Deep in the huge gaping underground cavern the thick air smelled of sulfur. The walls were cracked, magma slowing oozing out with the occasional moan which seemed to threaten of the walls seemingly inevitable collapse with which the magma would surely flood the cavern. The cavern was lit by both the magma and a molten lake of gold in it’s center.
Bathing in the center of the golden lake was a mighty and terrifying beast. The beast was big as a house with dark brown and green scales which had been stained with a golden hue, its four great limbs were buried deep in the golden lake hiding the beasts wicked sharp bloodstained claws, its tail was like a flexible tree trunk, deadly spines ran along its back and tail, its head held deeply sunken in and yellowed serpentine eyes. Upon each exhale dark smoke left the beasts nostrils and floated to the ceiling which had long ago been stained a dark smokey black. This horrible beast was a dragon and he wasn’t the only living thing in the cavern. Far in the back of the cavern a young princess was trapped sobbing in an unbreakable cage made from the dragons scales. Around the cage was strewn the bones of the many knights all of whom failed in their quests while hoping to save the princess and receive her as their bride.
The dragon’s eyes suddenly narrowed as he heard the echoed sounds indicating the entrance of a new knight… a new plaything and snack for the beast. The knight walked briskly trying his best to appear brave while his heart did beat as if it was going to burst into dust. As he entered the spacious underground cavern he drew his sword but couldn’t keep from shaking it in fear.
The knight and dragon locked eyes for the briefest of moments before the knights meek voice rung out. “L-Let the princess go you vile beast.”
The dragon merely laughed with the deepest of voices before replying. “Vile? Nonsense! I’ll show you the same mercy I showed to all others foolish enough to demand anything from me. Leave now and your life shall be spared. Besides the princess made a vow to be wed to me.”
But the knight shook his head defiantly. “No! The princess would never make a promise to one such as yourself.”
The dragon laughed once more as the princess burst into tears anew. She cried out in agony. “It’s true! He fooled me with the form of a man.”
“Silence!” The dragon demanded. “I warned you not to love me. I warned you that we could never be happy together, but a promise was made and so it shall be kept.”
“I’ve heard enough. If you shan’t release her majesty than I shall smite you.”
The dragon roared in response. A roar which shook the whole cavern. Then with a powerful exhale the dragon released a stream of fire upon the knight who dodged and fled behind a rock. But the knight could already feel his skin burning as his metallic armour started to melt. Quickly he stripped the armour and fled the cover of the rock as it melted into a puddle. The knight spent the next few moments fleeing from cover to cover as burns slowly spread all over his body. There was no way for the knight to reach the dragon with the molten lake of gold between them. Finally when all other hope seemed lost the knight summoned all his courage and ran to the edge of the molten lake where he flung his sword at the beast.
The sword struck the beast in the heart and the dragon collapsed beneath the golden lake where he perished. Upon his death the cage of dragon scales collapsed to pieces and the princess fainted with joy. The Knight carefully picked her up and carried her out of the cavern. The cavern which he’d entered as a timid boy and left as a true man…
Western Dragons are one of the two most common dragon types and are most often described as I wrote above. They’re vicious underground dwelling beasts who breath fire and usually capture and consume humans, especially fair maidens such as a princess. These western dragons are usually the villain in what can best be called very masculine stories. They typically star a young hero who is hardly more than a boy and usually quite innocent. Once he summons the qualities needed to defeat the dragon however he becomes a man and is rewarded with a fair (virgin) woman as his bride. I’m not sure if this allegorical nature is deliberate or merely a reflection of the times at which these stories were at the height of their popularity (the Middle Ages); yet either way I find it fascinating. Regardless I can’t stand classic Western Dragons, as ever since a was very young I’ve hated seeing creatures as awesome as dragons always portrayed as evil. I don’t mind evil dragons but I don’t want all of them to be evil. There’s really not much else to write about Western Dragons besides the obvious fact that they usually represent the elements of Earth and/or Fire.
I personally believe dragons either are or were real. Why? ‘Cause there are so many variations of dragons that certainly at least one type must be real. However that’s not a completely fair answer on my part considering that this article is focused specifically on Western Dragons. So, do I believe Western Dragons are or were real? Well… honestly yes I do. There are plenty of legends and myths describing this creature even from more remote civilizations. And the basics of a Western Dragon’s physiology is completely plausible including the part about breathing fire. Some have speculated that these dragon myths originated from dinosaur bones. While I believe dragons are one of the most recent of the dinosaurs to go extinct, unless they’re still out there…
Thank you for taking the time to read this I hope you enjoyed it, and sorry for the delay with this one. I am quite honestly fascinated by dragons of all types. In fact I could write an entire series of articles just focusing on different types of dragons! Perhaps the next Legendary Animal post will be about Eastern Dragons. Time will tell however I don’t know when that might be either way. Below are some links to learn even more about dragons. Enjoy: