Far, far to the south, where east and west meet and become north, there is a valley, carven not by the slow slide of the world's rocky skin over her firey heart, but rather the wind and water have carven it, deep and narrow, folding away from the sun. Here, at its deepest depths, the Light never reaches. Here, at the top of the bottom of the world, lies the place which Shadow and Darkness have dedicated to themselves.
How about a dragon how cheerfully rules over a kingdom; his people all know him for what he is, and dragons are looked upon as wise and benevolent creatures. Dragonslayers from other kingdoms coming to free it from 'tyranny' are likely to get beaten to death by peasants with cast iron skillets.