled. Then, there was an odd pause. Silence. The Ancient Dragon Queen felt as if the whole world was in silence for a second. Time stopped. And the halls crushed. The sealed entrance of the cave exploded. Giant pieces of burning rocks flew through the circular chamber. As soon as they touched her scales, as she stood up roaring uncontrollably, they felt cold. Frozen pieces of gelid rocks. Shattered pieces of ice covered the room. Blue, delicate but hurtful crystals. Blue magic. Ice magic.
A very small but robust, dark hooded figure appeared through the destroyed pillars. It was alive, but it wasn’t just someone or something like the living beings she could recognize in Draconia. No…this creature, this beast, was something else. It was made from rocks, crystals, and ice. She sensed everything she despised coming from this creature. Just like the cobalt coloured fire that was dancing over his palm, as soon as he stepped into the chamber, she knew that his blood was made from gelid arcane energy.