Sycaerunax restored

EVENTS NEWS #410
Date: 12/08/2012 at 12:59
From: Anonymous
To : Everyone
Subj: Sycaerunax restored

As the tide inexorably washed Shallam's dead to shore, as smoke and ash
settled and the battered refugees made their meagre camp in the
monastery of New Hope, and as the ormyrr forces that laid Sahart's
ancient city low were abandoned by their fell masters to die to the
armies of Sapience, stories began to slowly filter in. Tales of
harrowing survival, of staggering loss, and of miraculous heroism were
whispered in the stunned, funeral silence that blanketed the land, but
one particular rumour reached the ears of Han-Tolneth and shook him from
a place of unrelenting despair to one of hope.

Amid the chaos and destruction of the Jewel, several rescuers had
noticed something peculiar happening when the great dragon banked and
turned above. For the briefest of instances, the undead Sycaerunax had
focused his hollow gaze upon them alone and the large embers clasped in
their hands, and a faint flicker had illuminated his eyes for a mere
moment. What was it? Regret? Recognition? It couldn't be. And if it was,
what could be done? They were so insignificant, and he a creature of
such overwhelming power: one who had torn gods and cities asunder.

Fire blazed within the Dragonmaster and the newly reborn god, however,
and hopelessness could not take hold. Together, Han-Tolneth and
Deucalion asked first the refugees, and then the world, to collect the
largest embers they could while a plan was formulated. The response was
overwhelming and Han-Tolneth watched, grim-faced and praying that the
efforts would be enough by the next time Sycaerunax's incredible might
was brought to bear, as five, ten, even thirty-pound embers were rushed
to his side and then dropped into the lake where Ashaxei's Mirror now
stood.

~ ~ ~

It wasn't long before the next attack did come. Shortly after the fall
of Shallam, Ashtan declared war on the city-state of Mhaldor, and a war
was truly begun. With a grating snarl, the God of Evil made his ire
known, and raised His black hand to point at the northern state. A trio
of Dala'myrr streamed toward the Bastion, sinuous and menacing, and
dived into the Sangre plains, sending a plume of dirt surging skywards.
The ground heaved with violent protest, and legions of ormyrr moved upon
the city gates in staggering numbers. A cold silence fell for a moment
as a divine mantle settled upon the Bastion of the North, the favour of
Babel empowering its guardsmen against their foe.

The silence was swiftly broken when the earth shuddered and a colossal
Dala'myrr erupted up through the cobblestones of the Parade of
Zarathustra, fixing its attention on the city's post office. Cawing in
outrage, a murder of crows took wing, darkening the air. Ashtan trembled
and the ground lurched, its ancient foundations disrupted by the
Dala'myrr, and smoke filled the skies as several buildings fell into
ruin. The guards, strengthened and well-braced for battle, successfully
fought off many of the advancing ormyrr, but the death toll rose and
shouts rang out. As in Shallam only two months before, many citizens
headed for the harbour and escape by sea.

A pair of Dala'myrr bore down upon the palace upon its hilltop at the
heart of Ashtan, soaring languidly through the air towards their goal.
Moments from the destruction of the palace, a tall, robed figure stepped
from the air behind them. His voice cold and commanding, Babel shouted
simply, "Take them." A great, sucking void, like the Pit of Golgotha but
much, much larger, opened in the air, and the Dala'myrr were dragged
helplessly within. Babel nodded and turned, vanishing, while the
creatures suffered a slow, agonising death deep within the Pit.

Above the shouts and thunder of battle, Sartan's voice roared, "Come,
Dragon Father. Show these fools the true meaning of Suffering." The
gargantuan, jagged shadow of Sycaerunax, the Dragon Father, erupted from
beyond the horizon in response, rising high into the firmament. The
wailing screech of grinding bone echoed in the distance as the colossal
wyrm neared, and with it came the overwhelming presence of death. With
an almighty roar, the skeletal wings of the dragon shifted, and it
swiftly banked toward Ashtan. Alighting at the northern end of the city
he spat green flames at lavish estates, showing nothing but contempt for
the attacks leveled at him.

Catching the fleeing Ashtani in his sights, Sycaerunax once again took
wing and silence accented only by faint screams descended as he soared
until he hovered over the laden evacuation ships. Chlorochrous embers
danced in the air before the dragon's maw, catching the air aflame as
Sycaerunax gathered his power. With a brassy roar that shook the land,
he unleashed a raging column of sickly green flame downward, and booming
explosions mixed with an angry hiss as the waters vaporised into
scalding steam. The harbour instantly devolved into a holocaust of
burning ships and charred citizens, the air redolent with the scent of
burning flesh.

~ ~ ~

It was then that Han-Tolneth's voice cried out, calling a challenge to
the dread Father of Dragons. "No!" he shouted. "Your anger lies not with
them, Dragon Father. Have mercy upon their souls, for it is I who did
you harm. Come, face the man who allowed the death of your daughter."

The glimmering eyes of Sycaerunax faltered, and with a snarl he emitted
a final stream of vile green flame above the city of Ashtan before
banking and surging towards the Mhojave with a thunderous, agonising
scream. Scorching the firmament with acidic flame, the great wyrm passed
over the sandy dunes of the desert, soaring toward Han-Tolneth and the
water-filled crater. The great dragon dipped into a gradual dive,
casting a menacing glance across the gleaming surface. The translucent
visage of Ashaxei shimmered, reflected high into the sky by the primal
force of the monument that rests in the depths of the spring. Emitting a
screeching roar, the dragon halted, his crimson eyes aglow with fury as
he gazed upon his kin. All at once the image faded into mere specks,
filtered back into the waters, and all feared the dragon's next move.

Han-Tolneth spoke again, urging him onward. "She waits, Sycaerunax."
Mercifully, miraculously, the Father of Dragons responded, twisting into
a steep dive and plunging into the cool depths. A soft, argentine glow
flickered within the water of the Mhojave crater, casting a dim light
across the firmament. As the world stilled, the deadly silence was
broken only by the chaotic shouts and crashes that reverberated from the
Bastion of the North. From the very depths of the crater, great arches
of light arose, leaping into the sky like silken ribbons caught upon the
wind. As the beams of light multiplied, so too did they brighten,
glittering with pure, effulgent brilliance until, with a clap of
deafening thunder, they converged within the crater's depths and a
growling voice thundered "I... am renewed!"

~ ~ ~

Bursting from the water, a magnificent alabaster dragon took to the
skies, hovering upon perpetually beating wings. Pristine, silver fire
erupted from the restored wyrm's mighty maw as he emitted a tremendous
roar of grief and outrage, the argentine flames streaming through the
firmament. A jagged fork of lightning crackled from the darkened clouds
that rolled across the boundless sky, leaping toward the western isle
where Mhaldor stood. As the flash of light quickly faded, the grotesque
visage of Bal'met appeared in the heavens, his lips twitching into a
menacing sneer.

The sneer twisted further into a snarling grin, the vision instantly
splintered by the dark, sinuous forms of three Dala'myrr, their sights
fixed upon the reborn dragon. Sycaerunax loosed a hideous screech and,
with a mighty flap of his opalescent wings, hurled himself toward the
impending trio. Rich fire erupted from his gaping maw, slamming into the
Dala'myrr with such raw potency that their forms simply disintegrated,
the ashen remnants dissipating into the atmosphere. Triumphantly banking
toward the west, Sycaerunax affixed the city of Mhaldor with a defiant
stare.

Ignoring pleas for caution, the mighty dragon surged toward the city of
Mhaldor, searing the earth below with brilliant silver flame. For a
brief, heart-stopping moment the dragon vanished amid a miasma of red
fog, his progress only traceable by the eddies he left in his passing.
Swooping low and releasing a roar that caused the mountain to tremble,
Sycaerunax's massive bulk circled behind the northern peak with slow,
immutable purpose. His motions marked by a keen, measured intelligence
and grace he lacked while under Bal'met's control, he selected his
target with precision. Green fire silhouetted the mountain upon the
western horizon, and the towering council building of Mhaldor plummeted
away from the slopes, its ornate stonework reduced to charred rubble and
smouldering ash. Fury blazing in his eyes, the dragon rose and banked
again, focusing his gaze upon the spires of Baelgrim Fortress.

From the depths of the western island, crimson daemons joined the
flight, taking to the skies upon leathery wings. The horde of beasts
surrounded the alabaster wyrm, shrieking in unrestrained glee. The
monstrous God of Evil lunged towards Sycaerunax, His focus fixed upon
the narrow head of the great wyrm. His clawed hand connected with a howl
of triumph, scraping scale and flesh from ancient bone. The dragon fell
across the obsidian stone of the mountainside, tearing a rickety
building from its foundations and sending it tumbling into the abyss
below. High above, the horrific form of Bal'met materialised, nestled
within the dark depths of the thunderous clouds. With a sneer of
disdain, he slowly moved across the heavens towards the dragon with
malicious intent.

The voice of Han-Tolneth rang out once more, breaking through the
dragon's fury. "Sycaerunax! Fall back! You cannot do this alone."
Sycaerunax reluctantly acquiesced, but not before turning his noble head
and gazing into Bal'met's eyes with utter loathing and deadly promise.
Scraping a grand old mansion from the mountainside, the dragon swiftly
took wing, leaving a trail of fire and blood to mark his passing.

Penned by My hand on the 3rd of Sarapin, in the year 613 AF.