"Put me down!"
I truly believe in my heart that it would kill them to say please.
The princess squirms in my fist, I duly ignore her. I'm not rude mind you, in fact, I've been told I am quite terrific to converse with. Which to be honest could simply be my intimidation factor, but I choose to believe that the highly esteemed company with which I prize my time views me with fonder regards than that, and looks beyond the teeth and my temper. Besides, even the most eloquent of chaps can be forgiven for ignoring a ladies comment, especially a rude one, whilst they are being fired upon by no less than forty archers.
Also, I'm a dragon. Deal with it.
But, since I am feeling particularly jubilant today, and yes it is possible to feel jubilant whilst being fired upon by no less than forty archers, I decide to respond after all. Tilting my head back I let loose a fantastic roar, causing the princess to clasp her hands over her ears and the knights below me to quake with fear.
See? Simply terrific.
Releasing my hold on the highest tower (why they always choose to put them in a tower all the while knowing dragons can fly I will never understand) I spread my magnificent crimson wings and take flight, making sure to swoop low, forcing the archers to duck and dive out of my way. This step isn't necessary, but its amusing. A few brave archers attempt to fire at me as I gain altitude, but the arrows bounce harmlessly off my tail. They tickle. The screaming of men and the crackling of fire fades away behind me as I set a course due West, humming a pleasant sailors tune as I go.
Now, two notes:
Firstly, I do not usually burn the villages/kingdoms/pathetic-substitutes-for-proper-caves that I pillage, but today it was necessary. Sometimes, and by sometimes I mean when faced head on with 60 knights, one simply needs to breathe fire.
Secondly, you might be wondering what a brilliant, self respecting dragon such as myself wants with a measly human princess? To that I would say excellent question. Here's my story.
Dragons are given a bad reputation by humans. Its quite unfair really. I mean, all we really want is a cozy cave, some good books to read, and all your treasure. Which, to be honest, that shiny crown compliments my glistening red scales far better than your silly little floof covered head, but I digress. We also inevitably get hungry, but it isn't our fault if you happen to be too close when that happens.
Most dragons satisfy these goals through different means. Smaller dragons and drakes gather treasure using stealthy tactics, stealing it in the dead of night. Old wise dragons, through the use of gambling and games (never challenge one of these dragons to a game of riddles mind you, you won't win, unless you're Merlin, sneaky little bugger). Female dragons sometimes mooch off males, or kill them for their hordes. Be careful who you date kids. Finally, large dragons, such as myself, usually level towns.
But I am far too clever for such heavy work.
You see, when I was young and freshly released into the world as an independent dragon off to seek his fortune, I did what any silly young dragon does to gain a name and status. I kidnapped a princess. Okay, so princess is a strong term. Lord's daughter would be more accurate, but I was only 20 feet long at the time, it was the best I could do. Of course, like all young dragons, once I actually had the princess inside of my cave, I had no idea what to do with it. Now, at this point most young dragons would do the obvious thing and eat her. But I was always a bit of a softy, so I kept her thinking she might not be that bad of a pet, and she could help with the chores right?
Wrong. Princesses are utterly useless things the lot of them.
Skip ahead a weeks time filled with pitiful crying and burned porridge (I am a dragon and even I can make porridge without burning it) and I was about ready to roast the tiny blonde on a spit, in fact I was heading outside the cave to find a suitable tree, when lo and behold, I ran into a knight. Okay, so he was more of a glorified miller with a sword. Same difference. I never got the man's name, it didn't matter really, but I do very clearly remember his challenge, it went a little something like this:
"Stand aside great dragon, or be slain by my mighty sword! For the Lord Bernstein has promised a bounty of 300 crowns to anyone who returns his fair daughter to him, and I have come to rescue her! For I am-"
If you're wondering why it cuts off there, its because I ate him. What? I was hungry, and now I needed the princess, for a clever plan had formed in my mind, not that anything un-clever ever forms in it.
Unless you live under a rock, which most humans might as well, you will know that dragons can use powerful magic. One of the ways in which we use this magic is to take on a human form, an unpleasant experience, but nonetheless sometimes necessary. This was one of those times. I used magic to take on my human form, then took the man's sword and horse, and entered my cave, calling to the princess and giving a speech about how I was here to save her from the dread dragon. She fell for it easily, dumb things princesses are, but I won't bore you with the details.
Several days ride later and I found myself the happy owner of a chest containing 300 crowns, the beginning of my now large treasure hoard, and of a new strategy.
I pondered the details as I sipped a good tanker of ale at the local tavern. It was here that I overheard a group of townsfolk discussing the recent occurrences and gained my name. Now, before you ask, yes dragons are given names at birth, but they are magical and when known by others give them certain powers over us, so we keep them secret.
The tallest of the lot, a man named Lucas, was declaring that the dragon should be killed (the princess had informed them that I slipped her out while said dread dragon was away), for what was to stop the great firebrand from returning and causing yet more trouble?
I leaned back in my chair, staring into my ale thoughtfully. Firebrand, it had a nice ring to it. Firebrand the terrible, Firebrand the Hellish, Firebrand the Doom-bringer. Well, I would have to work on that last part. But I had time, and many, many more princesses to kidnap. With a grin, I downed the last of my tankard and quietly slipped out of the tavern.
And that, my dear friends, is how I came to be known as Firebrand the Chaotic, and how our story begins.