The Goddess Naya was once a mortal who lived in ancient times. The God of Secrets — Anurag — fell in love with her as he fell in love with countless human beings across time. He roamed the earth disguised as a human. Fed up with Humanity’s quick mortality, he decided that this time, he would keep Naya by welcoming her into Divinity.
Anurag convinced his fellow gods that it was time that Adama — our planet — experienced Magic. To make this happen, one of them needs to govern it. None of them wanted to take up the immense responsibility for such a great power given to mortals. Anurag expected the response, and so he suggested a new god be appointed.
The gods didn’t much care for that new god and placed the responsibility to appoint them with Anurag. And so, Anurag chose Naya and bestowed upon her Divinity.
Naya accepted the responsibility and gave Adama the gift of magic. As Magic was born, so did the Dragons. Creatures of pure, raw magic. Naya’s offspring.
Millennia passed, and magic sped up Humanity’s progress and expansion. The gods frowned upon Humanity’s use of magic and decided to lessen their numbers. The task to device a magical disease that will end the lives of many humans and fast fell upon Naya’s head. But Naya was once mortal. She was once one of them and would never accept such a task.
Naya was prepared to die for her insolence against the other gods. She had a plan. Anurag still loved her, and she still played the part of his lover, even though she didn’t really. She told the gods she needs some time to devise a truly horrible disease, and the gods left her in peace, returning to their divine planes, machinations, and schemes.
Naya knew the only way to save Humanity was if a new god opposed them. She couldn’t do it on her own. But her children — the dragons — they might succeed where she would inevitably fail. Divinity was hers to give just the same as any other god.
She descended into the mortal realm and went to meet the leader of her children — Red Cornelius. She explained to him the entire situation and what humanity faced should she fail.
She then gave him Divine Essence that would ascend him to godhood and a divine realm of his own making — one where he prohibited the entrance of the old gods. The birth of a new god is such a powerful event that Naya knew her deed would be discovered immediately. So, she asked Cornelius to begin Ascending only after she left. Naya also made him promise her that as a god, he would take out the old gods and govern this universe better than they ever did.
The old gods chose Anurag as the best candidate to track down the rogue goddess. Little did they know his love for her was his weakness. A weakness he thought she would share. He killed two mortals mid-ascension and realized only when he faced Naya that Cornelius has been reborn as a god. He still didn’t give up on Naya. He wanted her to return to the fold and fix the mistake she made together with him.
Naya used his love for her to get close. When they hugged, she thanked him for doing what he did for her. When he asked why she was thanking him, she ignited the entirety of her Divine Essence instantaneously, killing them both and sending them to the Astral Plane where slain gods wait for their followers to die entirely before disappearing from the universe.
When Naya disappeared from the divine and mortal realms, Magic failed throughout the universe. Aside from Cornelius, who was now protected by his divinity, Every creature connected or made by Naya’s magic went insane.
That includes Cornelius’s loved ones. Cornelius quickly created his own source of magic and allowed his fellow dragons to connect to it. He missed many who killed themselves and others, but he did manage to join a few of them to the new source of magic. The Dragons survived but were walloped.
Cornelious witnessed many humans coming of age and discovering their connection to a magic source that didn’t exist and going insane. The old gods decided to remove themselves from the conflict, and each went to fortify themselves in their realms. Knowing Cornelius would want to come for them.
Cornelious couldn’t fight them as the entrance to their divine realms was barred from him. Instead, he decided to take out their followers. A god can only exist when they have followers.
And so, The Dragon Empire was born. Cornelious tasked us with expanding the borders to anywhere the old gods held sway. This task also saved many magic users as those who were born inside the empire’s borders — whether its subjects or not — are connected to Cornelious’s magic instead of Naya’s.
This state is where we are today, many millennia after the events. Cornelious no longer walks among us, only guiding us from above, but the empire’s task remains. Expand to cover more ground and save magic users from the old gods’ chaotic magic source.
Naya sacrificed herself for us. We will never forget that she was the one that made The Dragon Empire possible. We honor her today.
This piece was originally published in The Dragon Empire Post, a newspaper that exists inside the fictional world of The Dragon Empire and reports daily events about the world. if you would like to learn more, please subscribe to the substack page. It’s free.