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The ruins stretched on as far as the eye could see. A once mighty city that had been brought low some time ago. Broken buildings lay alongside shattered streets and fallen towers. Plants and bushes grew wild and thick among the ruins. Bits of snow still also clung to ground in the shadows, although most it had long since melted in the sunlight. The air here was heavy and cold though, eerily so.

It was also silent. There was no twittering birdsong or other animal sounds. There was no hint of human activity either. Although some buildings looked intact, there was no laughter or clatter of industry. All was unnaturally silent.

Then, a sound like a mighty wind echoing through a canyon reverberated through the ruins, blowing swirls of dust and rustling the leaves of the scraggly trees growing through the stone, as it bellowed out from the remains of a fort-like building near the center of the city. There, a huge gaping hole had been torn though one of its thick stone walls that was large enough for an ogre to walk through.

Only a little light from the dim sun up in the sky managed to find its way inside the building, so it was dark and shadowy within. However, as another rasping breath echoed out, there was movement from inside as something massive stirred.

A single eye flickered open in the darkness. The size of a human head, it glowed as it reflected the remnants of light from outside. Lethargically, the slited pupil at the center of the eye swerved to take in its surroundings as if the creature it belonged to had just woken from a long sleep.

Rubble began to shift and clatter as the beast rose to its feet, and there was a flash of grey scales as they caught the light. The massive drake growled loudly enough for the air to tremble as it stepped outside into the ruins of the once grand city. Rows of jagged crystals ran down its back, marking it as a child of magic and something far more than most of its lesser kin. As the humongous beast surveyed its devastated domain, its belly rumbled like a storm that was about to break. Feeling the pain of hunger, it hissed in annoyance and unleashed a small burst of magic. Immediately, the crystals on its back glowed faintly and a wave of cold washed forth. The air crackled as all the moisture in it froze and white frost crept across all the nearby weathered stone. Its frustration vented, the great beast began to walk down the street in search of the sustenance it craved.

The world watched in terrified silence. For the greatest enemy of man, the true tyrant of the North, the Doom of Coroulis had awoken and it was time for him to hunt.

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About the author

ClearMadness

Bio: Not actually a goblin.

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