Screams echoed through the deserted halls of the fallen Icariann Court. Blood pooled on the floor, from the dead of both sides of the terrible war. Humans and dragons strewn dead and beaten across the now soiled marble floor. The sky was heavy with thick black smoke from the remnant fire, staining the normally blue sky a sickly grey.
A lone Coastal Dragon landed in the courtyard of the ruined palace, surveying the carnage before him. The once-grand edifice was in ruins; walls destroyed and ceilings absent. The humans had taken them by surprise, driven purely by revenge, and left no living dragon to tell of the tale. Tears welled up in the young dragon’s eyes; as he saw the broken bodies of his mother and younger brother. They were splayed across the blood soaked floor, their wings and necks twisted at odd angles, all colour gone from their scales.
“This son, is what happens when you betray me.”
The dragon spun around to face his father. The King of the Dragons stood before him, towering over his son, formidable and powerful. His long jagged horns jutted out from his thickset skull and long spines ran down the length of his black scaled back. His eyes dripped a milky white glowing substance that splattered to the floor with an acidic hiss. The King of the Dragons stank of carrion and rotting flesh.
“You’re not my father…” Growled the young dragon, “Not any more…”
A rough laugh erupted from the ancient dragon's throat, his muzzle contorted into a twisted leer. “Aultire, if only you could have seen the plans I had for this world, the death of the princess was nothing –”
“No!” Roaring, the younger dragon lunged at his father, reaching for his neck. With one clawed paw, the King slammed the younger dragon to the floor. Aultire struggled as his belly and head were crushed by his father’s sharp claws.
The King’s voice became thick and heavy, no longer sounding like himself. Growling, the dragon that was once his father lowered his head close to Aultire’s. “I worked so hard for this…” It snarled. “I’m not going to allow my return to be stopped by some insignificant whelp. Arden is mine and this time Alysheer’ial cannot stop me!”
Struggling against the unnatural grip of the dragon, Aultire threw his head backwards, horns impaling his attacker’s throat. There was a choked cry from the King and a deep gurgling of blood as he collapsed to the floor. Aultire shakily stood up and backed away from the dying dragon. A sudden change came over the King, his scales lost the corrupted black colouring returning to their normal red. His eyes returned to their normal yellow, and the smell of death vanished.
But now he lay broken and dying, the lustrous colour fading from his scales. Hearing his son turn to leave, he lifted his head slightly. His now brilliant yellow eyes menacing, but fading, their luminescence vanishing as he was slowly slipping from life. The king shuddered as he struggled to take in a breath.
The dying elder coughed suddenly, blood splattered onto the ground. He gasped, trying to take in air through his destroyed windpipe. Trying to fight death, as the red colouring of his scales vanished, but he was fighting a battle he had already lost.
“A-Aultire…” Began the king, “You must run… hide… I-I’m so... Sorry for –”
His labouring breaths intensified, eyes dimming and scales losing their colour rapidly. Aultire stood watching, unable to speak to the dragon he once called his father. The King spoke again, his eyes completely void of colour and his scales a purest of white.
“N-never for-get… that I l-lo…”
“Father?” Asked the young dragon, panic rising in his voice, he shook his father softly. “Father!?”
The old dragon didn’t respond. Drawing his paws away from his father he recoiled as he found them to be covered in the Dragon King’s blood. Faltering, Aultire drew away and sprinted for the Tikan Forest, south of the destroyed palace. He ran, leaving behind the Icariann Court. Leaving behind the countless colourless dragons that littered the battlefield and their blood that would forever stain the ground.
Grief took its hold on the Coastal Dragon as he ran further south through the forest. Its icy claws winding around his heart reminding him that he had killed his father, digging into his very being, clawing, shredding and tearing until he couldn’t take it anymore.
Stopping in the ruined city of the Forest Dragons, he let loose an unearthly scream that embodied all of his sorrows. Dropping his head, he allowed the tears that were gathering to fall to ground.