Vigil for a Dragon, pt 6

The dragon stirs in his sleep when the thunder crashes nearby. Millennia ago, he rode into battle with Varlas, the god of the sun, perched upon his back. Night battled day and was defeated, and in his gratitude, Varlas gave the dragon his weight in sun-gold. Even now the ever-warm, ever-glowing coin rest under the dragon’s belly, a bulwark against the cold of the night.

But outside of dreams, the dragon has not seen Varlas in an age of the world, and rarely even thinks of him anymore. His glorious, golden days are behind him now. His roar has grown weaker, even querulous to his ears (although still no doubt the terrifying clamour of apex predator mixed with avalanche that it always has been to his prey); his scales, which once reflected the light of the furthest stars, have lost their lustre The creatures of the forest and sky, the peoples who walk on and under the earth, all now fear him more from habit than anything else.

It makes him sad that this has happened, that old age has caught up with even him, and even his sadness is another evidence of his age. When he was younger, it would simply have made him angry, and in a fury he would have hunted down old age and taught it lessons of claw and flame until surrendered to him. But he under-estimated old age’s stealth, when he thought to estimate it at all, and he fell to it in his turn, like a man or a rabbit would.

It makes him sad.

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