There was a dragon that was wise and charming, and capable of great things. It possessed a wealth of knowledge nearly unrivalled in the realm.

However, this dragon was also arrogant. Its wings were clipped, because it once tried to fly higher than the sun, and that was not allowed. Not only that, it attempted to scorch the very villages that paid homage to it, when their offerings were deemed insufficient.

The villagers fled and nursed their scars, which remain even till this day. So the dragon’s kingdoms were taken away and given to others who would rule more kindly.

Years passed, and some thought the dragon had mellowed. But being banned from ruling over people simply meant that it did not have the chance to harm anyone – not that its temperament had improved.

Sure enough, a new group of villagers who had founded a happy settlement beside the river banks, found that their independence was short-lived. The dragon was given a new chance at redeeming itself, and charged with building a new kingdom that would bring glory to the rest of the realm.

The dragon found this village unsatisfactory for its grand ambitions. The villagers, who had no clear leader for a long time, were listless and unused to hard toil. The dragon grew increasingly frustrated as the villagers were unable to complete their buildings at the speed which it expected. As the dragon’s angry bellows of fire grew, the villagers were scorched and increasingly miserable. They knew they were doomed, for they could never please the dragon. Yet they knew they could not die, so they were destined to slave under the dragon for a long time to come.

Among the villagers was a mirthful bard, who would bring cheer to his neighbours by playing a jolly ditty. This helped the villagers forget their woes for a short while. The bard also found favour with the dragon, for he seemed slightly more capable than the others.

To be continued…