Story:Karrel the Ghorax Slayer
Karrel the Ghorax Slayer is the origin story of King Rustiagon Karrel. Note that this story takes place before the time the Dhragolon adopted a secular lifestyle. Thus, the Dhragolon Federal Monarchy was a very different place before the time of the Galactic Senate.
Location: Outer Ghoraxlands, Inner Perseus Reach
King Rustiagon Reckar swerved his Dragon Cruiser through laser fire just outside a nearby star system as he headed for the Galactic Core. A fleet of Ghorax warships pursued him firing waves of lasers and torpedos. Reckar maneuvered the Dragon Cruiser dodging all of the laser blasts. Then, they stopped, and lasers and torpedoes no longer flashed about. On the front panel on the interface on Reckar's ship, a radar icon appeared and next to it in Yallvus Talk displayed the text, "Incoming transmission from the Ghorax Empire." Not wanting to hear what they wanted to say, he sighed and reluctantly touched the icon with his finger. Before him popped out a small screen showing an image of the cyborg orange Ghorax ranting in their language of robotic static. Next to the image, text gradually appeared as a result of the universal translator's deciphering. Reckar read the translation from the angry Ghorax.
"Once again, you Dhragolon enter Ghorax domain. If you are willing to commit suicide, we would be happy to assist. Because you appear here, we assume you want to die. We shall continue to fire so long as you are in here. Make your choice," the Ghorax said.
Being the bold, and sometimes reckless monarch Reckar was, he replied, "I did not comprehend your message for I find your simple language amusing. I'm afraid I'm losing your signal." He hung up on the Ghorax's transmission and proceeded through the dangerous Ghoraxlands. The enraged Ghorax and his fleet followed. The auto-turret on the Dragon Cruiser targeted one of the smaller warships and fired a laser taking it out in one hit.
Soon enough after minutes of dodging laser fire and taking out some warships, a pink, supermassive singularity was visible emitting intense radiation. Reckar got closer and closer. This was the Galactic Core, a mysterious location that every alien race has tried to enter. Yet, the Ghorax have always stopped all from approaching except now. Reckar pressed some buttons on the interface activating the wormhole key and passed straight into the singularity's event horizon. The wormhole key would protect his ship from being crushed by the intense gravity. Then came the moment. The Dragon Cruiser entered the very center of the singularity. The second after, the intense pink and white glows of the Galactic Core changed to a black void with colorful sine waves whirling about. No doubt, this was not normal space.
A voice echoed in Reckar's head in another language, yet he somehow was able to understand it. "Greetings, King Rustiagon Reckar," the voice said. "You are the first of your kind to ever enter the Nexus of the Omniverse. Where is this exactly? Well, your universe is one of many worlds. Your creative efforts have not gone unnoticed as they have spilled into these other, unseen worlds, just as yours has been enriched by them. But you may be wondering, who is this voice that you hear in your head? Look beyond the horizon."
Reckar starred straight out the front window to see a silver saucer with a megaphone on top of its head. The voice continued, "I am Job. The rest of us who are aboard this ship are the last of our kind. We are the last Arckasians, a species said to be the greatest in all universes said to have allowed other sentient beings to arise merely from our imaginations. The Ghorax's ancestors had forced us out of our home planet. We managed to escape their attacks, but our resources were dwindling. We were forced to this dimension where life is eternal. At the same time, we have discovered a weakness to the Ghorax, a tool beyond any known technology: the Seed of Life. Within seconds, one use can transform a barren rock to a lush world which can be used to destroy the Ghorax. I shall entrust you with 42 uses. Use it wisely for I will not give your people any more than 42 for our resources are finite." A strange machine with the insignia of a plus sign surrounded by electrons appeared on the ship. "I understand your concerns for us and you may think the Ghorax to be evil for committing genocide against us, but they have yet to violate any of your Commandments. I wish that you only use this tool as a last resort. Your time here is up. You must go now. I shall await the arrival of the next people." Reckar turned the Dragon Cruiser around and headed out of the singularity and set a course to the outpost colony, Raycaon.
Location: Raycaon, Cledrosia, Core Cluster
The Dragon Cruiser approached the red forest planet of Raycaon and landed on a platform in the colony surrounded by oceans of Dhragolon. The crowds cheered, "Hail King Rustiagon Reckar!" The king stepped out of the ship and approached a podium with a microphone. He recounted his recent tale. At the end of his speech, he spotted his son in the audience who was a preteen. Reckar stepped down from the podium and into the crowd. His son came running to him in joy.
"Father, it strikes awe into me how you maneuvered past those Ghorax warships!" Reckar's son said.
"Yes, Karrel. My experience was indeed amazing," Reckar replied. They walked through the crowds and eventually entered a park which was much quieter. They stood in front of a statue of Altus Malick, the first Dhragolon king in history.
Karrel continued excitedly, "I wish to follow in your footsteps when I inherit the crown. I can no longer wait to pilot the Dragon Cruiser and destroy Ghorax warships."
"Keep in mind that the work of a king is quite dangerous especially how this planet is within the perimeter of the Galactic Core. The Ghorax have constantly invaded. Have no reason to forget the Royal Exam. Have you been preparing?"
"Yes, Father. I am able to name the Rustiagon kings in order. Dralla, Gelda, Parlo, Churri, Humar, Yogan, Golar, and then you."
"It appears you have forgotten Aggan. You must not make simple mistakes as during your time as king, it can be a matter between life and death."
"I apologize, Father."
"Do not worry. Just be sure that you continue your studies throughout the years of your childhood. Answering 950 out of 1000 questions is difficult even for an average Philosopher. Do not forget the others including the agility course, piloting, and commando exams," Reckar said placing his hand on Karrel's shoulder. "Young Karrel, do you wish to come aboard the Dragon Cruiser? I have reason to show you the Seed of Life. We must truly see what the power of Krayhan is really like."
"I accept your offer. I am excited to see it. Let us proceed!" Karrel said. Reckar walked back to the Dragon Cruiser and his son followed. After they got on the Dragon Cruiser, Reckar took the controls while Karrel sat in the copilot's seat. It flew off exiting the colony and left the planet. Karrel looked out the window staring at the ominous red nebula in the distance. Reckar entered the Atlas System in front of a purple gas giant with a large grey moon in orbit called Purkrari II.
"Karrel, that moon looks like a suitable target."
"Certainly, may I use the Seed of Life?"
"You have my permission. Simply press the red button." Reckar said pointing at the small Seed of Life device. Karrel eagerly pressed the button and the ship fired a green ball of energy at the dull, grey moon. Within seconds, a shockwave covered the planet turning it green and filling all of the valleys with water. Both were in awe at the flourishing world Karrel just created.
Location: Xorgraria, Xorg, Restricted Cluster
The landscape of the Ghorax homeworld was menacing and hostile. The carbon monoxide-chlorine atmosphere made it deadly to any ordinary life form with molten lava covering most of the planet. The land was entirely red rocks. This alone represented the feared stature of the Ghorax. The nearby city had dark green, spiked arched buildings and within the tallest structure was Lord Norpobsy. He sat in throne with arched spikes extending two stories above him. Soon, a hologram appeared on a pedestal only a few meters in front of him. The hologram was of Ghorax Admiral Rabka.
"Urgent message: The Dhragolon have reached the Galactic Core and obtained the Seed of Life."
Lord Norpobsy stood up in anger, "It was a mistake to spare Rustiagon Golar let alone Rustiagon Reckar. If other races retrieve the Seed of Life as well, it could threaten the continuity of our kind."
"I have failed you, my lord. What is the logical move to counter this mishap?"
"Tracking down the Dragon Cruiser is top priority. It is important that we eliminate Rustiagon Reckar and the Seed of Life. We may even have to eliminate his only son. We must also finish Project:Reaper if we are going to force the Dhragolon out of the Core Cluster. You must ensure your task is completed within twenty-two galactic standard years."
"My lord, do you find it logical to take the life of a child?"
"You forget who we are by saying that! Our mission is to destroy any with the Seed of Life and we must do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal. We must collapse empires entirely if necessary and make sure that no one else obtains this weapon. Do you understand why we have an empire surrounding the Galactic Core? We built it to stop others from meeting with Job."
"Understood, my lord. Our security drones have already detected the Dragon Cruiser's location in the Atlas System. We will demonstrate our new Sappers on them. Admiral Rabka signing off." The hologram disappeared. Lord Norpobsy sat back in his chair grasping the armrests.
"These Dhragolon are indeed the first mortals to be able to create life from nothingness. However, we shall reduce them to nothingness. That supposed Seed of Life is a Seed of Death."
Location: Atlas System, Orbit of Purkrari II
"I am quite amazed!" Karrel said.
Reckar thought: Is having the power of Krayhan right to have? Yes, it certainly is. Krayhan allows us to choose our destinies. Reckar begun turning the ship around and said, "That new planet seems like a suitable colony. I shall turn around to obtain colonial supplies." The ship took off away from the gas giant and headed for the colony of Raycaon. Suddenly the panel flashed with the radar icon. Incoming transmission from the Ghorax Empire. Karrel got excited as Reckar pressed the radar icon, showing an image of the Ghorax Admiral Rabka.
"Impressive! An actual living Ghorax!" Karrel said.
"Stay quiet, Karrel. It is my duty as a king to talk to these people," Reckar said.
Rabka replied, "It was unwise to bring your only child aboard, Reckar. Once I blow your ship to space dust, your kingdom will collapse having no heir." Before Reckar could responded, the Ghorax continued, "Don't try anything. You are trapped. We have warships stationed all around this system's perimeter. Farewell, Dhragolon and your kingdom." The admiral turned to the pilot of the warships, "Prepare to fire all weapons! Engage until the enemy is destroyed!" The transmission closed.
"What is your strategy to elude the enemy?" Karrel asked.
"I do not know. I am unsure of my next move," Reckar replied.
"Karrel get down! Incoming missiles!" Karrel scurried under a table as the ship began to rock wildly from the impacting torpedoes. The alarms wailed, the lights shut off, and a warning message flashed,
"Electron Engines are offline. Nearest habitable planet: Odalegnoc, Atlas System." Reckar did all he could to steer his way to the nearby icy planet of Odalegnoc using only the short-range engines. The missile defense laser destroyed some of the torpedoes, but it was no good. He pressed the fire button in attempt to launch a mega proton missile at the warship, but instead another notice appeared. "Energy reserves are too low. 99% power automatically diverted to shields."
Reckar exclaimed, "How in the name of Krayhan am I low on energy?! Computer. Analysis on low energy supply."
"Analyzing...Solution: Enemy fire has sapped energy supplies. If the ship continues to get hit, there will not be enough power for even the shields. Currently offline: Electron Engines, Lights, Facilities, Autopilot, All weapons except Missile Defense Laser." When did the Ghorax obtain these new weapons? They must have been developing various technologies in order to crush the kingdom.
After propelling his way through continuous bombardments of energy draining Sappers, the Dragon Cruiser was in orbit of the ice planet Odalegnoc. Reckar turned to face his son who was still under the table.
"Son, I request that you get the Seed of Life and get to the escape pods," Reckar said.
"Father, what about you?"
"The autopilot is offline. I must stay here to defend the missiles from hitting you."
"Just proceed!" Reckar shouted. Karrel picked up the Seed of Life which was close to where Reckar was standing and dashed to the port side of the ship. He jumped into the escape pod which automatically launched and dropped twoards the ice planet. From the escape pod's window, Karrel could see the badly damaged Dragon Cruiser surrounded by Ghorax warships as incoming missiles came towards the pod. The Dragon Cruiser fired a laser and destroyed the missiles.
Back on the ship, Reckar said, "Computer, divert all power to mega proton missiles!"
"Warning! If you divert all power to the missiles-"
"Yes, I am aware the shields will go down. Divert the power to the missiles."
"As you wish Your Highness." The shields turned off and the mega proton missiles were back online. Reckar pressed the mega proton missiles, targeting each of the warships' cannons.
Inside the Admiral's warship, the pilot said, "Warning: Enemy's mega proton missiles directed at our cannons."
The Admiral replied, "Fire everything! Every single missile! We have plenty back home."
Reckar's missiles slammed straight into the cannons rendering the Ghorax unable to fire. Just before, however, each of the ship fired all of their missiles heading straight at the Dragon Cruiser. Reckar immediately picked up an orb-shaped Telepathic Amplifier and grasped it with both hands. He closed his eyes and focused his mind, establishing a telepathic link with his son.
"Son, I request one last favor. Become the king of the Dhragolon. Excel in your studies. Do whatever it takes punish the Ghorax for this crime." Then, Karrel lost connection. He looked up to see the Dragon Cruiser burst into space dust as impotent Ghorax ships surrounded it. Tears began slipping from his eyes. The one who inspired him to work to become king was gone. His mentor and teacher was gone. His very own father was gone.
Inside the Ghorax Admiral's warship, the pilot told the admiral, "The cannons have been disabled in our entire fleet, but the main target has been destroyed."
Admiral Rabka replied, "Excellent, what about the escape pod?"
"The escape pod is intact. The Seed of Life and one organic is aboard. We are unable to dispose of it."
"That is of no concern. The Dhragolon are not well-adapted to the cold, especially on Odalegnoc where dangerous Arkleons roam. Plus, the Seed of Life will get buried under the snow never to be found by any being. Chances of such events: 97%." The Admiral put up a transmission to the remaining fleet. "Mission Accomplished. Report back to Base 726." The weakened Ghorax fleet turned around and headed back to Xorgraria.
Location: Odalegnoc, Atlas System, Core Cluster
The escape pod came down with flames surrounding it as it entered the planet's atmosphere. As it got closer to the surface, Karrel realized that the pod was sliding down a mountain. It slid and jumped over bumps and shook wildly. Then it finally slid over the top of a frozen lake. It had come to a halt. Karrel reached for a Telepathic Amplifier, but then he heard a crack. The escape pod was too heavy to be on top of the ice. Then the ice broke, the escape pod tilted downward slamming against an underwater pointed rock putting a hole in the pod; it began filling up with ice-cold water. The Telepathic Amplifier rolled out of Karrel's reach, so he had no choice but to climb out of the escape pod. As he was climbing he grabbed the Seed of Life, and he found himself standing atop the frozen lake as the escape pod sunk into the frozen waters.
Karrel was standing in the midst of the white void of a blizzard. His reptilian skin shivered in the cold; he needed to find shelter. He propped the Seed of Life on his back and tried to focus. He put his hands together and knelt in prayer. He said, "Lord Krayhan, please give me a sign. I must obey my father's will if I am ever to avenge him." Karrel waited and waited. Then, a strange thought entered his head. Something told him he needed to head to the northeast. Karrel proceeded in that direction as he attempted to endure the frostbitten air.
While wandering amidst the blizzard, he noticed something buried under the snow. With his bare hands, he dug into it. The snow on his hands only made him colder. After sifting through piles of snow, he pulled out the buried object: a right hand energy claw. At last, perhaps a weapon could be of use; he could hunt. He slid the energy claw on his hand and continued wandering northeast. However, the metal covering the claw did not warm his hand any bit.
After a while, the blizzard became les intense, and he spotted an Arkleon tiger eating a dead Gamna. If Karrel could somehow get the Gamna's white fur coat, he needed to get it without disturbing the Arkleon, which was still eating it. Karrel remembered learning in his science class that Arkleons were willing to kill anything that comes near their meals. He looked at his left arm. Some of his blue scales began peeling off from the cold. He needed to get the Gamna fur fast!
Karrel creeped closer to the Gamna, but the Arkleon turned to face him. It roared and dashed towards him, leapt up and pinned him down. The Arkleon's white visage with three razor sharp fangs was up to his face. It opened its mouth to attempt to chomp at Karrel as he pushed upward with his arm as much as he could. Realizing it could not easily take a bite out of its prey, the Arkleon whipped its dagger-like tail at Karrel's face. Karrel just barely moved his head to the right to dodge it. Then, he activated his energy claw and drove it into the Arkleon's side causing the predator to collapse.
Karrel pushed the dead Arkleon off of him and approached the dead Gamna. Using his energy claw, he skinned it and put the fur about himself. The thick skin and fur instantly made him warm. However, he was still not safe. No doubt there had to be more hungry Arkleons out there.
As he continued northeast, he spotted a charging Arkleon in the distance. It was coming right at him. To the right of it, he spotted a mound of snow which began shifting about. Instantly, the Arkleon sensed danger and fled. As the snow moved more, it stood up on four muscular 100-foot tall legs. A pair of enormous tusks and horn along with a menacing gaze and a mouth of dagger-like teeth became visible. It let out a roar that shook the ground causing an avalanche on a nearby mountain. It was the rare, legendary Ice Behemoth, the top predator on Odalegnoc, and it had an appetite for anything that moved.
The Ice Behemoth turned its enormous white-haired body and gazed upon Karrel striking fear into him. By simply walking, the Behemoth moved towards him as fast as he could sprint. Karrel, continueing to run northeast dashed as fast as he could through the snow fields as the Behemoth drew closer. Soon, Karrel became exhausted as he had never ran so fast in his life. Karrel tried to stay calm as the Ice Behemoth caught up to him letting out another avalanche-causing roar. The monster reached down with its gaping maw into the snow barely missing Karrel.
Karrel was too tired to run any further. The Ice Behemoth reached down again, but at the very moment before it reached Karrel, a pack of Arkleons had swarmed the Ice Behemoth's left hind leg. The Ice Behemoth attempted to shake them off and turned around to engage in battle. This was his chance to get away.
Karrel continued walking northeast leaving the Ice Behemoth and the pack of Arkleons to fight with each other. Then, he came across an ice cave in the side of a mountain. He crawled inside and was now safe from the blizzard. He was now standing in a cavern entirely made of both snow and blue transparent ice. He took the Seed of Life from his back and set it down attempting to activate it. Before he could, a voice sceamed in his head. "Forebear!" Ignoring it, Karrel tried to activate it again. This time, the voice said, "Using the Seed of Life on a planet with advanced life forms will replace all that life." This time, he heeded the warning remembering the commandment, "No Dhragolon shall ever destroy innocent life in the process of destroying evil."
As he looked around the icy cave, he spotted a figure on a wall. It was a frozen Dhragolon skeleton holding a metallic orb.
"A Telepathic Amplifier? Thank you, Krayhan, for guiding me. Bless the poor soul frozen within those walls." Karrel used his energy claw to dig into the ice and eventually grab the Telepathic Amplifier from the skeleton's hands. He had never used one before, but his father had given his will to him through one. He tried to remember what he learned in school. He need to hold it with both hands and concentrate his thoughts. Then he could communicate with a Scientist on Ucharpli and tell him to send an unmanned craft to pick him up.
He grasped the Telepathic Amplifier tightly and closed his eyes, picturing the jungles and forests of Ucharpli in his head. Then he imagined the city of Yallvus, and saw a group of scientists standing next to several unmanned crafts. Then, he established a link with one of the scientists and said, "Greetings, do you hear me? My name is Rustiagon Karrel. I am stranded on Odalegnoc, Atlas System, Core Cluster. My father was killed by the Ghorax." Karrel began thinking of his father who had valiantly saved him, losing focus and cutting off the link.
Fortunately, he got the message out though it might not have been clear enough for the scientists to see who he was. After waiting an hour in the shelter of the ice cave, a Dragon Transporter appeared in the snowy, white skies descending from the fog. Karrel stepped outside and stood under the Transporter as a tractor beam began to lift him up along with some snow on the ground. Eventually, Karrel and the Seed of Life were safe inside the ship as it took him to Ucharpli.
Location: Ucharpli, Muelia System, Malick Cluster
The ship arrived at the nightside of Ucharpli outside the city of Yallvus in a green meadow, dropping Karrel off in a tractor beam. The sky was moonless, and thousands of Dhragolon wearing robes and a hood were holding candles. All of them had gathered around a statue of him with his father as they bowed their heads mournfully. A Philosopher stood in front of the statue and began reciting an epitaph.
"King Rustiagon Reckar was a great man whose was killed in action. His son Karrel who also perished with him looked up to him and wished to follow in his footsteps. Do not fear. The Ghorax are not evil. They have not violated the Commandments yet. However, may Reckar and his son rest in peace; their spirits shall live in harmony with Krayhan. Their deaths have left us in a dark time as Karrel was the last heir for the Rustiagon family," the philosopher said. Karrel entered the crowd. Suddenly, everyone turned to face him in awe and surprise. The philosopher began speaking, "Karrel? You are still alive? How is this so?"
Karrel began to recount his experience. "Just before the Dragon Cruiser was destroyed, my father told me to get to the escape pod with the Seed of Life. He gave his own life to protect me." Karrel's sorrow turned to rage. "Those infernal monsters of Uszaroth murdered my father!" Everyone gasped at the word, "Uszaroth", which was the name of the demon who is credited with inventing evil. It was not quite a swear word, but it was never used lightly. "They were trying to cripple our kingdom and make us fall!"
The Philosopher tried to ease him. "Listen, Karrel, you must remember to respect the Ghorax's fighting spirit. If you are to become king, you must not let your emotions get in the way."
"I swear to avenge my father for this. I will find the Ghorax who gave the command to fire the missile that killed my father!"
"Karrel, you do not understand. Now that you are the next and last heir, you must study well for the exams. You must learn our philosophies well The entire kindgom is depending on you to lead us to the end of this war."
Karrel walked to the statue of his father and said, "I will study every last detail and do everything it takes to become King. I will not let this kingdom crumble because of me."
Location: Ucharpli, Muelia System, Malick Cluster
Karrel, now a young teenager, sat in his room with stacks of books as tall as him. He grabbed each one and reviewed everything he needed to study for. He read every holographic text word by word.
"So the Great Flood occurred in 22,000 BD isolated the Dhragolon across the world. Around that time, Ucharpli's core cooled forming rare gems such as rubies, diamonds and Dragonrock in the Sea of Diamonds...Raycaon is the closest planet to the Galactic Core that can support carbon-based life...Agengo is the planet with the richest deposit of purple spice...Jamzeze was born in the late tribal Era founding the religion of Jamzezism. Renya Aknar in the year 0 expanded on it founding Renyanism."
The time came after having reviewed the philosophies and histories of his race. He arrived at the Royal Academy and prepared to test. The exam proctor came to him.
"Welcome, Rustiagon Karrel. Have a seat," the proctor said. Karrel sat down in a chair. The room around him was quite spacious. Behind him was a bed and to his right was a refrigerator with Eletar meat and bottles of Charkan juice fresh from the Charkan trees in the jungles of the Tralgatar continent. Would the exam really take long enough for him to have to eat and sleep? The exam proctor continued, "This is the written portion of the Royal Exam testing your ability to understand the history and philosophies of the Dhragolon. You have as much time as you need to complete it. If necessary, you may eat from the refrigerator or rest in the bed. In order to pass the exam, you must answer 950 out of 1000 questions correctly. Are you ready to start?" Karrel was ready indeed. He replied, "Yes, Exam Proctor."
"Then you may begin. Good luck. The entire kingdom is depending on you to stabilize the monarchy." The Exam Proctor left the room and a holographic interface of the exam appeared in fron of Karrel displaying the first question.
"Question 1: According to a story in the Book of Krayhan, a Dhragolon gathered several of as many animals as he could find to save them from the Great Flood. Who was he?" This one was easy. Using a pen, Karrel wrote the name
"Nolara" into the hologram. He hit the "next" button displaying the next question. "Question 2: What did Rustiagon Reckar find at the Galactic Core?" A question about his own father. Remebering what dad told him 20 years ago, he answered, "He encountered Job who gave him 42 uses of the Seed of Life."
Karrel breezed along fairly quickly as many of the questions were common knowledge. He got up several times to take a bite of Eletar meat and even slept for a little bit. Then towards the end of the exam he came across a tough question: "Question 932: True or false. The Ghorax must be respected for their fighting spirit." His eyes widened in both sadness and anger. His arm began shaking.
"They killed my father. But the philosopher told me it was part of war and its in the Commandments. I should skip it." Karrel eventually reached the last question.
"Question 1000: What is the maximum velocity of an Ice Behemoth?" Karrel wrote "6 miles". A notice appeared on the exam. "You have 1 unanswered question. Please complete it before your score gets submitted." Karrel decided to take a rest before he answered the question he skipped.
About an hour later, he woke up, sat down in the chair and navigated to Question 932. He thought calmly and brainstormed. "If the Ghorax killed my father, doesn't that make them murderers? But the commandment about that says, 'No one shall kill another without good cause'. Good cause? Death in the battlefield is from a good cause, but this was my own father. I don't respect their fighting spirit. But they haven't violated the Commandments such as 'No one shall destroy innocent life,' or 'No world shall be destroyed before its declared apocalpyse.' What do I do?" After pondering, he concluded, "I must put aside my emotions and feelings. I need to answer logically. Even though they killed my father, it was necessary for them in their attempts to deefeat us. He was killed on the battlefield." A tear began slipping from his eyes. Then he recollected himself again. "They have not violated any major commandments. Just like that philosopher at the funeral said, 'The Ghorax's fighting spirit must be respected. It is in the Commandments.' Yes, that's right. There is the Commandment, 'the spirit of fighting of another race must be respected until that race violates the Commandments. I must answer 'true'." Reluctantly, Karrel wrote the word "true" on the hologram and selected the "Done" button.
"Please wait...Scoring exam," a message read. Then, displayed was the list of all 1000 questions each one with a green checkmark. "You have answered 1000 of 1000 questions correctly. Your psychological evaluation shows interest in Question 932." Karrel listened to what the exam had to say. "You were strong-willed enough to put aside your emotions for your father to answer this question correctly. However, it seems you only did so for that reason. But if you are capable of avoiding emotional compromise, you, Rustiagon Karrel, are fit for king." Shortly after, the exam proctor entered the room and said, "Well done, Karrel. You are the first king to answer every single question on the exam correctly. Certainly, future Dhragolon will remember this feat."
"Thank you," Karrel replied.
"Now comes the next portion of the exam: the twenty mile agility course. You will begin it first thing in the morning. As you know, the course is within the jungles of Tralgatar and may potentially be dangerous. Understood?"
"Yes. I am ready."
Location: Ucharpli, Muelia System, Malick Cluster
The next morning, Karrel was taken to the verdant jungles of Tralgatar continent, a land where giant reptiles thrived in the vegetation. The rain was pouring giving a soothing ambience to the rain forest. Before him was what seemed to be a trail littered with miscellaneous obstacles all of which were part of the jungle.
The Exam Proctor said, "As you may already know, this portion of the test is the most physically demanding. It tests your fitness as well as your perseverance. The goal is to take this sword to the pedestal at the end of the course before nightfall." The Proctor handed over a thin, steel sword. "It is a 20 mile trip. If you fail to make it before nightfall, the nocturnal Batra and other dangerous creatures will swarm at you en masse. However, be mindful that you may still encounter dangerous creatures during the day. Are you ready? Go!"
Karrel took off at a slight pace saving up his energy. The first obstacle was simply a steep slope. It was no problem. At the top of the hill was a steep drop off with a dangerous river below. He leaped forward and grabbed one of the hanging vines and swung over the top of the river. Soon enough, he landed on the other side and continued the trek through the jungle, hopping over rocks and avoiding giant bramble. About midway through the trip, Karrel came across a pack of Batra which were flying reptiles about one meter long. The creatures began to circle around him and were about to attack him. Karrel stood still, readying his sword, then the Batra swarmed. With dexterity, he sliced the wings of the dangerous creatures wounding them. He continued on the agility course.
He was coming close to the end. The sun was about to go down and it was getting dark. Karrel picked up the pace. He came to another ravine. At the bottom of it was a twisting, entangled mess of bramble. The leap across seemed just out of his reach and the ravine extended for miles to his left and right. There was no other way around.
"How am I going to do this? What if I don't make it? No, I have to. I need to for my father." Karrel took a few steps back and sprinted. He closed his eyes and jumped, flapping his wings a bit to give him a bit of air time. As he reopened his eyes, he came up short in the jump. Desperately, he drove the sword into the side of the cliff and saved himself. He leaped up, drew the sword out and continued. The sun was just barely visible over the horizon. As he approached the pedestal, a Dhragolon knight in heavy armor approached him.
"Not so fast, Karrel. I cannot let you place that sword in the pedestal for this is sacred ground. Only I may place my sword in it."
"I don't understand. This pedestal is reserved for the Royal Exam though."
"That may be true, but you must prove yourself worthy of standing upon this sacred ground. En garde!" The knight swung his enormous, blessed Dragonrock sword at Karrel who barely dodged it. He swung his own sword at the knight, but it was easily blocked. "You have to do better than that, Karrel!" The knight swung his sword once more, this time injuring Karrel and tossing him towards the edge of the cliff. As Karrel got up, the knight effortlessly knocked Karrel's sword out of his hands and off the cliff, into the bramble. Karrel shouted, "Who are you?! Why did you knock my sword away?"
"No one with a weapon can defeat me. Besides, you hinder yourself with it!"
That moment, Karrel suddenly remembered reading about an old story when he was a child. It was about a legend involving a creature known as the Garmatox that would raid a village every night. When a boy named Mathus went to confront it, the Garmatox did not let the boy fight it with weapons, but Mathus still defeated the Garmatox. He realized he had to fight with his true strength only and not rely on an instrument. Karrel stood up and charged, tackling the knight. When the knight tried to swipe him away, Karrel snatched the sword from his and stuck into the pedestal. The knight removed his helmet revealing himself to be the Exam Proctor. "Very good. You have passed. The Dragon Test Vessel is just through this trail, so hop into it and get us back to Yallvus." Although Karrel was tired, he needed to keep going as becoming king was such a rigorous task. He brisked through the trail, hopped on the Dragon Test Vessel with the Exam Proctor following him. He started up the engines and took off.
Getting to Yallvus was no problem though he was attacked by a few drones on the way there. Not long after, the moment came when Karrel found himself standing on a floating platform with another Royal surrounded by an audience in all directions.
"You, Rustiagon Karrel, have done well. You are the very first Dhragolon in history to answer all 1000 questions of the written portion correctly. As a member of the Royal Council, I am honored to grant you the title of King." The audience applauded and their claps echoed across the room. The Royal placed a yellow sigil in the shape of a dragon on Karrel and placed a blue hat with the same insignia on his head. "King Rustiagon Karrel, your father would be proud of this moment. However, as you have already experienced, being a king is a dangerous job. The Ghorax are still at war with us. We are counting on you to either force them to surrender or find a diplomatic solution. The new Dragon Cruiser is ready. You must depart to Raycaon."
Location: Yallvus Intercolonial Spaceport
Karrel stood before the flagship itself, the Dragon Cruiser. Its blue, metallic shell shined in the sun. He stepped aboard. The crowd surrounding him cheered wildly. Eventually, the engines began glowing blue and the Dragon Cruiser began levitating off the ground. Then it took off into the sky and into space.
"Initiating Electron lightspeed engine," displayed a message on the ship's interface after he pulled a lever. Then, Karrel moved naother lever forward. The electrons inside the engine suddenly were released, thrusting the ship to lightspeed. Karrel grabbed the handrail to prevent himself from falling down. He passed by quickly the gas giant Walknes. Then a message appeared, "You have escaped Muelia's gravitational pull. It is now safe to use warp drive."
"Setting a course to Raycaon," Karrel said. He moved another lever and a bubble appeared surrounding his ship. The stars began to distort as his ship now appeared to be travelling faster than light. In reality, the ship was moving only at lightspeed as space around him was bending to propel him forward. After a few days, he was already at Raycaon space station.
The ship dropped out of warp and the Electron engines cooled down. The Dragon Cruiser docked with the space station and a royal came to greet him.
"Your Highness!" the Royal said, giving the Dhragolon salute of quickly raising his right hand to his left shoulder.
"At ease, Brother," Karrel replied.
"Your Highness, what are your orders?" the royal asked.
"You must alert the peacekeepers to defend this colony at all costs. I will be invading the Ghorax."
"Yes, Brother. We must continue what we started."
"As you wish, my liege," the royal replied. "You are correct. I shall alert the peacekeeper counsellors." Karrel went back to his ship and went to interstellar space. He grabbed a beacon and sent a radio message to the Ghorax.
Meanwhile, on Xorgraria, Overlrod Norpobsy was sitting in his chair. The radio tower began pick up a signal. Translating it, Norpobsy listened: "You Ghorax people have colonized the center of the galaxy and have been feared by other races just as much as ours has. ; When I first learned of you, I was in awe of the power of your empire. I respected your fighting spirit in this war, until now. You had no reason to take the life of my very own father, King Rustiagon Reckar! That was the last straw! ; I have had enough of my fellow kin constantly under attack! ; I have had enough of your existence! ; I have had enough of the grief and pain you burdened me with! ; I have suffered the death of the one who taught me everything! ; It was him that inspired me to work to answer all 1000 questions correctly on the Royal Exam! ; It was him that inspired me to become king! ; Twenty-two years ago as a child from my very own eyes, I saw the Dragon Cruiser with my father on it burst into space dust after being bombarded by Ghorax warships! You, the Ghorax, have been deemed evil, heartless scum devoid of honor! ; Fear me, Ghorax Empire! My name is King Rustiagon Karrel. ; You killed my father, King Rustiagon Reckar, and I shall obliterate each of your cities one by one! ; I will cleanse the galaxy of your existence and future generations shall never know that you were here!"
The overlord said, "Humph! Those carbon-based life forms think they are tough. It appears that their government has not collapsed. IF this mortal wants to continue this war, let him have it."
Location: Izerg, Magnus 586, Core Cluster
It was a normal day on a Ghorax colony on Izerg. The thick, red fog and the orange, endless desert surrounded the ominous architecture of the city. The cyborg Ghorax were simply minding their own business.
In the distance, something was amidst the red fog. It cam closer revealing itself to be a Dragon Cruiser. It flew just over the city dropped a spherical metallic object and lef the atmosphere. The object plummeted downward, and when it hit the ground, all what was left of the city was a crater.
- The very formal style of speech used by the Dhragolon was very popular in Reckar's time, but fell out of style by the time of the Galactic Senate.
- Before first contact with the Eteno, the Dhragolon largely operated off of a black and white system of morality as before then, they had yet to meet any extraterrestrials which were not aggressive towards them.
- Karrel was the last Dhragolon to take the 1000 question Royal Exam. It was later heavily revised to instead test monarchs on adaptability to unpredictable situations.
- This story was originally a Spore fan fiction. The first set of chapters were released on Spore Fan Fic Wiki in February 2010. Some changes had to made from the original to complement the updated lore.
- This is Krayfishkarl's first story set in the Omniverse Nexus, and one of his first novellas as well.