The Halflings And The Dragon: An Allegory On The South China Sea Debacle


Once upon a time, there was a kith of halflings that lived near the sea. They were close allies with the men of the Freelands and as such were usually well-protected from their enemies. Unfortunately, one could also say that they were spoiled by the men of the Freelands and they cared more about doing what they wanted than paying attention to what was happening around them and their small community. They cared little for what happened outside their little village as they always believed that the men of the Freelands would always take care of their problems for them.

Then, one day, a group of adventurous dwarf treasure hunters came to visit them. Asides from coming over to enjoy their food and drink, the dwarves came to warn the halflings of impending danger. Apparently, on an island in the sea not far from where the halflings lived, the dwarves had found a red dragon’s egg. Red dragons were probably one of the most dangerous creatures in the land and could easily destroy cities if allowed to mature. Thankfully however, it was only an egg they found and not a fully mature dragon. The dwarves offered the halflings two options they could use with the situation at hand: Take the egg and raise the dragon hatches that from it so that they can have a red dragon ally which is very handy to have along with their alliance with the men of the Freelands. The other, of course, would be to help the dwarves break the egg and turn it into an omelette which the dwarves considered a delicacy of sorts.

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In the end however, the halflings chose neither option. At the time they were too preoccupied by Manus the Pugilist, a halfling with a rare skill for boxing and could easily take down brawlers of other races including that of giants and ogres. They ignored and quickly forgot the dwarves’ warning about the red dragon’s egg and just paid attention to the various bouts that Manus the Pugilist participated in, never realizing the potential danger that awaited them and, even if some of them did, they simply rationalized that the men of the Freelands would take care of it for them.

Then, the time came when the men of the Freelands had to go to war with the race of jinn which had infiltrated their very society and threatened their civilization. The halflings near the sea didn’t even bother to tell the men of the Freelands of the red dragon’s egg because they thought the latter would know enough about the problem to take care of it themselves. But while the men of the Freelands knew about the red dragon’s egg, their war with the jinn was their primary concern and thought that the halflings could at least take care of the problem themselves.

One day, the red dragon’s egg hatched and out came a baby red dragon, breathing fire and beating its small, flightless wings. It wasn’t able to fly yet but it’s ability to breathe fire was certainly a danger to those who encountered it on the island it lived on. At the though, a band of civilized and somewhat friendly orcs met the beast and went immediately to the halflings to tell them of what could be done. While civil and kind, the band of orcs were still warriors at heart and had fought their own share of wars throughout their history. Like the dwarves, the orcs presented the halflings with two options: Fight the dragon and drive it off to a different island further from the halflings or feed the dragon and attempt to tame it so that they could have a red dragon ally.

Again, however, the halflings decided on neither option. They were too taken in by a new halfling couple Poro and Dayla whom they collectively called “Poday” and cared little for the ill news that the orcs brought them. They cared little for the baby red dragon now terrorizing those who went near its island and simply focused on “Poday” whom became the center of their lives. They even prepared a lavish wedding for the couple and spent a whole week merrymaking for them that they depleted much of their food stores and other resources. When the orcs called out the halflings on their apathetic behavior, the halflings quickly rebuked and insulted them by calling them uncouth barbarians who would never find happiness because they cared little for couples like “Poday”.

While the halflings were off celebrating “Poday” and quickly leading themselves to bankruptcy through their wanton feasting, the war between the men of the Freelands and the jinn intensified and the former became increasingly paranoid. Of course, while they knew about the baby dragon that now lived on the island near the halfings, they could do little about it as the jinn never spared them any mercy or leeway. Still, despite knowing that the men of the Freelands were at war, the halflings near the sea still believed that the former would take care of their problems for them.

Finally, the day came when a cabal of elves approached the halflings and told them that the baby red dragon had finally matured into an adult red dragon. It was now both fully grown and dangerous. Not only was it large, powerful and capable of breathing fire, it was also now able to fly, meaning it could attack the halflings from the air with impunity. Like the dwarves and orcs, the elves also offered the halflings two options: Drive off the dragon with the help of all the other races or strike a bargain with the dragon that can mutually benefit both parties.

For the third time, the halflings chose neither. Their god-king Nonoi insulted the red dragon instead and threatened it that the men of the Freelands would come kill it. He also didn’t bother working with the other races as he saw them as beneath halflings in general and that it was they, the sprites, the goblins and trolls who should contact them first. While certainly foolhardy, it should be noted that halflings choose their god-kings and god-queens and that god-king Nonoi’s foolishness could be attributed to the halflings who put him into power in the first place.

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