…the dragon leapeth upon the gorilla…
January 27, 2011
I love editing. Fortunately that is the case, because “the homestretch” for finishing the Fire in the Jungle fantasy RPG supplement is taking longer than expected. The best thing about editing is that the cutting and rewriting creates space for additional things in the book…which then necessitates another round of editing.
Here is a bit that I’ve cut from the “Rumors and Legends” section of the book:
“Between gorilla and dragon is everlasting fighting, for the dragon with his tail bindeth and spanneth the gorilla, and the gorilla with his arms and with his jaws throweth down the dragon, and the dragon bindeth and spanneth the gorilla’s legs, and maketh him fall, but the dragon buyeth it full sore: for while he slayeth the gorilla, the gorilla falleth upon him and slayeth him. Also the gorilla seeing the dragon upon a tree, busieth him to break the tree to smite the dragon, and the dragon leapeth upon the gorilla, and busieth him to bite him between the nostrils, and assaileth the gorilla’s eyes, and maketh him blind sometime, and leapeth upon him sometime behind, and biteth him and sucketh his blood. And at the last after long fighting the gorilla waxeth feeble for great blindness, in so much that he falleth upon the dragon, and slayeth in his dying the dragon that him slayeth. The cause why the dragon desireth his blood, is coldness of the gorilla’s blood, by the which the dragon desireth to cool himself.”
It gives a flavorful slice of the mythic history of the jungle. I cut it because it’s rather wordy and long without saying much beyond “they fought”, and because it is so obviously a copy of a description of dragons and elephants by Bartholomaeus Anglicus from the 13th century. Plus, there are other descriptions in the book that hint at the ancient rivalry between gorillas and dragons.