While discussing dragons, Trent told me to write him a fantasy… and this is where my mind went. If I weren’t already in the midst of several other projects I would say that this could be the start of a larger story, but, alas, I am already in the midst of several other stories that I need to finish, including my new weekly story being published on Thursdays. But, perhaps, I will come back to this one day and see what happens… In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this read. It is a bit longer than my normal flash fiction pieces, but, origin stories always tend to be a bit long.
The gods crowded around their masterpiece, elbowing each other and shuffling to get a better view, caught up in awe at the world they had created from specks of blood and dust among the void of chaos. It was perfect. It was flawed. It was beautiful, despite its ugliness.
A general hush fell upon the gathered throng as the god of light broke away to address them. “We need a champion for our world. A guardian. Something from which legends shall one day emerge. Who here will bestow it with a gift?”
They all would, and the god of light knew this, but he still made eye contact with each of them. Intensely penetrating eyes ensured they all knew their place and their purpose. Only the god of balance, commonly referred to as the historian, and the god of darkness, equals in stature and power to the god of light, did not cower under the stare.
One by one the lesser gods strode forward and gave of themselves to help build the protector of their new world. The god of fire chipped a spark to give it a burning soul to be called upon when needed. The god of nature wrapped the spark in form and shape taken from all corners so it could dwell anywhere it chose. The god of wind gave it flight so it could travel the world as it pleased. The god of earth gave it scales harder than the stones of the world so it would be hard to kill. The god of the sea gave it a long tail as a rudder to steer it in trouble times.
Days passed and the creature’s presence and power grew as the minor gods gave their gifts, and then those gods in the next echelon gave theirs as well, until only the most powerful three remained. Again, the god of light strode forward and the crowd immediately hushed. “I give our guardian long life. It will not be truly immortal, but shall count years as the other creatures of the world count days. It will gain wisdom through its long life to understand that the repercussions of the actions it takes with its considerable power can ripple through time to impact multiple generations. This will ensure that it thinks carefully before acting and uses its knowledge and power wisely.”
After an initial rumbling of shock that the god of light would grant any of their creatures something akin to godhood, a murmur of approval spread among the gathered gods. It was actually a burden of responsibility the god of light had bestowed, rather than a gift of long life. Their whisperings were quickly silenced, as the god of darkness stepped into the clearly next to the god of light.
Depthless midnight eyes gazed upon the spinning orb, and a sinister smile spread across pale lips. “I give the gift of magic.”
Shouts of shock and alarm spread across the void and those gods who would not have their powers threatened by any mortal creature surged forward to demand the god of darkness recant its gift. However, the god of balance stepped into the clearing with hand raised, and while the discord did not die away, the stirrings ceased.
“Much has been said today. Much has been gifted to this creature, this guardian of our world, our beloved jewel. Immortality and magic are indeed marvelous and dangerous gifts to bestow upon any creature who would walk the realms beyond our void, but none of you need worry about abuse of that power, the balance shall be kept. Legends shall be spoken of this beast, this flying monster of fiery breath and razor claws, this gentle protector of glade and mountain, this mighty sorcerer and hoarder. Its stories shall be passed among the roots of the trees of the world, from shore to shore among the waves, and tossed along the peaks while carried by the gusts that live at the high points of the world. Yes, as long as other mortal creatures walk the world, these stories shall be passed through the years with them, but that is the only place this creature shall ever exist, for it will never walk the world. My gift is to make it a legend.”
Bedlam ensued as the void filled with enraged battle. The lesser gods were incensed that they had given so much of themselves to something that would never live. The two other major gods smiled coyly at the wisdom of the decision before entering the fray for posturing purposes only. The god of balance took the attacks in stride, knowing balance would prevail in the end, as was its job, as was inevitable. Eventually the gods grew tired of fighting and slipped away to their hidden places among the remaining debris in the void, and the world was left spinning, beautiful and flawed, with only the god of balance watching over it.
One day, a hunter, having climbed a mountain in search of the goats that dwelt among the rocks near the peaks, sought shelter in a cave from a storm that had threatened to toss him to his death. There, huddled, shivering, and frightened, the hunter saw drawings carved in the walls. The drawings told the story of a magnificent beast, wonderful and terrifying at the same time. When the storm passed the hunter returned to the village and spread the stories from neighbor to neighbor.
When asked what the beast that could summon fire from its belly and fly like a bird was called, the hunter didn’t know, but a whispered voice gave the answer, and the hunter responded immediately, “dragon.”
The gift finally complete, the god of balance joined the other gods in hiding, waiting, and watching. The god chuckled to itself, wondering at the vastness of what had just been set in motion, and wondering which other gods would still be watching when the eventuality came to pass. For, the god of darkness had bestowed the beast with magic, all of the magic, and therefore, if enough people upon the world began to believe in the legend of the dragon, the magic could and would feed off that energy and the dragon would rise from their dreams to fly in the skies over their hovels.
The dragon would rule the world for a time, when that happened, but balance would reign in the end, for with the rise of the dragon would also come the rise of the dragon hunters.