"Dragons are such majestic, Noble creatures!"
Drunk dragon forces its way through the doorway then collapses and starts snoring -- TheDragonsFlame
Marvin was grinning at everything around him like a child at their first Winterfeast Festival. He would giggle at odd moments and was almost vibrating with glee. Lady Anthe had her hood down for the first time since they had begun as an adventuring party because this was where the dragon-folk lived. Kobolds, Dragonborn, assorted Lizardkin, and actual real live Dragons from Wyrm through Asiatic to Noble.
Every time one flew overhead, he looked up and gaped in awe. Looking like every other tourist who managed to make it alive to Brimstone, gateway to the Draconic Realms. From here, everyone not of Draconic or Reptilian descent was the stand-out, the outsider, the one who didn't belong. It was an area where Anthe could no longer be afraid. Well. Not afraid of as much. She was still a Kobold. Her draconic heritage was not as noble as many might want to believe. In fact, many dragon-folk weren't as noble as many might want to believe.
"When do we tell him?" asked Wraithvine.
"Let the boy enjoy it for a pace more. He'll break his own heart in time."
Marvin gasped, "Is that a baby? Hello, sweetling?"
Wraithvine steered Marvin gently away from the creature hissing at him from a corner full of broken boxes. "That's the draconic answer to a mangy street dog. They have an acidic bite."
"Oooohhh..." Marvin edged into the middle of the group. "I should maybe be real careful around here, yeah?"
"Definitely," said Anthe, who was small and could be less than a nibble for some dragon-kind. Especially the millennia-old flying behemoths who rented themselves out as transit. But then again, Kobolds more or less expected their lives to be nasty, brutish, short, and ending in a wet crunch. Her entire species' evolution strategy was 'breed enough so that some survive enough to breed'.
Relatively speaking, Anthe was more or less a nun.
Not for much longer if the array of morsels on display at the local bordellos was any indicator...
Anthe cleared her throat and forced herself to guide the mammals with her. "Direct eye contact is a challenge," she instructed. "Only Dragonborn and some Snake people are willing to recognise it as you mammals trying to be friendly. There's a very few reasons why your kind go into the Draconic Realms, and people here are going to assume. So keep your weapons bound until you actually anticipate a fight." She paused to snarl at a young Dragonborn thief who was too close to Wraithvine's pockets. "And watch your stuff like a hawk."
By then, they were in the recommended inn, made for species of multiple sizes. This meant high ceilings and tall stools with ladders incorporated into the general decor. The biggest were expected to sit on the floor. The smallest were expected to perch. Those in between were expected to deal as best they could.
Assorted dragons of assorted sizes were doing what anyone would do in an inn. Getting drunk, dancing, singing, and carousing like any other denizens inside of any other bar.
She could actually hear Marvin's heart breaking. Anthe guided him to a discrete corner where he could have a breakdown in relative peace.
"But... this is wrong," he whimpered.
"This is people, like all the other peoples in the world. You expected Dragons to be different."
Wraithvine chuckled. "Better order a pie. This is Aelfheim all over again."
Marvin's face was looking like a smacked bottom. It was past time to placate the poor lad with pie. "This is wrong," he persisted. "Dragons are such majestic, noble creatures!"
And, as evidence to the contrary, a medium-sized Dragon barrelled through the door. Backwards. Their clothing was sizzling gently under the influence of hot oil. They chuckled once, mumbled, "Respect." And then passed out where they stood. After a bated moment, they started to snore.
Marvin sulked in his corner. "Get me a pie with the most kidneys and mushrooms in it and the biggest root beer they have."
Wraithvine regarded a gargantuan Dragon drinking from a cask at the bar and said, "We'll get you a pretty large drink."
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / Paul_Cowan]
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