In the middle of Dvarsh, as summer was at its highest, six specks of shadow appeared upon the horizon. They grew larger, and larger, eventually separating enough to reveal themselves for what they truly were: Mature Dragons.
They drew closer to the Basin of Life, proving themselves to be rife with discord. This was, they claimed, their final chance. They sought the path to Yugomaru, and had only so much time left to achieve it. They were coming to meet their destiny.
As one, the six of them crashed into the side of Avechna’s Peak.
The decimation was extreme and instantaneous. All those upon the Peak, in close proximity to the quake that ensued, were slain. The Stairs of Sacrifice – being that area around the Seal of Time, which was the Dragons’ target – were sundered. And most terribly of all, the Seal of Time itself was cracked.
Proclaiming the Mature Dragons to be fools, Avechna the Avenger appeared above the wounded mountain, declaring that an Ascension would now be required. For the Seal of Time was as a shell around the Nine Seals, and the link between them extended in both directions. If the Seal of Time were to be weakened further, it would spell doom for the remaining Nine Seals.
But the Avenger’s voice was not alone in sounding at this time. Nemuruko, True Dragon of Obscure Dreams, also made his presence known – though far more joyously. At the urging of Sachiana, True Dragon of the Eternal Hunt, Nemuruko descended to the ruined Peak with Avechna to speak on the trials to come.
There, with much pomp and circumstance from the True Dragon, and much glaring and disapproval from the Avenger, they discussed with mortalkind what must be done.
First, they spoke of the nature of Dragons. Yugomaru, it was explained, was not a person but the process by which a Dragon ascended. As younglings, they experienced something called the Quickening, which drove them to Yugomaru – that moment where they would merge with one of the five True Dragons. The Mature Dragons, so Nemuruko said, had been Quickened unnaturally by exposure to Isikathi’s essence. They yearned to merge with her, but all that remained of her was the Seal – and thus, it was their unfortunate target.
Nothing could be done to avert the Ascension, the Avenger said. The damage was done to the Seal of Time. But the six Mature Dragons who had descended upon the mountain were not all of those that remained. There were many still – those who had visited the cities and communes in the preceding years. They were, Nemuruko explained, clustered into four remaining groups. If too many of them were to attempt to merge wtih the Seal of Time, then the Domothean Realms themselves would weaken as their Seals did in turn.
It is said that in the months to come, these Mature Dragons will seek to achieve Yugomaru with the Seal of Time in their own way. None will be so impatient as this first six. Instead they will act as is the nature of their group. It falls to mortalkind to prevent them from achieving their ends however may be done – be that through diplomacy, manipulation, violence or otherwise.
Thus did Avechna and Nemuruko leave mortalkind, pondering what would come next: one with an urge that the Basin’s heroes should do all they could to protect it, and one hoping that there might be just a little tragedy involved at least.