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Dragon Multinational

Dragon Multinational.
Select a major Dragon Multinational. Describe the company’s features that are consistent with Mathew’s Dragon MNC theory and any that are not consistent. Analyse the factors that led the corporation to be successful. Prepare a three year Global Development Strategy for the corporation, taking into account the current business environment. Chosen Company: The Hong Leong Group with specific focus on City Developments Limited.
The primary features that define a Dragon Multinational Corporation in their simplest form are large Multinational Enterprise’s that stem from the Asia-Pacific region that have ‘successfully internationalized and in some cases become a leading firm in its sector’ (Mathews). The Singapore based Hong Leong Group fits this classification almost seamlessly as with its many offshoots it is worth an estimated $30 billion boasting highly successful projects within property, finance, hospitality and trade and industry (hongleong. com. sg).
Unlike many of the companies Mathew’s makes reference to in his theory the Hong Leong Group was not instantly a global success, in fact it was started in 1948 by Kwek Hong Png as a modest shop dealing in construction materials. Later on in the 1960’s the group moved into Finance for small local firms and a small amount of property investment. In the 1970’s The Hong Leong Group obtained a dominant stake in its most well known venture ‘City Developments Limited’ which was then a mere 8 employee’s and slowly expanded into commercial development.

It was in the late 1980’s under the control of Kwek Hong Pngs son and future Executive Chairman Kwek Leng Beng that the company made its move into the hotel industry. This is where we witness what Mathews refers to as the “Gestalt Switch” from domestic to global competitor. The Hong Leong Group is what Mathews classes as a ‘Second Wave MNE’. These corporations are characterised by using ‘pull factors that draw firms into global connections rather than push factors that drove firms as stand alone players in the first wave’.
A classic ‘Gerschenkronian Latecomer’ The Hong Leong Group unsuspectedly enhanced their portfolio through acquisitions and joint ventures namely the obtaining of a controlling interest in City Development Limited before embarking on what the group call a ‘strategic diversification strategy’ leading to the purchase of a hotel which thrust the group onto the world stage and was soon followed by rapid expansion and regionalisation.
In Mathews theory there are 3 principal characteristics of a ‘latecomer’ these are accelerated internationalization, organisational innovation and strategic innovation. Accelerated Internationalization Internationalization is ‘defined as a process of cross-border operations when a business firm headquatered in one country controls and influences the strategic decision making of atleast one affiliate in another country’ (Yeung). Latecomers progess by making use of existing international connections in Hong Leongs case they used mergers and takeovers in a process known as horizontal integration.
They linked with CDL and used the leverage of their financial sector to fund the hotel investments allowing the group to create their hospitality arm the London listed subsidiary Millenium and Copthorne Hotels plc which now operates over 120 hotels in 18 countries. M&C also signed a global strategic marketing alliance with Maritim Hotels which added another 49 hotels to the portfolio not inclusive of the eight management contracts announced that are to take place between 2009-2011. This clearly shows the rapid expansion that is so characteristic of a Dragon Multinational.
Organizational Innovation Mathews highlights that Dragon Multinationals from an organizational perspective ‘dispensed with conventional “international division” as they had a global perspective from the get go. This is true of Hong Leong Asia which is the trade and industry branch of the group. The roots of the Hong Leong Group from its inception were in the concrete industry and although slightly overshadowed by the property and finance sectors in past years Hong Leong Asia was successfully growing in the background.
The group has companies such as diesel engines companies, packaging companies and building materials companies that have merged via acquisition of stake holdings to create one single major manufacturing and distribution enterprise. This cluster of businesses that are hugely successful evolve in their individual specialities growing the company as a whole into one of the biggest integrated trade and industry groups in Asia.
Strategic Innovation Frequently mentioned in Mathews Theory is the idea of latecomers taking advantage of an already well established global network, tapping into this via alliances and mergers. This is the innovative strategy that is displayed brilliantly by the Hong Leong Group as both CDL and Hong Leong Asia used this method to propel them through the initial stages of internationalization straight to being globally expansive.
City Developments Limited linked with London’s Millennium & Copthorne and New Zealand’s Kingsgate and the Philippines Grand Plaza and know own and operate hotels in 18 countries and are currently expanding to The United Arab Emirates. Similarly Hong Leong Asia after acquiring several companies within Asia to become one of the biggest manufacturing companies in Singapore has linked with several subsidies on both the New York and Amsterdam Stock Exchange.
This is a prime example of how pioneering latecomer MNE’s from the periphery use linkage and leverage to take advantage of vast existing global networking. Factors influencing success of the group – OLI vs LLL Within Mathew’s theory one of the main factors that influences whether a company can be classified as a Dragon Multinational is whether it fits Dunnings OLI framework or whether it is better suited to the adapted LLL framework.
The original ‘ownership, location and internalization’ structure best describes the traditional MNE as it reaches global status by overcoming market malfunction with superior resource bases and overlooks the methods that form the basis of many modern MNE’s global success such as innovation and joint ventures etc. With acquisitions and joint ventures being the primary strategy of the Hong Leong Group their global expansion is definitely more in keeping with Mathew’s proposed ‘linkage, leverage, learning’ framework that picks up where the OLI framework left off, based on the international expansion of Dragon MNC’s.

Dragon Multinational

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The Eyes of the Dragon Essay

The Eyes of the Dragon Essay.
The novel’s title, The Eyes of the Dragon, holds great significance to the book. In the novel, King Roland, ruler of the city Delay, kills a dragon and promptly mounts It head on his bed room wall. King Reload’s son, Thomas, discovers he can spy on his father using the dead dragon’s eyes. By entering a secret room, next to King Reload’s chambers, Thomas can look through two peep holes which align with the eyes of the dragon. Thomas has never received his father’s attention. He is always overshadowed by his brother Peter.
When Thomas discovers he can spend time with and watch his father, albeit without his father’s knowing, Thomas Is greatly Intrigued. The title, The Eyes of the Dragon, is a symbol of how far Thomas Is willing to go to have any connection with his father. He is willing to spy and spend all his night in isolation Just to watch his father. The title and symbol also helps the reader understand how Thomas is damaged when he later sees his father murdered. 2. The Eyes of the Dragon is one of the few fantasy novels written by Stephen King. The novel revolves around fantasy elements such as kings, wizards, and dragons.
The novel also has a family genre as many of the conflicts revolve around disputes between sibling, Thomas and Peter. 3. The novel, The Eyes of the Dragon, is written in objective 3rd person. Stephen King is omniscient throughout the novel. He is able to tell the feelings of multiple characters throughout different chapters. In the novel, Stephen King consistently breaks away from the story, to provide his opinion on recent events in the story. When Thomas was first introduced to the story, Stephen King explained his unbiased reasoning on why readers may thing Thomas Is a villain, anti hero, or cacti. . The story takes place In the Kingdom of Delaine, a fictional kingdom, which resembles medieval folklore. Delaine is actually part of a much larger universe, In- Worlds, which contains many other of Stephen King’s novels. The kingdom of Delaine is similar to 15 century Europe. Due to this setting, the story lacks advanced technology that could have helped solve many problems. Peter, accused of killing his father, was sentenced to life Imprisonment based on 3 non eye-witness testimonies. Using modern day technology, the people of Delaine could have easily seen Peter was Innocent.

Since Delaine Is a medieval realm, the town people are all caste inside of a feudal system. This affects the people’s manner of living and shows how the common folk struggle in social hierarchy (farmers vs… Noblemen). Throughout the story, the farmers are forced to put up with higher and higher taxes given by the noblemen. Due to Detail’s fantasy setting, the kingdom has a rich history of dragons, wizards, wars, etc. Characters often reference these events later on. The setting Is extremely similar to medieval England.
Characters have a scalar dialect and tend to use Old English words: such as, ‘twats’ and its’. However, the dialect is spells certain differently. Is are consistently replaced with yes. For example, wife’ and Me’. Overall, the setting creates quite a calm atmosphere. The city of Delaine is functioning normally in the beginning. Townsfolk consistently state the city is too calm and problems are bound to come. After King Reload’s murder, the atmosphere becomes dreary and bleak as the townspeople are under consistent oppression by the new king poisons King Roland and frames Peter the murder.
This act put Peter in prison for life. This begins Pewter’s struggle of escaping prison, proving his innocence, and lamming his kingship. This also begins Flags opposing quest to bring chaos and destruction to the peaceful Delaine. These characters consistently clash throughout the story creating the main, person vs… Person, conflict. 6. There are many conflicts throughout the story. Unknown to Flag, when the wizards poisons the king, Thomas witnesses the event and later learns Peter, his older brother, is innocent. After Peter is Jailed, Thomas becomes King of Delaine.
Thomas is faced with the internal conflict of testifying Peters innocence and freeing him or keeping the throne, his one rise to name. This person vs.. Self-conflict causes Thomas much anxiety throughout the story. Peter also have a person vs.. World conflict after he is Jailed. The entire town now thinks he is a murderer. He is forced to free himself from the prison by himself and then prove his innocence to the towns people. There is a separate plot in the story of Ben Stead’s quest to free Peter. Ben Stead, Pewter’s sole remaining friend, goes to great lengths to help free Peter.
He must do so without the townspeople or noblemen finding out as they all believe Peter is murderer. Ben Stead also has a person vs… Ate conflict as his family has a curse of bad luck and ‘unfortunate stars’. Ben must try to break his family’s history and live a happy life. There is also a person vs… Person conflict in the social hierarchy. The townsfolk are consistently arguing with the noblemen over issues like taxes. This escalates to the formation of a rebel army that intends to take over Delaine. 7. After a climactic battle between Flag, the evil wizard, and Peter, Flag is shot with an arrow in his eye.
Mortally wounded, the wizard magically disappears before he can be apprehended. Since Flag is the source of has in Delaine, his disappearance leads to the removal of chaos. Without Flags interference, Peter is able to claim the kingdom of Delaine. He proceeds to lower taxes and solve disputes between the farmers and noblemen. Since Peter is now king, Ben breaks his family’s history of bad luck. He is now the closest person the most powerful person in the kingdom. Since Peter is now free Thomas is relieved of the guilt of knowing Pewter’s innocence. Part B 8.

The Eyes of the Dragon Essay

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Saint George And The Dragon

Saint George And The Dragon.
This oil painting on canvass was created in 1470 by Paolo Uccello (whose real name is Paolo di Dono), an Italian artist. The subject of the painting is the story of Saint George as he overpowers and slays the dragon that has been a menace and a fright to the citizens of the city. As Saint George kills the dragon, the Libyan Princess was saved. The painting illustrated a space that is 3-dimensonal. Uccello effectively applies his skill in linear perspective.
He has likewise decorated his pattern beautifully and colorfully. This can be clearly seen on the wings of the dragon. Using the canvas as a medium demonstrated the renaissance characteristic of the work of Uccello (which is the Italian word for “bird”), as he and his work belonged to that period of rebirth. Just like the way he has painted Saint George and the Dragon, the canvas vividly tells a story and thus a rational approach to the work.
The characters painted in the story are presented to be elegant, beautiful and graceful. The lighting that is illustrated in the painting is not real but created for purposes of highlighting the story and not necessarily the reality of how and when the story happened. Saint George and the Dragon’s linear perspective is a semblance of old Gothic technique in painting. The skill was a challenge that renaissance artists like Uccello faced.

He illustrated his paintings that convince “illusion of the way our world looks”. This then signified the temperament of artists in the Renaissance such as a sense of independence; the utilization of subjects of secular in nature as the object of the art; and the freedom of the individual style. Therefore, Paolo Uccello indeed illustrated in Saint George and the Dragon what is significant in the story as he emphasizes what is specific and at the same time, subtle ability of his imagination.

Saint George And The Dragon

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Mondragon Cooperative

Mondragon Cooperative.
The Mondragon cooperative is one of the few organizations which are successful despite the use of alternative systems of business. This organization has its foundations in the Catholic church and follows Catholic principles. It was created in 1956 when a Catholic priest inspired five engineers to start it. The organization has grown to have 60,000 employees and managers who are referred to as ‘worker owners’. It has grown to have over 140 cooperatives which earn about $8 billion each year.
Mondragon specializes in financial, retail and industrial operations which operate around Spain and other 12 countries worldwide. The cooperative also owns 34 facilities used for manufacturing and has three development and research centers. Mondragon also owns its bank, a university and healthcare facility. The priest who inspired its creation, Fr Arizmendiarrieta, still influences the operations of the cooperative, today, through his teachings. According to Spear and Defourny (2001), his role was that of a teacher as opposed to that of an administrator.
Occasionally, he played a direct role in the organization; he is the person who convinced the founders to start cooperative bank. This bank was founded in order to solve financing problems that occurred at the time. He combined the principles of Karl Marx and Adam Smith and used Catholic teachings and the utopian experiences of the 19th century to guide his students. Growth and change over the years. Mondragon is a worker owned and principle based organization that has an integrated a social and economic system that has accelerated growth and increased profitability for 45 years.

According to Christopher and Merrett (2004), the organization attempts to promote the Catholic principles through in-cooperating them in the organizational culture and operations. Mondragon participates in the global market and at the same time embodies the Catholic principles. The cooperative was developed over four phases; the first involved establishing a school, in 1943 by Fr Arizmendiarrieta. According to Errasti (2003), the second phase involved developing the initial cooperative, in 1956 and which led to an accelerated growth. The third involved the economic recession that began in 1979.
This recession increased the rate of unemployment to 25%. The last phase began in 1986 and involved the complete recovery of cooperatives. This involves positioning resources in a way that there is competition with the global market. Mondragon created about 15,000 jobs within the first 20 years of existence. Between 1976 and 1983, the growth rate of the cooperative superseded the growth rate of the industrial output of Spain by four times. During the recession in 1976, Mondragon created over 4000 jobs and ensured all its members had access to assistance or employment.
Mondragon’s growth was unique since unlike most of the other cooperatives that rely on service provision for growth, this cooperative grew using production that was highly organization and utilized modern technology. Today the cooperative employs over 50,000 workers in more than a hundred cooperatives throughout the world. In fact some people regard it as the cooperative network that is most successful in the world. How the concept fits in the modern society. The Mondragon approach shares various concepts that are present in the present society business environment.
The modern society has cooperatives and businesses that have the same principles that govern Mondragon. Such principles relate to the organizational culture, leadership, organizational structure, motivation, access to information, employee participation and among other principles. These principles and their effects in comparison to performance will be discussed below. In matters of organization structure, the cooperative is governed by managers chosen by a supervisory boards for a period of four years. The supervisory board has accountability to all members of the cooperative.
A social council is also elected and it deals with members’ concerns. It does not deal with them as co-owners but rather as workers, and also holds the social council accountable to it. The cooperatives are held together with secondary institutions, which makes them distinctive. The bank is the major secondary institution that serves this purpose and is one of the major financial institutions in Spain. This bank serves the cooperatives by providing planning assistance, expert advice as well as capital to them.
The bank serves an even more important role as it acts as Mondragon’s constitution. In terns of the organizational culture, Mondragon strives to focus on providing security of employees. It also involves them in decision making and participation at all levels. Mondragon motivates employees through providing a working environment that is comfortable, and also by bridging the gap between the highest and lowest earning employees. It also uses technology in most of its operations in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness of operations.
All these aspects are common in the modern business environment and they will be discussed in more detail when analyzing their impact on Mondragon’s operations. There are also several differences that distinguish Mondragon cooperative from other business organizations in the modern world. According to MacLeod (1997), the first relates to ownership and in Mondragon cooperative, in the first two years, every employee makes equal contributions in terms of equity. These contributions are derived from earnings and the benefits are enjoyed throughout their lifetime provided that they do not leave the organization.
This is because members are required to surrender their stake if they quit the organization. This is a different approach from the ordinary Western economies which are more limited in terms of employee stakes in the organizations. According to Simon (2001), the second difference regards compensation, and the ratio of the employees who receive the highest renumeration to those who receive the lowest renumeration, is 6:1. This ratio is much lesser than the ratio in the Western economies, which give employees in higher management levels, perks which separate them from junior employees.
Profits accrued from shares held by members are invested in the business until the time when the member will leave the organization. The wages paid to workers at the level of entry are determined by the prevailing wage rates at the time of entry. Effectiveness of Mondragon’s concept in the modern world. Mondragon ensures its workers participate in the running of the company and that the board is accountable to all workers. The cooperative also ensures that all workers are provided for with security and financial support in times of problems.
According to Babbie, (2001), this was evidenced during the recession where other organizations were undertaking job cuts, Mondragon was hiring employees and creating employment. During the recession, Mondragon also demonstrated genuine concern for its employees by ensuring that none suffered due to the economic situation. All these factors demonstrate that Mondagron values the welfare of its employees and that they are the best assets for the cooperative. This is a very important step in the modern world, since most organizations value technology at the expense of employees, forgetting that the same technology has to be controlled by humans.
When Mondagron takes care of the welfare of its human resource, the employees are motivated to achieve higher levels of output. Organizational culture is a very important factor that plays a role in determining whether organizations achieve their goals and objectives. Employees derive their motivation and positive perception of the workplace from organizational culture. Mondragon operates in such a way that employees are part of the process and are involved in decision making. Employees also hold a stake in the organization through equity that members hold.
This provides a sense of responsibility and accountability since the employees understand that if they perform below their optimum output levels, this will also affect them since they own part of the organization. This enables the employees to work hard so that they can achieve the goals of the organization. The end result is better performance by Mondragon. According to Macleod (1997), Mondragon also ensures that the employees have access to information which is important in the modern world which is constantly changing. This is done through employee participation in all aspects of the organization including decision making.
Access to information helps employees make informed decisions. It also prevents delay in making crucial decisions thereby improving efficiency and thus the overall performance of the organizations. Mondragon uses high levels of technology, which has assisted in increasing the sales revenues of the organization. This is contrary to most cooperatives which are resistant to technology. Since the roots of the cooperative movements can be traced to craftsmen’s guilds, the resistance to technology can be linked to resistance of industrialization.
Mondragon on the other hand has realized the importance of technology in the modern economy. For instance, the largest Mondragon cooperative, FAGOR, is reputed to operate the most automated refrigeration assembly line in Spain. In fact, the machines are so sophisticated that they can manufacture four models of refrigerators simultaneously. Another cooperative that belongs to Mondragon, EROSKI, possesses forklifts that are computer driven. This shows that Mondragon has appreciated the value of technology that is important for any organization in the modern world, for survival.
This makes Mondragon relevant in today’s economy. Social class conflict. According to Mugisho (2007), most cooperatives make the mistake of assuming that once there is democracy in the organization, the workers will be motivated and will perform at their optimal output levels. This is one failure of capitalism in the modern world and can be seen in the amounts of overhead incurred when dealing with stress, absenteeism, productivity, motivation among other problems for employees. Mondragon minimizes class conflict through its leadership style, which makes all employees perceive each other as equals.
According to a research conducted by Whyte and Whyte (2001), 45% of employees did not see any division in terms of social classes and only 18% saw it. This means that social conflict levels are lower as opposed to most cooperatives in the modern world. Such cooperatives insist on giving senior managers perks that make junior employees despise them. Mondragon, on the other hand operates with the interest of all the employees in totality. It emphasizes on the security of employees and rewards members with financial security.
The renumeration gap between the highest paid and lowest paid workers is regulated and remains at 6:1 ratio, which motivates the employees earning lower salaries. However, it must be pointed out that this strategy of rewarding employees with financial benefits has been known to provide short term motivation (Salacuse, 2005). Other methods such as praising employees for good performance or even a pat on the back has been known to elicit higher levels of motivation. Leadership style. The priest who inspired the founders of Mondragon, Father Arizmendiarrieta, was a charismatic leader who inspired many people to join the cooperative.
He was also seen to be a hands-on type of leader, since he is the person who advised the founders of Mondragon to form the cooperative bank. This is a lesson to the leaders of the modern cooperatives and organizations, that success of any company requires leaders who participate in the running of the companies or organizations. Leaders should not merely delegate responsibilities to junior employees, but they should instead participate in the day to day operations and motivate employees since that is one reason that ensured the success of Mondragon.
Conclusion. Father Arizmendiarrieta demonstrated that inspiration can make people achieve big things. He inspired five young men to start a Mondragon which has changed the lives of millions of people worldwide. Mondragon has also shown the importance of motivating employees and considering them the most important assets for a business. According to Michael (1997), this organization has done this through illustrating the support it gave employees during the recession, which increased their motivation to work for it and thereby achieve its objectives.
The organization has also demonstrated the importance of treating employees equally and reducing the gap between the most paid and least paid employees. This has been seen to minimize social conflict and lead to an optimal working environment. The value of technology has also been demonstrated and explained to be among the most important factors that have led to the success of Mondragon. It has an organizational structure and culture that should be emulated by modern cooperatives and organizations. The model used by Mondragon has been seen to be even better than some of the modern models of business ion the capitalist society.
Other cooperatives and organizations should emulate the example set by Mondragon in order to achieve the level of success that it has set over the last fifty years. References. Babbie, E. R. , (2001). The Practice of Social Research. Washington: Wadsworth Thomson Learning. Christopher D. , Merrett, N. (2004). Cooperatives and Local Development: Theory and Applications. Washington: M. E. Sharpe. Errasti, A. M. (2003). The internalization of cooperatives. Journal of Public and Cooperative Economics. New York: Blackwell Stnergy. MacLeod, G. (1997). From Mondragon to America: Experiments in Community Economic
Development. Spain: Cape Breton University Press. Mugisho, R. (2007). The power inside you. New York: Author House. Michael, G. (1997). International cooperative development. Retrieved on November 11, 2008 from ;books. google. com;. Salacuse, J. W. (2005). Leading leaders: how to manage smart, talented, rich, and powerful people. Washington: AMA COM div American management Association. Simon, W. H. (2001). The Community Economic Development Movement: Law, Business, and the New Social Policy. North Carolina: Duke University Press. Spear, R. , Defourny, J. (2001). Tackling social exclusion in Europe. Retr

Mondragon Cooperative

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The Roaring Dragon Hotel

The Roaring Dragon Hotel.
Introduction: According to Grainger (2008), “The Roaring Dragon Hotel is one of the three start hotels in south-west China and it is a state owned enterprise “(p.1).
Background: Potential of the Roaring Dragon Hotel is not recognized and provisional government decides that Roaring Dragon Hotel requires modernization (Grainger, 2008). According to Grainger (2008), “The organizational culture was relaxed with many employees managing to find time to read newspapers, drink tea and some managers even conducting private business and leaving the premises during working hours”(p.1).
Problem: According to Grainger (2008), “The challenge was to transform a large group of relaxed family based employees, working under an ad-hoc management style, into a professional group of dynamic employees operating within a structured international organizational culture”(p.2). There are huge modifications in Roaring Dragon Hotel’s organizational culture and number one guanxi holder is going to work with opposite competitor (Grainger, 2008).

Opportunity: The contract between Chinese provincial governments and Hotel international would have been worked if all the problems have been solved and Roaring Dragon Hotel can be named as Hotel International Roaring Dragon Hotel (Grainger, 2008).
Recommendations: According to FakhrElDin (2011), Cultural Intelligence is very important to any multinational company and it is a significant factor for employee in the international hotel, training to improve Culture intelligence is needed in this sector. Internal communication is the first relationship to organization and for strong relationship they should be assigned with rules and responsibilities (Abdullah & Antony, 2012).
Conclusion: Organizational culture and relationship between international manager and employees is important.

The Roaring Dragon Hotel

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Streams of Silver 22. The Dragon of Darkness

Streams of Silver 22. The Dragon of Darkness.
At the heart of the lower levels, in an immense cavern of uneven and twisting walls pocketed with deep shadows, and a ceiling too high for the light of the brightest fire to find, rested the present ruler of Mithril Hall, perched upon a solid pedestal of the purest mithril that rose from a high and wide mound of coins and jewelry, goblets and weapons, and countless other items pounded from the rough blocks of mithril by the skilled hands of dwarven craftsmen.
Dark shapes surrounded the beast, huge dogs from its own world, obedient, long-lived, and hungry for the meat of human or elf, or anything else that would give them the pleasure of their gory sport before the kill.
Shimmergloom was not now amused. Rumblings from above foretold of intruders, and a band of Duergar spoke of murdered kin in the tunnels and whispered rumors that a drow elf had been seen.

The dragon was not of this world. It had come from the Plane of Shadows, a dark image of the lighted world, unknown to the dwellers here except in the less substantial stuff of their blackest nightmares. Shimmergloom had been of considerable standing there, old even then, and in high regard among its dragon kin that ruled the plane. But when the foolish and greedy dwarves that once inhabited these mines had delved into deep holes of sufficient darkness to open a gate to its plane, the dragon had been quick to come through. Now possessing a treasure tenfold beyond the greatest of its own plane, Shimmergloom had no intentions of returning.
It would deal with the intruders.
For the first time since the routing of Clan Battlehammer, the baying of the shadow hounds filled the tunnels, striking dread even into the hearts of their gray dwarf handlers. The dragon sent them west on their mission, up toward the tunnels around the entry hall in Keeper’s Dale, where the companions had first entered the complex. With their powerful maws and incredible stealth, the hounds were indeed a deadly force, but their mission now was not to catch and kill – only to herd.
In the first fight for Mithril Hall, Shimmergloom alone had routed the miners in the lower caverns and in some of the huge chambers on the eastern end of the upper level. But final victory had escaped the dragon, for the end had come in the western corridors, too tight for its scaly bulk.
The beast would not miss the glory again. It set its minions in motion, to drive whoever or whatever had come into the halls toward the only entrance that it had to the upper levels: Garumn’s Gorge.
Shimmergloom stretched to the limit of its height and unfolded its leathery wings for the first time in nearly two hundred years, blackness flowing out under them as they extended to the sides. Those Duergar who had remained in the throne room fell to their knees at the sight of their rising lord, partly in respect, but mostly in fear.
The dragon was gone, gliding down a secret tunnel at the back of the chamber, to where it had once known glory, the place its minions had named Shimmergloom’s Run in praise of their lord.
A blur of indistinguishable darkness, it moved as silently as the cloud of blackness that followed.
* * *
Wulfgar worried just how low he would be crouching by the time they reached Garumn’s Gorge, for the tunnels became dwarven sized as they neared the eastern end of the upper level. Bruenor knew this as a good sign, the only tunnels in the complex with ceilings below the six foot mark were those of the deepest mines and those crafted for defense of the gorge.
Faster than Bruenor had hoped, they came upon the secret door to a smaller tunnel breaking off to the left, a spot familiar to the dwarf even after his two-century absence. He ran his hand across the unremarkable wall beneath the torch and its telltale red sconce, searching for the brailed pattern that would lead his fingers to the precise spot. He found one triangle, then another, and followed their lines to the central point, the bottommost point in the valley between the peaks of the twin-mountains that they signified, the symbol of Dumathoin, the Keeper of Secrets Under the Mountain. Bruenor pushed with a single finger, and the wall fell away, opening yet another low tunnel. No light came from this one, but a hollow sound, like the wind across a rock face, greeted them.
Bruenor winked at them knowingly and started right in, but slowed when he saw the runes and sculpted reliefs carved into the walls. All along the passage, on every surface, dwarven artisans had left their mark. Bruenor swelled with pride, despite his depression, when he saw the admiring expressions upon his friends’ faces.
A few turns later they came upon a portcullis, lowered and rusted, and beyond it saw the wideness of another huge cavern.
“Garumn’s Gorge,” Bruenor proclaimed, moving up to the iron bars. “‘Tis said ye can throw a torch off the rim and it’ll burn out afore ever it hits.”
Four sets of eyes looked through the gate in wonder. If the journey through Mithril Hall had been a disappointment to them, for they had not yet seen the grander sights Bruenor had often told them of, the sight before them now made up for it. They had reached Garumn’s Gorge, though it seemed more a full-sized canyon than a gorge, pning hundreds of feet across and stretching beyond the limits of their sight. They were above the floor of the chamber, with a stairway running down to the right on the other site of the portcullis. Straining to poke as much of their heads as they could through the bars, they could see the light of another room at the base of the stairs, and hear clearly the ruckus of several Duergar.
To the left, the wall arced around to the edge, though the chasm continued on beyond the bordering wall of the cavern. A single bridge pned the break, an ancient work of stone fitted so perfectly that its slight arch could still support an army of the hugest mountain giants.
Bruenor studied the bridge carefully, noting that something about its understructure did not seem quite right. He followed the line of a cable across the chasm, figuring it to continue under the stone flooring and connect to a large lever sticking up from a more recently constructed platform across the way. Two Duergar sentries milled about the lever, though their lax attitude spoke of countless days of boredom.
“They’ve rigged the thing to fall!” Bruenor snorted.
The others immediately understood what he was talking about. “Is there another way across, then?” Catti-brie asked.
“Aye,” replied the dwarf. “A ledge to the south end of the gorge. But hours o’ walking, and the only way to it is through this cavern!”
Wulfgar grasped the iron bars of the portcullis and tested them. They held fast, as he suspected. “We could not get through these bars, anyway,” he put in. “Unless you know where we might find their crank.”
“Half a day’s walking,” Bruenor replied, as though the answer, perfectly logical to the mindset of a dwarf protecting his treasures, should have been obvious. “The other way.”
“Fretful folk,” Regis said under his breath.
Catching the remark, Bruenor growled and grabbed Regis by the collar, hoisting him from the ground and pressing their faces together. “Me people are a careful lot,” he snarled, his own frustration and confusion boiling out again in his misdirected rage. “We like to keep what’s our own to keep, especially from little thieves with little fingers and big mouths.”
“Suren there’s another way in,” Catti-brie reasoned, quick to diffuse the confrontation.
Bruenor dropped the halfling to the floor. “We can get to that room,” he replied, indicating the lighted area at the base of the stairs.
“Then let’s be quick,” Catti-brie demanded. “If the noise of the cave-in called out alarms, the word might not have reached this far.”
Bruenor led them back down the small tunnel swiftly, and back to the corridor behind the secret door.
Around the next bend in the main corridor, its walls, too, showing the runes and sculpted reliefs of the dwarven craftsmen, Bruenor was again engulfed in the wonder of his heritage and quickly lost all thoughts of anger at Regis. He heard again in his mind the ringing of hammers in Garumn’s day, and the singing of common gatherings. If the foulness that they had found here, and the loss of Drizzt, had tempered his fervent desire to reclaim Mithril Hall, the vivid recollections that assaulted him as he moved along this corridor worked to refuel those fires.
Perhaps he would return with his army, he thought. Perhaps the mithril would again ring out in the smithies of Clan Battlehammer.
Thoughts of regaining his people’s glory suddenly rekindled, Bruenor looked around to his friends, tired, hungry, and grieving for the drow, and reminded himself that the mission before him now was to escape the complex and get them back to safety.
A more intense glow ahead signaled the end of the tunnel. Bruenor slowed their pace and crept along to the exit cautiously. Again the companions found themselves on a stone balcony, overlooking yet another corridor, a huge passageway, nearly a chamber in itself, with a high ceiling and decorated walls. Torches burned every few feet along both sides, running parallel below them.
A lump welled in Bruenor’s throat when he looked upon the carvings lining the opposite wall across the way, great sculpted bas reliefs of Garumn and Bangor, and of all the patriarchs of Clan Battlehammer. He wondered, and not for the first time, if his own bust would ever take its place alongside his ancestors’.
“Half-a-dozen to ten, I make them,” Catti-brie whispered, more intent on the clamor rolling out of a partly opened door down to the left, the room they had seen from their perch in the chamber of the gorge. The companions were fully twenty feet above the floor of the larger corridor. To the right, a stairway descended to the floor, and beyond it the tunnel wound its way back into the great halls.
“Side rooms where others might be hiding?” Wulfgar asked Bruenor.
The dwarf shook his head. “One anteroom there be, and only one,” he answered. “But more rooms lay within the cavern of Garumn’s Gorge. Whether they be filled with gray ones or no, we cannot know. But no mind to them; we’re to get through this room, and through the door across its way to come to the gorge.”
Wulfgar slapped his hammer into a fighting grip. “Then let us go,” he growled, starting for the stair.
“What about the two in the cavern beyond?” asked Regis, staying the anxious warrior with his hand.
“They’ll drop the bridge afore we ever make the gorge,” added Catti-brie.
Bruenor scratched his beard, then looked to his daughter. “How well do ye shoot?” he asked her.
Catti-brie held the magical bow out before her. “Well enough to take the likes of two sentries!” she answered.
“Back to th’ other tunnel with ye,” said Bruenor. “At first sound of battle, take ’em out. And be fast, girl; the cowardly scum’re likely to drop the bridge at the first signs of trouble!”
With a nod, she was gone. Wulfgar watched her disappear back down the corridor, not so determined to have this fight now, without knowing that Catti-brie would be safe behind him. “What if the gray ones have reinforcements near?” he asked Bruenor. “What of Catti-brie? She will be blocked from returning to us.”
“No whinin’, boy!” Bruenor snapped, also uncomfortable with his decision to separate. “Y’er heart’s for her is me guess, though ye aren’t to admit it to yerself. Keep in yer head that Cat’s a fighter, trained by meself. The other tunnel’s safe enough, still secret from the gray ones by all the signs I could find. The girl’s battle-smart to taking care of herself! So put yer thoughts to the fight before ye. The best ye can do for her is to finish these gray-bearded dogs too quick for their kin to come!”
It took some effort, but Wulfgar tore his eyes away from the corridor and refocused his gaze on the open door below, readying himself for the task at hand.
Alone now, Catti-brie quietly trotted back the short distance down the corridor and disappeared through the secret door.
* * *
“Hold!” Sydney commanded Bok, and she, too, froze in her tracks, sensing that someone was just ahead. She crept forward, the golem on her heel, and peeked around the next turn in the tunnel, expecting that she had come up on the companions. There was only empty corridor in front of her.
The secret door had closed.
* * *
Wulfgar took a deep breath and measured the odds. If Catti-brie’s estimate was correct, he and Bruenor would be outnumbered several times when they burst through the door. He knew that they had no options open before them. With another breath to steady himself, he started again down the stairs, Bruenor moving on his cue and Regis following tentatively behind.
The barbarian never slowed his long strides, or turned from the straightest path to the door, yet the first sounds that they all heard were not the thumps of Aegis-fang or the barbarian’s customary war cry to Tempos, but the battle song of Bruenor Battlehammer.
This was his homeland and his fight, and the dwarf placed the responsibility for the safety of his companions squarely upon his own shoulders. He dashed by Wulfgar when they reached the bottom of the stairs and crashed through the door, the mithril axe of his heroic namesake raised before him.
“This one’s for me father!” he cried, splitting the shining helm of the closest Duergar with a single stroke. “This one’s for me father’s father!” he yelled, felling the second. “And this one’s for me father’s father’s father!”
Bruenor’s ancestral line was long indeed. The gray dwarves never had a chance.
Wulfgar had started his charge right after he realized Bruenor was rushing by him, but by the time he got into the room, three Duergar lay dead and the furious Bruenor was about to drop the fourth. Six others scrambled around trying to recover from the savage assault, and mostly trying to get out the other door and into the cavern of the gorge where they could regroup. Wulfgar hurled Aegis-fang – and took another, and Bruenor pounced upon his fifth victim before the gray dwarf got through the portal.
Across the gorge, the two sentries heard the start of battle at the same time as Catti-brie, but not understanding what was happening, they hesitated.
Catti-brie didn’t.
A streak of silver flashed across the chasm, exploding into the chest of one of the sentries, its powerful magic blasting through his mithril armor and hurling him back ward into death.
The second lunged immediately for the lever, but Catti-brie coolly completed her business. The second streaking arrow took him in the eye.

Streams of Silver 22. The Dragon of Darkness

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Dragon

The Dragon Creature as Fairy Tail Creature

The Dragon Creature as Fairy Tail Creature.
Dragons, for example, are usually giant fearless creatures that destroy anything and everything in their way. They capture maidens, kill knights and possess extraordinary confidence, but the dragon in this poem shows none of those characteristics. The majority of his section is filled with complaints about his portrayal in the painting. like the angle he was painted at, and he is upset that two of his feet weren’t in the painting. He also has no interest in the maiden that he has captured, he actually finds her quite ugly. All he is worrying about is what people are going to think of him, when usually a dragon wouldn’t care, all they want to do is kill, and capture, but this dragon shows little confidence or interest in those tasks.
Traditionally maidens are supposed to be pure at heart and pure at mind, but this maiden is in no way like that. She is very much attracted to the dragon who has captured her and she has no interest in being rescued, by the possibly ugly knight. Her lust towards that dragon is very strong, and her supposed “pure” mind is actually quite dirty. Unfortunately, her little crush must end because the dragon was defeated, which meant she might as well run off with the Knight who “saved” her, because she needs to think about her future.
The knight in this story cares little about the maiden he is saving and more about his credibility as a Knight. He has all the latest horse, and weapons, and he is the most qualified to slay the dragon. He wants to finish the job that was assigned to him and he doesn’t understand why this maiden won’t just get out of his way so he can rescue her and add another achievement to his already stacked resume. He portrays a more modern mind then the customary knight, and work is most important to him. Each speaker from each section is showing a different side, then readers would usually see or expect, and the sides they are showing are pretty unpleasant which is why the poem is called “Not My Best Side”. There is also humor added to the usually serious love story.

the dragon, unlike it’s mythological counterpart has quite a sophisticated vocabulary, use of adjectives like ‘ostentatiously beardless’ and the idiom ‘old chap’ suggests an intelligent, well spoken, stereotypical British, Upper Class gentleman, the antithesis of a ferocious monster. The line ‘Not my best side, I’m afraid.’, reveals the dragon’s self conciousness and obsession with appearance, a reocurring theme.
The nouns ‘artist’ and ‘pose’ indicate the poem is about a character in a painting and the dragon is highly critical of both the painter, ‘Poor chap, he had this obsession with Triangles, so he left off two of my Feet.’ and the other characters, ‘Why should my victim be so Unattractive as to be inedible,’. It is the comical and conversational tone that makes the dragon so likeable and lots of rhetorical questions draw the reader in, particularly ‘(What, after all, are two feet To a monster?)’ which, enclosed in brackets gives the impression the dragon is addressing the reader directly.
Continuing the pattern of reversing the stereotypes, the girl is presented as a slightly feminist, with a mind of her own, ‘It’s hard for a girl to be sure if She wants to be rescued.’, not the….

The Dragon Creature as Fairy Tail Creature

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Approximately 250 words

Total price (USD) $: 10.99