Friday, May 16, 2014

Of the Dragon Riders

It is said that a Prince of their people, Cynquil, came upon three dragons feasting on a bovine of his heard. He called to the dragons, not knowing their true nature and ordered them to be off, thinking he at least could salvage the meat. But the beasts only growled, the larger of them, turning on the kill to face the young man. Cynquil hesitated, and though armed with a sword and a shirt of chain, he did not know what strength the beasts possessed. He watched them through the long morning.

He saw the dragons were meticulous in their actions. As they ate, they cleaned themselves, and any disagreement caused them to stretch out their necks, and show their armored hides, fangs, or claws. They spoke to one another in their own tongue, though the words seemed to tumble into the air, more than from their throats or mouths. He listened to them, and with his craft he understood them. But he smiled for they sounded petty as they bragged one to the other of deeds or misdeeds.

At last Cynquil rose and strode amongst the dragons and they growled, spreading wings across the ground and tails snapping to and fro. As Cynquil approached he cast runes into the air and walked through them, making him seem ever greater than he was, and he was already a great man. When he stood in their midst he uttered more runes, casting them out and about to settle like chains upon the dragons, for they were charming runes and runes designed to ease one's mind and open it to suggestions. But when he spoke his tongue was honey and dripped of kindnesses, compliments and other words of praise that made the dragon's mind ease and think better of the Prince.

He talked then of flying and wondered aloud how it must be to fly so high in the heavens. In truth he knew, for he piloted a craft that sailed the skies. And the greater of the three dragons thought to himself that here was an ignorant creature who deserved his pity.

He offered to bare him aloft, thinking that later, he could shake this creature from his back and slay him. So Cynquil climbed onto the dragon's back and bound himself there with runes. Hardly had Cynquil finished his runes than the beast launched into the air, beating it into submission. With powerful strokes it rose, clearing the forest in short order. It climbed high and fast, rode the winds, and cut the clouds and Cynquil knew such joy as no man or beast in all the wide world. His laughter pealed on high and he called the beast the greatest of all creatures of the sky, earth and seas. The dragon's heart softened at these words and it took a primal joy in the man's happiness. For many hours they flew, until the beast returned to the clearing and its kill. The dragon's companions had finished the feast and looked up at their return.

Once upon the ground Cynquil called the beast many complimentary names, crowning him with his language. And the dragon was secretly gratified.

But then Cynquil challenged the dragon to battle, offering to spar with him, not onto the death, but in a contest only, for he deemed the dragon held his might above all things. Indeed he was a dragon young, but in the full of his power. And the dragon thought to himself that here was an easy proof of this creature's frail being and took up the challenge. In deeds both bold and swift Cynquil defeated the beast, wielding runes and blade in concert. At last the dragon fell to his arms and called for mercy and Cynquil called him friend and servant and bound the beast to him.

"No mercy can I give oh drake of heaven's sent. For I deem you have held back the greater of your powers in this contest and given me the victory for such a creature you are." Though in truth Cynquil knew he had bested the dragon.

And the dragon became enamored of Cynquil and knew his words were true and he was the greater of the two for he had spared the man. And it seemed to him that he must stay with the man, protect him and allow him to visit the heavens on high.

So the first of the dragon riders came to be.

2 comments:

SpiralBound said...

Depending upon the setting, Dragons range in intellect from simple beasts to genius. Your interpretation places them within the range of smart animal, making them intelligent enough to be useful, yet gullible enough to be fooled (albeit with the aide of magic). This is an admirable treatment of the dragon human dynamic needed for a dragonrider. Too often, little justification is given for why such powerful creatures would deign to be ridden, your explanation serves nicely.

Troll Lord said...

Thank you sir! I love the concept of Dragon Rider, but like you, wonder at the processes it would take to convince an extremely intelligent creature to be a mount.