┬žalianthar had always been a prospering country, at peace with its neighbors and with the Dragonlands. So when the prophecy was made, the people laughed. The prophecy went like so: When the green-eyed one cries down upon the earth, the world shall be saved from the wrath of the Everlasting dragon.

The entire country was talking, and not all the talk was good.

"Green eyes, have you heard?"

"Yes, yes, I thought it was a joke..."

"No, no, it's true all right; I saw it with my own two eyes."

"You've only got one!"

"Oh, shut up! The old war wound still hurts, you know!" The man was wearing a plain brown eye-patch.

"But really, it is absurd!"

"Incongruous!"

"Eyes can't be green! A person's eyes are either blue, or brown, or gray!" The speaker ticked the colors off on their fingers.

"Maybe it's not a person?" Someone inquired. "Maybe it's..."

"What, an animal?"

"They do say the green-eyed 'one' and not green-eyed 'person.'"

"Come on, w'yall know that's just to make it sound more formal-like!"

"And anyways,even animal eyes aren't green. Yellow, of course, black, certainly, even orange, but not green!"

"And plus animals don't cry."

"Who says they don't?"

"I says and that's beside the point 'cause it's not an animal anyways," said a rather large individual. The young man was apparently and rightly discouraged and chose another tactic.

"Well... what if he's possessed?"

"By the spirits?"

"Then his eyes would be red, you idiot, and there are quite a few red-eyed people out there as is that don't deserve to live."

The priest promptly fainted, and two people were just as promptly called up to have him removed.

"What was he doing here in the first place?" one said to the other, who shrugged.

"Who knows? Same thing as everyone else, thought, probably. Catching up on the news. This has got to be the most crowded pub in all of Sal'nth'r."

"And the most absurd prophecy, too!"

They rejoined teh main discussion, although it could hardly be heard over the rest of the hubbub.

"'Tis impossible! Green is the color of plants and oceans and the spirit of the wild for godness sake!"

"Hey! Maybe he..."

"Oh don't be stupid," Someone said, giving the young man a good clout about the ears. "You know perfectly well the spirit of the wild doesn't possess people!"

"Well then..."

"No, it's not possible and that is that."

There was a pause in conversation.

"Well, what about that dragon, eh?"

"Everlasting? Please, don't bother me with that nonsense! Honestly, old Mary must be losing her touch."

"But it's the same, all over the country," a traveler broke in.

"Well then..." The man stuttered, momentarily flustered. So it wasn't just their local seer. This was a problem. "Who asked you anyway?"

"But a dragon can't be everlasting, it can't."

Apart from just disbelief, there was a great deal of fear among these people. The wrath of the everlasting dragon. If a dragon were everlasting, that meant it couldn't die, and if they must be saved from the dragon's wrath, then it would most certainly do terrible things to the country.

Salianthar had only been at war with dragons once, shortly after winning their independence from Mirkarr. Not even the oldest here had lived through that, but all had heard stories, and all were afraid. If their country had barely lived through attacks from ordinary dragons, how would they survive an everlasting one?

"Can a dragon be everlasting?" several voices asked.

Some to this question answered no and some answered yes.

"Is there a dragon expert in here?" the barkeep bellowed into the crowd.

"Well, I don't know about expert... but..." A nervous young professor spoke up after a moment's silence. There was a great rush to buy him a drink and give him a place to sit (the latter of which was particularly difficult), ignoring his inept attempts at modesty.

"So..."

"Well... technically..." he could have sworn on the dragon's name the entire crowd was holding its breath. "It's not possible." There was a tremendous sigh of relief. "Though dragons undoubtedly live for a long time, and this dragon- if it exists, of course," he caught himself in time, "May live longer than most, but it will eventually, fade back into that which it was made from, renewing life everywhere with its death. Technically." But no one was even listening, for there was an uproar once more, and the barkeep silently thanked the spirits. Tonight was the busiest night since before his grandfather's time, just after the war. The professor was pushed roughly off his stool and his drink was knocked to the ground.

"Thanks a lot," he muttered under his breath.

"So he can't have green eyes," the people pieced together the information slowly; all the drink had dulled their senses.

"And there's no dragon for his tears to save us from,"

"And he'll cry as a babe anyway,"

"Then the prophecy is completely false!"

There were quite suddenly half the people and twice the space in the once crowded room, and there was a chair for everyone, and the prices went down again as the customers filed out into the gently falling snow.

They didn't realize they had gotten something terribly wrong.

At that moment, a child was born.