Tell me a story of a dragon and a man..
Now Gregor cut through the water like a knife, plunging cleanly down towards the dark behomoth of the ship that had shattered itself. The waves slammed on the border where the cliff met water, like the quick opening and closing of a door; but he heard that for moments only, and already he was kicking his way downwards towards the slimed wood. The water pushed on him and currents pulled insistently, but Gregor had learned the waters for seven years and knew well enough the ways to avoid these. A jagged wound was opened in the ship's side and for this he made.
The wreck was fresh, not yet choked with weeds and reeds and deadly crawling things, and so Gregor was easily into the hold. And scattered across the flooded room were treasures that at any other time he might covet: but mostly this ship had carried silks and spices, and these things could not be brought up pristine to the surface again - so there was nothing to tempt him away from his errand. Now Gregor had a father who had sailed, and though this father had not bound a dragon to his ship, the old man knew what the holding jars looked like; and so Gregor knew too. And for this he made: a heavy round clay jar glazed rich crimson, and painted with the sigil of a sea dragon - a long sinuous body, whiskers whipping, foaming and frilling with spines and fine gills in every direction. It was sealed up tight and in it Gregor knew that the heart would be held, soaked in fine alcohol and kept safe so the dragon couldn't steal it back. He put his arms around it, and he would never know how he did it - but somehow he came to the surface with the jar still snug in his arms. He held it more tenderly than he would have held his own child, and turned on his back to kick towards the fine white-sand beach.
And no sooner had he staggered through the pummeling waves onto the shore when the dragon stood before him, straight as a lighthouse, her face open and beaming. She held out her pale thin hands to recieve her heart - but Gregor, he already had plans of his own.
He held the jar warmly, up close to his heart. "Not for you, this," he said. "You're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, I swear. You're too beautiful to go back into the sea, never to be seen again. I want you to marry me, and I'll love you more than jewels, or silks, or fine riches."
And the woman's face crushed and fell, until she looked as cold and dead as a bloated corpse just fished from the drink. "Fool," she said. "Fool once, and fool again - I am not human, fool, and however you may love me I will never love you in return, and holding me to the land will bring you nothing but sorrow."
But Gregor looked only into her rich grey eyes, and he felt nothing of sadness or trepedition - only a scalding heat running just below his skin. "While I hold you heart, you must obey me," he said - and that was true. "And there is nothing I want more now than for you to stay with me. Won't you tell me your name?"
"Alande," she said, and looked out compulsively towards the sea. And this was the start of a grief like nothing Gregor had ever known.