The Ashen Holocaust is a period in Dylaeran history from 10908 to 10925. During the rise to power of Divine King Emmanuel, Divinity took steps to legalize and encourage the genocide of dragons. Through the efforts of the new king the world saw a decline of the dragon population from the estimated 1.4 million in 10900 to 53 by the end of 10925. The reasoning by why it's called the "Ashen Holocaust" is because all slayers were ordered to burn the bodies of the dragons they killed in attempt to further erase their presence from history.
While dragons had become less of influence since the fall of the Five Kingdoms. Seen by most angels as little more than beasts, their roles in global society dwindled over the millenniums. Some older families still employed the creatures as advisers, record keepers, and guardians. Many high society and government occupations also used dragons due to their intelligence and cognitive skills. The vast majority of the population however preferred to adapt a more nomadic life and would have little interaction with bipedal species.
Despite this it still worried many sectors of Divinity society that dragons existed in the wild. All dragons possessed an affinity to magic in that they could have control over one or more of the six natural elements. Due to the many stigmas surrounding dragons and their power they were often limited in society and often barred from most services. It was not uncommon to see the creatures granted no more status than livestock. Still a vast number of Divinity feared dragons for possessing a power that, while considered primitive, could rival their own magics. As such no dragon would be permitted to enter into occupations of law, government, or military on the misguided belief that if given enough weight they would instinctively try to reclaim their old kingdoms.
Some countries not controlled directly by Divinity did employ dragons in a military role. They saw moderate successes which only fueled propaganda in Karkira saying that a single young dragon could lay waste to an entire battalion. Further events such as the Battle of Renier in 10814 only served to worsen theses beliefs.
The New King
A movement began through Karkira's out spoken influential figures within the lower circles and nobility of the country. Gaining steam in 10825 with the support of prince Emmanuel the group began to increase its presence within the government. Starting with lecture halls and speaking houses during the year 10826 the upper echelons of the country were embroiled within the back and forth of the dragon's right to inhabit Dylaera.
As a person Emmanuel considered himself a historical purist, and supported the notion of how angels were destined to rule Dylaera. In 10847 Divine King Rastiel passed away and handed control of Divinity to the first in line; _____. Supporters of Emmanuel believed that the throne had been stolen from their leader, and that Rastiel had erred in his judgement.
In 10849 the new king was assassinated by pro-Emmanuel supporters and the country was forcibly taken into his possession.
Emmanuel took control of the throne in 10849. Considering himself a historical purist of some scholarly renown he sought to build upon the kind of Divinity that the first king Adonai had built. His first few years in power saw a feverish political campaign to bolster a global sense of pride and loyalty to both the nation of Karkira and Divinity as a whole.
Over the following decades Emmanuel began to dwell on the dragons. To him they were simply beasts. Savage creatures that ruled an untamed world before the righteous light of Divinity brought about a real civilization. The more Emmanuel reflected on that belief the more it consumed him. He began to pass laws, began to limit the dragons and even instigate conflicts by luring unknowing expeditions into claimed territories. The smear campaign became so successful that in 10908 Emmanuel declared purification of the dragon threat and was met with an uproar of support.
A Cruel Reward
In the beginning scores of would be adventurers stormed the world looking to kill the wild dragons of Dylaera. The hunts were so successful that many of the weaker creatures died by the hundreds. Stronger dragons were able to repel many without effort and so on Crequien 17th, 10913 following the death of both Giton and Bartholomew after their confrontation, Emmanuel began offer a reward. At first it was the promise of gold, then in desperation he broke Divine law. Emmanuel offered immortality to anyone who could kill an elder dragon(this would be changed within the year to mean any dragon as there were only less than 300 in existence).
Seasoned adventurers took to the challenge hoping to make a name for themselves. Angels of the most notable houses took the promise of immortality as a sign of unparalleled value to the family reputation. Others of common birth or lower would take to this reward to prove something to society or varying personal matters.
Those Who Fought For Dragons
While nations around the world followed the will of Divinity and their king, the stories of people who stood up to the hunters bot the history books. Akyrie practically united under an opposing banner of hundreds of tribes, packs, and villages. Human settlements in places like Setah would harbour and mislead hunters. Even angels, some of whom had become distraught over their actions fought to save the dwindling dragons. Emmanuel's son, Lucifer rallied against his father politically and championed for an end to the holocaust. His efforts failed and in the end the arch angel was banished.
In 10921 an army led by a ghirout named Lillian Sonara waged a moderately successful campaign against Karkira. She bolstered her forces and attacked from Jericho, Eden, and the seas to the east. The army was defeated in 10924 but it gave enough momentum for Aurora's assault in 10925.
The Last Dragons of Dylaera
By the year 10924 only sixty-five dragons remained. Primarily from the Line of Aurora, these scattered remnants included two of her children, and Fifty-six grandchildren.