• Published 1st Feb 2018
  • 1,096 Views, 17 Comments

The Tumultuous Reign Of Dragon Lord Ember - Masterweaver



Becoming the dragon lord was easy. Actually ruling the dragons... that's the hard part.

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From Ashes

The throne... wasn't even a throne really.

Oh, sure, it looked impressive. The four Ancestral Spirits, crafted out of bronze, reared to either side of the Pillar of Power. The Arc of Wisdom, a great circle of granite, served to frame the central monolith. Ember knew that she had to but touch it with the Bloodstone Scepter and the runes of the ancient would come to light, revealing knowledge that only a Dragon Lord would know.

And rolled in front of this wonder were two smoothed squarish stones, and THAT was where she was supposed to sit. It wasn't part of the structure. It didn't even have a name. It was just the place she put her tail while reigning over her people. Not exactly comfortable, if she was entirely honest, but she could stand the discomfort.

No, that wasn't the issue at all. Looking at the throne, or what was supposed to be the throne, made her realize exactly what she had put herself up for. She was to lead this clutch of dragons--this generation, the duty of defining their legacy was up to her. Ember, the Princess of Glaurung's Molten Falls... now the Dragon Lord.

Because Spike gave it up.

She shook her head, banishing the doubt. Doubt wouldn't serve a dragon! Dragons were strong, powerful, they brooked no quarter in combat and defied any who would take their realms! And the Dragon Lord was the paragon of dragons! She had at her beck and call the most wondrous, most terrifying creatures to walk the world...

...and, actually, not much else. Their hoards were large, but few, hidden in regions lesser creatures rarely trod--or, well, should have rarely trod. The ponies that Spike had brought along appeared very comfortable in an environment that could have killed them, only hiding from the dragons. And not even out of terror, just... to avoid causing issues for Spike.

Tartarus, she'd actually hidden herself, using a disguise to keep her identity under wraps. That she had won--

--that Spike had won and allowed her the prize--

Ember's claws gripped the bloodstone scepter tightly. The point was... the point was, the so-called lesser creatures had treated the whole thing like some sort of sports match, cheering their team and not really acknowledging the danger. They had humored the dragons. Humored them, as though the gauntlet of fire was simply a child's game.

The whole thing was a joke to them.

Dragons were only important when the one they had raised got involved.

...and really, who could blame them? Ember wasn't daft--the ponies had control of the sun and moon. When one of their princesses went mad, the whole world suffered. When a spirit of chaos burst from prison, it was the ponies he went after--even ignoring the dragon in their midst! A demon, escaped from Tartarus itself, decided that pony magic was most worthwhile, and was only put down by ponies themselves. The simple fact of the matter was that ponies reigned over the land, dealt with the greatest threats, and left other races to their own devices.

Here she stood, looking at the throne that wasn't a throne, reigning over powerful creatures who owned so little, and lived in a dangerous land that weak races would frolic through casually on one of their adventures. Here, she faced the nature of her race, all that it was and had become... and found it wanting.

Dragons were no longer relevant to anyone who wasn't a dragon. True, their migrations were watched, but not with the fear and awe they had once been monitored with; no, they were no merely events that were worth watching for their color and their mass. There was a time when nations trembled at the sight of their scaled visage when whole realms would flee from their approach... or submit in desperation.

She remembered the legends, the greatest of the great, how they shaped the world with fire and claw, how they beat against the air with wings large enough to spawn tornados, how even the mountains came up only to their shoulders. Rare now was the dragon of that stature, in either body or mind; Ember could think only of her father, the last Dragon Lord, the one who had led the clutch of Illuyanka and all that followed till, at the very last, all of his clutchmates had fallen.

Once, dragons had been revered, for their power and their knowledge and their position. To be considered friend to a dragon was a high honor--to be considered enemy, the most damning of insults. Yet now, they were fading, with even the eldest of the last clutch not being truly considered a power in the world. With the youngest raised by the weak... or thouse who had been weak. As ponies rose, so too had dragons fallen. They remained only because nobody could be bothered to slay them all. Because no pony could be bothered. The rules had changed, and they were left behind.

Ember grit her teeth and, with a furious roar, swung the scepter at the throne. Runes lit up across its surface, words in the tongue she had been taught all her life, secrets and wisdom that so few were privy to. Stories of the dragon lords before her, how they fought, how they battled...

...how they thought.

How they watched. And learned.

Her eyes drifted over the throne, the words embossed over the generations. Each story, each legacy, filled her mind, her heart, her soul with grim determination.

The rules had changed? Fine. Ember would play this new game. She would learn the powers of the ponies and the other races, she would learn their ways of building and of growing. She would drag her people, kicking, screaming, and cutting off those unable to change, into what future she wasn't sure yet but it would be one worth seeing. She would take this dusty scrap of rock, and melt it again and again in the fires of life and revolution, until it glowed with power and glory like the well polished scales of Tiamet herself!

Ember would play this new, strange game.

And. She. Would. Win.

Comments ( 17 )

Ooh, nice, gripping start. Looking forward to more of this!

*Sees Picture* *Imitates Mako* Between the time when the oceans drank (insert Atlantis horse pun here), and the rise of the daughters of Faust, there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Ember, destined to wear the jeweled crown of the Dragonlands upon a troubled brow. It is I, her chronicler, who alone can tell thee of her saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure!

A princess ruler who actually gets stuff done? You have my attention.

References to The Silmarillion and D&D? Nice touch.

...now this is going to be epic...

Ember does make for a good imposing sovereign, capitalized or otherwise. Looking forward to her efforts at modernization now that she has a grasp on dragon psychology.

Well, this is definitely going to be interesting.

Way to go master weaver

Is spike gonna be revelant to this story?

Interesting start. I do want to point out, before you go overboard on the idea that dragons are basically cave-men, that the dragons we saw were wearing detailed armor that appears custom-crafted for them, so they have access to some form of fairly advanced metalworking.

8707158
In that same vein, it's also worth reminding that they've been established being capable of reading...in Equestrian. And, by association, should mean they should be capable of writing as well. And where there's reading and writing, there's bound to be the intellectuals, even if few, out there who have exploited that skill beyond the average of others.

But I think the dragons problem is less that they're dumb and more than they've let themselves become idle and non-industrious, much like the griffons in "The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone." They aren't putting to use what they already have and have gotten, frankly, lazy.

But we'll see where this story goes with the concept. :twilightsmile:

8707509

It could also simply be a matter of them being in recovery, rather than being in a rut.

The dragons seem to have a gap in leadership. Sure, they had Ember's dad as Dragon Lord but "Gauntlet of Fire" demonstrated a serious lack of 'not-much-younger than Torch, but MUCH older/bigger than Ember'-dragons. If thats the case; dragons still have a ton of power, but most of them are simply young and lazy so the ones who actually DO something are few and disorganized enough to outmatched by a concentrated pony/griffin/yak/whatever counter.

As for the story itself... eh...? More premise, not enough setup.

no, they were no merely events that were worth watching for their color and their mass. There was a time when nations trembled at the sight of their scaled visage when whole realms would flee from their approach... or submit in desperation.

Now, and capitalize "or."

With the youngest raised by the weak... or thouse who had been weak. As ponies rose, so too had dragons fallen.

Those.

Oh hell to the fuck yes.

Ember's inner monologue is a lot more formal than I imagined it would be.

8707509
I've always wondered just how a dragon implied to be little more than a bully and thug knows so much about ponykind. He can read Ponish. He can even tell how they smell. Where might he have learned all of that?
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8733368
It's not just limited to Garble though--though not yet explicitly demonstrated in-episode that I can recall, it's still been implied that Ember can read the pony language (whatever we might want to call it) too, if only because it can be deduced through circumstances she has been presented in by now. That then suggests a trend that would say that several dragons can read in such a language too.

As for how and why though, that can really only be speculated upon. I don't think the show has actually demonstrated clearly that the dragon's possess their own language separate from that of the ponies (that at least is still being actively used, spoken or written, in modernity) though, so from the show's point of view, it might be that they just possess the same language...which seems to be the case with many of non-pony cultures too if true, so this wouldn't be too special or unexpected.

But given just how long Equestria has been around and how much of influence it has held for most of that, at least upon its region of the world, that wouldn't be so surprising anyway--the farthest reaching language across the land tends to be the one spoken by the leading political power(s) in that land. This is why Latin grew to be so widespread and influential in its day, because it was the language of choice for the Romans, both as a Republic and as an Empire, and why English is so widespread today, because it's the leading language of the leading world powers of today (US and UK, among others).

But for the purposes of this fic, it's already been implied to flat out established that the dragons have their own established language of their own (though it may be dying out in favor of other languages), so the fact that they know the language of the ponies too makes it all the more noteworthy in it's universe.

Chiefly though, I was more implying that the average dragon likely can read and probably read well, regardless of age, because if they can read a nonnative language, that usually implies they already know how to read in their own language just as well, if not better. And if they can read, they can write too, most usually. And if they can read and write, that in turn implies a higher intelligence than some fic writers give the dragons credit for at times.

8733407
And not even a single sentence wasted on the pic?

My failure is abject.

8733440
Sorry...I thought the pic was largely self explanatory. :rainbowlaugh:

An interesting idea, but I don't really have anything of note to say about it, admittedly. :applejackunsure:

EDIT: though I suppose I should note that, given that dragons seem to age slower (barring no greed-based bursts), that would imply, at least in my mind, that Garble would be significantly older...which would in turn imply Sunset is significantly older in order for events to all line up properly...and that doesn't seem to be the case, the way EqG portrays thing.

But then again, exactly when the falling out with Sunset that led her to fleeing Equestria for parts more human was has always been a point left frustratingly vague...given how long Twilight was around Celestia during her time as her student, were Sunset's tenure as a student as well be too recent, then surely the two would've crossed paths before and at least known enough about each other to know of each other's existence (because Twilight may have been anti-social at the time, but that didn't mean she wasn't oblivious of the ponies around her).

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