Monster 50

The dragon.

Everyone knows that dinosaurs are cool. Throw some leathery wings on a dinosaur, that’s pretty awesome. Now, say this creature breathes fire. No wonder the dragon holds such fascination with so many.

The dragon appears in the myth and legend of a bevy of different cultures all around the world. Early depictions of dragons were more snake-like than lizard. We can thank the middle ages for the most widely accepted image of the dragon in the Western world. I’m partial to the look of the Chinese dragon myself.

Known to be hoarders of great treasure, with great appetites satiated by village raids and the occasional virgin sacrifice. Dragons are often the villain. However, a few of these creatures have been benevolent or even ambivalent.

Where would the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons be without the dragon? A game of dungeons could be fun I suppose, but add dragons and we have something fearsome for the hero to face and slay, and boast about in the tavern afterward.

A few of my favorite dragons:

Smaug, from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

Draco, from the movie Dragonheart (voiced by the wonderful Sean Connery).

The unnamed dragon in the center of one of my favorite board games, Dungeonquest.

Haku, from the movie Spirited Away.

Fin Fang Foom, from the Marvel comics (the only dragon with shorts).

So, watch the skies, stay close to the path, stay away from the dark cave in the side of the cliff, and keep your sword ever close. This is dragon country.