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No Graceful Way to Lay an Egg

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"There's no graceful way to lay an egg," is a draconic proverb that entered the human lexicon during the second captivity. Dragons are famous for their pride and their magic, but in spite of each, they still have natural bodily processes. Pride can become ridiculous in itself when applied wrong. To say that there's no graceful way to lay an egg is to acknowledge these things and counsel patience. Tolerate what must be tolerated along the path to your goals.

 

Dragons being what they are, it's a miracle that the phrase was ever recorded. Any human caught uttering a phrase that by its nature implied the imperfection of dragons would surely have been punished. Nor did the existence of the proverb do anything to halt efforts at presenting a divinely perfect facade. One of the recorded usages of the proverb has it as an insult that triggers a feud!

 

As much as it was a miracle that the phrase survived the captivity itself, it is no miracle at all that it was retained thereafter. What it lacks in obvious applications as a human proverb, it gains in rude mockery of the dragons. "Look, they are but creatures, with all the indignities that implies!" Some scholars have made the claim that the proverb and its supposed usages were fabricated out of whole cloth. The evidence has been faked well if so, but the claim remains plausible. Would a dragon ever say such a thing?

 

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The above is just an idea I had. It seemed of appropriate length to be a lore.

 

For personal reasons, I cannot equate draconic and demonic. I see dragons in Academagia lore as an arrogant slaver culture rather than as a magical alien threat. I suspect they're no more evil than human slavers would have been had they had mind-controlling magics[1]. The fact that each side treats the other as wholly lacking in moral value and agency is no evidence at all. Humans depersonify each other regularly when they're in conflict in spite of blatant physical similarity. Compared to that, it's downright natural that humans and dragons should regard one another as beasts and mosquitoes, mutually meaning monsters to be managed or mangled[2]. What's clear, and what provides compelling evidence to me that moral agency is in play on both sides, is that each side has brilliant minds working for it.

 

[1]Key to note is that magical superiority in this setting provides not just direct control, but also a means to render trusted communication impossible. Everything that is heard, said, or even thought can be made suspect. Given these advantages, it is so trivial to break someone that it could be done accidentally. There is nothing about this process that is dragon-unique. There may have been (forgotten?) mage-slavers in the setting who were every bit as depraved as the dragons.

[2]Alliteration ails an assertion, alas!

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