Courtney Cole, New York Times bestselling author
Out of darkness was born the first dragon, Alandel, and she had nine children. Nir and Gai, Ava and Inf, Heln and Spri, Var and Min and Undi. When their mother died, the elder dragons divided her body amongst themselves. Var took her flame. Min took her blood. Undi her eyes, and Spri her wings. Inf took her scales and Gai her bones. Ava took her heart and Heln her spirit. And last Nir took her mind. And with what they took, each elder dragon formed a world for themselves, and so the Nine Worlds were born. Nir, however, was not content with simply land. Why have land but no one to share it with, he asked? And so, using the last pieces of Alandel’s mind, he created mankind. He treated them as his children, and taught them how to master fire, how to tame water, how to grow crops and build homes. Nir enjoyed people so much, he took their form often for himself, and one day, even fell in love with a woman. They bore three children together, the first High Dragons, blood of both dragon and man. It was not long until the other elder dragons grew jealous of Nir and his children. They too wanted the company of people, and so they approached Nir, asking for people of their own. The elder dragon Nir said he would let his children decide whether they wanted to live in other worlds or not. Gai, who had taken her mother’s bones, had built a large world full of mountains and seas and rivers and lakes, and some people said they would go to her world. Ava had built a world of flying islands and deep caves, and some people too said they would go there to live. Other people preferred other worlds. But Var had built a world of fire, and Min a world of ice, and no people chose to join them there. The two elder dragons grew furious. If they could not have mankind on their worlds, they said, then they would take the other worlds for themselves. And so, a great war began. For millennium, the elder dragons battled each other, until it is said only Nir, the smartest, and Var, the strongest, remained. The two were equal on the field of battle, and so Nir devised a plan. We can continue for another millennium, said Nir, and accomplish nothing, or we can divide the worlds between us and have peace. But there are Nine Worlds, said Var. How do we divide them fairly? We split one world in half, said Nir, and each take one side.Var agreed. And so the elder dragons met on the world of Ava, and together they prepared to cast a powerful spell to split the world in two. We stand on different sides of this river, said Nir, for this river is in the middle of this world, and this way it will be fair. Var agreed. And so they cast the spell. A giant blade of light fell from the sky to tear the world in two, but it did not fall upon the river, for you see, Nir had lied. The river did not split the world in half, instead it was the field that Var now stood upon. And thus the blade of light fell upon Var himself, tearing his body, instead of the world, in two. What Nir did not know however, was that Var was pregnant, and when Var died, from his stomach spilled a thousand dragons. They spread throughout the worlds, killing mankind and feeding off their Spirits. In days, almost all the people were dead, and so Nir did the only thing he could. He used all his strength to draw the dragons together and cast a wall of light around them, cutting them off from Spirit and man. So powerful was the spell, that Nir gave his own life to cast it. And so, the final elder dragon died to save his children, and the age of the Ancients ended. But some say Nir is not dead, just asleep, regaining his strength, and when mankind needs him once more, the elder dragon will awaken.
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