VEIL OF THE DRAGON (SYNOPSIS)

The first installment of the Prophecy of the Evarun fantasy epic.

Within his tower above the ruins of the fortified wall known as the Line, that he and the
other Servian Lords had failed to defend, Ras Dumas waits for the Dragon of legend
to return, and seeks redemption by sending his servant Michalas with a warning to the
exiles that he had once betrayed.
And as the dark plague of the Dragons Sleep settles across the Pale, Chaelus, Roan
Lord of the House of Oak is raised from the dead by a child named Al-Aaron.  
With the funeral mark of the Dragon’s Crown upon his brow and his kingdom
shattered, Chaelus is forced to hide, hunted by the minions of the Dragon whose
poison still flows within him.  His only hope to defeat it and gain his kingdom back rests
within the boy who saved him, the heretical order of knights to which the child belongs,
and the secret about him which they alone possess.
In the village of Roan Waith, already succumbed to the Dragon’s Sleep, they learn of
the death of the Servian Lords a fortnight before.  It is there that the Dragon, revealed
as Chaelus’ own advisor Magus, attacks them leading undead soldiers called
Remnants bearing the legion arms of the Theocracy.  Chaelus falls, but recovers to
find Al-Aaron, wounded, his gossamer bound sword aglow with blue fire, driving the
Dragon away.
Al-Aaron reveals to Chaelus that the Dragon covets him above all others, to replace
his father Malius in fulfillment of the Dragon’s own dark prophecy.  The first of the
twelve Servian Lords, Malius had been seduced by the dragon and succumbed to
madness.  But the Dragon feeds off of the living and his death at Chaelus’ hands had
saved him.
At the edge of Sanseveria, where the Servian exiles await the return of the Giver, the
prophet who led the people of the Pale against the Dragon a century before, Chaelus
and Al-Aaron are attacked again by the Dragon and its Remnants.  Once more
Chaelus is defeated and saved by Al-Aaron.  But it is at a cost and Al-Aaron succumbs
to his wound.
Bearing the unconscious Al-Aaron, Chaelus continues in search of the Servian exiles,
and is confronted by the Dragon a third time, alone and undisguised.  Angels appear
as well.  But uttering words of prophecy, they shatter Chaelus sword, leaving him
defenseless, and abandon him to the Dragon’s ire.
Deep within the sewers beneath Ras Dumas’ tower, Michalas has returned from his
master’s errand.  He hides from the Dragon which claimed his master, and waits for the
return of the Angels who guide him.
Within Sanseveria, in the Garden of Rua, the Mother, spiritual head of the Servian
order, denies the request of Al-Mariam, a Servian knight, for leave in quest of her
brother, who was taken into slavery by Ras Dumas two years before.
Chaelus awakens to find his sword whole, his loss to the Dragon more vision then real
and the Servian exiles waiting expectantly for him.  Hunted for the death of the Servian
Lords, they are few in number.  Forbidden by their oath to shed the blood of man, they
cannot hope to defend themselves against it.  But even still, among them Chaelus
finds himself victim to the machinations of both men and prophecy, even those of one
who raised him, and who believes him to be the Giver returned.
Rejecting their prophecy, Chaelus asks the Servian exiles for their help in finding the
Dragon.  To this the Mother agrees, revealing a message received from Ras Dumas a
fortnight before.  It is a single name: Magedos, the place where the Giver fell, and
where at the hand of Malius, Chaelus’ father and first of the twelve Servian Lords, the
Dragon was last defeated.  
Four Servian knights are sent to guide Chaelus.  Al-Aaron, borne by zeal but not yet
recovered from his wound, Al-Mariam, in search only of the brother she has lost, Al-
Thinneas, counsel to the Mother and patriarch among the order, and Al-Hoanar,
mercenary turned knight, sent as a counter to the Mother’s voice.  Chaelus is unsure
which of them, if any, he can trust.
By their first encampment, Chaelus is already betrayed.  He is ambushed by Khaalish
barbarians from the east, waiting for his passage.  As Chaelus rises against them, the
spirit of the Giver appears and possesses him.  Speaking words of prophecy that are
not his own, Chaelus drops his sword and lays hands upon the Khaalish warrior,
before him.
Al-Aaron, witnessing the ambush, and unaware of Chaelus’ transfiguration, sacrifices
his oath in order to defend him and takes the life of one of the Khaalish.  The
remaining Servians arrive to find the Khaalish fled, a verse of their prophecy fulfilled,
and one of their own already fallen.
As they continue to Magedos, Chaelus, along with the Servian knights, each struggle
with the spirit of prophecy that now possesses him, while Al-Aaron weakens beneath
the Dragon’s Sleep that reawakens within him.
In the shadow of the Line, before the valley of Magedos, a Khaalish horde gathers in
response to the Dragon’s call.  Avoiding them, Chaelus and the Servians pass through
the ruins beneath Ras Dumas’ tower.  They find Michalas, Mariam’s brother, waiting for
them, a Dragons Crown marked in ivory upon his brow.
Al-Mariam believes her brother to be a ghost until he flees.  She only catches up with
him in sight of the Khaalish encampment and amidst a hail of arrows.  Mariam pulls him
to safety, but with no hope of their escape.  Chaelus rescues them like a vision, his
body and the Khaalish encampment consumed by holy fire.
Amidst Chaelus and the Servian’s own reticence and that of their prophecy, Michalas
leads them deep into the heart of evil beneath Ras Dumas’ tower, a vaulted cavern
where the still living victims of the Dragons Sleep await as Chaelus once had,
entombed while the Dragon feeds off of their suffering.
As Chaelus raises the first, the Dragon appears and runs Al-Aaron through with its
sword.  The Dragon offers Chaelus the choice to save Al-Aaron or follow it, and
passes through a portal, leaving a legion of its Remnants behind.  From the passage
through which they had come, the Khaalish horde arrives and from the surrounding
shadows, the eleven Fallen Servian Lords rise up.  
Chaelus begins to use the Giver’s power to save Al-Aaron, who hovers near death.  
But he is stayed by Al-Thinneas who reminds him of why he has come.  Leaving the
Servian Knights in defense of those he would save, Chaelus pursues Magus alone.  
He is transported beyond the Line, to the valley of Magedos.  There the Giver shows
him the truth of his father’s fall, but then leaves him to the Dragon which tempts him
three times.  
Beneath Dumas’s tower, the Fallen Servian Lords turn in surprise to the Khaalish
horde.  The Khaalish, converted by the Giver’s flame, have come to help him.  They
attack the Fallen Lords and the Remnant Legion but are consumed upon them.  Held
by the dead stare of Ras Dumas, Michalas steps away from those who would protect
him, and unleashes the power of the Angels that guide him.   
Having resisted its offerings, Chaelus does battle with the Dragon at last.  But with
every gain Chaelus meets upon the Dragon comes a still greater fall, until at last all
hope of his victory is lost.  It is as Chaelus accepts his own defeat, that the power of
the Dragon yields and the strength of the Giver returns, to save him and defeat the
Dragon.
Chaelus awakens in the Garden of Rua to find the Servians in vigil over him.  But the
Prophecy which claims him is unfulfilled.  The Dragon’s crown borne upon his and
Michalas’ brow, has changed, and what each of them must learn only the other can
share.  The Dragon, though defeated, still gathers in the Theocracy to the east, where
its hold on the heart of man is strong.
Concept Sketch for Cover of Veil of the Dragon
TOM BARCZAK
PROPHECY OF THE EVARUN
VEIL OF THE DRAGON