The Laughter at Lowland Vale

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The Laughter at Lowland Vale was a conflict between dragon flights witnessed and described by human observers. The dragons of High Mountain later provided some insight. The details of the conflict were recorded in Scalgdorf's On Dragonology and preserved through the ages.

The Conflict

Ozork Flight had long been at war with High Mountain Flight, and contested the region of the Lowland Plains. Though the area was beyond the sphere of influence of both flights, both insisted on defending it to the death. Beginning the mid Second Age, Ozork began to engage in Burn-Stocking in preparation for a major move against High Mountain.

High Mountain established a forward camp at a valley called Lowland Vale (in the region that later became the Plains of Blood and Salt): really nothing more than a corral for large herds of ibex, to provide food for the dragons bivouacking there, but the presence on Ozork's doorstep was considered a major affront.

High Mountain sought to goad Ozork into a traditional dragon battle, where the superior numbers and tactics of High Mountain would give them an advantage. High Mountain had brought several Gold dragons from the depths of its eyrie, plotting a serious victory. When the battle started, it was discovered that Ozork's burn-stocking operation had been much larger than expected, and they had also mind-slaved hundreds of Hellkites to use as "tacklers".

Unable to risk their elders, High Mountain withdrew its Golds and fought a delaying action with experienced Black and Red warriors. Losses were minor, but the fighting was fierce. Human observers on the ground reported unparalleled acts of bravery alongside brutal savagery, and the warriors of High Mountain seemed willing to sacrifice themselves to protect their elders. Still, they fought with a certain confidence that could not be explained.

On the third day of battle, the forces of High Mountain went into retreat. Their elders safely back in the eerie, they retreated as far as the Biswon River, whilst the superior forces of Ozork burned the Lowland Vale until the stones melted, and slaughtered the roaming herds of ibex, then prepared to launch an attack on the waiting army at Biswon, and move directly on High Mountain.

The turning point, seen only by a single human scribe, happened on the night of the retreat. The massive armies of Ozork were on the ground. The night sky, covered in thick clouds, turned suddenly golden as a lash of energy struck the heart of the army. Six Blacks and countless Reds and Hellkites were killed instantly. A second attack followed, but a dragon sorcerer was able to repel part of this one. The observer describes the sight of two hundred dragons taking wing, only to be vaporized in an instant by a cone of light.

The human, an Atayan scribe called Hurn, later composed a poem recording the event:

Falling stars, cast from the sky like so many stones

Fire and thunder paint the yawning emptiness

Never had sound been so deafening and so silent, the screams and roars devoured by the silence.

Brimstone and ash frame the perfect depiction of destruction

Chaos brings its own demise, tempting the sterilizing flames of balance with its destruction.

A fresh slate wiped clean by the fires of hell


Most scholars ascribe the defeat of Ozork to Draco, an incredibly powerful dragon mage. Though not formally a member of High Mountain, he would have sided with that flight. However, Draco responded many times when questioned, that he had no knowledge of the battle and had been asleep through it. It is commonly agreed that a dragon sorcerer must have been involved, but none besides Draco were known to have obtained the necessary power. Still, High Mountain is a dragon flight of great antiquity, and holds many secrets.


The battle was named for the poem composed by Hurn, which spoke repeatedly of the laughter of the dragons of High Mountain as they fought what was, by all accounts, a losing battle. Some point to the wording, that 'laughter' is one letter away from 'slaughter', but Hurn could not be questioned on this point.