Time for another story of the wastelands in the time of the Dunstanane. This one has dragons.
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Long ago, when the world was young and rivers of fire ran across the surface of molten rock and brimstone, was Aelfric born. That was not the name that the dragon took for itself, that was the name it was given countless millenia later when it met humankind for the first time. It lived, as most dragons do, in the dark places of the earth beneath the ground and beneath the soil. It drank the sulphur and the liquid flame that lurks in the mantle beneath the plates of the earth and it lived peacefully.
In the days of the Evil Wizard there was mining above the peace and fire of the dragon's home. Green skinned soldiers working for the Evil Wizard, some through choice and still others because they were forced, were digging for the rocks and the minerals that were needed to build and enrich the city of the Wizard. The Green Skins had been a race of folk in the Dimwald before the Wizard, ancient and in tune with the woodland around them for eons. They knew of the dragons and of the living rocks and the stone giants and the great races of old. They knew of the Fae and of the merfolk and the Elders all. They knew of young humankind and they knew little of magic and fear. When the Wizard came he enslaved them to his will as soldiers of his dark army. Some of the Green Skins began to believe that they had always been his army, just waiting for him to come and call them out to fight for him. Some believed that they did what he told them because it was the right thing to do and others believed that they had no choice, after he had shown them the bangs that he could make few of them would consider rebellion.
When they found Aelfric, and named it, they fled and Aelfric followed to eat and to punish those who dared disturb the existence of dragons beneath the ground. On seeing what the dragon could do and the lands that were laid waste with charred blackened husks the wizard grew greedy and knew that he must control this awesome power for himself. He set out to trick the dragon and to reason with it that it may be bound to the will of the Wizard and do as he directed. Posing as the ruler of all the surface lands the Evil Wizard offered the dragon a deal: he would create bangs for the dragon to feed and, in return, the dragon would torment the areas that the Wizard set aside for him. And so it came to be. The Evil Wizard used Aelfric to punish places and dwellings that dared to stand against him, using the dragon when it was not safe to attend in person and then showing his power with bangs afterward to gain fealty and loyalty through fear afterwards.
But this was not a beginning of a story any more than it was an end, Aelfric was merely transformed into a surface dwelling dragon, living in the Dragonholme in the City of the Wizard, so that he could no longer return to the darkness and the blistering heat of the molten seas of the Earth below its shrivelled surface. In those days was Owain born in the dark of the Dimwald, in the small lands of the Dunstan, soon to rise as King of Dustanane, Tamer of the Dragon and Keeper of the Peace. It was neither the end, for Aelfric lives to this day guarding the ruins of the City of the Wizard, ensuring none of the evil magic that pervades the place may be taken from it and guarding the legacy as it was agreed so long ago.
The story of that agreement must wait for another time.