In the days of old, before the slow fading of magic, a knight visited a dragon high in the mountain. Before their extinction, the sorcerous wyrms were widely feared, for they had powerful magicks above and beyond their terrible fires. It was said they could read minds, change shape, create precious metals from base ones, or even raise the dead. They would entertain requests, perhaps out of boredom, but if the supplicant failed to make a positive impression they were eaten or incinerated.

“What would you ask of me?” the dragon said.

“I ask only for a weapon that I might defend my village with, as we are beset with ogres that steal our crops and slaughter our men.”

“Why should I?” the dragon replied.

“If the ogres destroy our village, they will rampage throughout the valley, despoiling it. I know you love the beauty of this place as much as we, and if you give me what I ask it will benefit us both.”

“Very well,” the dragon said. “I will give you a sword made of my tooth, which will pierce all before it. But I will extract from you a promise: this sword is not to be used upon me. I have ensorsclled it to strike any man dead if they dare do so.”

The man agreed, and the dragon gave him the sword. After a week’s preparation, he attacked the ogres in their cave and slaughtered them with the dragontooth sword. In doing so, he freed seven men, four women, and three children that the ogres had taken to eat. One of the women was a radient beauty, and she soon fell in love with the man and was married to him.

They built a home overlooking the valley and lived as its rangers, preserving it against all threats. But in time, the man’s wife grew bored with the vistas and the work, and sought comfort in the arms of a nearby miller while the man was away.

He returned early, however, and discovered the liason. In his rage, he drew his dragontooth sword and swung it…only to be laid stone dead before the blow could land.

For his wife had in fact been the valley’s dragon in disguise, intrigued with his quest and bored from guarding her hoard. The mercurial perniciousness of her kind had led her to stray, and led the man to slay himself.

The dragon was never seen again in that valley.

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