Once upon a time a certain ogre decided he wanted something new for dinner. Now his usual fare was your basic beef, mutton, venison or bear with snacks of chipmunk and squirrel; but he started to wonder about the rare delicacy he had once heard a great-uncle rhapsodize about, namely “human”.
Trouble was, humans were hard to come by here in ogre country. They rarely traveled this way on their own, and when they did there was usually quite a bit of metal stuck to their skin. That was the rumor anyway. Except for his great-uncle, all the other ogres and ogresses thought that a face full of metal was a poor dinner and the prey was too puny for a proper hunt anyway. But his uncle insisted that among these humans there occasionally could be found an extremely rare delicacy known as “fair damsel”, that had only a few bits of white or yellow metal stuck to the skin, and highly to be prized for meat. Now, being in a mood for something elegant, this young ogre set off to have a chat with his great-uncle.
After much prying, and a bit of prodding, not a little wheedling and a short round of fisticuffs, all the usual tactics for debate and inquiry among ogres, it came out that his great-uncle had never actually tasted “fair damsel,” but had his information on good authority. Seems great-uncle had once shared a feast with a coven of dragons, and heard the tale told around the table.
Dragons, by the way, rarely eat with ogres, finding their company a bit crude; but they also rarely have them for dinner in the usual way, as ogre meat is by all accounts at once tough, stringy, and unpleasant to the taste. A dragon has to be really hungry in order to eat an ogre, and even under starvation conditions will never do so until they have been properly introduced. Ogres, however, almost never allow themselves to be eaten by someone they know socially; so the whole subject is sort of awkward for all concerned.
At any rate, it now remained for our ogre – I can’t call him a hero, you know, because we might meet a human hero later in the story and I wouldn’t want to confuse you, dear reader – it remained for our ogre to set off in search of a dragon who could give him the recipe for fair damsel, and, he hoped, directions for obtaining all the proper ingredients.
Problem was, dragon country was also quite a ways off.