Chapter 2
Girondin Burning

AT 1082 (AZ 1454) - Summer
Girondin, Notos

Dragons, or at least the ones who answered directly to Xorgoth, did not make it their business to venture outside the Valley. The Valley was their home, their portion, set aside for them by the great mother Tiamat herself. What had they to do with the outside world? By this virtue, the outside world was not accustomed to dealing with their kind and was utterly defenseless against the great flight of Dragons making its way southward.
The humans, those wretched insects, seemed so proud of their flimsy caves they crafted of wood and stone. What were the edifices of Man to the fire breath of even a single Dragon? It was said that Dragonkind enjoyed regular raids of human settlements in the days when Xorud, son of Xor, was King. Perhaps there was some merit to reviving the old traditions. The Dragons of his flight certainly seemed to enjoy it.
Several human settlements were put to the flame on the way to the sea and as they were crossing, they came upon a new land with new settlements to burn. It was all so easy and so enjoyable. The humans and their beasts would make a fine banquet to tide them over as they continued on to the Darklands.
Xorgoth came to favor the settlements by the sea. He particularly liked seeing the strange woodfish the humans took out on the waters burn. The settlement that came into view was such a one. It was rather large as human settlements go, so there would be much to destroy.
As they drew nearer, roars and screeches broke out among the Dragons of the flight. The mere sound of a Dragon's voice was enough to make the insects scurry. Those that lacked the sense to run would be frozen in fear like living stone. Xorgoth preferred that kind as they did not make you chase after them.
As always, the van enjoyed the honor of first flame and first blood. Xorgoth's fellow Black Dragons would spew out their flames and then the ones bearing their flightless cousins would unburden themselves. The formation fanned out wide so there would be less squabbling over territory.
The flightless Dragons--the lowly Drakes, the Greens and the Wyrms--were given the chance to rampage freely for a time while the winged Dragons--Firedrakes, Wyverns, Reds, Whites, Blacks, and Greys--all remained in the air, sweeping down to scour the ground with more flames. The structures of wood burned easily, but even those of stone could not withstand Dragonfire without harm. How many of the humans' miserably short lifetimes were spent building this city, only for it all to be destroyed in an instant?
Xorgoth and his personal guard remained in the air a while longer still, just to ensure there would be no unpleasant surprises. There was little a human could do to a Dragon, but they would bend their feeble little minds as far as they could to conjure up all manner of plots and tricks to use against Dragons. Very little of it amounted to anything, but there was too much honor at stake to carelessly fall prey to the rare human trick that could actually do some harm.
Fortunately, any such tricks were well beyond the ken of these people. When it was abundantly clear that there was not even the remotest risk to his person, Xorgoth touched down on the ground to knock over a few of the structures for his amusement. While some of the members of the flight took a particular liking to the taste of manflesh, the King of Dragons failed to see the appeal. Some of the beasts the humans kept close to them, however, did have a flavor that greatly surpassed anything to be found in the wilds.
It was strange how the humans would keep other creatures close and rear them for food and for labor. No other race seemed to have such a practice, at least nothing of the same scale. Xorgoth had seen great herds that overran the land like fish in the sea commanded by a mere handful of humans. Perhaps there was some merit to it. Would it not be good for creatures of all races to serve Dragonkind as the true rulers of land, sea and sky that they were?
It was likely more trouble than it was worth. It was enough for Dragons to occupy themselves with Dragonkind. Besides, the Elders did not easily accept any changes to the ancient traditions. It was not in Xorgoth's nature to cajole those weaker than him to carrying out his will and simply resorting to force with the Elders could easily spark a revolt. No, there was a reason Dragons were constant from age to age. Then again, a little experimentation in an individual capacity would not be nearly as troublesome. After claiming the power dormant in the relics of Xargos, his rule would be so incontestable that nothing under the heavens would be forbidden to him.
Yes, it had not been so long ago that he had given up on the relics of Xargos, but after the insult he suffered from the Monarch Lich's emissary, it became a growing occupation of his. Surely the relics rested somewhere in that cursed land. Surely Xargos' power slumbered, waiting to be claimed by one worth of inheriting that power.
It was perhaps his thoughts of the relics of Xargos that prompted him to call his flight to reassemble and take to the air before completely destroying the human settlement. Perhaps he would follow the coastline a while further to give the flight one last raid before the long journey eastward continued. Yes, they would all enjoy that, surely.