Dragonslayer Storybook

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    The Storybook Based on the Movie

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    The Storybook Dosed on theMovie

    Random House ~ New York

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    Paramount Pictures Corporation and Walt Disney ProductionsPresen t

    A Barwood-Rob bi ns Production~ Executive Producer Howard W. KochWritten by Hal Barwood & Matthew Robbins

    Produced by Hal BarwoodDirected by Ma tthew Robbins

    Storybook adaptation by Larry Weinberg

    Copyright :4 ~ 1981 by Paramo un t Picturrs Corpor411 ion an d \ \'dh Oi1r1tU")' Produ ( tions. All i ~ t s rt"S(' fH'd undrr lmc-rnaliona lant.! Pa n Amt-rican Co pyrigh t Con\rntions. Puhlishr d m th r lJnhrd S101tr s h ) Randum lloust>. Inc . 1 \ \' n rk . an d si mu ltanrously in Ca nada by Random t-lousr of C an ad a l.inli lf'd , Torumo .l. ibary of Cong'fss Catalof!,ing in Publication Data: Winbook l>o>d on l h< movi

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    GalenUlri ch 's eager

    young apprentice

    SimonThe cleve r bl acksmithwho is Valerian 's fa th er

    The King of U rlandT he deceitful ru lerof a troubled land

    ValerianA brave Urlanderwho seeks Ulri ch's help

    UlrichLast of the wo rld 'sgreat magicians

    ElspethA beautiful ,strong -wi lled princess

    VermithraxThe monstrous dragon that

    br ings dea th and destr uc tionto th e peop le of Urland

    HodgeTh e magicia n's loya l,

    ca nt ank erous old se rvant

    TyrianA cruel knightwho serves th e king

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    I IJ igh on a hill stood a crumbling castle . Inside it , among thecobwebs, lived an old man. Oncehis powers had been great. Butnow they were slowly leaving him.And yet his name still rang outthrough all the kingdoms of theworld. For he was Ulrich, the Wiz-ard of Cragganmore, last of thegreat magicians.

    This pitch-black night he stoodalone in his tower. Before him wasa bowl made of stone. It seemedlike any other bowl. Ordinary ,too, was the water he poured intoit . But now he passed a hand overthe bowl and spoke.

    "Spirit of water,Sleeping still,Awake! and hearThy master's will!"

    Slowly, the dark water began toglow. Bending low, the magiciancommanded the bowl to show himthe secrets of the night.

    At Ulrich's words, the water inthe bowl began to move in a circle-slowly, at first, then faster andfaster.

    The sorcerer gazed deeply intothe whirlpool within the bowl.Soon the shape of a cave formedin its watery depths. Smoke wasrising from it as if it were comingfrom the very bottom of the earth.In front of the cave stood a wood-en post hung with iron chains.Shreds of dried flesh and pieces ofburned cloth hung from the chains.

    The magician passed his handover the bowl once more.

    "Go back in timeFor I must seeThat which causedThis thing to be!"As the magician commanded,so it was done. The flesh became a

    young maiden. And the cloth be-came her dress. Soldiers were ty-ing her to the post.

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    "Spare me! Oh spare me!" criedthe voice from within the bowl. "Iam only sixteen! I don't want todie!"

    The smoke from the cave grewthicker. It clouded the water inthe bowl. From its murky depthscame a horrible scream.

    "What evil magic is this?" criedthe wizard. "Bring back my vision!"

    But the water in the bowl stayeddark. And now there was a pound-ing on the wizard's castle door. Vis-itors! Ulrich was about to leave thechamber of magic when the waterin the bowl began to glow again.From deep within a voice whis-pered, "Ulrich! Stay and hear thyfate!"

    The magician looked into thebow I once more. What he sawmade his eyes open wide. "Vermi thrax!" he whispered, his voiceshaking.

    l iJlrich's old servant, Hodge,rose up from his bed and went outof his chamher. "Who dares cometo this place at such an hour?" hemuttered, as he went along thedark hallway.

    Eight strangers stood at the greatdoor holding lighted torches. Theyoungest spoke for all of them."We come from Urland," he said."We know it is late. But we havewalked for many days. And wemust speak to the magician ."

    "Go away!" said Hodge."But is this not the house ofUlrich?"

    "Yes and no. Yes, it is. But no,he sees no one!"

    "No one?""No one. Not even me. ""Please!""I've heard your pleas. Go home!"

    The door slammed in their faces.

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    "What now, Valerian?" exclaimed one of the men . "Youhave led us nowhere!"

    "How quickly you give up,Greil," answered the young man .He raised his head and shouted atthe castle windows. "Hear me, youwho dwell in Cragganmore! Hearme , oh wizard in your tower!Yours is the power of magic . Butours is the power of waiting! Weshall not leave till we are heard!"

    Not a sound came back fromthe castle. Sadly , the travelersshook their heads. "He is deaf tous ," said one of them .

    But someone inside did hearthem . He was young Galen, themagician's helper and apprentice .The boldness of the leader of thetravelers impressed him. For therewere not many who would call outlike that to a sorcerer .

    Galen left the window where hestood and climbed to the chamberof magic. Opening the heavydoor , he gazed inside . There satUlrich , bent over his bowl ofstone. He did not move. His eyeswere fixed and staring as if hewere dead - or in a trance .

    " Master?" whispered Galen softly. "Can you hear me?"

    The old man spoke, but his voicewas strange. " I have seen it," hesaid.

    "Seen what?" his helper askedquickly. But the sorcerer did notanswer. "What have you seen?"Galen asked again.

    "My death," said the magician .With a sweep of his arm, the oldman sent the bowl crashing to thefloor. "The visitors bring it."

    "Then send them away!" criedGalen .

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    "No, no," said Ulrich . "Theyknow nothing of it . They arepeaceful and harmless ." He slowlyrose . "Tell Hodge to bid thementer," he ordered. "Go now, andI will follow."Galen did as he was told. Soonthe visitors were led into the darkhall of the great house. A momentlater they beheld a flash of fire.Ulrich stood before them! Themagician stretched forth his arm." Light! Shine forth!" he com-manded . At once, the room wasfilled with candlelight. "Andheat!" The logs in the fireplacecrackled into flames .

    "Welcome," said Ulrich to hisfrightened guests . "And fear menot . I know who you are and whyyou have come. There is a greatmonster in your kingdom adragon whose breath is roaringfire. It lives underground in the

    darkest depths . But it has wingsthat can take it to the highestmountaintop. This beast has thepower to shake the earth . Or burna thousand villages to theground." He smiled sadly at theUrlanders. "And you , of course,want me to slay him. I am flat-tered . But I am also very old. Tellme, why do you come to me?" Hisgaze fell on the youngest of them."You who are named Valerianmay speak ."

    Valerian stepped forward boldly."It was a sorcerer's spell that madethis dragon," he said . "And onlyanother sorcerer can destroy it."

    "Perhaps so and perhaps no,"said the magician . "And perhaps Iam the one that gave it life. Haveyou thought of that?"

    "No! I t was not you," answeredValerian . "You are known to begood ."

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    "That may be," said the magi-cian . "But I have never slain adragon."

    "There is no one else to turn to, "said Valerian.

    "No magicians m your ownland?"

    "None. All are dead. All thereal ones.""Ah yes ," Urlich sighed. " I t isthe end of our time and the begin-ning of another. Perhaps that isjust as well. What have we accom-plished with all our magic? Is theworld any better?" With a sigh, thewizard fell into his own thoughts .

    Time passed. The travelers grewimpatient. Then Ulrich spokeagain. "I know your dragon," hesaid. "Its secret name is Vermi-thrax, and it is the greatest of allthe serpents. Like myself, it is thelast of its kind. One day. perhapsin your own lifetime , even Vermi-thrax will die ."

    "We cannot wait for that day."Valerian nearly shouted. "Our

    people live in constant fear of thedragon's anger! I t is terrible to behold. It poisons our air with itsstench. And we run in horrorwhen it flies over our heads."

    "It killed my daughter!" criedGreil."And mine!" sobbed another ofthe men. "They were sacrificed!"Ulrich gazed at the two fathers."Why were they allowed to die?"he asked .

    " It could not be helped!" ex claimed Greil. " I t was by theking's law! He has made a pactwith the beast. Twice a year, at alottery. one of our daughters ischosen for the dragon . In return.the dragon leaves the kingdom inpeace."

    "How are they chosen?" askedGalen.

    Valerian answered him. "Everymaiden 's name is placed in a greatbox . Then one is picked bychance. She is taken that night tothe dragon's cave - "

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    "Valeri a n !" Greil interruptedang rily. " Why d o you say thatevery m a iden's na me goes in thebox? It is only th ose of us who a repoo r who lose our children. Therich ca n buy th eir daughters' safe-ty. They bribe the king 's men . Butthe poor ca nnot. And the kingmakes very sure he d oes not riskthe life of the princess!" He turnedto Ulri ch . "Grea t wi za rd ! It is toola te to help m y own dea r child .But , on be nded knees, I beg youto save th e children of the others."

    T he travelers