Author's Note: Just a vague idea I'm toying with at the time. ARRRGH! THERE ARE SO MANY WOEFULLY VAGUE IDEAS THAT ARE FLOATING AROUND THAT WILL NEVER GET WORKED UPON AND MADE INTO SOMETHING USEFUL BECAUSE THE SCATTERBRAIN THAT I AM WILL NOT STICK TO ONE SINGLE #$##$ PIECE OF WORK!
That's how I feel. I want to write EoE. I want to write another short. I want to write another parody. I want to play WoW as well.
Now I want to write about a functional, working, civilized society of dragons that you know, actually works and has rationales for the things they do instead of slavishly copying human traits from whatever era. I read Tooth and Claw, and was left with the impression that UFOs had come to Victorian England and sucked up all the humans, replacing them with dragons. I didn't like that. "Huh? Why should this be?" was the watchphrase of the day. They copied things slavishly from humans of that time period, and I didn't really understand why they would do such things, given the physical, mental, and social differences between two vastly incomparable species.
I think part of the problem is that some authors can't imagine them doing certain things without human methods. So I'm making The amazing exploits of Marshal Winsdor be a complete opposite: humans slavishly doing dragon things, written by a dragon novelist.
I am weak-willed, and probably spreading myself too thinly like butter on bread.
Can I have a cookie? Or failing that, enough Dark Iron Scraps to get that epic caster necklace…it would help my healing in raids, yes it would. Give me the precious…
An experiment by Lccorp2. Repeat, an experiment, so this may very well go nowhere.
It began with a book. Not a death, mind you, as so many of Karan's fellow authors would have chosen to begin with, but a book. A book that quite possibly might have been the cause of quite a few fundamental changes in the world of contemporary fantasy fiction, inspired-and irritated thousands upon thousands with disgustingly poor spin-offs.
It was also in the process of being written by a fifteen-Length long dragon.
For what seemed to him like an eternity, Respectable Karan sat upon the stout chair in the small room that served as his living room and study, the only sounds being that of soft scratching as pencil traced marks across the paper and his own tired, heavy breathing through his snout. A Respectable like him shouldn't be awake at the dead of night-such things were reserved for mill and factory-dragons in the cities who worked shifts to keep the machinery of industry continuously running. However, those humming machines where far, far away from Karan's current location out in the unspoiled countryside, and there was nothing to keep him from wanting to just lie down upon his gravel bed and sleep. Gripping his pitted, pockmarked pencil firmly with the claws of his forepaws, Karan forced himself to pen the following:
As Marshal Winsdor crept through the dark, dank tunnels in search of his goal, heavy, ominous footsteps began to resound through the musty air. Every time he stopped moving, those mysterious footfalls continued for a few moments before they ceased, only to start once he began walking. Convinced he was being followed, the esteemed human cursed his bad luck and his protective footwear of metal and animal hide, strapped on the steel claws upon his dominant paw, and waited.
Agonizingly, moments ticked by as he lay in ambush behind the boulder, waiting and watching for the one who wait tailing him. With only the maddening drip-dripping of water being the only sound audible to his ears, Marshal Winsdor wondered vaguely if whomever who had been tailing him had wisened up, or given up.
Just then, the shadow passed, silently and swiftly. When it had its back turned to him, the Marshal leapt out with a tremendous roar and cleaved at the air, his deadly talons extended to strike and maim…
"Administrating claws of conniption upon this strange shadow!"
"It's no good, It's no good," respectable Karan growled to no one else in particular as he slammed the pencil down upon the desk. "Should Winsdor go deeper into the tunnels? Should the mysterious shadow really mean the Marshal harm? If I have him catch his opponent by surprise, that would seem like too easy a victory for him…hrrragh! I'm supposed to be the author, and even I don't know in what direction the story is going to turn…"
Having spent immense effort in staying up till this time of night, Karan hadn't the time to even fully extend his jaws in a wide, draconic yawn before his head crashed onto the manuscript itself, his eyelids shutting one by one.
Because he wasn't sure which one had aroused him from his slumber, the mild light of dawn streaming into the study from the open window or the landlady's insistent hammering upon the door. Lifting his head from the puddle of drool that had seeped onto his desk whilst he slept, the scarlet-scaled dragon tried to gather his thoughts into something approaching coherence.
"Come now, Respectable Karan! One befitting the title of Respectable doesn't keep others waiting at the dining table for his presence, does he? Or have you managed to get your forepaws on some Sercanethyst and grown to big to pass through the doorway?"
"Just a moment!" Karan called out, although his thoughts were on other more pressing matters. My…my work! It's ruined! Ruined! How could I have been so careless as to…his best efforts to wipe off the dragon spit from the stack of paper only resulted in smearing it even more across the desk. Thankfully, the words were still legible, and Karan had a jolly good time teasing apart the sheets and spreading them across the windowsill before making his way to the boarding-house's dining room.
Downstairs, the other residents of the small boarding-house had already gathered within the simply-furnished dining room. Piled to the brim with huge cuts or raw beef-and around it waited his neighbours. Granted, it was odd in a way that the landlady insisted that they all took their meals together unlike in those fancy restaurants where they mopped the blood off the walls for each diner, but Karan put it down to sentimentality. Well, he thought it was sentimentality.
"Karan…you're not only late…but walking around on all fours is quite contrary to behaviour expected of a Respectable! If I grew a Length for every time I told you this, I'd be a Regal by now! Only the lowest classes do that, the farmers and factory-dragons, not a fine young serpent making his way into the world!"
Unhappily, Karan let out a long hiss, rearing onto his hind legs and using his tail and wings for balance as he addressed the female. "My apologies, Respectable Quirl. Because the stairway was a bit cramped on the coming down today, I thought it necessary to get down on my forepaws to speed my descent, thus preventing further delay to the esteemed young maiden's meal of the day and by extension her clerkly duties at the abode of Esteemed Dornogin." He thought himself rather clever for formulating such a long sentence.
"You haven't been taking Sercanethyst, have you? Or sneaking out to murder others for a nightly bite of dragonflesh?"
Feigning offence, Karan moved forward, his easy, nonchalant gait turning into one that hinted at purpose, each step hard and heavy. Eyes whirling as crimson as the rest of his body, he advanced upon Quirl menacingly. "This…this…insult…" he stuttered, trying to keep up the facade as long as possible without bursting into roaring laughter.
"I don't know what the two of you are about to start, but I'm going to eat," Elured announced. "See too much violence around in my line of work, and I'm not going to let the two of you delay my meal any longer, not when the food's turning purple." Without further ado, Elured reached out with a brown-scaled hand and tore into the heap of cold cut meat ravenously. Not wanting any less than their rightful share of the daily meal, Karan and Quirl followed suit.
The beef was simple, solid fare. While it wasn't the kind of delicacy dragons sixty Lengths in size might consume, it was made to stick in one's belly and keep a dragon warm on a cold autumn day such as this.
With winter approaching, all three diners suspected something similar would be served every day. Karan didn't know what their landlady did to the food, but it still managed to be as delectable as it was simple, bits of sweet, chewy gristle embedded within the flesh itself, plus the hint of something foreign used to flavour the cut steaks. Some sort of exotic animal, perhaps, to account for the unnaturally sour taste.
Ripping huge chunks from the pile on the communal table with enough force to send gobbets of meat spattering onto the walls and floor, the three dragons feasted. Curved, serrated teeth and sharp claws dug and tore frenziedly, causing rivulets of blood to flow freely from the pile of flesh and drip onto the floor. Plastered with food, Karan devoted his attention to gorging himself; the sodden state of his last chapter, Marshal Winsdor, insults, and the such were wiped from his mind.
Finally, all the beef had been devoured, and the three dragons lay on the floor for a while, too bloated and addled by their meal to reach out for the glass cabinet of moist towelettes.
"It…was…a…feast," Quirl murmured dazedly, her tail twitching on the blood-splayed floor as she lay on her side, forepaws cradled around her swollen underbelly as if she was with egg.
"Every…meal's…a feast…too bad we won't…grow any more…because of Respectable Hanor's…delicacies…" Karan replied. "Hwarr. I…think…I ate…too much, stomach cramps…are going to curse…me tonight."
"Not…possible. Can't ever…eat too…much good food."
When Karan had eventually managed to fit through the doorway once again, he sat back at his desk, adjusting the slot in the back so it was a comfortable fit for his tail. Odd, he thought. I could swear by Scale and Skin that I'm a full fifteen lengths, and that I haven't touched Sercanethyst or dragonflesh in my whole life. Why, then, is it that a doorway that used to hold a very satiated me ten Annums ago, I have to squeeze through now? Making a mental note to get himself measured sometime, Karan turned his attention to his work.
Quirl and Elured had left some time ago for their respective occupations, and the landlady had left to restock on provisions. That left Karan alone with a full trough of water, and he dipped his jaws in to drink deeply before embarking on the next chapter, the cool, clear water renewing some of his mental vigour:
The amazing exploits of Marshal Winsdor, Chapter twenty-three.
In which Marshal Winsdor finds an ally.
As a surge of fiery exhilaration coursed through Marshal Winsdor's whole body from his head to his hind feet, his talons of steel ready to rend flesh and hide, a distinctly familiar voice caused him to stay his actions just in the nick of time.
"You'd better hold me back, or you're going to be feeling some jailhouse paws!"
"No! Marshal! Please stop!"
"Squire Tobias?" Shining his light-source upon his terrified underling's face, Marshal Winsdor was a little relieved, but mostly angry enough to consider consuming the fool for contravening a direct order to await his return at the cave entrance. "Tobias, whatever are you doing here, in the name of Scale and Skin? I almost killed you right there and then!"
"Begging the Marshal's Pardon, but Tobias disobeyed your instructions on direct order from the Lady of the land herself; she was worried for you. While Tobias loves his master, he doesn't want to end up as dinner. Besides, Tobias himself also cares for the Marshal's safety."
Sighing, Marshal Winsdor let his forelimbs drop to his sides in a gesture of resignation. "Does the Lady know what our purpose here is?"
"Not exactly, master. I told her a slight half-truth to conceal the true nature of our intentions."
"Then perhaps it is for the better, Tobias. I assure you that no matter how angry I am with you, I will not eat you alive. Personally, I am glad to have a companion in this dark place…"
"This 'Marshal Winsdor' of yours seems to be quite an impulsive character, doesn't he?" Familiar as it was, the feminine voice did manage to startle Karan out of his reverie, and he looked back to see who it was…