Nothing.... that is what I will be. What you and I will be. What everyone will be. Why exist. Why?
I see the Truth. I accept the Truth. Why can’t you see it?
I guess I’ll have to make you see.
If the only way I can open your eyes is by closing them,
then so be it.
The legends still are told in whispers, from dragons who know the tale. About a heartless killer, from before the days of Clearsight. Perhaps the tales of the Lost Dragon has been buried by the sand of time, but her legacy remains. She has yet to be forgotten.
She still has a story to tell.
You will see me. In the streets. The house next to yours. Behind you. At your bedside at night.
Sunlight filters through the large trees, casting eerie shadows over the forest floor. Standing in the middle of a small clearing is a dragon, covered in leafy shadows. She’s beautiful, standing, her back to you. Captivated, you creep forward, not to alarm the gorgeous dragon. You stop suddenly, heart sinking as she turns to face you. You begin to tremble as you see her scarred form. Horn snapped off, wounds of old sealed up, and wounds of new dripping with blood. You see her eyes. So, so empty. You start to back away, but she gives you a smile. A smile that freezes you in place. Then, the shadows on her body began to shift as the trees moved. Roots gripped your legs, your wings. Then your neck. slowly, your vision fades., you can no longer see the dragon. You can only see darkness. Nothingness.
What do you see when gazing upon this dragon? Some see a killer. Some look into her eyes, devoid of emotion, and pity her. Some see her for who she was, and who she will never be again.
She hatched from her egg with a smile and a giggle. The pride and joy of her parents. Their only child, their ray of sunshine. Scales as green as a lush forest, yellow stomach with sparking red highlights and yellow around her eyes. Lighter green scales covering her back and neck, and specks of a sea green all over. Her wings studied a gorgeous red that faded into the green/yellow of her back.
She grew to be an elegant dragon, large, SilkWing-lIke wings, antenna on her head that ended like a flamesilk’s fire. Thin body and legs, a long tail with a bare end. She had the back webbing of a LeafWing, and odd horns that looked nothing like either tribe.
She would always have a smile on her face, her eyes alight with laughter and wonder for the world. She would walk with a hop in her step, and her wings would lay relaxed at her side. Her scales would be mostly clean, but they always shined no matter how much care she took into them. She could tumble through a thorn bush and come out with a grin and undisturbed scales. Of course, she would usually have a splat of dirt or dust on them, but nonetheless she glistened.
Her voice held a cheery air, but was not obnoxiously joyous. Gentle but happy, the sound of her voice was as gorgeous as a flower, as sweet as honey. It was uncommon for her to sound sullen in any form. Her antenna never drooped, and her tail would always twitch in a content manner.
By the time of her death she was almost unrecognizable.
Oh what the years can do to a dragon. Hiraeth, the once beautiful SilkWing, LeafWing hybrid was a fearsome sight to behold. Her eyes. Empty. Her smile? Only held menace. She was broken,
One horn chipped off, reduced to a stub. Down her neck ran a jagged, grizzly scar. Her wings held many tears, and her left back leg was once cut to the bone, barely healed over. She had many, many smaller scars on her. But the most scarred part about her was her eyes.
Her scales were dull and grisly, she stood still as a corpse, and her walk held no energy, like the dead rising from their grave after being disturbed. Her voice was cold and tough, like claws on a chalkboard. No longer sweet as honey, but more like vinaigrette.
Her antenna rested at a ridged position. Her tail no longer twitched in a positive manner, instead it swept across the ground. Menacing and slow, like a python sliding over the forest floor, tracking it‘s prey with a flicking tongue.
The old Hiraeth was gone. Dead. And she was never coming back. In her place was a dragon who served darkness, who spoke with no emotion and laughed an empty laugh, smiled an empty smile, and looked through broken eyes.
No one is safe. No one is pure. Corruption rots beneath the scales of dragonets, we are all lost before we even take our first breath.
She was a ray of sunlight. Always had a joke to tell, and a smile to give. She could brighten up the darkest days, the sound of her voice was enough to cheer up even the saddest dragon. She was gentle, but firm when she had to be. Patient, and rarely rose her voice.
She would tell stories to the dragonets, and was a fountain of positivity. Everyone enjoyed her company, even the grouchiest or most hostile of dragons could not hate Hiraeth. She was a general of the small lake where many LeafWings and SilkWings made their homes. She was against violence, though, but since she had such strong leafspeak she took it upon herself to keep the village safe.
She loved using her leafspeak, she could hear the plants as strong as any dragons voice. She would visit gardens and encourage their plants to grow, she made a barrier of plants around part of the lake for a safety. She would spend hours off by herself in a field or forest, encouraging small buds to bloom, or soothing large trees.
She was an intelligent dragon, often finding solutions to odd issues that many just tilt their heads at. She knew how to think outside of the box, differently. Uniquely. She would set her mind to something and achieve what many believed to be impossible. Hiraeth was a wonder, really.
She was a very wistful dragon, often lost in her own thoughts. She was content, but never satisfied. She often gazed upon the ocean, wondering what lie beyond the setting sun. Hiraeth could get lost in simple things, looking at gorgeous flowers, watching the tide rise and fall. She got easily distracted, and she spoke extremely fast. Her brain seemed to jump from one thought to another before she even finished the first.
Some called her odd, for she would often zone out. Many found it strange how she could speak to trees with such an understanding for the plant. Maybe she was a bit strange, but she was a dreamer. As beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.
Among her quirks, she could be a little overwhelming. She was not shy, not at all. If she saw a dragon looking upset, she would walk directly to them and initiate a conversation. That could startle some of the more unsocial dragons.
She was also a bit oblivious to certain things. She could read basic emotions on dragons, but sometimes she could mix them up. Sometimes she would think a dragon is upset when they were actually just uncomfortable, or angry when they were passionate about something. She could cause dragons to get annoyed at her, but, of course, in the end, who could hate the gentle protector of the forest?
For being a general, Hiraeth was a bit of a pushover. She didn‘t ever discipline anyone, she left reinforcing to other figures of the law, and saw herself as backup. Deep down she knew one day she would have to use her leafspeak to protect the village, and dreaded that day. But She would do it.
Beautiful and kind, sweet and patient. Isn’t it crazy how a dragon can change?
By the time of her death, dragons can only remember her as cold and cruel. Emotionless in some cases. She was considered “lost” by those who knew her, no longer the village’s ray of sunshine, but the village’s plague. Terrifying, her name was only spoken through whispers.
The spawn of a demon, cold, distant. Hiraeth was brutal. Violent. She rarely showed emotion, her smiles were empty and her eyes reflected nothingness, like a portal to hell. She could no longer feel remorse, pity or guilt, oh no. She was far gone. No longer was she a dragon who brought smiles to the sad, she brought death to the content.
No longer did she have the patience of a saint, but the patience of a predator. Watching it’s helpless prey before launching, unleashing it’s deadly rage upon the unexpected. Hiraeth saw no good anymore, only pointless, meaningless existence. An existence she sought to end.
Some say she was driven by hate, some say she was driven by anger. In reality, everything drove her on. Everything caused her to end, to kill and to rip apart the lives of others. She snarled at the ideas of love, or happiness. Useless emotions the mind conceived to keep dragons living on a useless world.
No one mattered, that she knew. Not dragons, not dragonets. Not even herself. But, Hiraeth knew the truth, and she knew the only way to open dragon’s eyes, was to close them forever. She took herself upon that task.
Oh, was she still brilliant. Powerful too, now. She never held back, not with her mind, not with her ability. No matter how loud the trees screamed, she forced them to do her deeds. And they obeyed. Who would want to get in Hiraeth, the Dragon Of Darkness’s, way?
She was lost. Too far gone for redemption. She induced fear into the hearts of others, and caused such pain to those who used to know her. Only... did they ever really know her? Deep down, are any of us pure?
Forgotten. That’s where everyone goes. So what’s the point? Why live life suffering, wishing there was a meaning? There is none. The quicker you perish the better.
Before the days of Clearsight on Pantala, or the Scorching on Pyrhhia, LeafWings and SilkWings roamed Pantala as one. HiveWings did not yet exist, as BeetleWings had not yet evolved into HiveWings, and were classified as SilkWings. United together, but not through the strict order of tribes. They lived in villages, usually near rivers and streams.
One such village was near a large lake the residents called Bluegrass Lake. It was home to many families, all living together peacefully.
Hiraeth was born at that lake, to a SilkWing mother called Flutter, and a LeafWing father called Stem. She was raised by the lake, a loving life full of dragonet’s wonder, and a family bond that seemed impossible to break.
14 years after Hiraeth’s birth, news started to spread. News about a vicious terrorist group called the Truth. They were all connected with one belief- That life’s only meaning was to cause suffering to those who lived, only to end their days with nothingness. They killed dragons, claiming to spare them from living a life of pain. The group was not afraid to sacrifice their own members, as they believed no one at all mattered, not even themselves. They were directed by a LeafWing called Komorebi, who claimed the only reason he lived was so that he can assure they ended all dragons.
The residents of Bluegrass Lake grew worried. They had heard news from travelers about the brutal attacks, and needed to do something to protect their village from the same fate. They formed a guard called the Bluegrass Force. They protected the village and built boundaries around the lake. Hiraeth volunteered her service to the army, knowing that her powerful leafspeak would be of service when protecting the city’s borders. The Force proved effected and they were safe for the most part.
Four years after the Bluegrass Force went into effect, Hiraeth had settled down with a LeafWing called Rhubarb. They had two lovely children called Rye and Lime. They were a very happy family, and Hiraeth would do anything for her husband and children. Rye’s hatching day was coming up, and she really wanted a special flower, one that did not grow within Bluegrass’s boundaries. Determined to make her little dragonet’s day, Hiraeth left at night to go find the flower.
The Truth was already aware of the powerful leafspeak who created the great boundary of Bluegrass, and the spies residing in the village had given Hiraeth’s exact description. Komorebi wanted such power for his cause, so as soon as a Truth spy saw Hiraeth leave the village, they went straight for Komorebi.
Hiraeth went deep into the forest, searching for her daughter’s beloved flower. She was immensely distracted. It was the perfect time for Komorebi to strike.
Komorebi and a dozen other Truth members jumped Hiraeth, trying to knock her unconscious. It was bloody, Hiraeth was badly injured with scratches all over and a horn chipped off. Her leg bleeding so bad it seemed like a cascade of scarlet. She was down, out. The Truth brought her back to their base, which was a cavern connected to a couple small caves. Seemingly the result of a large river that dried up many years ago.
Hiraeth was brought to a cave where her leafspeak would be useless. Bound to the wall by the silk from a SilkWing. That was when the brainwashing process began. Komorebi started with isolation. Only coming in as often as to give water and food, only enough to keep her alive. Then, after about a month of that, he began to taint her mind. Telling her lies and building up the reputation of the group. On and on the brainwashing process commenced, until at last it proved completely effective. Hiraeth didn’t know who she was anymore. All she knew, all she lived for, was the motives of the Truth.
It took two years to perfect their “weapon,” but Hiraeth broke. She was one of them. She no longer remembered her gorgeous family, who were in agony over the loss of Hiraeth, who they presumed dead. Hiraeth was cold and efficient. She would do the bidding of the Truth, tearing villages apart with the very roots beneath them. No matter how much the dragons screamed, no matter how much the trees pleaded for her to stop, she kept on killing.
One day, Hiraeth broke even farther. Emotionlessly, she murdered Komorebi, not doing it secretly, either. While outside the cavern, regrouping after a failed assault on a village, he had walked up to Hiraeth and claimed she was the reason they failed. Komorebi announced to the group that Hiraeth had held back, that she told the forest to hold back. Hiraeth dismissed his words as lies, not at all ruffled from the accusation. Komorebi got in her face and challenged her once more. She didn’t mover, but the floor beneath Komorebi did. Roots shot up, clamping down in his talons, pinning him to the floor. Hiraeth raises a talon and split his throat, the Truth members just watching as their leader’s life spilled onto the forest floor. No one said anything. Hiraeth was convinced that Komorebi had to die. She hated him. For reasons unknown to her, and because she was convinced he did not believe in the Truth. The Truth became loyal to her, for who would stand up to Hireath? The dragon who could kill without so much as a blink. under her rule, Hiraeth was crueler than Komorebi ever was.
Soon after establishing leadership, she attacked the very village she protected all those years ago. She stormed Bluegrass, killing anyone she could. Many fled, some stood and fought with the Bluegrass Force. Many recognized her. She killed them all. Emotionless, broken.
Among those who fled were Rye. Her other sister and her father were among those killed. She saw exactly who committed the act, and could not believe it. She was in agony, the very dragon she mourned, believed was dead, had come back. Came back and murdered the rest of their family. She swore to stop Hiraeth, no longer recognizing her as the mother she loved.
Hiraeth, on the other hand, kept destroying life. Saving dragons from having to live through suffering,, she claimed. The very phrase Komorebi has embedded into her brain during her days of torture.
It may have been a year, but Rye never forgot what happened at Bluegrass. Rye had become unstable, living her years festering with hate. Negotiating with her mother was not an option, she wanted to kill Hiraeth. And the sane part of Rye’s mind was terrified at that fact. But, now she had a plan.
She snuck into the terrorist group, finally finding the camp’s location after a year of searching, and putting her plan into play. The Truth planned to attack another village at midnight, so most of them went to sleep while they could. Among those who slept was Hiraeth. Rye made her move. She snuck into the cave her mother rested, and lifted the knife she had bright. Hireath’s eye flashed open.
Hiraeth roared at her daughter in challenge, and slithered off the bed. Rye started sobbing uncontrollably, Hiraeth looked her daughter in the eye, her own emotionless expression bore into Rye’s distraught face. She asked, “why do you cry, dear. The world means nothing, and neither will your death nor mine.” Rye yelled, “what have they done to you, Mother?” and all Hiraeth responded is, “this has always been me. The real me. Why don’t you show who you really are?”
Hiraeth launched at Rye, red wings extended and talons stretched out, teeth bared. There were no plants in the cave the two were in, so it was a seemingly fair fight.
Well, except the fact that Rye had a knife.
The fight was brutal, even with Rye having the upper hand. Claws flashed, tails lashed and blood splattered. In the end, Rye looked like a corpse herself, and Hiraeth looked no better. The one move that saved Rye was when her mother cornered her, she kicked up some dirt near the back of the cave into her mother’s eyes, and plunged the knife into her skull. If they had been anywhere else but a cave, Rye would have surly been dead right there and then.
Hiraeth was dead. The Truth swarmed in soon after, whispers swirling around them as they filled the cave, murderers pressed against each other as they examined the scene. Their weapon, lying dead on the cave floor, with her killer, her daughter, next to her.
Rye's talons were shivering, cold, but the ones that she gripped were colder. She could sense the others surrounding her, yet she barely acknowledged them. Hiraeth. Hiraeth was dead, and the painful swirling emotions were yet to settle.
Perhaps it was better now. Hiraeth was the Truth's weapon, after all. She was the one that took the most lives, and now that she could no longer do that… everyone was safer. But she was Rye's mother, who went out that day to find her favorite flower. She had cared and loved and comforted Rye in her most pathetic moments and -
That dragon was gone. She had long been lost, even before Hiraeth first came back, to kill. Rye lifted her eyes for the first time, her eyes flickering over the Truth before her. "Why…" She paused, her mind stuck on the bizarre view for a moment, reflecting. "You aren't killing me." Her voice was hoarse, quiet, but it carried over the gathered dragons, yet they didn't move. She looked over each hidden face, pairs of glittering eyes. "You killed her."
It wasn't a question. It was a statement, a fact. Yes, the talons coated in Hiraeth's blood were Rye's, but Hiraeth had already been gone by then. Her mind wretched apart, beaten and destroyed by the Truth. "But you aren't killing me."
She considered this further, tilting her head thoughtfully. "You want me to live, don't you? To suffer knowing that there's blood that I can never wash off my scales. That I can never be happy again. That…" she paused. "No. I know who killed her, and it wasn't me." Her gaze hardened, cold as steel as she released Hiraeth's limp claws.
They shifted. The Truth moved, slowly moving back until the cave was nearly empty. Rye considered the dragons turning away. She could kill them. They let her live, but it certainly wasn't for her benefit. She could kill them, wash more blood across herself as if it could drown out Hiraeth's.
But she sat. The idea of revenge simply didn't click, since nothing would bring Hiraeth back. Even if she was living, breathing right next to Rye, she wouldn't be truly alive. Perhaps she should kill them. Protect future dragonets from pain by ending the ones that brought it.
She stood, slowly. Blinked. Her eyes snagged on one of the departing forms. She wouldn't let them hurt anyone again.
You wish I were dead, just as strongly as you wish I were wrong. Well I have a duty to this terrible life, one I must complete before I too fade to the realms of Nothing.
Stem (Father)- Stem and Hiraeth shared a close bond. He would take her out gardening, and they would encourage buds to bloom and plants to grow together, as Stem also had leafspeak. His leafspeak, though, was far less powerful than Hiraeth’s, and it always amazed him how his daughter had such a close bond to the forest. He loves her dearly. Hiraeth mourned for her father when he never returned from a hunting trip.
”We are connected to the forest, you and I.” -Stem
“Do they speak to you, too? Can you hear them whisper?” -Hiraeth
“I can hear them, Hiraeth. But you? You can understand them.” -Stem
Flutter (Mother)- Hiraeth and Flutter has such a close daughter-Mother bond. They would do so much together, relax at the lake, forage for food. Flutter would spin webs for Hiraeth, and Hiraeth would grow flowers for Flutter. They spent so much time together, and Hiraeth was devastated when her mother died in he sleep from a sickness when Hiraeth was only 15.
”Mother, please get better.” -Hiraeth
“My dear, I would do anything for you... but my life is in the hands of fate. Just promise me one thing.” -Flutter
“Anything. Anything at all.” -Hiraeth
“Remember me when I’m gone, with that beautiful smile that make flowers bloom. Always be you, my dear Hiraeth.”-Flutter
Rhubarb (Husband)- when she was herself, she loved him so much. She met him at the Lake, he was a traveler searching for a stable home. She introduced herself and they fell for each other almost instantly. Rhubarb was a sweet LeafWing with a good sense of humor. He was very supportive, and loved how generous and kind Hiraeth was. He asked her to marry him a year after they met, and she agreed happily. . When she was broken, she hardly recognized him, and killed him as easily as she slaughtered the rest of the village. She no longer felt love, she no longer had a husband. She killed him without batting an eye, listening to his pleading sobs as she strangled the life from him with the roots of the very trees they once shared.
”Hiraeth, you are the sun that shines on this lake. Your smile makes all the flowers bloom. I want nothing more than to see that light for the rest of my life. Will you marry me?” -Rhubarb
“Rhubarb, I would want nothing more than to spend my life with you. From the moment I met you, I knew you were the one. I would be lying if I said no.” -Hiraeth
Rye (Daughter)- As soon as she was born, Hiraeth fell in love. Rye was Rhubarb and Hiraeth’s firstborn, and they all shared such a strong bond. Hiraeth was closer to Rye than Rhubarb was, as Rye shared Hiraeth’s love of nature and life. They would go out together in the gardens, Hiraeth would make flowers bloom at Rye’s feet, and Rye would cling onto every word Hiraeth spoke about life and wonders. When Hiraeth did not come back two days before Rye’s birthday, Rye was devastated. She mourned for weeks, believing strongly Hiraeth was killed. Hiraeth was very much alive, slowly forgetting her wonderful family. When Rye witnessed Hiraeth murder half of Bluegrass, she was in shock. But, as she was already past her stage of mourning, her mind started to twist. Rye no longer saw Hiraeth as the mother she loved, but the dragon who took Rye’s remaining family away from her. That was, ultimately, the reason Rye saw it fit to kill Hiraeth in the end.
”Can you really understand them?” -Rye
“Yes, Rye. See that bud? They want to bloom, but are nervous. That tree? Grumbling about his neighbor, who is blacking the sun from shining on his leafs.“-Hiraeth
Lime (Daughter)- Rhubarb and Hiraeth‘s second born, but with just as much love as the first. They were all a happy family together, but Lime was slightly closer to Rhubarb than Hiraeth, as Lime didn’t really have such an understanding for plants as Rye and Hiraeth had. Nonetheless, Hiraeth loved Lime just as much as she loved Rye. When Hiraeth came back a changed dragon, she slaughtered Lime, ignoring her desperate cries that mixed with Rhubarb. As far as Hiraeth was concerned, she had no family.
”Can we surprise Rye for her hatching day?” -Lime
“What a brilliant plan! What do you want to get her? I’ll help you find it!”-Hiraeth
Komorebi (Truth Leader)- Hates him. Even when she was brainwashed to the Truth’s virtues, she regarded him as useless, clinging onto meaningless life, just like the dragons the Truth put down. She though it was fitting to banish him to nothingness herself. During her days of captivity, however, she tried to reason with him. Alas, talking was futile. She might not remember herself, or who she really is, but she remembers how much she hates Komorebi. Ambition was never her main drive to kill him, hate drove her on this one.
“What do you want from me? Please! I just want to see my family!” -Hiraeth
“Do you think they care about you? Do you think they are searching for you? Nothing matters.“ -Komorebi
“Everything matters! From the smallest flower to the largest tree, from dragonets to scavengers. Why else would we be here?” -Hiraeth
“If everything is so special, Hiraeth, then why do we still die? What happens then? Nothing. Nothing is worth it.” -Komorebi
“No... No. You’re-you’re wring. I won’t believe it... I can’t!”-Hiraeth
Listen to me carefully. The small minded will dismiss my words with a snarl, but you can not change the truth, simply, the truth changes you.
“You are worthless. I am worthless. It’s simple, really.”- Hiraeth talking to the Truth followers
”I am not a saint, or a goddess, merely the deliverer.“- Hiraeth talking to a victim
”We are all expendable.”- Hiraeth talking to the Truth
”Everything means nothing.”- Hiraeth talking to the Truth
”Don’t waste your tears. In the end, it doesn’t matter.“- Hiraeth talking to Rye
”I’m not scared of death, I Wish for it.”- Hiraeth talking to Komorebi after being brainwashed
”You follow me because you know I’m right. You know the Truth.“- Hiraeth talking to the Truth
”I am a servant to fate.”- Hiraeth talking to a member
”Life is meaningless. It has no purpose. We serve no purpose.”- Hiraeth talking to the Truth
”Why do you keep saying you know me? I don’t know you! I don’t and never have cared for you! Stop trying in this useless life!” - Hiraeth talking to her family before she killed them
”I have always served the Truth. “- Hiraeth talking to Rye
Fight the truth. It’s funny, watching mortals struggle. I have accepted facts. And I do not deny it, I am a subject to fate.
Hiraeth is a Libra
Brainwashing is a real concept that was used in wars
Writing the poems about her were extremely fun to do
I went through about 14 names before i settled on this one.
Komorebi was actually a possibility for her name, but I liked Hiraeth better so I used Komorebi for the Truth Leader.
I was thinking about making her blue. Happy I settled with green
Hiraeth (pronounced [hiraɪ̯θ]) is a Welsh concept of longing for home. 'Hiraeth' is a word which cannot be completely translated, meaning more than solely "missing something" or "missing home."
I was thinking about having Hiraeth eventually kill herself, but I went with Rye killing her mother for the irony because of all this trauma being Hiraeth simply searching for a flower for Rye.
The history books describe her with many titles, but the most common are Hiraeth the Lost, the Dragon of Darkness, and before she was brainwashed, The Protector of the Forest.
Heed my warning. Life is meaningless, your life is no exception. Neither is mine.