A few days ago, I sat down for a fireside chat with octocentarian dragon, Hargog the Destroyer. It wasn’t intended as a fireside chat, but he inadvertently set part of the coffee shop on fire. He can still knock them out when he wants to!
Interviewer: Thank you for meeting with me. It must be harder to get around these days. Congratulations on passing your 800th birthday, by the way.
Hargog: Thank you. I try to stay active. I won’t win any races with jet planes, but I try to go out in the countryside twice a month at least. Just for some light ravaging. The Society helps me a lot when I don’t feel up to it.
I: The Society?
H: The Society for the Preservation Of Reptilian Kings, or SPORK for short. They bring me food every week: a couple of sheep, maybe a cow.
I: No maidens?
H: Come on, that’s not fair. No one can be blamed for the way they were raised, and that was just the culture back then. I swore off maidens a long time ago. It was a simpler time back then, but I know—the world changes.
I: Back in 1543, Yorker Magazine referred to you as “the Scourge of the Midlands” and “the Defiler of Nations.” Have your feelings on those titles changed at all?
H: Well, “Defiler of Nations” is a bit of a hyperbole. They weren’t that clean when I got there anyway, am I right? “Scourge of the Midlands” though—that’s a funny story. I was cruising around with my friend Grimlock, a silver drake, and we were comparing our tail snaps. We had just eaten a whole tavern and were preeettty tipsy. So Grimlock bets me a mountain of gold I can’t destroy the cottage up ahead with one whip of my tail. Bang! I nailed it, first time. So then he says “double or nothing on the castle on the hill.” We did that all night. It messed up the area pretty bad.
I: I’m sorry to hear your father passed away 150 years ago. How was your relationship with him?
H: Well, he was a gold drake, and you know gold drakes. Always gotta be the best. He didn’t have time for a little green drake like me, what with plundering the whole known world and hoarding their treasures. He was a great one for hoarding and it’s not the sort of hobby a father and son can share. I moved out when I was 160 and we didn’t really didn’t talk after that. He didn’t even call when I destroyed Constantinople and ate ten thousand of its residents. He wasn’t really supportive that way.
I: Any regrets?
H: Well, no life is perfect, I suppose. I would have liked to see more of the world. I was born in Scotland and I used to travel all over Europe in my youth. I could have gone further—I even got an invitation from a lithe little Chinese dragon who asked me to come and hang out on top of her mystic mountain for a few centuries. But I was in kind of a ravage-plunder-hoard rut at the time. I’ve thought about her a lot in the last half millennium though. I think she finally went under the sea to hang out with the Dragon King.
I: What would you say your proudest moment was?
H: About 250 years ago, a fire demon woke up and started burning half of Poland—you probably heard about it. Anyway, I went to take care of him. It wasn’t just protecting the dragon monopoly on mayhem either—this thing was burning down whole towns and cities. I mean, where’s the ecology, right? I fought that thing for a month, at least. They can’t die—they’re immortal—but eventually he gave up and I banished him to Greenland to cool him off a a bit and think about what he’d done. I hear he’s posing as a Wendigo up there now, but at least he’s not hurting anyone.
I: So, any plans for the future?
H: I don’t know. After you pass 800, you start to slow down a little. I guess I’ll just try to stay active and not destroy the neighborhood when I go out to check the mail. I got a pamphlet for a tour that visits the sunken city of R’lyeh. Sounds like fun. We’ll see.
I: Thank you again for meeting with me, Hargog the Destroyer. It’s been a pleasure.
H: No problem. I appreciate that people still have some interest in me. You’d better leave first. I’d hate to step on you on the way out.
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Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone. Here’s a picture my wife sent me today. She made it here, if you want to check it out. So, I pass it on to you as well. Have a great day.