Chapter 2:

Chapter 1. Exhibit.

Requiem for Cinderella: a Dragon story.

Key evidence from the investigation on the disappearance of Anna Von Allen, charged with high treason and heresy. Head of investigation: Inquisitor Marcus.

“(…) There is a story.
Or more precisely a dark fairytale… The tale of the first human to become a Dragon.

It was a time when Dragons watched in indifference as mankind struggled, stuck in a primal, disorganized state.
Then came the shapeshifter.
He saw the world through the beast’s eyes and understood the weight of the many sins of men.
Yet, as he used to be one of them, he also knew better than to teach them through violence and fear.
He talked to men and touched their hearts. He brought them seeds of what we call civilization, something the Dragons would not see them have. Then, he left for the frozen seas.

The other Dragons could not kill him, so they cursed him to remain a beast forever.
He still stands as our nation’s emblem, the White Founder of the West, known in other lands as Prometheus. Only us Dalians worship him as a dragon, only our church understands that denying a saint part of his history is akin to blasphemy.

If Prometheus discovered some answers, then my old friend Sagara might also have some.
Our doom is close. Hundreds of ships are approaching from the north. And if we aren’t united, the barbarians will pick us one by one. We have two lords, both ready to take first steps in restoring the country to the state it was under king William. None can risk the hard-earned peace and stability of their duchies without a clear plan. None has a clear plan. None can call for an assembly, too few would come.
Sagara knows of a way, I’m convinced. But Sagara detests men and thus wishes for all us to burn. Besides, our city exiled her ten years ago and I know nothing of her whereabouts. However, there might still be hope. Recently I caught wind of the Black Council, a biannual meeting of mages our church deems heretics. If we can’t contact Sagara, at least we could use the Black Council. They have eyes and ears everywhere. They’re wise, and like me they don’t want Dalia’s ruin. The only way to reach them is to find Sagara's pupil, the secret warden of Rumane village.

That’s all I know.
Now ridden with debts and losing my sanity, waiting for illness to take me away, I have only one thing to add to the last part of my will.
Anna, my sons have abandoned me. And to save my career, I abandoned you before you were even born.
I have no right to ask you anything. Still, I beg you to tell the Duke about the Council, and show him the letters we exchanged. I keep them at the usual place. The Duke might send an expedition. And if they find Sagara's pupil in Rumane, I hope he’ll lead them to the Council.
This kingdom’s not worth saving as of now, but it is still my home. Your home.
Thus may the ramblings of an old stranger somehow entice you to do what’s good.
Then you might probably redeem that name of four of our last generations.

My word is final, I leave everything to my daughter Anna.
Enclosed you will find all the supporting documents.
For all due intents and purposes.

Count Charles Daniel Von Allen, archmage of His Excellency the duke of Dordon.