|A monster sketch from mhairi robertson|
Three warriors protected the village. It was a small village, and they were brave warriors, just and well respected. They defended with honour, taking no pride in their skill, caring only for the families in their village.
One day an elder from the next village asked if they would help defend them from bandits. At first, the warriors refused, their place was with the village they loved, defending their families and friends. But the elder offered them a bag of gold coins for their trouble.
'What harm can it do?' said the First Warrior, 'with this gold we could buy more defences for our own village and even build more houses.'
So the warriors left and defended the next village from bandits, and returned a little richer.
Word spread further about the warrior's skills, and more villages came to ask for their assistance, offering more gold.
And the warriors took the gold, built more houses, and bought weapons to arm other warriors to defend the village while they were gone.
So it went for many months, the warriors trained more warriors, and sent scouts to other villages to ask if they needed defending from anything. That's how they found the dragon.
The dragon was causing all sorts of trouble for a town in the north, but it was so large and so vicious that it would take an army to defeat it. But by now, the little village had an army.
'If we best the dragon, people will know how skilled we are.' said the First Warrior.
'And if we break the dragon, it will be ours to command.' said the Second Warrior.
'We will be unbeatable.' said the Third Warrior.
So it was they marched north, battled the dragon, and won.
And the dragon was wonderful and terrible, assuring the warriors victory in every battle, but it was greedy, needing gold to survive. So the warriors had to ask for more gold from the villages they defended, and to steal gold from villages not in their care. They swept across the land, feeding the dragon.
One day, the warriors came upon the village that had once held the most important place in their heart. Blackened from the fires and smelts of the forges which crafted weapons for their many armies, the houses all gone. And on the mountain above, rested the dragon, always hungry, always waiting.
The warriors saw their folly, but it was too late to change things. The dragon roared, the forges burned and the gold rolled slowly in.
And the warriors marched to the next village, no longer remembering whether they were there to defend or attack, knowing it no longer mattered.