author: Collected by Umberto
In peaceful years long buried by the snows of a dozen-dozen seasons, men and women had forgotten the respect they owed the Dragons.
Winter was approaching the village of Karthal, and the daughter of a farmer came running into town. Sheep were missing and she suspected a foul beast. Investigations followed and the culprit found. It was a Drake. And indeed three times a day it could be spotted in the mountains, sparks swimming across its scales, a wonder for poor eyes.
But still the people were afraid. And there was also the matter of the sheep. Winter was coming and when wool went lacking the cold would bite, not to mention the mutton and the fresh lamb when winter was eaten by spring.
The townsfolk cursed this sheep-eating drake; this troublesome bear with windy wings. They posted a reward of seven hundred gold, and a dozen knights and hunters floated in, brought by every wind of Ashan.
In spite of their courage and their skill, the Dragon eluded search. The heroes started complaining, for their meals and lodgings were not free, that the townsfolk of Karthal had used ruse to bring foreign purses to their town. As swords were about to swing and a fine village sacked, a mischievous roar was heard just beyond the horizon.
The Dragon flew in angry circles above the little town, then swooped down to take a horse, a much tastier dish than sheep. When the heroes found their wits, they raced after the flying beast, but nighttime soon obliged them to return to their expensive beds. Now satisfied that the stories were true and this was no merchant farce, they doubled their efforts, and the Dragon became legend.
Soon Karthal was booming with the business of finding the elusive horse eating drake, and all suitors had need of ration and gear to confront the hostile wild. The loss of the occasional sheep was soon considered the Dragon's share of the pie. The farmer was making double coin for milk and egg, and the townsfolk small fortunes. It came to a point that someone said, "What shall become of us if the Dragon's one day slain?..."
So Lilly set out with a magical warding, to protect the Dragon from stray arrow or rusty spear. And where dozens of greater men had failed, she found the beast quite easily, drinking water at a stream. The Dragon turned and spoke.
"Do you come to kill me, fair maiden."
"No, my noble creature, I wish only to cast... a warding on your scales."
"Was it not you who called the hunters here to bring an end to me?"
"It was I... I regret. Or rather you were eating our livelihood. But now, thanks to you, we've found a more prosperous way to live."
To Lilly's great surprise the Dragon transformed into a man. He revealed himself as a shape changing Mage, winked and took the maiden's hand.
"Keep my secret and I shall keep yours."
Karthal prospered and grew and soon no longer needed the bounty for a Dragon to draw travelers to its walls. But ask a citizen of Karthal if there ever was a Dragon, they'll swear that there still is.
Other Lore for Might & Magic X: Legacy
- The Raider's Code
- The History of Karthal
- Sea Shanties and Harbour Songs
- Michael and His Glories
- Bestiary of Ashan
- Portal to a Distant Star
- Mystery of the Hidden Shrine
- A Passage through the Isles
- The Divine Right
- For Kin and Glory
- Night of the Destroyer
- Decree of Destiny
- The War of Bitter Ashes
- The Fabrication of the Orcs
- The Binding of the Clans
- Malassa Mourning
- Dynasties of Light
- The Myths of Creation
- Houses of Wizardry
- On the Nature of the Spirit World
- Titan Finder
- The Eighth City
- The Dragon of Karthal: a Popular Folk Tale
- The Distant Home
- Wandering the Waves
- The Treasures of the Shantiri
- A Savage History of the Pirates
- Manifesto of the Karthal League
- Song of the Earth
- The History of Hammer Fall
- Excerpt from Montbard's Journals
- Dunstan's Last Adventure
- Astronomical Notes
- A Tour of the Free Cities
- Life with the Pao Island Orcs
- The Books of Beginnings
- The Treacherous Queen Tuidhana