The great campaign against the Dragon was a dark time in Ouloos' history when one mischievous god played on the fears of men and found a means of opening their eyes to the secrets of the Lake. He fueled the men with dread, bringing fearsome images of terrifying Dragons to their dreams. The effort took decades, but eventually that fear developed into deep hatred, a spark that would mature into a raging wildfire and nearly consume Ouloos completely. Kallum opened the eyes of men and let them see the Lake, even guided them there. Nearly all of the Dragons were destroyed at the hands of men. Finally, when only one Dragon remained - Helias, the Great Mother - Kaldumahn and Moshat stood in opposition to their brother. They raised an army of men still untainted by Kallum's foul breath and defended the last guardian of the Lake. They beat Kallum's horde back and hid it again from the eyes of men. The spell they cast was so powerful, Kallum never again was able to overcome it.
At that point, it would seem that all was saved, order was restored, and the Universe could resume her slow cycles. Unfortunately, all but one of the Dragons had been destroyed. Now, to say that they were destroyed is not the same as saying they died. They didn't die. Dragons were first after the Lake and are the most powerful beings ever to grace the sweet face of Ouloos. Dragons cannot die. Instead, for every Dragon that was cut down at the hands of violent, misguided men, a new tree sprung up in a band that ran as far north as any man had been and just as far south. By the end of the carnage, the Lost Forest was born. Each tree of that place represented the essence of a Dragon lost from the Lake. This posed severe problems for not only Ouloos, but the entire Universe. You see, the souls of men are drawn home to the Lake by Dragons. After the great campaign, the souls of dead men were still drawn to the Dragons. They were drawn to the Lost Forest and remained there - ghosts haunting a dark wood - until Maelich and Cialia freed them by scattering the deceitful god who first opened men's eyes to the glory of the Lake.
Once Kallum had been cut down, the Dragons were released from their prisons, and the souls bound to them were free to return home. This is the point where we must dive deeper into the Lake. You see, the Lake is not the destination. Think of the Lake as a portal, a portal between Ouloos and Coeptus. Now, this concept may be challenging to understand. Coeptus are everything. Therefore, Ouloos, the Lake, Dragons, and the souls returning home are all part of Coeptus. Even still, I assure you the Lake of Dragons is a gate from one to the other and vice versa. The physical is a part of Coeptus, but being everything, Coeptus have many aspects. The physical is merely one of these. When a soul returns home, it is stripped of all identity and emotion. All of its experiences are released, energy to keep the consistent cycles of the Universe moving, food for the God. Once stripped, the soul is once again an empty vessel free to return to the great gathering of spirits, another aspect of Coeptus. That precise soul will never again exist on its own. It will mingle with the rest, and when a portion of the whole is ready to express itself in the physical, it will return through the Lake of Dragons and inhabit a physical body that is ready to be born and present itself to Ouloos. This completes the circle.
Hmm...the entire thing still seems a bit challenging. Perhaps Coeptus' own words might be more effective. Here is a little piece of Lake of Dragons:
Coeptus stroked their beard, “Well, do you remember the visions you received from the souls lost in the forest?”
“Those visions were memories that belonged to the souls that shared them with you. They only shared the terrifying ones with you, but they were filled with so much more that you didn’t get to see. Those memories are the strength of the souls that they cling to. There are many worlds with beings just like the people of Ouloos. Their souls all carry the same energy from experiences. Upon the death of their physical being, their consciousness is released and returned to the beginning. Imagine a lake with many rivers flowing to and from it. This lake is the beginning. The rivers flowing to it are the portals such as the one you opened by scattering Kallum and freeing the dragons. These portals, or rivers carry the spirits or consciousness of humans, and other creatures for that matter, back to the beginning. When they arrive, the energy they carry is returned to the beginning and they are mixed in with the greater spirit that swirls there in the lake. When new consciousnesses form from this mixture and are ready to present themselves, they are carried through portals or rivers flowing back to the various worlds that exist among the physical. Then they are born into whatever world they happen to be born to as whatever creature they are meant to be, and the cycle continues. Now, we understand that for you this makes your existence seem quite unimportant, but it’s not. Without the experiences, the energy that your spirits possess, the cycle would cease. All would be lost.” They finished with a shrug.
Take heed. You must take the word of Coeptus with a grain of salt. Maelich fully believes that he walked with Coeptus and was given all the great secrets of the Universe. Cialia shares this opinion. However, Kaldumahn - who is a very wise god indeed - is completely certain that one cannot converse with Coeptus. They are everything, not an individual or a consciousness as we would think of it. That being said, it may prove equally foolhardy to take Kaldumahn's word as indisputable truth. All of the gods of Ouloos are shackled by jealousy and a deep need to be worshiped and adored.
It appears we still have some questions left to answer...