In the year before I wrote this story, I had been writing stories wherein I set my friends in the future. My best buddy had a hovercraft that we crashed, and I was married to some girl I had met in summer camp. My brother was a successful rock guitarist, and I was a respected dermatologist. Wow.
Chris, that best buddy I mentioned, suggested that I write some fantasy. He was a big fan of the genre, and wanted to see if I could create creatures and the heroes who slayed them. I was about 14 at the time. Although I had read a lot of books by that point, all of my exposure to swords, sorcery and mythic beasts had come from movies. Of questionable quality. Krull, Jason and the Argonauts, Q, and Dragonslayer. Oh, and I probably had sat in on a few sessions of Dungeons and Dragons, too. If you had asked me about Tolkien, I would have said, “Who?”
So, here it is, uncorrected and resurrected after 20+ years in darkness. (Did I mention I was 14 when I wrote it?) Have fun. Even poke fun, if you want.
Blood of a Dragon
Thavian had just been assigned to a mission by the Queen of Erezius. His task was to slay a great white dragon. The one of the few remaining which he would kill was Ramazius. His goal was to obtain one cat-skin full of the dragon’s blood. The blood of a white dragon was the only known way to cure the wound of a weenan’s bite. The cure in this case was needed by the King of Erezius.
A weenan was a horrible little creature about the height of a man’s knees, and having perhaps the same weight as a four-year-old child. The face was exceedingly ugly and hairy, with the nose having the same pug-like appearance as a pig nose. The body, however, was very smooth and slimy. The feet were not hooves, nor were they claws, but a mix of little stubs which slightly resembled toes. At the end of this creature was a wicked tail which had a sharp, bony point and fins which, once it was stuck into the victim, did not allow the tail to be pulled out. That is, not until the weenan had eaten enough of the prey to remove it.
The king was lucky in only getting bitten by the weenan, but he still was suffering and could die if Thavian didn’t bring back the cure soon.
The area Ramazius the dragon lived in was swampy. The swamps between Erezius and the dragon’s lair had already claimed the lives of many men. The swamps were inhabited by many creatures. Many were more dangerous than the Weenan, while few were less dangerous.
Thavian was a brave young man who had been taught the Erezian ways by his father. When Thavian was only sixteen, his father was killed by a merciless creature. This creature was called a praspriz. A praspriz was small, but vicious. It had two eyes, like a man’s. But, the eyes were the only things which were normal. A praspriz had three legs, one in the front, protruding from its chest, and two in the back, to help it keep its balance. When it ran, it looked stranger than it already was. It would move the front leg out in front, and right as its front leg met the ground, the two back legs would swing forward. It could move fairly quickly this way. (Now, we will get on with the adventure)
Thavian’s journey was expected to last five days. No one really knew exactly how long it would take, because no man had ever returned after leaving for Ramazius’ lair. Thavian packed the necessary things in his backpack and set off with his broad sword in sheath and his shield in hand to get the antidote for the King. The only way to get the blood was to kill the great White Dragon, because these dragons would not give their blood readily.
After traveling for three days, Thavian was very tired, for he had no mount. He found a good spot to start a fire and stay for the night. This was the ideal spot to stay, perhaps for even a few days. The spot was clear about five yard across one way, and ten yards the other way. About fifty yards to the south was a small, apparently clean brook from which he could get drinking water. Night fell a few minutes after Thavian found this nice little spot.
As he woke up, Thavian noticed the sky was bright and blue, as if it was guaranteeing that his journey would be easy. After gathering his things and strapping his pack on, he went down to the brook to get a refreshing drink. The water was so cool and clean, Thavian drank until he was full, using his hand as a cup. After quenching his thirst, Thavian set off to find Ramazius, the white dragon.
Now Thavian was entering the dangerous swampland, which indicated he was very near Ramazius’ lair. As he sloshed through the swampland, Thavian recognized many little creatures living there. He knew about some of them because his father would bring Thavian little pets back from wherever he had been.
As Thavian admired a small lizard-like creature, he felt something grab his leg! A weenan! He must avoid the tail, or it could mean death for him and the King of Erezius. He pulled his broad sword from its sheath and swung wildly, missing it by inches! The weenan was not a slow animal. After dodging Thavian’s swing, the weenan bit him on the left calf, causing Thavian to fall! The weenan was on the verge of thrusting its horrible tail into Thavian’s stomach when he leaped off his right leg and grabbed a tree limb! As the weenan’s tail missed, Thavian dropped from the tree and his sword connected, lopping off the weenan’s head! He had won the fight, although he did sustain an injury which could not be ignored.
After a half day’s travel through the swampland, Thavian found a little island on which he would stay to rest for a short while. When he sat down, he noticed that his leg had swollen up quite a bit. There wasn’t much pain, but he could tell the weenan had succeeded in injecting its fatal poison when it bit him.
Thavian continued his trek through the swamp and came to a strange yellow liquid. It produced a terrible stench, but Thavian had to go on. As he went on, the liquid became deep enough to touch his neck. As he emerged, practically, he noticed that the strange yellow pool was the end of the swampland.
After two hours of walking over dry land, Thavian came to a mysterious looking cave. Around the outside, bones, a few of humans, were scattered all around on the ground. The inside of the cave had no torches lighting the way through it, so Thavian concluded that it must not have been inhabited by humans. He reached into his backpack, pulled out and lit a torch, and proceeded into the cave.
As he walked through the wide cave passage, he smelled a very strong odor. The walls of the cave were covered with clay, and dull, unpolished quartz was embedded in it. The cave ceiling was too high to be seen.
At the finish of maybe one hundred fifty yards of walking, Thavian heard strange noises. They sounded of bones crushing and flesh tearing. The sounds grew louder as he continued through the cave. After fifty more yards, he saw light. Thavian then walked slowly beside a wall of the cave, being careful not to make a sound.
As he walked cautiously along the wall, he came to a large cave room. There was a lantern in the middle of the room, sitting on the floor. Thavian began walking toward it when he heard a loud roar! He whipped around to his left and saw a large, hideous creature! It was Ramazius, and he was eating a man!
Ramazius dropped the mangled body and started toward Thavian. As the dragon approached, Thavian reached for his sword. It wouldn’t come out of the sheath! The mysterious yellow liquid must have dried and formed some sort of bond!
Thavian threw his torch at Ramazius! But, Ramazius was an ice-breathing dragon, and he blew the flame out with his super-cool breath. The piece of wood which fed the flame still struck Ramazius, but it glanced off his head without slowing him down.
After struggling with his sword, Thavian finally pulled it from the sheath! As he drew his sword, Ramazius blew a cold blast which hit the right leg of Thavian! Thavian then could not stand, because his left leg had previously been bitten by the weenan. He fell to the ground, flat on his back. Ramazius saw that he was down, and lunged at him! Right as he was going to land on Thavian, Thavian held his sword high into the air! Ramazius fell on the sword, just as Thavian rolled out of the way, and it penetrated deep into his belly. Thavian had succeeded in killing a white dragon, so he could now gather the two catskins full of its blood, one for himself and one for the King, and head back to Erezius.
“Congratulations, Thavian,” said the Queen, “You have succeeded where many others have failed. You will be rewarded.”
“I want no money,” he replied, “I only want your permission for your daughter’s hand in marriage.”
“If she wishes it, then so be it,” the Queen said.
Thavian had saved the King of Erezius, and now was to be married to the Princess.