There is a legend

From the days of old

That tells of a girl

Born on to gold.

She had the eyes

Of searing flame,

Lips of cinder and

A silver mane.

Her form was sleek

And serpentine,

In none the land

Was a creature so fine.

She lived deep

Within the hills,

Emerging only to

Feast and kill.

And yet her beauty

Was revered

By kings and rulers

Over clashing beers.

There would be times

That kings seeking fame

Would wage bloody wars

Under her name,

Clashing swords

With foe and friend

To vie for her favor

Time and again.

Each time the ground

Was soaked a deep red

And all of her suitors

Would lie broken and dead.

Each time Drana would

Leave her home and descend

Upon the battlefield

Of the fallen and dead.

Carefully she would pick

Through the forms,

Looking for life in

The bodies so torn.

But never was found

Even a breath of life

In the torn bodies,

Not even a sigh.

And Drana would weep

In her gilded abode

For the loneliness she felt

Chilled her to the bone.

For Drana, though

A creature of blood,

Wished for a man

Driven by love.

And only a soldier,

Alive and well,

Could take her heart

And break the spell.

Years upon years passed

Without her aging a day

As the leaderless kingdoms

Began to break and decay.

With her hope broken,

And love out of sight,

Drana locked herself up

To sleep for the night.

But a night turned

Into a week,

As Drana slept dreaming

Of a soldier to meet.

Years passed by,

The land did change

And the people began

To forget her name.

Then it happened one day

That a village girl

Wandered far into

The emerald hills

And stumbled upon

A gilded door

That depicted images

Sad and forlorn.

Curious, the girl

Did enter the den,

Not knowing she

Wouldn't emerge again.

Before her eyes

She did behold

The creature of legend

Upon a pile of gold.

Fear struck her heart,

Yet hunger did to,

And the gold shone

With a vibrant hue.

So, sneaky and sly

With fear in her head,

She plucked a gold coin

From Drana's bed.

Not a moment did she

Have to rejoice in her loot

When a cloud circled her

Of black as night soot.

Drana awoke

In a foul mood

To this little mouse

Driven to greed by food,

And in one swift

Clash of her teeth,

She gobbled up the girl

And went back to sleep.

For none, whether

Commoner or king,

Could steal from her bed

And go away free.

Now the little mouse

Was not alone,

Her elder brother

Had seen her leave home.

He had followed her

To the doors of doom

And saw her enter

The cavernous room.

As the hours passed

And his sister failed to appear

A twinge struck his heart

Of overwhelming fear.

With tentative steps,

He followed her trail

And saw the creature

To which his sister fell.

Now the boy was young,

Barely a man,

Yet the bravery he boasts

Few men can.

He took up a spear

And charged the beast

That lay on her treasure

Fast asleep.

But just as his

Feet touched her bed,

Drana awoke,

Lifting her head.

The spear flew past,

It's target missed,

And Drana let out

An enraged hiss.

And this is when the boy,

Who wished to be a man,

Saw the importance

Of first making a plan.

For here he now stood

In front of the beast,

Who boasted razor claws

And bone crushing teeth.

Drana looked at him

With ember eyes

And let out a displeased

Huff of a sigh.

With one swing of

Her silver tail

She sent him flying

Against the far wall.

He slumped to the

Floor in a heap of pain,

Hardly able to

Remember his name.

Then he saw her

Open her massive jaws

And a jet of blue fire

Engulfed the walls.

With a yelp and a cry

He dove out of sight

Behind a pillar,

Shielded from light.

Licking the cinder

From her lips,

Drana searched for

The little imp

Who hid himself

In the shadows of sight

Shaking and quaking

With bone numbing fright.

While Drana,

With patience to spare,

Sniffed at the floor

And licked at the air.

Her claws clicked in tune

With his beating heart

As he envisioned himself

Being ripped apart.

Now our hero was brave,

But still but a boy,

And Drana was use

To her prey playing coy.

It didn't take long

For her to catch his smell,

Let's just say the sweat

Didn't help him so well.

With a swipe of her claws

The column cracked and crumbled

And out of the wreckage

Out hero did stumble.

Coughing and gasping

He stood face to face

With Drana the Terrible

In utter disgrace.

Now this is when the boy,

Face to face with his reaper,

Thinks back to his smiling

Sweet little sister.

Thoughts dance in his head

As the truth set in:

He's locked in a battle

He can't possibly win.

With his spirit broken,

He fell to his knees,

Praying that death would come

And put his torment at ease.

For how could he face

His father and mother

When he had failed so horribly

At both soldier and brother?

Now Drana was

A creature of blood,

But this was exactly

What she had been dreaming of.

A soldier,

Alive and well,

Driven by love

To break the spell.

And this boy,

Though small and weak,

Held the power

That he would need

To stand up strong

And take her heart;

A light of hope

In the infinite dark.

For a dragons life

Has no end

And when none remain,

Either foe or friend,

Life has no meaning,

Has no joy:

A used and broken

Once loved toy.

Now Drana wasn't sure

What was after death,

Whether it was darkness

Or truly heaven blessed,

But she was tired

Of a life with no end

And wished for death

To be her last friend.

But she couldn't just

Give her life away,

He had to earn the victory,

That was the only way.

However, it was clear

That his spirit was broken,

He had no fight left

In his heart so forsaken.

Somehow she had to

Get him to stand again,

Maybe beat the fight

Back into him.

With a nudge of her

Snout, she knocked him down,

And with the tip of her tail

Pinned him to the ground.

Then, with one

Razor like claw,

Fished deep inside

Her cavernous maw.

And, with a snap,

Hooked her loot,

Pulled out a limb

Covered in soot.

It was an arm

With ivory skin,

Which she dropped on the

Boy with and evil grin

And licked her lips

As if savoring the taste

Of his sudden glare

Laced with revulsion and hate.

His sisters arm

Laid on his chest,

The image of which

Would deny him rest.

So now our hero,

His fight restored,

Laid under her tail

As stiff as a board.

His muscles all tightened,

Ready to leap,

And his hands buckled,

Her heart they did seek.

Drana loosened the

Pressure on her tail

And he sprang up

With an iron will.

He took up a sword

And a shield as well,

Then charged at the beast

With the intent to kill.

Drana moved

Strangely slow

As she deftly blocked

His every blow

And dodged his attacks

With deceitful grace,

All the while with a bloody

Grin on her face.

With a jab of his blade

He aimed for her eye,

But such a lame victory

She did deny

As she swung her head

And lashed with her tail,

His flying body once

More met the wall.

Now she saw the opening

She had waited for.

As our hero laid

Upon the marble floor

She charged forward

In a ball of fire

And our hero knew

His time had expired.

He let out a yell

As her body crashed down,

Pinning him painfully

To the ashen ground.

He struggled out

From under her form

And stood in the soot darkness

Of her fire rage storm.

He stood ready with

His sword pointing ahead,

Not totally convinced

That she lay truly dead.

It wasn't until the

Cinder had cleared

That our hero could put down

His sword without fear.

For he saw with

Eyes so amazed,

That he had killed Drana

On that faithful day.

Somehow his sword

Had found her heart

While he had crouched in

Her shadow so forbidding dark.

And now he stood,

Truly a man,

With a name that was

Hailed throughout the land.

King Nikus! King Nikus!

Slayer of beasts

With enough gold

To hold the world a feast!

And that is how Nikus

Became a man

By killing Drana the Old

And renewing the land.