A young man seeks a talisman that gives authority over a magical beast.
|I remember the first time I heard the legend. It was as ancient as the very kingdom I lived in. Sure it was amusing, but I thought if it could be real. I was twelve years old. One day my mother sat me down to hear the story of the Dragon Stone said to be deep in the Forest of Moonlight. I can clearly recall the day I set out for it from the day my mom told me of the talisman:
“The Dragon Stone is said to be an object of great power,” she said with wide eyes. “There are some who have taken it upon themselves to go after it but with no success.”
“Do you believe in it?” I asked her.
“I don’t know. The Forest pf Moonlight is vast. It could be anywhere if it is real.”
I sat on the edge of my stool, with open mouth. I was enthralled, full of youthful curiosity.
My mother continued. “It is said to have the power to summon a mighty dragon and control it to do your bidding.”
From that moment, my curiosity grew rather than lessoned as I matured with age. Five years later at seventeen I set out for the Dragon Stone. It was in dark morning. I had gotten little sleep. I snuck to the outside stall and took the only horse there. I packed only a relatively adequate amount of supply provisions. I also brought a torch. I planned to search in the forest for a day and then return. I left a note for my parents.
I burst out of the kingdom boundaries to the wilderness. Finally I met the edge of the forest. I halted my horse and took a deep breath. Well, here we go. .
I entered then looked around and saw butterflies flutter about with multiple performances of beauty and grace. My mount carried me into a lush thicket. Within was a crystal clear pond with dragonflies hovering from spot to spot. A brown deer emerged from a large bunch of tall bushes. It went to the pond and lowered its graceful neck and began to drink.
I smiled at the display of wildlife. As I admired, my mind went to where I should go to begin looking. As I contemplated, someone in a purple robe with a hood came from behind a tree.
Immediately, my body tensed. As if the man knew my apprehension, he pacified my nerves with a soft voice. “Be at peace. I’m here to help you.”
I wondered how he could know what I was doing. It was a very general question. I was skeptical. “What do you think I am trying to do that requires help?”
The man pulled back his hood. His hair was wool-white. His eyes were the most serene, mysterious golden yellow. They were brimming with intelligence. “You seek the Dragon Stone?”
“Yes. Who are you?”
The elderly man approached. “My name is Nephaal – keeper of the Dragon Stone.”
“You actually have it!”
“Yes, and it can be yours.”
“Why are you helping me?”
Nephaal stopped two yards from me. “You have boundless faith and your heart is pure.” The man in the robe withdrew a small, red jewel.
“How is it that you came to possess the stone?” I asked.
“I created it to contain the fearsome dragon that once, decimated the Earth. I’m thousands of years old. I am a wizard but nevertheless, I am not immortal. I need pass the stone to another because my time is short. Only you can be trusted with this responsibility.”
I dismounted and stood before him in wide-eyed in wonder. “You’re just giving it to me?”
“It is heavy burden. You must never leave the forest.”
I frowned. “That’s a big price.”
I thought of my parents and the citizens I would never see again. But my childlike heart overcame me and I agreed to take the burden. “I accept.”
He handed it to me. Suddenly I felt a surge of power like lighting shoot through my very soul. “What power!” I exclaimed.
“You have my thanks. Live in communion with nature and life that is on the forest.” Then he vanished from sight.
I intuitively knew where the dragon was and wished to see the beast. After mounting my horse, it galloped to the dwelling place of the creature.
And soon enough I found it. The beasts was massive and was bound with glowing chains of gold. It spoke and the ground vibrated. “I see the Stone has a new owner.”
“Indeed.” I asserted.
“You don’t have to stay trapped in this forest.”
“How is that?” I questioned.
“I’ve thought much about my former ways in my chains. My heart’s changed.” His enormous red eyes teared up. “I see the error of my ways. I yearn to fly and explore the earth again.”
I pitied him. But could a ravenous beast become good over time? I wondered. “You want your freedom.”
“With all my heart.”
My trusting soul got the better of me and I relented. “Swear you will do no harm.”
He nodded. “You have my word,” he promised.
Knowing how to free him I took hold of a chain and broke it.
The dragon shook off the chains and roared with a laugh. “You stupid youth! You are easily beguiled! You will make a fine delicacy!”
The beast lunged for me with open mouth. I instinctively knew just what to do and held up the Stone and muttered strange words. The beast was driven back into an immense tree. It roared. Thick strong vines wrapped around it and it was immobilized.
“This can’t be!” the dragon cried.
“You could have been freed! Wouldn’t peace have been worth it? Now I will ensure you never get the same chance again!”
So I lived in harmony with the forest and the creatures until I would pass on the responsibility to another.