There weren’t always dragons in the valley. They generally tended to keep to themselves in the mountains, not concerned with the comings and going’s of mortal men. But things were changing. The fabric of the world was changing - the warp and weft near breaking. It was time for the ancient magics to return. The old ones had seen this coming, an inevitability. Ancient alliances were crumbling. A darkness, an evil of word and deed was creeping into the world. It had been subtle at first, barely a whisper. But they could hear it, they could see it. Ad so, they journeyed down from the mountains.
Sandia and Santara knew their tasks, they had volunteered. Young as they were by a dragon’s standard, their years surpassed an age of men. But no matter. Their count of years did not matter. Only their dedication. The path they had chosen could only lead them to one fate, a mortal life and death. They knew this and chose it regardless, because it had to be done. Few before them had taken on such endeavors. None within a dragon’s age, ten thousand years. But the need had arisen again.
Though by far the oldest, the dragons were not the only ancient beings of this world. An age before, they had combined their magic with that of the elves and other elder races, to help bind the fabric of life together. However, with time, everything fades, even dragon magic. The darkness had been kept at bay was resurfacing. The balance scales of the world had been tilted. The time had come for new alliances, new bindings, new treaties. And so, for the first time in ten thousand years, the dragons were descending from their mountain homes.
It was quite an ordeal they would have to go through, shedding their immortality for an almost human life. Though for the task before them, sacrifice would be necessary. The brothers knew this. They had been preparing, in body, mind, and spirit. There was only one place in which such a transition could be undergone. It was a cavern that stretched down into the earth itself. Ancient, even by dragon standards, it was filled with crystals, larger than a human mind could imagine. The crystals created a unique environment, one in which the dragons’ powers were amplified.
Sandia, Santara, and the elders descended from their mountain peaks, weaving their way through the rocky crags. For a human, it would have been an arduous journey. For the dragons, it was simple, yet ceremonial in nature. The brothers knew they would not be returning. For the dragons, this was a solemn affair.
Once they reached the cavern, the brothers would pass through water, a sacred lake laid deep within, to cleanse them of any emotional attachments to their previous life. They would then journey to a part of the cave where, legend has it, the breath of the earth itself could be felt. The wind would help strengthen their minds and resolve. They would then pass into the deepest part of the cavern, the very heart of the earth itself, a place of complete darkness, a womb of sorts. There they would remain for three days. Once this time was complete, they would emerge, passing into the crystal chamber. Here they would be bathed in dragon breath. This fire would melt away their physical forms, turning them into ash. From the ashes they would emerge with new bodies, human for all intensive purposes, but with dragon magic flowing through them. This was the path they had chosen. This was their fate, the only true hope for the world.
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