“Again the same dream. It’s been so many years since that surreal night had faded into the pages of history. Yet even now I can still recall every detail, every last emotion.” “Sister approached me calm and unwavering, her long raven hair flowing in the wind. Kneeling beside me she looked down at me with those deep piercing eyes. Kul’Nar always seemed to tower over me despite how much I’d grown.” “It’s your turn now Tephri. You have to be strong. I promise I’ll be with you the whole time.” “Even though none of us were actually related by blood Sister had always made it a personal quest to ensure that we always lived together as a family. She was the strongest of us and always seemed to know what to do when things were at their worst.” “I stood there trembling like a baby bird, barely even 12 years old… a princess. Thunder boomed in the floors beneath us as I wept. This ancient ship was no longer the secure cradle I had always believed it to be. She gave me one last warming hug as tears streamed down my cheeks.” “Don’t worry we’ll all be together again soon after all this is over… once that bastard Anubus is good and buried. I love you Tephri…” “With that said she plunged the Dagger of Hope deep into my heart… and then… darkness.” “Slowly my eyes peeked open. Things were very blurry at first, but I could make out Kul’Nar standing there proud and strong; her hair dancing furiously in the torrent winds. She raised her arms speaking words that were so strange to me. She clutched the Dagger of Vengeance tightly in her palms and unflinchingly jammed it into her breast. Streams of violet energy arched out from the dagger as her eyes turned white with fury, and then… silence.” “My attention was drawn to the brilliance of the stars shinning above me. They glowed so brightly through the torn haul of the ship, never had I seen so beautiful an expanse before. As my eyes grew in focus I could see brother there in the vacuum. He bore the twin Daggers of Fervor in his heart and fought for all world… against the demon that had destroyed our home, killed our friends, and deceived our hearts. He was so brilliant and we named him the Shattered Star the last Paladin of the lost age.” “The boy approaching my layer now reminds me so much of our elder brother. I do not cry any more, and no longer tremble as helpless birds do. The mantle of the strongest has fallen to me now so I will test his metal to its breaking point, and see if he is indeed made from the same stuff of legends as they were; as I now do for all those who would seek the title Paladin.” ~ Memories of the Dragon Matriarch Tephris ~ See the “Titan’s Duel” ? See “Skorn Vs. Beawulf ?