As we walk, we do not notice exactly when the wooded dirt path is trasnformed into a shining walkway paved with jeweled cobblestones fashioned of all manner of gemstones — shining crystals, jasper, amethyst, rose quartz, aventurine, carnellian, lapis, and more. Each side of the walkway is walled with large stones, each of which seem alive and sentient and unimagineably ancient. Atop the wall of stones are many treasures, some ordinary, and some rare and exquisite and unidentifiable.
The walkway stretches for several leagues, and at the end of it is a great flickering, silvery flame rising from a pond of sparkling, fragrant liquid and reaching far into the mist above. No heat emanates from the flames as we approach, and we know that we are to walk through the fire, that this is some sort of a gateway.
We wade to the center of the pond and walk through the flames, which feel like cool feathers against our skin. As we emerge on the other side of the cool, shimmering flames, we see before us a vast archway of growing, living, rock twined with living wood (like trees, but at the same time, not trees). We recognize this archway as the entrance into the City of Dragons.
As we walk through the archway, each Dragon comes forth and presents to you his Welcoming Gift, for among them was One who would prevail. This is not a battle of strength, but of Wits and Will… or is it?
The White Dragon presents you with an Orb of Making.
If you look into it, anything you see can be manifested at will (or not, if it’s not desirable).
The Orange Dragon presents you with a golden incense burner, which burns the Smoke of Environments
Anytime it is burned, the smoke creates the desired environmental effects
Ambiance, foliage, critters, aromas, sounds, merry jugglers, clowns, bards, kings, birds of paradise, ducks, anything at all…
Artist: Michael Wheelan
The Blue Dragon presents you with the Chalice of Moods, which contains an undepleting elixir, which when consumed, brings together emotion with mental and spiritual activity and hones them to a razor sharp tool which is the beginning of Creation.
Artist: Jeff Easley
The Gold Dragon presents you with the Gift of Flight, a set of golden Wings which when worn allow you to soar in the heavens freely as an eagle.
Artist: Darryl Sweet
The Green Dragon presents you with the Stone of Passages, which allows you to bilocate anywhere on Earth just by gazing into the Stone.
The Silver Dragon presents you with a suit of Invincible Armor, which only lets in what you tell it to let in (so it would not keep out a good and worthy adversary if you so wished)
Artist: Clyde Caldwell
The Brown Dragon presents you with the Tree of Worlds with its branches in every Galaxy, its leaves in parallel universes, and its roots at the core of the Stars Playground. By climbing the Tree, you can go anywhere at all…
And the Last Dragon comes forth, which is a Black Dragon, being of All Color and No Color, and presents you with the Gift of UnBounded Love. And in this one gift, all the others also Live. You ponder all possibilities. Then it occurs to you that in the case of dragons, unbounded Love could mean that they would love to eat you for dinner! Slowly you back away and nonchalantly begin the walk back home, realizing that you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup…
Artist: Michael Wheelan
I could sing of the Carnival Dancers of Doom
I could sing of the Wonders that Babylon saw
I could sing of great Rubies as large as this roomI could sing of fierce tigers with claws long and sharp
I could sing of Taliesin and his golden harp
I could sing of the home that I once hailed from
I could sing of unknowable times yet to come
And I sing of a Gift that I give if I’m willing
And I bring forth the Magic that brought it to be
But with myriad Dragons my home is now filling!