The Guardian of the Rose

Long ago, not long after the genies had gotten the species that were to inhabit the world of Rosca situated, that the peoples sent out explorers to find out more about their world. Representing the flowery pixie was Lilabeth, a vivacious young lady with black hair, silver-blue eyes, and a lilac flower between her shoulder blades. For the bee-like melissae, young but wise Dapis was chosen for the excursion. And for the encantadoe, the dolphin-shifters, the dark-haired, grey-eyed Delphora was elected to represent them. Before being sent out on their errand, the three were given the right, and several ideas, to name landscapes, rivers, animals, and plants. With the newly invented written language to help them and several scrolls made from animal skin, the three set out to explore the new world.

They mapped every detail they encountered on their journey, and described every creature and plant they named. They  soon came to learn that the grass of Rosca was primarily a mint green. that the mountains were a sparkling royal blue, the rivers were as clear as diamonds, and both plants and animals came in various sizes and colors. Each discovery seemed to be more fantastic than the last, until they came across an enchanting garden. It was encircled by a grove of tall rosewoods that was intertwined with akebia and mandevilla vines. In the garden, they found flowers of unspeakable beauty in every shade of the rainbow, and then some. The primary flower, of course, was the rose. Rose bushes, rose vines, and even a couple of rose trees, dotted the garden area. There were other flowers, of course, lilies, lavender, and the like, but the main focus was the roses. The major difference between the plants outside the ring of rosewoods and those within the garden was that all of the plants outside the ring were a mint green, while those within the garden was more of a darker green.  As they explored the garden further, they noticed that two trees had boughs of wisteria hovering over one particular rose bush. But they soon realized their mistake as the wisteria trees moved, and they saw that the trees were in fact the horns of a large animal, the largest they had ever seen and, surprisingly, not exactly camouflaged. But perhaps its wings held the answer as the wings looked like it was made of leaves and was the same shade of green as the rest of the plants within the garden, while the rest of its body was a grayish purple color. Its back paws looked like the hind legs of a bear’s along with its head, while its front paws, snout, and underbelly was reminiscent of a lizard or dragon. It also had the mane and tail of a lion.

The creature and the trio looked at each other for what seem like hours, each apparently trying to figure out if the other was friend or foe. But the creature seemed to figure out that they could be friends and laid back down. The three approached cautiously, but when it made no sudden moves, they became more at ease and continued their exploration of the garden. But they went back to the creature as by far it was the most stunning feature of the garden and they figured it was the guardian of it. They observed its behavior for the next few days, and eventually found out where the rest of its species was, and eventually found out that the guardian was the oldest of the whole species. They found out that the age could be determined by looking at how large the horns, or the wisteria boughs, were, as well as the size of the beast itself. The larger the boughs and the bigger the creature, the older they were. Most were the size of horses or elephants, but the oldest ones were nearly double that, maybe even triple. And there were differences to determine male and female, all of the creatures had the wisteria horns, but only the males had the mane, females did not.

Eventually, they named the creatures tarasque, one of the ideas given to them by their peoples before they had left. They felt that it would work for this species as they all knew the story from Earth of the woman who tamed a dragon, and a dragon this species most certainly was.

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