No one is quite sure how many dragons are in existence anymore, but there cannot be a lot. Many die by the sword of heroes who search for glory, or fall for the tricks of rogues looking for treasure. Dragons fighting dragons means death and destruction for the whole land and the end for at least one more dragon.
But there was only one dragon that died of old age. It was the very first dragon, the only one old enough to reach the end of a dragon’s natural life. The dragon was almost as old as the Forest itself, its egg having hatched under the Forest’s very first tree. The dragon was reclusive but benevolent, never interfering unless necessary and was in return never bothered. There are but very few creatures which spoke to the oldest of dragons, and no one ever mentioned that they did. There were no ill intentions yet as this was all before anyone had arrived in search of blood or riches and so the dragon was left to grow ancient in peace, a fate that befalls to none of dragonkind anymore.
The dragon served as the guardian of the Forest as centuries and millennia passed and under its protection the Forest grew and grew to the size it is today. The first tree stood right in the middle where it was a safe haven to all. The Forest provided its inhabitants with everything they needed and those few who did dare to take out of greed, were quickly punished by either the dragon or the Forest itself. The Forest back then was only inhabited by animals like squirrels, foxes and owls and had yet to see any truly intelligent race. The dragon foresaw many beings to arise like the Fairies, the Elves, Dwarves, Goblins and Nymphs. It saw the first human to wander into in the world, the fall of the Wisps and the coming of Darkness. But that was all as it should be and that it would have no part of it. The dragon knew what needed to be done for these things to happen. It had grown old and tired anyway.
One day, the dragon knew its time was up and it returned to the tree where it was born under. The tree was now the oldest, highest and mightiest in the whole Forest, never to be beaten by any living thing, not even the dragon itself. The dragon was younger than the tree, but had always known it would never see the tree wither or die with its own eyes. And the dragon was going to make sure that it would never happen in anyone’s lifetime. The dragon curled down under the massive roots of the tree, looking a final time up to the sky, smiling at the good work it had done. It laid down its head, a final sigh and it never woke again.
When the dragon died, the magic of the ancient beast seeped into the ground and roots of the trees. It spread through the whole Forest, making sure it would always be protected from harm, that the Forest would be able to fully protect itself now that the dragon was gone. Trees that walked, beasts that fought and charms to deceive those with evil intent. The magic went as far as the edges of the Forest where the trees grew even more and the fruits became big and ripe. The Forest that was already alive, became so much more. The death of the dragon meant new life everywhere. New beings, Fairies, Elves, Nymphs came from the dragon’s sacrifice. Many more wonders arose from the release of power. But it also meant the Forest became what it is today, mysterious, confusing and oddly weird.
It’s certain that the inner sanctum of the Forest must be the most fantastic place in existence. If just the fringes of the dragon’s magic have created the wonders (and horrors) that lay the Forest, what could be waiting at the very core? It is said that in the Forest at night, there are always two lights visible. One is the Inn, the other can be nothing but that very first tree, fueled by the magic of the very first dragon. But no one goes to see the first tree or the bones of the dragon, as no one goes into the Forest finding what they want to find, and everyone wants to find the dragon’s final resting place. But the light of the first tree is a beacon of hope even in the darkest parts of the Forest, a light that will never die. Unobtainable, but eternal.
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