Monday, March 9, 2015

There be Dragons (Shale the hidden)

Safari land ltd toy Dragon

Tharkin ready his horse, gathered his personal effects, winked at the cute tavern wench that he had spent the night with.  The caravan was all there and in their proper place, excitement grew as Tharkin took his spot among the other guards hired to protect them,  then a murmur from the group, the word was passed down from wagon to wagon “Corvin pass, Corvin pass”  many guards grumble as the word reach them. Old Thelonious had decided that his Caravan would be taking the shorter route through the Shadowed hill and Corvin pass. 
Now the name “Shadowed hills” was bad enough on its own but Corvin pass was a place of dread, with talk of Orc and Goblin bands, wild creature, evil fairy folk and yes a supposed Dragon.  Orcs had little skill, goblins were stupid, fairies would leave you alone for the most part, but a Dragon was another thing altogether. 

His name was Shale or at least that was what it was called. Years ago two survivors of an ill-fated caravan had been found stumbling out of the pass, one completely Mad the other near death they both had such wounds on them, it was a wonder that they had made it that far.  One of the men with his dying words just said “beware shale”  The mad one just kept repeat what had been said “Shale, Shale that’s right its name is Shale" and then with a Scream that would chill the bravest …DRRRRAGON! He cried and he had never spoken another word since. 
Well that was years ago and although there had been missing caravans and ORC attacks , most had made the journey from The Town of Dardin to Avgard without much incident. Most did prefer the longer route around the hills but going over and though Corvin pass would take more than a week off the trip.  Tharkin thought "quicker there quicker back" and back to that cute wench. 

It was almost a week into the trip that they reached the pass and not more than a passing brush with a small Orc band was had.  Half the Guard had been sent ahead to scout for any Dragons or signs of one  and had now returned, It seemed that they had found nothing, for the caravan ready itself and started off.
It had only been a day into the pass, slowed but the rocky roads and constant rock slides when Tharkin at the head of the caravan heard the first of the loud Rumbles and the first of the screams.  Tharkin and the other guards looked back in time to see the Worm rising from the rocks and yes the shale all around falling from its body, no one had seen him for he blended in so perfectly that it was just rock, rock

 It began its carnage with fire, a large gout of flame poured from its teeth studded mouth, setting the center of the caravan a blaze.  Amongst the terror and flames it pounced on the rear wagons and its people, tearing and biting, swallowing horse and man alike.  
 Within minutes Shale had finished off the intruders with flame and claw, he was glad they came it was the month of his feeding and the last feeding time was just a few nasty tasting, filthy Orcs and not that many of them.  After a long rest among the rocks that hid him as if he were rock itself, he heard and smelled the approach of dinner.  
 It had been years since a  human caravan and a large one a that, came at the right time for Shale, now he just had to be still till the time was right.
 Oh what a feast it was, man, horse and other animals to be had, he feasted till he could not eat anymore, which was a good thing seeing that none had been left,  "Oh wait" thought Shale he could smell the fear of one left. The beast  peered his ugly head from rock to rock till he found his prey, a wounded soldier
trembling behind a boulder  and the one who so arrogantly tossed a spear at me to boot, "lucky man" he thought, "I cannot eat you, for I am full" then the great beast rose up, turned and moved away into the rocks.
Tharkin watch it move off into the hills and the rocks, it almost seemed to vanish as it moved.  The Half broken man drew himself up and started the journey out of the pass towards Avgard.  Months later Tharkin now recovered had told the story  a thousand time, how  rock became Dragon and Dragon became rock.  He would journey back to Dardin, to his Tavern wench… but this time not through the pass.
Rock became Dragon and Dragon became rock.