Varden looks at the gold from the mad dragon’s hoard and the deadly counterfeit therein.
He turns and asks Taylar a pointed question. "Taylar, do you think it was greed that killed these dragons?"
Taylar looks at Varden, faced with an odd term. "What does Greed mean?"
"Greed is when you can not have too much of something. Remember when we first met, and you had a bag that you kept putting meat into to make soup? You could not get enough soup at the time, maybe because you didn't have enough to eat before then. You have stopped doing that, because you have enough to eat now. If you kept on doing that, even though you had enough, that would be greed. These dragons have enough gold for them to use, and yet they want more. That's greed.”
"Greed, is the love of money, right? I have that, it hasn't killed me, yet. The other problem is that some of the dragons obtained the vicious little killers through normal negotiations and dealings. If someone works hard continually to feed themselves and their families, is that greed? Even though they are constantly seeking coin?"
"I do still collect funny bits of meat from funny creatures. But that's for variety and unique experiences not because I horde meat, you can't horde meat it rots and smells." Taylar looks around as if telling Varden a great secret "And womenz do not like the smell of rotting meat." "Dragons love stuff, and they horde stuff, hey, wait a minute… Dragons love stuff and horde stuff and chase little bits of treasure around for miles right? So does that mean I'm a dragon???"
"First of all; if you're a dragon, I'm an xorn" says Varden - ruffling his feathers at the thought. "Second of all, having enough to live on and get by comfortably is one thing, but having a hoard or stockpile is different. An inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth is not a good thing, and nothing to
aspire towards. If we have this figured out right, this red dragon (that's now the head of the red supremacist organization) used these coins to kill his superior. The other coins may have been planted by him in other hoards OR may have been innocently traded. Either way, the greed and ambition of this one dragon may mean the death of how many? And how many 'innocent' ones at that?"
"Okay. So what he has done is basically murder using a very unusual weapon. Worse, he makes the victims rage against their eventual murderers often causing great damage and sometimes death before they are brought down. It wouldn't surprise me if greed was a major cause of this, but whether it is greed for coin or greed for power is another matter entirely."
"Then you, also, think it was greed that killed these dragons. Do you think they will change their ways after this tragedy?"
Taylar looked at Varden as if he was completely mad. "Why would they? In this instance it wasn't their greed which killed them, more the greed of someone else. People only change when they can be shown that their own greed or folly has caused their downfall."
"Ah, but only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from others'." says Varden - looking intently into Taylar's eyes. "Dragons may learn to become more careful about what money they take, and from whom. What have you learned?"
Taylar hands Varden's own purse back to him grinning. "Learned??"
Varden reaches into the purse and pulls out a 'Rottenratch' coin and drops it into the fire - and is rewarded with a distinct "pop". "I have learned to be more careful with what I take. Dragons all over the valley will be wary of their golden beds tonight. Will you be sleeping well?"