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Echoes of Thunder is the first chapter of The Dragon Prince, debuting its first book Moon. The premiere took place on September 14, 2018.

As the human kingdom of Katolis braces for an attack by Moonshadow elves, King Harrow makes plans to send his sons Callum and Ezran away to a safe place.

Summary

A prologue explains the setting: Long ago, humans used dark magic and were driven off by dragons and elves. Now, after humans killed the dragon king and his egg, war is imminent. Elven assassins assemble to kill the human king Harrow and his heir Ezran. The youngest among them, Rayla, is disavowed after she shows mercy to a guard.

Plot

Long ago, the huge continent, Xadia, was a land diverse with life and magic. Magic originates from only six primal sources: Sun, Moon, Stars, Earth, Sky, and Ocean. But a thousand years later, a human mage discovered another source: Dark Magic, whereby it enables people to create magic by simply taking the magical essence of any Xadian creature, ultimately killing it. The practice horrifies Xadians and it was soon condemned. The Elves and Dragons punished mankind by forcibly banishing them to the Western lands. A divided continent resulted, where Xadia remains on the East side while all the human kingdoms remain in the West. To ensure the separation, the King of the Dragons, dubbed "Thunder", pledged to defend the border dividing the continent. Centuries past until the humans managed to use powerful Dark Magic to bring down the dragon and destroyed his only egg that contains his heir, the Dragon Prince. Soon after, the Elves vowed war against the humans.

Four months later, during a thunderstorm, a human guard on patrol notices the presence of Moonshadow Elves. A lone female elf, Rayla, is given the task to kill the guard before he could alert the castle. The assassin eventually catches the human, but she hesitates allowing the guard to make his escape. The High Mage, Lord Viren, is quickly informed of what the guard witnessed. He urgently requests an audience with King Harrow of the kingdom of Katolis, briefing him about the threat of an impending assassination by the Moonshadow Elves during the full moon, where they'll be almost unstoppable. King Harrow decides that they seek and attack the elves before nighttime. Meanwhile, Rayla returns to the elves' camp where she uses red berries on her blades to mimic blood in order to disguise the fact she failed her goal.

Prince Callum begins training swordsmanship with Soren, member of the elite Crownguard. During training, Callum is awestruck by Soren's sister, Claudia, reading a book nearby. Soren sees through Callum and helps him out on trying to impress her by pretending to be outmatched by Callum. Callum, alongside his stepbrother Prince Ezran, is suddenly summoned by King Harrow. Harrow informs the princes that they will soon be sent to the Banther Lodge, despite it being used only during the winter. Ezran expresses concern for this sudden news but Callum reassures him.

Viren summons his son, Soren, and daughter, Claudia, to his chambers where Soren is briefed on an important mission of finding the secret camp of the Moonshadow elves before sundown. Viren provides him a giant moon moth, that will lead them to the camp's location. Soren wonders, if they fail to find the elves, they would kill the King. Viren scolds him to stay silent on that possibility, since not even the princes fully knows about the situation their father is in. Soren assembles his raiding party and prepare to leave, but is interrupted by Callum, volunteering to join their mission as well. Soren rejects the prince's request, knowing he's too young and unprepared. Callum returns to his room to resume packing, but he sees Ezran still playing with his glow toad, Bait. Frustrated, Callum lashes out and reveals the truth to Ezran that their father is in danger of assassination, explaining why they're being sent away. Ezran becomes upset and runs back to the other room, leaving Callum ashamed by his actions.

The leader of the Moonshadow Elves, Runaan, commences a ritual where each of the elven assassins pledge an oath for justice by symbolically binding themselves to the cause with a white ribbon on their arms. Once they have killed the King, Runaan will send a shadow hawk carrying a blood ribbon message to be received by the Queen of the Dragons. Meanwhile, Soren releases the moon moth and files deeper into the forest, with Soren's party following close behind. The moon moth makes it to the elves' camp, with Runaan realizing that the humans are aware of their presence. With little time to act, Runaan casts a spell that turns them all invisible just as Soren and his knights arrive. The moon moth remains in place, leaving Soren to conclude that it failed to find the elves and heads back to prepare their defenses. The last of the human knights take one long glance of the clearing, the very same human Rayla allowed to escape.

As soon as all the humans leave, the elves revert to being visible again and Runaan realizes that Rayla lied about killing the guard. Rayla reasons that she became merciful of the human because of the fear he expressed and that she couldn't kill someone who hasn't done any harm. But with their mission jeopardized, Runaan tells Rayla, that by letting the human live, she potentially condemned them all to death.

Trivia

  • Love Amongst the Dragons, the book Claudia is shown reading, is a reference to the fictional play of the same name featured in the Avatar: The Last Airbender, a television show Aaron Ehasz worked on previously as a writer and co-executive. This reference was deliberately put in as a nod to fans of the show.[1]
  • The Persimmon jelly tarts in the bakery are based on Hamantash.[2]
  • The scene picturing the Elves casting out the Humans from Xadia was an event that was inspired by the Trail of Tears, and was supposed to show that a lot of innocent humans suffered because of the actions of a few Dark Mages.[3]

References

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