A Story Set in the Past
by, 06-20-2010 at 03:57 PM (1180 Views)
A Dragon had invaded the land. All the signs were there. Crops ruined, shops shuttered, misery and poverty everywhere. All the villagers knew that they needed a hero that could find the dragon and slay it in its lair.
The oldest men had heard of dragons, not from their fathers, but from their grandfathers, and their grandfathers had also had it second hand. So what was known of dragons was spotty knowledge at best.
This knowledge was that dragons were coldblooded and reptilian, that dragons could speak, wether through a sort of telepathy where the dragon spoke in your mind, or with an audible voice was a matter of opinion, some said one thing about the issue, some said the other.
Another piece of dragon lore was that dragons could make themselves invisible, this was why so much blight and devestation was visible tho the cause was not.
The final thing that was known was that dragons were insomniacs unless they had a proper lair, and that lair needed to be cushioned with gold.
The feel of Gold would act on the dragons scales to alleviate all the sorts of neuroses that dragons are prone to, without gold a dragon could not sleep.
Often times dragons would also abduct fair maidens and hold them in their lairs, these maidens usually had blonde hair which being the color of gold made the maidens attractive to them.
But while all this erstwhile knowledge was being bandied about, there was alas no solutions for the problem unless a hero was found. In that village at that time heros were in short supply, the best of the young men were not a very brave or daring lot, and the prospect of meeting a dragon with nothing but a sword and your courage was daunting to say the least.
A few of the men would meet every so often at the local tavern and discuss the problem, these discussions almost always ended in recriminations, with each person certain that they should be excused from dragon slaying business and that with good reasons some other fellow should take up the common cause and deliver the village from the depradations of the winged serpent.
One young man never was involved in those discussions, probably because he had never been theorized as a possible saint george, or possibly because he thought the whole business was not the result of a dragon but the fact was that they had no good crops because of terrible weather, and with no good crops to sell the local people could not support their local shopkeepers.
He had mentioned it once to the general hooting of the people, and gained the reputation of not only being a simpleton, but also a coward and thus he was excluded from the search for a hero.
But events sometimes take public opinion with less than a grain of salt.
It had been almost the tenth year since the dragons wrath had started destroying the village and its surrounding area and many of the young men were supposed by most to have moved to other less dragon infested areas, but Simon, who I mentioned earlier had stayed on, determined that weather and blight would sometime end and the land would be productive again.
During this time Simon had met a local girl, Greta with golden locks and a bright smile and he had determined that once he could support her he would ask her to share his life as his wife. He would see her in church on Sundays, and sometimes would see her in her yard tending flowers or the small garden her and her widowed mother kept.
One day he talked to her about his chances and she told him that she could not think of marrying any man or leaving her mother.
Then one day Gretas mother came to his home and asked if he had seen Greta, she was not around and this news greatly upset Simon, his life for years had been built around the hope of someday joining Greta and making her happy as his wife.
Simon went around the village to see if anyone had heard or seen anything, but all he heard was that the local landowner had driven through town in a closed carriage and that in his hurry and unconcern for the villagers had almost struck an old man who had been crossing the street.
Simon thought the best course, the only course left to him would be to ask the local lord, if he or his driver had seen anything that day.
So he hiked out of the village to the mansion that sat out on the main road and set upon a hill at the gate of the manse he asked the keeper if he could talk to the lords carriage driver and was rudely told to go back to his mud pit and do not bother the lords men.
Now many men would have shrugged and let the whole matter drop, but Simon only has the hope of Greta everybody else thinks he is a coward or a fool and the smiles he gets from them are mockings and not affection.
So instead of heading home Simon does a round about and slips on to the grounds and sets off to find the driver, whom he supposes will be found about the carriage house.
At the carriage house he finds the driver washing off the carriage, he asks the driver about his trip that day and is amazed when the driver tells him that the Lord of the Manor, Lord Saxon, had taken Greta and had plans to make her part of the household staff, but no he could not see her or send her a message, since she was being put to training by the chief domestic maid on her duties.
Simon did not want to let the matter drop, and he did not want to argue with the driver so he thanked him for the information and left the carriage house and went to the maids quarters which were attached to the back of the mansion and decided that he must see greta just one more time.
Nobody answered at the servants quarters so Simon let himself in and went to peering into some of the rooms but the whole staff must have been at their stations, so he decided to slip into the house and see if he could see anything, but before he got very far in the house a voice called to him to halt and Simon froze as he saw the Lord of the house before him.
Lord Saxon and he had been the Lord of the house and the surrounding area since his father had died some years before. He was a bold headstrong and imperious man and was very offended at the sight of Simon.
Simon tried to make his excuses but Lord Saxon had determined he was a thief who had come from the impoverished village to steal, when Simon explained that he had come to see Greta one last time Lord Saxon would have none of it, and stood firm in his resolve to brand Simon a thief.
At that time tho, by chance Greta was being shown the area and what her duties would be and called to him, Simon seeing her, and seeing how troubled she was, told her that her mother had been worried.
She explained that she did not have time to explain but that she had to work there or the Lord was going to evict her mother from her home, Simon was angry and said before thinking that any man who would turn a widow out of her home was a knave and a blackguard.
This insult from a simple peasant infuriated Lord Saxon and he took a sword from a nearby holder and swung aiming to seperate Simon from his head.
Simon luckily avoided the blow and before he knew what had happened wrested the sword from Lord Saxons grip and plunged it into his breast.
By this time the uproar had commenced and before all that had happened truly dawned on Simon he was being held, and since such a thing had never happened in memory where the ancestral Lord had been murdered in his own home and the Lord had no close kin or heir to deliver judgement it was needed to send to the local clergy to decide the whole matter.
The Local Bishop soon discovered many things that had not been known and that shocked the little village and all who heard of them. The Lord Saxon had probably murdered his own father, and that for years he had been cheating the village with false weights for their crops, and furthermore that other local youths had been killed by Lord Saxon ,who had a terrible temper, and that several of the servant girls who had attended the Lords manor had been raped by him.
After all this the records were discovered and the remittances were made to the local village people, Daughters returned home and the graves of the young men that Lord Saxon had killed were found and the bodies were reburied where family could visit the sites.
Simon at first was thought of as a terrible villain, but after all the revelations of Lord Saxons misdeeds were known the local bishop thought it best to have him released.
Not long after those events occurred the village poverty eased, the local lore was that evidentally the dragon had passed to other areas, or had amassed such a quantity of gold that it could sleep for decades, there was some disagreement over the particulars, but when it comes to lore, sometimes it is best not to be too specific or exact.