Dragonkin - all creatures descended from and to include dragons.
Drachenritter - German for Dragon Knight.
Legendary character - A reincarnated dragon, born into human flesh.
Honorable mentions: Nidhogg, a dragon in Norse mythology -- it’s name might refer to its role as a horrific monster and the Human Duke who rediscovers the legend.
Long ago in the age of Dragonkin, legend tells of a man – born with the soul of a dragon. Perhaps it was his karma, perhaps merely destiny.
He wondered, what might he have done to deserve such a cruel fate. No longer a dragon, not quite a man – an abomination in human flesh.
Finally, able to see through the lenses of a human – he grew, and felt the atrocities Dragonkin would subject them to.
To reconcile his sins, he forged the Drachenritter Corp. He imbued his Knights with dragon magic – tethering them to his own ether pool, granting them the ability to finally go toe to toe with their mighty foe.
One by one human cities were freed of their subjugation as each dragon was slain. Morale couldn’t be higher and the man’s purpose clearer.
Nidhogg king of dragons, soon grew tired of their follies and vowed to set fire to the planet – leave humanity but dust and echoes.
Outnumbered and outmatched, the man knew his only hope to put an end to the suffering was to destroy Nidhogg and the Dragonkin power at the source.
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During the confrontation, the man managed to mortally wound Nidhogg. But fate is not without a sense of irony. As Nidhogg drew his last breath, so too did all remaining Dragonkin – to include the man, as his soul was still dragon.
After the death of the man and the Dragonkin. The Drachenritter, no longer connected to the ether, lost their dragon magic. Without a foe and now leaderless, the Corps was dissolved.
As time passed, the legend faded from tongues. That is until one day a young Duke, born from a Kingdom that rose from the ashes, rediscovered the lost tale.
Inspired by their courage against all odds, he structured his army in their honor – and much like the original Drachenritter, seeks to ensure a tranquil existence for all.
Glory but an inch from the tip of his polearm, Azaael seized the dying moment to turn his ears to the fate of his comrades, the Knights holding a bloody court with the remainder of the Dragonkin army just outside of the imposing blueish expansion of the hidden cave where he stood over Nidhogg, defeated warrior king of the Dragonkin.
Defeated, but not slain.
Nidhogg smiled to himself. His sages had foretold the coming of the Dragonkin born of human flesh, and the old Dragon King had long awaited his time to do battle with this legend. Nidhogg had brought peace to the land of the humans, and he was about to see his creation destroyed by a few rebellious souls who had, for many generations, inflicted worst pain on themselves than any that the dragons had ever created.
The obtuse speak very stupidly of war's glory. Even the victorious screams of Azaael's elite Drachenritter Knights as they put steel and magic to the last few souls of the brave Dragonkin were no victory to Azaael – a triumph over a brother is no cause for celebration.
Their eyes met. They had never stopped meeting. Yet Azaael saw and heard only sorrow. He felt no mandate.
"Yield." The Dragon King said to Azaael, "You think you are fighting an enemy. You are fighting a brother. We are the same! The magic that you use so easily and have given to your unknowing friends comes from the soul of the Dragon. No human can properly control these powers, and the fact that they emanate from you means that you have the soul of a Dragon. "
The Dragon King continued, "If you kill me now, you will die as well. As King of the dragons, your soul is connected to mine. I am the light of our race, and I have brought peace to your kingdom. Humans do nothing but fight and destroy! Come back to your soul. Come back to the truth."
The moment paused.
Azaael awaited the flicker of light that would allow the death stroke and the end of this damned war. The now fully victorious Knights began to rush into Nidhogg's hidden throne room and witnessed, to their glory, that seemed frozen in time. From habit, they levied their spears as if the mortally wounded and suffering King posed them a credible threat, each of them wondering if they had shed enough dragon blood for Azaael to possibly step aside and allow him the honor of the killing blow.
One shouted with a piercing bloodthirst, "It is done. Finish him!"
The obtuse speak very stupidly. Azaael turned his eye ever so slightly, his spear coming off center ever so slightly. The moment of anyone's glory had passed; the next moment had begun. Now this – this is the evil spirit in which war can take place.
With a despondent grin, Azaael whispers something – inaudible to the Drachenritter.
The crafty, dying King's eyes flickered one last time, lighting up with the burning yellow fire that had once torched the entire sky. He brought down the entire cave on the Knights with the First Incantation - the Screaming Vow - calling upon his soul's very connection to the heartstrings of the world. In the middle of Chaos itself, Azaael brought down his spear, mixing his blood, tears, fury and sorrow with that of the illuminant, resplendent King Nidhogg for the last time. Those seeking glory, found it.
Later, the remaining Knights exhumed the body of Azaael, untouched by magic or the earthquake, laying side by side with his mortal foe, with the same mortal wounds. As they oiled and cleaned his body to prepare for an honored burial, lo - the wounds of Nidhogg were found to be clean as well. The Drachenritter felt their magic leave from them, for the spirit of the magic was now dead. They felt dead. However, they were free.
The Duke's head arose ever so slightly from the faded ink of the worn storybook as it had so many times before. The legend of the man had so inspired him that he had created his army in the image of the Drachenritter. He felt as though he could relate to the Dragonkin, and with this spirit had grown his Duchy up from the ashes of nothingness.
The Duke's highest wish: to pay homage to the legend of the Dragonkin by finding his spirit through victory rather than losing it.
Hope you enjoyed reading.
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