When "Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine" was still publishing, I had the ongoing job of illustrating MZB's "Lythande" stories. Lythande, as some of you might remember, was a wizard who kept a shocking secret: despite living and looking like a man, "he" was a woman. She had obtained her magical knowledge by disguising herself as a male in the all-male magical academy (like "Yentl" in the Barbra Streisand film). When she was discovered, she could keep her magical knowledge as long as she represented herself as a male. If her true gender was discovered, she would lose her magic and possibly her life. In this short tale, "North to Northwander," Lythande must defend a town against a fierce dragon who turns out to be a shape-changing woman.
I showed this picture at "DarkoverCon," the MZB fantasy fan convention, and I got some negative comments because I depicted the dragon-lady as corpulent.
Black ink on illustration board, 8" x 8", April 1997.