For two thousand years, the Mythica of Light battled the Mythica of Shadow, some making the ultimate sacrifice to protect their brethren or other creatures whom they felt it was their duty to protect. Most encounters were skirmishes, and a lot of political dealings where involved, but finally, the forces of Light where near defeat, as the Dragons and Narvanth moved across the face of Hir, subjugating all creatures under their rule, or destroying those who would not submit.
Throughout the years, four of the Mythica of Light had fallen to the forces of Narvanth. Caroku gave his life to buy time for the elk to flee the burning of their forest. Hucyn and Varor, the Wolf Twins, fell when they were ambushed by Udak, the son of Sossian, and the Dragons. Drak was taken by Narvanth and there were rumors that the Dragons had tortured her for days before death finally released her from her suffering.
There were now only seven Mythica of Light, and the last of the creatures of Hir were few. Everything seemed lost as Narvanth and his Dragons scourged the world in fire and devastation. The once beautiful world of Hir had become a desolated world of slavery and death.
Ramura, and the other Mythica of Light, gathered in their Crux, deep in the last forest remaining on Hir, trying desperately to find a way to stop their impending doom and the final enslavement of all.
“We’ve one last chance to put an end to this,” said Ramura to the other Mythica. “I’ve discovered a spell, a powerful spell, that may allow us to stop Narvanth and the Dragons. But it will require all of us to evoke the opportunity to use it. We can only target one creature with this spell.”
Bargar was the first to respond. “You’ve found it, then? The Stormguard spell?”
Ramura nodded and the others all listened intently. The Stormguard was a spell that was thought lost hundreds of years ago, when the war had started, but after years of searching, Ramura had found the lost Tome of Magic, created by the Dragons thousands of years ago.
“It will most certainly destroy the one against whom it is cast, but it will require time, and much will to manifest. It also helps if there is already a storm in the sky.”
“Who then, will use this spell?” asked Diala.
“I’ll teach it to all of you,” replied Ramura. “We must all be ready to use the spell if the opportunity presents itself. I’m thinking that if we can use it against Narvanth, the Dragons will be leaderless.”
“It will not be an easy task to get him into such a vulnerable position,” said Tywulf. “We may need a distraction.”
Ramura and the others nodded ascent. It very well may require one of them to sacrifice themselves to draw Narvanth out. They all looked at each other, wondering who would volunteer for such a task, if any would.
It was Ramura who spoke. “I’ll draw him out. This devastation must be stopped, and if it means I must die to achieve our goal, then so be it.”
The others looked at Ramura with sadness and understanding. Bargar thought to volunteer instead, but they all knew how much Narvanth hated Ramura. If any of them could successfully draw him out, it would be Ramura.
None of them said more, all knowing what they must do. They could not fail and allow Ramura’s sacrifice to be in vain. They must learn the spell and cast it to destroy Narvanth and put an end to the Dragon’s conquest of Hir.
The next several days were spent preparing, until the fateful day arrived. Ramura stood just outside the edge of the forest, among the broken rocks that now seemed to form the bulk of the landscape of Hir. Such an environment was conducive to the dragons, preferred over the green of what had originally been created. A barren wasteland of death and destruction.
Two dragons faced the great lion, both towering over him. “Have you come to surrender, at last?” said one of the dragons. The other chuckled mirthlessly.
“I’ve come to challenge Narvanth,” said Ramura. “Tell him to face me, if he dares. Or is he a coward who hides behind his minions?”
Tywulf kept just inside the forest, hidden among the trees, along with the other Mythica of Light. They all watched as Ramura placed himself in danger, hoping to bring forth Narvanth. They each knew how to cast the deadly Stormguard spell, and already Del was using his magic to gather clouds in the sky, calling forth a storm.
The two dragons stepped away from Ramura as Narvanth flew above, landing heavily between them and Ramura. He turned his red eyes upon the lion, filled with his hatred for the son of Ashera.
“If death is what you seek, my brother,” said Narvanth with a deep, resonating voice, “then death I shall grant you. Are you so eager to die as to challenge me alone?”
Ramura snorted with disgust. “I’m not your brother, Narvanth. No longer. You and your evil ilk are no longer fit to make such a claim. The Mythica of Light are my family. But not yours.”
Narvanth chuckled. “Call it what you will, Ramura. We are all Mythica, despite your admonishment to the contrary. But we see the true calling of our kind. We were meant to rule this world, and you and your brethren are undermining what was meant to be.”
“You turn against He who created you, and say it was meant to be? You deceive only yourself, Narvanth.”
“Enough of this banter!” shouted Narvanth. “Let the challenge begin!”
The great dragon wasted no time, releasing a fiery assault directly at Ramura, but the Lord of the Lions was swift, and leapt to the side, avoiding the attack. Then, Ramura charged forward, clamping his mighty teeth into the foreleg of Narvanth and the dragon howled in pain.
Ramura kept up his feints, dodges, and swift strikes, doing all he could to distract Narvanth from the dark gathering clouds overhead. Low thunder rumbled across the sky.
The battle continued for long minutes, neither of them gaining the upper hand. Then, for the first time, Narvanth turned his eyes toward the darkening storm. “What are you up to?”
Ramura lunged forward, leaping up and sinking his teeth deep into Narvanth’s lower neck, desperately trying to keep the dragon’s attention on himself. Narvanth jerked his neck back, scrapping at the lion with the sharp talons of one of his forelegs, a long gash ripping into Ramura’s side. The great cat fell away, landing hard on the rocky ground.
“Cursed beast!” yelled Narvanth, as fresh blood flow down his chest. “You’ll pay for that!”
Narvanth’s head darted forward and his sharp teeth clamped down around Ramura’s body, piercing his sides and belly with deep, stabbing needles of pain. Ramura cried out with a roar, feeling his ribs cracking, and his white fur was covered by his own blood.
A bolt of lightning flashed across the sky, and Tywulf stepped out from hiding, muttering the arcane words he needed, as he cast the Stormguard spell. Narvanth noticed the Lone Wolf, but too late, as a shaft of lightning blasted the dragon with a flash so intense it momentarily blinded all who witnessed it.
When vision was once again regained, there was nothing left of Narvanth but a pile of ashes standing nearly five feet high. The two dragons behind, who’d been watching the melee, roared, as if in excruciating pain. To the horror of all, the dragons began to melt, to liquify, and seep into the rocky ground at their feet.
Across the world, identical roars and scenes were witnessed, as all the dragons melted into the ground. Vanishing from existence. Then, all that remained was the broken, red-stained body of Ramura, lying alone in the pouring rain.
Diala raced forth, and saw that the great lion was still alive, but barely. She cast her healing upon him, encasing him in a soft, white glow that lasted for several long moments. When the glow subsided, Ramura’s chest rose and fell regularly, but he remained unconscious.
“Will he be all right?” asked Tywulf.
“He will live,” said Diala, “though it will take time for his wounds to fully heal.”
They both looked at the pile of ashes.
“Narvanth is dead,” said Tywulf. “The dragons are gone. Hir has been saved.”
“Gather his ashes,” Diala said. “They must be buried deep, and forever. Let his name never be spoken again.”
Thus, ended the First Era of Hir. Not many days hence, all the creatures that remained in Hir fell into a deep sleep. How long they slept, no one knew, but when they awakened, Hir had been changed. Flowers and trees, rivers and seas, had returned, and the Second Era of Hir had begun.