Who could have forseen this? Who, in all their wisdom, could have anticipated this? Could I have stopped it? Maybe... Did I do something wrong? Did I ever wrong him? "My heart..." the woman whispered to the man in front of her. Resting a hand on his shoulder, she walked to stand next to him on the balcony. The clouds were approaching. Quicker, now than they had been. "Do not think such thoughts, my heart..." The woman speaking was the man's wife. His mate. For nine hundred years, they stood side by side and fought off every enemy that sought to threaten their kingdom. Their precious forests of North. But this enemy... this enemy would be the one to defeat them. No, not defeat them, kill them. But never defeat. "I cannot help it, my light." Turning to face his mate, she felt saddened by the pain in his eyes. He was always strong. Always mighty. The legendary Guardian of Lightning, who walked paths no man had walked before. Taken the crown from a father who abused his position and had killed his younger brother. He was tall, like all Dragons. With his pointed ears and his yellow, slitted eyes, he was the epitome of power. He bore many scars across his body, trophies of past victories. At his side, he kept the fabled Kiku-rahn. The Lightning Breath. A sword capable of summoning lightning bolts from the heavens themselves, to smite those who would harm his cherished land. He wore his battle armor, only recently dusted off its stand. It had been a long time since he wore the armor with the sigil of the North on its breast, yet it fit him just as perfectly as the day it was crafted. And yet, his eyes revealed sadness. "We must think of the future. Not ours, for our time has finally come... But... the future of... our blood." She turned to face the room, her deep, yet icy blue dress gliding around her ankles. She would change, for the battle, of course. Dragons were, and always would be, warriors. But she wore it because he had asked. One last time. She stood tall, as well, though was average by the standards of her people. She, too, had pointed ears, inherited by their Elven cousins of Earth. Ah, but it had been many eons since the Elven faction split from its family, to take to the skies with the mighty Aidel'Mihr- the Dragons of the Fangs. her eyes were glaciers, the same, icy blue her gown was. Yet, for her husband, they were never ice, but a raging, blue inferno. As she walked up to the large bed, she layed her eyes on the two, sleeping babes on her bed. A boy, with hair of deepest black, and eyes that shone like a twilit night, and a girl, with hair of spun silver, and eyes that blazed gold like the morning son. The two who's shoulders would soon feel the burden of an entire race. The daughter was her's and her husband's, born not but eight months ago. The son, though, was the son of her elder brother. His mother, though, was still a mystery. As she looked upon these children, there came a knock at the door. "Enter." With that, the door opened, and a shadowy mist entered the room, followed by a man only a little taller than her husband. This was her brother. Mor'drin the Celestial Blade. With his cloak spun from the moonlit night itself, it shone with millions of stars and galaxies, always changing, always moving. The cloak itself seemed corporeal at best, never truly substantial. yet her brother wore this mystical cloak with pride and honor. "Ah, dearest Amesta," Mor'drin said, hugging his beloved sister tightly and placing a kiss on her lips. "You look as beautiful as ever." Turning, he nodded to her husband. "Lord Zaene of the North," he said, bowing his head only slightly. His sister's husband, Zaene, may have been the Lord of the North, equal in power, within the mortal plane, only by the Lords of the East, South, and West, but Mor'drin was something more. No one knew what Mor'drin's position in their world was, but no Lord or Lady refused audience with him, and his advice had always proved invaluable. Many Lords respected him, and the lesser Lords even feared him. At his side, Mor'drin wore the Celestial blade Kirs'Da'arke, a name who's translation had been lost in the annals of time. "These are dark times, Zhiraste," Zaene said quietly, calling Mor'drin by their languages word for Arch-Angel. "Please, there is no need for such a title," he said, stepping up beside the Northern Lord. "Not now..." Turning to look at him, he sighed. "I am sorry, but, despite my persuading, the Gods have decided that I am unable to assist you in combat. It was a majority vote, though, by a mere percent." looking up at the heavens, Mor'drin sighed again. "But, I can aid you in one thing, and one thing alone. protecting the children. Since my son will be involved, I am allowed to protect the two from our enemy," he said, meeting Zaene's golden eyes with his midnight-sky ones. "I understand... We did not expect help from the Gods, not now," he whispered. "But, did Rithis side with us?" he asked. "Yes, she did. Fear not, my Lord, you were not betrayed by your House's Goddess. She did her best to sway as many of the other Gods as possible, but to no avail." As he spoke, he walked over to his son, who lay on the bed, silently sleeping. "Ah, dearest son," he said softly. "I pray that we meet again, someday..." Touching his son's forehead, he muttered a soft prayer. Walking up to her brother, she touched his back softly, the strange feel of the cloak causing a strange, yet pleasant sensation to run down her spine. "My brother... Where will you take them? Our children?" "I shall take them to the Great Realm of Salane. To Earth. I pray that our enemy cannot travel through the Great Realms quite yet, though, so they may have a chance of surviving." "Earth! I see. But, who will raise them? Since you cannot, I doubt the mortals -the humans- will take them. They fear us, and would do anything to send their wretched DragonSlayers after our kindred." "I know," Mor'drin said, patting her shoulder softly. "I will have them raised by the Elves." "The Elves!" she exclaimed. "Our Elven cousins detest us! They believe us to have betrayed their ways when our ancestors took to the skies with our partners! They would kill our kind sooner than the human mortals could blink!" "Yes, yes, I understand. But, the Elves are currently at war. Their tradition, however, is a little different. For them, all their warrior women, who are with children, give up that child to another family at random. They never see that child again, and the only ones who know the child doesn't belong to that family is the family itself. I will simply enchant two of their female warriors into thinking our children are theirs, and they will give them up." Turning, he sighed deeply. "I will use magick to turn them into true-blooded Elves. When they are ready to leave, their eyes will change back, and their wings will grow. It will be a late start, for their wings, but it is how it must be." At those words, Zaene's wings appeared on his back, flexing slightly. "I cannot imagine living without these..." he said softly. "They will not have to, for they will not have them until then," Mor'drin said. With that, for what seemed to be the first time in a life time, to his sister, Mor'drin removed his cloak. His skin was as pale on his arms as his face was, though not a sickly pale. As soon as his cloak was shed, the mist of darkness billowing on the floor faded, and the glimmering stars and spiraling galaxies upon the cloak faded. At a word, the cloak seemed to retract, pulling itself in, until it became a silver ring with a jet-black stone set. "This is for you, my dearest son." Looping a neclace chain through it, he placed it around his son's neck. "And this, too, my son." removing the mystical sword at his side, it also seemed to compact within itself, becoming a small, multi-colored shard of what seemed to be an indiscribable gemstone. At another word of magic, it hovered briefly, before hovering over to his son, and seemingly melting into his chest. Following suit, Zaene removed a ring off his finger, a ring with the Crest of the North set in it. "Should any Dragon see this, they will know you are the Lady of the North," he said. Finally, his mother whispered softly into the wind, and two spears, one made of a beautiful, crystalline ice, and the other made of an ever-shifting flame, appeared before her. "My daughter, I bequeath to you Gaius'rahn and Vaelin'rahn, the Ice Breath and the Flame Breath." Whispering yet again, the two spears began to move, wrapping around each other an endless amount of time, all the while shrinking, until they finally became a lone ring, with an icy blue and a fiery red wrapped around one another. Doing as her brother did, she placed the ring on a necklace chain and set i around her daughter's neck. 'Now, my brother. Take them. Go! The battle approaches!" Nodding, he took the two in his arms. "I will miss you, my dearest sister," he said softly, giving her one final kiss. "And you as well, he who gained my approval." With one final nod, he turned and vanished, leaving an air of nostalgia behind. The marching grew louder as the enemie's army approached. The roars of their reptilian counterparts could be heard for endless miles, as the skies were darkened by the shadows of the Dragons and their riders. Both sides would fight to the last, but the victor was already decided. "Brother!" a voice called from beneath the clouds of Darkness. "Step forth! I would exchange words with you!" At the call, Zaene walked to meet his brother. The enemy. He who was feared by the Gods themselves, the King of the Eternal Void. "And what words are those, elder brother? Words of mockery? Or hatred?" Laughing, the man in the darkest of armor waved his hand from atop his equally dark Dragon. "Of course not. I would ask that you surrender, however. I would rather not kill you, as father killed our youngest brother." "I shall never surrender! You have let Evil taint your soul and ravage your mind! I stand against the Evil, Brother! I will never betray my people! And I swear, I shall kill you, too!" Laughing once more, his brother retreated to his tent. The battle began. It was only hours later. Oh, but it did seem like years. The land had drank its fill of blood and tears, and consumed its share of flesh and steel. But, it all tasted the same. The blood and tears, the flesh and steel. All of the North. A lone figure stepped out ahead of the Army of Evil. His armor made not a noise as he walked up to the body of the last warrior to fight him. Zaene lay with his arm around his wife, whom he had attempted to protect from the Void King's spear. Of course, to the King, it had been in vain. Shaking his head, he picked up his fallen brother's sword. "It's a shame, really, little brother. You and I would have been the mightiest of rulers, together. It was too bad the Void was too great a power for you to comprehend. Of course, you always were the coward." And with that, the King of Light and Darkness, the King of the Unending Void, laughed.