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Creation Date: March 1st, 2010 07:15 PM
Blue Ghost Blue Ghost is offline
Musings of a Knight of the Imperium.
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In Moot Member Blogs Dragons Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #555 New May 26th, 2019 02:47 AM
Dragons are cool. Mythical flying reptiles that stream fire from some organ that mixed incendiary ingredients, and like a biological flame thrower, incinerate enemies; knights, peasants and other dragons. At least that's the European version, and often associated with either an intelligent or semi-intelligent reptilian intellect.

If I understand correctly the Chinese Dragon is all about good will and luck, a real economic boom to the village it visits.

I kind of prefer the Europeanized draco that's been sourced from exposed dino skeletons and the like, and then married to some other mythical creatures who do some kind of stuff in medieval or even classical lore.

Valerian; "Are you afraid of dragons?"
Ulrich; "No. In fact if it weren't for wizards there wouldn't be any dragons. Oh, I know this creature of your's, Vermithrax Perjorative "

At which point the late great thespian Sir Ralph Richardson goes on to describe an Ancient Dragon. He describes Vermithrax as an ancient being who is disgusted and fed up with the woes of the world, an elderly parent attempting to bring her young into a world fraught with simian descendants bent on her destruction.

Imagine yourself in 13th century armor, and you come upon a teenage dragon say it's maybe the size of a pony, feasting on the remains of a newlywed couple who fled their village in rapturous bliss, heading out for a new town to start a new life with the blessing of their kin, only to be beset by a brimstone man-eater with leathern wings.

Visor down, lance couched under your arm, shield up, you charge! What the outcome is I have no idea. Hopefully you're victorious. A charge, and you ram your lance into its shoulder. It snaps like a swig under the creature's strength. You draw your sword and hack at the vile beast! You vow to avenge the ravaged couple of this scourge. But your horse rears, and throws you before trotting off to safety as the dragon singes it with a quick stream of napalm like liquid fire.

It's just you, your shield and sword. Your tabard smokes with a near miss, and you deflect another lethal stream of heat, but your shield is too hot to handle anymore. The creature rears up on its hind legs and is about to pounce when you charge with your razor sharp last chance weapon, and spew black vermillion as you slice into its gut.

Woe, I feel like continuing this story, but I had thoughts about dragons to divulge, not create a new novel.

Anyway, dragons are cool monsters because they can be just moronic predators with no values, or they can be predators with a very high intellect, and they just don't care who you are because they'll talk to you all night, and then decide whether or not to turn you into a flambe lunch.

In short, their good bad guys to write about, and the smarter they are, the more interesting they are. I remember when I read the Hobbit as a child, and I got to the part with Smaug, and all his glory as described by Tolkien. that page and a half of Smaug describing himself and exchanging wits with Bilbo was unforgettable.

Smaug strikes me as the kind of dragon you couldn't take down with a mere lance charge. Ergo what's-his-name not Elrond the guy, the chief guardsman of Lake Town, a quick search, and it's Bard the Bowman, captain of the guard with his black arrow. Who, in the words of Daffy Duck playing Robin Hood, shoots a cloth yard shaft through his wishbone, or that exposed area on Smaug's stomach.

Vermithrax is a different story. Or, as my "the transwarp drive must be down here" friend put it, after Galen lost his battle with the beast, "But he hurt it!" Which was my observation was well. Galen alone could not kill so nasty a creature as Vermithrax, but imagine a well equipped troop with duplicate spears the likes of which Galen had. Yeah, now we're talking bringing down that beast with some gusto.

Dragons like their contemporaries of manticores, griffons, "drakes", unicorns and the like, are made up or inspired from legend and experience with animals or other critters out in the wild that have traits of larger things we imagine. That's what makes them so fun to talk about and write stories about. I've got maybe a half dozen dragon pics for inspiration, and wonder what it would be like to see one fighting a knight from a distance. I would not want to talk to a super intelligent dragon, because let's face it, he might be eyeing me and whoever else is with me, as lunch

But it sure is fun to read about them, or see them in movies. I think that's about all I have on the subject. As per my thread on the topic, I do believe there are animals encounters that codify them for Traveller. Good luck! Where's my ACR with my 203ish GL?

Prepare to jump! One! Two! Three! JUMP!
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