Beaufort Scales appeared as a result of a mis-read tweet, and an odd conversation with my dad. Neither of these things are unusual occurrences, but the end result was a most unusual dragon.
Beaufort is the High Lord of the Cloverly dragons, a clan that has survived into modern times due to being of a relatively small size (Beaufort himself is rather massive by their standards – at least as tall as a Shetland pony), and to the fact that their High Lord understands the value of discretion. Seeing his predecessor, High Lord Catherine, slaughtered by St George certainly went a long way towards convincing him that a quiet life was best.
In these modern times, however, old dragons must adapt or fade away. And while Beaufort did rather fancy the idea of a quiet retirement, High Lords don’t have that option. Once a High Lord, always a High Lord. And things do get quite boring in the caverns, with just other dragons to talk to, and the occasional dwarf to bicker with. So when young Mortimer starts coming up with some rather new-fangled ideas, Beaufort decides there’s quite a lot left to learn in this old world after all…
Read on! Oldest stories are at the top of the page, newest at the bottom.
“Humans treasure all manner of strange things. Favourite mugs, and shoes, and old teddy bears. It doesn’t make them treasure.” A fact he’d had to explain rather forcefully to Cedric when he’d brought that teddy bear in.
How could he have known that Beaufort Scales, High Lord of the Cloverly dragons, veteran of a hundred battles, survivor of the rise of the humans, remnant of the days when the Old Folk walked the earth, upholder of tradition and protector of the clan, would, in fact, adore all things new and unusual, and the shinier the better.
There was an imperative tap on the front door, echoing across the empty hall and swelling as it dived into the back room to meet them. It was the sort of tap you imagine being made by the kind of person that carries a cane, and maybe even wears a monocle. The sort of person that isn’t used to being ignored and probably says things like “jolly good” a lot.
“Beaufort, this is an emergency meeting,” Miriam said. Again. “There won’t be any time for stories and cake. I imagine it’s about the vicar.”
“Beaufort, we can’t just walk into the rectory -” but the old dragon was already vanishing through the door that led deeper into the house, so Mortimer groaned and followed, wiping his feet on the mat as he went. Dragon footprints in the kitchen weren’t going to help anyone.
The front door was creaking open even as he spoke, bringing the sound of voices with it, and the two dragons plunged under the dining room table for the second time that day. Miriam briefly considered trying to join them, but it wasn’t a very big table, and even small dragons take up a lot of space.
She went to the front door, wiping her hands on a cloth, and opened it to find the detective inspector waving a dead rabbit at her. She flinched back with a little cry of alarm.
“You have to want to see dragons,” Beaufort said. “And to some people, dragons are quite unacceptable.”
“Scandalous,” Alice said, and offered her scone to the old dragon.
His shoulders were hunched up to his ears and his tail was a flat line of misery, while Amelia’s waving grew ever more enthusiastic.
Gilbert ran out of boulder and ploughed nose first into the rocky ground.
“Oh dear,” she said softly, as the creature rounded the corner and passed out of sight. “What on earth has gone on here?” Because, just as when confronted with dragons, there’s no use denying the evidence in front of you.
The creature lumbering into town was the snowrhino.