The prowling fox readied his hind legs for an intrepid pounce upon its unsuspecting prey. Adrift and at peace, the golden butterfly tested the tall grass stalks, fluttering from stem to stem. The verdant hide of the wild fox and his minute two-foot length—half of which was comprised by a playfully vibrant tail—made the creature most delicately furtive amidst the vast meadows of the Dream. Its wings froze perfectly upward as the butterfly made its pick, settling on the grass stalk of its preference. The fox grinned.
An explosion of actions followed as the fox triggered his pounce and the golden flutterer impassively glided between its aggressor’s paws. The green menace retorted with a comical, two-legged dance and a flurry of paw swings in any which direction exhausting both his energy and dignity. The harm-free butterfly mockingly flew a loop around its playmate then fluttered off. The green fox outstretched to his limits, ignoring balance, then stumbled down a gentle slope. Unable to stop his graceless tumble, his lean body began to curve like a wheel and he rolled inadvertently.
After his rough descent, the fox ended exhausted at the bottom of the slope baring his belly to the light aquamarine sky. As it rested, his inattentive eyes shifted to an indignant stare focused on the glimmering wisp that descended slowly towards the fox’s panting mouth. However, to emphasize its undeniable victory, the golden butterfly carefully avoided its predator’s endless chasm and its jagged, white edges and landed gracefully on top of its black nose even as the fox continued to chomp noisily at the air. The silly fox then relaxed his body knowing he had been bested yet again.
The fox’s cross-eyed repose was suddenly disturbed as a large blurry object darted past his field of vision and brought with it a punishing gust. The butterfly glided away on the turbulent current that had been created lest it would be shred to pieces by the winds had its wings fought against them. The verdant fox stood observant, analysing the enormous creature that flew at an extraordinary speed towards the horizon. It was an emerald dragon and it seemed distressed.
Upon the immaculate sky of the Dream, a shade of absolute black spread like a wet ink spill. Tendrils of ebony rushed towards the still-clear areas above, weaving and webbing their corrupt hue throughout the celestial plain. The tiny green fox watched terrified as the surreal phenomenon altered his invariable, complaisant Dream.
In her frenzied attempt to escape the darkness that was spreading upon the sky at a faster pace than her flight, the emerald dragon began to feel the burning effect of exhaustion on her overworked muscles. Although panicked, her mind refused to let her wings flap with the vigor she had maintained for the past hour.
As its prey slowed, the engulfing Nightmare shot sprouts of its own corrupt entirety and lashed at the dragon’s right wing. With each strike, the darkness flayed the scales and seared the flesh with a malefic poison that began to painfully surge through her veins. The assault was too punishing and the creature crashed violently to the ground. Above her, however, the siege upon the beautiful aquamarine sky was relentless and it would soon be conquered entirely by the Nightmare.
The great dragon looked back upon the meadow she had just traversed and spotted the lonesome emerald fox and his discernable concern for her even though they were leagues apart from each other.
Her heart sank as she watched a tenebrous tidal wave of darkness enclosing upon the little creature that was unaware of his danger. The threat materialized all too quickly and drowned the playful fox in a sea of shadows.
There was nothing the emerald dragon desired more than to help defend and save her dearest Dream from this enigmatic horror but she knew salvation would not be found here.
Emeriss took one last look at the world she was so cowardly abandoning. Swamped by a suffocating darkness, the emerald fox awoke from his macabre metamorphosis. The creature’s tail had lost its lustre and volume and it now resembled a boney whip. It was now grotesquely thin and some ribs pierced his flakey fur, exposing pink flesh. Its mandible now exposed deadly, whetted canines of an unnatural length and its once playful eyes now bore a dim maroon glow.
The golden butterfly returned and flew timidly towards what had become of its playmate. It rested cautiously upon its snout and looked intently into its eyes, noting a paralyzing amount of pain within it. Suddenly, the fox snapped the butterfly between his teeth, shattered its delicate, beautiful wings; robbing the Dream of the tiny creature’s warm glow forever.
The entire Dream was fading to black.
The Eye of Ysera, the luminous orb that housed the Queen and always rested upon the horizon unblinking, was beginning to succumb to the creeping Nightmare. Like a tired eyelid, the darkness slowly curtained the golden sphere until it covered it completely, sending the entire Dream into a restless slumber. The emerald dragon resumed her escape engulfed in a darkness that was occasionally interrupted by the magical glow of the flora that had yet to be tainted. She hurriedly entered the forest and headed towards one of the Great Trees: the sprouts of the World Tree and gateways to the world of Azeroth.
Before stepping through the portal, regret clawed at her but an unusual chill made Emeriss realize that this was not her Dream anymore. If she had any chance to mend the colors of the Dream, she would need the help of the dragon aspects and the mortal races of the other world.