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Author Topic: Conversing With Dragons  (Read 2805 times)
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Garret Arroway
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« on: 23 March 2009, 06:55:23 »

Conversing With Dragons

The following story was found in a letter among the possessions of a long standing patron of the Compendium in New Santhala when she passed away. The letter seemed to be from one Kendric Treggar to an unknown recipient and held the story below as it has been recorded (almost word for word, with the execption of a few spots where scribes made changes to the wording) retelling one of his stories as he had preformed it. While many doubt that the tale is true, odder things have been known to happen then to have a young man run into a dragon with a tale or two to share and time to tell them. Either way this story of a dragon's greed and the reason behind the sparkling of the sea has become a rather well known childrens tale throughout Southern Sarvonia.

     The youth’s eyes grew wide as I told him I’d once met a dragon who told me a tale older than he, which is saying a lot, about a creature like himself whose greed was greater than a world of gold.
     "Tell me, tell me … please," the youth cried with excitement, adding in the last bit after receiving a stern look from his mother as he tugged at the sleeve of my shirt.
     "All right," I replied, my tone suggesting that his pleading had broken through my resistance.
     I looked around, exaggerating the movement of each muscle as I slowly leaned closer, beckoned him with the slightest move, and whispered in a conspiring tone.
     "We must be quiet though," I cautioned him, "dragon tales aren’t told to just anyone."
     His eyes grew wide once again and he nodded silently, leaning closer to hear my tale. I began as is traditional for any tale-teller of merit.
     "Many ages past within a massive hollow mountain lived an ancient golden dragon, who had begun his life at the beginning of time. Throughout the years he collected his treasure, taking gold and silver in any form by force or by fear. Tales of the dragon's greed and mighty trove of treasures spread throughout the years as he sleep upon his bed of gold during the day and terrorized those people near him by night.
     "It wasn't for many, many years that anyone had attempted approach the dragon's lair. At that point the greedy golden dragon had amassed enough wealth to feed the largest kingdom for at least five years. The hungry thief entered, thinking to grab just a handful of gold so that he might live out his life in comforts. At once he laid eyes upon the massive dragon, sleeping atop a mountain of gold. A shaking hand reached out and plucked two coins from the pile.
     "As the thief turned to leave, the pile shifted and the dragon awoke from his slumber, catching the burglar in his golden gaze. The man froze and in that moment the dragon's head shot forward and the two golden coins fell back into the pile as they beast devoured the thief.
     "Enraged that someone would seek to steal his horded wealth from him, the dragon opened up his massive mouth and let out a cloud of red flames that engulfed the treasure."
     At this point I paused, biting down on a red pellet and wire contraption I had attached to one of my teeth earlier. My head spun for a moment as the cloud of red smoke released into my mouth. A moment later I opened my mouth and blew out, the smoke forming a red cloud in the air that made the boy gasp in shock. Remaining tendrils of smoke streamed from between parted lips as I continued my tale.
    "The gold and silver melted together to form one massive monument almost bigger than the dragon itself. Satisfied that thieves would not be able to steal the riches he had spent his life acquiring he curled up amongst the odd lumps of gold and silver, shifting several times to get comfortable. The last attempt caused him to slip off this throne and onto the stone floor of the cave.
     "Aggravated, he pushed the now worthless lump towards the mouth of his cave. He struggled for the better part of the day, but in the end he was able to expel the monstrosity from his home.
"The Gods had been watching the dragon throughout the years, and as punishment for his greed they turned the mountain of treasure that had been welded together by the dragon's flames back into individual pieces. All the gold and silver coins, cutlery, and trinkets fell into the sea as the dragon watched in despair."
     "But what happened to the gold and silver?" the youth asked.
     I grinned as I heard the question that was sure to be asked. Little children always loved the treasure most.
     "The currents of the sea carried it off to all corners of the world," I told him. "And that is why the sea sparkles."
     "You shouldn't tell children such lies," scolded the mother, who had worked as a sailor for most of her life.
     I looked up at the woman with a confident grin on my face.
     "Ah, but how then do you suppose it happened?" I asked innocently, not waiting for an answer before continuing. "The seas were created long before you and I walked this land and the shimmering waters have always been so. If not by the means of a dragon's greed than pray tell what other spectacular event could cause such a sight.
     "While I do not doubt your knowledge and wisdom," I went on, rather smugly, "I do doubt you have had the pleasure of conversing with dragons."
     The last phrase accompanied by the last tendrils of red smoke that curled around the words like the knowing grin on my face.
« Last Edit: 26 April 2009, 15:55:57 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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Garret Arroway
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« Reply #1 on: 23 March 2009, 06:58:19 »

There was brought up as possibly being used. So I posted it, workin' on an introduction.
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« Reply #2 on: 24 March 2009, 04:35:14 »

And about time, too! I enjoyed this one the first time I read it, and that hasn't changed on the second reading.

I've made some corrections etc for you in a particularly fetching shade of Green.

Conversing With Dragons

(     )The youth’s eyes grew wide as I told him I’d once met a dragon who told me a tale older than he, which is saying a lot, remove comma about a creature like himself whose greed was greater than a world of gold.
(     )"Tell me, tell me … please," the youth cried with excitement, adding in the last bit after receiving a stern look from his mother, remove comma as he tugged at the sleeve of my shirt.
(     )"All right," I replied, my tone suggesting that his pleading had broken through my resistance.
(     )I looked around, exaggerating the movement of each muscle as I slowly leaned closer, beckoned him with the slightest move, and whispered in a conspiring tone.
(     )"We must be quiet though," I cautioned him, "dragon tales aren’t told to just anyone."
(     )His eyes grew wide once again and he nodded silently, leaning closer to hear my tale. I began as is traditional for any tale-teller of merit.
(     )"Many ages past, within a massive hollow mountain, lived an ancient Golden Dragon, remove comma who had begun his life at the beginning of time. Throughout the years he collected his treasure, taking gold and silver in any form by force or by fear. Tales of the dragon's greed and mighty trove of treasures spread throughout the years as he slept upon his bed of gold during the day and terrorized those people near him by night.
(     )"It wasn't for many, many years that a brave soul attempted approach the dragon's lair. At that point the greedy golden dragon had amassed enough wealth to feed the largest kingdom for at least five years. The hungry thief entered, thinking to grab just a handful of gold so that he might live out his life in comforts. At once he laid eyes upon the massive dragon, sleeping atop a mountain of gold. A shaking hand reached out and plucked two coins from the pile.
(     )"As the thief turned to leave, the pile shifted and the dragon awoke from his slumber, catching the burglar in his golden gaze. The man froze and in that moment the dragon's head shot forward and the two golden coins fell back into the pile as they beast devoured the thief.
(     )"Enraged that someone would seek to steal his horded wealth from him, the dragon opened up his massive mouth and let out a cloud of red flames that engulfed the treasure."
(     )At this point I paused, biting down on a red pellet I had placed behind my teeth earlier. How did he talk properly with a pellet in his mouth? My head spun for a moment as the cloud of red smoke released into my mouth. A moment later I opened my mouth and blew out, the smoke forming a red cloud in the air that made the boy gasp in shock. (Are you sure it was a gasp? I think he probably shi.....sorry!  shockedRemaining tendrils of smoke streamed from between parted lips as I continued my tale.
(    )"The gold and silver melted together to form one massive monument almost bigger than the dragon itself. Satisfied that thieves would not be able to steal the riches he had spent his life acquiring he curled up amongst the odd lumps of gold and silver, shifting several times to get comfortable. The last attempt caused him to slip off this throne and onto the stone floor of the cave.
(     )" You can remove these speech-marks, as you didn't finish the previous paragraph with any. Aggravated, he pushed the now worthless lump towards the mouth of his cave. He struggled for the better part of the day, but in the end he was able to expel the monstrosity from his home. The Gods had been watching the dragon throughout the years, and as punishment for his greed they turned the mountain of treasure that had been welded together by the dragon's flames back into individual pieces. All the gold and silver coins, cutlery, and trinkets fell into the sea as the dragon watched in despair."
(     )"But what happened to the gold and silver?" the youth asked.
(     )I grinned as I heard the question that was sure to be asked. Little children always loved the treasure most.
(     )"The currents of the sea carried it off to all corners of the world," I told him. "And that is why the sea sparkles."
(     )"You shouldn't tell children such lies," scolded the mother, who had worked as a sailor for most of her life.
(     )I looked up at the woman with a confident grin on my face.
(     )"Ah, but how then do you suppose it happened?" I asked innocently, not waiting for an answer before continuing. "The seas were created long before you and I walked this land and the shimmering waters have always been so. If not by the means of a dragon's greed than pray tell what other spectacular event could cause such a sight?
(     )" Remove speech-marks While I do not doubt your knowledge and wisdom," I went on, rather smugly, "I do doubt you have had the pleasure of conversing with dragons."
(     )The last phrase accompanied by the last tendrils of red smoke that curled around the words like the knowing grin on my face.

Nothing much to change here, Garrett. As I said before, I enjoyed this simple tale, and was impressed how you fitted such images into so few lines.
 
 
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #3 on: 05 April 2009, 17:16:03 »

Yeah, would like to have an intro please - and in general I always need a suggestion in which category/book we should ideally place a piece :)
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Elendilwyn
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« Reply #4 on: 05 April 2009, 22:39:11 »

Hello... hope you  don't mind me adding on my comments.

It was enjoyable read and I can see in my mind's eye the grin on the storyteller's face and the anticipation on the boy's. Good work.

The cheeky edge to the story is refreshing. So... did the teller really encounter a dragon?

I agree with Art that an introduction would be nice. Maybe the text was in a found diary, or a lost letter or perhaps the story of braggart. Some formatting issues to make it easier to read. Spacing between the thoughts of the teller and story that the teller tells would be helpful.

Some questions in my mind which are questions you may want to ask when fine-tuning your story.

1) Why would a dragon tell you a story that reflects its own greed? Clearly the story teaches a lesson in greed and does the dragon who told the teller the story realise it - it strikes me as a little odd.

2)  "It wasn't for many many years that a brave soul attempted approach the dragon's lair. At that point the greedy golden dragon had amassed enough wealth to feed the largest kingdom for at least five years. The hungry thief entered, thinking to grab just a handful of gold so that he might live out his life in comforts."
--> the brave soul bit somehow suggests something heroic. The thief bit suggests otherwise. Instead of brave, you may want to consider using something along the lines of a fool's bravery - bravery that is stems not so much from the heroic but rather ignorance or an over-estimation of one's abilities.

3) Details of a struggle between the thief and dragon would be nice - nothing like nice "fight", after all, a true storyteller would take advantage of all areas that might interest a listening kid and add juicy details. My opinion (which you may choose to ignore) is that little details like that make your story richer.

4) A little abrupt on the whole getting rid of the gold lump bit. For a dragon who spent years accumulating so much wealth, it does seem rather rash - or if you meant it to be rash, you got to play up that side of the dragon's nature more. Add a line or two about the frustration, some attempts to split the gold back into smaller pieces etc.

5) "The gods had been watching the dragon throughout the years..." needs to be in a new paragraph. It also sounds a little awkward being placed there.

Very nice ending - the story closed very neatly.  :)
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« Reply #5 on: 05 April 2009, 23:52:18 »

I suggest that dragon's view greed as a healthy trait.
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« Reply #6 on: 05 April 2009, 23:58:22 »

Should depend on the Dragon
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Garret Arroway
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« Reply #7 on: 23 April 2009, 09:45:34 »

Alright, some answers/responses to your questions/points Elendilwyn …

1) Whether the story teller actually got the tale from a dragon is in the listener's opinion or night. More often than not it's nothin' but a story. A story thought up and told by some stranger in a tavern/room isn't as interestin' as one that this stranger here from a dragon. It is mainly meant to just be a children's story. I used the tale from another dragon as a hook and feel that attemptin' to justify the story bein' told by the dragon drags it out too much.

I'm lookin' forward to gettin' to read it to my baby sister when she comes to visit for my graduation.

3 & 4) Yes, I could expand on those parts, but the main idea was to keep it brief. As to expandin' on the thief part, I feel that is diggin' too much into the cause. I tried to play that down, just get in, introduce the 'cause' of the story and get out without too much baggage. Same with the gettin' rid of the horde part. I just didn't want to acquire too much baggage. I tend to get wordy and this was meant to be a quick short story that would be long enough to tell the whole story, but short enough to keep a child's attention, which is constantly wanderin'. I usually can't even get my baby sister to sit still long enough to color a single page in a colorin' book.

I appriciate the comments, just my take/preference on those points.

Anyways, there is that. Hopefully that works. I really don't want to add things as I'm happy with it the way it is and I personally feel it doesn't need any more action/description. It's never gonna be perfect, but the writer bein' happy with it has gotta count for somethin' grin.

I've taken care of a couple things Thar mentioned and fixed the 'brave/thief' thing. Also managed to add an intro. Hopefully that all works.
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« Reply #8 on: 24 April 2009, 01:10:16 »

Aye Garret, I hope you didn't take offence at the comments... those were just thinking points which I thought you may want to take into consideration and of course it's very important that you feel happy with what you have written. I don't mind if you think they weren't valid points. I tend to nit-pick a bit as I do editorial work from time to time - occupational hazard.   :)
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« Reply #9 on: 26 April 2009, 03:53:17 »

Okeydokey, I'll take this current version then and get it up on the site :)
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