The Corruption of the Dragons
Dragons are known for their greed, their hoarding of treasure and their insatiable need to keep others from having as much as they. But this wasn’t always the case…
In the early days of the world the sentient races sought out the dragons to drink of their wisdom, and to grow stronger from their vast knowledge. But not all were pleased by this arrangement. One in particular, a drow known as Lord W’rath, a trickster by nature, was especially displeased with the great strides humans, dwarves, gnomes and the wretched halflings had made in light of the knowledge the dragons had given them. Though powerful, W’rath could not destroy the dragons, and it did not please him to do so anyway as the spread of chaos was much more amusing than outright destruction.
Lord W’rath was a clever fellow, even for a drow, and he had noticed over the years the similarities between the birds of the forest and the massive dragons. Others missed entirely the commonalities of the two creatures, but W’rath had observed that they shared similar bone structures. Many of the dragons flew and even a few sported feathers. They laid eggs and cared for their young in much the same way as the predatory birds of the high steppes. And all of these things started the drow to wondering what else they had in common.
One day, while leading some gnomes on a merry chase with their stolen jewels, a gem slipped loose from the bag W’rath carried and fell to the ground. As the drow watched, a bird spotted the glittering gem and snatched it up and stashed it in its nest. And just like that W’rath knew how he could put an end to the alliance between the humanoids and the dragons.
W’rath searched through the bag he’d stolen and found a particularly impressive specimen. It glowed with a rosy hue and caught every available mote of light on its perfect facets. With a thought he transported himself to the lair of a certain green dragon that he knew of. The great creature rose to meet him and said in a booming voice, “How may I be of service to a son of the elves?”
W’rath shook his head and smiled. “This day, noble dragon,” he said, “it is I who is only too pleased to reward you with a gift befitting your superiority over all other beings.” So saying, the drow produced the giant gem and held it before the dragon’s astonished eyes.
Never before had the dragon seen such a beautiful sight, and he was instantly captivated by the way the gem seemed to have a life of its own. He was dazzled by its sparkling inner fire. Instantly he desired it more than anything else in all the world. And it occurred to him that the elf was right. For all these great many years the soft creatures of the world had come to him seeking much but offering little in return. THIS… yes, this, was a gift worthy of a being such as himself.
W’rath saw that his plan had worked, that he had found the one weakness of the great dragons. He feigned surprise. “Surely, this is not the first such gift you have received?” he said, innocently. “Because of your help the dwarves have evolved to where they pull magical metals from the earth from which they craft glorious items of shining silver and gold. Your knowledge has raised the gnomes from savagery and they now cut fine gems like this and create beautiful jewelery. The humans and halflings, once no better than…”
“Enough!” The dragon cut the drow off. For a moment he thought he’d gone to far and the dragon had seen through him, but then the green plucked the gem from his hand and clutched it to its breast, it eyes shining with its newborn avarice. “You have opened my eyes this day, young elf,” he said. “The dwarves, the humans, the gnomes, and even the halflings, they keep these things from us? Learn from us and then hoard this beauty for themselves?”
“I-I-I had no idea,” the drow said. “Oh, forgive me for being the unwitting bearer of such hurtful news.”
The dragon looked upon the drow with the last vestiges of kindness in his heart. “Do not fret, my child, for you have saved me and others of my kind from this mockery. Go in peace and know that you have done a great service this day.”
W’rath bowed, as was befitting a servant to a great being, and took his leave. Oh, how he wanted to tell someone of this, his greatest hoax, but alas there was none he could trust with this knowledge and so he had to settle for watching from afar as his plan burst forth like a wildfire and consumed the dragons. For the green quickly called upon his fellow dragons, and showed them his gem and told them that those they’d loved as they would their own children were laughing at them behind their hands and keeping such beautiful items all to themselves.
The other dragons were captivated by the beautiful gem and desired it greatly. As the green’s story ended their hearts were filled with anger and greed, and their eyes turned to all corners of the world where the two-legged people’s of the world lived with their treasures.
And so came to pass the the poisoning of the hearts and minds of dragons.