Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the next instalment of this wonderful story by Draxenath. It is entitled “Interview with the Dragon Goddess”.
Background music by Smartsound
Part 12: The Avatar’s Lament
I proceeded with my next question. – Has there ever been a civilization that improved so much in science that it accidentally destroyed itself?
Draxenath repeated the question to herself a couple times as she pondered. After a few minutes, her eyes lit up. – Let us have our barbecue out in the world, there is a place you need to see for yourself. – She picked up the spit with the roasted beef and opened a portal. I noticed the beef was already about middle term, it had cooked much faster than I expected, it probably had to do with the magical blue fire from the spit.
We went through the portal and were transported to some ruins. Plants and animals had already made their home in them. Draxenath placed the spit on the ground and lay down on the grass, then continued speaking.
– These are the ruins of Curiosity, the most technologically advanced city before my absence. They worshipped Amaxis’ wife Humenalia more than any other deity. As I said before, she was very curious and smart, and would constantly question her knowledge and put everything to test and experimentation. I mentioned before that she suffered a lot as Amaxis was abused by the other gods, she felt powerless for some time, but then she researched for ways to protect him and give him an edge. Amaxis had ideas of the tools and weapons he needed, but it was Humenalia that had acquired the scientific and technical knowledge to develop them. He couldn’t have done it without her. Take a look around, you may find scraps of the wonders they created. I will be waiting here.
I was amazed, the legends spoke the truth, this place existed! I followed Draxenath’s suggestion and walked around for a bit. There were remains of walls that could be seen through, and humanoid constructs of strange material that wasn’t metal, wood or stone. They were broken and not functioning. Their faces, although worn out by the weather and the passing of centuries, looked so human and lifelike, it was scary, like looking at a corpse reanimated by a necromancer. Their innards had numerous tendrils of another strange, flexible material. Inside the tendrils, smaller such tendrils were found.
The roads had ruined vehicles, which were probably scavenged after the city was destroyed. They were built of strange materials as well. Their innards also had tendrils much like the ones from the humanoid constructs. There were also massive, snake-like vehicles full of seats, capable of transporting hundreds or even thousands of people at a time. Besides that, there were so many things I am unable to describe properly. Strange boards with numerous small bumps that would sink when pressure was applied, and pop back once the pressure was gone, thin slabs and tablets hanging from the walls, with purpose unknown to me, and many other things unimaginable.
I came back to the spot we arrived at, Draxenath was now sitting, next to her was a beautiful human woman with pale skin and auburn hair, resting her head on the Goddess’ lap. There were dozens of birds standing all over the Goddess’ body, chirping and singing. She opened her eyes, and the birds ended their song and flew away. – Rise, Avatar! – said the Goddess with a firm, commanding voice. – He has returned and will want to hear your tale about the fall of Curiosity. In the meantime, I will be taking a stroll.
The woman got up and bowed to Draxenath. – As you wish, My Mistress! – she said, as Draxenath walked away, the birds following her and resuming their song. Now she turned her attention to me. Her amber-colored eyes looked at me with interest. – You must be VERY special! I had been trying to reach My Mistress for a thousand years with no success, to find out a mere human was able to bring her out of her hiding place! And she wants me to tell you the tale of my last great failure, where I lost our husband, almost had our sons killed and saw my hopes and dreams crushed!
I was speechless. I didn’t know what to say, I just remained silent. She ripped some meat from the roasted cow and sat down, eating it. Then signaled me to sit down beside her by patting the ground down. I did as she requested. She looked at me as she chewed the meat and started talking. – Before that tale, I think you need to know some more context. What do you know about Sari, My Mistress’ firstborn? – she asked. – I didn’t know his name until now that you brought it up, I know that he was betrayed and murdered, but nothing more, I don’t know any details.- I answered. – Sari was one of a kind, very wise and powerful, could not have been otherwise, being raised by Draxenath and the second son of Amaxis. – said the Avatar. I was surprised by that revelation.
She continued talking. – Amaxis was meant to be the inspiration of all other gods, but he became the most hated instead. Strangely, his second son did not turn out like him. He was mortal, however, he was virtuous, compassionate, and felt empathy for the other gods and creatures. He was liked by everyone, even esteemed by all the gods. He slowly became what Amaxis was meant to be: an inspiration and source of wisdom for gods and mortals. At the same time, the punishment he inherited from his father got weaker. He awakened his draconic traits and was able to use his divine powers with more strength with every passing day.
– He won My Mistress’ heart, as well as mine. Then they had Sari. As Draxenath’s Avatar, I had the opportunity to live by his side and give him more children. I became his mortal wife. I appointed the eldest and strongest of our children as Sari’s retainer, her name was Merealla. The difference between them was too notorious, however. Merealla could never shine and stand out at Sari’s side, she was always overshadowed by her powerful godly sibling. Merealla grew to hate Sari, and plotted the conspiracy and betrayal that ended Sari’s life and made My Mistress abandon us.
– It is my fault, I carry that heavy burden in my heart, and have spent these years trying to make up for it with no success. Preventing the destruction of Curiosity was the best chance I had, and my greatest direct failure as I also lost our husband.
She looked very frustrated. I tried to comfort her with some human wisdom. – You have lived for a very long time. Humans like me are short-lived. As such, we have to understand that there is too little time to feel bad about our failures, if we are not ready for the next chance, we will miss it. Many more chances will come to you since you live longer, just be ready when they do.
She said nothing for a few minutes, then decided to start with her tale. – Curiosity was a city of science and technology and the main place of worship for Humenalia. After My Mistress abandoned us, Humenalia decided to join us in freeing the other gods, the slaves and opposing Amaxis. She and the people from Curiosity developed technology and weaponry so advanced it could kill a god.
– Our plan was to use those weapons as leverage to force Amaxis to do as we asked. Humenalia wanted to support her son as best as she could, but that doesn’t mean she intended to kill her beloved husband. Our demands infuriated Amaxis. How could we dare to threaten him? So he decided to destroy Curiosity by himself. We gathered to fight back. It was Humenalia, my husband, three of my sons and me.
– The fight didn’t go as planned. Amaxis had all the intention to kill us. His attacks overwhelmed all of us except my husband. He was the only one with the power to face him, the only one with the chance to defeat him. Their fight was long and exhausting. Then Humenalia took Amaxis by surprise, restraining him. She asked my husband to kill them both by driving his weapon through their heart, that was her desire. He charged, with the weapon in hand, ready for delivering a killing blow, but missed. He could kill neither of his parents. Amaxis broke free and ripped my husband’s heart from his chest. Humenalia tried to restrain him again, but he overpowered her. I used the distraction to grab my husband and sons and escape. Humenalia was probably imprisoned like the other gods. Curiosity was destroyed.
– I fled to a secret underground temple we had in a hidden place far away and put my husband’s body in magical stasis to preserve his body, in case there is a way to properly bring him back to life. My sons were alive, but just barely, so I put them in magical stasis as well, in different hidden temples scattered around the world.
She had a grim look in her eyes. – That’s how the tale ended for Athaldar the Invincible Demigod, Zohorone the Fearsome Necromancer, Athel the Ferocious Shapeshifter, and Pram the Mighty Dragon Prince. And it keeps going as an uneventful story for Wallanime the Avatar of Failure… do you think there is a chance left for me?
That was a tremendous surprise to me, I was sitting right beside Wallanime Draconia, and had just heard what happened to her three sons. – The Goddess seems very proud of you and your three sons. She never called you a failure or blamed you for Sari’s death. She never spoke ill of you in our chat. She even wondered if you would ever forgive her for abandoning you. More than worrying about your failures, she is worried about having failed you.
Her look was less grim than before. – You are very kind, I have been needing that for far too long… let’s eat some more, then find out where My Mistress went – she said.