The Dragon Slayers

Eperimental notes on dragon skinning

By chance I’ve ended up with a dragon carcass. It’s a little larger than a horse, wings notwithstanding. Long neck and tail make it well over four metres snout to last scale with a similar wing span. Hide is made up of reddish scales similar to common reptiles, eg. kobold. Despite reptilian appearance, wings lead my initial instinct to be treating it like a bird.

Successfully trussed the thing with a little rolling and strain. It’s heavier than a bird of similar size might be. I woder how It flies at all? Cannot find a tree tall or strong enough to hang it from to bleed. Will have to attempt skinning and butchering on the ground. Will begin skinning as I would with a kobold or similar reptile. Ignoring wings as they seem to carry little meat or useful hide. Beginning with a standard opening cut along sternum.

Broke my knife attempting to saw trough scales. Cannot seem to get a blade under the armour to split them from the hide either. Will admit in frustration that I attempted to sever the head with my waraxe which resulted, to my surprise, in a blunted and chipped axe! Scaled hide is astonishingly tough. But it must be beatable because we managed to kill the thing.

Quick examination shows that most of our attacks seemed to do bludgeoning/crushing damage rather than piercing the plates. The killing blow entered through the mouth where there are notably no scales. (Possible place to start skinning from?) Only notable injury to overcome the hide was done with a dwarven spear that passed trough the right wing base, just below the shoulder. It is unclear why this weapon should have penetrated when others cannot. Have removed the broken haft and attempted to use its blade to cut the hide elsewhere but to no avail. Am packing the wound with a little salt to preserve the meat as I’m becoming unsure I will be able to strip the carcass before nightfall.

Washed and dressed the body. Considering trying to cook complete in the hopes that roasting will loosen the scales from the meat. Not sure if such a feat will be possible without some involved engineering. Have stuffed, where possible, with wild garlic, rosemary, sage and some other herbs to add flavour to the meat and help stave off rot. Am now rebinding it for transport.

Carried the damned beast to the shore where we are putting it on a raft to transport back to town. Can’t imagine a little bit of river water will do it any harm but have wrapped it in tarp from the burned boathouse just in case. Catrain and Malachai insist on accompanying it but I trust them to keep it secure and stop any scavengers from gnawing on it.

Now working in castle kitchen. Just found a ruddy elven poisoned crossbow bolt lodged between two scales! Even that didn’t penetrate the bloody thing. Have bent several shoddy halfling-made kitchen implements on the hide with no further progress. Am moving on to tools borrowed from the forge.

Just split a chisel against the thing. This is starting to feel futile. Have managed to score the hide in several places but am still unable to break or pierce the scale along these lines. Strongly suspect that some kind of magic is at work here. Will ask Jayca to have a look through his books or whatever the lad does and see if he can discover anything. For now I think I’m going to have to hope we have figured it out by the time I have to prepare a larger specimen. Wouldn’t want all that meat going to waste.

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dhmstark AdamRound

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