The Laidly Wyrm

Did you know there's an English folk song about a knight kissing a dragon? Mature.

The black granite walls of the seaside keep couldn't keep him at bay. Sir Roderick, youngest knight of the Order of the Green Hen, had come to fight the dragon. The dragon's crimes were only those of scaring coastal farmers and carrying off several head of cattle, but to Roderick, this was an opportunity to distinguish himself.

Getting inside the keep was a challenge all its own, but high walls couldn't stop him. A rope tied to his sword, thrown like a spear through a small window, let him scramble up into the guard tower. From there, he picked his way through the wide corridors of the keep. His footsteps echoed against the steady roar of the waves as he sought a path to the courtyard.

Eventually, he found a set of double doors, bolted with a thick iron bar. Sunlight glared through the cracks from the other side. He took a moment to ready himself. He tucked his blonde hair back, slipped his helmet onto his head, and then placed one hand on the hilt of his sword. With the other, he threw back the bolt and pushed open the doors.

In the courtyard, the high walls cast shadows against the thick flagstones. In one corner, the floor had crumbled away entirely, leaving a hole straight down to the rolling sea below. And in the middle of the courtyard was the dragon.

Its powerful, sinuous body stretched out along the stones. It sat like a great regal cat, with its forelegs tucked under its chest and back legs extended. Its scales glistened in the sun; they were a shade of blue richer than a nobleman's coat. A pair of smooth horns curled from its forehead, first sweeping back, then arching forward again in a lazy, serpentine curve. Its yellow eyes fixed on Roderick. Lean muscle rolled beneath its scales as it rose to its feet.

The dragon's voice reverberated through the stone. "At last!" it rumbled. Roderick watched its teeth. They were not like daggers. Daggers were thin and meant for slicing. The dragon's teeth were stout and jagged and meant for tearing meat from limb and armor from knight.

Roderick had practised what he would say the whole way from the nearest town. "Remember the name Sir Roderick, dragon," he said. The tip of his sword traced a line straight to the dragon's head. "Because it's he who'll slay you."

"Wait," the dragon said. It held out a taloned claw as big as Roderick's rib cage. "You're here to slay me? You mean you don't know?"

The Dragons Womb

An adventurer becomes host to a parasitic worm that turns her into an egg-laying dragon-insect hybrid. Explicit.

Talia walked through the ribcage of a dragon. Ten feet above her, its spine jutted from the rock ceiling. Its ribs were like curled pillars embedded in the rock walls. A tiny stream ran down the middle of the floor, fed by the trickle of water dripping over the ancient bones. With one eye on the floor and another ahead of her, she followed the slow incline of the tunnel. Up. Up to the mines, and then up out of the Dragons' Tomb.

A bag of drake scales rustled inside her pack. She'd plucked them fresh off a centipede drake's hide: her prize for braving the Tomb. Eline had said it wasn't worth the risk, but a suit of scale armor was a precious thing to have. Talia had found enough scales to make gloves for her roguish friend, too.

Her torch cast a flickering light over the damp. It lit her body: her banded steel armor, her short, dark hair, her young but stern face, and the muddy grit smeared on her cheeks. The centipede drake was still fresh in her mind; wet chittering, hundreds of scuttling claws, and a head that bulged with far too many eyes. She had only nearly bested it.

A flicker of movement caught her eye, shifting in the shadow beyond her torch. Her heart quickened. She gripped her mace. Torch low, she advanced step by step.

Tales of the Strange presents: You Are What You Eat

Some bat investigates an abandoned candy factory and falls victim to its horrors. Guest starring Agouti-Rex's ( characters.

Rule one of investigating the abandoned candy factory was that no one should know why Mercedes was there. Mrs. McGolly was really insistent on that point. If anyone asked, she was doing a project for school, and had never heard of Mrs. McGolly or her candy corporation. She certainly wasn't getting paid fifty dollars to take pictures of a rival company's abandoned factory.

Rule two was easy, take lots of pictures. Mercedes had a camera, done.

Rule three was weird. "While you're in there," McGolly said, poking a hoof right into Mercedes' face, "don't say 'candy'."

"Uh, why?" Mercedes asked.

"Don't worry about it, just don't say 'candy'. It's my business, not yours." McGolly slapped a ten-dollar bill into Mercedes's hand and swept the bat right out of her office. "Remember—you weren't here," she said, and then ended the conversation by closing the door.

Later that day, Mercedes stood outside the run-down factory, with a camera in one hand and nothing else. She'd been trying to think of alibis for taking pictures, and she had hit on a good one by accident: She was doing a paper on, like, why McGolly's company had opened a brand-new candy factory, when Failtown already had an abandoned candy factory just sitting around.

Actually asking McGolly a question like that would lose her that fifty bucks, though.

Subject #39-01-4

A parasite slowly converts a feline test subject into a gooey, draconian form as he tries to escape. Mature.


SUBJECT #39-01-4

DOCTOR ???????


The subject was received from the retrieval team operating in ?????????, ?????? on March 30, 20??. The subject was unconscious as per protocol, identified as biologically male, feline (domestic cat), age approximately eighteen to twenty-one. All identifying documents had been properly removed by the retrieval team. Doctors Allbright and Kim were on hand to transport the subject.

Specimen Room A3 was reserved for the initial procedure. Upon entering, we learned that during processing #39-01-1, the previous team of Doctors Lee, Mayers and Reyes had neglected to properly clean all equipment. At this point, Allbright and Kim finished the work left undone by the previous team, where I filed a disciplinary report which has yet to be processed at the time of this writing, but can most likely be found by accessing my record.