• Miles O'Neal

More Notes on Dragons: Relics

In a previous blog, I referenced the protection dragon relics can afford. Here is a bit more on the subject. Excerpted from Cuthbert's book of dragon lore (with further notes by Scythia of Dunvegan)​.

A dragon's skull from the ancient carnage at Lochmaldie, Scotland

The most common dragon relics are bones, followed by claws and teeth. One would expect scales to be prevalent, but they are nearly impossible to take from a carcass (being nearly indestructible and having edges sharper than the finest-honed sword). By the time a dragon has decomposed the scales have disappeared. No human seems to have discovered why, and dragons and faerie will not speak of it.

It takes decades for a dragon carcass to naturally decompose, or at least years if the hide has gaping wounds. Nothing but another dragon can eat a dragon's flesh, and rare is the dragon that will do that. Sometimes dragons will turn their fire on a deceased dragon to immediately dispose of the carcass, but again they will not say why.

The teeth and claws are sharp, though not as sharp as scales. They are incredibly strong, but too unwieldy to be used as weapons. The bones are likewise tough. They are also amazingly light, making them easy to transport to places mankind wishes to protect from dragons. Some have tried to make weapons from bone, but their tools dull without making a discernible mark. The strongest sword swung by the mightiest warrior glances off and ruins the sword. Livia- the Amazon outcast who became armorer for the guard at the Ephesian temple for Aphrodite- tried to pound a tooth into a femur to split it. The fifteen pound iron hammer she swung shattered, sending a large fragment of metal through her eye, killing her. I am not aware that anyone has made a serious attempt since to carve dragon bone. This is why they are mainly built into buildings or scattered about as a defensive measure.

The rarest of relics is the heart of a dragon's eye. One must never attempt to obtain one of these before the rest of the eye has naturally wasted away; to do so is to put one in such great debt to dragonkind that one's mere existence is a death sentence. But they are beautiful—too beautiful for some mortal eyes. The faerie tell me that while many people simply find the hearts beautiful, others cannot stop staring at them and slowly go mad. It is a gentle, happy madness, but madness nevertheless.

The heart of the eye is too small to afford protection from dragons; it has little use for humankind. Twice that I am aware of, a dragon has gifted the heart of an eye to an artist among the faerie, to use as he or she saw fit. Some dragons and faerie believe that a dragon who has died or gone on can see back into this realm through the hearts of their eyes, but only things that matter to them. We have, of course, no way of proving this either way.

In appearance, the hearts typically look line onyx, but they reflect more light, appearing to shine on their own. They may be round or like a many-faceted gem, anywhere from an inch across in a baby dragon to the size of a large man's fist in adult dragons. They are not indestructible but are deceptively tough.

Copyright 2019 Miles O'Neal, Round Rock, TX Illustration from chapter 32 of Year of the Dragon Lord by Alli W. Ritchie

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