The opium poppy is widely cultivated and its worldwide production is monitored by international agencies. It is used for production of dried latex and opium, the principal precursor of narcotic and analgesic opiates such as morphine, heroin and codeine. Poppy seeds are rich in oil, carbohydrates, calcium and protein.
The earliest reference to opium was in 3,400 BC where the Sumerians in lower Mesopotamia referred to it as Hul Gil, the “Joy Plant.” They, in turn, passed the knowledge of the opium poppy to the Assyrians, who gave it to the Babylonians, who passed it on to the Egyptians. The Egyptians were famous for their poppy fields and the opium trade flourished during the eighteenth dynasty (around 1500 to 1300 BC) under the reigns of Thutmose IV, Akhenaton and King Tutankhamen. Roman gladiators used opium to enhance their fighting … and to die as painlessly as possible if mortally wounded.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, saw opium as a helpful narcotic for treating disease. The great physician Galen cautioned that opium should be used sparingly in 158 AD. He said it was better to endure pain than to be bound to the drug. It wasn’t until 400 AD that opium was introduced into China by Arab traders.
Alexander the Great used opium to help his soldiers march farther because they couldn’t feel the pain in their feet; and they could sleep through the night because the wounded were sleeping peacefully under the influence of opium. He introduced opium to India, where its cultivation flourished. One of the goals of Columbus was to bring back opium from India, as its access had been cut off when the Arabs were expelled from Spain. He didn’t get to India, but he brought back tobacco from the New World and smoking tobacco became common throughout Europe.
In 1803, a German chemist named Friedrich Sertuerner synthesized morphine from opium. Sertuerner’s wife overdosed on morphine and died. He then publically warned against its dangers. But morphine was also a great step forward in medicine. It allowed doctors to do true surgery for the first time. Morphine was heralded as “God’s own medicine” for its reliability and long-lasting effects. By 1827, the E. Merck & Company of Darmstadt Germany was commercially manufacturing morphine.
A new technique for administering morphine was developed by Dr. Alexander Wood of Edinburg when he invented the syringe in 1843. Wood believed that if morphine was injected instead of swallowed, “patients would not hunger for it.” He was wrong; and several of his patients became dependent.
John Witherspoon warned his fellow doctors in a June 23, 1900 article about their indiscriminant use of morphine. The morphine habit was growing at an alarming rate; and doctors were culpable for “too often giving this seductive siren until the will-power is gone.” Pointing to the Great First Physician, he said doctors should “save our people from the clutches of this hydra-headed monster” which wrecked lives and filled jails and lunatic asylums.
In my forthcoming book –
“Daughter of the Dark Lord, Book One, The Burning Sky”
the Dark Lord of the Provinces, a manipulative, heartless and cruel ruler, attempts to control the Denizen people that he rules by allowing them to become addicted to the medicinal serum. His plan is to cut off the supply of the Hul Gil, and then establish it once again, only this time with contingencies tacked on. In essence, he would be creating voluntary slavery with himself as the Dictator. Whenever the Dark Lord wanted something, he would simply cut off the drug until the people complied with his wishes, thereby maintaining power over those he considered to be worthless underlings. His daughter, Katherine, who is aware of the monster that is her father, is still shocked and stunned at the depths of his sadistic inhumanity and is determined once again to thwart his malevolent efforts.
The book takes place on the Provinces of Hell, not a destination that anyone would want to find themselves, and yet to her chagrin, Katherine is not only the Dark Lord’s daughter, but a potential victim of his evil plot. She must find a way to survive and somehow escape this retched place.
The book is in the editing stages right now, but in the meantime, keep checking back for updates and more interesting facts about Katherine and those who choose to fight in her behalf in –
“Daughter of the Dark Lord, Book One, The Burning Sky”
A prequel book to the Dragomeir Series Books One – Three
Also available for purchase at www.solitaireparke.com and various other locations – in multiple formats.
A Dragon is a legendary creature belonging to the world of mythology, storytelling and fantasy. There are stories about dragons in Chinese culture, European culture, South American culture, and many others.
Dragons can look like dinosaurs and other extinct animals. Because of that, it is easy to think that those animals might have been an example for dragons as they were thought of in the history of humankind.
There are many kinds of dragons in the different cultures. In general –
- A dragon has: none to four legs, claws, scales and possibly spikes. Optional wings.
- A dragon can look like a snake with wings, or like lizards
- A dragon has a tail and a long neck.
- A dragon has a wide mouth with big and dangerous teeth.
- Sometimes they have horns and hair.
- A dragon can fly.
- A dragon can perhaps breathe fire (or other dangerous substances).
- A dragon can have special powers.
- Some dragons live in caves.
In a number of stories, dragons are dangerous and attack humans. Other stories have dragons that are looking for help, or giving help. In my Dragomeir Series, the dragons become companions and are lifelong friends to their specific riders. They can be dangerous to those who attempt to hurt the ones they love or their way of life, but to their riders they are the ultimate friend. Here are some interesting quotes about dragons:
It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.
J. R. R. TOLKIEN, The Hobbit
And though I came to forget or regret all I have ever done, yet would I remember that once I saw the dragons aloft on the wind at sunset above the western isles; and I would be content.
URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Farthest Shore
If the sky could dream, it would dream of dragons.
LLONA ANDREWS, Fate’s Edge
The ultimate challenge of a teacher lies not in the slaying of dragons, but rather in exposing them as beasts no longer to be feared.
ALAN BURTON, A Wayward Wizard’s Wistful Words
If you want to conquer the world, you best have dragons.
GEORGE R. R. MARTIN, A Dance with Dragons
O to be a dragon,
a symbol of the power of Heaven — of silkworm
size or immense; at times invisible.
MARIANNE MOORE, O To Be a Dragon
How should we be able to forget those ancient myths that are at the beginning of all peoples, the myths about dragons that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us.
RAINER MARIA RILKE, Letters to a Young Poet
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you art crunchy and good with ketchup.
Come not between the dragon, and his wrath.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, King Lear
If you see the dragon fly,
best you drink the flagon dry.
GREG HAMERTON, Second Sight
The hunger of a dragon is slow to wake, but hard to sate.
URSULA K. LE GUIN, A Wizard of Earthsea
Imagine a land where people are afraid of dragons. It is a reasonable fear: dragons possess a number of qualities that make being afraid of them a very commendable response. Things like their terrible size, their ability to spout fire, or to crack boulders into splinters with their massive talons. In fact, the only terrifying quality that dragons do not possess is that of existence.
DAVID WHITELAND, Book of Pages
A dragon stranded in shallow water provides amusement to the shrimps.
I desired dragons with a profound desire. Of course, I in my timid body did not wish to have them in the neighborhood. But the world that contained even the imagination of Fáfnir was richer and more beautiful, at whatever the cost of peril.
J. R. R. TOLKIEN, The Tolkien Reader
It is one thing to read about dragons and another to meet them.
URSULA K. LE GUIN, A Wizard of Earthsea
Did not learned men, too, hold, till within the last twenty-five years, that a flying dragon was an impossible monster? And do we not now know that there are hundreds of them found fossil up and down the world? People call them Pterodactyles: but that is only because they are ashamed to call them flying dragons, after denying so long that flying dragons could exist.
CHARLES KINGSLEY, The Water Babies
Here be dragons to be slain, here be rich rewards to gain;
If we perish in the seeking, why, how small a thing is death! DOROTHY L. SAYERS, Catholic Tales and Christian Songs
People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.
URSULA K. LE GUIN, The Wave in the Mind:
Talks & Essays on the Writer, the Reader, & the Imagination
Do you love reading about dragons? Check out this ongoing series at my website –
“The Emerald Dragon”
“Flight of theAguiva”
“Egg of the Amphitere”
And the forthcoming book –
“Daughter of the Dark Lord”
“The Burning Sky”
In Greek mythology, the River Styx formed the boundary between Earth and the Underworld. The word itself meant “hate” and “detestation.”
In the Dragomeir Series– the River Styx is an important part of the story – the boundary between Earth and The Provinces of Hell. The Demons of The Pronvices, lead by the Dark Lord, are trapped on one side and are desperately attempting to cross over to Earth.
There’s only one problem with that. Demons have ichor running through their veins rather than blood, making the dark, acidic water of The River Styx toxic to them. Ichor contains a property called Mercury which was purposely placed there to effectively strand the demons in the accursed land. They are prisoners for all time for the crimes they have committed against humanity.
When a Human bleeds, the blood comes out red due to the oxygen in the atmosphere. However, when Demons lose ichor, the color is green due to the Mercury coming into contact with ozone. Ozone is the majority of the gas in our atmosphere. It causes us to perceive color the way we do. The Mercury in ichor reacts badly with the water in the River Styx causing severe burns and death. A single drop of its water will sizzle like cooking meat and leave a nasty looking welt that can take days to heal. Even the fumes from the water cause a bad reaction in Demons, so they dare not get too close. As a result, most demons are terrified of the variant forms of water.
To discover more about the intriguing lands, exceptional people, and amazing dragons of these worlds you can find
The Dragomeir Series books –
At my website and various other locations – www.solitaireparke.com
Forthcoming Book #4 –
- Daughter of the Dark Lord
The Burning Sky
Have any questions or comments – please contact me!
Who is this dark-haired beauty that they call ” The Ariella” or Queen Mother? She commands an army of Dragons and Dragon Riders as well as a group of seemingly misfit Creatures that dwell in various mountain locations around the planet. She has their fierce loyalty and is a force to be reckoned with among her global community; all of whom she guards with her life . . . she and her ominous and amazing Dragons, Basiliskos Verminthrax Pejorative – a male black Wyvern, and Invectum Viperathrax Pejorative – a male white Wyvern.
In The DRAGOMEIR SERIES books you can read all about this global population – their triumphs and defeats, while getting to know how “The Ariella” manages to keep them all alive from conflict to conflict. But how long has she been around, and how did she become Queen Mother to this unlikely group of characters?
To answer this question, I am currently writing a Prequel to the series, which will chronicle her life, and rectify some of the myth surrounding her tumultuous journey leading up to her title, “The Ariella” or Queen Mother. The story picks up shortly before her birth and follows her life thereafter. It was her destiny to become the Queen of the Dragons and a champion to the downtrodden misfits in her world.
If you love Dragons, Dragon Riders, Otherworldly Creatures, and lots of adventure and intrigue, I hope you will enjoy the first three books in the DRAGOMEIR SERIES –
AND keep watching for my forthcoming book, the Fourth Book in the Series –
- “DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD”
Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. Happy Reading!
www.solitaireparke.com (Books available at numerous websites)
It’s time for the Holidays! Mt. Drago has once again erected the Christmas tree in the middle of Commons. This one is the second of its kind, and has been decorated by the kids of Mt. Drago. Last year they picked their favorite dragon and created a Christmas ornament for them. At the end of the season all of the ornaments were gathered up and boxed for this year’s celebration. We have more children approaching the age where participation is possible and a whole new bumper crop of dragon ornaments to hang from the tree. All of the ornaments were carefully wrapped and packed into a series of “Holders of Things” to ensure they were kept safe.
Above is an image of the new and updated tree. We hope your Holiday Season is as joyful as ours. Merry Christmas!
From our family to yours…
Tanis, Demi, Bubo, and Chaos.
Go to solitaireparke.com to find the Dragomeir Series Books at various locations.
SECRETS IN THE DESERT
Mount Manchester is the highest peak in the Dead Mountains of extreme northeastern San Bernardino County, California in the Mojave Desert. The Dead Mountains are 12 miles northwest of Needles, California. It is the highest point at 3,598 feet. The Dead Mountains border the Colorado River on the east, and the Piute Wash of the Piute Valley on the west. Piute wash drains south, then turns east for 8 miles at the south of the range to meet the Colorado River.
Tanis, the lead character of the book,”Egg of the Amphitere,” is shocked to find a massive artifact depot deep inside the Mojave Desert. He is even more shocked to discover he has inherited its contents. A secret kept from him since he became a Thaumaturgist/Machinist, Tanis is overwhelmed by the vastness of the icons and technology held within its walls.
Once there, he determines the artifact depot is under Mt. Manchester, accessible only from the Thaumaturgists headquarters located in Phoenix Arizona.
The technology found within its caverns becomes instrumental not only to Tanis, but to the inhabitants of Mt. Drago as they struggle to keep the Dark Lord at bay.
I’ve always looked at the artifact depot as a combination of Warehouse 13, and the alternate dimensional library of ancient antiquities.
To uncover the secrets hidden in the mountain you’ll need to check out my forthcoming book,
“Egg of the Amphitere” which will be available in November. To purchase the previous
Dragomeir Series books,
“The Emerald Dragon” and
“Flight of the Aguiva”
go to my website and you will find them at a variety of places –
Since I am currently writing a series of books which are centered on Dragons, I thought it might be interesting to find out (from the Dragon Rider’s perspective) what makes them behave and keeps them happy.
The Dragomeir Series – Urban Fantasy
And the Forthcoming book
My main character, Tanis Theatra, has not only one, but three Dragons to manage on a daily basis. So, how do you deal with creatures that are potentially dangerous, if nothing else, because of their size (Enormous would be an understatement) and then there’s that little thing about breathing fire/plasma, or just getting in the way if their mood isn’t so great and they’re just hungry. How do you pacify or keep a Dragon in a good humor? Well, according to Tanis, here are some tips –
- The only thing to fear is fear itself. Just keep telling yourself that, two and a half tons isn’t all that big. Dragons have an uncanny sixth sense about where you are at all times. You’ll probably trip over their tail long before they step on you.
- Fire can be a problem during impression, but except for rare occasions, it’s mostly a matter of symbolism. Baby Aguivas on the other hand will teach you from experience not to stand at either end. Accidents only happen to the unwary.
- Amphiteres are born angry, so consequently get up on the wrong side of the grotto every day. They want to play, and it’s a thin ploy that lets them act out their frustrations, so play with them a lot. It helps in so many ways.
- A dragon will get grumpy if they’re not fed enough, but the same result happens when they’re fed too much. Either way brings out the pent up hostility in a reptile. Once every four days is a general rule of thumb, but understand, too much is worse. Dragons grow throughout their lives and the rider is the last word on how much they eat and grow.
- In a Dragon’s “Holder of Things”, a container much like a metal trash can, you can often find one of their favorite toys – a Frisbee – which makes them very happy. They can be extremely child-like in many ways.
- One of a Dragon’s favorite things is cherry candy and they will do pretty much whatever you want to get it.
- Dragons hear your thoughts and mirror your emotions. The more stable you become, the happier your dragon will be. It’s a good recipe for both parties when the rider is on his/her game.
So, now you’ve learned a few interesting facts about the Dragons of Dragomeir. They’re really quite compelling, although they can be very formidable if you make them angry. But to a Dragon Rider there is no greater creature in the universe!
Join Tanis and his friends as they uncover fascinating relationships, deceptions, betrayals, mysterious technology, and old-world charm and of course – Dragons!