The First Dragon
The tale of The First Dragon is an outlier in the Cantumland set of dragon tales. There is no valiant knight, or helpless village. It is the story of loss, and filling in empty spaces, and the source of much debate about the origin of war between mankind and dragonkind.
The story starts with a young man. He is of the culture of the storytellers, and is a reflection of the ethics of the people who pass down their variation of the tale. He is the perfect individual, flawless and kind, but is also deeply sad. The reason is rarely specified, though sometimes he has a lost lover or child. What matters is that for all the good and joy he brings to the world, he cannot take in any for himself. He is at his furthest point from his home when the storm erupts on the horizon. He can only watch as it comes closer, an unstoppable force that will destroy his village. He stands tall, and does not flee from the wistorm. He feels no fear, as he stares down oblivion. There is much debate, both by scholars around old manuscripts and children sitting around an old storyteller, about why he does not move when he sees the storm coming. No matter the reason, the storm arrives. He is swallowed whole into the mass, and obliterated. A dragon is born, wearing his skin, holding his memories, but it is not him. It is not him, because it feels no sadness or emptiness. It feels instead a lust for power, to protect his village and be an even better man than he ever was. His muscles grow and his fingernails are twisted into claws, until he can fell great pines with a swipe of his hand and throw the tree across a field. Or he learns the magic of flight and takes off into the sky, gathering water from the clouds in his gaping mouth. No matter how he changes, it is always at first to be a better person, an exaggeration of the man he once was, or has taken the place of. But the lust for power cannot be pure hearted. It is not the place of the pure hearted to seek power. Was this the reason why he did not flee the storm? To gain such great strength? Or was he simply seeking death, and instead was reborn again in the chaos. No matter his reason, that man is gone now. His face and body are warped into that of a hulking monster, and he when war comes to his village, he slays entire armies alone. He swallows men and brings their armour to his skin, turning them into fine scales. Their blood boils in his mouth, and he spits it back onto the land, corrupting it for generations to come. His wrath is not a difference of character from the man who once held his name. It was simply a matter of ability. Now he stands, greater than any living being, and is empty once more. His people fear him, for how could anyone feel safe around such a monster? He exiles himself, and from there he goes into the distance. Some say he is slumbering beneath the glaciers of the far north. Others say he is deep within the caves of the corrupted lands. No matter where he is, they say he is still alive, and slumbers forever more.
There certainly must have been a first dragon. Who that person was before they were killed by the wistorm is deeply uncertain, for each culture has made their own version of that person. Perhaps the first dragon did try to protect the people around it. No one could know at the time the nature of dragons.
Everyone has heard some version of the tale. It is one of the oldest and most well loved stories across the continent.
Variations & Mutation
In Atonia he is a kind and respected leader of his troop, who is the greatest friend of each of his friends, and always treats them right. In Sannes he is a thick and powerful woodsman, who fells great trees with his axe, and fashions a longhouse in the dead of winter in a single night alone. The Rognande culture is the exception to the rule of each culture telling the tale of one of their own. They tell the story of a Dubrician who was kind and gentle before the storm, but betrayed them after and struck down their village. It is also the only tale that ends with the dragon being slayed.
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