The Lord and the Dragon

Lord Avra was not expecting any other guests aside from his son and two of his advisors. The interruption from the massive, winged dragon was a… Pleasant surprise.

“My wonderful little children! How are you?” The gigantic beast bellowed as it wanderded around the hall, sampling various foods from Avra’s personal buffet. “I have waited too long, not working towards your prayers!”

Avra glanced at his two advisors and hinted that they leave. His son, Kohra, remained where he was.

“We are stable. The least we could ask for.” Avra finally answered. “We are no longer held down by defeats of years past. After an economic downturn, thanks to my lone son Kohra, we are finally seeing growth.”

The dragon turned to Kohra. “That’s your last son? Where are… Oh wait. I remember. One of those little cunts came by and visited me. Did you manage to capture and execute the other one?”

“We don’t execute people anymore!” Kohra explained. “I believe a much less xenophobic, less colonial and more open society is better for growth and individual satisfaction.”

“All the power of the Kronospast armies and you wish to be nice to people?” The dragon asked.

“Yes!” Kohra nodded. “We don’t want to repeat our past mistakes!”

The dragon tutted. “Lord Avra, may I have a moment with you, privately?”

Kohra quickly realised what was going on. “You want to take us to war again! You want us to start expanding again!”

“And you dare question the Dragon God of Time, little one?” the Whenvern snapped, the lights in the room flickering with power. “You all pledged loyalty to me, so you could have your longer lives, and now you turn your backs on me?”

“Time Lord Kairos…” Avra sighed. “We have not turned our backs on you. We just wish to worship you differently while we figure out how we lost to a handful of backwater races.”

The Dragon God flapped his mighty wings. “You want to know why, little Kronospast? Because THEY had the Thantophor helping them.”

“It’s not really much of a surprise when we were trying to kill it…” Kohra muttered. “I mean, what do you expect?”

“The Thantophor had disguised itself as a mortal. It disguised itself as a member of those pesky Dessaron!”

“Which one?” Lord Avra asked. “I assume not the dead one?”

Kairos paused. “Actually, he was the dead one. The Thantophor has a strong bias towards the Skyavok. And he plans to assist the members of that pathetic union once more!”

“Then that gives us even more of a reason not to mess with them!” Kohra exclaimed. “We lost a third of our population in that war, for a third of our territories, which we had to surrender after that war! The Kronospasts breed slowly, as do our fellow Deitons, it will be millennia before we can go to war again!”

Kairos stared at Avra. “Why do you keep him? He is almost as annoying as your two traitorous sons.”

“Yes, he is annoying, and it is a shame that Kohra is my only heir these days, but what he says is correct. His much wider open mind has allowed us to slowly claw our power back. If what you say is correct and the Lord of Death itself is assisting the Reth-Vrekan Union, then to attack now would be suicide. Perhaps we…”

“Before you finish that sentence, keep in mind two things. Firstly, Epani is assisting the Vohra, and Yisini is assisting the Temthans. Secondly, you are talking to the Dragon God of Time, so I would watch your words, little mortal.”

Avra hesitated. He didn’t want to risk his life or the life of his son.

“You really want us to go to war?” Kohra asked, breaking the silence.

“No. Not yet. But more importantly, I don’t want you to be invaded.”

Avra pulled Kohra to one side. “Son, can you give me five minutes please?”

“Father, he could be driving us to our doom. It’s too soon!”

“I agree, but…”

“But what?”

“I don’t want to lose you too.”

“You won’t!” Kohra turned back to the Whenvern. “Dragon Lord! We trust in you, we do want to expand, but you must understand, our morale is low. We can’t do anything before we fully regain our strength!”

“So you’re denying me?” The Whenvern growled.

“No, just being patient! Better safe than sorry!” Kohra smiled.

The Whenvern had had enough. “Well, you’ll both be sorry now…”

With a swish of his tail, the Dragon God grabbed Kohra and threw him upwards. But the young Kronospast never hit the ground, disappearing in a cloud of smoke.

“KOHRA! WHAT DID YOU DO TO…” Avra rushed over to where his son should have been, desperately trying not to cry or show any more weakness. “What did you do to him?”

“Oh, he’s gone. Where he’s gone? Only I know. You may get him back, only if you do exactly as I say. Understand?”

Avra swallowed both his pride and his dignity.

“Yes, my Lord…”