Hail fragile friends!
This week’s question is a rich one.
Fairest Dragon, tales of your treasure hoard have spread far and wide throughout the lands. Do tell— have you ever willingly given some of it up? Princess Zelda
Ah! Another princess. Hopefully you are less horrendously horrible than that OTHER princess I knew. As to your question, I have recently been spending much of my hoard on this book press situation. Geldrin insists that giving up a small portion of my wealth in order to gather supplies and trade for stories is a small price to pay for the information gathered. Thus far I agree with him. These insights into these writers’ lives have been most informative and helps the continuation of my “All-Seeing Eye” title.
This investment is still just that—a voluntary use of my wealth in order to gain more treasure, though of a different kind. However, have I ever simply relinquished any part of my hoard and gained nothing in return? Hardly. I would not be a very smart dragon if I just gave my wealth away. I did, however, come very close to giving up a rather troublesome magical item…
There I was, trapped again. This time in some terribly empty demiplane. Whisps of mist and an endless, barren black sky were my only companions in this infinite void. I flew for hours, desperately looking for an exit, but the only other thing I could find in the near-emptiness was the portal from where I entered this space. It was a tiny square floating above the misty ground, completely impervious to any interaction. Immediately after being dragged into this place, I had focused all my attention on this glowing portal, but quickly found myself trapped behind magically protected glass. In truth, the window was the other side of a small magical mirror. This mirror rests against the wall of my lair, the view from my side showing my vast hoard, terribly out of reach.
Frustratedly concluding that this plane contained no exit, I consented to take a break in front of the impenetrable portal to try and think of a plan. I let out an exasperated sigh, dropped to the ground, and laid my head near the mirror’s reversed reflection of the true world.
A burst of shock ran through my scales as I gazed at my hoard. What was a still and empty treasure room only hours before now contained movement—a gigantic shadow falling on the back wall opposite my mirror prison. I gasped in horror as the figure moved closer to my unguarded gold, rounding the corner, and revealing itself to be the last being I had hoped it would be—Grisgilanaxx the Storm Bringer!
It was only days before that I had seen her in all of her blue-scaled terror, but not before I had spread a little terror myself. I had been soaring over the Zelistann Desert, the desire for pillaging in my fiery veins. Already in this violent campaign I had had some success—a few dusty hamlets had provided me some well-seasoned meals. A few mortals had even voluntarily brought me their spoils, muttering something about “giving me my weekly tribute a day early,” though they all kept their heads bowed, seemingly unable to look me in the eye as they brought out what few coins and baubles they had. They then prostrated themselves before me, keeping their heads buried in the sand, not once gaining the courage to look at my imposing form.
This all made them into wonderfully easy snacks, though it confused me somewhat. I was used to at least some level of fighting or fleeing with my food. Nonetheless, after a few mortal appetizers, I was off, a bit richer and fuller with only the scorched remains of desert villages behind me. I had been flying over a dusty path for a few hours, scanning the land below me for another target. Eventually, far below, I spotted a trail of some large caravan with a handful of mounted guards lumbering along the road. It was only a few bloody minutes after I descended that the horses and guards were consumed and all that was left for me was to crack open the armored carriage and loot the contents inside.
Contained within was a moderate cache—a few brimming chests, gems, goblets, paintings, and whatnot. There was, of course, the owner of the carriage riding as well. He was some well-to-do merchant, I could see, and he began yelling and protesting at my “unfair sacking” of his heard-earned booty, but I ignored his loud complaints and continued evaluating my new loot. I shoved him to the side as I laid my eyes upon a most beautiful sight—an incredibly handsome dragon—me—looking back from a small, ornately crafted mirror riding beside the merchant. I took a second to admire existence’s most powerful being before reaching down and grasping the lovely and very expensive-looking piece.
I placed it in my loot bag slung around my waist and reached down to grab the squabbling merchant. Just before I threw him into my mighty maw, he let out a scream even louder than the one before—
“Ahh!! DRAGON!” he yelled, eyes transfixed on the sky behind me.
Yes. Of course I’m a dragon, I thought. What other being could I possibly…
The force of the blow blasted me through the dusty road, deep into the desert sand. I was pinned by some gargantuan creature, even larger than I, with them having landed from high up onto my distracted self. Because of my might, it hurt only a little, but the disrespect of being attacked from behind caused me to rear back, wyrming myself around to get back at my attacker. I forced the assailant off me with a few forceful bites, and when the dust had settled and I had regained my footing, I found myself glaring face-to-face with a dire-looking blue dragon. Sparks crackled between her teeth, her entire body becoming like a living bolt of lightning, ready to strike. The rage in her eyes seemed entirely unfounded. Who was this blue and what could I have possibly done to make her hate me so?
How did I handle this violent attacker? How did I later get myself trapped in my newly acquired magical mirror? Did I ever get out, or have I been a mirror this whole time? Find out next week, and until then, continue to season yourselves with new experiences!