Entry No. 18Return to: The Lore of Sudiva – Fan Fiction Contest 2012.
Entry No. 18
By Leodegan of Europa
It started with silence, Sudiva lifted her head, no lich’s cackling echoing down the stairs, no moaning, no sound of warfare from adventurers. With her eyes open wide she scanned every direction. Her prison still looked the same, nothing had changed, still dark, still alone. Something was wrong, she had been down there for what seemed like an age, the silence scared her. The ground began to shake, sending rocks and dust falling from the roof of the cavern, it felt like it would implode. Is this finally it? Has Astaroth returned to kill her? A part of her hoped for the end, to taste the freedom of death, escape was a dream she had lost. From the back of the chamber a giant crack exploded throwing rocks into the water. With it, a bright light shot through the darkness, blinding her. Frozen solid she daren’t move, only wait for death to take her. Death did not come, the rumbling intensified and now the rocks were boulders. One of these falling bombs hit her back leg making her jump forward, closer to the light. In her panic she ran in the only direction she could, towards the light. No time to think she bolted forward jumping into the gap. From the corner of her eye she glanced back at her prison and saw a black vortex, with a black figure emerging, was it Astaroth? She frantically pushed forward, not taking a chance the figure could be her captor. Breaking through and into the air, fresh air untainted by death, she was free. She had given up hope of ever drawing breath from the winds that circle Britannia.
The daylight had dimmed some, the sun was in its last stages before sunset and again she could sense darkness coming. Knowing she had not yet fully escaped she spread her colossal wings, but would she still fly? She had not used them in so very long. It took some effort but she managed to get off the ground, not much, but enough to get her over the mountain peaks. The land had changed so much, she recognised nothing! The lands seemed so different. She knew there would be changes. The fishermen that had visited the waters of her prison had told her some things, well, the few she hadn’t eaten anyway, but a dragon cannot live on fish and rotting lich flesh alone. As she flew she could see towns she recognised as Minoc and Vesper, but black smoke blotted the sky above them, had war broken out? To the east she knew lay Britain and Yew but they were densely populated towns and they have never responded well to visiting dragons. All over the land scattered pockets of metallic monsters seemed to be gathering around strange crystal machines. There was only one place Sudiva knew she could find a familiar and safe retreat, a place her kind had been since the dawn of time. It almost felt like this place beckoned her. Getting her bearings from the towns she flew south by southeast, flying low but with haste. She veered to the south to avoid a small fortress built into the side of a mountain. Soon she was flying over water, closing the distance quickly to her destination. The flight was hard, her wings ached but she was free. Vowing never to be a prisoner again the question of where she would live still remained.
Destard had always been home to dragon kin but still she was not going to replace one prison for another. Her time in Covetous’ depths had given her a long time for reflection. An old dragon legend had stayed with her through it all, a lesson taught to her when she was young, it had helped keep her sane when the solitude became unbearable. Talornia, legend of the dragon who first learned to speak the human tongue, and before her corruption and death, had lived above Destard in the mountains. She could see the mountains now, the legend had told of these mountains covered in ice but the glaciers must have thawed as she could see the rocky summits clearly. Scanning everywhere she could see the entrance to the first levels, dragon roars echoing out into the nearly dark sky. But she wasn’t ready for that, she had been alone so long she wasn’t ready to be thrown into a crowd, and besides the dragons in there were feral and violent, often fighting with themselves they would likely attack her. No, she would fly above and find a space to be close, but not amongst her wilder relatives. After some searching she could see a hole in the mountain top which got her interest. Her landing was clumsy and she fell heavy, but she was tired and out of practice. The area close to the hole was open but surrounded by rocks, as if it used to be the crater of a volcano. This could work, but what of the hole? Peering down she could see a small pool of water. Further into the darkness and something moved, it was big, slow but powerful. Looking harder into the darkness she met its’ gaze, large, yellow flame eyes starring at her, unflinching. But yet it seemed so familiar, instinct told her not to back down. Tired, she drew breathe, filling her lungs to capacity, she grew in size like a furnace pump ready to fan the forge’s flame. The roar was deafening, it bounced off the rocks and seemed to shake the very mountain itself. From the depths the creature’s eyes faded and turned revealing the body behind them, Sudiva knew instantly this was an ancient, one of her closest relatives. Moving away from the edge, she was exhausted and curled up into one of the curves in the rock face. Tomorrow there will be time to set up her new home. Tomorrow there will be time to enjoy her freedom.
Just figured id also add some info on the whys n wheres. In the ultima series Destard has always been home to dragons however it has also had more levels than it currently does and is under ice covered mountains, I thought it would be nice idea to open a new level on top of the mountain and so bring in a new area as opposed to putting her somewhere that already exists. I figured it would be nice to have the feeling that even in Trammel we haven’t discovered everything there is. The random pool in the ancient wyrm lair fits in with the melting of the ice so I thought that Sudiva’s new home could be accessed via this pool by players, using similar technique as used to access central Ilshenar recently. This allows her to still be separate from the other dragons but still being very close. I have several ideas for quests involving Sudiva as well to bring her character back into UO lore, being an a truly amazing dragon I figured it would be a shame to see her moved but then fade because she has no interaction with players. Talornia (dragon from Ultima 9) I thought I would use also as a reason she specifically went to this spot, obviously this is a loose link so this is why I called it a legend of Talornia, since UO has had a lot of characters and similar lore to previous Ultima games I thought it would be a nice link.
Last modified: June 16, 2012