When the world was new, the four dragon gods lived high on a mountain; it was the only land mass on the earth at that time, and built for them to live on. Well, after a while, they became bored with only one another for company, and began to quarrel with one another.
Darius, god of war and intrigue, spoke to Ludmilos, god of the deathgate. “My friend,” he said, “When we came to this planet, did our sister Aeriona not promise us life forms to play with? I see nothing amusing about fish, but what but ocean life can live in the oceans?” Of one accord, they began to gather dirt together on the ocean floor. However, Aeriona, Goddess of the skylight, heard there discussion and felt offended that they would not take their grievances to her. She spoke to Aquaius, goddess of the sea. “Sister, our flameheaded brothers think we do not notice when they act in secret.”
“Agreed,” Aquaius said, “even now, they are gathering pieces of my ocean floor together. What, do they mean to make life from the dirt?” She asked with a chuckle. Aeriona, however, became as enflamed as the sun she oversaw every day, and said, “They mean to make a lifeform greater than any who swim in your waters, sister dear. I would not laugh if I were you; once they have made these lifeforms, they will surely make enough for armies and bloodshed. Then, there goes our peaceful existence. Let us challenge them. What they did not realize was that this was exactly what Darius had hoped for.
That evening, as they prepared for dinner, Darius offered to bring them sweet nectar to drink, slipping in a potion to weaken their scales. This potion was so powerful that even a drop could loosen your scales. With a cunning smile, he handed them their drinks.
“Brothers, we have noticed you gathering dirt from the ocean floors, and this must stop!” Aeriona said in her most imperious tone. Darius rolled his eyes at his brother. “When we came to this earth, did we not agree to be equals? Now our dear sister thinks to command us!”
Aquaius, eager to keep peace, said, “Brothers,that was not her intent. She worries that you plan a folly that we might not recover from.”
“So now it’s folly is it?” Ludmilos pitched in. “Do you hear that, brother? Our sisters, in their infinite wisdom, think to save us from our folly!”
“Brother, you twist my words!” Aquaius protested. “Come, let us drink our nectar and set aside our protest for now. None can be their most rational when they thirst!”
Darius stopped them before they could drink. “Before we drink, let us agree to a challenge. Whomever is the victor will decide how things progress!”
Aeriona quirked an eyebrow and pondered this briefly. “What challenge would you recommend? My sister rules to the deepest depths of the ocean, and all fish that live therein. I rule the skylight and every feathered beast. You have no minions to do your bidding. Is this not the very nature of your protest?”
“True, we have no minions,” Darius said in his most cunning tone, “but we have ourselves. I propose a challenge. Male against female, as it were. Our scales are our treasure, are they not? They protect our hides from the elements and maintain our beauty. I propose this: the males and females shall quarrel. Whichever side is the first to have each player lose a scale, loses the challenge.”
“Brother!” Aquaius protested, “You speak nonsense! Why should we do harm to one another?”
“One scale does not really harm us, does it sister dear?” Ludmilos said. “I guard the deathgate and all who pass therein. We dragons do not die because we lose a scale or chip a claw. It might hurt for a moment, but we all know that only a wound to the heart is a killing blow!”
Sadly, seeing that she could not reason with her brethren, Aquaius looked to Aeriona. Seeing her nod in agreement, Aquaius also agreed. “When does this challenge commence? Can we at least quaff our drinks in peace before this begins? I have a powerful thirst from all this talking.”
Darius said, “Yes, let us not quarrel anymore until after we have consumed our nectar. For only fools would engage in tiring combat without some form of sustenance.”
Ludmilos chimed in, “Yes, let us toast. May the dragons who are right be the victors!” He did not know that Darius had placed a potion into the sisters drinks, and Darius could not argue the toast without his plan being ruined. Therefore, wincing, he raised his drink. “Victory to the right!” He agreed. The sisters raised their drinks, and all four drinking horns knocked together. When this happened, Darius kept his glass raised slightly higher, but Ludmilos was a little shorter than the others, so his sisters drinks spilled into his cup. “Victory to the right!” the sisters agreed, then drank deeply from the horns, consuming all that was left of their nectar.
Now that their horns were empty, they rose to engage in combat.
Both sisters tackled Darius, evading his face, tail and claws as they sought to pluck a scale. Ludmilos came from behind Aquaius to pull her off. “Now sisters, we are fighting for scales, not blood!” He teased, as he pulled on Aquaius. However, Aquaius, like oceans, is only calm until provoked. Blind to all but her task, she turned to her brother Ludmilos. “Back off, brother. We shall get to you in due course!” Aquaius hissed, then turned once more on Darius. In her preoccupation, she did not notice that Aeriona had lost a scale. “Aeriona has lost a scale. She must retreat!” Darius crowed gleefully. “The battle is not yet won, brother dear!” Aeriona growled, her voice echoing thunderously in the heavens. “Now I fight to protect my sister!” She wrapped her body around Ludmilos to pull him away. “Aquaius! You are being blinded in your fury!” Ludmilos tried again to reason with his sister, for he saw her eyes glazing with bloodlust.
She turned angrily upon him. “STAY OUT OF THIS!” Aquaius screamed, and raked hard with her claws. Ludmilos fell, for in her raking, she had dislodged a scale from his chest and stabbed him with a claw.
“Rise, brother!” Aeriona screamed. “Darius! Our brother is gravely injured!”
Darius ignored her. “I would not expect such a petty trick from you, sister dear!” He argued as he again tried to dislodge a scale from Aquaius.
“No trick! See the heart blood flowing?” Aeriona protested. This effectively stopped the combat.
Now, when a dragon wounds another dragon, the only way they can heal the most grievous injuries is with a scale from the one who did the harm. Knowing that this was the only way to save her brother, Aquaius looked at Darius and Ludmilos. “You win,” she said dully. With that, she retreated to her brother’s side, pulled a scale from over her heart, and ground it to fine powder between her forefeet.
Then, she placed the powder over the injury, sealing it with dragonfire. “My pain for yours, brother dear.” She said, then chanted a spell to take his pain into herself.
Ludmilos quickly revived, and saw his sister on the ground. “We have won!” Darius crowed.
“At what cost, Darius?” Came Ludmilos’ response.
“We win; therefore, we shall make continents and races to rule over. They shall have a higher mortality rate, so that when they are done warring on the land, they shall pass over into Ludmilos’ domain.
Ludmilos chimed in. “However, they shall also worship you, sisters. They shall seek flight, live off foods grown in the sunshine and fish from the sea. They shall always remember where their continued survival comes from, and shall adore you as much as they fear us.”
With that, Ludmilos and Darius plucked the scale that had fallen from Aeriona and Ludmilos off the ocean floor, as well as what was left of the powder from Aquaius scale. They planted the scales. Ludmilos’ scale had been spattered with blood, and volcanoes formed on the island grown from his scale. The powder from Aquaius’ scale formed several islands and a small continent, and Aeriona’s scale grew into a large continent, complete with forests and mountains, that the races might climb them and dream of the heavens.