The Second War of the Mages
A thousand years ago, the World was ruined. The Faith of the Mages had split, and their Factions spread a Terrible War across the Lands for thirty-six years.
At first they fought amongst themselves, over what Trifle none still know. But soon they summoned Others, and King and Commoner alike swore Fealty to the Mages. For ten years Men killed in their Names, and for ten years the Mages' Power grew.
And then on the eleventh year, the Greatest of the Great Mages discovered a new Spell, and of his Army he selected a Rank and made of them new Creations that were stronger, swifter, and deadlier. Other Mages followed, and the Kingdom of Man fractured: Thus were born the Satyrs and the Minotaurs, the Centaurs and the Merfolk, the Pixies and the Ogres, the Vampires and the Werewolves, all to glorify the Mages' Power. And these too fought and killed and died like the mortal Men whence they came.
On the thirtieth day of the fifth month of the thirtieth year of the War, the Beginning of the End was wrought: A Mage created of his Men a Terror unlike the World had ever seen, and he called his new Creation 'Dragons.' And for a time, they fought for him.
Other Mages saw the Dragons and soon created their own, each a more deadly and cruel Form than the last. Some were made wingéd to command the Skies; some were made finned to command the Seas; some were given Claws of Swords; and some Skin of Iron; and some Breath of Flame. And then the greatest of the Great Mages made the greatest of the Dragons; and on the first day of the thirty-first year, the greatest Dragon rebelled.
The Lord of Dragons summoned all the other Dragons to his Aid, and they declared their own War upon all the World.
And the Men and Mortals and Mages realized their great Mistake, and for a moment they were humbled.
A new War was waged for five long, terrible years; and though it cost a million mortal Lives, every last Dragon was killed. The Body of the Lord of Dragons was sealed under a Mountain in the middle of a Plain by the Greatest Mage who had created him; and beside that Mountain the Greatest Mage fell to his Knees and died.
The Great War of the Mages thus ended, and never again would the Mages fight. Many Spells were sealed away at this time. But the greatest of the Spells — Transmogrification, the Ability to change their fellow Men into new Creatures, the Ability to play God — this Spell alone was destroyed. The Scrolls and Books were burned, and each Mage by his own Choice had the Knowledge torn from his Mind, never again to allow such Havoc to be wrought upon the World.
Man rebuilt his Villages and his Cities and his Countries and his Kings, and the Mages watched over all this, Stewards of their new World. And all was Good for a thousand years.
— until one day a Cadet, an apprentice Mage, rediscovered that which had been lost.