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Tenebris was born to his father Aethel and his mother Cynewise, a pure blooded Nightwing upon the fringes of the Nightwing fiefdom, Tenebris, his older brothers, sister and parents lived isolated from the politics and proceedings of the Kingdom. With minimal oversight Tenebris’ parents came to appreciate the merits of living and hunting on the outskirts of the Nightwing territory, for the majority of the time the family lived in relative peace. It was distant and reserved and mostly uneventful. For the first years of his life Tenebris knew nothing other than his parents and the immediate area outside of their lair. A weak and sickly youth, Tenebris was born in a clutch of five, however the rest were stillborn and it was believed Tenebris wouldn’t survive the first few years of life, however miraculously he did indeed survive and while he never showed the strength or fortitude of his older brothers from another clutch he certainly became healthy, if not shy and anxious.
It was in these youthful years that the first tragedy of Tenebris’s long life came to pass, following his eldest siblings while their father hunted and their mother slept the brood of Nightwing hatchlings came across a wild Manticores den, ignorant to the dangers and with curiosity driving them forward the young Nightwing’s followed a group of Manticore clubs playing, unsure as to what these beasts were the Nightwing’s confronted them, Daemon the eldest and largest of Tenebris’s brothers loomed over these soon frightened clubs inquiring into their existence. As far as the young hatchlings were concerned they did not know that a Manticore was, were they some breed of Dragon they were unaware of or were they malformed beasts of the forest like those their Father brought back as prey to be fed upon.
While cornering the young Manticores the Hatchlings were not as secluded as they believed and soon enough a towering presence was bore down upon them from behind, an adult Manticore no doubt protecting his pups descended upon one of Tenebris’s brothers, Auribus. In a matter of seconds, in a blood fueled rage the Manticore tossed the broken limp corpse of Auribus crashing towards a nearby tree of the dense forest. While the beasted howled in fury the Nightwings scattered. The event would forever resonate with Tenebris, and Daemon would forever hold himself to blame. Later Aethel in vengeance would drive this den of Manticores far away, but not before slaughtering many of them in brutal fashion.
This was not the end of the sorrows Tenebris endured within his family lair however, the first years into his adolescence the world as he knew it would end as he was driven from everything he knew. While the wounds caused by the loss of Auribus would forever never heal, life went on and Tenebris with his brother Daemon would often now fly out together aiding their father in the hunt, before Daemon once of age left towards the Nightwing Capital, no longer intend on living on the fringes of society he was adamant to serve the Nightwing Tribe as a Guardian, this caused a quarrel with their father who despised the crown of the Nightwings and couldn’t bare to see one of his sons bound to what he considered servitude. At the time Tenebris held his tongue, he had only ever known anything of the Tribe from his father and Aethel would rather linger in the shadows than embrace Tribe society despite himself once serving as a Scout for the Tribe in times of war.
Not long after the departure of Daemon, Aethel would take longer and longer departures from the lair becoming more and more distressed and absent, when conversing with his family he was forever distant and austere. It soon became apparent that Tenebris found the greatest comfort in his mother and also his sister Aelfthryth, existence was content to the stage that there was a degree of blissful ignorance given that Tenebris knew little outside of his family. This was until the day the Leostannia’s came, while the family had isolation on the borders of Nightwing territory, they lacked the protection of the Tribe’s heartland and that became painfully apparent on one of the days his father was out hunting. A bellowing filled the forest from a archaic hunting horn, before Riders burst into the hollow Tenebris’ family made home. These Humans charged with lance, and slashed with steel. Tenebris, his mother and sister fought fanatically and felled many of these Humans in a red slaughter but they were cornered and couldn’t take flight within the cavern. It wasn’t long before Cynewise, being the most furious in her engagement with these Knights came crashing down after a lance was pierced through her throat. This image shook Tenebris to his core and even as his sister fought on, he seemed to freeze as he attempted to grasp what just happened, it was then like a colony of ants, crawling over the scraps of food, as these humans began stabbing and lashing at his mother even as her thrashing in her death rattled ceased.
Tenebris along with his sister even as he once more found the will to find, was brought down by chains and barbed hooks, which using their horses, pulled him off balance along with his sister, his mouth was bound and his wings strapped within a bizarre harness. They were loaded upon huge carriages, as these men whooped and hailed their victory even as they placed the lifeless corpse of his mother upon one of these such carriages, frailing in an attempt to break free proved fruitless as with every jolt of movement, one of the humans would lunge with their lance. The reality of the situation caused resignation within Tenebris, who weary and fatigued from the battle had to fight to remain conscious, but still remained still knowing that to restrain against would mean death. This was not the reaction from his sister however, and frailing in an attempt to break free for half the journey, she was plunged with more and more lances, and while eventually she submitted, by the time the Humans had brought them before their designation she had succumbed to her wounds, having bled out from the ordeal.
It would be here Tenebris would fall into a solemn quiet as he was brought before the Capital of Leostonnia, this metropolis of white stone with human’s not clad in steel lined the streets in awe as they gaped open mouthed, there was hope that his father would still come to his rescue, yet looking upon the towering battlements and ramparts of this human lair, it was clear to see the large ballista devices designed to bring down Dragons. It would seem the longest journey of Tenebris’s life, and while his caravan was brought before the large Palace of Leostonnia he saw the Humans gleefully cheering and praising one another. Banners and horns blew, it was overwhelming for the young Dragon, and then came the Humans who carried themselves with a statue of superiority even amongst their own kin, they would come to Tenebris and inspect him, stare down at him as though predators on prey.
Tenebris knew of Humans from his father, and had seen several of them in groups of one or two with his flights with his brother but this was far beyond any belief, this Human lair had thousands, and they came in all shapes and sizes, some gleaming in steel, while others wore fabrics, yet they all continued to state in awe and some degree of fear. Even while still bound, Tenebris saw as the carriages which carried his sister and mothers corpse was once more being swarmed and then hacked at in a savage manner, the sight bore tears to Tenebris as he attempted to howl in sorrow, but no words left his bound mouth, the only solace was that he would soon be joining them in death's embrace.
The solace of death never came, for several years Tenebris would be a servant to the Monarchy of Leostonnia, a prized spectacle to stand as a testimony to Leostonnia’s growing strength. He would remain with his wings bound, yet he would eventually be housed within a grand domed coliseum within the Leostonnian Capital, placed under watch and used as a source of entertainment, for years Tenebris was little more than a caged beast, he would be pitted against lesser races and even captured Dragons of other tribes. He would be known as the jewel of the Leostonnian crown and traitors even to the Leostonnian realm were placed within his new “lair” to be consumed as a spectacle. The deprived demented lusts of the Humans would impact Tenebris greatly, and while he learnt to speak Human, the King known as Mallobaude would even in his delusions name Tenebris his champion as he pitted the enemies of the realm to his caged Dragon.
It was in these years of captivity that Tenebris learnt that his father did actually attempt to rescue him, only to be brought down himself outside the ramparts of the Citadel, now the three skulls of his family, his mother, his father and sister would adorn the walls of his domed prison. For the years to come he would show a false loyalty to the crown, even speaking to Mallobaude about his Kingdom, learning more about the Human realm he found himself in and the world of Pyyria as a whole. Ironically Tenebris in his older years would muse that he actually was taught more by Mallobaude than his father who desired to keep Tenebris and his family in a blissful ignorance. In time, even while Tenebris forever craved for freedom he would come to terms with his imprisonment and even find a bond with his captor, the now renowned Mallobaude the Dragontamer as he was known.
It was the defiance of Ravenhold, where the Human Dukedom attempted to rebel and secede from Crown and Leostonnia as a whole that Tenebris would find his freedom. Speaking honeyed words to the King, he would ask for his wings to be unbound finally. “You have named me your champion your eminence, now allow me to show such to the rest of your realm. I am a weapon far greater than any sword, and you wield me, allow me to crush this rebellion alongside your armies and no one will ever defy the Crown again, your vassals will cower before you with me in the field they will never question you. Leostonnia is all I have or will ever know, you know my loyalty is yours”. The King aged in years no doubt was consumed by the idea of a Dragon openly flying beide his hosts, laying waste to any enemy what would come before him, in these fantasies of grandeur, the old King would provide his own demise.
Tenebris would allow the King upon his back, and in his foolish pride before his armies the King would cry out “Behold my steed, far greater than any destrier, behold our destiny”, even against the council of his son Crown Prince Damitian the King would rally his forces from the back of Tenebris, and as the army marched onwards towards Ravenhold to put down the rebellion, for the first time in years, Tenebris rose to the skies. His flight was ungraceful and faltering, hit took him awhile to find himself once more in flight, but the moment his confidence returned to him, he would grin wickedly over his shoulder at the arrogant human monarch upon his back “From this day forth, they’d recall your legacy as Mallobaude the mad”, and with that Tenebris recoiled in flight and spun viciously in the air, and the foolish King could only cry out in rage and fear as his body plummeted towards the ground.
Turning in flight, even while the army below had no idea as to what was happening, Tenebris flew South, returning to the lands of his birth, leaving the Kingdom of Leostonnia baffled and shaken as realisation dawned on them. It would later be decreed by the newly anointed King Damitian that all Dragons would be put to the sword, and that any such beast was never to be captured again. Returning to the lands of the Nightwings, the forsaken forests and swamps gave a overwhelming sensation to Tenebris indescribable, yet he could not return to his family lair, instead he flew towards the Nightwing Capital to find his brother, and with him hopefully a new life.
The reunion of Daemon and Tenebris within the Capital was a delightful occasion but of little note, they spoke of their past and youth, their regrets and what had transpired within the years. Tenebris himself was brought before the Queen to explain his ordeal and while note was taken of his torments no such vengeance would be sought out, the Nightwing’s would not advance upon the Kingdom of Leostonnia to reduce it to ash as Tenebris had hoped. That fledging Kingdom would remain even to this day, and it would remain as a stain of shame upon Tenebris whenever he thought about the over consuming hubris of the Human’s and their lustful desires of wealth and glory. Tenebris at this time though in his life would indeed seek out a life alongside his brother, he would become a Guardian of the Nightwing Tribe.
Years would pass again without much note, until the Nightwing Civil War. The Embodiment of chaos and insanity Nightflare would rise up against her sister Gemini, the Nightwing Queen. It was in this civil war that Tenebris would understand his limitations, in the years leading up to the Civil War, Tenebris would become loyal to the tribe, and be a frequent volunteer for tasks to serve the will of the Tribe. He would take pleasure in assignments where he was to guard the Slavers of the Nightwing Tribe as they ventured into various Human populated territories to replenish their slaves. Yet Tenebris was forever weary in the Civil War for Nightflare and Gemini were rumoured to be the offspring of Demons, Gemini himself while he was loyal to her proved to be unwilling to put her sister in her place allowing her to amass the followers needed to begin the Civil War.
It was in the Civil War where Tenebris first confronted Nightflare personally, his unit of Guardians were decimated including his brother being slain in the attack. Nightflare wielding magic and power Tenebris could not even begin to conceive, those in her proximity would seem to come under an influence of insanity and madness, and she cast spells weaved in shadow which cleaved through Dragons as though it was a scythe upon crops. It was only then when Gemini joined the fray, and used her own abilities to battle Nightflare. Wounded upon the floor, watching the two sisters fight was like a story of two titanic gods locked in combat, their magic prowess and the previous battle with Nightflare only brought a reality crushing realisation that Tenebris was insignificant in the face of such primordial forces.
After the battle and with Nightflare brought low, Gemini couldn’t bring herself to slay her sister and instead in her weakness merely placed her under exile. While Nightflare would continue to be a ever present issue for years to come the war itself was at an end and with it, Tenebris resigned as a Guardian and instead dedicated himself in a fanatic fascination into the arcane arts and history as a scholar. While his obsession in such scholarly fields, Tenebris would lose himself in his works, researching magic, alchemy and more. It wasn’t long before Tenebris was brought before the court of Gemini, noted for his service and his research he became one of her chief advisors alongside Xangor and the new commanding officer of the Guardians, Oculus.
In the time following the Nightwing Civil war, more and more Nightwing’s became disillusioned with the Queen’s rule and dissent was only growing, along with Nightflare still loose and reportedly once more lurking within Nightwing territory, the Queen’s lack of concern and detachment to the governing of the Nightwing Tribe became increasingly worrying. The Nightwings were restless, and factions began to form up calling for her abdication which she refused. To this end, Tenebris would follow in these intrigues, for the purpose to avoid another civil war he schemed with Oculus to replace the Queen. In a bloodless coup, Tenebris and Oculus would take the throne, with Oculus becoming Emperor while Tenebris would take the role of his first minister to maintain the daily runnings of the now Nightwing Empire and consolidate the new Regime.
Oculus would then go on to raise the morale of the Nightwing tribe by advancing into the Rogue territory inbetween the Nightwing territory and the Icewing territory, this lead to the first expansion of the now Nightwing Empire. Driving out the Rogue Dragons within the lands however caused somewhat of an incident with the rest of the world now turning their gaze to the Nightwings who were seen as a growing threat. During the Campaign Tenebris served as Regent within the Nightwing capital, maintaining the logistics of the Empire and then once the conquest was complete set to task consolidating the newly attained region. Tenebris would spend several months as Governor of the newly taken lands, managing new Nightwing Guardian outposts, maintaining a new supply on the slave trade and also serving as a commander in skirmishing with the local human forces and dealing with the more stubborn Rogue Dragons which didn’t flee. These Rogue Dragons were forced to assimilate into the Nightwing tribe depending on their heritage or forced to be a part of the now busterling slave economy.
Once consolidated Oculus would move to the new conquered territories to use as a staging ground for further conquest, to this end however the repercussions of the invasion began dawning as the rest of the Dragon Tribes were restless and were preparing against Nightwing expansion. To this end, Tenebris would depart to the Firewing Tribe as a diplomat representing the Nightwing Empire. This is during the time Tenebris spent meeting with Queen Kenina of the Firewings, the two would be equally matched in witt and found one another's company inlightening despite both being acutely aware that each one of them was a threat to the other. After several months within Firewing territory the fruits of Tenebris’ larbours became apparent with an alliance declared between the Firewings and the Nightwings. This would also result in the birth of Tenebris’s first illegitimate son Kasai Noctis, yet his birth would be kept secret.
Throughout the time Tenebris spent within Firewing territory, a large invasion of Humans lead by the Kingdom of Leostonnia and the now King Damitian son of the late King Mallobaude the mad rallied the several nations of man in a crusade of the Earthwing Territory, the Earthwings despite being taken by surprise fought bravely and fiercely, however the host of Damitian (Forever known afterwards as Damitian the Dragonbane) proved resourceful and driven. The hard fought war resulted in the destruction of much of the Earthwing Tribe, its survivors fleeing supposedly beneath the ground. This event however provided the pretext Oculus was waiting for.
Oculus the Nightwing Emperor was most pleased with the alliance Tenebris had formed with the Firewings and in the Human Crusade against the Earthwings he found the grounds to expand the Nightwing Empire through conquest once more, utilising the Firewings he bolstered the numbers of his forces and intended to conquer the now former Earthwing territory. The war what followed not much need be said, with the war weary Humans exhausted and strained following their battle against the Earthwings, the combined might of the Nightwing and Firewing forces decimated what remained. King Damitian had already departed back to Leostonnia, yet left behind several “Crusader Dukedoms” lead by the former commanders of his host, these newly appointed Dukes and their forces provided little resistance to the colossal strength of united Draconian forces.
Tenebris himself took great delight in the destruction of the Human forces, and captured one of the newly appointed Dukes known as Tristan Wyrmscar, a distant cousin to the King. This newly made Dukedom’s seat of power having only recently beginning the process of building up a presence was little more than a motte and bailey fort, made up out of wooden palisades and ditches as for defence. It took no effort to crush the meager defences and once done, Tristan would be taken to Shadow’s Refuge upon the Ebonwing Isle, where Tenebris would keep him for years to come as a personal servant, rumoured to have endured much sadistic torture and be the centre of several cruel experiments before he was finally cast aside.
Following the Conquest negotiations to split the conquered land between the Firewings and Nightwings began, however there was distrust between Keninia and Oculus. This distrust only grew and it seemed to Tenebris that the alliance would soon break down. It soon became apparent however of the madness within Oculus, his thirst for power began blinding him from his senses and it was clear the Emperor believed he could beat the Firewings martial prowess with his own, and then proceed to conquer both the full previous Earthwing lands and the Firewing territories. It was in this that Tenebris had heard enough and seceding from the Empire with his followers set up upon the Ebonwing Isles, still continuing his negotiations with the Firewings and now the Earthwing survivors.
The departure of Tenebris from the court of the Empire drew his ire but as tensions rose between the Firewings and Nightwings, Tenebris and his followers now known as the Ebonwing’s after the isles they resided within were of little note to the grander scope as war once more loomed. It was in this that Tenebris began openly calling against the Emperor’s leadership and began a campaign of espionage to cause dissent within the ranks of the Nightwing Empire, and as Oculus now faced rebellion and a looming war with the Firewings did he openly call for Tenebris’s death. Assassins were apparently dispatched, but before Tenebris was slain, Oculus himself was assassinated, and with it came an interregnum within the Nightwings.
With Oculus having consolidating all power to himself following Tenebris’s departure from court, it was a simple matter for Tenebris to claim the throne of the Nightwings, with the support of Queen Keninia acknowledging Tenebris as the new sovereign of the Nightwing’s, Tenebris was named Archon, and the Nightwing Empire the Nightwing Potentate. As negotiations started anew. The Survivors of the Earthwings came forth and in this new era a chance of prosperity presented itself, the Nightwing Potentate was fragile and frail, with Tenebris needing to consolidate his own power and bring his influence over all the Nightwings an agreement was set upon. In a show of generosity the Firewings and Nightwings would return the ancestral lands of the Earthwings and as a whole the three tribes would form a new power within the world. The Twilight Imperium.
The Earthwing King Baldirak would sit as the figurehead of this new Imperium as a gesture of good will to the Earthwings who still needed to recover from their almost extinction, to be mated with Keninia as his Queen while Tenebris as Vice Roy of the Imperium who could focus to returning the now client state of the Nightwing Potentate within the Imperium to prosperity and begin a new age of enlightenment. The Imperium would thrive in this environment, and as it did so did the Potentate, with minimal oversight due to the accords within the Imperium giving the Potentate the status of client state it was given the freedom to continue its practise of slavery and own laws. It should be noted Nightflare herself was finally brought before Tenebris and the two came to an understanding, where the former creature of chaos and insanity herself would pledge fealty to the Archon.
It was during this time as well that the Archon would come across a dying Astral, the God of Moon and Stars, he would take one of her children, the hatchling Celestia to raise as his own as a means to ensure Celestia’s upbringing to mantle her mother as a patron of the Nightwing Potentate. While Celestia would spend many years under the Archon, it would become apparent that Astral in her dying moments had survived through what could only be described as the limitless cosmic powers of the gods by residing within the subconscious of Celestia’s mind. When her strength was renewed Astral once more took control, transforming Celestia’s body into her own. Such an act destroyed the spirit of Tenebris who had raised the young hatchling as his own, yet Astral would remain with the memories of Celestia and given that she had no recognition of her original father would remember everything Tenebris did for Celestia and in such acknowledgement accepted Tenebris as her own adoptive father. While Tenebris accepted and became known as the Father of the Moon and Stars, he would forever hold a silent grudge that the daughter he had was slain as Astral once more came to the fore and believing the Dragon what was Celestia is now nothing more than a fragment of the Gods subconsciousness.
Flourishing and prospering under the Imperium the Nightwing potentate under Tenebris began renewal, gone was the militaristic focus Oculus has implemented and in its stead the arts and sciences became paramount. It was not to last however as all things in time wax and wane, the Monster Scourge broke through into the world, and the lands were rampant with despair. Tenebris himself would be within the newly created Imperium’s capital when the Monsters struck and if not for Baldirak, Tenebris would of been slain. First Tenebris’ guards were brought down in the fray, along with his advisors the Chief Apothecary of the Nightwings and the High Inquisitor, after the fall of the Capital Tenebris would forever carry the wounds of such a defeat, his hide scarred and mutilated, while his right forelimb would limp without considerable effort.
The onslaught did not end there however, while the triarchy of the Imperium, Baldirak, Keninia and Tenebris saw to their own tribes protection the Nightwing’s own Capital City would fall in siege. Wounded and beaten, Tenebris rallied the survivors in a mass exodus to the Ebonwing Isles, were for almost a year the Archon would fall to a brooding depression while maintaining the dwindling numbers of his kin. Only recently has Tenebris once more come to the fore, rallying the remaining Nightwings under a promise to rise the Potentate and the Imperium as a hole from the ashes, to reclaim their rightful place in the world once more.
A look at one of Tenebris's Publications as a Scholar
"Destiny isn't a matter of chance, its a matter of choice. Only we can claim our Destiny when the path opens" ~ Tenebris lamenting.
"Oftentimes in reality, the realists are in the position of the antihero. Neither those on the side of good, nor the side of bad really trust them, as their truth is universal." ~ Tenebris, Archon of the Ebonwing Potentate.
- Archon of the Nightwings
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