This is the Alternate ending to Memories of an Elder. It was the original ending, but was met with criticism by readers and so I replaced it with the ending you find in chapter 8. Feel free to review this chapter and tell me which ending you liked better.

~ Twilight of the First Age ~

In the beginning there was sound. Sound created energy and energy created light. All of these were part of the single life force that holds the universe together... All separate all one. They crafted the galaxies and the beings and the elements.

Each race beheld it's on belief of how things began, and see Spirit divided itself into all the different deities of the different beliefs. Norse, Greek, Celtic, Egyptian all were created from one. And then the spirit split into to entities. The Goddess, The Earth Mother, and The God, Father of the Sky.

They created a guardian race. The Dragons, keepers of life and all knowledge of the earth and stars, speakers for the gods themselves.

And now we watch as corruption spreads across the world, slowly eroding the foundation of life.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Cevryn fell to the ground, suffering blinding pain. He did not know that the Black Hearts had also called upon the corrupted dragons for aid. It took three to bring him down, but they did it. They began tearing him apart he felt my wing bones ripped from their sockets, he felt their claws tearing into his skin and he felt fangs sinking into his body, and then. He felt no more.

Loria cried out to him as he fell. The rank of archer she commanded turned and unleashed a hail fire of arrows upon his attackers. The lead dragon fell under the rain of elven arrows and the other to fled, leaving Cevryn's battered body upon the ground. Loria ran to him, tears in her eyes as she shouted his name in vain hope that he would respond. His body was broken, his spirit shattered.

He knew he was dying. Through blood smeared eyes he watched as all around him warriors fell. The Celtic berserkers and the Black Heart warriors clashed in brutal combat. Elven archers and Dark Elven sorcerers traded fire through the air. Corrupted beasts, Chimera and Griffons, driven by black heart and Goblin riders clashed with the Cavalry soldiers of the Winter Elves army. He saw fire take to the trees around him and watched as the forests began to burn.

He could taste the smoke of war, the shouts of battle. He could feel Loria as she collapsed against his cheek and wept over his body. He watched, unable to react as a nightmare, a carnivorous blood red horse, known to stalk mans dreams, and the mount of choice for the dark elves, stalked toward her. It reared behind her and roared, she turned, all too late, to see its hooves bearing down.

He cried out in his mind as her body was crushed under the vicious beast. He heard a shout from Arainia and rolled his eyes slightly to look towards she and her warriors, surrounded and being over run by the war masters, the ogres, their massive axes and huge clubs pummeling through Arainia's elven swordsman like a machete through thick foliage.

Glamdrin and his bravest warriors charged to Arainia's rescue and Cevryn watched in silent anguish as a group of dark elf swordsmen surrounded them all and the massacre began. He groaned in pain as an arrow pierced an already opened wound. He knew his time had come. Their mission had failed.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

I awoke on a snowy mountain peak, a bright white light reflected in my eyes and I lifted my tail to shield my eyes as a form took shape out of the light. The Unicorn.

"Welcome Cevryn of the Storms."

"Where are we?" I rasped, my throat was dry and parched and I still felt in a daze, to weak to sit up.

"The Highest Peak on earth..." She smiled at him. "Do you understand now, Cevryn, what your destiny is?"

"Yes... But I've failed."

"Have you?" She smiled broader. "Did you forget what Liona taught you? It's all by the will of the Fates." I watched as her form now began to change. "And the gods."

"My Lady." I bowed my head in reverence, and suddenly felt my strength return. I rose slowly, my joints still stiff.

They say every beings envision of the goddess is different. In my eyes she was clad in a long white dress which rippled over her body. A soft blue shawl adorned her shoulders and drifted upon the wind as it rolled over us. Long locks of ebony cascaded from her head over her back and shoulders.

"I don't understand. Why am I here? What happened?"

She smiled sympathetically.

"The first age of the Earth came to an end."

"What do you mean?"

"You and your allies fought Valiantly Cevryn. Never did I believe I would see the day when all the gods would weep upon the woes of the world. But you made it happen Cevryn. You earned the attentiveness of every have accomplished you destiny Cevryn. The first part of it.."

"The first part?" I asked in question. "But. We failed. All is lost now. the realm."

She smiled and laid a hand upon my shoulder, now at a size as great as mine, looking me eye to eye.

"Cevryn. Did you truly believe we would let them take the realm and throw it into chaos? We would not allow such a tragedy... "

She spread a hand to the air and suddenly we were standing on a dirt road flowing over a grassy plain of rolling hills dotted with trees. To the right I could see a beautiful lake and to the left in the far distance a vast forest, behind which was a spine of tall mountains.

"What is this place?..."

"This is earth. The new earth."

"New Earth?"

She nodded.

"Corruption is a very powerful thing Cevryn. All are touched by it in some way. Even the Earth itself. It did not survive the battle. Do not weep the loss Cevryn for now is when the final act of your destiny unfolds."

"You mean... You knew it would happen? You knew that the world would not survive this war?"

She nodded solemnly.

"When corruption takes hold of something it eats its way to the core and devours it. Now here me, Cevryn, for this is the dawn of the new age. The Second Age of the Earth is about to begin, and you will be needed more than ever. Come, walk with me."

She turned and began to stroll down the path, and as I followed the world began to change around us. From the grassy plains to snow laden fields, to a vast forest with trees far too large and ancient to seem brand new. Over and over everything changed before my eyes.

"This is a reincarnation, the earth ended and was born a new. This realm is quite different from what we first created. However, it will over time begin to change, it will take on a new form and it will eventually become what the first Earth was. But that will not be for quite some time, and that is why you are needed." She paused now and turned to look at me.

"The Ancient Dragons are the purest and noblest of all living creatures. To that end, we chose them to be the master race, the guardians of the guardians themselves, and rulers of the dragons. You Cevryn, if you accept this task, will be the eldest dragon to walk the earth."

I was rather surprised that she said it in a way that showed she intended to let me choose. Also that she now referred to this realm as THE earth, as if it and the old were one in the same, but now looking back on it, it does make sense.

"When life is formed it will be you, you and the other dragons, who must once again watch over it."

"But why? Certainly you of all beings could simply, will corruption never to come to the beings of the world."

She nodded.

"I could. But you are not seeing the larger view of things Cevryn. Think of what you know of life. It is a balance. All things are a balance. Prosperity and Corruption, Good and Evil, Light and Dark. They all balance out. The key was that in the old world Corruption finally over powered good, and through things out of balance.

"So my charge would be to keep the balance?"

She smiled and nodded.

"In the days to come things on this planet will change, quite drastically, we will advance the evolution of sentient life to t hat of roughly what it was during your time as a hatchling in the world. From there it will be the duty of the Dragons to raise and teach man of right and wrong. Educate him but do not govern him, mankind must find its own path through the universe. Do not worry for other beings, for that is not your place and I would not have you take it up. Leave the lives of Elven and Dwarven kind and the many creatures to the Lord and I, concentrate your abilities on Man and show them the proper path. However, keeping the balance between all the peoples of the world is a task to great for anyone, I would not make you do this alone. Consider this gift to be a request for your forgiveness, for the pains you went through in all the years before this moment. I cannot return to you those who died but were not meant to, but I can return those who accepted their passing."

Before my eyes I saw taking form the four beings whom, through out the Ladies talk with me, I had pondered if I would ever see again; my mother, my sisters, Azriel and Zaria, along with her Liona.

Before I could react Azriel and Zaria had pounced upon me and tackled me to the ground. They were laughing like children and so was I.

My mother stopped beside the Goddess and the two looked into each others eyes as if holding an unspoken conversation.

I rose as my siblings released me and embraced Liona in my arms and the Lady looked at all of us, smiling brightly.

"You five are the first of the Dragon kind. More will come and you will be the ones to teach them of the ways of the world. Use what wisdom and knowledge you have to the best of your ability. And remember, guide them, not govern them." She cautioned us, there was something in the way she spoke, like an oracle warning of future trials that left me on easy.

She smiled to us once more and bowed.

"Be at rest, you have seven days in which to find yourselves new lairs and territories, and then you will begin to see the changes. Take these days to be at rest. And blessed be."

She faded from our sight then and suddenly the pristine silence faded. We were once more in the grassy field that she first took me too, I could hear the running river in the distance which fed the lake to my right. I could hear the sound of birds whistling and leaves rustling in the wind.

My Mother smiled lightly, closing her eyes for a moment and listening to the sounds of nature before opening them to gaze at us.

"I believe my dears that we'd best set to finding ourselves places to stay, as the Lady suggested."

And so we spread in search of new territories, and to prepare for what was to come. The Second Age of the Earth, and a new hope for man kind.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Author's Note.

There you have it my fine and gentle readers. I do hoped you enjoyed this small tale.

This story was originally planned to be an extremely long prologue to another story which would have been the continued adventures of Cevryn and his family in there attempt to rebuild a world once lost in chaos and corruption.

I am LoneWolf30 and that is my first story. To all those who have reviewed before, I urge you to review one last time and tell me what you thought of the complete and full story.