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Rising ("Short" Story)
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The beast slumbered. It had survived; bruised only in pride. Try as others might, it could not be harmed.
The many heads drifted; slowly but surely pulled from where they lay. The force pulling them was nothing akin to that which had placed them there; tentacles of madness pulled the beast free from its prison.
Madness whispered in its many sets of ears, echoing through its mind. Others gathered around; keeping a careful distance from their harbinger. They were many times smaller and weaker than the beast, but had been called by the very same whispers.
The many eyes watched as the beast slowly opened its own. The hour had finally arrived.
Wyrmrest Temple was abuzz with activity, as it had been since shortly after the fall of Deathwing. The temple was normally expected to be full of Dragons, but recently it had been simply packed with them.
The attention itself was directed at strange creatures which called themselves Chromatics. The long, serpentine, golden Dragonkin had mysteriously began to appear recently; seemingly the excess energy shed by the former aspects.
In the wake of their discovery, Alexstrasza had ordered them to be collected at the temple, where the flights could monitor them until they were better understood. And so the buzz had begun; many Dragons appearing to study and attempt to better understand the Golden Chromatics.
One such Dragon, fel-bent on discovering all she could about the Golds, was a Blue by the name of Coramaxia. The Drake meandered along the floor of the temple; muttering to herself in her mortal guise of a Frost Troll. Cora couldn't help but feel that the creatures would be much easier to study if the others had simply let her shove them in tanks and poke them, as had been her original plan.
The researcher had not given up, however. She found herself with somewhat of a personal stake in the matter, although she hadn't admitted it. This beings called themselves Chromatics, which was the name of an artificial flight created by Deathwing's late son; Nefarian. Cora's own sister was one such Chromatic; freed from her creator and raised alongside herself and a Nether by their adoptive parents. For this reason, Cora had considered sending news to her sister about such a discovery, but had decided against it.
Or, more accurately, she got too caught up in poking the Golds to remember. She grumbled in troll; approaching one of the beasts on the ground. It turned to face the Blue, it's long serpentine body coiled along the floor of the temple.
"Coramaxia, was it?" The Dragon greeted in a masculine voice that seemed to echo within Cora's very mind.
"I...." Cora blinked. "Don' recall intra'ducin mahself..." She replied, her thick accent covering her speech.
"Others have heard your name mentioned, and thought on it." The Gold replied. "The thought found its way back to me. All know you know." He nodded slowly.
Cora scoffed. "Rumahs, kinta likah plague, right?" She commented, trying to ignore the fact that information about her was now floating around the temple.
"Not rumors, Coramaxia." The Golden Chromatic attempted to corrects. "Thoughts?"
"Ah?" Cora raised an eyebrow, alongside her notebook and pen.
"What one thinks, we all think." The Dragon stated. "It is how we learn, and how we gro-please stop..." He asked as Cora poked him with her pen before scribbling several notes.
From the floor, a small whelp fluttered upwards; her bronze scales shimmering as her tiny wings flapped as fast as they could. She made her way up through the air, avoiding other Dragonkin as she finally stopped at the upper balcony and landed beside another Bronze; her mortal guise that of a woman.
Hazel looked over at the whelp, nodding. "Anything interesting?" She asked.
"Well, they seem to share information quickly. Even ones we tried to isolate are learning of us quickly." Alidromi commented. "I can only imagine it is some kind of mental link they can form between them."
"Hrmm..." The Dragon nodded; peering over the ledge curiously.
"Something wrong?" The whelp asked; tilting her head.
"Their timeline... it is blurred." Hazel commented. "I've tried to look into the future of this new flight, but it is blurred to me."
"Have you talked to Nozdromu about it?" Alidromi asked.
Hazel shook her head. "No reason to annoy him with my own problems." She stated, shrugging. "Come on, we should report what we found." She commented; turning to step out onto the balcony. The whelp fluttered after her; hanging back as Hazel shifted into her true form.
The massive Bronze Dragon flapped her wings, lifting herself skywards and towards the peak of Wyrmrest Temple; the meeting place of the Aspects.
Gathered around the uppermost level stood a number of all around very important Dragons. Alexstrasza, the Queen of Life, was obviously among them. With her were the other Aspects; Nozdromu of the Bronze, Ysera of the Green, and Kalecgos of the Blue. There were others, most notable a single man of indeterminable race; standing tall and dressed in white, long blond hair falling below his shoulders.
This man was in fact a Dragonkin, a Golden Chromatic chosen to represent the new flight. He had protested the idea at first, insisting that there was no need to have one represent many for his kind, but was eventually convinced by the Aspects.
Hazel shifted back into her mortal form as she landed, Alidromi landing and shifting into her own mortal form; a young girl, hardly looking like she was more than five years old. The two waited as the Draconic leaders held an ongoing discussion amongst themselves.
Beside the women, a Red shifted; glancing out into the distance. Alidromi looked at him; following his gaze off into the sky beyond. "What is that?" She wondered aloud suddenly.
Curious, Hazel turned to face in the direction, noting the darkening sky and strange form approaching the temple. Lightning cracked along the clouds, pulling the attention of the Dragons from their discussion to look into the distance as well.
As the form approached, it became apparent that is was a massive, violet, ball of fire, flanked by several other flaming forms that sped along towards the temple. The sky continued to darken, and it slowly dawned on the viewers what exactly they were looking at.
Alarmed, the Red Dragon spread his wings; lifting himself into the sky. "Twilights, I don't know who you think you are, but you're not welcome here!" He roared. Hazel grabbed Alidromi; pulling her away as Alexstraza slowly stepped towards the edge behind her fellow Red.
The Dragon stared as the fireballs continued, the mutated Dragons visible within them, the lead and largest a full grown Dragon with a manic grin along his face. With growl, he roared. "You shall not pa-!" The guard was suddenly cut off, the Twilight Dragon slamming into him at incredible speed. Twilight flames engulfed him, burning away scales and flesh and leaving only a charred skeleton behind as the the Dragons continued closer.
Raising her hand, Alexstrasza's power flowed. Even without the powers granted to her by being an Aspect, having given those up after Deathwing's defeat, she was still an immensely powerful Dragon. Flames erupted from the ground below; rocketing upwards and shielding the temple. Twilights flew to the side or, in the case of the lead Dragon, straight up with the fire. Those who failed to move in time found themselves devoured by the fire; left as little more than ash coming out the other side.
Suddenly, Dragons were flowing out from Wyrmrest Temple; meeting the Twilights as they tried to make their way in or around and engaging them in battle. One managed to make its way to one of the massive lower doorways, moving to attack Coramaxia before she could shift and exit the temple.
The Blue hissed at the roaring Drake; tossing a vial and smashing it over the other Dragon's face. With an explosion of smoke, the Twlight found itself shifted into a small frog; glancing up at the Blue, now in her true form. Cora snatched the frog in her mouth, biting down and killing it before taking off into the sky.
"Where did Twilights come from?" Hazel wondered aloud; glancing at the escalating battle the surrounded the temple. It was oddly reminiscent of the Nexus Wars, the skies alive with ariel combat.
"Obsidian Dragonshire." Kalecgos stated. "We knew they had been gathering there."
"And you didn't do anything about it?" Alidromi asked.
"We didn't know there were so many, there were more pressing matters at the time." The Blue stated.
"Yes, but now this is undeniably urgent." Ysera commented; staring off in the direction of the Dragonshire. "There was a reason why they choose that spot, and we need to know why."
"But how?" Kalecgos questioned. "It must be guarded, I can't imagine anyone making it in and out to find out."
Alexstrasza made her way back towards the others. "We must try, sitting around here will solve little."
The Golden Chromatic suddenly cleared his throat, prompting everyone to look at him. "One of us could go." He stated. "When all thoughts are one, there would be little need to report back here."
"You mean... send someone on a suicide mission?" Kalec questioned.
"It would be only an honor for any of us to die if it means the survival of others." The Gold stated.
The Aspects looked at each other. Alexstrasza's face was one of worry, but the others nodded and she was forced to concede. "Very well." The Red stated. "Send one of your kind to the Dragonshire. We'll send an escort to make sure they get there."
The Gold bowed his head. "It is done."
Twilight flames burst from the ground, magma boiling around the outside of the Obsidian Dragonshire. Blacks rocks shifted slowly, hot enough to leave burns on whoever might touch them.
Twilight Drakes glanced upwards from perches around the entrance, curious as something seemed to approach. They stared into the empty sky above, slowly becoming confused as they were certain there was a presence above them.
The air shimmered as the invisibility spell wore off, a duo of Drakes, Red and Blue, suddenly opening fire with bursts of arcane and fire. Screeching in shock, the Twilights took to the skies, several blasted apart by the opening barrage.
The duo shot upwards, ascending as the enemy tried to encircle them and breath weapons fired off; igniting the air with noise and light.
The entrance was now free of the mutant Dragons, making way for a Golden Chromatic to shoot along the black rocks and into the cave opening, making its way through the volcanic interior carefully.
The Dragon paused for a moment, glancing around. It felt like it was being watched. Realization dawned on it as the Gold looked upwards at a Twilight Dragon above it; growling and opening its maw. The Gold shot off quickly, narrowly avoiding the flames as it spun and inhaled.
A massive golden blast escaped it maw; launching upwards and slamming into the Dragon. The Twilight was slamming into the ceiling, shaking the cave and causing rocks to tumble down, dragging the beast with them and intro the lava below with a roar.
The Golden Chromatic glanced around noting the discolored walls around it. Before it was a bright red wall, which was in stark contrast of the typical black. Glancing behind it, the Dragon blinked in surprise. The wall was blue in color, much a surprise to it.
The the wall moved, causing the Gold to become nearly frozen as it continued to stare. Behind the blue that lifted were other colors, other elongated necks which turned so their faces might gaze upon the tiny gnat that had wandered into the giant's lair.
The Gold might have been able to run, might have made it out alive. But rather, it remained. The Dragon held its ground, determined to do its job of gathering as much information as it could. Even as two of the heads opened their gigantic maws, energies building within, the Chromatic held its ground.
The aerial combat the surrounded Wyrmrest Temple had begun to dwindle. Many a Twilight had been slain, along with a number of the defenders. However, more notable, the Twilights had begun to lessen in number; leaving as suddenly as they had appeared.
"They're retreating?" Kalecgos wondered.
"They are returning to Obsidian Dragonshire." The Gold leader spoke up suddenly, prompting the aspects to look in his direction. "Within, a powerful beast has awakened. A gigantic Dragon, possessing five heads; one for each flight."
There was a pause among those present before the Bronze Aspect finally spoke up. "Chromatus." Nozdromu stated.
"But how? And why?" Kalecgos wondered.
"It matters not." Alexstrasza stated. "What matters is that we cannot allow him to return to full power, we need to deal with the Dragonshire now." She said, the others nodding in agreement. "Then it's settled, gather up all our forces, and prepare them to launch a counter-attack."
Nodded, each of the other Aspects shifted into their gigantic Draconic forms; flying off. The Dragon Queen looked to the Golden Chromatic who bowed his head. "The Chromatics are prepared to assist, and it is an honor to do so."
Within a mortal hour, the Dragonflights had assembled and taken to the skies; beginning their flight to the Obsidian Dragonshire. The Aspects led the attack, flanked by their consorts and most trusted generals.
On their approach, the remaining Twilights rose to meet them; engaging the army quickly and attempting to split their ranks. The battle was short lived however; the mutant Dragons outnumbered and outgunned. Twilights dropped from the sky, blasts of all colors ripping through them and snuffing out their ranks.
The Dragons paused though, the entire mountains that contained the Dragonshire beginning to shake. Cracks formed in its side and Alexstrasza gasped. "No." She stated. "Move! Get back!" The Aspect shouted, the army beginning to scatter through the skies and blasts of energy ripped though the mountain and shredded a number of Dragons on the spot.
With a massive explosion of sheer force, the multi-headed beast ripped free from the mountain, roaring. "The hour has arrived!" Chromatus screeched. "Witness twilight!"
"Hit him with everything we have! It's out only chance!" Kalecgos shouted; opening fire alongside his fellow Aspects and pelting Chromatus. Their attacks were the equivalent of bug bites however; the Chromatic roaring and unleashing bursts of energy that shredded through Dragon that attacked his form.
Desperately, Alexstrasza charged the monster; slamming into the Blue head of the monster and knocking it back. With a roar, the Aspect tore deeply into it, trying to break through the scales. The Black head grip her suddenly; tossing the Red through the sky. After a short flight, she managed to recover. "He's too powerful." She panted.
Suddenly, the sky was full of shimmering golden light. As Dragons fell back, Golden Chromatics charged into the fray. All five of Chromatus' heads opened with an assault on the charge; shimmering off the strange shield that enveloped them.
The Golds twisted and turned, creating a spiral of themselves around Chromatus and opening fire. To his surprise, the beast felt great pain at the assault; roaring in agony and his scales burned and sizzled.
"He's weak!" Nozdromu stated. "They're hurting him!"
"Then let's not waste this chance." Alexstrasza said; leading another charge as the Golds broke off their assault. Blasts from the others ripped into Chromatus and electing more cries of agony.
The Aspects themselves rose above; circling overhead as the monster panted. The bringer of twilight looked upwards, his many eyes wide in shock. "No..." He stated, magic forming between the circling Aspects. "No, this isn't possible!" He roared; opening fire with all five heads.
The magic unleashed into a rainbow colored beam, the combination of all the Draconic domains as it rocketed downwards; colliding with Chromatus' own attack and overpowering it. The beast screamed as the attacked ripped into it, cracks forming along his body as he began to convulse.
With a burst, Chromatus suddenly exploded; the dark clouds fleeing from the sky as bone and scale and gore rained along the landscape from the explosion.
The remaining Dragons sat for a moment, as if not believing what they had seen. Slowly, the Aspects were the first to land, followed by the Golden Chromatics.
Alexstrasza looked at her fellow aspects, who nodded. "The bringer of twilights is slain." She said, hardly able to believe it herself. She looked to the Golden Chromatics. "Your flight has proven itself, and much more, today. Your actions here have undoubtedly saved Azeroth itself."
Each and every Gold bowed their head before the Dragon Queen; all speaking as one. "It is a great honor to know we have served you well."
"That es reallah creepeh..." Coramaxia muttered from were she sat in the air. Some who heard her nodded in agreement, but remained silent.
Alexstrasza nodded. "Let us head back to the temple, and continue to get to know out new friends." She said; the army of Dragons beginning to make their way back to Wyrmrest.
The Golden Chromatics lingered a moment before following, moving as one they followed through the skies.
1. This story is pure headcanon, and I didn't even try to fit it into normal canon. Just a warning....
2. I CAN'T WRITE CANON CHARACTERS WORTH A DAMN!
3. Ohmygosh, I had to split my story into two posts. I'm so happy :D!
That was pretty entertaining, and you nailed Cora down to a T.
I caught a few of your references too...
Let's begin with the pros.
You very clearly had a very good idea on where this story should go, and you followed through on it giving it a very seamless story. It had a very quick pace, but an even one throughout and that really worked to its benefit. Particularly with the fight scenes. Which themselves were very well done, with clear actions and effects and very easy to follow. There were no instances of confusion with the characters and who was doing what, though it was very much en masse that it was occurring.
That you admitted that the canon characters were weak is a good step to improving, as they were fairly bland in here. This was very noticeable against the strong personalities of the original characters present.
Now, as for the real cons...
Descriptions were sorely lacking. Had we not known who the characters were beforehand, it would have made following it a bit of a problem, not to mention investing in them and drawing the scenes in our heads. The golden chromatics were also a bit difficult to come to terms with. Since if they were in fact chromatics, why did the dragonflights trust them to such an extent? The golden chromatics also didn't really have much of a presence in the story, save to be mostly plot devices, and Chromatus's lines were very cliche and stock villain stuff.
In conclusion, a very well designed and contained narrative. It's a decent story and read, and some of the characters were amusing. It could be fleshed out a bit more and some of the more cliche stuff reworked, but save that a decent read.
Well, I think I kinda want to respond to the critique by first explaining just what the Golds are in my mind, and why I wrote such a story.
The Golden Chromatics are, honestly, a fan-race that I have been crafting for a while now. I was quite intrigued with the release of the mount and pet, being that I myself love the idea of the Chromatics, and RP one as a major character. However, I was somewhat let down when they got very little lore or flavor; left to collect dust as vanity items.
So then, through steam conversations (mostly with Hyper) I eventually came up with the idea that I tried to show off here. (I also plan to continue with them, hopefully in better and more focused fan-fics.)
Running off what lore we do have from the in-game mails; the Golden Chromatics were created by the excess magics of the Aspects shedding their powers at the end of Cataclysm. This makes them a rather perfect unison of the flights. While the old Chromatics use a mish-mash of powersets from the other Flights, the Golds have their own unique powers which contain elements of the other flights; resulting in them being considerably more powerful, but less varied.
In terms of their role; they are a hive mind. Although their are mentally strong individuals, with their own personalities (Such as the leader whom I introduced here) all of them are connected mentally, and will be strikingly similar to one-another as a result. They generally think highly of themselves, viewing their flight as perfect, but also realize that it is their duty to serve the aspects; their "creators".
I went into the story attempting to introduce all this in a way that would make sense, and be interesting to read.
Chromatus and the Twilights made easy and well known villains, as well as fitting into such a Dragon-heavy story quite nicely. However, I will admit I have not read Twilight of the Aspects (Or any WoW books, as I can't seem to find them anywhere nearby me.) As a result, my only reference for Chromatus was the Wowpedia page, which is more a recap of his role in the book than any look at his personality or character. To work through this, I admittedly tried to keep his appearance brief and action filled; his lines are fairly flat, but I hoped they would be fitting.
I'll also admit, it never even crossed my mind to describe the aspects themselves. I had assumed that their names would immediately bring about mental images for anyone who would actually read this. I attempted to give other characters, such as Cora, Hazel, and even Chromatus himself, passing descriptions as to not slow down the story. I understand they weren't exactly in-depth or extremely effective, but I didn't want people mistaking them for the main characters.
It did occur to me that the Chromatics seemed sort of like a Deus Ex Machina of sorts at the end, but the entire story had slowly and vaguely led up to them playing a major role in the final battle. I had hoped people wouldn't start reading the assault on Chromatus without thinking the Golds would have some major effect on it. (I had originally wanted them to outright kill him, but decided that removing his invulnerability would work better in terms of keeping the other Dragons useful.)
As for why the other Dragons trust them; they generally didn't. At the beginning of the story, all the Golds were cooped up in Wymrest temple, where the others could keep an eye on them. They had more freedom than mere prisoners or lab rats, but that was also because they hadn't caused any sort of hostilities.
But thank you for the mostly positive review, and I'll certainly try to remember it when writting my next piece.
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