A Dragon's Tears [NaNoWriMo]


They call me weak. Soft. Cowardly.

Why can they not see the blasphemy of their actions?

Even the Master berates me, mocks my compassion and independence. My sisters laugh at my protests; my brothers scoff my efforts. Everyone but me seems to have forgotten the majesty of old, when we of the Black Dragonflight conducted ourselves with dignity and respect. Now, our kind are little more than cruel imitations of our once-glorious flight, trafficking in deceit, hiding amongst the mortal races, reveling in wanton destruction and chaos. We have fallen so far.

Once our kind conducted ourselves with love and care for this planet. We took pride in watching over this world and helping its people. I can remember no greater joy than shaping the rocky mountainsides, molding and caressing the earth's flow, helping the young mortal races achieve peace and sharing with them the infinite wisdom of our ancient race. Those were idyllic times.

But then Neltharion fell into madness.

Neltharion...you were the best of us all. Wise, altruistic, teeming with empathy towards any form of life, from the greatest giant to the tiniest insect. Your concern and compassion for this world were unmatched.

But all that you once were has been erased, my Master, leaving a blackened, sickening smear. Neltharion - or Deathwing, as you now demand to be addressed - you have shattered us. We are untrusted, hated. And for good cause. You encourage us to exploit the mortals, steal from them, manipulate them for our own amusement. And my siblings obey your mandates with a fanatical, crazed zeal that makes my blood run cold.

Now our kind rampages across the world, stupid with power and greed. Onyxia covertly instigates the humans to war for her own sick recreation, while Nefarian allies with the very creatures who hold the esteemed Life-Binder prisoner, defiling her offspring by turning them into living weapons. All over Azeroth, the Black Dragonflight has become synonymous with despair and ruthlessness.

Only I seem immune to your fiendish tongue. Initially I denied you, implored my brethren to do the same, to remember the resplendent creatures we once were. I begged them not to go down this treacherous, vile path. But to no avail. Your transformation had already affected them, turned them into the cruel overlords they are today.

But their cruelty compares to you, Master. You were outraged at my defiance, and I awaited your wrath, thankful that at least I would not have to watch the downfall of our race, the horrors that were to come. But you knew me too well. You knew what punishment would torture me more than anything else in this existence.

You made me live.

You forced me to watch as my beloved flight destroyed all we had worked so hard to create, as my kin began slaughtering, deceiving and abusing the mortals with alarming ease. My pain was an endless source of amusement for you, and never did you miss the opportunity to taunt me about the latest scorched village of innocents or incinerated trade caravan.

I was just one dragon; I could not stop you. Nor could I hope to turn my brothers and sisters back from their wicked paths. I resolved to take my own life, as I could not bear the torment. To my horror, I discovered that I was incapable of even this, unable to escape this cursed fate, for in your infinite malice you had anticipated my rebellion and foreseen my actions, subjecting me to a powerful enchantment forcing me to obey you.

A dragon, slave to another, against their will. Such sacrilege. You malign our entire history, monster.

But the worst was yet to come. I didn't think it possible - everything I had ever known had been corrupted, turned against me, spoiled. But then you turned to the eggs.

THE EGGS, NELTHARION.

Your depraved mind somehow came upon the idea to take the unhatched, pure, innocent children of our red cousins, and pervert them, mutate them into abominations. It wasn't enough that you played a part in imprisoning poor Alexstrasza to the orcs; no, you had to steal her offspring and pollute their innocent souls, too. A blacker deed I cannot imagine.

Your new "Twilight" dragonflight is a crime against nature and everything wholesome in the world. They are aberrations born of betrayal and evil, and their loathsome desires and unflinching loyalty to your dark goals make me ill. If it were within my power, I would burn them all from the face of Azeroth.

And what happens when you deplete the Life-Binder's eggs? Do you turn to the clutches of Malygo's Blues? Perhaps Ysera's Greens? Or will you simply start cannibalizing our own kind, turning our own whelps into nightmares? Where does your madness stop, Neltharion??

I am sure you took no small degree of sadistic enjoyment in ordering me to protect the newest clutch of your precious Twilight dragons. I am compelled to abide by your commands, curse you. But I swear it to you "Deathwing", I will haunt you eternally in the afterlife for your crimes against dragonkind, for what you did to our children.

Perhaps the problem lies with me. For if I could just believe your wicked words, give in to the malevolent desires that now dictate your being, I would not have such doubts. My old heart would not mourn the monsters we have become.

But though you have laid powerful enchantments upon my soul forcing me to guard your twisted experiment, I have not given up all hope. My presence here in the Obsidian Sanctum may ultimately be a blessing in disguise.

I will do your bidding; I will care for these eggs.

I will lavish them with love, with lessons, with wisdom.

I will tell them stories about the old ways, when dragons of every flight lived in peace and unity, when the world was a more pleasant, brighter place.

I will tell them about the dangerous allure of power and the hazards of greed.

I will explain the merits of mercy, friendship and love.

I will tell them of compassion. Of dignity. Of honor.

I will teach them everything that you have stolen from them.

I will teach them what it means to be a Dragon.



Show/Hide Letter Notes


Pertinent Lore:

Sartharion - take note of the quotes from Vesperon, Shadron and Tenebron.

Black Dragon Society - details of how peaceful & caring the Black Dragonflight used to be.

Sartharion is at first glance a pretty typical evil black dragon. He's guarding some evil eggs, kill him and ruin their plans, yadda yadda yadda. However, while looking at his quotations and those of his lieutenants, I realized that he might be a lot more complex than originally thought.

His Twilight Drake lieutenants are extremely disrespectful towards him, mocking him, calling him weak, etc. Not at all what you'd expect. They're very much the draconic equivalent of young punks. From this, we can assume that either they don't want to be there, or Sartharion doesn't. Considering the eggs being guarded are for the Twilight Dragonflight, we can guess that Sartharion is the one who's being forced to stick around.

Furthermore, when Sartharion calls to Vesperon for help, Vesperon remarks that "Father was right about you, Sartharion... You are a weakling!" Their father is Deathwing, so clearly Sartharion and Deathwing aren't seeing eye to eye. Perhaps Deathwing is forcing Sartharion to guard the eggs, against his wishes?

The Black Dragonflight used to be quite noble - maybe Sartharion still believes in the old ways, and doesn't actually like what Deathwing has done to them?

His death quote convinced me that this might be the case. He says "Such is the price... of failure..." which struck me as very odd wording. If he had been completely committed to protecting the eggs, wouldn't he say "Such is the cost of failure?" since because he failed, the punishment would be the eggs' destruction?

But saying price instead of cost makes me think he WANTED to fail, and that the unfortunate price in this case, was his life. I think that he was powerless to resist Deathwing's orders, but inside, he really wanted some adventurers to come and thwart his master's evil plans, even though it would require his death. I think that's how much he hated what Deathwing had done to them.

It's too bad we never really learn the full story behind him. Considering how rude the Twilight Drakes are to him, it's obvious there's something else going on there that we never get to be privy to.

2 Responses Subscribe to comments

  1. gravatar
    Shintar

    THE EGGS, NELTHARION.

    For some reason that makes me imagine Sarth going "Won't somebody please think of the eggs?" à la Helen Lovejoy.

    Interesting take on ye olde dragon. I always thought he sounded a bit... tortured. His adds mock him quite cruelly as he calls to them for help.

    November 6, 2010 at 9:01 AM

  2. gravatar
    Rades

    There's a lot going on there, I think, behind the scenes! The Twilight Drakes clearly don't respect him, which led to this fictional scenario.

    Also, I couldn't really work it into the letter, but I found his death quote "Such is the price of failure" to be odd. The PRICE of failure? Not the COST of failure? The cost of failure would imply "oh crap, I failed, now the eggs are lost :(" but the "price" makes it almost seems like he wanted to fail, and the price he had to pay...was dying. But he was willing to pay that price.

    In any case, poor Sarth could use a little more backstory!

    November 7, 2010 at 8:27 PM