- Once upon a time, there was a Dragon who had absolutely no interest in kidnapping Princesses, because seriously, regardless of the metaphysics of your world, why would a giant, somewhat magical lizard have any particular interest in any particular humans, and why would any human lineage, noble or otherwisem be of interest to them?
- Unless. Unless. Unless Dragons, tens of thousands of years old, long-lived, sharp of tooth, strange of mind, found Humanity an affront, and found, more than anything else, that the big, sharp, artificial spikes Humans threw onto the land (you and I might call them “castles“) were the worst affronteries of all, being both eyesores, and something of a mockery of natural order of things. (What rises, sharp and pointy and impenetrable, high above the land? Either Dragons, or Palaces.) And therefore Dragons demanded, not the destruction of those buildings, but rather a tribute: that which those buildings protected most: the progeny.
- Unless…unless it was a bluff. Unless a Dragon could not, in fact, quite take down a Palace; if, at a certain point, meter-thick stone, crafty crenellations, boiling oil, hundreds of armored Knights, and perhaps a Wizard or two—unless these things were a match for Dragons, and Dragons could win only through intimidation. If Dragons didn’t face them down now, Humans would grow too strong, and Dragons would surely be doomed. It’s just a trick; if humans refused to give in, any Dragon who attacked would die.
- Except…what if that was the plan all along? Who says Dragons want to live? Especially once they see the rise of a much more fertile species (one human city can house several million people; have you ever seen more than six or seven Dragons in the same place or the same time? No ecosystem could support that; do you realize how much protein a Dragon must need to take in over the course of any given day simply to walk upright?)—what if, when faced with the dawning realization that humans were not merely a blight, but an unconquerable blight, Dragons demanded Princesses in order to rile up the Kingdoms and to be slain in honorable combat?
- Except…they got the worst of both worlds. Craven Kingdoms just giving up Princesses, then offering the Princesses (and thus, the Kingdoms) through marital alliance to any Knights who slew the Dragons?
- Except… as we have often considered in modern times, what if the Princesses didn’t want any part of this particular transaction?
- What if…what if Dragons are a particular kind of magic, such that things which are just metaphors for us (“You are what you eat”)…are perfectly true for them? So if the Princess ate the Dragon, she would become a Dragon….
- …but still be the Princess; neither birth nor title is overruled by transmogrification in any constitution I know. And thus, then, did the Princess-Dragon rule over all, and all did rejoice…
- …because anyone cunning enough to break an entire system of government and solve a Draconic death-wish is probably going to apply at least some logic to the efficiencies of government, rather than spending all of one’s time trying on different ball-gowns. And that’s going to be an improvement over the usual standards of just about any system of rulership.
- …although, admittedly, making even one ball-gown to fit a Dragon is enough to bankrupt a kingdom, even if we assume that everything will, as usually, actually be made one size smaller than the tailors claim. That’s okay, because the economics will work out; if you really want to get longterm zero-interest loans from surrounding kingdoms, most fairytale bankers will accept “I promise I will pay you back eventually if I feel like it; plus I’m not roasting you to smithereens today with my fiery breath” as sufficient collateral.
And that is the LAST story I will post until I get back from my Secret Journey To The Secret Place.