Once upon a time, in a land very far away, there lived a dragon in a cave. The dragon’s name was but a hiss on the mouths of the fearing public. "Esseesee" they whispered behind shuttered windows and padlocked doors.
Their fear was well-justified. Time after time, the people had mustered a hero to face this mighty dragon, and time and time again, they watched in horror as their champions met untimely ends at his claws
Buckeye had been the first, a man that claimed to have beaten a wolverine with his bare hands. He was a bit of an oaf, but the townsfolk had not yet learned to fear the dragon as they would later. So they sent him out, confident he would return victorious. Buckeye charged splendidly into the fray and even struck a mighty blow to begin the contest. Reality soon set in, however, and the watching public eventually turned their eyes from the mauling. Buckeye was carried from battle grievously wounded.
Buckeye recovered from his injuries enough to make one more attempt at Esseesee the next year, and even though several of the onlookers swore that Esseesee seemed to be drunk or perhaps ill (he was continually taking bites out of nearby grassy knolls), Buckeye was still disposed of easily and forever put out of his misery.
A lightning quick and swiftly deadly man named Boomer came next. The bards sang of his victories over a band of raiders and a mighty tiger. A man named Mack had troubled him some, but the townsfolk were getting desperate. He charged off to battle and they ever saw him again. Some rumors place him at various locations around the country, but attempts to approach him only made him run away crying.
Apparently, the aforementioned Mack had heard of the dread dragon, and was intrigued. He had few challengers left anymore and thought that besting Esseesee would be a fitting end to his career. If only he had known the irony of such thoughts. Mack seemed to have the proper weapons for battle; both for attack and defense, and some began to believe that the reign of Esseesee was finally at an end. Those beliefs were quickly extinguished when Esseesee broke Mack’s sword just as the contest began. Then he smashed the shield, proving it to be nothing more than shiny foil that looked nice, but wasn't really a defense at all. Mack suffered such a defeat that day, that many say he was forever marred and went on to become a shell of his former self, broken and delusional.
Another challenger appeared the next year and was defeated but something was off about the entire battle, and it isn't spoken of much. It’s almost like it never happened.
One night, sometime later, the silence was broken by shrill, unearthly screams. People ran from their houses to see the source of the awful sounds and were greeted by the site of Esseesee’s crimson scales glistening as he thrashed a smaller, purple dragon. The purple dragon was so over-matched that as soon as he could get free from Esseesee, he fled, causing the townsfolk to comment "It would seem that only a dragon can beat a dragon."
Now, another challenger appears on the horizon, full of confidence and expecting a joyous reception. The townsfolk take one look at his inferior weapons, stunted growth, and ridiculous golden helmet. Pausing only to shake their heads sadly, they go back inside.
Esseesee will eat well tonight.
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