Dragons and serpents are a huge archetypal, mythical, literary subject, and I would like to do a page that would cover the subject at least minimally. At present, though, I do not have the time. This page is a much more a summary, and deals largely with the dragon in Mythosphere.
The serpent/dragon archetype is world-wide and relates to a number of human concerns--death, rebirth, healing, immortality, knowledge, wisdom, wealth, and finally water, which has much the same symbolism. Joseph Campbell, in one of his less inspired moments, claimed that Eastern dragons were different than Western ones, but in fact they are not, though the attitude toward them is somewhat different. Like in the west, dragons are associated with water in the form of weather, streams, bodies of water, and the primal cosmic ocean. The oldest and most purely mythic dragon stories deal with creation and the primal oceanic chaos which is a great dragon. In other stories the dragon withholds the waters causing drought until defeated by a champion. In legendary, as opposed to mythic, stories the dragon guards a treasure and often has an appetite for women, especially virgins.
In Mythosphere, our dragon is of the later type, one for the knights to try their prowess by fighting. Unlike most dragons she is female, though that is not unheard of. The Dragon of Errour in The Faerie Queene is also female. Ours is also a transformed human, like the dragon, Fafnir in the story of Sigurd. Ours is more cross and spiteful than truly vicious, but dangerous nonetheless. She also turns out to have a remarkable capacity for sarcasm. Below is the prologue to Mythosphere. It is relatively short, or we would have chosen a white background to place it on. The text is also in cream, which is not as attractive as gold, but no doubt easier on the eye.
She lay near the mouth of the cave. Her bulk oozed between the crags in the wall and floor like semi-molten lava, and her skin had that same red glow. That was one of the first things she had noticed when she awoke--her skin was no longer the pale, fish-belly white of a trip addict, but glowing red and scaly. It covered a grotesque reptilian arm with large, black claws.
Her gold, slitted eyes scanned the scenery outside the cave as she remembered those first few moments that seemed so long ago. A fairy flitted about not far from the cave mouth. She could tell by its incessant, mindless giggling that it was a bot. She inhaled deeply, filling her lungs.
This is really overkill, she thought as a stream of fiery breath engulfed the fairy. It flickered out of existence--or rather back into the mainframe to be cycled back into the system. She knew that in this world existence was perpetual. She had been "slain" numerous times by questing knights. It didn't hurt much, but she hated it. Being conscious in DOS was horrible. No sight, no sound--nothing but a horrible awareness that you are the entire universe, and you fit on the head of a pin.
She idly wished that she dared to fry a client just once. Not merely put him out of commission--she had done that--but reduce him to toast. She probably could, actually. But that would mean overriding her programming and giving herself away. She had a faint hope of hacking herself a gateway out of this mess, and she wasn't willing to screw that up just yet. She couldn't kill and she couldn't die; she could just lay in her cave like a fat, bloated neon slug and play their stupid game. For now.