Dragons have taken up my research time the past few weeks. I have the start of the story that I love and I’ve been writing it my notebook at bus stops, on buses and waiting for the hobbits at their various clubs.
Hopefully no one has been reading over my shoulder… I can only hope my appalling handwriting has kept them innocent of the dark and dirty nastiness spidering across the page. 😀
I’m still deciding on the structure of my dragon society, so I poked around my books, trying to decide what…attributes my dragon hero should have. Here are a couple.
Winging it ?
I think wings were a given. I’ve had far too much fun in the past with a hero and his wings. Still, I uncovered some wingless, serpent varieties of dragon. Large snakes are the possible start of dragon evolution, or as serpent-like dragons are often associated with water, crocodiles, with the unnerving way they snake through water.
The tale of the Lambton Worm is a medieval myth from north east England. John Lambton, a dissolute heir, ignored church and piety to go fishing one Sunday. He caught a creature with the face of a devil and threw the thing down a well. Scared into atoning, he went off to the Holy Land, unknowingly leaving the representation of his former wickedness to ravage the countryside.
He returned and was forced to tackle the huge worm in a suit of spiked armour. Killing it in a fast flowing river, so it couldn’t reform–the part of the story I remember from when I was small from a book with very gory pictures!–he then had to kill the first thing he saw after to stop a curse falling on his family. Unfortunately, it was his father, but rather than kill him, he killed his old dog. The curse fell and the Lambton heirs met tragic ends for nine generations.
Two legs or four?
I’m undecided on this, how much of dragon my hero will become, what his exact final form will take. I looked at Lindorms–two-legged, but wingless–and Wyverns–two-legged with wings. A Lindorm story jumped out at me.
Lindorms really like Sweden and a myth from there as another bunny hopping about in my brain. I really should stop this looking in books thing… lol
A Swedish queen met a fortune teller and the old woman told her that she would produce heirs within a year if she ate two onions. Excited, the queen ate the first onion whole, skin and all. It was foul. So she carefully peeled the next one.
Nine months on–yes, onions are very potent :D–the queen gave birth. The first child was hideous, a lindorm, coiled, scaled with taloned legs. She threw the dragon-like creature from the window into the thick forest below. Her second son was born, a perfect child.
The second son grew and discovered the lindorm in the forest. The creature said he would never find love and a bride before, he, his older brother found a woman willing to be his wife. None were willing. Until a girl, one forced to present herself to the lindorm, found the fortune-teller who gave her a set of specific instructions.
So the girl stood before the lindorm in a number of dresses. For each dress she removed, she asked that the Lindorm remove a layer of his skin. Finally, she stood naked before him, and he coiled his body around her, warm and smooth and she could that the almost translucent final layer of scaled skin was withering away. She stayed calm, believing what the old woman had told her, that she would find happiness with the lindorm.
Green mist enveloped them and she found herself wrapped in the arms of the most beautiful man she had ever seen. The girl was more than willing to be his wife and ultimately his queen with that discovery.
The fortune-teller had one final word for the old swedish queen. She really should peel onions before she ate them…
(I love the last part of the story!)
My hunt for my hero’s dragon qualities continues, so more dragon-related posts may appear down the line. He’ll no doubt be powerful and irresistible, startlingly beautiful with a fierce flare of fire.
So…just your basic dragon, then.