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Paul H.

Fantasy / 15 Pages
Finished - 06/17/2005


What year it may be I know not, for I care not for such things. As a knight of the realm it
is my purpose to seek the countryside far and near for dragons and marauders who may do harm to
the peasantry or to the King's Lands or His Majesty's person. In my travels I have seen many
strange and wondrous things, have met and sat down to eat with many wondrous souls, some
knaves, some paupers, some knights. All have taught me one thing or another, and so I learn as I
travel. My faithful steed tires but little for I hasten not to my journey's end. I have been banished
from the court of His Royal Majesty, King Larof for presuming to take the hand of the Princess
Alecia, his youngest and most beautiful daughter. My stature in the court was great before my fall
from favor. None dare oppose my station or my word. As a Knight of the First Tier, my word was
law even to the King's guard. The power of my station overtook my judgment and though I knew
Princess Alecia was promised to Sir Benidict for services rendered above that which any other
knight might perform, nonetheless I asked for her hand. Oh, I laid my plans well, fear you not on
that count! Days and nights I did court the fair Alecia, with flowers and song and gold and jewels,
until she vowed her love for me only, promising to intercede on my behalf with the King, her
father. Spurning her intercession on my behalf, I went boldly to the King and proclaimed my right
to his daughter. My right! Can you but fathom the boldness of my mouth? His wrath was swift
and furious. Only the pleadings of his daughter saved my head. Banished to the plight of the
lowest rank of knight, that of service to the peasantry! Three summers have come and gone since
I left my beloved Alecia and her father's court. The word has spread from the court throughout the
land that Sir Benidict and Princess Alecia have been married. It has been said that she has born
him a son. My sadness knows no bounds, I cannot be happy again in this life, for my love of the
fair Alicia is still strong.

I ride today for the village of Terdos where, it is reported, a dragon has been seen taking
away a village maiden, and several children. Only the oldest dragons, or the ones cursed with the
cowardice prey on children. Maidens are taken in hopes of having the damsel fall hopelessly in
love with the dragon, for only by this will the curse of the dragon be broken, and the true nature of
the winged beast be known. It almost never happens, of course, even though the wiliest of
dragons have a sweet tongue and can speak the words of love softly. Even the silliest of damsels
can see that it is a dragon speaking to them. Many are taken in by the gold and jewels offered to
them, but it is not enough to break the curse. These things hold no value to a dragon who only
like them because they sparkle, a bit of broken glass has the same effect on them, quelling their fire
for a moment. I know of these things and have been able to kill a dragon or two using a large bit
of glass which I carry in a pouch at my waist. My true sword sings it's song of death when the
dragon falters at the sight of the sparkling glass. The sorcerer Rahndon of the outcountry showed
me where with one mighty blow I might slay the mightiest of dragons. Split in two, a dragon's
head merely becomes two heads, and becomes yet harder to slay, but if a true knight should strike
a blow at the beast's second heart, then will the dragon fall.
The land becomes black under the hooves of my mighty white steed, as we near the outland
village, the earth gives off the stench of fire. Proud oak trees charred to mere sticks, fields of
wheat and barley lay as soot on the ground as I approach the village of Terdos. Even the sky
seems to darken as I continue toward my goal. A castle stands at the center of the village that
sprang up around it, as they so often do, seeking shelter from without by those within. Once
where stained glass windows were are now but charred holes in the great walls, burned from
within by a mighty blast of fire. Lumps of blackened flesh surround the outer walls of the castle,
the fallen bodies of the peasants who tried in vain to escape the terror. The oak beams that were
the castle roof burned to cinders, raining their fiery death onto those inside. The rain of many
weeks has washed the floors of much of the soot as I search in vain for some sign of life amidst the
desolation that is the Castle Terdos. Nothing in the castle remains, no table, no chair, no tapestry,
nothing of any use to anyone. I continue my exploration throughout the lower floor of the sturdy
castle, still finding nothing but desolation in every room until I come to the farthest room from the
entrance. It is a small room, too small for any real use, and this strikes me as very odd indeed.
Attached to the wall, low to the floor is an iron ring of no small size. Examining the ring and the
wall around it, I see signs that the ring has been turned on some mechanism. Drawing my sword,
preparing to do battle with whatever demon should be released, I turn the ring. A low rumbling
sound and a vibration under my feet turn my face
to the floor where, to my amazement, a stairway has appeared from the well hidden hole in the
floor, a narrow passageway fades deep into the gloom of darkness. A torch hangs nearby on the
stairway wall, but I have no way to light a fire and so must tread the stairs in the blackness of dark.
A hint of a breeze catches my sweating face as I descend into the pit, and my ears hear the faint
sound of someone sobbing. A live person, and female by the sound! Or a trick. My eyes become
accustomed to the darkness slowly as I descend the long stairway, there is a faint light a distance
away and I follow it as a moth to the night torches. By my reckoning I have turned twice and am
now many cubits below the main hall of the castle. Still I hear the sound of a crying maiden or
child. I am in a low, small room at the bottom of the stairs, above my head is a shaft with an iron
grate blocking it. Far above the shaft, a bird flies past. At my feet is another door, very small, two
cubits at most, made of iron strips. A great lock secures the cell and the sobbing voice is within.
"I am Sir John, Knight to King Larof. Of what are you accused to warrant your
imprisonment in this dungeon?"
The crying stops and I hear a scraping and scrambling inside the cell, then complete silence.
"I come to free you if you be worthy. Of what are you accused?"
"What jewel adorns the crown of King Larof?" The question came from a maiden's voice
soft and beautiful, as one of high station.
"A jade the size of a goose's egg adorns the crown of King Larof, in the shape of a
warrior's shield, Milady."
"God be praised, good Sir Knight! I am accused of nothing, but hide here in fear of the
dragon Tgkohgn who, I am sure, has slain all of our people. I am Princess Milotta, and I fear, the
last surviving soul of our land."
"There is a great lock on the door Highness, have you the key?"
A slim arm extended through the thick iron strips, a large iron key gripped in the porcelain fist.
The princess fitted the key into the lock, turned it and removed the heavy shackle from the door as
though she had done it a hundred times.
"Though I have had food enough", she said, "I have left my cell at night to search for
others of my people."
Emerging from the cell, the princess took my hand as I bowed low to my knee before her.
"Arise Sir Knight. Bow not before me, for you have rescued me from my self imposed
dungeon and have made me feel safe for the first time since the dragon appeared."
"Does Your Majesty know where the dragon Tgkohgn makes his lair? It is my duty as a
knight to rid the countryside of this scourge. Only then will I be worthy to look upon Your
Majesty with honor."
"You must look upon me Sir Knight, else how will you know who it is you do battle for? I
command it”.
The command of a Princess must be obeyed, especially when that Princess has surely
become Queen with the death of the ruler before her, whether King or Queen. I slowly raise my
head to look at the queen I must serve till the land is free of the dragon. She is quite small. At first
I think she must be a mere child. Her gossamer dress shimmered in the slight breeze of the air
shaft, but could not hide the wings folded at her back. A Fairy Princess! Hidden away by her
father, according to legend, after her mother gave birth to her and was unable to hide her true
nature from the King. It was rumored that she still lived, but since no one had ever seen her, the
truth was never known.
"I serve the Fairy Queen!" I blurted out, my heart racing. Legend told that anyone looking
on the face of the Fairy Princess fell instantly in love with her and would serve her all their days. I
fear it is true. My broken heart mends at the sight of her, my only thoughts are to do her most
mindless bidding.
"You are freed of the fairy spell," she said waving a hand across my face. "I will not hold
you to the bondage, for you have offered to do battle for me without ever seeing my face."
It mattered not for I was smitten by her beauty, her soft voice, her concern for her people.
I would serve her willingly without the fairy spell. Falling to my knees, I bow again before her.
"I am your knight to command, my Queen."
"Arise Sir John, we do battle together. The north country mountains hold the lair of the
dragon Tgkohgn. Other knights have fought him for he has now three heads. From the middle
head he does breathe fire. From his left head, ice and cold does spew forth. From his right head, a
sound that can not be heard but does cause destruction wherever it be directed. He is a four
winged beast, like unto a dragonfly. His scales like brass, his claws sharper than the truest sword.
With his tail he has smitten many a brave soul, for he uses it like unto a scorpion. With my own
eyes I have seen the bodies of three men impaled on his tail. I fear for thy life, Sir John."
"As do I, my Queen, but we fight with the power of your fallen people to guide us."
"Others have said as much and fallen."

As we leave, Queen Milotta flies above her castle, her wings silent in the noonday. With a
wave of her hand, and quiet spoken words, the castle disappears. Only the land is to be seen,
scarred and blackened from the breath of the dragon. Where the castle stood the land is green and
lush, a ring of flowers where once stood the entrance. She flies close to my mighty steed and
speaks into his upturned ear before alighting on his back, light as wool fluff.
"Thy steed is brave, Sir John, he fears not battle when he is with you."
"Truly thou dost amaze such a poor soul as I with thy powers," said I as she languished
upon my steed. "Where hast thou taken the castle?"
"Merely a poor parlor trick, for it has not gone from it's place, but only appears to have
done. Thine eyes decieve thee. A wizard from the west country taught the trick to me as a young
"Will the trick work with the dragon my queen?" A plan of conquest forming quickly in my
mind. "T'would be an easy thing to slay the beast if he were not able to perceive that we were
invading his lair."
"The dragon cannot be fooled by mere parlor tricks Sir Knight," replied the queen, as
though gently rebuking an ignorant peasant. "A dragon has great magic, but his mind is small and
cannot be easily led. A dragon sees what he sees, and hears what he hears.”
Again I add this information to what I know about the great beasts, plans forming in my
head, some to be kept and built upon like great stones piled on top of one another until finally a
grand hall is formed by the workmen. Stones with flaws, like bad ideas, rejected as being too weak
to hold the edifice.
Throughout the heat of the day we travel north toward the iron colored mountains, their
craggy cliffs rising from a sea of barren green plains. Stumps of trees we pass, their charred
fingers rising toward the heavens as though pleading for the trunks and branches long burned away
by the dragon. Not a bush higher than a cubit could be seen in all the north land, no place for a
knight or the queen he served to hide from the sharp eye of the evil dragon. As we pass by a large
stump I remove the shinning armor from my steed so that it will not attract the attention of our
sharp eyed foe. Bye
and bye we begin to see small holes dug into the ground, covered loosely with straw, or with
wooden doors carefully painted like the surrounding grass and rock.
"No animal builds wooden doors, Highness," I said. "What manner of being is it that lives
like a rabbit in so tiny a hole as these?"
My steed lowers his great head in front of one of the straw covered holes and sniffs
mightily, pawing at the earth with his iron shod hoofs sending sparks aloft as he strikes the hard
rock. Twisting back his neck, he seems to speak with the queen in a language they can both
understand but which I cannot.
"'Tis neither man nor beast, Sir Knight," she says. "Thy steed knows of these beings. They
are relatives to the Troll, but not so disagreeable in disposition. They are brave fighters and do
battle the dragon as best they can. I myself have heard of these warriors and their brave deeds, but
did not believe they truly lived. Many legends grow in the north country, and the legends of the
tiny warriors are manifest. Many of my people believed the tiny warriors were myth. We shall
soon see for ourselves."
Winging her way to the ground, the fairy queen examines a moss covered wooden door.
"Here, I think." she says, slowly opening the portal and peering into the depths of the black
earth. A tiny stairway fades into the gloom, the queen's slippers fitting the length of the jutting
stones almost perfectly.
"I shall ask for the help of the warriors. Perhaps they will be of a mind to aid us on our
quest. If I should not return by nightfall, ye must promise that thou wilt not fight the dragon alone,
nor attempt to rescue me, for I will surely be dead, and there is no reason to fight for a dead fairy."
"There is revenge to be meted for thy death if you should be murdered, my Queen."
"There is no honor in revenge for it's own sake, Sir Knight. The warrior people should
have no reason to do me harm, we fight the same foe." So saying, she disappeared into the realm
of the mysterious tiny warriors.
My steed pawed at the vegetation, disinterested at the disappearance of the Fairy Queen.
He seemed to know that there was no danger in that place for her. I took some little nourishment
from a pouch of dried fruits, nuts and meats that were my meager supplies. Water from a goatskin
provided drink. Thus nourished, I sat close to the hole, listening for any sign of the return of the
Queen I serve, and watching the mountain where lives the dragon.
The sun begins it's journey onto the other plain, the sky orange, and pink as the sunlight
reflects off of the gathering clouds, darkness rushing to take it's place, and still not a sign or sound
from the hole. I become uneasy, fearing for the safety of the Queen. A plan to rescue her is
forming in my head when suddenly my steed gives a mighty snort and begins to paw at the ground
around the tiny staircase. Putting his snout close to the hole, his head almost fitting into the small
space, he whinnies, and before my unbelieving eyes, disappears into the hole. Not even a blade of
grass is disturbed around the stairwell as he is drawn into the place where just a short while earlier
the Fairy Queen squeezed herself. Drawing my sword, preparing for battle with whatever evil
villain had drawn my Queen and my battle steed to their deaths, I approached the tiny hole.
"Come forth and do honorable battle, vile creature!" This I shout, bending close to the tiny
door, still unable to see further than a cubit into the dank hole. The smell of smoke burns my nose.
The smell is unlike that of burning wood, or offal, or peat such as the peasants use for warmth or
cooking. It is a sharp smoke unlike any I have known before. It is unpleasant. Faintly, far away, I
hear a sound deep in the hole, like a song which calls to me by name. My heart leaps for joy, for
'tis the song of the Fairy Queen, alive and singing. My head begins to spin as I am drawn into the
tiny, dank hole. I can no longer see the door, nor the mountain wherein lies the dragon, nor the
sky, I can only hear the sound of the Queen calling my name, bidding me come to her.

I find myself in a great hall, surrounded on all sides by warriors, swords at the ready, spears
tilted toward me, all in full battle armor, one having the feathers of some gigantic bird attached to
his helmet, none are the tiny warriors the Queen had spoken of.
"Where hast thou taken my steed?" I ask of the plumed warrior, supposing him to be the
With a bow, he steps back and aside, as do those within his rank. Revealed is a throne of
alabaster. Gold, and silver dragons are inlayed into the stone, precious rubies and emeralds as big
as my fist are the fierce eyes of the dragons. Gray fur hides surround the throne. Great tapestries
covered the hewn log walls behind the throne dais. The King sits upon the throne, huge and
imposing. I bow low to His Majesty, as I must, my sword thrust into the dirt floor.

"Your Majesty, I come forth to claim my battle steed, and the Fairy Queen, Milotta, that I
serve. We have come to do battle with the dragon Tgkohgn which has slain the Queen's people,
and destroyed their lands. We wish thy brave warriors no harm, but enlist their aid in our battle
against the dragon."
The king merely stared, not speaking. No sound came from his warriors, their eyes bored
into me like a spear piercing my armor to the heart. Again I attempted to speak, bowing low as
"Majesty, your battle is our battle. Together we may defeat the beast and be free from his
evil tyranny."
From behind the throne a tapestry was cast aside, and there emerged the Fairy Queen
astride my battle steed, unharmed, indeed she was now dressed in battle armor. A broadsword
encrusted with precious stones, inlaid with gold upon the blade, carried in her dainty hand, wielded
as though a mere stick.
"His Majesty, King Grik, bids us godspeed as we do battle with the dragon," she said as she
alighted from the steed. “He speaks not your language, Sir John, but has instructed his warriors to
accompany us and provide what aid they can. The King takes his name from the race of people he
rules, thus we know that we have enlisted the aid of the Grik warriors."
"Does my Queen speak the language of the Grik?"
"I do now," she replied. "Thy steed taught the language to me, for all horses speak it and
can teach it if one but understand and learn, for it is a simple language and quickly understood.
The Grik scribes have kept an account of the battles they have fought with the dragon. They may
be of use to us as we plan our attack. Their failures will teach us what we must not do."
I hardly understood all of this, but had faith that the Queen would know of what she spoke
and could lead us into battle with the monster. It would be up to me to keep her from harm.
We took rest with the Grik, and they provided us with food of a kind I had never known.
Tasty, though I knew not whether it be animal or plant flesh. Their wine was a strong drink but
refreshing and it seemed to loosen the tongue of the King somewhat so that he began to sing songs
of battles lost and won. Or so said the Queen. They seemed to be all sad songs. The battle songs
were taken up by the warriors who told tales of friends and brothers who were honored in death or
in life. Far into the night they sang until the wine cask was fully emptied and the King slept upon
his throne, snoring loudly.
At no time thus far had I seen a Grik female, but now two shyly peeked around a pillar of
rock, beckoning us to follow. Silently we were led to a space where there were beds of woven
rope like unto a tiny ship, tied fore and aft to pillars. Here we slept soundly until the sound of a
battle trumpet wakened us. Again we took nourishment with the warriors, this time silently, and
without the aid of the heavy wine of the night before. We were served a dark brew of hot liquid
which gave a pleasant aroma. This was considered a brew of the gods, and was served with great
ceremony. I found it a pleasant and uplifting drink.
Nourished and well rested, it came time for us to seek out the dragon. The King in full
battle dress presented himself, gave orders that my steed be brought forth, and made provision for
the Fairy Queen's steed. Indeed, I had never seen such a horse in all of my travels. Armored, the
huge beast looked as brave as any warrior. Snorting and pawing the ground, his iron shod hooves
sent sparks of fire in all directions, his wings, as befits a Fairy Queen's station, were tinged with a
dark color as if with the blood of battle. The Queen eased onto the back of the white beast,
speaking quietly into it's ear as she gripped his mane in her strong hands. The stallion seemed to
understand and nodded his great head while she patted his neck.
Each Grik warrior was presented with his horse by the stable hand who led it. Words of
blessing for the beast as well as the warrior were intoned by the stable hands, the warriors bowing
low as they received the reigns from the hands of those who cared for the animals. All Grik
citizens were important, no one's station higher than another, save the King. The Royal Armorer
and his arms makers came next bearing a cart filled with swords, each unique in it's design. Some
bore the likeness of the King engraved on it's blade, others the likeness of a slain dragon, while still
others the likeness of Grik citizens, or battle horses. A cart of bows and quivers of silver shafted
arrows came next and all were issued to their rightful owners with great ceremony. The Armorer
spoke quiet words of incantation as he bowed before each warrior. Each warrior in turn bowed
low as he accepted the glittering weapon. Next a cart of spears appeared, and again the Armorer
spoke words over them as they passed to the hands of those who had trained with them. When at
last all were armed, the Grik high priest came forth swinging a chalice on a gold chain from which
there appeared a deep red smoke. The priest spoke soft incantations which the Grik warriors
repeated as he looked at them. Suddenly the priest turned to look full in my face and in the
language of my people, but

with the voice of the Fairy Queen, intoned a blessing on me and my steed. I must have looked the
fool, for such was my amazement that the priest smiled the faintest smile and bowed slightly to
With all of us armed and fully blessed, the King solemnly led the warriors toward the earth
above. I perceived that we would be leaving the land of the Grik by another route, the tiny hole
we entered being too small for an entire army of warriors to squeeze through. After a distance of
half a league, I saw the mouth of a small cave. Raising his sword, the King halted his warriors,
spread his arms and began to chant. The Fairy Queen took up the chant as well and bade me join
the others. I still knew not the strange language of the Grik but the chant was a simple one, and I
did join with the others. Satisfied that all were chanting, the King spurred his steed toward the
mouth of the cave. As the King and each warrior left the mouth of the cave and entered the light
of the sun, there came a miraculous transformation. The King suddenly increased in stature to four
cubits and a span! Each warrior behind him transformed in the same like manner so that none
stood less than four cubits, nor weighed less than fourteen stone. In like manner did I regain my
stature. Looking back from whence we came, I saw that the cave we had just passed through was
no larger than a badger hole. The Grik pay no attention to the transformation. It is their way of
life. From each warrior there comes a low humming sound which then becomes a softly sung tale
of battle. Truly the Grik are mighty
warriors and brave, for each has a tiny smile on his face as they sing of the death of the dragon,
and of the many battles of their brothers now dead. Here in the sunlight of the upperworld I see
that many of the warriors shields are formed from the scales of fallen dragons. So too the armor
worn by their steeds. Those who have done battle with the beasts are allowed to collect what
scales they wish for this purpose. Dragon scales protect the warrior from the fire that the beast
breaths and I find myself wishing for that protection for the Fairy Queen. So small she appears
astride the mighty winged Pegasus that carries her so gently into battle. I fear for her life as I have
never feared for another. The devil take me! The love for her that wells up in my breast can never
be. My battered heart shall break again, of this I am certain. I curse love now as I did before.
Closer to the dragon’s cave we ride, a half a day’s journey. The Grik begin to form battle
ranks as we approach the mighty mountain. Their songs turn to chants, deep and low in sound,
blending with the hoofbeats of the battle steeds, sending a great wave of rumbling noise before us.
Louder and louder become the chants, the horses stamping their hoofs now as if in defiance of the
beast that cannot yet be seen. We have come close enough to the cave to be able to see quite a
distance into the evil pit. Bones, the cast aside remains of men and livestock pave the ground as
far as the eye can see, broken and trampled by the comings and goings of the beast . The faint
smell of spoiled flesh strikes the nose of steed and warrior alike. Close to the cave, nothing is
alive. Not even the barest blade of grass or weed grows. All is dead.
Above the sound of the horses and chants there comes another sound unlike any heard
before, shrill as a small bird’s song but stronger, louder, piercing. Swiftly I looked about to find
from whence the sound came. Above and behind me the Fairy Queen flies, her eyes closed, mouth
slightly opened, the shrill sound coming from it , calling, as it were, to the dragon. Louder and
louder came the sound from the Queen as she challenged the great beast to a battle to the death.
In her hand the huge broadsword glistened in the dim sunlight, casting the reflected light to and fro
as fire dancing from the mighty blade.
As though from some unspoken signal all sounds stopped, save the shrill shrieking from the
lips of the Fairy Queen. From deep inside the gloomy cave a mighty roar began, the mountain
shuddering with the sound, rocks raining down onto the desolate plain from above, the few birds
brave enough to alight on it flew from the peaks of the hewn rock, their shrill calls the only other
From the mouth of the abyss there appeared a movement. A small child, no more than
three or four summers old scrambles amongst the fallen rocks. Dressed in the fine raiment of a
young Lord or Prince, his long, fair hair flowed from under a feathered hat of ermine.
A murmur came from the Grik King, and from above the Fairy Queen translated again for
my ignorant ears.
“The King says not to trust what thine eyes tell thee. The dragon is a wily beast and not to
be trusted. I shall call again to the evil one. He must answer the call, for it is the way of the
dragon and fairy. Hearken from whence the dragon’s voice comes, for if the voice come from the
child he is surely the dragon in disguise and must be slain.”
Slay this beautiful child? Surely she must be mistaken. What powerful magic must the
dragon hold in order to become a tiny child? Again the shrill sound came from the lips of the tiny
Queen. Louder and higher came the call until it became almost painful to the ear. The child had
stumbled his way toward us, clambering over the rubble but always watching our every move,
more intently than a child would. At the top of a particularly tall rock, the child stopped,
crouching on all
fours like unto some small animal of prey. Turning away, he looked toward the mouth of the cave
as though he wished to return to it’s safety. Flattening himself closer to the rock, he once again
turned to face the army confronting him, his eyes flared, teeth barred like a badger caught in a trap.
Suddenly the mouth opened and a low but mighty roar came from it. Truly this was the dragon.
Behind me the Grik King shouted a sharp command, a small horn blew, and the Grik army
to a man shouted a return to the King’s order. Horses began to gallop, armor clanged, blades
flashed and arrows flew towards the helpless child. In the blink of an eye several well aimed Grik
arrows found their mark in the body of the small child. Surely, I thought, the boy will die.
Clamoring to his feet, the child grasped at the protruding arrows, pulling them from his body as he
laughed as though from some humorous story. Other arrows flew at him and he knocked them
away before they found their mark. Tiring of this game, the boy suddenly roared a mighty roar,
and leaped into the air. As he leaped he spun round and round, and in a twinkling, transformed
himself into the mighty dragon Tgkohgn. Three heads appeared from the red and blue scaled body,
the wings sixty cubits wide blocked the sun, his tail, eighty cubits, tipped with spikes the length of
a man’s arm. The mighty roar of the beast transformed itself into tongues of flame spewing from
the fanged maw of the central head.
The first wave of brave Grik archers had come forward to do battle with the boy-beast
when they had first discovered his true nature. Now they were in mortal danger from the blasts of
fire. Bravely they fired their arrows knowing that it would be the last act of their lives. And so it
was. As the arrows flew true to their mark, the tongues of hot flame consumed the brave archers,
the stench of their burned bodies instilling fear and hatred into the souls of the rest.
Even in the face of sure death the brave archers had aimed well, scores of silvery arrows finding
their mark in the flaming eyes of the beast. The roar of pain that came from the head was unlike
any heard by man, a shrieking like steel against steel. The middle head, spewed forth fire anew,
scorching the earth, turning the rock to brimstone so hot was the flame. Fear gripped the whole of
the Grik army, for a wounded dragon is the fiercest of fighting beasts, and even a partly blinded
dragon fights with a fearful rage. From the right head, there streamed a flow of ice, locking many
brave warriors in it’s freezing grip. From the other, a screeching sound so loud and shrill that
many were unable to stand, but fell, their ears bleeding, as did their horses.
From her vantage point high above the battle, riding her winged Pegasus, the Fairy Queen
gripped the spear at her side. Her voice seemed to penetrate the noise of the battle, telling me to
prepare my brave steed and true sword for battle with the demon. With a cry of battle, I spurred
my fearless steed on. From above, the siren song of the Fairy Queen could be heard, calling to the
dragon. The beast raised its heads, fire and ice belching into the afternoon sky as the dragon
sought to destroy the Fairy. Suddenly the flame of death ceased, the evil one preparing another
storm of fire to send in the Queen’s direction. Spurring her mighty steed, Queen Milotta dove
straight at the center head of the wounded beast, gripping her silver spear in both hands. Thus
distracted, I was able to approach closer to the giant scaled body, my fearless battle steed galloping
as though his life depended on his speed. Grik warriors followed close behind me as I approached,
their spears and swords at the ready. Not a sound came from their lips, though their battle chants
had echoed from the mountain only moments before. In the blink of an eye, I dove from my
speeding horse, my true sword aimed at the second heart of the dragon, Tgkohgn. As I leapt, the
Fairy Queen was seen by the Grik warriors to thrust her mighty spear with the force of many men,
its iron point thrusting into the dragon’s body at the base of it’s neck, striking the first heart. My
true sword piercing the second at the same instant. All around me, Grik warriors unleashed their
spears, all with the true aim of a lifetime of practice. Swords slashed at the mighty dragon, and it’s
blood did flow like a river as it fell with a mighty roar at our feet, a flame the size of a torch, the
last fire to be expelled from the dieing beast.
“Flee! Make haste!” shouted Milotta, as she spurred her Pegasus higher into the air.
Shouting and running, the Grik warriors scrambled down the side of the mountain, some
finding shelter in the rocks, for even in death the dragon is a dangerous being. Foul smelling
smoke began to rise from the body of the newly slain beast as the fire within it began to consume
the flesh. Then came the burst of flame, all consuming, hotter than a hundred funeral pyres,
melting the very rock on which it lay.
Around me, the Grik warriors began a low chanting song, the King’s voice distinct in the
dying light of the day. Milotta came to my side, touching my hand gently.
“The Grik honor the dragon as a worthy foe. They sing a new song for it’s afterlife,
praying that it will lead a life of peace and honor,” she explained.
“Dragons have no honor,” I said.

“There are many dragons, Sir John, some that we never see. Yet they live in peace, some
doing good, others living a quiet life without ever being known. Only those put under a wicked
spell are the ones we see and must fight to the death.”
Again I learn, as I must.
The Grik King spoke a few words and the warriors began to make camp as the night fell.
Food and the Grik wine appeared, from whence I know not, for I saw no carts nor bearers as we
marched to battle. When we had eaten our fill, the King approached me and began to speak.
When he had finished, he touched my head with the tip of his sword four times, then touched my
lips with a finger, and then did the same to Milotta, the Fairy Queen.
“The King has Knighted us both for valor,” explained the Queen, “pledging peace between
his countrymen and ours. He has instructed his workmen to create a shield for us from the scales
of Tgkohgn as a token of his vow.”
I knelt to the King, pledging peace and servitude, as is a Knight’s duty. Now I am bound
to three, two Kings and the Fairy Queen. Slowly, I regain a portion of my lost honor.
“Arise, Sir John, slayer of Tgkohgn, friend of the Grik people, rescuer of the Fairy Queen
Milotta. So it is, and so ye shall be known,” said the King, to my great surprise. “A Knight should
always be able to understand his King’s wishes,” he said with a twinkle in his black eyes.
“My liege, do I understand thee, or doest thou understand me?”
“Does it matter?” he returned, patting my shoulder. “Let us make merry! Wine!” he
Then I knew the answer, joining in the songs of the Grik warriors that I now could sing
with the best of them.

“What now, Sir John?” asked Milotta, after the wine was gone and the Grik slept. “Where
wilt thou travel? Wilt thou search for other dragons?”
“I go where my battle steed takes me, and do such as I must as a fallen knight, my Queen.”
“I have a castle, and lands, Sir John. Much work requires doing.”
These things she told me as she touched my hand gently, casting her eyes upon mine, a look
on her face such as I had never before known, not even with the fair Alecia. Yet I hesitated, not
divining the true nature of her words.
“I need a husband, Sir John, to help rule justly and kindly over such subjects as remain in
my small kingdom. I would that thou wouldst be husband to me, for truly, bold Knight, I love thee
as no other.”
Her words smote my heart like an arrow. How could I not agree to her wishes?

Sadly, the Fairy Queen is no more, for on our wedding night, the spell of the fairy was
broken, and Queen Milotta is become like any other Queen. Beautiful and loved by her dutiful
subjects, she rules with her heart and for the love of her people.