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[WP] Dragons make surprisingly effective government administrators when you take into account their fiscal responsibility, near-immortal wisdom, and ability to defend their lands completely by themselves... All you have to do is submit your entire nation to being the dragon's hoard.

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A dragon always knows when its treasure is stolen.

This was the perpetual creed of my people. You paid your taxes, you don't kill, and you never steal from a dragon. Maybe you'd be tempted to, reasoning that in its vast hordes and mountains of treasure, it wouldn't miss a single coin. But it knows. It knows its treasure intimately, and every bauble and galleon is kept under its watchful eye, and every hint of treachery felt in its throbbing scales.

My son Jericho and I were some of the first people in our village to lay eyes on the beast of the the mountain. We don't pretend to be more than we are, poor merchants born into harsh times. Yet, we weren't the only ones who were born in times of squalor. Our kingdom was in deep trouble. The king was a selfish oaf, content to keep himself occupied with his playthings in his chamber, and cared little of the trouble of his people. He may have made the decisions, but his people were the one who paid the price.

In desperation, the royal advisers decided to cede the kingdom over to dragon. While the king was at first enraged, he became complacent when he realized none of his current situation would change. He would continue on enjoying his earthly pleasures, and that was fine by him.

My village, and I imagine all the other villages, were in fear. For if we were property of the dragon, what would this mean for our livelihood?

As the dust settled down, it turned out, not much. Our lives went about just as they had before, except in the background, you could sense a little more money. Our blacksmith renovated his forge, equipped with the finest of supplies. Our apothecary seemed to have better herbs, and the bread made by our baker tasted better than ever.

In the new prosperity, Jericho and I traveled to the kingdom next over to sell our wares. Things went well, until one night, in a tavern, the drunk locals found out about where we from. They didn't take too kindly to the notion of being ruled by a dragon. One thing led to another, and a muscled drunk punched Jericho, who then fell at the wrong angle.

Jericho, my precious boy of 20, laid dead. As if the anguish I felt over his ruined body wasn't enough for the tavern members, they proceeded to gang up on me. I knew then and there that my lowly life would be at an end.

Suddenly, a primal roar echoed through the tavern. It was one that rumbled with ancient tremors that sung of days lost to history. The tavern stood at a stand-still, and the violence that followed I will never forget, singed into my head by the flames.

Jericho's life was stolen by drunks that day, and a dragon always knows when its treasure is stolen.

Original Poster11 points · 26 days ago

Well done

Excellent!

well written!

Nicely done!

Original Poster32 points · 26 days ago

Barbarians had landed at the crossing of the bay when I was but a lad of ten. They outnumbered the armies of our Lord Barnabas three to one by the time we had arrived at the mountain pass that connected the fertile plain to the sea. Our kingdom fought bravely, but when only the wounded returned, and no King Barnabas, we knew that it would not be long before war cries descended upon our villages and towns. We could not run, they would catch us. We could not fight, there were none left strong enough.

My father, a leather worker, took me up to the mountains on the western side. He thought he could hide my mother and me. There were several other families with us. One mother, desperate and cold, asked a silly question- maybe the serpent of the mountain could help us... could be tricked into eating the barbarians. We knew there was nothing that could be done to earn mercy for us, however. But by the second night on the mountain, we were already close to death from the cold. We had nothing to lose. The Barbarians would soon find us in the mountains anyway. The mother again suggested the idea, this time more imploringly. She did not want to be raped to death.

Three tired, hungry, near frozen families descended into the home of Silazzathos the Great Blue Dragon, with nothing but a leather pouch of our combined copper pence. My father seemed to think if I died by fire, at least I would be warm before my end. But to our increasing surprise, not only was it awake, but it had been watching us for a week. The only light in the cave was his blue eyes glowing and glimmering on his gold piles. His head was three men tall. His wings seemed to spread the width and depth of the cave. And we had his attention.

"You have come bearing gifts. Step forward and place it at your feet."

We did so, and emptied the contents of our combined wealth. Everything we might have had in a new life. He scoffed. We bought five minutes of his time. He told us to flip an hour glass.

My father stepped forward to speak for us. "We, have come, oh magnificent-"

"You have five minutes left to live and you waste it on manners? SPEAK!"

"The barbarians come! We have lost our king! Our father and husbands and brothers have not returned! Destroy them, Great Dragon, and we will be forever in your debt! Destroy and we will give you tithings each ye-"

"The combined remaining wealth of three families barely purchased you time enough to catch your breath from your climb! And you THINK YOU HAVE RIGHT TO COMMAND ME?"

"No! We have only come to beg! We give of ourselves to..."

His thunderous laughter echoed deep from within his belly, scattered throughout the cave. That is when I spoke, I know not why.

"We give ourselves!"

"Eh?"

"We are without a king. If the king has sovereign right to us and our lands and our gold, why not..." His eyes glowed a deeper blue.

"I... I am sorry for speaking out of turn... uhm... great-"

A mighty claw swept through the air above our heads. I remember the heat and the shadow of it as it stirred the air- it tipped the hour glass onto its side.

"No, child. Go on. Your offer, it intrigues me. You would be mine? Your lands would all be mine? And you would maintain the land for me? And feed me? And all the gold in your homes- ALL OF IT- it would be mine?"

"Uh... I, uh"

"Great Dragon, the boy, he-"

"He speaks for you? I have often considered humans to be a treacherous lot, a thieving, ignorant mass. But you do not steal from your king, do you? Your kings are ordained by your God are they not?"

"No, Great Wyrm, we do not. They are blessed by the Lord. Great Silazz-"

"NO! YOU WILL CALL ME LORD SILAS THE BLUE. It is done. Return to your homes."

We never felt him leave, only the gust of air that sucked the very breath from our lungs as he left the central chamber. He had left us there, in that cave. It took us over a week to return to the village.

The Village was completely untouched, but the eyes of our friends and neighbors were wide, their skin a ghastly pale. They greeted us only with a single question.

"What have you done?"

"My son has saved us. Nothing less."

"Do you call THAT saving us!?" They pointed to a dark red sky past the mountain pass to the sea. A column of smoke stretched to the heavens. The winds began to shift and smelled faintly of burning flesh.

The entire village began to murmur in horror as a blue speck broke through the swirling dark black and red cloud. It grew larger and larger. It announced itself with cracking thunder.

I spoke out like I had been taught for the old king. "All bow, for Lord Silas the Blue."

He landed near silently, but for the rumble of the ground as he set himself upon it in the village square. "Good work, child. You know your manners. Come here. Sit at my feet. As for the rest of you, listen to my decree."

The village's tears and trembling froze in place, awaiting to hear their fate.

"I have filled myself of your barbarians. There are none left, and I have no appetite. But in one month's time, I will be hungry again. This kingdom has no food left. They have raided it all, or you have eaten it in desperation. Take these 500 gold coins. You will go to neighboring kingdoms and purchase no less than 200 head of cattle and 200 pigs." Coins the size of a fist rained from his giant claw. "That is what is fair. Those who are not going to gather the cattle will stay and build fences and barns to house them or go into the mountains and find gather the goats and sheep I have been feeding on. And fields to grow wheat. Each day, while you work, you shall send your children to me."

The parents gasped. "Why!? Why would you-"

"To teach them! I doubt a single one of you, apart from the nobility, can read, or write, or count! SPEAKING OF WHICH, find me every noble too good to raise their hand in your defense, and bring them before me. If they wish to retain their status, they will WORK for it."

We chuckled. He had a tone when he said that. He mocked them, those who's feet we had to kiss.

"For the first year you will work hard. All of you. But it will be a little easier by harvest if you follow my advice, plant your crops how I say, care for them as I dictate. It will again be easier next year as the calves begin to rear. And the following year it will be slightly easier still, as the crops and cattle will double. Heed my word, and you will feed both of us with some to spare."

We clapped.

And that's how it was. For twenty years we listened to Lord Silas. For twenty years our cattle grew, and our harvest increased. We were forbidden to leave, but why would we? The winters seemed warmer by his flame. And the summers cooler under the castle built to house him.

Today I sat upon his wing in the waters of the bay, as he lay on his back being fed whole whole fish by a man in a boat, casually fishing. Children swam back and forth from the shore to the respite of his floating, lazy embrace. He's grown fatter and larger than every other known dragon. He has fought off three attacks by other kingdoms, and we never had to raise a finger. We are his... and there is nothing a dragon loves more than his hoard.

Stunning.

FOR THE HORDE

12 points · 25 days ago

The election was a landslide.

We were tired of politicians who preached that they wanted to help the people, then only care about enriching themselves. We were tired of petty drama and scandals. We were exhausted with party bickering.

The great drake Tyrvyd was different. He was large enough to be his own party.

When he threw his hat in the ring, politicians laughed and jeered. "Huh... I mean, he's a better opponent than my friend here, but..." "Is he even eligible to be president?"

That wasn't a problem. He was clearly over 35 years old, his existing hordes and police reports easily proved he had lived here for centuries, and he had a strong argument for the "natural born citizen" clause: He was older than the Constitution, and had been born in what would be upstate New York.

He spoke of his fiscal responsibility. He understood money and value - who better than a dragon would? He had proposals to fix the foreign trade deficit reasonably - he wouldn't stand his horde being stolen, but he knew war was not profitable. He pointed out how interest rates had been mismanaged, how the fiduciary rule needed restored. His plan to bring morality back into capitalism - taxing corporate behavior that was immoral - was met with applause. One of his greatest slogans was simple: "Crime must not pay!"

He didn't need the military at the current size as a deterrent - his own size and strength ended any existential threat to the nation quickly - but he knew that it would not do to disband or shrink it. Instead, he wanted to strengthen it - he couldn't be everywhere at once, and while he was willing to command from and fight on the front lines, he felt that having human faces that could focus on the humanitarian goals that truly ended wars was a better choice. Also, he wanted to make sure that his forces could at least somewhat keep up with him.

He quickly ended a number of discussions. We found out you never, ever ask a dragon about minorities. Not because he would rampage or yell, but because he would point out that he himself was a minority - there were not many great drakes left. He had seen empires rise and fall, and noted that the biggest factor in those falls was tribalism. He segued that into environmentalism: He argued that while the US would be his, it was necessary to be a good steward of the world, too. He pointed out that, contrary to popular belief, his kind didn't soar through the countryside and turn anything that displeased him to ash. (In a PR fluff video, he did prove that he can belch flame. Had he monetized that YouTube video, his horde would have grown significantly - but he was a patient creature. Besides, he later admitted the 'Likes' felt good. Gold was easy treasure - friends and allies were much rarer. That comment won some people over too.)

Healthcare was also a short discussion. He took a moment to bemoan the lack of dragon medical care in our country - his surgeon general would have some learning to do. Then, while his opponents tried to bring up cost and personal responsibility, he pointed out that healthcare is the thing between all of us and death, and that it must be accessible. He also argued that since the nation would be his, it was just necessary maintenance.

As election day neared, most candidates had dropped out. There were a couple holdouts, but they became more extreme to try to hold onto their sagging poll numbers. They made fools of themselves - when one brought up 'Make November 2nd V-D Day! Victory over a dragon who wants to oppress you all!', Tyrvyd just responded with disappointment that the discourse stooped so low.

Now, we had a leader who spoke about enriching himself, but in the process worked hard to help the people.

His occasional snoring on the White House lawn was the biggest downside.

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