The Ballad of Aeolus the White

White Dragon, by Ben Wootten

White Dragon, by Ben Wootten

My current goal is to complete a series of stories about the various dragons of Dadreon. So far, I have a green dragon story, a red dragon story, and now here I have a white dragon story. Expect the black and blue dragons to follow soon! (The black dragon piece is already in the works.)

This is for my Creative Writing class. Our assignment was to create an “Instruction” piece–meaning a piece that commands or explains or tells how to do something or how to accomplish something. Rather than write something tongue-in-cheek about “How To” or “How Not To” do something, I wanted to write about dragons. (I know, we’re all surprised! I never write about dragons!) So decided to write about a bossy white dragon with minions (worshipers).

I have been playing with poetry a lot lately, and for some reason the title to this piece got stuck in my head and wouldn’t go away. So I had to make it a ballad. So I had to figure out how to write a ballad. This is a very experimental piece, so please be gentle with feedback. But as always, I’d love to hear what you think. 🙂

Anyway, please enjoy!

~ Effy

The Ballad of Aeolus the White

White Dragon, by Saeto15

White Dragon, by Saeto15

I

“Bring me meat!” the great white wyrm demanded.
His yellowed fangs and crystalline blue eyes
Gleamed in the dim reflections of the faroff sun
Sneaking its rays into his ice-crusted cavern.

When Aeolus commanded, his worshippers
Fell over one another in frightened heaps to comply.
They brought him seal and orca meat, but his
Favorite was the fierce and hearty polar bear.

None of the cowardly barbarians had proved
Themselves brave or strong enough to slay one.
A few of the younger and stupider warriors tried
And never returned, surely made into bear food.

For a polar bear, Aeolus would leave his cave of
Ice and darkness to hunt. They were his delicacy.
The white dragon stalked the chilly tundra
As its apex predator–stronger than bear or wolf.

World’s End polar bears stood twice a man’s
Height on their hind legs, but Aeolus loomed
Twice that at his shoulders. Small for a dragon,
He towered over all other, mortal creatures.

White gleaming scales met white woolly fur,
And she rose to her full height of ten feet,
Roaring a dreadful challenge. Aeolus did not
Blink or waver, he rumbled back like the thunder.

“Cower before Aeolus!” the white wyrm bellowed.
No creature did he fear, none were his master.
“Cower before my might! I will chew your bones
And drink your blood as humans drink mead!”

The polar bear female dropped to all fours,
Backpedaled several feet and rumbled uncertainly.
She did not turn away, she knew it meant death.
Aeolus knew her death closed in either way.

He toyed with his food, like a cat with a mouse.
Slash and sidestep, bite and flap his wings.
Confuse her, keep her off balance, tire her out.
Only when she panted, stumbled would he strike.

Blood like rubies soaked the icy snow, and still
The bear huffed and snarled. A great claw caught
Aeolus on the forepaw and it made him laugh
A great guffaw. “Bleed! Submit!” And he sneered.

Finally, the female, her white fur shades of pink
And red, collapsed. As her legs gave out, Aeolus
Shot his head forward and snapped her thick neck,
Ending the creature’s pain in one quick shake.

Aeolus strutted his catch through the village,
The great polar bear hanging limply from his jaws.
The humans prostrated themselves before him,
Cowering at the strength and power of the dragon.

They praised him as they might a god:
Aeolus the white, Aeolus the terrible.
But they knew his temper, cold as ice:
Aeolus the frigid, Aeolus the devourer.

White Dragon

White Dragon, Unknown Artist

II

Aeolus had grown accustomed to the fear and
Obedience he inspired in his dim worshippers.
At his every command, they rushed to please him.
His every whim, they knew better than to deny.

So it came as a surprise when one day, alone
In his icy crystalline cavern, Aeolus heard a voice.
The voice seemed to originate inside his head.
It made demands of him. It gave him commands.

Fly south. Return to the land of your origin,
The voice insisted. Aeolus snarled back aloud,
“Silence! No creature do I fear! None is my master!”
Then he shook his head with great violence.

Still the voice persisted, growing louder and louder:
Fly south. Return to the land of your Father.
Aeolus gathered himself stubbornly, bellowing:
“Leave me be, voice! I will not submit to you!”

Even had the white wyrm anyone to confide in,
He would have kept his own, solitary council,
For voices in one’s head are always a bad sign.
Aeolus would never admit to such mental infirmities.

So he brooded and endured the insistent voice.
His worshippers came and went, and the dragon
made sure to never give them any idea of the
lingering, ever-present whispers in their idol’s head.

Until one day, a handful of the barbarians brought
A giant orca carcass to the feet of their icy master.
He hissed a note of pleasure to the group, when
Suddenly the intruder returned, more tenacious:

Fly south. Fly south. Fly south, it chanted rhythmically.
You must. Don’t resist. Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry…
“No! Be gone!” Aeolus roared. The very air vibrated and
The cavern walls shook until icicles fell and shattered.

The worshippers looked at one another in confusion,
Dull eyes and slack mouths forming questions.
“Leave my head!” the white wyrm commanded in
A thunderous hiss, his wings and claws smashing.

The humans fled and ensured they were far from
earshot before sharing whispers of, “Voices, eh?
The White One is hearing voices. A bad sign, surely.”
For even they knew of those who lurked below.

Deep below slept ancient creatures beyond evil.
They invaded the dreams of mortals with raving
Whispers of murderous intent. Could these monsters
Scratch away the sanity of their immortal master?

They praised him as they might a god:
Aeolus the white, Aeolus the terrible.
But they knew of his unheard whispers:
Aeolus the deranged, Aeolus the erratic.

White Dragon Statue

White Dragon Statue, Unknown Artist

III

Aeolus narrowed his eyes to mere slits, watching
The movement of his worshippers below in their
Small village. He heard the rumors. He saw the looks.
He knew what they thought of him and snarled.

The white wyrm was not crazy, nor being driven
To it. Instead, he seethed with anger cold as frostbite.
“I submit to no one–man, dragon, or even god,”
He growled to himself, to the voice, but less adamant.

The dragon had determined it was no ancient evil
Whispering maddening and repetitive commands to him,
But he had not determined the true source of the voice.
Aeolus felt it was draconic, but could not answer why.

I am the sleeper, I am the jailor, I am the Father of
Dragons, the voice finally admitted. Aeolus’ lip twitched.
“Impossible. Tell me, who are you really? Why do you
torment me? Tell me!” He bared his teeth at the shadows.

Who else could invade your thoughts so completely?
Aeolus snorted, unable to make an intelligent retort.
Why do you still resist? Fly home. Fly south. I need you.
One ice-white eyebrow arched over a glacier blue eye.

The voice’s plea echoed in his head, tugging at his
Frigid heartstrings. The unfamiliar sensation caused him
A pain almost physical that faded to a sharp tingle–
like a limb that has fallen asleep and refuses to awaken.

“Why?” the last stubborn holdout of the dragon’s being
Demanded. “Tell me why I should do as you ask?”
Time is running out. Hurry, hurry, please. Come home.
The voice, still imploring, was a sweet caress, an embrace.

The curiosity deep within Aeolus continued to grow.
It slowly began to conquer the stubbornness, so deep
And ingrained it was embedded in the white wyrm’s
Soul. What could the Father possibly want of him?

Before Aeolus could fully form the question in his mind,
His legs were moving, faster, launching him into the cold
Air that did not chill the white dragon. Wings spread and
Caught the winds. Wing and wind embraced like old lovers.

The dragon tirelessly flew, on and on. The distance to
Sandrae was great, but time seemed to pass in a place
Separate from Aeolus the White. It did not affect him.
He never tired or faltered. Soon green forests bloomed.

The ruined city of Bethel came into view below him.
Aeolus knew without knowing that was his destination.
As he made a lazy loop and picked a place to land,
He realized he was not alone, not the first to arrive.

Other dragons, dragons of every color–both chromatic
And metallic hues–filled the sky and the courtyard of
The Temple of Yargonae. Aeolus had never once run
Across a single other dragon since the death of Anemone.

Vines wound and grass grew through the cracks
In Bethel’s main road, the once straight path from
The gate, now rusted close, to the base of the crumbling
Marble steps of the Temple–dark and silent as death.

When Rhaegar, the Father of Dragons, once more spoke
To Aeolus, he knew he spoke to them all, for he saw
The curious looks and cocking of heads. Welcome home,
My wayward children. Witness soon the dawn of your rebirth.

Confusion and fleeting panic went through Aeolus’
Thoughts, but they were soon replaced with a warm
Feeling that began in his chest and spread throughout.
He felt a change and somehow sensed Anemone.

His heart burst with joy, but Aeolus could not reach
Out to her, did not even comprehend how he knew she
Was there. Before he could fret overly, he felt her draw
Closer–until they were one and he knew completion.

They praised him as they might a god:
Aeolus the white, Aeolus the terrible.
But the Father knew him better than any:
Aeolus the lonely, Aeolus the loner.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story and all related material are the original works of Awaiting the Muse and Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti. All rights reserved.
Creative Commons License
Awaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at https://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.

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One thought on “The Ballad of Aeolus the White

  1. Pingback: Author Up Challenge – Day 2 | Awaiting the Muse

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