The Dragon Creation and the Gift of Fire
A Myth of the Origin of Dragonkind
In the beginning, all was darkness and chaos, and the earth was without form, the deep waters surged above the empty abyss.
Then there came Light. The first rays of dawn shone upon the empty world, driving the darkness back. And from those first rays there were born the first Dragon Lords: Ahmet and Haaratzah, Sibahn and Tsukah. These were the very first of the Light Dragons, and the first living creatures born into this world. They arose in the morning, and beheld the evening of the First Day.
Then the waters were divided, and a great dome appeared, splitting the waters below from the waters above, and the dome was called the Sky. From the sky there came clouds and the four winds, and at the first breath of each wind, a dragon was born: Tsaron and Daron, Mizrah and Maarah, who were the first of the Sky Dragons. They arose in the morning and beheld the evening of the Second Day.
Then the waters of the sea were drawn back, and a boundary set to their course, and the dry land appeared, and from the land were brought forth every tree and plant and fruit, and all manner of gems, ore, and precious metals. And as the first fruits of the newly risen land, in a great shaking of the earth, Dragons emerged from the ground: Machtzar and Otzah, Praiar and Perah. They were the first of the Earth Dragons, and they arose in the morning and beheld the evening of the Third Day.
Then two great lamps were set in the firmament. The greater, which was to rule the day, was lit first with living fire, and the lesser, which was to rule the night, took her flame from the first. The greater lamp was called ‘the sun’ and the lesser ‘the moon’, and her attendant lamps the stars. They were to mark the changing of days and months, seasons and years, and the patterns of coming and going. And from this first union of the sun and the moon, there were born the Fire Dragons: Ahvan and Yofiya, Yomun and Layla. They arose in the morning and beheld the evening of the Fourth Day.
Then the churning waters were tamed and set in their courses of currents and tides, of flow and ebb, of rising and falling back, and from this cycle were born all the teaming creatures that dwell in the deep, the fish and leviathans and reptiles, and from the foams cast from the waves there came the birds and reptiles of the air to populate the skies. But first of all were born the Sea Dragons: Osher and Mazzah, Yazmak and Zhiyra. They arose in the morning and beheld the evening of the Fifth Day.
Then from shadows of the new wooded places, battle arose. For Death looked in from the shadows outside and saw the goodness of the world. And Death lusted to possess this world and so strove to enter and take it by force. But the bright new world, in the first fullness of its strength, repelled the invader, and he set no foot within it yet. But from this struggle were born the beasts that walk and crawl upon the earth. Of these some received the breath of life and became the Logai, those who know, and Death hated them most of all. And in the first clash of this first battle, dragons were born in the untouched woods. They were Koach and Tzedea, Ciboran and Rahma, the first of the Forest Dragons. They arose in the morning and beheld the evening of the Sixth Day.
Now all the world was made and set in order, and with the dawn of the Seventh Day a great peace fell over the new-made world. It was then that Ahmet, the first of the Light Dragons and High Lord over all, went in secret to the caves of Elohar, the great mountain in the west of the wrold. There he considered the pattern and rhythm of what he had witnessed in the making of the world. He took secret counsels and learned hidden wisdom, and all that day, while the world rested, he heard and he pondered.
Then, with the evening of the Seventh Day, Ahmet emerged and summoned all twelve Dragon Lords and Twelve Dragon Ladies about him upon the slopes of Mt. Elohar, and he propounded to them what he had learned. This was the Law, the meter and rhythm of the world, which dragons were made to keep and to follow. For in the Law was order and life, and without it was chaos and death.
“See too,” he warned “That you neglect not a piece of the law. For each has his part and shall know and love that best, but none may be despised by any.”
Now, alone of all the creatures, Hefkerdal the Centipede felt no joy nor peace of the new world. For he was close kin with Death, who had reared him from the chaos of darkness that preceded the world. And so it was that the Centipede knew when Death, who had tried and failed to enter the world by force, had at last succeeded by subtlety.
So Hefkerdal went to Sibahn and presented himself as a weary traveller. And Sibahn received him honourably and feasted him and showed him his treasures. Then Hefkerdal went to Tsukah, and she too received him honourably and feasted him. And the Centipede said to her, “Oh, Lady of Dragons, I have heard tell of your great wealth and treasure, which is said to exceed all others. Will you not let me see it?”
And Tsukah was pleased, and she showed him her vast treasures. But the Centipede feigned disappointment and said, “you are rich indeed, lady, but I have seen the treasure of your Lord, Sibahn, and he is wealthier by far. Such gold and fine works are his that what is here is scarce worthy of compare.”
And woe for that day, for the Centipede’s words were laced with a deadly venom; a venom called Envy. At his speech, the venom entered into the ears of Tuskah, the Light Dragon, and settled into her heart, and gave her great pain. So it was that when next she met with her lord and asked to see his treasures, she thought not of her own, but only of his, and lusted after them. And so when Sibahn’s back was turned, she stole a small golden cup.
Soon after she had left, taking the cup with her, Hefkerdal returned, and he spoke fairly of many things, so that Sibahn was pleased and wished to present him a gift.
“My Lord,” said the Centipede, “There is but one thing I would ask; a mere trifle to you, but the apple of my eye. When last I was here, I saw you have a small golden cup of surpassing fairness, perfect in every respect. This alone I ask of you.”
And Sibahn pledged it should be his, but when he went to his treasure house, though he looked and looked, and his servants looked, they found no cup!
Sibahn returned and apologized to the Centipede, at a loss for how such a thing could happen.
“Far be it from me, my Lord, to speak ill of my betters,” said the Centipede. “I shall believe that I imagined the cup before I accuse one of my Lords or Ladies of such a crime. I will only ask that you would beg of my Lady Tsukah that I might have her cup in its place, for it is said she now has one that is the very pattern of yours.”
And Sibahn guessed his Lady’s treachery, and his rage erupted from his heart as lava from a volcano, and he gathered his people to march upon to his Lady’s cave. But Hefkerdal was swift and he reached her first and warned her.
“Guard your gates, my Lady, for my Lord Sibahn comes to reclaim his own. But why he should rage so over so small a trifle, I cannot think!”
And Tsukah’s rage poured forth in her turn, twice as great as her Lord’s, and she summoned her people and marched out to meet them, and there was strife for the first time of dragon against dragon.
Ahmet saw this and he summoned the two before the whole court on the slopes of Mt. Elohar. There he rebuked Tsukah for stealing against the law, and Sibahn for acting in wrath. But the venom of the Centipede in both their hearts awakened and Tsukah spoke:
“It is very well for my Lord Ahmet to speak so, for he has treasure beyond any of us and never has known the pain of want or of loss.”
And Sibahn spoke after her:
“Yes! And how convenient that the Law should be so composed that those with more are guarded the most. For who has heard the Law apart from my Lord Ahmet, or can say whether he has given it aright?”
And all the dragons trembled at this accusation, which shook the very pillars of heaven. But ere any others could speak, Ciboran, youngest of all the Dragon Lords, arose in wrath against his elder.
“My Lord and Lady, who has placed this poison into thy heart? You have as much accused your Lord and brother of treachery, yet it was you who have raised tooth against claw among us! Humble yourselves, sue for pardon, restore what has been taken, and let this scourge pass. Or would you tear down the Law itself to satisfy your own pride?”
Then Sibahn and Tsukah looked upon the Forest Dragon and conceived for him a hatred so intense that their light was put out. Seeing this, the two Dark Dragons, burning with their shame, fled the mountain.
Yet it was not over then. For enraged by their shame and with with the Centipede’s venom still burning in their hearts, Sibahn and Tsukah went forth among the newborn peoples, the beasts and Logai, and they whispered against Ahmet and the Law. Even some of the Dragon Lords and Ladies who had seen their fall doubted in their hearts and were swayed. Envy and greed reigned free, and there was bloody strife across all the earth, and dark arts were practiced, as each sought to satisfy his own desires without regard for the Law. The faithful Dragons wept to see how creation was being undone, while Hefkerdal the Centipede watched and laughed and whispered new venoms into the ears of the Logai. He fed upon the chaos and grew fat.
So the world shook as each fought all and all each, and Sibahn and Tsukah led their forces in bitter struggle, edged on by the Centipede. But still above all, they hated those Dragons and other Logai who had remained faithful, choosing to blame them for the misery that had fallen upon the world. So it was that Sibahn and Tsukah joined forces, and at Hefkerdal’s urging they laid siege to Mt. Elohar. The Centipede, having gorged himself upon the rising chaos, was now grown so enormous that he encircled the whole of the mountain of the Law, and the Dragon Lords took shelter inside a cave from his gloating jaws.
Then Ahmet withdrew once more to his secret councils and pleaded for aid. For though the Dragons were charged to uphold the Law, yet they had not the strength to counter this chaos.
And his pleas were heard, and the Dragons were given one final gift and one final law. When Ahmet came forth from his secret councils, he called the rest of the besieged Logai together. Then he took a certain gem from the wall of the cave, affixed it to his forehead, and went to the mouth of the cave. There, facing Hefkerdal, he proclaimed the single addition that had been made to the Law:
“Those who will not hear the Law in Word shall feel it in Fire!”
With that, the gem on his forehead glowed like the sun and he opened his jaws and poured forth the greatest blast of fire that has ever been seen or ever shall be seen until the end of the world. It was as though the Sun itself had fallen to Earth. Hefkerdal was burned away and he writhed in agony under the torrent of heat until he became small enough to seek shelter in the lowest depths of the earth. And all the beasts and dragons and other Logai who had struggled against the law burned, or fled, or else fell to their knees and sued for mercy.
And when his fire had thus purged the world and the Law was restored, Ahmet took more stones and gave them to the other Dragon Lords and Ladies, and he spoke these words:
“The World was made in Seven Days,
And Five Gems shall Bless it.
One Law Rules the World
With Six Flames to Guard it.”