ong, long ago in the early days
of the kingdom, the inhabitants of a small village south of the Rimmerins Ring
lived in fright and despair. They suffered under the moods of an invincible
monster, a mighty dragon that is, who had made his lair up in the nearby
mountains. He lived there on top of the cliffs of what among the locals is known
as the "Great Watcher", a mountain of frightening height, seemingly growing out
of nowhere, steep, intimidating, unrelenting.
Picture description. The despotic dragon
contemplating on what to eat for dinner... Image from the game
used with friendly permission, drawn by
From his lair the dragon used to
fly his deadly assaults on the livestock of the farmers grazing in the fields,
as the sheep and cattle the people bred were fat and delicious, just right for
an ever hungry dragon. The dragon was quite a lazy one, you know, and as hunting
wasn't among his most favourite occupations during the day (contrary to
devouring prey!) these beasts served as the perfect meal without much necessary
ado. Dinner was practically presented on a plate to him right in front of his
doorstep, he just needed to pick it up - and you can take that literally!
Because the helpless farmers saw themselves forced to make a strange decision
together: Due to the fact that that they found no way to get rid of the dragon,
they agreed one day to sacrifice animals voluntarily for the cause of feeding
the monster, even though their heart was bleeding. Twice a week one of the
farmers would have to give away either sheep or cow, in order to slaughter it
and present it to the dragon on a specific rock right below his lair. This way
it was at least ensured that the loss of livestock was spread evenly among the
farmers of the region. But this didn't solve the problem, quite to the contrary:
The farmers had accepted their inability to stand up to the despotic beast. The
latter didn't precisely say, "Thank you", though. Unless one would interpret his
loud belching that way, which could be heard echoing through the whole valley
after he was satiated. The dragon was quite happy nevertheless and used to look
down from his lair when the sacrificing procedure began, and he enjoyed watching
the farmers preparing his meal. He then often shook his mighty head, saying
"Humans!" to himself, and breathed a mighty flame to show his powers to the tiny
beings down there, who crept ant-like to and fro, and would disappear instantly
as soon as they saw his dragonly Highness appear on top of the cliffs.
Oh, it shouldn't be forgotten to mention that there had been several attempts to
confront the dragon, to challenge him and to defeat him. Well yes, there had
been quite a bunch actually. Some wanna-be heroes and adventurers seeking the
unusual, experienced battle-mages and highly acclaimed knights sent directly
from the Duke himself had come to teach the dragon a lesson. Alas, not more has
come from that except further additions to the pile of skulls in the dragon's
lair, who seemed to discover his love for collecting human remains. "A human
entering my lair is a dead human!", the dragon used to greet his guests and made
a change to his menu plan. Only a few moments later his fire breath usually
already got rid of the nuisance, and a roasted adventurer took the place of the
regular cow or sheep for dinner. Sure, every now and then a heavily armoured
knight managed to get a bit closer, tickle his nose or poke him in his belly. Or
a white-beared man in much too big robes shouted mysterious formulas at him,
which succeeded in producing glittering sparks or other wonderous things, and
these at times singed his tail. Which made devouring the wizards even funnier.
But all in all nobody had accomplished anything, and the dragon reigned from his
lair like a moody tyrant over his subjects. - Until one day when things
Not too far away from the village there lived an old greyler all by himself in a
decaying hut. Well, you could say he was more an eremite by now. He had used to
live with others of his greyler-kind, who had left the village either for their
own reasons or had been forced by others to go. Together they had shared this
hut, but by now all his companions had died and lay buried in a small valley he
had chosen as their final resting place. What had caused this particular greyler
to leave the community of the village, nobody could say and nobody really cared.
Not a single person sought to visit him either, as that was quite obviously what
greylers wanted to - to keep away from other people. It must have been decades
since he had left, and people tend to forget. Only the rumours remain that these
greylers are somewhat crazy or that there is at least a good reason why they
don't belong in other people's company. Same here with this greyler - the
villagers even forgot where these people used to live, though they had known,
Well, our greyler might have preferred not to intrude in others' businesses, but
even an outsider could hardly overlook how the dragon dominated over the
inhabitants of the village. The greyler saw the dragon killing livestock, he saw
knights and wizards riding up to the dragon's lair - and not returning - and he
also saw the strange rituals of the dragon feeding going on regularly.
The greyler observed these occurences a while, then, one day, he set out
himself. Having seen the villagers prepare another cow for the dragon to feast
on, he single-mindedly went right to the spot where the dead cow lay waiting,
pulled out a knife and started to work on the dead beast. From afar the farmers
saw him apporaching and watched with their mouths open - on the one hand not
knowing what the madman from the woods was up to, on the other hand fearing the
worst... Should the dragon see the greyler with the dinner meant for him, he
would surely feast on both! (Not that much harm would be done this way,
some farmers thought by themselves.) But what if the greyler planned to steal
the cow's meat! Irritated the peasants discussed what they should do now in
order to prevent a looming catastrophe, when suddenly someone pointed at the
greyler: "Look! He's only taken the hide with him... And..." The farmers watched
in utter disbelief. "He's climbing up to the dragon's lair with it!" If someone
still was looking for a proof that the greyler was completely out of his mind,
here it was. - "What should we do now?", an upset farmer asked. But nobody
seemed to have a good idea. "Well, let him go up there, if he so dearly wants
it," someone finally said. "A madman AND a cow should be enough for today's
dinner for the dragon." And everyone nodded and looked up to the dragon's lair,
hoping that the beast wouldn't mind the visitor bringing the hide of the animal
seperately for whatever reason.
However, the villagers looking up couldn't see that the greyler dropped the hide
before going in. He also put the knife carefully behind a rock outside the lair.
Then, after a while, he entered the dragon's lair, armed only with his wits.
"A human entering my lair is a dead human!", the dragon snarled as he saw a
figure appear in the entrance. He was a bit confused, though, as the visitor was
no knight in shiny armour, nor did he have the looks of a mage, but it was
simply a greyhaired little man, quite old and definitely not well fed at all, he
even had some teeth missing and was walking on a stick! He could barely pose any
danger with that lousy stick! Probably the kingdom is running low on heroes,
the dragon thought.
"Greetings, oh mighty dragon", the greyler said and bowed in a humble fashion.
"Make your last prayers!", the dragon replied unimpressed. But curiosity struck
him before he would progress with filling his belly. And so he asked: "Did you
just lose your way, little man? Or are you here to fight me with your walking
stick? A wizard in disguise perhaps? - Oh, I know!" he then exclaimed filled
with enthusiasm. "You're a cleric, aren't you? Would be a new taste for a
change, I suppose!"
The greyler shook his head. "No, no", he said. "I'm just someone unimportant
from below. I'm here to bring you your dinner."
"How so?" The dragon asked and frowned. "That's new to me, but if you mean with
that that you want to be eaten, this can be arranged. There's an unwritten rule
that trespassers who enter a dragon's lair aren't supposed to live very long.
And I don't plan to make an exception, little man. It's a nice rule, and I quite
like it. Even though there isn't much flesh on your bones, I have to admit."
"No, oh mighty dragon", the greyler said. "I only bring the cow prepared for you
by the villagers. So that you don't need to fetch it yourself!"
"That's an interesting idea", the dragon said. "What an obliging and
praiseworthy thought! I could have had that idea myself..." But in fact he
thought that the villagers at any rate should have consulted him first before
going ahead with such an idea, even if it pleased him in a way. Perhaps they
only intended to spy out his lair? "Where is your cow then anyway?", the dragon
"It's just outside, oh mighty dragon", the greyler said. "Shall I bring it in?"
"Go ahead", the dragon answered, already considering to first eat the cow and
then the unfortunate little man, who had dared to break his rules. At least he
was a dragon and someone had entered his lair, there wasn't much choice.
"I'll be right back", the greyler said and disappeared.
A few moments later he was back indeed, pulling a large heap behind his back,
covered with a cow's hide.
The dragon felt his tongue wettening. "Oh...", he said. "Fresh meat!" He really
was delighted to receive such an extraordinary big specimen of a cow, of a size
he had never had before. "Put it straight in my mouth!" the dragon ordered as he
saw that the greyler had troubles finding a good place to put it and his load
seemed quite heavy. The dragon moved to the huge boulder at the entrance on
which his guest was standing and opened its maw just below it. - The greyler
nodded and pulled the cow hide and its contents to the brink of the bolder, then
pushed with all his force against it.
Loud rumbling sounds could be heard as the dragon devoured the greyler's load.
However, for some reason he didn't have much time to chew as it all glided
quickly down his throat into his gigantic stomach. The dragon's sharp teeth
tried to grasp the juicy cow, but failed, hitting something hard instead, which
didn't taste like meat at all. Angry smoke steamed from the dragon's irritated
"What have you done, you stupid human?" The dragon was furious and showed his
"Is something wrong?", the greyler wanted to know while putting up an innocent
face. He took a step back, though, just in case the dragon might try to grab him
with his fangs.
"That wasn't a cow you've fed me!", the dragon snarled, feeling a strange weight
in his belly. "You will pay for this!"
"How could it not be a cow? Didn't you see the hide?", the greyler asked. "It's
a cow with some added specialties to make it taste even better, some herbs to
add just a little extra!"
"A little extra, you pathetic worm?" The dragon's eyes glittered with utter
hatred. "Whatever you fed me with - you wanted to poison me, admit it!" He moved
closer to the unbidden visitor, the greyler stepping back once more. Then the
dragon's big maw changed to a grin again. "Nice try, weakling... But didn't you
know that there is no poison whatsoever existing that can kill a dragon? A
dragon's body is much too resistent to anything a pitiful herbwoman or a gnomish
alchemist could brew! It's impossible that you can kill a dragon that way, not
even a sleeping charm has any effect! Many have tried before you and failed. And
so will you!"
They greyler smiled. "As you say yourself it would be stupid to try poisoning
you. So the herbs I added might have some tiny little side effects, oh mighty
dragon, but surely they won't do you much harm, I can assure you."
"Enough!", the dragon roared and decided to roast the little man, even if he
wouldn't provide much of a portion. His nostrils began to steam furiously, and
then fire shoot out of his maw, and the poor, poor greyler... No, wait.
Actually, only the dragon's nostrils began to steam intensely, and that was
about it. As soon as the dragon opened his enormous maw only a cloud of black
smoke blew into te greyler's direction.
"See?" The greyler said amused and coughed a bit. "Just a little side effect,
nothing to worry about." Nevertheless he preferred to move a few more steps
back, so that he now was already outside of the cave and the dragon couldn't
reach him anymore with his claws.
"How on...", the dragon began, but reminded himself that he already had enough
talking and should see to finish the business. He crept up the bolder at the
entrance and approached the greyler. Again he noticed a rumbling sound in his
belly when moving, but didn't pay attention to it. He needed to have real
"I guess now that I have done my part here, it is time I should leave", the
greyler said, made a quick bow and disappeared from the lair's entrance without
waiting for the dragon's response.
The dragon snarled and roared, stomping furiously, hurt in his pride. He stormed
out of his cave as fast as he could, chasing behind the greyler. As he couldn't
see immediately where the - suddenly quite nimble - little man had gone, he
continued right on, jumping from the cliff and spreading his gigantic wings to
approach the problem from the air. That's one of the advantages of being a
dragon - from a bird's view one can see everything, and there isn't much of a
hideout up in the mountains the dragon didn't know. The greyler would soon be
If only! As for some strange reason the majestic view a flight offers this time
was way different to the dragon. In fact the ground below seemed to rush towards
him, rather than to stay away at a regular distance or even get smaller. The few
moments the monster had to gather its thoughts, were not enough to figure out
what this change of perspective had caused. Desperately the dragon looked up,
only to see the greyler standing on the cliff, waving happily.
"Wild rose!" The greyler shouted. "Can paralyse a human instantly, but
unfortunately not a dragon. At dragons it's only good for giving the wings a bit
of trouble, I've heard, and this only for a few moments..."
The greyler wasn't sure if the dragon had heard his last words. But he was
pretty confident that he had found out that the last ingredient of the special
menu he had been fed had consisted of an extremly heavy pile of rocks. Quite so,
as the dragon smashed with full force against the sacrificing rock below. We'd
like to spare you with the gruesome details, suffice it to say: it wasn't a
particularly nice sight to behold, not at all.
The villagers who had watched the scene from below couldn't believe what they
had seen. But after a few moments of perplexity they started to throw their hats
in the air, jubilating euphorically. They fetched their wives and children to
show them the remnants of the unhoped-for demise of the great tyrant, announcing
a great feast, which would last late into the night and continue until the end
of the week. The farmers also tried to find the great hero of the day of course,
the "Greyler Dragonslayer" as they called him now, but he had disappeared as
suddenly as he had shown up. They searched for him several hours, but it seemed
that he was just gone, as if swallowed by the earth. All of them were sure that
he lived somewhere in a hut near a forest close by and they searched everywhere,
some places even twice and three times. But regardless how much they searched,
they finally had to give up. The greyler was gone.
Not too far away from the village there lived an old greyler all by himself in a
decaying hut. He sat in front of his miserable lodging carving on a piece of
wood when a knight in the kingly colours passed by, riding on a proud frost
white Centoraurian steed. He was in full gear, quite obviously looking for a
maiden to rescue from the hands of some villain, or a dragon to defeat. Speaking
"May the Twelve be with you!", the knight greeted the man sitting there near his
hut, absorbed in his carving. "Say, you don't know per chance where this
malicious dragon has his lair? You know, the one, who is said to oppress a whole
village here in this region."
The greyler looked up. "And the Twelve with you", he replied in response to the
greeting, putting away the piece of wood he was working on and eyeing the
newcomer. "But I fear you're a little late methinks. Just a few days ago someone
killed the dragon and the whole village is still celebrating the event!"
"Oh, that's news to me", the knight admitted. A mixture of disappointment and
relief could be heard in his voice. "And how was that miracle accomplished if I
may ask? I've heard rumours that dozens have already died when trying to
"Well, someone went up", the greyler said mysteriously.
"I guess he tried talking to him."
"Talking to him? Did he tell him some jokes that he laughed so hard that he
"Maybe...", the greyler smiled.
The knight looked a bit confused, then decided that this weird bedraggled and
obviously quite confused hermite probably was not the right person to get the
information he sought. Maybe they can tell me the whole story in the village,
"Anyway, old man", he said then, preparing to ride on. "I could need some rest
for my weary bones and will listen to the whole story in the local inn. Can you
tell me where to get into the village?"
"Sure I can. You're practically there anyway", the greyler answered. "Just ride
back the way you came, then turn east at the next crossing, and move straight on
a while. You'll get right into the heart of the village."
The knight lifted his hand, signaling the stranger thanks and good-bye, then
turned his horse and rode off.
"May the Twelve bless you as well!", the greyler said and continued with his