The Dowager Griselda began to nod off after spending almost the entire night reading from the book her and her son, the Baron, had borrowed from Atian's library. It had been a very long day between the Shadows' King Winter Solstice Gala, breaking into the library, and then the discovery that the book was also magical! She should not have been surprised. "Why not? It is about Dragons after all."
If she only would have read a little further she would have found the story that might have put her on a different path than the one she and her son had chose earlier in the evening about asking the Sleeping Sisters for their aid...
Before Dragons had magic and flew over all of the realms, the Nyte Shades were ... Long before the 'Outies' came to the realms and a village was saved by a Dragon's sacrifice, the Nyte Shades were... Ages before the Dragons disappeared and their knowledge was lost, the Nyte Shades were... long have they been in the Realm but few still remember having seen one and even fewer know of their existence - or their importance!
When Dragons were only dragons, creatures without magical talent, the Nyte Shades were the most powerful magical beings in all of the realms. The power to create or destroy was at their command and fortunately for all of us, so to was the power of wisdom. The Nyte Shades knew that all things must change for stagnation was as dangerous as chaos. Their wisdom was in seeking the balance of stability and anarchy where things were able to become better than what they were. For sometimes destruction creates positive changes as well as lessons.
It was because of this wisdom, that the Nyte Shades recognized the need for other magical creatures to have magic equal to theirs. If only one has great power then all others must serve the one. The problem was that the Nyte Shades could not agree upon the solution...
It was a cold and stormy night when a young purple dragon entered a cave to find a Nyte Shade sitting on a stone thinking about this problem. As the dragon began to turn around and leave the cave, the Nyte Shade offered him a place to sit and magically whipped up a warm fire and a meal 'fit for a dragon'. From this day forward, the two often traveled together and soon were fast friends, telling each other stories of what they had seen or done. As dragons did not yet have magic, most times the young dragon would be the one listening to his friend speak of wonderous adventures or strange sites that he realized he would never see.
During one of these times, as the Nyte Shade was telling the dragon about a magical adventure she had come from, the young dragon said, "I wish I had the magic you do so then I could do and see all of the things that you have". This idea had never occurred to the Nyte Shade as she had never been without her magic and took it for granted. "If you did have my magic, what would you do with it?" she asked the dragon. "Oh, first I would learn to fly! I know I have wings and if I climb somewhere tall enough they let me glide down, but to fly like the birds would be so much fun!" gushed the dragon with a gleam in his eyes. "Then I could travel to all of the places you have told me about and I would see all of the things you have seen."
Smiling, the Nyte Shade had never seen her friend this excited before so she asked him if that would be all that he wanted from magic. The dragon's answer both surprised her and sent a chill down her spine. "I would try to answer other creatures wishes if they were fair and not hurtful," he replied. "You have taught me that there are others who are not as lucky as you or I and sometimes it is the things that each of us do that make a difference."
When the first light of dawn entered the cave, the Nyte Shade had still not slept but had made a decision. She and her friend needed to see the Great Shade. Asking the dragon if he was willing to go on an errand with her she hinted at maybe he needed to bring along a few of his other dragon friends. "We might run into something fun to do together," she told him. "Why not," he answered and as they set out on the errand, he found a few more young dragons to travel with them on the promise that they were looking for fun.
Soon they came upon a large grove of ancient trees where the Great Shade lived. The Great Shade was not the head of the Nyte Shades, for they were all equal in magical powers, she was called thus because of the wisdom she had and the counsel she was willing to give. As they entered the grove and were made welcome by the Great Shade, the Nyte Shade asked her question. "If equal power was freely given to another, would the balance be maintained?" she asked.
Surprised by the question, the Great Shade sat and thought for a long time before answering. "The balance would stand if the sacrifice were to be great in comparison of this gift to be given." Realizing that there was more to the question than what was being said, the young dragon blurted out that he would do anything but he would not allow harm to come to his friend.
But soon the Nyte Shade began to glow and her radiance was brighter than the dragons could endure as one by one they each closed their eyes tightly. As they squeezed their eyes shut a tingling came over their bodies as if they were being tickled and soon each of them could hear the others thoughts! "What is going on," each dragon wondered as the tingling soon vanished with the bright light. Slowly they opened their eyes. Standing before them was the Great Shade but the other Nyte Shade was no there to be seen.
"Where did my friend go?" asked the dragon. It was then that the dragon saw the small red heart stone in the glowing cage. "What has happened?" cried the dragon somehow knowing that her friend was gone.
Slowly, as the glow of the cage disappeared, the Great Shade answered the dragon. "Your friend has made a decision. Whether good or bad, I cannot answer, but a decision she made. She has decided to give her powers of magic to all of you."
"I did not wish for this! I want my friend back!" cried the Dragon as large tears rolled down from his eyes.
"Whether you wish it or not, it was not your decision to make," answered the Great Shade. "She has given dragons all of her magic making you now our equals. In this the balance is maintained. Now it is up to you to decide how you will use the magic bestowed."
Slowly the Dragon lifted the cage with the red heart stone. "I will guard her heart well and show her that she did not make a mistake. I will make her proud." Nodding her head, the Great Shade spoke once again before the Dragon departed, telling him one more thing she decided he should know. "You and your kind will live very long lives, extended by the magic, but also by this Nyte Shade's choice. Her gift to you is a longer life so that you will have the time to mend your broken heart."
Thru the sacrifice of a Nyte Shade, the Dragons received their magic and later the Wish Dragon's were born. It has been a long time since a Nyte Shade has been seen - for when the Dragons left the realms, they seemed to have disappeared also. Was it to keep the balance? Only they know.