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Dragon Stories
« on: July 11, 2010, 09:03:53 pm »
//Please feel free to use this thread to post your stories from the Dragon Storytelling Night, for those who couldn't make it to enjoy.
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The Tale of the Dragon
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2010, 09:04:30 pm »
The Tale of the Dragon
Told by Jaelle Thornwood

Long ago, in a distant land, there reigned a king who tried hard to be wise. His lady the queen had died in giving birth to their daughter, and parted from his friend and confidante, he decided to seek advisors who might give him counsel in troubling times.

The king summoned the five wisest sages in his kingdom, one from each region. They were loyal to their country and happy to serve—even when he demanded they be blinded, so that they could “see” better, and thus advise him more effectively. They realized their king was in dire need of wisdom, and consented to become his most trusted advisors ... though more than one was a bit put off by the bit about having their eyes put out.

The sages counseled the king as best they could, in times of war and peace, wealth and famine. The king called upon them for counsel often, so they were not surprised when he summoned them to his chambers one day.

“My advisors,” the king began, “this is a great day for our kingdom, for I have captured a weapon that will make us the mightiest of the lands. And so I have called you here, to advise me on how we might best use this weapon for the glory of our kingdom!”

There was much murmuring and excitement among the sages, and nodding too. And so the king ushered them to the corridor that led to the great courtyard in the center of the castle, where lay the weapon he had spoken of—a huge, green dragon.

The first sage, who had been a great wizard in the shining city by the sea before he had come to serve at the palace, approached the dragon slowly. Of course, he was not able to see the great beast, but he grew close enough to feel its hot, fiery breath upon his cheek. “A spell! The king has found a spell of great fire, with which we can burn down our enemies' strongholds!” Immediately, his mind was filled with plans, of teaching an army of mages the fire spell, and how they could use them to burn down their enemy's forts. He hurried from the courtyard, determined to say nothing to his fellow sages, so that he might gain the king's favor by revealing the key to using this new weapon.

The second sage entered after the first had gone, just as determined to discover the secret of this great weapon. He was sly, for before he had been a sage he had been a spy in the stone city in the middle of the kingdom. None knew more about the dark underside of the country than he did, and he was certain his cunning would win him the answer. He came closer than the first had done, and reaching out a hand, he felt one of the long, sharp, pointed fangs of the dragon, dripping with the dragon's saliva. He jerked his hand back, feeling the acidic burn. “A poisoned dagger!” he muttered to himself under his breath. “Oh, the things we can do with this ... sneaking into the bedrooms of our enemies and undoing them in their sleep ...” He too hurried from the courtyard without consulting any of the others.

The third sage had been a great warrior, and had written many pompous and rather self-serving philosophies on the art of war in his time. He had never quite adjusted to the blindness the king demanded of his advisors, and as he entered the courtyard he tripped on one of the flagstones. As he sought to right himself and regain his feet, his hands found one of the great, curved talons of the mighty beast. “A scimitar! With the keenest edge, unbreakable ... I shall tell the king what our army could do with these weapons in their hands! We would be unstoppable!”

The fourth sage, who had been an actual philosopher (unlike the warrior), knew that it was best to walk all the way around a problem before coming to any conclusions, so that one could look at it from all angles. Of course, this had worked much better for him before the king had ordered his eyes put out, he thought to himself ... and just then he happened to trip over the dragon's great, sinuous tail. He felt all the way around it, felt the life in it and its serpentine nature, and scrambled backwards. “A snake! A serpent! But what is it for?” He was dumbfounded for a moment, but then the obvious answer occurred to him. “Why, the king means it as an answer to the strange siege machines our enemies to the west have been building, the ones that they use to hammer at our fortifications! He means for the serpent to slither onto the battlefield and constrict around them, crushing them ... yes, that must be it.” The idea did not seem quite right to him, but as a philosopher he knew the value of ideas, and as such one idea must be more valuable than none at all, so he embraced it, tossing aside any reservations.

The last sage to go through to the courtyard had been troubled by his disadvantage, and so full of thoughts of how hard-done-by he was to go last that he barely remembered he was approaching a weapon until he bumped right into the side of the great beast. He reached his hands out, and felt the shape of what he had bumped into, unwittingly tracing the outline of one of the dragon's great metallic scales. “But what is this?” the sage murmured to himself. “I thought the king said this was a weapon! This is no weapon, but a shield!” He felt further, finding another such scale to trace. “And another! But more shields does not make it a weapon ... or does it?” He pondered this for a moment. “Aha!” he exclaimed, remembering an adage from his youth. “The best offense is a good defense!” He wasn't sure that sounded quite right, but it seemed close enough and he was impressed with his own insight. “That must be what the king meant by a weapon. We shall outfit our army with shields, and then they shall have no fear of being struck down, and shall be most ferocious in battle!” He hurried from the courtyard as each had done before him, just as secretive, and just as eager to be the one to present the king with the right answer.

When the king summoned his five blind sages to him, he was eager to hear their wisdom and advice. When he dismissed them, a quarter of an hour later, he had a splitting headache and was rethinking this business of having advisors at all. It was then that he noticed a shadow move in the corner of the throne room, and he squinted at it until it revealed itself to be his young daughter, the princess.

“Eavesdropping again, child?” he said, but not crossly, for this child would become a queen and it would serve her well to understand matters of state. He had been proud, in a way, when he had caught her stealing peeks at the dragon earlier that day, watching the sages come and go from the courtyard.

The king sighed lightly as his daughter came to sit upon his knee. “And what do you make of the advice of my five pillars of wisdom, hmm?”

“Well ...” the child spoke slowly, as she often did, for she believed—and rightly so—that it was poor form to speak faster than one could really think, “they are not wrong, Papa. Your weapon is all of these things ... a source of great fire, a dagger to pierce the enemy, a blade to strike down their masses, a tool to destroy their siege devices ... even a shield, to keep our soldiers from harm. The problem is not that they are all wrong ... more that none is all right!”

The king looked down at his heir, listening as she spoke. “They all rushed off without talking to one another. I do not think they are stupid, Papa ... just maybe not as wise as wise men should be. They did not know they were only seeing a part of the whole, or that what they saw was more than the sum of its parts.”

The king kissed the princess's brow. “My daughter is wiser than the wisest sages in the land. From this moment on, you shall be my chief advisor. So tell me, little one ... how shall we use our new weapon first? Which of my blind sages knew best?”

The princess thought on that for a minute, then came to her answer. “The fourth one, Papa. He was closest. You must fly the dragon over your kingdom, like a banner in the sky for all to see, and let the word spread. The dragon's mighty claws and wicked fangs might be able to stave off an attack, but fear of the dragon can prevent one altogether.”

The king was impressed, but still puzzled. “Very wise, my child, but how does that have anything to do with the fourth sage's answer? He thought the beast was a snake!”

“Oh, but he was still closest, father. He just did not know that there was more power in the tale of the dragon than in the dragon's tail.”

The king took his daughter's advice and spread the word of his great weapon, and his kingdom remained safe from invasion for many years once the story of the dragon spread throughout the neighboring lands. He also took her other advice: from that day forth, he demanded that his sages confer on all matters before coming to him, so that they could benefit from each other's wisdom. And never again did he doubt the power hidden in a story shared, or in the tale of a dragon.


Re: Dragon Stories
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2010, 10:08:17 pm »
Now, a long long time ago, in what is now the lands of the Rohden Alliance...
Even back then, they had a strong fleet, with strong sailors, and strong captains' to lead them... Pallena: And none was stronger nor fiercer, than a Captain by the name of Jolen. He had an innate understanding of the sea, the ships, the winds, the currents... And in battle, .... well, stories of the ferocity of his attacks were told throughout Layonara. His fiercenesss in battle was matched only by the fierce love and devotion he felt for his daughter, Lia His only child...
Now, Jolen was a devoted follower of Lady Doom. The Mido under who he served did not really approve, but overlooked it on account of the battles won on his behalf by Jolen.  But... at a reception, the Mido spied Lia, a beauty, and was struck by her so much, be became obsessed. It occurred to the Mido, that although Jolen's protectiveness would keep him away from Lia, if he could get Jolen out of the way, he could have access to her. And so, he summoned Jolen before him, told him that he did not approve of Mistites in his navy, and banished him to a distant isle...
Lia, was obviously upset at this, and went to the Mido to try and have him rescind the order of exile... but instead, he began to make advances on her. Of course, as a daughter of a capitan in the navy, she was no defenseless damsel, and drew a dagger to ward off the mido. The Mido backed down quickly, and Lia, recognizing that she would not be wlecome in the kingdom, fled to go search for her father.
[She came upon a fisherman, and begged him to take her to the isle where her father was in exile, but to no avail. He replied that there were strange goings on over there, and that no one risked their life by setting sail in those waters. Being the daughter of a great captain, however, she traded the few pieces of jewelry she had in exchange for the boat, and set off on her own.
Lady Doom decided to test her that night... and between the waves, the darkness, and her inexperience, her boat capsized, and she blacked out...

When she came to, she saw a young girl in a white robe, sobbing, and a shaman chanting behind her. She inquired what was going on, and the shaman explained that the girl was to be sacrificed to a great sea dragon. The village that was nearby sacrificed a young girl every month... for if they did not, the dragon would attack the village, and eat its fill of the villagers.

Believing that she had failed in her search to find her father, -and sure that she would be executed for attacking the Mido if she returned - she said that she would take the young girl's place. To the astonishment of the shaman, and the gratitude of the girl, she traded her clothes for the sacrificial white robe, put her dagger between her teeth, and dove off, into the water.

Swimming for what seemed like forever, she suddenly saw the glint of a scale.
The glint turned into a long, sinuous body, clawed limbs, and a maw lined with perhaps hundreds of razor-sharp teeth... *pauses* One eye had been put out, a dragony scale-patch having grown over to protect the empty socket. Thinking that it was the typical sacrifice, the creature opened its mouth wide...
Lia waited until the last possible second, then dove away from the mouth, drew her dagger, and stabbed out the monster's good eye.  The creature roared a sound that stirred waves for leagues around. Lia was buffeted to the side, but not wanting to give up her advantage, dove back in towards the beast, dagger in hand. The two churned great currents in the water - the creature, even blind, still moving too quickly and too forcefully for Lia to get a good chance.

At this point, her supply of air was getting small, her lungs ached to return to the surface. But she willed herself to hang on... and finally, she saw her chance, dove in quickly, and pierced the Dragon's neck! It thrashed around for a while longer, but that only served to make it bleed faster... and finally, it died.
After surfacing, she dove back down - for dragons often keep trinkets in their den. And, Lo and Behold, she found a curious statue, in the likeness of the Mido. She swam back up with it, and took it to the Shaman. He immediately recognized it as a powerful object of magic - a dark joining of sea-dragon magic with that of the Mido's advisors. You see... the Mido, not content to merely banish Lia's father, had allied with the dragon to concoct magic to curse Jolen as well, with a disease that would eventually kill him. Lia took the statue and bashed it on the rocks - breaking the curse, and reflecting it back on the mido - the price of meddling with dark magics and dragons. At the center of the statue, was a small orb... it contained the magic of location for the curse... and when she held it, she could feel the direction her father was in. And so, the villagers, in gratitude for slaying the dragon, took her in a boat to find the isle her father had been exiled to. The mido, the curse having been reflected onto him, slowly withered away and died. Afterwards, father and daughter returned to their home, where there were greeted warmly - everyone having agreed that the banishment was unjust, and once more, Jolen took the helm of his favorite ship.


Re: Dragon Stories
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2010, 10:24:30 pm »
For those of you who have ever been to Tilmar, on the northeastern tip of the island there is a place called ru-Rikujou, or the Redlands.  It is mile after mile of hard-baked red clay and very little grows there.

How the ru-Rikujou came to be has many legends on Tilmar.  This one is specific to Huangjin.  It happened long enough ago we can no longer measure it neatly in centuries or millennium, let us suffice to say it was once upon a time?  And so...

Mukashi mukashi, aru tokoro ni...once upon a time, the ru-Rikujou was not red, nor composed of barren clay.  It was a lush oashisu, oasis, home to many animals, plants, trees and small bodies of water.  A forest desert, if you can imagine such a thing.  

The coastal area was thick with reeds and pools where small fish hid to become large fish, and large fish hid to remain that way in the face of bigger, hungrier things that haunted the shore.  

Here on the coast of the oashisu, two creatures stood atop the food mountain; crocodiles, and men.  And he that kept them balanced was a lord among both.  Kushiri, the hebi-doragan or serpent-dragon.  

The fisherman, knowing the dragon's love of precious things, had long ago made a deal with the water-serpent.  They contributed part of their wealth to Kushiri -- for he especially enjoyed fine jewelry and gems -- and he commanded his crocodiles to eat only at night, leaving the coast for the fisherman when the sun was in the sky.

For many generations this arrangement worked for both man and beast; the fishermen ate, the crocodiles ate, and Kushiri was pleased with his treasure.

But one evening there came a daimyo, a warlord, on his way to a city west.  And he walked along the beach just as shiruba-Manako, Ausir, was full, and the fishermen had dumped their tithe into the ocean.

The daimyo was curious at what he saw.  In his deep, booming voice he asked "What is this, that you throw treasure to the sea?"

The fisherman explained about their bargain with the serpent.  But the daimyo became angry that a beast put himself above man and bade them stop.

"You could feed an army with that coin, or build weapons!  What does this dragon do with it?  Nothing!  Stop tithing the monster and I will protect you from the crocodiles."

The fishermen were divided at first but the daimyo was persuasive, as powerful men can be, and promised to return and protect them when the next tithe was due.  And so the fisherman did not collect the tribute but went about their fishing.

When shiruba-Manako was full in the sky again the daimyo fulfilled his promise to return, walking to the highest hill of the beach and looking down upon the sea.  The fishermen stood behind him and when the tribute did not appear, Kushiri rose from the waters in great anger.


The daimyo stood tall.  "These men will no longer bow to you.  They are men and they will bow to a man!"

Kushiri became even angrier and he called to his crocodiles to come tear the daimyo apart, and the fishermen with him.  But the crocodiles, fat and slow from years of contentment, were no match for the powerful warlord and fell back as they died to his blades.

Kushiri raged and came from the water in a serpentine silver-blue rush, as long as a row of houses with his membranous fins open in a frightful display.  Daimyo and dragon lept at each other with weapons of ivory and metal, clashing so hard that the ground shook for miles around.

The dragon would have defeated the man, should have defeated the man, but for one thing.  The daimyo had powerful spells of fire.  He called on the Al'Noth and flame wrapped around the hebi-doragan until the great serpent curled from agony.

And while Kushiri lay smoking in the heat, the daimyo strode over and sliced open the serpent's neck.

The fishermen did not know to cheer or mourn the dying dragon.  Kushiri gave one last gasp before the light of thousand years faded from his eyes...and they thought this was the end.

But one action always brings another -- and the consequences can be worse than the problem that was fixed.

Kushiri's life poured from his vast body.  Steaming hot, it flowed across the sands, leaving soupy red mud; it mixed in the tree-ringed pools, staining the water; it ran down the hill and across the beach into the waters where the crocodiles waited for their lord to return.  The crocodiles tasted their lord's death and cried promises of revenge to the treacherous men.

Just as the dragon's blood had changed the oashisu, it changed the crocodiles.  They grew larger and more hostile swimming in the red-tinted seawater.  Without Kushiri to rule them they went wild with hunger and fury.  As their numbers swelled even the daimyo became concerned and called for a retreat.

But there was no place to retreat to.  The oashisu was a steaming mud pit and the families of the fishermen wailed as their homes had washed away in the river of blood.  The daimyo gathered up the displaced and took them west with him, off the bloody ground to safety.

Ever since that day and all the way to now, the crocodiles of the ru-Rikujou have been the most frightening creatures on those shores and fat, tasty fish no longer have to hide from men.  

A motto?  Before you cut the head off a dragon, know what will spring in its place.


Re: Dragon Stories
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2010, 12:41:08 pm »
//I left the emotes because a) it is from the log and not formatted ahead of time, and b) it self-references so it looks kind of weird without them, and anyway the words weren't the entire point of her attempt. Sorry! ;)

[INDENT]When half the inn exits as she was putting fingers to guitar strings, she calls out several curses to follow them out. After a few minutes of grousing she claims that it was just as well, and turns towards the fire with hands cupped around her mouth, inhaling deeply, only to turn back toward the remaining onlookers and blow it all out again. Smoke pours from her mouth to swirl into a large, winged shape in classic street performer style.

DRAGON TALE, right? She lowers her fingers to the strings and only plays a light chord at the end of each line.

Well, I thought I'd tell a story...
About a wyrm or two...
One of tears or one of glory,
or even lovey goo.

She strums another that perhaps deliberately finds a discordant note that matches her wrinkled nose, then picks up half a rhythm with a trilling of a string

But as I bent to this next task,
to choose which might unfold...
I soon was reaching for a flask
(and went through six all told)

Her fingers still the strings of the guitar as she looks up with an indignant expression, the smoke dragon dissolving into a hundred shapeless wisps.

In short, we have entirely TOO many bloody dragons!

The swarm of trilled notes to a languid beat continues as she seems to ponder aloud

There's Fisterion the red of course,
king of dragons, he
(Or at least that's what he says he is,
It's all the same to me)

The fire pops and the exercise of the strings spins a form of shifting red smoke.

Knad'radoniad did his bidding,
when he raged on Leringard
...Though 'fore him was Fraxhdilakizskar,
before the north was island shards

The smoke swirls and dances out two more in miniature, those gifted in magic recognizing that it is not the words that shape them but the working and gesturing fingers of the guitar strings to music. She sighs dramatically.
But like a rival sibling came the shadow,
or he of the poorly lit tomb

She quips with a grin as a shadowy curl of smoke detaches and forms hints of wings, then calls out mockingly,
It seems to be deepening but never quite darkening!
...I'd sing different were he in the room.

Ractrafieroz the Tarnished Death
not poor Bastion of the fall
a black with hatchlings drawing breath
who switched sides and left her hall

Three more form, one easily double the size of any other.

Weeeeeeeeeeell enough of that.

She puffs her cheeks and blows them into the fire when the shadows in smoke begin to war to the notes of the strings, only to have more parade out with every line.

There's Ozlo that summoned me for the war
and AAALLLL the wyrmlings he'd hidden before

She makes a groaning face as a litter of smaller ones appear with the larger form

There's Katia's lover who guarded the gate
(unless you think Rofie ain't playin' it straight)

Rofirein himself and his nemesis Rage,
the silver abandoned in a Corathite cage...

The illusions swirl in half remembered shapes as the calloused fingers trill faster on the strings as they come more quickly, one after another joining in a chaos around her. The challenge for her appears not to be the words themselves, sloppy at best in playful absence of meter and rhyme whenever she pleases, but in the many threads around her.

Granarock's silver in the Peaks,
The white that kissed a merman's cheeks,
The blue that set on Gloom a curse,
A dozen that lived only in verse!

All were clamoring to be heard!

She puts her hands over her ears and yet with a performer's trick the guitar strings continue to vibrate with the music she had set it, smoke shapes warring with one another

Each the one to be preferred!

But the absurd occurred and the words were blurred and I just stop-it-right-there one at a time, buddy!

The music stills as she flops backwards into the pillows, and all the illusions puff out with the collapse.


Whew. She sits up again.

So one by ONE they all crept out.
Some big and tall, some short and stout
(Well, those are the stories with dwarves in them)

In scales of many colors,
In stories true and not,
From winged snake to giant drake,
I recalled what I'd forgot

She takes an exaggerated deep breath as her fingers dance along worn strings once more

It was the toleflor that gave creation,
And they do not like abuse
What dragons made and tossed away,
Caused trials without excuse

...You didn't know I could rhyme those words, did you? But I've got the guitar.

Ma'lsvi'riejir'litrix the Mouthful,
Who's done this all before
The dragon lord that commanded plague,
Our echoes of older war

Leir'ith'aurix ...!
she declares, seeming to savor either the name or only needing one try for it

...His only son
Through -his- blood was all the means
To make his work undone

Dhemur'isia the Judged,
who concocted unicorns...

Her lyrical voice trails off as her moving fingers conjure a herd that only runs straight back into the fire. They fade abruptly with the rest and she starts again once more, picking up with the guitar where she left off, and the smoke shapes begin once more to crawl out insistently

Kraraxeni that was the storm before Mist,
and Esy’chythsus his cold golden thief ...
Uh, Shindy the priestess was awfully *censored*ed
Since her Nararsa it was that had come to grief

Another joins at the naming, and she squints upwards as though to ponder.

Perhaps the Elasanien planned too early
For Rahxlamakliza...

A shape of smoke rears up dark and terrible, then abruptly curls up
The Winged Demon is still asleep,
he'll die of old age, surely?

Aaannddd before Lucinda there were dragons plural,
To spin and hold the Weave...
Just one mortal became Al'Noth,
and may She never leave!

She clucks her tongue as if she's ticking down a list as more join the others.

Black torn-ear was dismembered,
Sold at market just as black...
Prolly we should have then remembered,
To clean up after attack

Fezrekthania the Broken One,
For being dead she's had quite the run!
Dre'zlunkhazhn of the foulest breath,
And his buddies that helped Hurm to death

Each joins the others in swirling forms that are clearly becoming a strain, her fingers moving faster with her voice above

Yzyartkadrania, not to be confused with Yog'oldrania,
one blue and one huge
Blueberry* and Yoggie forever!
Fem dragons wearing rouge!

No? Alright. I could do this all *censored* day, you know.

A dragon that takes tales as tribute
Is one I can get behind
Mdherki Yri and Emberblade,
To them I will contribute

...What do you mean that rhyme doesn't count? It counts 'cause I say it counted.

Another of swirling red smoke appears beside, and  a tiny one glowing green curls in her lap. She bulls ahead as the legions of smoke miniatures war and explore about, and more whirl out in a frenzy.

A dragon visage in the swamps!
Vanavar's that got the chomps!
Jennara's sighting of copper coins,
Island cults with bloody loins

One SAT on me in the plane of fire,
One flew my sister ever higher,
Another captured then escaped,
Sent in poison to be shaped

Dragon sightings o'er the sea,
some friends and foes of you and me
More yet stir within the earth,
AS IF OF DRAGONS we'd had a dearth!

At that she glares at the chaotic parade almost concealing her form, there are so many of them, and they all puff out of existence save the shapeless green mote in her lap

Goodness knows what I've forgotten.

...Of old and new and just plain rotten
All the Houses with wyrms at arms,
and bedtime stories with all their charms...

She squints at Jaelle. Suffice it to say, this night's subject is ENTIRELY too broad.

Aahhhhhhhhhhhh well... Her fingers continue the strumming playfully.

Here you have a thousand parts,
and not a single whole

When you've not a question** that's what you'll get
A flood without control!

She directs the last to Andrew, her voice carrying easily, then twangs on the guitar in a cheeky button ending.[/I]

*Earlier in the evening she had decided aloud that "Blueberry" would make an excellent nickname for the Long Storm.
**Andrew had earlier asked others for information, but stated he did not know enough to even form a question.


Re: Dragon Stories
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2010, 06:01:07 pm »
*Wren, After listening to Acacea's song performed by a few other bards, goes in search of her to ask about a few of the verses near the end of the song*


Re: Dragon Stories
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2010, 06:43:58 pm »
((If Wren had not ditched the party he might have simply seen it performed rather than making up an audience :P ))


Re: Dragon Stories
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2010, 11:12:19 pm »
Quote from: Acacea
((If Wren had not ditched the party he might have simply seen it performed rather than making up an audience :P ))

//sorry ran off to RP about a mission he was on, about the same subject :P of course. When it rains it pours.