Storytime With Grendel: Snow – Part 1

Salutations, Othokent people!

Yes, I am once again complimenting our dear readers, as it is obvious that anyone who is reading these stories must be rather othokent, which of course is draconic for “smart!” If you desire more stories about the wonderful, benevolent, and powerful Grendel the All-Seeing Eye, you must be a rather smart little creature!

Speaking of smart little creatures, our question today comes from our very own resident gnome, Geldrin Foilprop!

Greetings, dear readers! Though we have a backlog of inquiries from across the universes, I recently came upon a most peculiar entry when going through my notes for our next Dragon Facts book. I had asked Grendel to write down lists of his likes, dislikes, and so forth. Perusing through the “most hated things” list, between the entries for “fairy” and “self-righteous paladins,” our dear dragon friend simply wrote the word “snow.” I know he’s a fire-breather, so I figured it may have something to do with this, but I’ve decided to use this week’s storytime to offer Grendel the chance to explain this inexplicable entry.

So, here’s our official weekly enquiry:

Mighty Grendel! Why do you so hate snow?
Grendel’s best friend Geldrin

     Thank you for the question! And as you sit there, writing my words on your tiny scroll, I wonder at what point I have ever declared you as my “best” friend. Friend, sure, I’ll allow that, but the best one I have? Maybe, maybe not. Oh, don’t look so glum, chum! Being a friend to a dragon at all is an honor in and of itself, with or without a “best” attached to it! If I provide a good answer to your inquiry, will it cheer you up a bit? Great.

     My disdain for frost, snow, sleet, and everything frozen comes once again from a story in my youth. I was no longer a wyrmling but was not quite fully grown. I had escaped the grasp of my father at this point and had begun exploring the wider world. Before my exodus from my father’s lair, he had warned me of the dangers contained within the far-flung places of the world, with the frozen north being one of the most perilous. This warning, of course, only proved to make me ever more curious about what snow was, why frozen regions were dangerous, and why our unintelligent white dragon cousins would ever choose this inhospitable environment to lair.

     Thus, nearly immediately upon gaining my freedom, I turned my mighty wings due north and flew, eager to behold what so-called terrors awaited me in the frozen wastes. For days I soared, passing over mountains, rivers, and quite a few terrified villages, all that were, I’m sure, very glad when the dragon ahead passed them by. I knew I was getting close when I was hit with a snap of frosty air. My eyes were watering from the unrelenting wind, and I had already begun finding it harder to fly when I spotted a great deal of white on the horizon. I pressed on, and hours later, I was flying over a vast icy landscape. A blanket of snow covered every tree, rock, and unmoving river for miles in every direction. Though entirely alien from where I had grown up, it struck me as a surprisingly beautiful scene. What a fool my young self was.

     Through chattering fangs, I looked for a pristine place to land. Surveying my surroundings, I spotted a tall peak towered above the pines a few miles away. I headed that way and was nearing the mountain when a shadow passed above me. Turning toward the shape, I saw a large, white dragon soaring effortlessly through the clouds. At this point I knew little of other dragons outside of my parents and hatchmates, thus I flew a little higher and greeted my fellow dragon with a shivering, “G-g-greetings, Aussir D-darastrix!” The white in return simply threw back a bellowing roar and began a headfirst dive straight toward me.

     “Hey! Y-you’re coming in kind of fast, there, friend!” I desperately cried out as the white blur closed the gap between us. “Wait! I mean no harm! I—” The force of the blow took the wind out of me as he collided into me, forcing us both to hurl toward the ground below.

     With a mighty crash we landed on the side of the mountain, the snow erupting in a shower of frost. It took a few frozen moments for me to catch my breath with the big beast on top of me, but when I could finally breathe again, I simply sputtered, “Why?!” In response, the white just roared, a most deafening and guttural sound it was, but then he at least had the decency to address me with words:

     “MINE!” he bellowed.

     “What?” I coughed. This was actually my first experience touching snow, here pinned under this furious beast, and it was already miserable.

     “THIS MINE!” he continued, even louder. The frustration showing behind his icy blue eyes at my inability to comprehend his meaning would surely be quelled if he simply yelled at me louder!

     “WHAT IS YOURS?!” I roared back. At this, he somehow took even more offence to my presence and my continued questions, and after a quick gasp of air, he blasted his icy breath directly into my face!

     Let me tell you, if you think being buried in the snow was cold, just try getting breathed on by a white dragon’s frost breath! I am perfectly accustomed to fire, as you know, dear readers, and thus I believe I am somewhat insulated to extreme temperatures in general. But I will say that I absolutely do NOT like the cold, and this exact instance is when I fully developed my hatred for anything less than a brisk morning’s chill. If I had understood more about territories at this point in my life, I could have surmised what the white was talking about with all this “mine, mine” talk, but between the confusion from the unprovoked attack, and the utter cold surrounding me, I could think of nothing more than my icy death as I quickly froze at the top of a desolate mountain.

     For now, we’ll once again leave it here, with your favorite dragon frozen solid in a massive block of ice like some pathetic dinosaur. Would I get out? Yes. But how? Come back next week to find out! Until next time, continue to season yourselves with knowledge!

      

Storytime with Grendel stories are compliments of Tyler Swanson
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