75 years ago…
Soon after the War of the Lance, some of the dragonarmies led by the dragon highlords either dispersed or were crushed. The black dragonarmy, led by Highmaster Cadrio, met such a fate in Northern Ergoth after a desperate attempt to conquer the northern lands of Ansalon. Dragons fell from the sky that day, and their dragonriders were lost to the chaos of battle, turning to dust that both history and time forgot.
An adult black dragon, called Nilth by her dragonrider, turned against her decimated army by killing her rider and sheltering the one thing that was at the forefront of her mind—her whelp. Knowing that the end was coming for the black dragonarmy, Nilth scooped her whelp in her arms—a newly born male— and flew south to hide him amidst the primeval forests in the Khalkist Mountains.
There, Nilth found the ancient keep of Lord Galan, fallen cleric of Kiri Jolith. The death knight’s keep was already becoming part of the forest, and the death knight hadn’t been heard of in decades. The pristine lake nestled in the steep valley just below the keep would make a perfect home, and the sheer cliff face that the keep was built into would clearly help provide seclusion for her whelp to grow and become strong. But first, the lake.
Nilth taught her whelp the power of decay, the necessity to control the life of plants and animals and glory in their death. The energies of death pervaded her teachings, and in time, the lake began to grow black, its waters polluted by the foulness of decay and the stench of evil.
One day, while Nilth tortured a gnome who was passing along the lakeshore as a lesson to her whelp, Lord Galan returned. The death knight avoided his ruin of a keep altogether, and strode straight to the water’s edge, watching Nilth pluck out the eyes of the gnome and feed them with sickening glee to her son as the gnome screamed in horror and pain, the screams dying on the fetid bare branches of trees that once grew lush and green on the lake’s edge.
“Dragon,” the death knight said. “Come.” The death knight barely raised his voice, but malice and cruelty against all life carried it across the corrupted waters. Nilth, looking at the glee in her son’s eyes as she slowly fed the gnome to her son, spread her great black wings and launched from her tortures towards the death knight. Opening her maw, Nilth gave a shriek as she sped towards him across the black waters, intending to kill the knight. Lord Galan simply raised his hand, palm toward her.
Nilth quivered. Halted in mid-air, she felt the dying of her conscience as the death knight’s control settled over her. “You will assist me, dragon. Kneel,” Lord Galan commanded. With her last vestige of free thought, Nilth looked toward her son finishing the gnome on the far shore.
“My son?” Nilth asked.
“He will be able to care for himself,” Lord Galan uttered. “You are needed. Come.” Nilth alighted on the shore next to the death knight, curling her wings close to her side to allow him onto the razor sharp ridges of bone that protruded from her black scales. Those ridges of bone would not hurt him.
Lord Galan leapt onto Nilth in two powerful leaps. Spreading her wings, Nilth looked again at her son as she flew north, commanded by Lord Galan’s powerful suggestion. The young male dragon—Drilthistyx—slurped the remains of the gnome as he watched his mother disappear over the cliff that rose above the ancient keep.