A hearty hello, mortal masses!

     At first, I thought the question today was yet another attempt at probing for weakness. In my centuries of life, I’m sure I have made many enemies. Nearly any question that asks about potential vulnerabilities are usually thrown out, but Geldrin insists that today’s question-asker is purely making polite conversation.

Interesting question, dear dwarf! Geldrin absolutely assures me that you are not, in fact, any of the dwarves whose strongholds I have plundered over the years, so I will indulge you with an honest answer…

As you may or may not know, all dragons are allergic to so-called “dragonsbane” weapons and poisons. Though, from my understanding, it is not an actual allergy as much as it is something more magical in nature. Dragonsbane can unravel the very fabric of what gives a dragon its power. Though a constant threat to my life and dragons as a whole, dragonsbane is, fortunately, an incredibly rare thing indeed. The dwarves of Dol Kragon possessed such weapons, as have a few other creatures I’ve encountered over the centuries, but most beings I’ve met or eaten had hardly even heard of it. Thank the great platinum dragon and his multi-headed counterpart for that!

As far as mundane, non-magical allergies go, there’s only one that comes to mind. Some time ago I was flying high above the Dhasbrola mountain range when a large rock zipped right past my head, followed moments later by a few more. A small village situated near the tip-top of the peak was firing boulders at me with a catapult or trebuchet—not that it makes a difference, as the stones failed to harm or frighten me off or whatever the village’s citizens had planned. In fact, a dragon like myself cannot ignore such a disrespectful show of force, thus I had to show these mountain dwellers the folly of their ways! (Also, I hadn’t eaten in a few hours, so I was starving!)

Swooping in closer to the many grass-roofed stone cottages, I saw fairly large humanoids running for cover. Most surprising, however, was that these fleeing mortals resembled ogre-sized humans, but with the heads and attributes of wooly cows! Later, I would find that these creatures identified themselves as “yak-folk.” Somewhat resembling minotaurs, but a bit hairier, they displayed a fierce tenacity. This bravery became apparent as I landed on their cliff-sided village outskirts, crushing a few stone-throwing machines under my massive feet, and realized that they were not running in fear as I thought. Annoyingly, these yak folk were instead running for their weapons, arming themselves with large spears and clubs! As if these pathetic weapons would have any effect on me! Ha!

Spears flew, clubs clobbered, and grass-roofed cottages were burninated by my fiery breath as these milky men tried in vain to drive me off. Though they could not hurt me in any significant way, their attempts were somewhat annoying. I might have decided to cease and teach them a lesson by simply destroying most of them and leaving the rest alone to consider the error of their ways, but only a minute into the battle, something absolutely changed my mind and my life…

I had just finished toppling a surprisingly sturdy stone cottage when the yak-man inside attempted to drive a spear into my eye. Well, I gobbled him up in an instant, expecting a decent, although somewhat too-hairy of a meal. Instead, the flavor was so… incredible. Indescribable. I would have never guessed. Notes of anger, evil, beefiness, and a subtle hint of cheesy, creaminess were all complimented by some other taste I had never experienced before. It was like elements of some unknown, faceless force permeated this mortal’s flesh, and the flavor was AMAZING.

Though the battle was raging around me and as I was being pelted by numerous spears, I took a second to just appreciate the flavor… before immediately consuming the next one I could get my claws on.

As the mooing screams died in my mouth, I once again was hit by the most magnificent of flavors. Beef. Evil. Anger. Milk. Otherworldly radiance. Cheese! This one was even better than the first! In a flavor-fueled fever, I descended on the rest of the town, yak men, women, and children all being tossed into my maw like I’ve seen Geldrin eat salted nuts after a particularly long scribbling session.

Editor’s Note: Hi! Geldrin here! Yes, I DO love salted nuts. Also, first, I just want to say thank you to all of you who have kept with us for all these storytimes. Grendel is surely the world’s most long-winded dragon, so I appreciate your patience and interest! Secondly, I want to apologize for the continued graphic nature of these stories. Grendel sure does like talking on and on about how much he loves his food. I promise I’ve convinced him to give a diet of purely insentient beings a try, and it’s been working! For now. Also, I want to apologize in advance for the rest of this story. I, unfortunately, know where it’s going from here, and it’s not a pleasant ending.

After only a few more bloody, hairy minutes, the entire village was destroyed, and every yak-person was successfully in my swollen gullet. I then took off from the cliffside town, somewhat awkwardly as it took much more effort to fly than it had only a few minutes before. Absolutely worth it, I thought, as the milky flavor still permeated my mouth.

However, only an hour or so later as I flew back toward my lair, the real terror started, and here’s where we get back to the reason why this story is about an allergy instead of “what’s the most delicious animal-headed humanoid you’ve ever eaten.” First, my tummy rumbled in a veryodd way. I have, in my long life, eaten all manner of odd things. Spiked turtles, trolls made of pure acid, pickled dwarves, and an intelligent slime or two have all found their way into my ravenous stomach with hardly a gurgle in protest. Immediately, I knew something was wrong.

Moments later, I was struggling to stay aloft as my belly twisted and turned in a chaotic chorus of burbles and groans. I was a few miles high, far above the clouds and the pressure in my tuckus informed me that I would not be able to make it to land before a flood of hardly digested yak-men came flooding out of my…

Editor’s Note: EDITOR’S NOTE: HI! SO SORRY. I’m going to have him skip ahead. You fine folks REALLY don’t need to read what I just had to hear.

Hmm… anyway, it’s said to this day that the settlements and towns that lay in the valleys between the yak-men’s ruined village and my lair still recall the time that horror rained down from the clouds. Many priests and people of faith made penance with their gods as they assumed they had committed such a horrible offense as to have what they call “The Revulsion of the Sky” rain down from the heavens. I just remember that day as the time I learned that I have a very specific allergy to yak-folk. Geldrin says I’m a sort of “lactose intolerant,” whatever that means.

You may be surprised, however, to note that this episode didn’t completely dissuade me from consuming yak folk. In fact, whenever I encounter them, I still can’t resist that beefy, evil, milky flavor! I just consume and prepare for the worst. Hey, maybe I could weaponize it if I get the timing right… maybe if I eat another village of the hairy creatures right before raiding a castle, I could fly over and…

Editor’s Note: Editor’s Note: Alrighty folks, I’ll just end this here. Thank you for enduring this rather disgusting story. Until next time, thank you all again for your time and interest! Continue to “season your minds,” as Grendel likes to say, and for those of you with allergies, just know that even the most powerful of beings still gets a rumble in his mighty tumble from certain meals, so give yourselves a break! Until next time!