The Silver Pond of the Ginka Mountains Myth in Fyria | World Anvil

The Silver Pond of the Ginka Mountains

The Story
Two local mountaineers from a village in the valley below find themselves lost amongst the twisting trails of the Ginka Mountains. After days of wandering, weary, they find themselves stumbling upon a beautiful grove, hidden beyond a narrow pathway high in the mountains.   The grove is far larger than first glance, dozen of Ginka Trees stand, their thin white-barked trunks partially submerged in a deep and wide pond. Glittering brightly in the depths of the pond are thousands of silver coins, many lay within grasp at waters shore. However, laying near the bank of the pond is an enormous silver dragon. Resting, in a seemingly deep slumber.   The behemoth takes up a vast swath of the grove. Its body pushing against the trunks and limbs of the trees, stretching them to near breaking. The men have a choice to make, attempt to sneak up on the sleeping dragon and steal some of its treasure for their own. Or gift the few silver coins they have stuffed in the bottom of their packs at its feet as an offering. With the hope that leaving the offering will sway the dragon’s potential wrath and grant them fair luck in finding their way back home.   The first traveller makes his choice, quietly he retrieves the last few coins from his pack and places them as close to pond as his bravery allows. With a relieved sigh the traveller turns and begins to leave the grove, stopping at the entrance of the grove he awaits his companion's decision.   The second traveller decides to test his luck and approaches the pond. He gently scoops up coins from the cold water using his hand, he places them in his satchel as quietly as possible. Before long he is laden with silver coins, pleased with himself he turns and begins to leave. Suddenly, he feels a hot breath upon his back. Turning he is faced with the widening maw of a very awake dragon. The dragon speaks to the quivering man, chastising him for his wrongdoing. The traveller pleads for his life but the dragon feels no sympathy for the greedy man. Before the second traveller can finish his pleas the dragon falls upon him and is gone. Swallowed in one mightly gulp.   The surviving traveller watches the scene in horror, the dragon lifts his head and stares towards him. The man turns and runs for his life. The dragon does not pursue the man and instead decides to continue its rest, lying its head back down upon the shore. The traveller could faintly hear the clinking of shifting coins as the dragon returned to sleep.   The surviving traveller soon found the correct route back down the mountain, within a day he was home. Exhausted from the near-death experience he collapsed from exhaustion the moment he stepped through his home’s door. Awaking the next day to find his wife and child's concerned looks upon him. He tells them of his harrowing tale. Later that day his wife shows him something she found caught in his clothing while she undressed him yesterday. A silver dragon’s scale.   The man knew that this was a gift from the dragon, telling him that he had chosen wisely and that this would be his reward. For the rest of the man’s life, his and his families luck and prosperity rarely faltered. The dragon scale would become a family heirloom and it is said to still be passed down in this family. Though nobody knows who they are.   It is said that even today the occasional silver coin can be found along the trails of the Ginka Mountains. Haven become dislodged from the scales of the dragon as it stretches its limbs mid-flight. Proof, locals say, that the dragon and its pond exists. Though this is also just a story.
Spread and Cultural Importance
This is a commonly told story amongst the people in the Kambei and Isao territories of Shikyuo, in which the actual Ginka Mountains are located. Stretched between the two territories.   This tale is told to warn travellers, and overly curiously youth from wandering too deep into the mountains. It hasn't made a significant impact on Shikyuo culture nor has the story crossed borders. Though this type of tale is popular within the country with widely different stories being told throughout the different territories of Shikyuo. Each with the purpose of warning and teaching travellers and youth about the dangers of the region and to be extra cautious if they find themselves lost in a hostile environment.   Some individuals, especially adventurers, have a different opinion on this story, taking a more literal interpretation of the story. Thinking that an offering of silver to the dragon will grant them an powerful boon or reward. Or alternatively, think that if they outwit the dragon, they can claim its treasure. On occasion, these adventures will enter the mountain seeking the dragon’s grove. They almost always come back empty-handed, in rare times they find a silver coin or two. But those that return have never spoken of finding the grove. Of course, there have been many that have succumbed to the dangers of the mountain and perished. Or perhaps, they found the grove and made the wrong choice.
Historical Basis
This account likely did not happen, or at least there is no physical evidence to prove as such. Though some locals believe that the silver occasionally found throughout the mountains are proof of the dragon's existence. Nobody has ever come back from the mountains path with any knowledge of the groves location or the dragon's existence/
Date of Setting
The date of this story varies widely, some say it happened near the dawn of the nation. Hundreds of years before The Odegai ruled. Others say it happened only a generation or two ago. It is an easier story to adjust details on, so the original details of time have long since been lost.
In Art and Literature
This is a verbal story, told primarily by word of mouth amongst the villages of the region. A few simple scroll writings can exist that retell the story but each differs depending on the author. It holds little significance in the popular literature of the world.   Children love to draw depictions of what they think this dragon may look like. It is a common artistic exercise with children and young artists. Only one significant painting has been created depicting the tale, painted by the famed Shikyuo painter Tageki Hiro. It shows a long silver dragon coiling along the surface of a pond, while a stupefied local gazes upon what he stumbled upon.

Legends say that deep withing the Ginka Mountains lies a shimmering pool, filled with silver coins and jewellery. Resting on the shore of this pool lies a silver dragon, calming napping near its collection. The story goes that if someone were to stumble upon this hidden grove they’d be left with a choice. Risk their lives and approach the pond in search of treasure. Or leave the dragon a gift of silver in the hopes of good fortune.

Related Organizations
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The Sovereign Empire of Shikyuo
Organization | Jan 19, 2021
The Odegai
Ethnicity | Jul 18, 2019

Cover image: white by Xiaodi Jin


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