Once a wicked, god-like dragon with astounding mastery over the Element of Fire, Runihuros Dreadscorch has since been slain by a heroic badger, whilst aided by the Frozen Orb of Kyanos, roughly 500 years ago. However, he may not be gone for good...
As of now, his story is little more than a fairy tale to tell to children at night. To most people, there is no evidence to suggest that he even existed; there are no known descendants of the hero who slew him, and the kingdom he menaced has long since crumbled to dust.
A massive and fairly slender dragon who stood almost 25 feet tall upright, Runihuros had a medium-length, fairly narrow snout, two pairs of long horns extending from his head, and a massive pair of wings, as well as a row of spikes running down his back, with the spikes being largest between his shoulders. A great mane of fire extended from the back of his head, and his tail was long and fairly thick, tapering down to a blade-tipped point; he also had a single pair of long, thin whiskers on either side of his snout, and more flame-hair on his chin and lower jawline.
His scales were primarily lava in color, with an amber and flame-colored throat, chest and stomach, as well as swirling markings all over his body; these markings glowed intensely and shifted in shade and color, like fire. His eyes were also fulvous in color, and his horns were black in color, while the inside of his wings were amber in color.
Runihuros started out much like other stereotypical dragons, living in a cave and stealing the livestock of farmers to sustain himself. But he felt that he deserved a more luxurious life than this. He was a Fire Dragon, and as such was born with pyromantic abilities. He honed and improved his powers, often using the livestock he stole as training dummies.
Offerings to a Fledgling God
At the peak of his power, Runihuros decided that merely helping himself to the livestock of farmers wasn't good enough for him; a dragon of his stature should be entitled to much better spoils, after all. So he traveled westward, to a Eurishian kingdom known for being both wealthy and generous, and burned down its gate, sending the people into a panic.
Surprisingly, he made no attempts to kill anyone, and simply made his way directly to the palace, confronting its king and queen. He demanded that he be given a tax of half of the kingdom's finest goods every other day, or he would raze the kingdom and seize the throne for himself.
Shaken with terror, the king and queen hastily agreed; anything to circumvent his fury and protect their people. Satisfied, Runihuros told them that their subjects would deliver the offerings to a nearby cave, which the dragon would make into his new home.
Runihuros The Conqueror
But even this was not enough for the arrogant dragon. The jewels, fine silks and rich foods were nice, sure, but his ever-yearning heart demanded more. A cave wasn't fit for a god of his stature; caves were reserved for simpler, weaker dragons, or for those primordial, heathen beasts that spoke in long-forgotten tongues. Within a month of his arrival at the kingdom, he returned to the palace, demanding that the king and queen leave so he could have their home for himself.
At this, they finally refused; while they were content to give him a share of their own riches, he had been taxing their people as well, leaving them weary and poor, and they would allow it no longer. Furious that he had been defied, Runihuros once more demanded that they leave, his anger rising. For a second time, the king and queen refused. At last, in a blistering rage, he threw them directly out one of the windows; both of them perished from the fall.
The bodies of the king and the queen had been recovered by some farmers, and news of their death instantly spread throughout the kingdom; the beloved rulers of Opulentus were no more, and their lineage was ended in one brutal action.
Fifty Years of Terror
Runihuros wasted no time in moving all of his possessions to the palace, forcing the king and queen's former subjects to assist him with this task. Fearing his anger, they blindly agreed, and the dragon soon imposed himself as the people's ruling god, renaming his new home to the Kingdom of Dreadscorch, so all would know who ruled these lands.
For fifty years, the people slaved under his iron claw, erecting statues in his honor and bringing him lavish gifts, as well as redecorating the entire kingdom to better suit its new ruler. He still allowed the people to farm and hunt in order to sustain themselves, but the finest crops and catches were to be given to him, delivered directly to the palace. The guards that once served the king and queen now served Runihuros, and (reluctantly) enforced his new laws. All those who would dare to oppose the new king were slain without mercy, and some even had the "honor" of being ended by the dragon himself.
A Hero Rises
Over the course of the fifty years, many warriors had challenged him in the hopes of freeing the former kingdom of Opulentus from his tyranny, and he had felled every single one of them without breaking a sweat. This sheer lack of opposition, as well as years of living in the lap of luxury and having everyone heed his every whim, caused Runihuros to grow overly complacent and lazy. No one could wrest his stolen throne from him, so what did he have to fear?
As such, he was ignorant of the potential threat to his rule brewing in the nearby village; the place was a peasant town to him, and unworthy of his attention. A young woman by the name of Adelais had heard many stories of the tyrant dragon. She was a brave and just soul, and cunning as well; maybe she could find out a way to defeat him...
So she traveled to his kingdom, much to the worries of her fellow villagers, and went straight to the throne room. Runihuros was surprised yet deeply amused at this peasant woman's gall, and made no attempt to attack her, instead wanting to hear what she had to say. Adelais proposed a challenge to the great tyrant; she would find his greatest weakness within the span of a week, and bring it back to him. If she succeeded, then Runihuros would either have to leave or possibly be slain. If she failed, however, then she would willingly return to his kingdom when the one week was up, and allow him to do as he pleased with her.
The great dragon roared in laughter; in his eyes, he had no weaknesses, and no equals. What could this lowly peasant possibly find that could even dent his scales? Firm in his belief that Adelais would fail her quest, he was more than willing to let her partake in this fool's errand. He even bequeathed a fine iron sword and gilded sheath to her, so she would have a somewhat safer journey; and, to him, this would make her inevitable failure all the more humiliating for her.
Adelais thanked Runihuros for the sword, and for his "blessing" on the quest, and this politeness admittedly disturbed the great dragon; she did not seem to tremble at the sight of him, and maintained a determined yet courteous air about her. He brushed it off, believing that she was simply too arrogant and stubborn to realize she was heading for a downfall, and spent the week spoiling himself (as usual).
The Dragon and the Blizzard
Even to the very last day of Adelais' quest, Runihuros profusely believed that the badger would return empty-handed, and he spent the last few hours until the deadline of midnight debating on how he would deal with the woman for her foolishness. Perhaps he would make her into a slave, or simply hang her body from the castle gates, for all those from her village to see. Maybe he would simply eat her. He did not know, but was making himself giddy with all the possibilities.
When Adelais finally returned, only five minutes until the deadline, the tyrant had a smug grin on his face, waiting to see her walk into his chambers with nothing to show for her quest. When she finally showed, he had opened his mouth to speak, but found himself at a complete loss for words. To his complete shock, the woman did return with something; something icy gleamed within a knapsack slung at her side. It radiated a fearsome cold that, while it barely fazed the badger, it chilled the dragon to his bones, and for the first time in his life, he felt fear.
But his pride was greater still, and he simply sneered at the woman, leaning forward to try and get a better look at the orb-like object she had found. Yes, she has managed to find something during her quest, but how did she know it would be his weaknesses? He challenged her, believing that, even though she had not returned empty-handed, she had still failed, as he was too stubborn to believe that this icy bauble could harm him.
As Runihuros lunged forward to attack her, Adelais had pulled the orb from the knapsack and held it out towards him; as if it had a mind of its own, it unleashed a blast of subzero energy at the dragon and everything around him, freezing the walls, ceiling and piles upon piles of spoils he had accumulated over the years. The great Fire dragon roared in agony as the horrible, biting cold pierced his scales and permeated him down to his wicked soul.
The Final Battle
Runihuros could not handle this horrific onslaught, and his mind buzzed in a panic; is this what it felt like to die? Roaring again, he escaped out one of the windows, his bulk easily breaking through the ice-brittled structure and taking much of the surrounding frozen wall with it. He fled, and as he ran back to the cave that had once been his home (the bitter cold had clipped his wings), anger started to boil within him. How dare this puny peasant think she could attack him and get away with it?! He refused to be taken down like this, and he refused to die; he would recuperate within this cave, and then he would annihilate her village. As for Adelais, he would make her suffer.
The dragon's mind burned with fury and thoughts of revenge, but he had no idea that the badger was coming after him. Back at the kingdom, those who had once languished under Runihuros' claws praised the humble peasant woman for her courage and strength, but she had no time to bask in their praise. She had time to cry out that the dragon would be no more before she quickly left the kingdom to hunt down the beast. With icy orb and iron sword in hand, she followed the obvious trail the Fire dragon had left behind in his frenzied wake.
Runihuros was actually frightened to find the silhouette of the woman standing at the entrance of the cave, the fierce cold still radiating from the artifact she held. But he quickly covered up his fear with anger, and lashed out at her, roaring that she was a fool for trying to challenge a god. The attack was unexpected, and Adelais had to quickly dive out of the way to avoid it; in the process, she had dropped the orb, which rolled off to the side.
The dragon reared up as Adelais unsheathed the sword he had given to her, prepared to fight to the death with the tyrant, even though she knew she was outgunned; despite how injured Runihuros had been by the orb's icy blast, he was still terrifyingly strong, and could easily kill her. He opened his mouth and spat a great blast of flame at her; even with how cold his body had gotten, he could still turn up the heat.
Adelais barely managed to get out of the way of the fire; her fur was singed from the great heat, but she was alive and kicking, still. She turned towards the orb, determined to get to it, but Runihuros saw this; he would not allow her to grab it. In a fury, he swung his mighty tail directly at her, hoping the sheer impact would kill her. However, this action turned out to be his undoing, as he had unwittingly flung the orb at her as well. She leaped backwards and held out her sword, trying to block the impact from the orb with it.
Defeat and Death
To her surprise, the orb stopped in mid-air as soon as it had touched the blade of the sword, and Adelais had not even felt it connecting with the blade, as if it had only floated gently towards her. As she and the dragon watched in shock, the orb began to glow brightly, and then the sword began to glow brightly as well. In her very hands, the weapon transformed, into a beautiful and ornate weapon that was also a fair bit larger than what it used to be.
It bore an immaculate, gilded blade of unmelting ice with a razor's edge, surrounded by a faint, icy fog, while its hilt was a masterful work of craftsmanship, made of silver and quartz, and inlaid with icy gems. The sight of the gleaming blade filled the dragon with fear, as he realized that he had a hand in his own demise, now; he had given the iron sword to her as a "gift", so sure in his belief that she would fail her quest anyways.
The idea of ice magic and winter had always been laughable to Runihuros, whose fire was so great that no ice mage had been able to stand up to him, and no winter months had been able to slow him down, but now, the very things he had mocked had been weaponized into a a blade of subzero winters and ruthless, bitter ice, a thing more fearsome and far, far colder than he had would ever experience.
Adelais seemed just as shocked as the dragon, staring at the divine sword in awe. But, she knew that she had truly found the dragon's weakness, and turned to face him one final time. And in his shock, in his fear, Runihuros could not react to that beautiful, gilded blade of ice driving itself deep into his chest. His entire body felt a shock of agonizing cold, and the last thing he felt before the world around him became dark was the sensation of an icy lump in his chest; his heart had frozen solid, and would no longer beat. The tyrant fell to the earth, the sword still embedded in his chest, and was still, his eyes dull and lifeless, frost starting to creep across his now-cold body.
Runihuros was a frightening force to be reckoned with. With impressive physical strength and wicked claws and teeth to match, few could stand up to his onslaught, as he could tear through the blades and armor of those who would dare oppose him with little effort. His thick scales were quite durable, able to repel arrows and lightweight weapons, and he was also capable of flight, being strong enough to lift almost 800 lbs. while in the air.
As mentioned earlier, Runihuros had an astounding level of mastery over the Element of Fire. Very few techniques were out of his grasp, and it is rumored that he may have been as powerful as Fiamme herself. He was also capable of manipulating the advanced Element of Scorch, but to a somewhat lesser degree when compared to his mastery of pure Fire.
Dragon Style Combat
Being a dragon, he also had access to Dragon Style combat, a savage and ferocious style of combat that focuses upon hand-to-hand ground combat, tearing into the opponent with ferocious fiery strikes. This was a form of combat virtually no one could contest at the time, and this allowed him to rip through all obstacles in his way and, through brute force, bring an entire kingdom to its knees.
Genetic Ability: Flash Fire
Runihuros also carried the Genetic Ability of Flash Fire. From this, he not only had full immunity to opposing Fire-aligned attacks, but being struck by one would increase the power of his own Fire-aligned abilities.
Runihuros was fully immune to the Element of Fire, thanks to his Genetic Ability. Wielders of Nature and Ice could do little to him in general, and Water-Element techniques were basically canceled by his Scorch abilities.
His thick scales were quite durable, deflecting arrows and light melee weapons with ease. Even heavier weapons like war-axes did little to faze him.
For all of his power, Runihuros was not invulnerable. Even though it was never tried against him, he had a natural weakness to the Element of Earth. He was also fairly slow, and could be outrun quite easily.
And even with his resistance to the Element of Ice, he was eventually felled with the power of the Frozen Orb of Kyanos, as the Orb's raw power far outclassed those of the Ice Wielders that Runihuros could crush with little effort.
It was also quite easy to play on his arrogance; this fact was instrumental to his eventual downfall.
Friends and Foes
Arrogant and cruel, Runihuros believed himself to be a cut far above all other dragons, and greater still than the likes of Fiamme herself. As such, he felt he was entitled to whatever spoils he pleased. Jewels, wine, exotic silks; he eyed every luxury and was more than willing to take it for himself, but he typically preferred to be handed such things "on a silver platter", so to speak. He was, in his eyes, a god, after all; and being a god entitled him to the finest offering available.
Runihuros was not above killing for fun, but was more than happy to let his "subjects" live, so long as they provided him with whatever he desired. He was also quite lazy, and perfectly content to sit back and bark demands at whatever poor bastard was within earshot. Unsurprisingly, those who defied him met a swift end.
He had a fairly dark sense of humor, and seemed to have a bit of a lecherous streak, as well, not above ogling or even attempting to grope his female "subjects".
- "You see, I don't need to ask for what I want; I can simply take it, because no man or woman can stop me."
- —Runihuros, displaying his sense of entitlement