It’s a burned-out world under a crimson sun where he is king
The wrath of nature, he burst from the earth itself
In his youth he raged and punished us
Now he can be satisfied with sacrifice
But the beast in him cannot be tamed.
In the wastes hope you do not meet him
The fury of nature, he is death given form
He is old, older than the memory of the stones
See the ruins languish in the desert?
He threw them all down in his pride.
He soars in the wind, his wings vast sails
The master of nature, he blocks out the dark sun
For a moment gives respite from the burning heat
To the wanderer below, who looks up in terror
As he descends to end their life forever.
The eternal shifting sands under blood-red sun
Keeper of nature, he has seen them all
Looks out on red-rock mountains and canyons
formed and weathered by wind, and water once
Where ages ago green forests grew.
Travelers, pilgrims, those who wish to die,
The enigma of nature, they seek him out in the wild unknown
Brave obsidian plains where he cursed the land itself
Climb jagged mountain crowns ringing with echoes
Of war and wasted life and the bloody death of paradise.
They catch glimpses of the white tower where he tried at genocide
When our draconic nature was exposed
Our fear and hate, our faith in lies
Our dark disgust at the unknown
Be thankful that we failed and the world can die.
They’ve searched the last sea over buried sentinels
Through flatbeds of salt, the dried-up oceans
The plateaus of rock scattered with boulders
White wastes of scorched sand where live scorpions and savages
There, a drop of water means more than a life.
But one edge of the world is a sea of silt
A being above nature, his lair lies past its ending
Across the sediment finer than bonedust
That once was the bottom of a clear blue sea
Now it is gone at last used up
By fools who killed their world uncomprehending.
A great wheeled galley crosses the ocean of detritus
Cruel chronicler of nature, detachedly the Dragon watches its progress
Through sandstorm and rising tide
Alluvium and world’s afterbirth
From the corpse of the old world this rugged land arose
A ruined twisted remnant of the dream that was
Before the coming of the Dragon.
The ancient search is ending, at last the prize is close:
True marvel of nature, he is the only one of his kind
By the secret paths hidden under the silt
The islands and estuaries that separate the flowing sand
He knows you are coming.
Sometimes this powder sea is endlessly flat
Observer of nature, he’s seen all its variations across the ages
He laughs when wind whips the dust to raging waves
That drown the unlucky and mummify bodies
A testament to their striving until the end known only to the Dragon.
Far above the fossils and cities swallowed whole
The dark side of nature, the Dragon’s shadow is never far
Perhaps he was a man once and his home is buried here too
With all the rest of the forgotten people and their gods
Grave of a sea opens over the pit
Wound in nature, valley of fire
A gaping chasm, a mouth that devours
Silica clouds choke out sunlight
And lava bubbles up like the earth’s lifeblood
Where the world itself was mutilated
Ripped wide open by the Dragon’s claw.
He has a temple of his own and a people who worship him
His city and its little people are all that keep him sane
But an urge to destroy is churning in his brain
And one day he knows he will just give up
Ruin his works and bury them in dust
See him rising stark against the charcoal clouds
Nature’s abomination, he is a titan armored in crimson
He perches on a spire a thousand feet over the magma
Looks down into fire and contemplates the coming oblivion
His form sinuous and alien, he stands two-legged
Nature’s beauty, he has the deadly grace
Of the first and last to ever live
Wings shroud him and an arching neck supports a face
Of jagged teeth and eyes darkly infinite
Cradles in his claw a sphere of obsidian
A force of nature is bound in his black egg
Is it his child or the one who created him?
It makes no difference-
To let it out means an early end to the world
To keep it chained buys more time for our existence.
Reaper and ravager,
Protector and savior,
Man and monster,
There is only one