The year 1200 before Gaia, or as it was known at the time, the year 7200 of the Draconian Age, was a tumultuous time for the people of Draconis. It hadn’t even been one year since the Droedics had started their invasion of Aslan, the home continent of Draconis.
Even with the combined efforts of the eight major countries, the war had been a losing battle from the very start. Their soldiers were just no match for the vicious Droedics. They were creatures of pure Mana and saw themselves as the pinnacle of all life. Sadly, this wasn’t too far from the truth. They could cast perfect magic, and due to their ethereal nature, their bodies were nearly indestructible.
It was knowing this that Archmage Einar stood between the invading army and the Imperial Capital, ready to make his last stand. If he failed here, the entire continent was bound to fall.
Einar looked at the horizon. In the distance, he could see the invaders approaching. They marched in full sunlight, yet they still appeared as shadows, completely void of any light.
‘Even if I die here today, my death may still delay them enough for backup to arrive,’ he thought to himself. It was the lie he had told himself a hundred times already that day. There was no way that the reinforcements would arrive on time. He was the most powerful human within 500 miles. All the other Archmages had either died already or were working on a secret last-ditch weapon in the Yggdrasil Commune. The weapon was supposed to end the war, but even though Einar knew nothing specific about the weapon, he knew it was a futile hope. The moment Draconis fell, the continent’s defenses would crumble like a dead bush in a summer storm. All the other countries would follow Draconis in its demise within weeks.
The lives of millions would be vanquished, the memories of the fallen, and all that had been, fading away when the last human on the continent drew their final breath.
Einar sighed as he weaved his final spells. Hundreds of fireballs, spears of flames, and ethereal Phoenixes appeared in front of him. As an Archmage of Draconis, he was naturally attuned to fire. He needed but a thought to weave all of his spells. After making sure everything was in place, he took out his sword. The blade shone a bright red and was hot enough to easily melt through all but the toughest materials. The magical metal from which it was crafted would amplify any fire-based spells its master cast. It was a powerful artifact gifted to him by the Empress. As a final show of respect to his people and the country he loved, Einar held the sword high.
The moment the Droedics entered his range, he closed his eyes and pointed his sword towards his enemies. The world seemed to turn gray, and time seemed to slow down. An eerie silence befell the battlefield. Then, Einar suddenly heard voices in his head. He heard his father, his wife, his first teacher, his oldest friends, and many more voices he didn’t recognize. His head nearly exploded as the torrent of voices swept over him, until all of a sudden, they spoke as one: “I’m counting on you, Einar!”
He opened his eyes and exhaled.
“Let the final act commence.”
All of his spells shot forward at breakneck speed. The Droedic lines conjured up their defenses, but no matter how strong they were, in front of Einar’s onslaught they were as powerless as an insect in front of a lion. The first bodies hadn’t even hit the ground when the second wave of spells struck. Einar kept sending wave after wave of spells, and his enemies’ bodies kept piling up.
But alas, Einar was only human. After each wave, his Mana supply dwindled. The enemies instead, kept steadily advancing, uncaring for their dead brethren. A tear went down his cheek as he realized what he had to do.
‘There is no other choice.’ he cried.
He sat down on the ground, plunging his prized sword into the dirt next to him. He caressed the grass of the fields where he had spent so much of his life. He recalled his happiest memories: meeting his wife, the birth of his daughter, the hours he had spent playing mage in these very fields. Those memories all seemed so distant now.
He stood up again. The Droedics had managed to push through his perimeter of spells and were approaching fast. Einar took a deep breath. He closed his eyes and reached out to the very soul of the planet. The sword next to him reacted as if it had come alive. He grabbed the hilt and called upon the planet to grant his final wish. Mana started flooding into his body through the sword. He began to weave his final spell, his pièce de résistance. The energy ripped his body apart, yet he persevered. He kept on pouring more mana into his body. A last tear rolled down his face.
“I’m Sorry…” He whispered, looking at the city behind him while images of his wife and daughter flashed through his mind.
He raised his sword high above his head and plunged it forward, striking right at the heart of the enemy lines. The mana stored in his body gushed outwards, culminating in a giant ball of fire, the likes of which the world had never seen before. The fire ripped apart everything in its path. Thousands of enemies died in a single second, and many more would perish in the seconds to come. Einar wasn’t spared from the blast either. His body was ripped to shreds, his bones burned to ashes, and his face boiled beyond recognition.
Einar's sacrifice had turned the world a little brighter, yet his own world quickly faded to black.
As the last speck of light disappeared from his sight, he faintly heard the voices again.
“Until we meet again, my love.”