|Event Name||Green Hunt|
|Dates and Times||410 BC - 260 BC|
|People Involved||Allorn Empire, Dragons|
The Green Hunt, also known as the Great Dragon Hunt (or simply the Dragon Hunt), was a period that lasted over a century where the Allorn Empire and its Mages actively hunted Green Nature Dragons. During this time, the Green Nature Dragon was rendered extinct, being the first Dragon Throne to be eliminated by mortals. The Hunt took place due to the Green Nature Dragon's power to rip someone’s powers in Magic away from them, thus allowing rival mages to eliminate each other with ease. The Green Hunt marked out as the first event in what became the drastic decrease in Dragons over a 400 year period, through the Red Hunt in Farah’deen and to the Catacylsm.
The Allorn Empire had long encountered occasional attacks by the Green Nature Dragon, a medium-sized, generally docile Dragon located across the jungles and forests depths of Daendroc, Hyarroc, and Teled Methen. Ancient Altalar records vaguely mention them concerning abundant nature and, for a time, they were considered close confidants of Estel and her Pantheon. However, as the Consolidation wore on, Altalar occasionally found conflict with the species, and this perception of being close to Estel suddenly waned around 1700 BC. From here on out, Dragons as a whole generally were missing from the narrative of the Allorn Empire, at least until the Grandening. As the Allorn Empire began to peel back the jungles more and more, and expand their urban centers, the Green Nature Dragons came out to challenge them. Mages working in concert proved effective at killing the creatures, and the Dragons again withdrew. However, their power and command of Magic was noted by growing Void cultists, who now began tracking and pondering uses for the creatures to the horror of the powerful, it was found.
Who first discovered the uses for the power of a dead or dying Green Nature Dragon is lost to history. While most claim it to have originally been the design of the power-hungry Ancient Worshipers, others suspect that the normal Altalar were involved. As the Mage Wars began, at first, the Dragons were not a factor. Suddenly, after 410 BC, the power they had to somehow destroy one’s connection and use of Magic caused Archmages to break into a frenzy. Hundreds of magic-users plunged into the jungles and struck at the Green Nature Dragon. Dozens of them began to die, and Archmages across the continent of Daen were driven from their powers before their rivals killed them in duals spoken of as legend today. The warfare between the principalities these Archmages control was now a fever pitch, as the mere fact that an Archmage possessed this unknown but deadly power was enough to either embolden them to attack their rivals or cause those around them to turn and attack them out of a desire to survive, or to take the power for themselves. And as the decades wore on, an estimated 300 Green Nature Dragons died within less than a century. But the Dragons would not be pushed to extinction so easily.
In almost suicidal bravery, the Green Nature Dragons took a stand. In 288 BC, the Altalar province of Prëv’ralla went dark. Many quietly assumed it was merely another land fallen victim to the Fracture of Allorn, the term for the collapse and breaking off of various parts of the Empire as the Mage Wars raged, but this was incorrect as a stream of refugees filled the neighboring provinces, claiming that Prëv’ralla and its capital city of Prëven Protla were infested with Green Nature Dragons. With them had come an explosion of nature, garden plants overgrowing their carefully manicured borders and vines crawling up every surface. When scouts went to investigate, they determined that this was indeed true and so the Green Hunt turned its eyes toward the overgrown city. Here, the efforts were led by one of the Empress’s daughters, secretly a member of the Daughters of Chaos, a Void worship offshoot cult. Marching forth with her personal retinue of allied Mages and those refugee Mages from Prëven Protla, she attacked the city and began a systematic cleansing of the Dragon population found there. It took almost a month, but in the end, the Altalar won; no Green Nature Dragons remained alive in the city, and what eggs had been found were either petrified to preserve them as trophies or opened for the Altalar to discover what Dragon babies looked like in such an early stage. The city remained overgrown and was entirely abandoned for another, with the province returning to the Empire for a mere decade before truly going dark in 278 BC. Records state that the truly final Green Nature Dragon died in 260 BC, surrounded by a group who were trying to protect it and its nest from a hunting party of 16 mages led by Archmage Savathius of O’dinumvelle. Their deaths were “pathetic,” according to the Altalar chroniclers of the time, and with that, an entire Dragon Throne was struck from the face of Aloria.
The Green Hunt, when it was completed, was a lauded and largely enjoyed event by the vast majority of the Altalar. Even then, others saw it for the dangerous effects it had on the world; the Cult of Ciellonia (the precursor to the Cielothar) was horrified at what happened to the Green Nature Dragon. In the Allorn Empire's final years, its ranks came to include people who agreed that the destruction of such creatures was wholly wrong. Today, the Cielothar still vilify this action but spread hope Estel will perhaps revive such noble creatures in the future. This belief largely ignores the Green Nature Dragon's antagonism for Estel and her shrines, the Cielothar justifying their beliefs by blaming such antagonism on urban Altalar practices. As for the Altalar, those who feel guilt, most largely shirk the blame for everything onto those who are now the Kathar. Those who proudly accept the role of the Allorn Empire in the Hunt claim it was necessary. Still, it is important to note that this action was driven solely out of a desire for power by Archmages, and no other religious or cultural reason. It was sheer, brutal pragmatism. No matter whose fault it was, the Green Hunt certainly marked the beginning of the decline of Draconic power in Aloria as the other Dragon populations died off or faded from existence within just a few centuries after this.
The Dragon Hunt has also had a sizable effect on world society and history. Some argue that the Sariyd Empire engaged in the Red Hunt seeking to emulate the model of the superior Altalar. Such scholars are largely Altalar themselves and ignore the loathing many Sariyd had for the Altalar (who tried to raid the Farah’deen coastline for slaves). But the Hunt also had more definite impacts in Culture, particularly in literature. Tales of Altalar Mages and Lancers felling powerful Dragons quickly became part of Altalar literature in the twilight years of the Allorn Empire, surviving even until now in several famous epics. In Ithania, these ideas were converted into Ailor warriors and, ultimately, knights defeating Dragons. Such ideas spread with the Ithanian people into the Regalian Empire, where they became a powerful symbol, albeit a complicated one given the significance of the Blue Crown Dragon to the region. Stories of the defeat of powerful Dragons by brave knights exploded into popularity as symbology against the Naylar people during the Chrysant War. Today, the knight in shining armor charging down a Dragon is a well-known image to many children across the Regalian Empire, all stemming back from the Green Hunt centuries earlier.
- The Anglian and Breizh Cultures loathe the stories of the Green Hunt, particularly the Ithanian adaptations which emerged during the Chrysant War period, such as the play The Tale of Sir Eamon and the Serpent.
- Some claim Altalar records hide the fact that some Green Nature Dragons escaped. Supposedly in one of Prëven Protla’s great halls after the last few days of death, a deep and massive tunnel was found burrowing into the earth with obvious signs Dragons had entered it. The Altalar supposedly closed the entrance, tired of the fighting and wanting to revel in the glory of their victory.
- There are scattered rumors and reports of other Dragons being hunted during the Green Hunt, like the Silver Majesty Dragon, but such information is fragmented at best given the chaos of the time.