Tales of Twilight: Firstborn

January 17, 2008

Kan was weary, so very weary. His shoulders drooped with age, his features sagged, his scales had turned gray and brittle. He was Firstborn of his people. He was the leader of a nation that grew stronger with every day. He was chosen to fulfill their destiny and usher in a new age of the world.

He had lived for nearly five years, and knew his life would soon be coming to an end.

Ten thousand years ago, a span of time so immense that he felt his mind shudder and weep to even consider it… in that day and age, the Great Ones had walked the world – or soared above it. In an age when heaven and hell clashed together for control of the world, ten stars had been plucked from the sky and hurled down to this fragile orb by the power of the Dark Father. And when those stars struck the earth, shattering the ground and laying waste to the life only just beginning to emerge, they revealed their true nature – kings of the sky, with impenetrable scales and glorious wings, wielding fangs of steel and breath of deadly flame.

They were Dragonkind, and the world trembled in their wake.

And as the war stretched on, five chose the side of darkness while five chose the side of light, and the battles between the two were the stuff of legend. And when the war ended, at the very dawn of mankind, and the dark devils were sealed away from the world of man… so too were the Great Ones. Some went willingly into the dreamless slumber, lending their strength to the Great Binding so it could snare their dark counterparts. All were held by the spell, and sealed within stone and molten fire, to sleep unknowing and unaware of the world around them until the very end of time. Their like would never come again.

Until now.

Kan was Firstborn among his people, but many had followed in the years since. The one who had made them, who had forged them from the blood of dragons and the flesh of the earth, had brought them forth with a purpose in mind.

To awaken their slumbering ancestors.

To unleash Dragonkind upon the world once again.

This is Kan’s purpose. This is his nature. For the five long years of his life, he has worked towards this goal, learning to weave the spells his Maker taught him, teaching his people to follow in his steps. Every day he has focused the magic, slowly unraveling the binding upon the Great Ones, making progress step by step, spell by spell. He has been dutiful. He has been diligent.

And he has grown tired of it all.

He does not know if it is the magic he channels that has worn the spark of life in him so thin, so quickly. He does not know if all his kind are doomed to know so short a span of life. He does not know if any even care – for many live solely to serve the Maker’s will, and fulfill that purpose for which they were meant.

But he is Firstborn. He is more than the purpose for which he was meant. He can see the layers of the world, and feel its heartbeat in the moments of stillness that come when each day’s work is done. He knows that life is more than simply service, and though he spares not concern over his own coming passing, he mourns to see his people so poorly used, and to know that fate shall follow each of them to the grave.

Dawn rises, though he cannot see it – they carry out their rituals and their spells in the Caverns Below, the dark underground where they can be about their purpose unnoticed and unopposed. He has never seen the sun. He regrets this. He knows that he never will, one of countless wonders forever beyond his reach, eternally denied him.

But not, perhaps, his people.

It will not be long before he must carry himself down to the central chamber and carry out his daily task. But in the short span between now and then, he feels a strange sensation coming over him. He does not know it at first, but he has read about it in the histories he has read, the stories his people have stolen from the libraries of men.

It is defiance.

He is Kan, Firstborn of the Dragonspawn. And though his star is dwindling, though the final count of his life will be measured in mere days, he knows his job is not yet done.

He is Firstborn, and he will save his people, no matter what it takes.

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