THERE BE DRAGONS!

Chapter 1: Prologue: Fact or Fiction?

Around the beginning of the 1900's, during an excavation across the world from Megakat City, an archaeology team from the Tymurr Federation made an exciting discovery. The buried city was older than any found on Aristal. It showed an ancient civilization that was very advanced, using an interesting mix of technology and magic. What captured the scientists interest the most was the depiction of mythical dragons throughout the ruins in huge renditions of stone and in frescoes on many prominent buildings.

While the rest of the world was embroiled in a world war, the archaeology team did all they could to protect their incredible find. They went so far as to hide the city behind an earthen wall which was very successful.

They were able to work undisturbed for many years, uncovering building after building of this magnificent city state. Around 1959, Professor Lyonese discovered a room that looked like a lab of some type. Strange large eggs had been discovered but what creatures laid them was unknown even after many more years of research.

Many of the fascinating artifacts as well as some of the eggs were sent to many museums for their research, display and to provide much needed funds to the archaeology teams that would allow them to continue their work.

The Dragon Displays, as they were soon called, drew large crowds wherever they were seen. In a few of the cities, some of the artifacts had become the victims of thieves. What was taken were some of the eggs, jewelry, pottery, and dragon images. Most had been recovered except for the eggs, strangely enough.

The loss of the eggs had grown into a legend of mythic proportions. Instead of thieves taking the eggs from their displays, fanciful minds came up with stories about dragons hatching from the eggs and being seen. The stories were so prevalent, that many more sightings of dragons was reported over the years though none of the sightings could ever be proven. Because of this, many still treated dragons as a fanciful myth.

As decades past and the archaeological site had completely uncovered the city, much had been learned but there was still much to study and uncover. Few ancient sites yielded as much data and continued interest as the Draconian City State of Emperor Trimoon.

As the 20th century began, the interest in dragons waned a bit. New scientific inventions were being developed and marketed that took the public's attention off such mythical creatures as dragons.

No modern Kat believed the possibility of real dragons existing. They especially disbelieved the stories coming out of the archaeological site where the reports of Kats turning into dragons or dragons turning into Kats, were being presented as fact based on what they had found in the ancient city. Of course, the information was dependent on who was doing the translating of the data left by those ancient Kats and how accurate they were in translating it.

Still, after this new tidbit was released to the public, dragons once more held the fascination of Kats of all ages and it wasn't surprising for them to want to read, write, paint, or make figures of dragons. By the waning of the century, interest in the great city of the dragons was enjoying a renaissance. Visitors began to visit the Dragon Displays once more in droves.

Megakat City, under nearly constant threat of attack by omegas for the past decade, had the advantage of seeing and actually enduring an attack by real dragons. Unfortunately, the beasts were far too dangerous and aggressive to be allowed to live and were destroyed every time they made an appearance.

But despite them having to be killed, the scientists found the dead bodies to be a treasure trove of information. They would thoroughly map the bodies before they decomposed adding to the wealth of data already on file about these creatures. The most amazing thing the scientists learned was the Pastmaster's dragons weren't magical constructs as they had first thought but real living dragons.

Further research found these dragons were genetic matches to the ones found in the ancient city. This new information stirred up an anthill of enthusiasm and debate among the scientific community that perhaps the creatures weren't mythical after all but actual living creatures that were now extinct. Even the doubting Thomas' were beginning to believe.

To draw more attention to dragons and garner more money for further research, Megakat City scientists managed to preserve one of the dragons that had attacked the city and mount it in the Megakat Natural History Museum.

Once word got out about the display of a real dragon, the city was inundated with visitors willing to brave the dangers of this benighted city for the opportunity to see a real dragon. The city's Mayor was very pleased by this sudden influx of visitors as it helped the flagging economy that was struggling under the weight of red ink due to the constant need to repair the damage wrought by its enemies.

The atmosphere was ripe for the appearance of a once proud race that had been reduced to hiding itself in a form that was accepted foregoing their true form to survive. They had waited and watched for centuries, hoping and praying for a time when they could be truly free once more.

Perhaps the time had finally arrived for dragons to dare coming out of hiding at last!