Extract from: Pentangle Scillia’s Book of Magical Beasts:
‘Ten things you should have learned about the dragon
That is currently eating you’
1. Dragons never eat out of hunger, in fact Dragons rarely eat at all, it is a commonly held misconception that a land plagued by the presence of a Dragon will be void of cattle and other livestock because they’ve all been consumed by the monster. More likely the Dragon has killed the livestock, burned the crops and stepped on small furry things (and everything to a large Dragon is a small furry thing) for fun.
If a Dragon was to choose it’s cuisine it would be pyrite rocks rather than human flesh. If truth be told a Dragon will often find the after effects of eating humans a little gassy, you may want to remind him of this before he pops you in his mouth, and certainly before he begins to chew.
2. All Dragons are hermaphrodites. All Dragons are male, that is until they enter their reproductive phase and begin to produce eggs, then they are briefly female. A Dragon who is in her reproductive stage should never be approached and if you do accidently approach a dragon with eggs in her nest don’t worry about apologising as you will be dead before you can utter a word.
3. Dragons can’t fly like birds or even like bats, their enormous leathery wings are largely used to make the Dragon appear more massive than he is. How a Dragon moves through the air effortlessly is a mystery but many believe that they use deep wild magic to move the universe around them rather than be bothered moving through it. This also means Dragons can turn up anywhere they’ve been before at a moment’s notice; if you’re going to run from a Dragon run somewhere he’s not familiar with.
4. A Sleeping Dragon is a good thing. Dragons can sleep for decades and even centuries at a time, they particularly like to sleep in deep caves and inactive volcanos but have also been known to catch forty winks (which to a Dragon is about five years) after destroying a large village or castle.
It’s hard and inadvisable to wake a Dragon.
5. Dragons are thought to be obsessed with treasure; gold, silver and jewels are said to line their lairs deep under mountains and fairly-tale castles; but this is not always true. Many an unfortunate adventurer has risked life and limb (and lost both, not necessarily in that order) only to find said Dragon roosting on top of a pile of fool’s gold or polished tin cups or in one sad case (where the Dragon had wandered into a dimension similar to our own Earth’s) an enormous pile of Playboy magazines.
Dragons are like magpies, they like shiny things, and as they are for all intents and purposes immortal one shiny thing is much like another when you don’t need monetary support.
6. If you find yourself standing alone in front of a large angry Dragon because all the sensible adventurers have fled and the less sensible have been incinerated (the most sensible having not set-off on the quest in the first place) then whatever you do - don’t think of a plan to save yourself. Dragons can read minds, which is not to be mistaken for reading thoughts, A Dragon can see through you to what your real desires, fears and characteristics are, he/she will know if you’re capable of formulating a plan to escape before you have the chance to do so.
7. Not all Dragons breathe fire; they have many forms of breath attack, steam, ice, plasma and acid spit.
What to do if a Fire-breathing Dragon lets loose a cone of flame in your direction? If you have time you could regret having stood there in the first place or that the sun block lotion you bought isn’t going to be quite strong enough. If you don’t have time to think such thoughts at the moment of your death then it is likely you didn’t see that Dragon creeping up behind you.
8. If you’re lucky enough not to be instantly trampled to death, eaten to death, incinerated to death or generally made to cease to be in some other gruesome way by the Dragon you have encountered and find yourself in the unenviable position of engaging him in conversation, then remember that Dragon have a very low boredom threshold.
Dragons have lived a long time and in that long time they’ve heard just about every plea, excuse and bargaining ploy that any human could possible come up with; so if you are going to have a chat with the Dragon that’s about to swallow you or worse, try to say something original.
9. Dragons are half-magical, that means they are half-non-magical, which brings us to the subject of poo. Dragon poo has many uses, it is one of the finest fertilisers in the world, farmers who have used it claim it can give ten crops a season of corn or wheat. Dragon poo has magical qualities for potions, it can make one of the strongest aphrodisiacs known to man or it can be sublimated into a poison that will kill its victim merely by them reading the label. But do remember this about using Dragon poo for it beneficial properties; if you’re not carefully you could end up in the next batch.
10. Dragons are vain creatures, they see themselves as the most beautiful things in all the universe, and each Dragon thinks it is the most perfect example of Dragonhood. If you want to complement a Dragon just give him a mirror.
* * *