At length the Elder addressed all of those gathered within the dining hall, and he said aloud "The kingdom of Avelen was founded by myself, as well as Tiergon the Seer. We were summoned to this land by a deity known as the Oracle, and the idea was conceived in our minds that a castle would be erected from the surrounding wilderness; it was foretold to us that an ancient tree would provide the foundation for a marvelous dynasty. That was the first prophecy to be fulfilled for Avelen, and during the span of many ages we gathered beings from distant lands and brought them to live in peace within our village. Prosperity flowed like pristine waters, and harmony unified the amicable citizens. There was no need for rulers or authority - the realm was governed by an unyielding honor.
"Time passed and wealth was introduced to our world. Treasures and magics began to accumulate, and they brought a splendor and beauty never before seen within our realm. The village shared its magnificent grandeur, and our kingdom became as majestic as the flawless jewels found within it. The annuls of our history mark this age as the Golden Harvest, and truly the kingdom's shared happiness was ripe and bountiful. It was then that the Oracle once again prophesied a divination, and Tiergon the Seer was given another vision, yet this time it was a dark and grim omen: 'a black serpent bourn upon a storm cloud would arrive, and its shadow would devour Avelen and its beauty.'
This prophecy birthed the Council of Sages, and the wisest who dwelled wihin the kingdom were summoned to the castle. Many nights and many moons passed, and we sages labored tirelessly to prevent such a catastrophe from befalling onto Avelen. During an hour when strange clouds flooded the darkened skies, and the celestial torches were completely veiled, a thundering tempest roared from the south lands. Gale winds toppled over the towering trees of the forest, and streaks of lightning flashed to the ground, sparking it aflame."
The Elder paused for a moment and hung his head low, then he continued in a sorrowful tone, "We were such fools, to be so blinded by the grandeur of our kingdom that we had not noticed our own folly; the luster of Avelen had attracted the attention of a great wyvern - a monster whose wretched craving for shiny and unique treasures surpasses measurable greed. Untold terror was reaped upon the citizens, and the colossal dragon commanded its legion of vile minions to pillage, plunder, and destroy the village.
"What you battled against, and protected the kingdom from, was a subordinate to the great wyvern, although now they are subject to a different ruler. Avelen survived being besieged, though the heaviness of loss was neigh unbearable. For the third time, the Oracle appeared before Tiergon and introduced another divination; a prophecy foretold of a star born king coming to lift the scar of the village left behind from our foe, and he would govern over Avelen in order to save it. The revelation forecasted the dragon's search for a ruby ring, and so we thoroughly searched the castle and village over and over for such a treasure; to this day it has yet to be found.
"Those who lived on after the attack labored to rebuild the castle and its surrounding community. We had spirited hope for the renewal of Avelen, and our confidence surmounted as one starry night a king indeed appeared. He was much like you, and when he had arrived into our realm, he was as bewildered and startled as a babe. There were no doubts in any mind that our king would succeed in victory, and our happiness already felt the beginnings of restoration." The old sage paused again, then he gestured over to Malachai.
The woodsman perceived his cue, and he rose from his chair as the Elder gradually leaned back into his own. "It is true, he was much like the two of you; but I say in appearance alone, and not in any other fashion does he bare resemblance. It was my duty to train this king and aid him in his quest to defeat the great wyvern.
"I accompanied the man into the very depths of the monster's lair. The battle we waged only the wind can retell, yet in the end we were victorious. The king slayed the wicked foe, and we ventured to return to Avelen and pronounce the good news. That is when it happened; though the body of the great wyvern died, its dark spirit was protected by a black magic, and the specter of evil grasped onto the king like a parasite, then it claimed his embodiment while devouring his mortal soul. The phantom infused itself into the king, and I was powerless to save him.
"A new creature was born that very eve; Felgroth, and he claims to be the Overlord of the dragons. The power of the great wyvern was retained within its spirit, and this new foe can command his legion of minions just as skillfully as if he were the colossal dragon of old. This enemy is armed with the weapon of knowledge, and he has been secretly preparing for the arrival of the new star born king - You, my liege. It is unclear how many dragons he currently has under his control, and it is even more uncertain how many spies he has among the kingdom. It is my assumption that this brazened attack was merely a test, and our foe is measuring the strength of our new hope. Already he has ravished many lands as he continues to seek a ruby ring, and soon all of Avelen will be marred by his withering touch.
"Our plight has been announced, and I beg of you, my liege, to please consider our unfortunate circumstance. If you are truly the prophesied king, the disease that robs this land of life and beauty will be healed once you defeat the enemy. This may be a request better pondered over after a quieted respite - perhaps we should all retire for the evening. The hour grows late, and we still have yet to recover from today's troubles. Tomorrow may bring about renewed hearts and refreshed minds."
The assemblage that had gathered within the dinning hall unanimously agreed with Malachai's final statement, and gradually the guests were lead out of the chamber and escorted to their respective rooms. Ruby was irked to see princess Aira take it upon herself to accompany Cole down a corridor, though it appeared he had an urgent expression upon his face as he glanced back toward his friend. That night, the pair of companions retreated to separate chambers in hopes that sleep might find them, though their unwavering emotions still loomed heavy upon them.