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Dragon Hunting for Beginners
I’ve spent a great deal of time fighting my way through hordes of supernatural monsters, as can be seen in my Tips to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse and Field Guide to Vampires, to name a few, but I decided to take a step away from the unknown to pursue bigger game; Dragons. You might ask why I would want to hunt such majestic beasts (or how I could be crazy enough to do it); I generally don’t approve of animal hunting, but it’s become apparent to me that the Dragon population is out of control. Modern fantasy authors have been nurturing and growing large quantities of Dragon stock, putting these once great beasts on the in-danger-of-becoming-a-cliché list. If we’re not careful, they could go the way of the vampire and become originality-extinct! So I got my Dragon hunters license and have joined a noble calling to help save the dragons from themselves. Below you will find some tips, tricks and benefits of your first dragon hunting experience.
The Slaying of the Dragon
This guide is about more than just slaying dragons, so if you’re serious about that, I recommend doing further research, but I will help get you started. First, you’re going to want to invest heavily in fireproof armor, weapons and clothing. They’re pretty expensive, but it more than makes up for all the melted equipment you’d have to replace otherwise. You also want to focus on ranged based weapons (bows and crossbows) but also long range melee weapons (such as pole-arms, spears and halberds). Though many favor broad swords (because they look cool), I personally don’t like to get that close to the dragon. For the most part you’re going to be aiming for the heart, and getting through the claws is a major issue with swords. Dragons can also be killed by decapitation, but good luck cutting through the armored scales and thick muscle.
There are a few other precautions you can take if you are fortunate enough to have connections. Anyone who is “dragon-born” is someone you want to be friends with. Every once and a while, special people are born who are destined to slay dragons. If you weren’t lucky enough to be one of them, then find one and make friends real quick. They make for good hunting buddies. Also, if you know of anyone who performs mystic rituals with dragon artifacts; various enhancements can be given to your equipment (or weaken your target). Just make sure that you know how to successfully taunt a dragon off your new friends. The last thing you want to do is supply your prey a diet of delicious mystics. However, the most helpful dragon hunting tool is unquestionably another dragon.
Catching and raising a Dragon pet
Hunters have employed the help of animal companions for ages, and Dragon hunting is no different. However, no animal stands much of a chance against a dragon, except another dragon. While it is hard work to locate a dragon egg (and certainly dangerous if the mother shows up) it is well worth the effort. Be aware, however, that young dragons need a great deal of care. Their eggs must be kept in extreme temperatures to simulate their mother’s fire. I find that a constant bonfire or large oven is sufficient to incubate the egg. Once it hatches you’ll need several pounds of raw meat each day, adding more as you go. These little guys eat often and will rely on you for the first few weeks. I’ve noticed that their favorite meat is lamb, but most farm animals would be sufficient. You will also want to introduce the concept of a rider to them. Usually after three weeks they are strong enough to support your weight. Ease them into it; don’t jump on all at once. And be prepared for a lot of fight in the beginning; wear lots of padding and try to practice near a body of water to help soften your fall (of which there will be many). And, unless you’re done having children, you will also need a heavy leather saddle to prevent the scales from chaffing your inner thighs. But, if you’re patient, you will not only have a faithful hunting companion, but you’ll also have one of the quickest means of travel. As a side note, dragon racing is illegal.
Uses of Dragons
There are many uses for your first slain dragon. As I said above, I only hunt over-populated dragons and I make sure that none of the animal goes to waste. Scales are great for making suits of chainmail armor and will net you a hefty profit, as will the teeth and claws which are often used for making daggers and certain kinds of short swords. Those two small for weaponry are enjoyed as necklaces and trinkets. Dragon meat isn’t as useful as it tends to be extremely tough to chew, though many master cooks will insist that they can make it work. (After you sell it to them, it’s their problem). There are certain innards of the dragon, however, that are useful to mystics so make sure to remove all inner organs for marketing separate from the meat. And finally, the skin on the wings makes for great leather, especially saddles for dragons. I don’t personally recommend removing the fire gland. While it can be extremely valuable, it is also nearly impossible to remove without blowing yourself up. I’ve lost a lot of good mystics to greed because of that.
Ideally we wouldn’t be killing these creatures at all, but with growing populations, dragons are encroaching on small villages and getting angry because of low food supply. For this reason, you may find yourself contracted to do away with a local menace. There isn’t really any honor (or prestige) left for killing such an overpopulated animal (kind of like killing a mosquito, though considerably more dangerous) but If you do it right, dragon hunting could be a profitable profession for you.
Disclaimer: This article is completely fictitious; written for the purposes of humor. All dragon hunting should be left to the dragon-born who were ‘destined’ to slay dragons. All others who associate with them should establish a good life insurance policy. Also, I do not support the hunting of animals, though if you do hunt them, at least use every part of the animal rather than killing them for sport.