Rose W.

February 20, 1998 - New Jersey
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A Dragon's Story

Gather round my fire, Friend
And I will spin a tale from ages past
From days of old and times long forgotten
An age where magic blossomed and dragons still lived

There once lived, long ago, a young bard
A Dragonborn was she, with scales and tail but lack of wings
One of scales like darkest night
And eyes that shone like burnished gold

Thorn was this dragon’s name
A nickname earned from travels far and wide (a story for another time)
Many places had this bard been, but none meant more than her native land
This is her story; listen well all who wish, for the end is yet unwritten

Thorn was not her given name
Born as Rose, to parents unknown
On a moonless night, such was the color of her scales
All was dark save for eyes of gold

She grew up fast and grew up well
Raised by many, loved by all
Her Clan were smiths, makers of armor
And masters of the forge

To this trade her path did point,
For smithing was her Clan’s true gift
Alas, though she was a gifted smith,
Thorn found that she did not enjoy her work

This lack of joy was plain to see
For her work was rigid, with no artistic flair
Try as though she might, the dark-scaled youngling
Could not match the skills of her fellow smiths

For many moons the youngling tried
She spent hours and hours honing her craft
But match her teachers, she could not do
For her heart was not in the work she did

Finally there came a day of reckoning
The youngling failed a time too many
She went to the elders, to seek their counsel
To change her path, and find herself

Angry were the elders at first
“Why must you leave,” they asked the child
“Just work harder, you’ll learn in time,
To be a smith as gifted as your ancestors past.”

A long silence ensued, as the youngling pondered
How best to explain her jumbled thoughts into one cohesive plea
She finally just decided to take the plunge
To show her cards, and reveal her inner struggle

“My heart does not truly belong here,” said the dragonborn slowly
“The forest calls me, the sounds speak to my soul.
Though I have tried, ignore it I cannot
To find myself, a nomad I must be.”

The elders realized, with surprise,
That the dragonling spoke true
For her golden eyes glittered
With the excitement she could not hide

“Very well,” the elders said
“Leave this place, where your heart lies not
Journey well, and safe travels may you have
Learn what you must, and return to us again.”

The youngling bowed her head
Free at last to wander far and wide
She turned to go, the elders’ words still in her mind
But stopped as they spoke once more

“Before you leave,” the oldest spoke
“Take this gift, for the world is fraught
With dangers unseen and people unknown.
Take this with, for it may keep you safe.”

The golden-eyed child looked and saw
What the elder held out to her
A longsword was in his hands
A mighty blade, she recognized with surprise

The blade was steel, of patterned damascus
The hilt was gold, inlaid with precious stones
A diamond black as night set in its pommel
A blade forged with skills unmatched

Down bowed the young one’s head
Honored to have such a gift bestowed
Taking sword in hand, she swore
“I will bring honor to my Clan.”

The new dawn broke as the dragonling departed
Leaving behind all she knew
A lonely life now stretched ahead
A nomad, at last, had she become

Many moons were spent alone
Companions few and far between
She learned things innumerable
And earned her nickname: Thorn

And yet, the dragonkin was still unsure
Her true calling she could not see
A thoughtful countenance became the norm
Thorn hid well her troubled soul

Then came the long-awaited day
The dragonling found her heart’s true path
Music was her greatest joy
A bard of great renown would Thorn now be

Far and wide did the bard now go
Stopping much to hone her trade
Carrying with her an instrument case
Thorn spent hours learning her craft

And learn it well she did,
For many great teachers did she have
Masters each, and teachers great
The bard did learn all she could

And yet, her heart was troubled
For though as musician and storyteller
She possessed great skill
A piece still missing was what she felt

Many moons were spent this way
Thorn travelled home when she was able
The elders were proud,
For she honored her Clan well

And then, at last there came the day
That the golden-eyed’s heart spoke true
A skilled teacher was she, Thorn learned
The missing piece was found at last

A travelling bard and teacher would she be
Thorn at last had found her path
Returning home triumphant,
Her Clan could see the dragonling had found her place

And so the story ends
For now at least,
The bard is satisfied at last
Her heart is full, her soul at peace

Although, my Friend, the end may change
For Thorn still wanders this great land
A storyteller has she become
And what the future holds, this bard knows not
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