Storytime With Grendel: Scales – Part 2

Greetings once again, bensvelk munthreks!

This translates to “good humans,” which I hear is appropriate because apparently somewhere around ninety-eight percent of our readers are human! Also, I assume you’re good, but I guess that is an assumption as well. Good is subjective and something Geldrin and I disagree on daily.

If you probably-good, apparently-humans remember from last week, I was retelling a time when I was a wyrmling and had gotten myself trapped in a seemingly innocent cottage. I had barged in, pursuing a perceived meal, when the door magically rebuilt itself behind me, trapping me inside.

I was imprisoned in a ramshackle cottage with nothing but an old cauldron and some disembodied voices chattering rhymes at me. Did I die in that cottage? Maybe! But I will continue this short story next time. Apologies for this being so brief, but both Geldrin and I are eager to continue reading our floating kingdom story! The warrior just received a weird arm in place of his own!
Storytime With Grendel: Scales – Part 1

I had tried to claw my way back out, but the door held shut. An obnoxious rhyme then echoed around me, taunting me in my helpless state. This was followed by a chorus of hideous laughter. Suddenly, I was forced to the ground as more magical whisps of sickeningly green light gathered around me, pressing me to the floor. I tried to call out or breathe fire in the direction I thought I could hear the disembodied voices coming from, but my maw was pinned shut as well.

Three green-skinned, wart-covered, greasy-haired hags then materialized from the darkness. They gathered around me and began poking at me with brooms. It was humiliating.

“What shall we do with him, then?” one hag said.

“Hmmm… looks like he has some good meat on ‘im. We can make him into a stew!” the second replied.

“What a waste that would be, Hagatha!” the third scolded. “Can’t you see what we’ve trapped here? It’s not just a common green, but some sort of amalgamation of wyrms!”

At this, the first two hags’ eyes lit up as they scanned my helpless body. I shuddered as their bony fingers began tracing my scales and horns, the fiends cooing as they began discussing what they would do with my corpse.

“Yes, you’re right, Broomhilda!” the first hag exclaimed. “I see scales of green and brass… horns and a crest of both as well! What a find! We’ll be able to make potions… brews… the possibilities are endless!”

“Hee hee hee!” the second hag cackled. “And his bones will make a fantastic new broom handle, I’m sure! Fitting punishment for this beast, especially after he ate my familiar…”

They continued on like this for a while, screeching about how my horns could make a powerful poison, and how my eye could be added to some sort of vile potion. Try as I might, no matter how hard I struggled, I could not free myself from their clutches. I was paralyzed and helpless, but at this point, I guess I was lucky to still be under the protection of my father.

After the similar instance of my capture by frost giants years before, my father had gifted me with a single piece of his treasure—a golden ring, just big enough to fit on my claw. It was inlaid with carved images of dragons and a rather large emerald at the center. Every day my father had commanded me to wear it, though I protested at first. It was one of the first pieces of treasure I had gathered, sure, but even with dragons, if a parent tells you to do something, you don’t want to do it.

Eventually I gave in and began wearing the thing, even when I snuck out, and by the dragon god’s five heads I’m glad I did! What I didn’t know at the time was this: when a dragon reaches a certain age and has amassed a large enough hoard, they gain a special connection to every piece of their treasure. Even when separated from the rest of their wealth, they can still sniff out missing valuables. My father was both old and powerful enough to be able to do this, thus while I was wandering the woods, he was out trying to track me down. I can’t say my father loved me, I know he was not capable of such emotions, and it would have weakened him greatly to have the capability, so… good for him! He was simply tracking me like one tries to find their stolen possessions.

Regardless of the why, right as one of the hags had slipped the ring off my claw, laughing at the “curious thing it carried with it,” and just as another raised a foul-looking dagger above her, ready to end my tiny life, the third interrupted,

“Do you smell that, Cauldra?” the hag said, as green whisps began filling the cottage.

She then coughed once, and promptly fell over dead. The other two barely had a moment to react before they too perished in a cloud of poisonous mist. I had recognized the smell and was just able to hold my breath before the rest of my father’s toxic breath filled the room. A moment later, the roof was torn off by his massive claws.

The whole way back to the lair I was violently scolded. Too many times had I tried to sneak out, and too many times did he need to save my ungrateful hide. He went on and on, though at this point, I only half listened. I was thinking of all the plans the hags had for my corpse. Was every part of me just some ingredient in a magical brew? What else could they have done with my scales? Were there any other creatures out there with eyes on my precious parts?

What I learned that day was this—hags are not immune to poison, and I would absolutely never let any other being get their disgusting hands on any part of me. This is why, to this day, I keep all my baby teeth, cast-off scales, and broken bits of horns in a bag buried deep in my lair. I worry not that my dead body will be used for any other purpose, as well, since I don’t plan on dying. Death is for mortals and lesser dragons. There is no need for it for one as powerful as I!

With that I will leave you, dear readers. Geldrin and I are excited to get back to our story, thus I will give you this one final charge—continue seasoning yourselves with knowledge and never use dragon parts in your cooking, or else I WILL find you! Veyet’toon! (Goodbye!)

Storytime with Grendel stories are compliments of Tyler Swanson
Prev post
Author Interview – Rajiv Mote
Next post
Author Interview – Mia Ram

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Cart

No products in the cart.