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CALDORA: Prelude: In the Beginning...

NOVELS

In the BeginningÖ

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           In the beginning, there was the great Earth Dragon Omar. It was called an Earth Dragon because it was half flesh and half earth, and had reached the size of a small moon. But this dragon was getting old, and so new life sparked within its womb. The embryo grew like a voracious cancer, soon becoming too big and too vigorous for its host to handle.

Omar cracked open like a broken egg when the baby tore its way out of its bowels. The infant dragon was a being of pure flesh, and it flew around, greedily devouring the earthy remains of its parent. When it had consumed enough rock to stiffen its body it nestled comfortably among the twinkling stars.

This was how the Earth Dragon Caldor came into existence. It drifted for ages in the dead of space, gulping down any stray asteroids that passed its way, accumulating more and more mass, until it had digested a sufficient amount of stone to develop a thick skin of earth to protect its fleshy interior. The dragon eventually settled into a stable orbit around the nearby sun named Ara, revolving silently at the fringes of its gravitational pull.

Thus it lay dormant for centuries, engulfed in a dreamless sleep, until it was awakened by an astounding meteor shower. The rocks pelted onto its skin and raised great clouds of dust into the atmosphere. Among the meteorites was a magnificent piece of multi-colored crystal. It collided at the very midpoint of the beastís back and broke into ten distinct chunks that fell in a circle miles wide around the central piece.

The crystals embedded themselves deep into the Earth Dragonís skin, and it moaned in pain as fresh blood gushed from the wounds, pouring into the impact craters and forming a huge lake. However, the blood of an Earth Dragon was not thick and red, but in fact purest water. It fertilized the ground and allowed lush forests to sprout outside of the crystalsí borders.

And so the land was filled with green things. But its verdant beauty was shrouded in fog, and there was nobody there to enjoy it. Time passed, and at last the beginnings of animate life stirred within the murky liquid. A female form rose out of the waters: Dinictis the all-knowing. She was followed by a male form: Aloquin, who excelled in the arts of wizardry.

These were the Dragon Twins, the firstborn who were meant to preside over the world that would flourish upon the surface; it happened this way on every Earth Dragon. But Dinictis, in her unfailing foresight, looked into her partnerís heart and saw great evil there. She divined that he would ultimately go mad with power and attempt to claim the throne all for himself. She saw the land divided, dominated by war and grief, with Aloquin ruling his wretched subjects by fear.

Dinictis could not allow this to happen. The moment they stepped out of the liquid, she turned on him and used the power hidden in the gigantic crystals to lock him inside the one at the center. She knew he would eventually break free, but it would serve well as a temporary prison. The wizard naturally came to harbor a grudge against his twin. He considered the attack unprovoked, and swore to one day repay her for her treachery.

Dinictis knelt by the sandy shore and gazed into the lake; the dragonís blood was ripe with the forces of creation. She touched her finger to the primordial waters and brought forth abundant life. First came the Tooth Guardians, immortal beings destined to guard Caldorís throat canal and make sure anything that went in would not get out. Then came the elves, humans, faeries, goblins, tricksters, ogres, trolls, orcs, dragons, gnolls, dwarves, unipegs, and all manner of creatures rose up from the liquid at her command. They bowed to her as Goddess, built a glorious castle for her out of the crystal debris and crowned her their Queen. Ever since then she was called the Bringer of All Life, and known as the ancestor of all who walk the earth.

Dinictis dispelled the dusty fog and ordered the waters to recede, revealing to her children the beautiful land that awaited them. She called it Caldora, and divided it into four parts: the North Forest, the East Forest, the South Forest, and the West Forest. She blessed her offspring and bade them go out into the world and make homes for themselves Ė which they did.

And so Caldora prospered for centuries under Dinictisí rule, until one day a rogue meteor crashed into the crystal in which Aloquin was imprisoned and set him free. Shards of the crystal flew to the four corners of the country, and the Queen sought some brave souls to go and gather up the pieces, for that was the only way of stopping her rival.

Lynn gladly volunteered for the job. This dark elf held the top fighting rank in the North Forest, but he was getting disillusioned with his reputation. He longed to see if there was more to life than constant battle and saw this task as an opportunity to do so. The half-elf Shalaya, though a no-rank herself, was Lynnís childhood friend and came along to help. They scoured the four forests for the missing chunks and brought them back to the Queen. With Lynnís assistance, Dinictis used them to detain Aloquin once again, this time in a parallel dimension called the Land of Illusions.

All that had occurred made Dinictis resent her powers of foresight more and more, and she finally decided to pass them on to somebody more willing to cope with them. Lynn was more than happy to oblige, and his patience and discipline were rewarded with the gift of prophecy. But the dark elfís thirst for knowledge was insatiable, and he pushed to learn more, until he gained awareness of the past and present as well. Dinictis retained her knowledge of past and present, and that was all she required to rule benevolently and wisely.

Time passed, and Lynn had since moved from the wilds of his native North Forest to the more harmonious East Forest. One day a distraught human mother brought her young son to his door, begging him to take the child as an apprentice. The dark elf knew that the boy did not have the patience or the discipline to ever become an Acora, but raised him anyway, for he also knew that this child was destined for greatness Ė this was Jason, the future King of Caldora.

All was not well in the land. The Earth Dragon Caldor was getting old, and a new fetus was being kindled within its bowels. Although this was part of the Earth Dragonís life cycle, it spelled inevitable death for all who thrived upon it. Already the ground was becoming dry and flaky, which was a sure sign that the vegetation was next to go.

Lynn traveled with his inept apprentice to collect the shards of each of the ten Crystals of Power Ė that was what the ancient asteroids were now called. He had Jason put the pieces together into a powerful magical medallion, forged from the forces of light and darkness, creation and destruction. That done, Dinictis and Jason journeyed into Caldorís entrails, found the developing embryo, neutralized it with the medallion, and escaped to the surface through a network of blood vessels. Thus Caldora was saved, and for his role in the mission Dinictis proclaimed Jason King to rule alongside her and endowed him with immortality.

The force with which the crystals negated the embryo was so great that it knocked the Earth Dragon Caldor out of its orbit and sent it on a path towards the neighboring planet Lossi. The collision with Lossi was a gentle one, for the bulk of the dragon touched down on its buoyant oceans, with the tip of the beastís tail landing on a vast continent at an area called the Enchanted Forest. This place now served as a junction between the two landmasses.

        Many changes needed to be made: new maps to be charted, new lands to be explored, new astral worlds to be reconciled, and the Overworld traffic of souls to be merged. Our story begins several days after this cosmic event, as the two celestial bodies were just beginning to adapt to one another.

 

 

Copyright © 2003 by Yumeni www.twilightvisions.com. All rights reserved.
Revised: 27 Jan 2013 22:56:34 -0700 .

 

 

 

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