60 Million Years Ago, Pangaea
Two figures looked out at the array of human kind dressed in armour. Every move was in precise time with the man next to them. The crunch of sandaled feet on sand was deafening in the midday heat.
"You've heard the rumors?" the old man said
"They come to our summons" the younger man said, expressive brown eyes looking at the tableau with worry. It was a hauntingly beautiful sight to see so many people ranked to fight. It was also a terrifying thing to behold.
"One does not summon a Dragon young one" the old man said with a half smile, "One asks politely and then one preys."
"Then our prayers have been answered, Lord Raiden must've been feeling particularly generous that day."
Lightening crackled in a flash and thunder announced that the god himself had heard the words and wasn't happy. The two men dropped to their knees and lay before a unassuming looking man. His long white hair was arrayed down his back, and clamped under what would come to be known as a Chinese Peasant's hat. His blue robes would also come to be known as an eastern style. If not for the fact that in this time and this place. There was no east, no west, north or south. Man kind had been huddled into a small grouping right in the center of the hyper continent that came to be called Pangaea.
"I had nothing to do with the dragons you young fools" Raiden said with anger in his voice. His eyes flashed with repressed power, lightning twinkling around them. "Who in their right mind would call a dragon to their aid?"
"We are desperate My Lord, our end draws near. The children of the light are coming to a close. We prayed for some many deities and none has come to our aid." The older man said defensively.
Raiden sighed, "Arise Lialas my friend. I heard your prayers and I have been in communion with the great spirit. Alas, they will not terminate the spawn of evil. Your path must be found by yourself, I have been forbidden from helping directly."
Lialas looked up with a slight smile on his face, "What does that mean my Lord"
Raiden smiled. "Bring me one hundred of your best fighters by nightfall and I will show you" Raiden said, with a very distinctive chuckle in his voice. "But something must be done about the dragons"
"We have already brokered the deal" the younger man, Monlar, said with anger in his eyes.
Raiden looked at him with sadness, "The dragons seem like noble and true creatures, yet they are not. They are selfish and demonic in origin. Opposed to their brethren the demons I suppose they do appear to be on humanities side. Yet, they have very little love for the children of light." Raiden paused, "They will not honor any deal you make"
Monlar stood, his anger driving him past religious awe, "Yet you say you can do nothing to help us. Still you deny us help from those that will?"
"Monlar!" Lialas said with shock and anger in his voice.
"No, I will hear this gods answer"
"No answer I give you will satisfy you young one" Raiden said, reasonably.
Monlar sneered, "You wonder why I would rather deal with a Dragon, My Lord" he said, the last in a sarcastic tone. With that he spun and strode from the room, anger in a cloud around him.
Lialas was helped to his feet by the god of his people and looked at Raiden with worry, "Monlar doesn't know what he says."
Raiden chuckled again in his distinctive way and shook his head, "He does, what he doesn't is realise what trouble he could bring to you and your people."
"He thought you would desert us."
"Faith is a transient state of being" Raiden said with a knowing smile, "It is easily worn in times such as this."
"Lord Raiden, if I may ask?"
"Of course Lialas, ask away?"
"Why do you stay with us. The other gods have all deserted us, yet you remain, why?"
Raiden smiled, lightning crackling around his teeth and eyes as he did, "Because the children of the light are who they are, and could be so very much more"
Lialas didn't understand a word of it, but such words when uttered by a god, often had a way of making sense when one least expected it. "I will gather the men."
"I'll wait" Raiden said, taking a seat his hat tilting down to hide his face. Lialas backed his way out of the room, leaving Raiden to listen to and feel the world as only a god could.
One hundred souls stood before him. One hundred of the best warriors that Lialas had were waiting in rank and file, patient and somewhat in awe. They were here to undertake a task given by Lord Raiden himself.
It was awe inspiring.
Raiden stood before them, his arms out-stretched in the classical greeting and thumped his chest three times. The salute was quickly returned by the warriors who then continued their silent wait.
"You are the best the children of light have to offer" Raiden said in a quite voice. Somehow though, it still managed to fill the ears of the men at the back of the hall. No echo's issued from his voice, it was as if he talked directly to their hearts.
"At this time I am forbidden by forces greater and wiser than I to directly help you as a race. That is not to say that I can't help a few for the greater good" he said, a smile on his face and in his voice.
"So with that in mind I give you my blessing. To all those who choose to take it. If you do NOT choose to take it, then leave now!"
A hush came over the already silent room, whereas before it was just lack of noise, now it was full of anticipation, and certainly no one left. Raiden's blessing was famous, he had granted it so rarely as to be only once. The one he had granted it to was still with them, however. A leader of men and general to their armies. Lialas himself, was now close to three hundred years old. It was said that he could only die in a certain way, that he would heal ANY other injury.
No one knew for sure, because he was blessed, no one other than the damned demonic spawn actually wished him harm.
Now 100 hundred men and women were about to be blessed just before a battle that could make or break them, it could decide if The Children of Light continued to exist at all.
Suddenly Raiden's outstretched arms were flooded with tendrils of pure power and the hall was lit up with holy light. Those tendrils of power launched from his arms and speared the nearest soldiers. Then they leapt from person to person connecting all 100 soldiers to the god. The vision held for a tenth of a second before every soldier dropped to the ground, dead.
Luckily, as Lilas had been through a similar experience, he knew it was but a little death, as most would be from that day forth. Only in final death, caused by a blade through the neck, would they now know peace again.
"Is it so bad?" Raiden asked, apparently reading his thoughts. As so often happened with the god.
"It is... lonely at times My Lord."
Raiden smiled and nodded, "Imagine how I feel." he said and disappeared in a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder.
Monlar slipped into the shadows. 'Damn him, how could he do this!' he thought to himself furiously as he walked. 'That old fool; doesn't he know we need every advantage we can get!' he continued to rant.
Lilas had sent word to the dragons to halt their progress towards the compound. Monlar, had quickly reversed it, and sent word for them to meet him instead.
It was for the best as far as he was concerned. He was worried about the continuation of the human race. Lialas seemed more concerned about his beloved god's wishes.
Monlar, couldn't and wouldn't let that stand.
Thus, he'd arranged this meeting.
He walked into the large open area that he'd chosen and settled back against a rock. It should take the dragons long to arrive. He was sure he'd noticed when they did. After all, they were huge, as big as some demons in fact.
"Human" a voice said next to him, starling him to spin around. His blade already drawn.
There in it's red splendor was an old red dragon. 'How in the nine hells name did it creep up on me?' Monlar asked himself. He was a trained fighter for the Children of the Light. Had been a fighter since his 14th summer, and this giant creature had managed to catch him unawares. He'd heard the stories but this was amazing. They were just what humanity needed, the edge that would cut deeply into the demons plans.
He smiled for the first time that he could remember since this war had begun.
This was their salvation.
The dragon smiled too, though it was harder to tell, 'This is almost too easy!' it thought with an inner evil chuckle.
His master's would be so pleased.
The negotiations had been very short. That should have been Monlar's first clue, unfortunately he took it as a sign that Raiden was wrong, that dragons wanted to be humanities friend. The deal had been made, a pact of blood had been shared. The blood was the key. The dragon had taken Monlar's blood, a lot of it, and then added in some of it's own of equal measure.
While Monlar had been feint and giddy the Dragon had fed the mixture back into Monlar, thus sealing his fate and carrying out his master's instructions.
Now it would wait around the very outskirts of the battle and 'fulfill' it's side of the bargain.
Monlar in the meantime was headed back to the compound. He was to do as the dragon had done, only to do so he had to in fact Bite his chosen subjects. He had to drink their blood and he had to drain them to the point of death. Then he had to open his own vein and feed them his life's blood. This, the dragon had said, would give them the strength of four men, the ability to move faster than their fastest runner and above all... They would be virtually impervious to harm.
To Monlar that had seemed like the ideal pact.
To the dragon it was hilarious. It was true, they would be stronger and faster, they would be able to live almost forever. It was just they wouldn't be fighting on the side Monlar wanted them to fight. They would be soulless capable of no love, no compassion for their so called fellow man. They would be in fact half demons.
Scum to true demons, pawns on the chess board of the battle, yet they would break the humans defenses almost instantly.
The demons wanted their planet back once and for all, and this was when it was going to happen. Of course, they didn't know that they weren't the only ones who had cheated a bit...
The battle had been horrendous. As the dragon's master had predicted the humans were quickly broken as their own men started to fight against them. Then out of now where Raiden's blessed had charged into battle, evening the odd's back up and distilling pride back into the waning human fighters.
Eventually, after forty long day's and nights, demon kind had been forced back.
Raiden's Children, as they had come to be known, had lost track of how many deaths they had undertaken, or of how many they had taken from their own kind. Or seeming to be at least.
Yet, they had won, for what it was worth. Still they celebrated, they cheered as the last demon was slain and they rejoiced in the fact that it would be some time to come indeed before another such battle would take place. For they knew even then, that this had only been a battle and not the war they had fought.
None suspected that even as they had their camp fires and eat of roast meet and mead, their very lives were being debated.
"That is unacceptable" Raiden said with eyes flashing in anger. "I DID NOT directly interfere"
A large slime covered being with horns on it's head snorted derisively, "That is a flat out lie" he said in a voice as slimy as his body. "You choose all of a sudden to bless one hundred of those foul beings before the battle just because what you felt like it?"
"Basically" Raiden said with a shit eating grin.
"Freedom of choice has been taken from my kind" the demon said, "It was also taken from the foul ones"
"That IS a lie. I gave them all freedom of choice" Raiden said sagely, "None choose to leave without it."
A man with a well trimmed beard stood up beside the woman he appeared to serve, "The issue of freedom of choice is obviously arguable, but that is not the main reason we are here"
His head titled down to the woman who whispered in his ear. "My Lords you are both at fault. You are both found guilty. What is the problem is what to do with you both" the man said in a voice one usually reserves for telling off children, not Lord Gods and High Lords of Hell.
The man sighed as he looked at the two powerful beings, "You were both warned not to try anything, to let the chaos of battle decide and you both choose to ignore it. Thus you are both at fault and because of this you and your subjects must be punished."
Raiden's eyes crackled with power, "You cannot hold my subjects accountable for my actions" he started to object.
"We must, you 'Children of Raiden' are a somewhat unfair advantage in any coming battle. And you" he said pointing to the smirking demon, "We not done with you either, your damned half breeds will cause no end of trouble. They'll have to be controlled, the balance must be maintained." The man leaned down again and listened to the woman who was silently watching the 'trial'.
He nodded, "Of course, You ... what are they called? Blessed, Immortals?"
"A name as good as any other" Raiden allowed with worry.
"To maintain balance they are to be..." the man sighed and leaned down to speak into the womans ear. She then returned the move and the bearded man winced, "... They are to be cast in time and space. To minimize the upset to balance. The ... what are you calling your half breeds?"
"Vampires" the demon said with glee, "Disgusting little half breeds but they were glorious in battle"
"They are left alone, however" the beaded man smiled, "The dragons are being moved to the side of humanity."
"What!" the demon said, actually managing to go pale.
"You created these vampires to be servants of your will, then have them. You won't need Dragons for that task any more now will you" The bearded man said with a shark like smile.
"This is RIDICULOUS!" the demon roared charging to it's feet.
Suddenly the bearded man was standing before the woman, eagle like wings of purest snow white spread out to their full eight foot wing span, "I'm sorry; you had something to say" he said in a dangerous tone.
The demon suddenly backed down.
"Don't expect Humans to like them. They know by now their treachery cost them many of their kin" Raiden said in a calm, controlled voice.
"That will be for them to deal with" the man said, calming himself visibly and folding his wings back under his toga like clothing. "That is their punishment."
"My Lord Metaron; My immortals appear to have gotten the worst deal" Raiden commented.
"They are far too powerful Raiden, they could upset the balance and bring down the pillars of creation." The Metaron told him. "You knew this could and most likely would happen."
Raiden nodded, indeed he had. The punishment was harsh, but the battle had been won. Until the next time.
"Then as it is willed, so shall it be"