When Darken was a young man, he had the fortune to stumble across a dragon egg. The egg belonged to a behemoth of a red dragon with the very original name of Scarlet.

Being the very clever young emperor that he was, Darken took the opportunity to hide the egg and use threats to its safety to control the dragon.

It was much more impressive than riding a horse everywhere.

There was one thing, however, that he had not counted on.

He had considered the logistics of keeping such a massive creature fed. It actually provided a quick and easy way to empty his prisons.

Housing had not been a problem, as the dragon had simply made a nest for itself in a cliff overlooking the People's Palace.

No, the thing that Darken had not considered or made plans for….

Was the litter box.

The first one was too small. Scarlet kept missing the edges. He had to have another built from five hundred ancient oaks. The sand was transported magically from the beach surrounding the Pillars of Creation.

He had hoped the purifying nature of the pillars would mean the sand would clean itself.

It didn't.

He arranged for a team of workers to be brought from the mines to excavate the litter box.

Three committed suicide.

A fourth died from the fumes.

Finally he had his wizards develop a magical way to clean the damn box.

Two died from the magical strain.

Displeased with the incompetence of his followers, Darken went to the litter box himself to ascertain the best way to keep up its maintenance.

He went in hawk shape, seeing as birds do not have a particularly sharp sense of smell.

He passed out over the box and was rescued, naked, in the foul sand a day later when the wizards returned with their magical forcefield litter box scoop.

After seventeen baths, two of which were taken in mild bleach, Darken went to the secret room in which he kept Scarlet's egg.

No amount of speedy traveling and women panting over his ride was worth that damn litter box.

He returned the egg that very day.

His hair would never be the same.