June 21, 2001
Zeksagmak - the Aftermath - By Albeh
The afterlife of a dragon would not appeal to humans in the least. The
landscape is a dark, forbidding, and harsh blend of red and brown. The
sky is permanently cast in a deep gray. Volcanic activity and massive
mountain ranges are broken up only by shallow lakes of lava. The normal
temperature here would kill an unprotected human instantly. In fact,
the afterlife of a dragon most closely resembled what humans would
consider to be Hell.
Dragons, however, found it rather keen.
A great gate of light opened in the sky and a terrible howl of pain
echoed throughout the world. The slain spirits of dragons all over the
world turned to look. Which of their brethren had fallen to the
pestilential humans this time?
They were all completely shocked to see a tremendously huge fireball
exit the gate and plunge toward the ground, a bellow of anger and
frustration causing many of the more sensitive dragons to faint straight-away.
The newcomer plunged into one of the many shallow lakes of lava,
sending splatters of molten earth flying in a mile radius, completely
emptying the lake. He broke through the bottom of the lake due to his
inexorable speed, and traveled a few tens of yards down before coming to a
complete stop. Smoke rose from the pit, acting as a beacon for all the
other unfortunate dragons.
He awoke with a splitting headache. "Gnarrrr..." he muttered
incoherently, lifting his head slightly. Opening one bright red eye, he
surveyed the area. "Dark..." he thought to himself, still rather woozy from
hitting the ground at that speed. A flicker of light from above him caught
his attention, and he directed his gaze skyward, out of the hole.
Recognizing it as an exit, he climbed slowly out.
Other dragons had circled the pit at a respectful distance, and as he
emerged, he heard them whispering. "Is it? He's got ruby scales!" "Look
at him, he's huge!" "That's not Zeksagmak, is it?" He glared at every
last one of them (some of them twice) and snarled so dangerously that
in spite of themselves, every last one of them moved back (some of them
The huge ruby dragon, who in fact was Zeksagmak, snarled dangerously.
"Get out of my way," he said, stomping off in a random direction. Those
few feebleminded dragons that did not move were summarily stepped upon
by the hulking and seething ruby dragon. Leaving a trail of moaning
smaller dragons behind, he was finally brought up short by a rather large
gold dragon. "Zek?"
Zeksagmak stared at the new dragon standing in his way. The name
clicked into his still-reeling mind. "Gothpakgok?"
The younger golden dragon nodded his long, scaly head and neck. "Zek,
what happened? Please tell me it was a tornado or something!" Zeksagmak
stared at Gothpakgok for a long while, then dropped his head in shame.
A collective sigh went up from the circle of dragons. Gothpakgok blew a
thin stream of smoke out of both nostrils. "How did they get you, Zek?
Zek shook his huge dragon's head. "There were just so many of them...I
mean, my lair, right? Strongest and toughest in the land." He sighed.
"They sliced through it in no time flat. All my little dragons and
minions...slaughtered. Pesky humans. Last time they tried it, I wrecked them
all, but this time...gnarrrrrrrrrr..." he growled again, sending many
of the smaller dragons into spasms of fright.
Gothpakgok was unmoved. "Go on, Zek, what happened next?"
"They just kept coming. Big strong humans. Little weak humans. Middle
sized humans. All sorts. They came down through the winding
tunnels...through the parts I had submerged underwater, through the nice
and warm tunnels close to me - which should have burned their tasty skin right
off, mind you - and right up to me. Sure, I killed a ton of them before
they even reached me with my wails, and killed every last one of them
when they actually reached me. But even then, some of them hit me with
their little swords and knives and things, and some of them actually got
to cast spells. Just wore me down, Goth...you know how it goes."
Nods came from most of the dragons around. Many of them knew what that
"So, I got out of there, right fast. Now mind you, I was pretty upset
at this point. It was such a nice lair, I had worked so hard on it! So,
I get out into the air, and I decide to bash some pitiful town to get
my rage going. You know how it is - need to make a new lair, need the
rage, right?" Another chorus of nods and agreement. "So I land...and the
filthy little humans start clogging THIS place too! By the beard of
Vryce, there were over two hundred of them!" Shock and fear spread through
the crowded dragons. Two hundred humans in one place was unheard of.
Even Gothpakgok turned a little pale at this, though it wasn't very
easily noticed - the dull gray light made them all look a little pale.
Zeksagmak continued on in a dull, defeated tone. "It was a fairly
pretty fairground. I was biting the heads off of the fairgoers when I could,
and smacking around the humans trying to fight me when they got brave
enough to get close." He grinned a wicked dragon's grin. "I killed over
a thousand of them that day. The necromancer had an absolute trip, he
was smiling from ear to ear. But they'd just wander to the altar, get
resurrected, heal up, and come back for more. It just wore me down, more
and more. No matter where I went, humans were there, jabbing at me,
casting spells, GNAAARRRRRRRRR!" This snarl made even a few of the larger
"So they slew you?" asked Gothpakgok bluntly.
Zeksagmak rose up to his full height and glared down at Gothpakgok. "OF
COURSE!" he bellowed. "WOULD I BE HERE OTHERWISE?" Gothpakgok returned
the gaze and shrugged as best a dragon can do. By this time all the
other dragons were fainting or flying in terror.
"How'd they get you?"
A sigh came from Zek's huge lungs. "Well, there were so many in one
room, I was losing strength so fast...and then, this one human...his name
was Froto, I believe. They were cheering him just before I lost
consciousness. He slashed me across my neck, and that was it. I hope my blood
burned him severely," he muttered petulantly. "I fell over and died.
That was that."
Another sigh. "I killed three thousand, two hundred and ninety two
humans over my life. I lived for over five hundred years. The Gods say I
delivered five and a half million points of damage, whatever that means.
And what do I get for it? DEAD, THAT'S WHAT!" One young black dragon
who was just awakening heard this bellow of frustration, moaned slightly,
and fainted dead away again.
Gothpakgok patted Zeksagmak on the shoulder with his wing. "Cheer up,
they'll probably send you a t-shirt."
Zek snorted. "Would have to be a pretty big t-shirt. What's it going to
have on it? 'I ate three thousand humans and all I got for it is this
lousy t-shirt'?" Gothpakgok chuckled at the remark.
"Hey, you'll still be the biggest dragon here, you know."
Zeksagmak smiled slowly, savoring the thought of rampaging over the
afterlife. "So what is there to do here?"
Gothpakgok smiled back at the older dragon. "Well, we cut a deal with
the necromancer, and he dumps a load of newbie souls here every hour or
two. They taste really good if you dunk them in lava first."
"Well then, show me, let's go!" With the creak of heavy wings, both
dragons flew off, discussing between themselves the various ways of
cornering the soul market of the afterlife.
Zeksagmak: Ruby Dragon, aged 517 days. 3292 PKs and 5,534,423 points of
damage credited, over 5 Lairs. Slain on April 14th, 2001. Rest in
peace, King of Dragons.
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