I saw nothing but fire in my vision.
I was the first fire. I was as ancient as the world. My tail stretched the distance of miles, and my body was terrible and glorious. My strength was unrivaled and would be unrivaled in the several changes to the world that would come. I was born this powerful.
Lesser grand lizards would be borne of me. Wyverns spread throughout the world. Wyrms guarded their desert. Even what the first adventurers called dragons would bow to my might. I was made by the same darkness that created Gaia. She is the soul and I am the avatar of the body. She represents change, and I am the impenetrable, impassable wall of power that none can and ever will match. Her enforcers of her will, the Sluagh are nothing to me. Even they fear me.
Everyone fears me. The first adventurers fear me. Many who have traveled from their other world have trained decades and fought perilous battles to grow in strength. I was built to destroy all their hopes. I am their end game. Beneath their conquests and heroism, this world is only their sport. My existence of fear turns the other worldly travelers toward resentment. They gather together and call upon the gods who created me to whittle down my power. Even the gods could not undo their magic.
But because of this, they change my counterpart. They change Gaia, for her nature is change. She is bendable, and has been altered to bend every couple millennia, to be granted Epochs. Her Sluagh are excited, given new tasks, new abnormalities to devour per Epoch.
Epochs pass, and the first adventurers are gone and forgotten, never to return to this world again. Even my gods, my creators, have forgotten me. I grow tiresome of my own existence of perpetual fear. Except, a single boy is born where I sleep, left alone in my shadow by his parents. Curiosity has forced me to grow the boy on my own, teach him my magics to survive. Maybe, he will become powerful enough to kill me.
In my shadows, he grows anxious. He dreams of the ocean and to go to the ocean. When he has becomes a man, I allow him to go, equipped with my magics. The human man needs to find more power if he is to grant me my one wish, my final peace the creators stole from me. Epochs pass again, but I am not worried. He and I are connected.
He returns, but he is no longer human. His love of the sea has plagued him. He is now an amalgamation of all his dreams. The squid. The octopus. The crabs of the hidden deep who have even earned my respect. And, of course, the shells. The boy has brought me thousands upon thousands of shells, all hidden in his tentacles. Humans mock him. But he does not care. He may have been born with their body, but he is my son.
The shells contain the new magics Gaia has shifted on to the world. They are records of the history of magic. They are strange and new to me. Each tells a story, for they are memories. He teaches me their stories, and we scour their histories in hopes that one of the magics would be enough to grant me peace. Nothing.
He leaves, promising to find the magic that would grant me my peace. He returns a few Epochs later. He has made his first friend, a white stag of strange power. The stag has no power on his own. His power is to affect others, much in the same way Gaia does, but for the individual and not the entire world. The stag attempts his power on me, but to no avail. My power is too absolute.
I had my child and Gaia had hers. It was inevitable that they meet. My son told the stag of my wish, and together, they spend eons planning and scheming to not just help me, but to fix the world. They wish to make is a place beyond what my creators intended. I do not care of their ambition, only that my son grant me my wish. I trust him. He is a good boy.
I tire of my existence and fall asleep, waiting for my son to return with the one magic that would fell me and send me back to where I was born.
I screamed. I was suddenly Lysander Blacknail again.
<You have gained a Prime ability: Flame of Life Unending>
I stood wrapped in green flame, the wings granting me great power. Vinda of the Wet Pines screamed in rage at Kremmer. He stood calmly, taking on her assault of seeds bursting on to him with a variety of magics as if they were nothing but raindrops. It took me a moment to recover from the memory I Devoured. I knew Kremmer now, and it made me even more terrified of him than before.
My wings wrapped around Vinda, and I dragged her to me, Devouring her. No memories flashed through me. No new abilities were gained. Devour had a small percentage to gain new abilities. But what I got from Kremmer more than made up for whatever seed magic Vinda had.
She burned so fast, I didn't have time to hear her last screams.
Kremmer and I stood in place, staring at each other in silence. In that silence, the echo of a familiar scream came to me. Regan and his knife was getting near. That didn't matter. I needed a moment with Kremmer.
"I have so many questions," I gulped.
Kremmer shrugged. "You'll get your answers, but never in the way you're expecting. You owe me a debt, little godling."
I didn't like the sound of being in debt to such a powerful creature, even if he had once been a man. Still, I managed to say, "Anything."
He smiled. "We're almost at the end. I'm going to go delay your follower. All I ask of you to clean your debt to me is to get my shell from Ungar. I think it's safe to say that if you ate those memories, I would make you experience a pain unlike ever imagined for eternity."
My mouth was dry. "Uh. Yes. Yessir," I managed. A thought came to me. Regan's knife screwed with your magic. It might even be a threat for Kremmer. "Sir. The man who is chasing me has a knife. It renders magic around it useless. Even you-"
Kremmer waved a dismissive claw. "Don't worry little godling, or should I say, large tree. The knife and I have some history. You're right. It is powerful. The most I can do is delay it. The knife's path is inevitable towards you. Your connection with your clerics should open in a second now that Vinda is dead. Ungar will be easy for you. But be careful of the knife. Do not let its blade touch you. Even I cannot bring you back from its unmaking."
I nodded and turned to go.
"Lysander," Kremmer said.
I paused. "Yes?"
"Be careful of that fire. It will burn you if you are not cautious. It was never meant for the likes of us to handle. When I said you were a tall tree with aggressive roots, I meant it. But your clerics are trees as well. Do not let your roots outgrow theirs to the point they die. A good god lets his children grow." He turned around and pulled out a shell in his claw. Kremmer the Wise, only son of the Sleeping Dragon of the Quiet Mountains, vanished in a puff of smoke.