The mighty Barrenon, feared thunder lizard! Or maybe just kill # 112 of 256 .
If you slay a dragon in the Ruins of Gianthold, you earn experience points. You can earn experience points again if you kill two. And again at four. And again at eight, 16, 32, 64, 128 and 256.
Just the same as if you killed multiple scorpions in the Desert of Menechtarun. Or trolls in the Restless Isles. Or wild dogs in the Vale of Twilight. They are called “Slayer” quests, rewarding you with experience for accumulating larger and larger piles of dead miscellany.
But these are not scorpions. Or wild dogs. Or even trolls. These are dragons. You know, dragons!
Fearsome, frightening dragons.
Except no, when you are killing 256 of them they lose the fierce aura. And that is a shame. Dragons are special, not just to fantasy but to all of of literature. But don’t take my word for it. Take J.R.R. Tolkien’s:
“I never imagined that the dragon was of the same order as the horse. And that was not solely because I saw horses daily, but never even the footprint of a worm. The dragon had the trade-mark Of Fairie written upon him. In whatever world he had his being it was an Other-world. Fantasy, the making or glimpsing of Other-worlds, was a profound desire. I desired dragons with a profound desire”
Tolkien was born in 1892. Horses were an everyday occurrence to him, commonplace, as common as a car would be today. And that is his point: dragons are not cars either. They are the opposite of commonplace.
“A dragon is no idle fancy. Whatever may be his origins, in fact or invention, the dragon in legend is a potent creation of men’s imagination, richer in significance than his barrow is in gold. Even to-day (despite the critics) you may find men not ignorant of tragic legend and history, who have heard of heroes and indeed seen them, who yet have been caught by the fascination of the worm.”
I like fighting dragons. I do! I go out of my way to find the dragons in Kings Forest, and in the Underdark. I enjoy the dragon fights in the Gianthold wilderness too, but grudgingly so. Because even while I am enjoying the fight, even while looting the chests, even while in the act, my enjoyment is colored by the knowledge that the fight was too … easy? Common? Expected? Usual?
Dragons should never be common. They should never be usual. They should be things of legend, rarely seen, and when encountered, overpoweringly fearsome. It should take every fiber of your being to defeat one, and even then, maybe still you need a lucky shot to win.
Instead we are stacking up their kills like so much firewood.
I have more to say on this but I’ve only got 64 dragon kills and have almost 200 more to go.
Off to the races.
🙂 😀 🙂