Fancy Bastard Scales of War
Bahamut was mostly dead … but not entirely so. A remnant lived on, hidden away and kept safe by a servant created for just this purpose. In Bahamut’s unfathomable wisdom, he anticipated the end Tiamat intended for him, extracted a portion of his divine essence, and bequeathed it to an unwitting vessel. That vessel was Amyria. Should the unthinkable happen (as it had), the essence would guide Amyria to her ultimate purpose.
At least, that was the plan.
Keeping the plan a secret was central to Bahamut’s agenda. Although Amyria was capable, as were her companions, Tiamat would destroy her in a moment if she knew what the deva carried within her. No plan is safe when there are those who can peer into the future and trace fate’s threads to their possible outcomes.
One such being to identify Bahamut’s intent was the mithral dragon Dakranad, a historian and philosopher who dwelled in Bahamut’s palace. Any who are close to the Platinum Dragon are aware that the struggle between Bahamut and Tiamat is no new thing. It has raged for countless millennia, all the way back to the Dawn War when Bahamut and Tiamat were born from Io’s sundered form. Dakranad knew that Bahamut’s death, while tragic, would bring an end to the war and spare the lives of generations to come. This fact comforted Dakranad. He was shaken when he received a vision of Bahamut’s rebirth, because he knew that if his master returned, the wars would continue forever. The only solution was to claim Bahamut’s mantle and assume his place.
For all his intellect and foresight, Dakranad failed to recognize his hubris when he approached the seven gold dragons who advised their master. Dakranad gave an impassioned speech, explaining the histories and their consequences and the dangers yet to come should Bahamut be permitted to continue his struggle. He beseeched the dragons to elevate him so he could take the Platinum Dragon’s place and bring the costly war to an end. His audience was both delighted that Bahamut would return and horrified by the dragon’s offer. They were so offended that they tossed the mithral dragon out from Celestia and unknowingly placed him in the clutches of an insidious enemy who wanted vengeance for himself.
Enter Dispater. Bahamut and Tiamat caused the archdevil endless trouble with their squabbling. Dispater lost his prized prisoner (Gith), had his aspect bullied, and saw any chance at claiming the githyanki dashed for the foreseeable future. The only way for Dispater to salvage his situation was to claim the god’s essence for himself and either keep it tucked away in his iron citadel or use it to remove Asmodeus and elevate himself to master of the Nine Hells.
Dakranad was skeptical about an alliance with the archdevil, knowing enough to realize the peril in dealing with such a fiend. Yet Dakranad’s desperation undid his reservations and allowed him to be swayed by the archdevil’s honeyed words. Dispater assured the dragon that they would attain a bloodless victory, and with his support they could seize Amyria when she entered Celestia and prevent her from becoming Bahamut with little trouble at all.
Backed by a legion of devils, Dakranad and Dispater slipped into Celestia, moved to the Shining Bastion, Bahamut’s palace, and seized the stronghold by force. The gold dragons would not kneel before them, even when faced by a devil and his army. The gold dragons fought; Dakranad and his allies won; Bahamut’s palace was theirs.
It wasn’t until the last gold dragon lay dying on the floor that Dakranad realized his crime’s enormity. His intent was never power but to save lives. The dead dragons’ glassy eyes reflected his corruption, but instead of retreating from his wickedness, he resolved to see his plan to its conclusion and right his wrongs. He would lead Celestia into a bright future, free from conflict and strife, and free from Io’s legacy for all time.
Things did not go as planned. Dakranad’s operation that was intended to seize Amyria was foiled. Twice. Dispater’s forces were defeated and driven from Bahamut’s Palace. In a final gambit, Dakranad hunted down the Fancy Bastards as they brought Amyria to the Bridge of al-Sihal, hoping to capture both the deva and the creation spark at the final moment before apotheosis. The prescient dragon was unable to foresee his demise, however, and his death removed the final barrier to Bahamut’s rebirth.