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Monday, 6 October 2014

Now that's a dragon

So, I recently wrote on my history blog about how I went to see the Witches and Wicked Bodies exhibit at the British Museum. And it was very cool.

I was particularly struck by this Temptation of Saint Anthony by Jacques Callot. Click to enlarge:


I'm gonna zoom in on the dragon, although there's a lot of other great stuff there.


Look at that guy. Check out his majesty. I mean, I guess he's the devil rather than a dragon per se, but when I looked at him I thought dragon, so I'm gonna go with it. He's got a serpent twined around his arm which is itself breathing fire, he's got the other hand just holding fire, he's surrounded by an aura of blazing radiance, he appears to be breathing out monsters, and he's chained to the goddamn sky. He's got lesser monsters living in his wings like parasites, he's got an adoring cult there down below, and he seems to be just kind of generally blighting the area.

He makes me never want to look at this little guy again:

Fuck outta here, Young Red Dragon. 
I love the idea that the only reason the dragon doesn't come down and just ravage the shit out of whatever defenseless fantasy kingdom is below him is that in ages past some doomed party of fools chained him to the roof of the sky. That's both high-questular-fantasy as hell and also metal as hell. It ticks all the boxes. And having the dragon-worshipping apocalypse cult trying to break the chain is way better than the usual schtick where they're trying to wake him from his slumber, because in the slumber scenario, either:

a) you foil them, and you never get to see, let alone fight, the dragon, or 
b) they are on rails to wake him and you fight him but you feel like chumps because it was predetermined. 

Whereas here, even leaving aside the various quests and stuff you'd have to do just to get up there into the sky in the first place, you still get to see the dragon and maybe fight him a bit and certainly fight or avoid his various minions, but regardless you get to go where the action is rather than being the poor responsible fools who make sure there isn't any action at all. 

I think I may know what Wednesday Night D&D are doing once they have their fill of sailing the high seas in search of trayzhur.

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