Kianika, now wrapped in a terry cloth robe sat down to hear the Queen’s tale. Exhaustion threatened to take over her body, her emotions draining what little energy it retained. It looked, however, like the Queens found sleep unnecessary. Or perhaps everything was so dire that there wasn’t time. Terra began, “Eons ago, longer than memory, the Mists of Matoria did not exist. The planet you live on is far more expansive than you know, and contains a vicious past.” Terra held out her palm, and an image of a world flicked into existence. It solidified into granite, sinking into Terra’s palm before she passed it over to Kianika. “The part in green is the land you know, the rest, well the rest exists outside of the Mists.” The sphere lay heavy in her hand, Kianika kept spinning it around, amazed at the amount of land that no one else knew existed. “The problem,” Tera continued, “came when the gateways to the other worlds closed.” Kianika tried to interrupt, but Tera put up her hand, “That is for another time. The other worlds purged their lands of the worst magic by sending it to our own, by the time we realized their intentions the connections were already severed.

Now, this magic was far too powerful to detain or banish and so my sisters and I pondered how we could help your race. We decided that instead of imprisoning the creatures of magic, we would form a fortress where your race could live inside, worry free from the sorcery of this world. Thus we created the Mists of Matoria, a collective use of all of our powers that create a barrier around your livable land, one, that as you know, no one can penetrate.”

Kianika nodded. She remembered learning in school about the Mists. The teacher explained how many a young adventurer perished thinking that they could defeat the mists. No one ever returned, but their bodies did as if they were delivered to the families to quell some of their grief. “This barrier takes a good deal of our energy to maintain, and every thousand years our energy is depleted. For one day a millennium, the Mists are passable. They become nothing more than a low hanging cloud. Usually, this amounts to nothing, as so many avoid the Mists. We push any stray back to the other side. Two cycles ago, however, the youngest of the seven brothers of the dragon province flew through the mist.

Though the youngest of the dragons his might proved too powerful for us to propel him back before the Mists closed. He is an amazing creature .” Again Tera held up her hand, and a vision solidified. “His wingspan eclipses the tallest tree in Matoria, large enough to carry the house of a body that lays beneath them. The beast’s claws are of diamonds, ready to slice into a rock if necessary; and rubies encrust his scales, so that when he flew in the daylight one needed to shield their eyes to protect their sight. Even at night, the moonlight glistened from the gems.” With each movement of the miniature dragon, the scales shifted, revealing molten filled veins that pulsed like a volcano expunging its final lava.

“Wait,” Kianika said, “You talk like this beast still exists here, but we would know of him.”

“We failed to push him back, and so we did the only thing we could, we imprisoned him at the bottom of the ocean, extinguishing his fire, and hiding him from memory. It took a hundred years to do so, while he busied himself with burning villages and demanding jewels and slaves.”

Kianika stood and started pacing, the marble floor still slippery from the water. “So, you are telling me that a dragon has been living in the ocean for my entire life, or even that of my great grandparents. There would be people who remembered his burning, his pillaging, wouldn’t we learn of him in school?”

“We worked our best to create a land where your race could live in peace, we didn’t want that shattered. You suffer from a desire to always be finding bigger and better things, proving that your brains can put you at the top of the food chain, even if your body can’t. Inevitably someone would start a movement to disband the mists, and so we have burned every documentation of the events. The oral stories have become folklore, and the dragon has slept for two thousand years, or so we thought.”

“Why didn’t you kill the dragon instead of imprisoning him, and how can he breathe underwater?”

Terra didn’t answer right away, and it dawned on Kianika that the magic accessory around her neck answered her last question. “My sister and I are able to combine earth and air to produce aids for land creatures to visit the sea. As to why we never killed the dragon… we have no business killing a creature of our planet. We protect all who live on it. Our solution protected your race but also gave more freedom to the other inhabitants of this world. We have waited for the dragon to agree to leave the mists but every time the opening comes, he has refused.”

“Now, it appears that his years in the ocean and our gift of breath undersea has brought to light a mutation in his body that works in his favor. Instead of breathing fire, we produced a dragon that spurts dry ice. When he uses it, it freezes all the water it comes in contact with. And hence Procella is also powerless in her own domain.”

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