A/N: Here is my new story, and one that I've just started, and I feel confidant enough with this prologue to post it. I will be taking many liberties with the story line; some shall change, and others shall not. Well, here it is.
Disclaimer: Not for money, for pure fun.
There is a tale to be told, one that transcends time;
A story born from truth,
A fable of an ancient war between great beings,
Beings whose power shook the very world itself
He was little more than a child, exploring the paths behind the village in search of his little sister, Yua, who was being naughty, running away from their father, refusing to take her nap. The tall grasses and flowers seemed to tower above him as he navigated their depths, trying to find his sister. When he finally broke through he found her, lying on the short grass in the clearing, sleeping in front of the sheer cliff face – and in front of the great, majestic creature that called the cliffs its home, its sheer size and beauty stealing his breath away.
Time has erased the memory of the Dragon War,
The events fading to mere legend;
A legend in which the titanic beasts fought against each other:
One in service of their ancient doctrine to protect the mortal races,
The others in service of a Goddess,
To bring ruin upon those that refused to recognize her,
All at her command
"Ryu! Look out!"
He startled turning around to see his father standing there, a glowing orb forming in his hands, even as the grasses next to him parted, and a creature leapt from the depths, coming straight at him. He screamed, falling onto his back. There was a flash of light, a sound of thunder, and the creature in front of him was gone. Only his father remained, sighing in relief that his spell had worked. His relief turned to a glare then, as he marched up to Yua, who was now awake, giving a small smile that instantly made her father's anger dissipate, even if some still remained. Ryu watched as his father spoke, calmly but sternly, demanding to know what Yua was doing, coming out here.
The Legend says that the Light Dragons, as they are called, were all but destroyed;
Outnumbered, they were over-run by the Dark Dragons,
And those that remained could only watch
As their homes were destroyed, and their people killed.
For them, it seemed, the war would end in tragedy.
"To see Mommy!"
His daughter's reply shocked their father, whose gaze shifted to the great Dragon that slept, watching over their tiny village.
"Why would you come here to see your mother, Yua?" He asked, in a tone that Ryu rarely ever heard.
"When I sleep here Mommy comes to talk to me in my dreams!"
"Yua…" Ryu watched as his father shook his head, remembering his departed wife. "Yua, your mother's -"
"I know Mommy's dead! But…" Yua sniffled a bit, but quickly stopped, knowing she had to explain herself to their father. "But when I sleep here, she always comes! She talks to me, just like she always did…"
But Ladon, their god, would not allow it to end that way
Ladon would not stand by and allow his people to be destroyed,
Would not allow the Goddess that had so divided his children to win.
When the last sanctuary of the Light Dragons was attacked,
When the last one that held the power to fight fell,
Ladon came to them.
At his command, one of them set out,
A Warrior of the clan who had only just begun his training;
It seemed impossible that this Warrior could do anything,
But Ladon had a plan, and the Warrior would be the one to carry it out.
"Yua, Ryu…I'm sorry." Their father's head was bowed, his shoulders sagged. "I wasn't strong enough…When the Demon attacked our village, I wasn't strong enough to defend your mother. If it wasn't for the Dragon appearing as it did, I would have lost you both…"
"You're wrong daddy!" Yua shouted, running up to her father. "You're the strongest! Everyone in the village says you are! They said that it was you and the dragon that stopped the demon and saved us!"
Their father bent down and scooped Yua up, smiling. "I hope your mother feels the same."
"And how do you know this?"
"She told me, in my dreams!"
Their father's smiled grew just a bit more, and his gaze turned to the dragon, which had awoken, its gaze focused on them. A soft rumble came from its throat, and it nodded its head, as if in agreement with Yua. The smile on their father's face softened, but seemed even more vibrant than the last. He turned his attention back to his children.
"Alright then. Come on, lets go home and talk about your mother."
As the Warrior traveled, he gathered companions around him
Friends that would fight by his side.
As his journey grew longer, he grew stronger,
The experience of many battles hardening him.
Throughout his adventure he visited shrines to the Lord Ladon,
And at each one Ladon taught him.
At each one, the souls of the fallen dragons came forth,
Granting the Warrior some of their power,
To protect the Chosen of Ladon.
Yua twisted in her father's arms, turning to face her older brother.
"Ryu!" she said, "You should take a nap here too! You might even see mommy!"
Ryu looked at his father, silently asking permission.
"Just be back before dark."
With that they walked away, returning to their home, leaving Ryu behind. He turned, gazing at the dragon even as it stared back. He did not feel fear as he kept his gaze on the awesome creature. In fact he felt safe, warm, protected, knowing the strength of the being before him, and knowing that no harm would come to him while he was in front of it. With that he laid down, the warmth of the sun and the warmth of the dragon's breath flowing over him, and the soft grass beneath him. Soon, he fell asleep.
The dragon watched over him, and reached out, lightly touching Ryu with its snout, with a tenderness that seemed impossible for such a creature, before it once again settled back into its deep, long sleep.
The Warrior made his way across the land,
And into the center of the Dark Dragon's Empire.
Within the walls of their capital,
The Warrior met their King in battle.
With the power of the fallen dragons,
And with the power of Ladon himself flowing within him,
He defeated the Dark Dragon King.
Yua was wrong. He did not see their mother within his sleep; she did not come to speak to him. When he awoke, he shivered, covered in a cold sweat, the nightmare vivid in his mind. A tower, its depths descending underground, reaching into the very planet itself and the harsh, inhuman cries that came from in it. And in the center of it all, the Eye; Full of madness, staring into his very soul, demanding power, demanding tribute, commanding that they give themselves to it, to praise it, worship it as their god!
A cold breeze swept over him, and he shivered once again. He got up, and sped off towards town.
By the traditions of the Dark Dragons,
He was now their King.
At his command the fighting between the Dragons ended,
And the Clans were once again reunited.
But even after this, the War was still not over.
One thing still yet remained.
Something was wrong; why was everyone suddenly so…so angry at him? Had he done something wrong? He couldn't recall anything…And yet, when he tried to talk to them, they all yelled at him, calling him an "orphan", or a "thief". What were they talking about? It was as if they didn't know him! What about Yua, or his father? Surely they knew him! His dad was their pastor, the Father of the church!
"Father Ganer? Nonsense! There is only one Father in town, and that is Father Hulk!"
The Goddess that had begun the War still lived.
With the full might of the Dark Dragons,
And the remains of the Light Dragons behind him,
With his companions at his side,
And the power of Ladon within him,
The Warrior led an assault upon the Tower of Myria,
The place the Goddess called home.
When he arrived at the church, Ryu had no words left. Everything was different. The paintings and murals, the figurines had all changed. No longer did they depict the image of Ladon. And the man standing at the altar, dressed in flowing robes, was not his father.
"Welcome, Child, to the house of Saint Eva. Though an orphan, and possibly even a thief, Eva shall not close his doors to you. Here, you are welcome, for as long as you may wish to stay."
With night fast approaching, Ryu was ushered upstairs, into what had once been his room, and what had once been his bed.
But despite everything,
A Goddess is still a Goddess,
And has claim to the incredible power
That had earned her that title.
"Man, there isn't anything worth taking in this church!"
Ryu woke to the voice of the other orphan that he shared the room with, who had been sleeping in the bed next to him. Ryu turned his head, staring at the Grassrunner child, a race of dog-like beings, as he wandered about the room.
"May as well take the candles – they might be good for something…"
With that, the Grassrunner began to leave the room, but Ryu got up, blocking his way.
The Clans made their stand outside the tower,
Fighting the monsters that the Goddess had summoned,
Using them as a shield to defend her home.
As the Dragons fought,
The Warrior and his companions went inside,
And made their way to meet the Goddess.
"Why don't you come with me? It's boring here, we have no future; they simply think of us as scoundrels. Out there, in the world though, we could make a name for ourselves! What do you say?"
He never really had a choice to begin with.
"Awesome!" the Grassrunner smiled, revealing his fangs as he held out a furry, paw-like hand. "The name's Bow! Just Bow. Don't got a last name."
But to think that they could defeat a Goddess,
Without some sort of cost,
Was a foolish notion.
To defeat a being that powerful,
A sacrifice needed to be made.
They left the town in the dark of night, with nothing but the candles from the church. As they moved further and further from the town, the land around them grew darker, as clouds made their way across the sky, slowly blocking the moon's light.
Bow stopped, standing stiff as he raised his slight muzzle to the sky, nose twitching as he scented the air.
"Uh-oh," he said. "Smells like rain."
He twisted his head towards Ryu, ears flopping as he did so.
"We should find cover, quick!"
They ran, and not soon after rain began to fall, and lightning flashed around them as the skies rumbled. Finally, soaked and cold, they dove into a cave within the nearby mountains, they closest shelter they could find.
Knowing what needed to be done,
Made his choice.
The Goddess' defeat came with a price,
Paid for with his life.
"Geeze, it's dark in here! I can't see a damn thing!" Bow's voice cut through the darkness and Ryu was inclined to agree. They couldn't see anything, the oppressing darkness surrounding and enveloping them. However, that wouldn't last for long.
"Wait a second…" Bow's voice came once again, followed by the clank of metal as he set something against the stone beneath them. Another sound came, as if he was striking something against the ground, and then there was a flash of light. With a lit match in his hand, bow lit the candles in the candelabra, bathing the cave in a warm light. Holding the candelabra high, Ryu could see his friend's victorious grin.
"Good thing I brought this, eh?"
A noise startled them, and they whipped around, facing the darkness of the cave. At the edge of the darkness, something slithered against the ground, its scales clanking against the rocks, before it disappeared.
"What the hell was that?!" Ryu only shook his head, stating that he didn't know. Bow turned to face Ryu, an excited look on his face.
With the War finally over,
The Dragons departed,
Their clans reunited,
But their numbers dangerously low.
The Warrior's companions returned to their homes,
With only the memories of their departed friend.
They ran through the cave, pursuing their target that always managed to stay just ahead of them, taunting them as it would flash in and out of their vision. Navigating through the twists and turns, and stumbling over rocks in their way. Finally, they entered into a large cavern, it's ceiling beyond their sight.
"Hah! Got you now!" Bow bounded forward, searching for his prey, while Ryu stayed close behind them. Finally, it entered the light of the candles, and this time it didn't run.
"There you are!" Bow yelled, stepping forward. "No place to run to now, is there!"
The thing once again moved, slowly, and it disappeared – but not out of sight. The tail flicked back out, from behind its owner.
"W-what is that!"
The three eyes of the monstrous demon flickered over to Bow, the candles laying forgotten on the ground. Faster than what should have been possible, the tail shot out, its armored length impacting against Bow, sending him crashing into the wall, where he stayed, unconscious.
The demon, its monstrous form covered in a thick armor of scales, wicked horns curving from its head, and talons as long as Ryu was tall coming from its hands and feet, turned his attention back onto Ryu, who was frozen in his place.
"So…You are the one, then?"
The Dragons knew their duty.
The Tower of Myria was destroyed from above,
But underground it still remained.
There they descended,
And rebuilt their homes,
Ready to fight constantly for the rest of their time,
As they guarded the doors to the world above,
From the demons of Myria that remained.
And those with the Blood of the Warrior within them would remain above,
Guarding the doors to the world below,
Defending the land from the demons that made it through,
And defending the doors from those who would free them.
"It is you who is the threat to our God?
The demon drew itself up to its full height, spreading the massive wings on its back. Ryu tried to back away, but stumbled, falling down onto his back. He could only scramble away as the demon fixated its gaze onto him.
"Then, show me the power, child!" The shout rang around the cavern, ear-splitting, echoing all around them. "Show me the power that will make our God tremble! Show it to me!"
The tail short forward, and then all Ryu could feel was pain, terrible pain as it pierced through him, pinning him to the floor. He cried out, his voice chocked and a pitiful.
"So, you don't have it…Or perhaps you haven't awakened it? One of the Brood must die before they can unlock their power…Perhaps it is the same with you as well."
With a jerk the tail came out of him, its wicked tip soaked in his blood.
"Or perhaps you won't…My master calls me. I must go. Awaken that power, if you have it, and show it to me. Or die, here. Either way, the power will eventually be shown to me."
The demon disappeared, leaving him on the ground, his blood beginning to pool below him. The pain began to fade, and a feeling of cold began to creep its way through him. His vision began to fade, his world going black – or did the candle just go out?
A heartbeat then, loud and strong, echoing around him, filling his ears with its steady beat, which grew louder and stronger with each pump. Who was what?
The darkness crept across his vision, but the cold was gone. A feeling of warmth filled his chest, growing with each beat of the heart that echoed around him. It continued to build, growing larger and larger with each drum, spreading to the very tips of his body; and then, when it seemed that it couldn't grow any stronger, it exploded outward into the cavern, calming and warm, a darkness not like that which was around him, but one that absorbed everything, surrounding him, protecting him.
And Ryu's world was engulfed by blackness.
Few remember the ancient War,
The recordings of the time all but gone.
Few remember the time when the great Dragons filled the sky,
And the world shook from their might,
The might of the creatures whose war almost engulfed the world,
Bathing it in a Breath of Fire.
A/N: And here it begins. This was fun to write, and hopefully it is enjoyable to read. Here is hoping that you read it, like it, and review it, and here's hoping that I continue to write.