Friday, October 29, 2004

here be dragons

We're about to leave the dining area when R casually asks me if I want to see the dragons. I'm stunned, it's a rare honour, and not everyone can see them. Their location itself is a guarded secret, but I have heard that the lair is in fact a disguised labyrinth. R takes me to the cave's entrance, and invokes the password. The door opens and we head in. I expect darkness, but the tunnel is well lit, and it is easy to follow R as he winds his way. He goes to the supplies room first, I just have to give the dragons water, he says, and I watch him as he fills the special container with water. he has to use a peculiar container with a long muzzle to distribute the water, and I guess that it has to be like that to avoid the flames from the dragon's jaws. he finishes his preparations and we head to the actual lair. I ask R why dragons are being kept at all, and he explains that he is one of the few trying to understand how they communicate. Apparently knowledge of dragon speech is quite lost and since it is impossible to teach a dragon the human tongue, humans have to learn to understand dragons.
There are strange symbols on the doors to the caves, and I can barely read them. Inside, the cave is flooded with light, and the dragons are in separate chambers. Each dragon is perched under a special lamp and is looking balefully at us. I am amazed by the differences in colours between the dragons. Some have stripes that show plainly and others seem to merge into the background itself. I ask R if they can change colours, but he says no, it's a regional thing. Some dragons were collected from different areas, and hence they retain some characteristics of their regions, but even this is not known for sure. R starts spraying the cave and the perch with water, but the dragons don't move till he ceases and moves on to the next one. But some of them are active and pace in the cave watching us with diamond eyes. We slowly move from cave to cave, but none of them breathe fire. I am a bit disappointed, but I can atleast tell friends that I have seen dragons.