There is a story that i will tell of ancient times when darkness fell; a time of pain and darkest fears, a time of weeping; a time of tears. My story is a sad lament of grandeur lost and honour spent, and woven through, as in a dream there moves the soul of the Dragon Queen.
Hers was a Land of joy – a Land of light; a place of pleasure and great delight and beneath the skies of azure blue, great gardens bloomed of every hue, and children laughed and played and sang, and in the air the music rang – and throughout these Elysian groves there were no cares, no fears or woes. This realm, it was the Queen’s delight and she would gaze night, on night, upon the waves of the endless sea, as they broke upon her shores with glee; the very sound of tumbling surf was full of joy and endless mirth.
Until the tide, it turned one day… bringing news of sorrow and great dismay; for hordes were gathering full of evil bent and to take the kingdom was their intent. With a fearful beast at their command, they marched in earnest to take the Land; and every soul who dared to fight as they advanced was put to flight until the day they reached the borders, of the great Queen’s Land, then came the orders:
‘Let not one survive against our might; we’ll take this land without a fight’ – but the Dragon Queen was not so frail and against this foe, she vowed to prevail: Calling her men to stand at her side, she rallied her forces and into battle did ride. Against the beast she refused to yield and the two foes met on the battle field; they fought and they clashed and neither gave ground, with dying and dead laid all around – so, in fields of blood, the battle was waged… the Queen, she was winning, but the beast was enraged.
Calling upon dark powers of despair, the beast summoned forth pure evil from its lair and those fearsome allies joined together in force, determined to turn the battle in its course. It seemed to all that the battle was lost but the Queen would not quit, not at any cost. She stood, all alone, in those fields of dismay and proclaimed to the masses, “Evil will never hold sway”. Silence descended, and the Queen stood her ground as the forces of evil moved in to surround – grinning above her, the great beast raised its hand; then the Queen shouted out, “You shall not have this Land!”
Her voice rang out, above the havoc and pain, carried triumphantly over the plain; it echoed courageously throughout the air, across mountain ranges to the dragon’s lair: Where the Guardian lay sleeping ’til such time it was freed – the Land’s final hope in time of great need.
Far away at the battle, the beast gave a grin as he looked down at the Queen… Let the ending begin! Then a great flurry of wings and a blast of hot breath – the Dragon was upon him in a fight to the death. No beast or power could stand ‘gainst his might and, with claws and fire, the Guardian ended the fight. The battle was over and the realm had been saved but the cost was horrendous to both the good and depraved – barely a person remained to stand on their feet and though the battle was won, it felt like defeat.
Now many years have passed and peace has returned, but this blighted place by all has been spurned, and the Queen walks the Land and weeps bitter tears as she dwells on the memories that echo through the years. Her kingdom lies empty, lost and forlorn; the few souls that remain are all sallow and drawn and where once there was joy and peace, like a dream, now there only is sorrow, for the poor Dragon Queen.
No charger have I, and no sword by my side
Yet still to adventure and battle I ride
Though back into storyland giants have fled
And the knights are no more and the dragons are dead
Jan Struther – When A Knight Won His Spurs