The Dragon’s Dagger

Today I change it up a bit. Here’s a ballad-style poem I wrote in 2009 and was originally posted on a discussion board called Trollhalla. Unfortunately, that site is no more. This is the first of three. Trollhalla was a site owned and operated by Ken St. Andre for people to discuss his role playing game, Tunnels and Trolls. This poem references that game in several ways, including character classes, spells and other mechanics.


The Dragon’s Dagger
© W. Scott Grant

The dice were rolled and his fate was sealed
As he plunged into the darkness where none dared to go
No DARO, talent, or level bonus could save him now
His life was surely over, and no one would ever know

But fate would smile on the hapless young wizard
The GM would show mercy, one might dare to say
But he would need to be brave, bold, and daring
If he planned to survive this awful day

It seemed like it just happened yesterday
And he was nothing more than a first level guy
He ventured into the haunted mansion
It was an adventure he wanted to try

He wandered the halls and the corridors
Avoided traps, killed monsters, and collected gold
It seemed very easy to him at first
As he went, he got more and more bold

Then it was before him, the treasure he sought
An iron bound, oaken chest with a giant keyed lock
He knelt before it, smiling as he prepared
The spell that would open it – Knock-Knock

But the trap had suckered him in, fool that he was
The magic tripped the catch, then twisted a pole
Which released the panel under his feet
And sent him falling through the dark hole

Down, down, down, he fell, down, down, down
He screamed in terror, he was overcome with dread
He was sure this would be the end of his life
Then he would awaken in Hell, knowing he was dead

But his fears were all for naught, you see
As the Game Master had already planned this out
The young wizard landed softly and gently
Right on a fire-breathing dragon’s snout!

The dragon looked at him, and he looked right back
Its great eyes inches from the wizard’s face
What’s going to happen to me now, he thought
I must find a way to get out of this place!

Oh, do not fear me little morsel, the dragon said
A satisfying meal you will not make for me
But do my bidding, you will, little one
And perhaps I will deign to set you free

What can I ever do for you, oh mighty dragon,
The wizard said to the enormous beast
Surely there’s nothing I can do that you cannot
In between the distant West and the distant East

Yes there is, little wizard, yes there is
I need a spy to go to work for me, in the land of men
I need you to gather information for me
And report back to me every now and then

I need you to identify the best sources of food
Pastures where the cows and horses graze
These taste much better to me than virgins
Or villages that have been set ablaze

I’m not your average dragon, the giant wyrm explained,
I work for the forces of righteousness and good
I don’t go around spreading terror and death
I only do what a good dragon should

So will you be my helper, my friend, and my aid?
Will you go forth and report back to me?
If you agree, little wizard, right now, this moment,
I will immediately set you free.

And if I don’t? The young wizard asked of the dragon
What will you to me if I don’t do as you say?
The dragon pondered the question a moment
For it had several options to weigh

Perhaps I could eat you now, it said aloud
Or shred your into bloody slivers with my claws
Or I can take flight with you in my mouth
And drop you into a leviathan’s jaws

But these options would serve me no purpose
For killing you would be an evil act
So I guess my only option is to let you go
And hope the next delver will make this pact

But remember I offer you great rewards
I have gold and trinkets and many wonderful things
Like this amulet that boosts your kremm
Or that dagger that vibrates and sings

So what say you, my little human friend?
It was now the wizard’s turn to think and ponder
As he looked past the dragon at its golden hoard
Can I see that amulet and dagger over yonder?

The dragon allowed him to hold the items
And he felt their power course through his veins
I think I have one option you haven’t thought of
As he plunged the dagger deep into the dragon’s brains


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