Hundreds of years before the events recorded in the game…
Understand Aphelion, that all this is inevitable.
Silver hair fell evenly on the shoulders of the man overlooking the battlefield. It had been less of a battle and more of a slaughter, bodies covered by rubble and once epic buildings torn to shreds like mere playthings. Hours before, just moments in the lifetime of an immortal, the same silver hair had whipped in the vile tempest as siege was laid on the human empire. They could not have been prepared. Their finest warriors had stood bravely in the face of the onslaught for no more reason than to fall.
“Oh, how they die.” Cepheid had mused as he begat the first of the storms that ravaged the city, peppering them with bolts of lightning that tore away human temples and cut down people as they fled.
The wind dragon was not kind in his disaster, the winds throwing bodies indiscriminately like puppets against walls and out of houses even flinging whole portions of buildings as far as the countryside. The unkind wind glutted itself on chaos as it peeled stone away like the skins of fruit and displaced them elsewhere like a bored child.
This was no war. To the dragons, this was destiny. To the faerie creatures, it was retribution for human obstinacies. To Aphelion, this was murder.
“Parsec, is there no sparing them?” The silver dragon queried as smoldering black wings beat slowly behind him. His brother of the flame was quiet, even his mind still and guarded from Aphelion’s prying senses.
“Understand Aphelion,” Parsec began, his pipe burning faithfully at his lips as it had for centuries, a testament to dwarven innovation. “All this is inevitable. The humans have their lot as we have ours. There is no certainty…”
“No certainty but for the dragons and the faerie creatures! There is certainty Parsec, certainty of death for them and the certainty of century upon century for us. Is man no more to us than a dawn then dusk?” He cried, his voice carrying to the ears of the other dragons busying themselves with another apocalypse of humanity.
This had occurred before as it would again. The delicate balance between the elements making up the fragile world was offended by the humans and their impertinent way of living, without regard to the natural order. This was their sin and it would bury them.
“Aye Aphelion, their lives are short, but –”
Before another word could be spoken between the two, a great clamor resounded from the direction of the human city and shook the earth so violently that the very ground beneath them shuddered from the shockwave. A menacing feeling reverberated across the distance. It seemed to tear through the air, displacing everything around it until it found its target and Aphelion was struck by the words of one of his fellow dragons.
“You doubt this work?” Baade roared, incised well beyond his usual gruff personality that countless years with the dwarves had constructed for him. He continued, “Come see the vestiges of your beloved human empire.”
The night sky lit ablaze in streaks of black and red as Parsec and Aphelion raced towards the last bastion, the city where the final resistance was being staged against the dragons and the faerie creatures that wished humans again erased from history. What Aphelion found was a graveyard.
Baade had forced the ground underneath the city give way, causing the entirety of the human marvel to cave in on itself. The castle at the center of the city had received the worst of it, as it seemed it was where the earth dragon had stood when he generated the chaos. His power had torn open great chasms that yawned mercilessly. Feeble architecture could only crumble helplessly into these hungry mouths of the earth. Aphelion and Parsec looked on at the devastation and neither could feel even the faintest sign of a single human life.
“This is the limit of humanity. Their frail bodies march them towards fatality as their egos crush everything around them. My advice to you Aphelion is to lose little sleep. This is what they do best.” Baade grunted, stretching his wings wide to show the full magnitude of the destruction.
The silver dragon was silent, beating his wings in the sky and watching.
“Where is Kelvin?” Parsec asked, scanning the area for the fifth of their ranks, the two-headed water dragon that was instrumental in spearheading the first strike on the humans. The rationale had been that their studies on the nature of dragons were rapidly leading them to the conclusion that defeating the dragons might free them from their destiny. Kelvin had argued that the only way to insure the future stayed certain was to exterminate them.
The earth dragon was silent, but Cepheid, floating serenely in the air nearby, spoke up.
“The humans…managed to put Kelvin to sleep.” Cepheid’s answer was calm even while Baade snorted below, smashing his fist into a section of the rubble and causing more of the city to tumble down into the abyss. Cepheid was more optimistic, “A mere setback.”
Aphelion closed his eyes, momentarily mourning the loss of his one of his brethren and the loss of an entire civilization.
Then the pain arrived.
On the heels of the catastrophe, Aphelion was struck by a debilitating shriek ripping through his mind and forcing him to either land or fall from the sky. Touching down on the ground, he moaned while nausea swam through his senses and his limbs shook uncontrollably. He tried to suppress the terrible noise. Managing to stagger to his feet as the worst of it passed, he knew that the gold dragon was coming to complete the cycle. A single living human would be his vessel among the ranks of the dead and herald his arrival into this world, beginning everything over: the wars between faerie creatures and humans, the destruction, the aching.
With little more than a thought Aphelion was able to change his form to mirror that of the lost humans in a sort of requiem. For them, there would be no other memorial. As he stood overlooking the battlefield and wondering what kind of future he could expect, he could feel the gold dragon’s presence lying in wait.
“Let him come.” The silver haired man whispered into the breeze, clenching his fist and waiting.