When one thinks of dragons, they are more likely to imagine a creature that is so massive that a single flap of their wings can level almost every structure in a town or city. Their hides lined with scales so strong that hardly any weapons can penetrate them. Some being so intelligent that it is impossible to trick them into giving information or to out match in a battle. They were once creatures that people feared to come across. But over time have become increasingly rare. So much so that some people may think that they no longer exist. But alas... there are some still roaming.
Here is what travelers must know about dragons... just in case they have the unfortunate luck of coming across one.
When one wonders why the dragons and human race do not get along. They have to look back into the past for the answers. To when both first started inhabiting the lands. The first thing that a person should note is that no one knows the true origins of dragons. Some say that they naturally evolved outside of the Myst. Others think that they are creatures that somehow escaped the Mysts' clutches. Whatever the origins are people and dragons have not always been enemies.
When dragons first appeared on the lands there was no people of any race. There was no competition for food or other resources, nothing to cause the dragons to worry besides the occasional fight over territory. Then at some point during the first century people, elves and other races began to appear one by one. But relations were peaceful as there was still plenty of resources to go around. There are even tale of dragons living close by to the settlements offering the people knowledge of the land in regards to where to find resources like food and shelter.
As much will remain the same until have way through the second century when the population of the people began to grow and forget that dragons are a source of knowledge and companionship. As the population of the humans and other races began to grow, the dragons were forced to search for new areas to live that was big enough to sustain themselves. While dragons rarely fought each other, they witnessed the humans fight amongst themselves and each other. Making the dragons wonder how intelligent beings can inflict such pain on each other. As if that was not enough to worry about with resources dwindling and the races fighting each other, their attention was turned towards the dragons as well. Starting with their precious, vulnerable eggs. As the shells are made of not only something that can be fashioned into jewelry but also to toughen armor. Yes, the people will have to get past the defensive parents guarding the eggs and it would cost the lives of both parties in most cases, but in many instances the people succeeded in taking the precious eggs. In retaliation the dragons started burning down entire towns every time the people killed a dragon or stole eggs from nests. This would cause a type of war between the dragons and the various human races that will go on for years to come.
Due to the combination of fighting each other, and the targeting of dragon eggs by the start of the current century. The dragon population is so low that people rarely them except for quick glimpses that are easily passed off as a flash of imagination. Due to dragons scattering to areas where humans and the other races have either not settled yet or are able to travel to, a dragon has not been seen alive for so long that they are passed off as legends, monsters from a violent and dangerous past.
Like every reptile the life of a dragon begins as an egg. The egg is often sought after for it's pearl like appearance to be made into jewelry. But for one to even see an egg they will have to get past the father who is often patrolling the territory from above. If they can get past his hawk like vision of the ground.. Well they better hope that they are not spotted by the mother as she defends the nest. Both parents will closely guard the nest for six to eight months, very rarely sleeping or eating during this time. The eggs are kept in a simple but carefully structured nest. The bottom of the nest is laid with a very specific type of granite then on top various plant materials that will cover the eggs to keep them warm during incubation. Sometimes the mother will have stones stacked like a wall to prevent humans from getting to her precious eggs so easily. Every now and then during this period the mother and father will switch roles so that one can patrol while getting food and the other can rest. Some pairs have it where the mother strictly stays with the nest and her mate brings her back food regularly to keep up her strength.
When the eggs hatch the dragons are fragile, helpless little creatures that need help to keep warm and to get food. During this time the mother will never leave the nest and the father will bring food to the nest for both her and the hatchlings. Though the majority of the food will go to the hatchlings. To keep the hatchlings warm the mother will regularly breath fire onto the granite stones to keep them warm. The heat of the flames will also fuse the shell of the eggs to the youngsters, toughening their hides steadily. But only so much. It will take years for the hatchlings hide to become as strong as his or her parents.
It takes twenty years for a dragon hatchling to reach the age to leave the nest of his or her parents. This is around the time they are considered adolescents. Around this age is when a person or town will have an encounter with a dragon as it sets out to find an area to claim a territory of its own. These young dragons are not as wise as older dragons, thinking before acting, but they are just as deadly as any adult dragon. Weapons are able to penetrate their hide as it has not quite gotten to the same hardness as a fully grown dragon. They are still learning around this time too, but they are fast learners. Adolescent dragons are also very curious creatures so it will not be uncommon to see these dragons exploring things or approaching people. If one wants to befriend a dragon, this is the best age to do so. Just as easily though they can learn how to show hostility towards people if they have a bad encounter.
Sometimes teenage dragons will leave their parents' territory in packs or establish packs with other dragons around his or her age to increase the chances of them surviving to adulthood. Though these packs are not permanent as some members will leave when a fight breaks out or if they become big enough and old enough to establish their own territories. During the adolescent years possibly only two to four dragons will survive to adulthood.
When a dragon is between forty and one hundred years old they are considered full grown adults. If a dragon has managed to survive to adulthood; their hides will have toughened out so much that it will be very difficult for weapons to penetrate. Through their encounters with people or other challenges their intelligence too has grown. By this time he or she may have an established territory and with it a mate for life. It is during this period in their lives a dragon pair will have their own young every fifteen to twenty years. Some dragon pairs may produce young for sometime after they reach that one hundred year mark. But that is only if both adults are still alive. If one of the two dies at some point the dragon still alive may refuse to look for another mate.
When a dragon reaches 150 to 200 years old they are considered to be senior dragons. By this age they are considered to be incredibly intelligent with a encyclopedia like knowledge of the history of the land and other information a person may wish to know. By this age they may have slowed down considerably and like people may be plagued with ailments like arthritis. Though their mind will remain very sharp. Though one should still be careful about angering a dragon even when they are in this age group. There is currently only one dragon alive that is in this age group.
While it is not clear how long dragons can live for. There are two dragons that are listed as elders. They are dragons who are around 300 to 400 years old. Their wisdom and intelligence are unmatched, and their hides completely impenetrable. Nothing can penetrate their hides. If one wants knowledge it is these two ancient dragons they should seek out.
No one knows how long a dragon's lifespan is. Nor is it known what happens when one is on the verge of death. Some speculate when a dragon naturally reaches the end of his or her life that they bury themselves in their lair by causing it to collapse just before they die. Others think that there is a massive burial ground somewhere. Neither of these theories have been proven.
For some who have never encountered a true dragon. It will be hard to tell the difference between a Magi who uses a spell to transform into one (Dragon Shifters) and a real dragon. While a Magi will maintain his true personality even while in his dragon form (unless they come down with what is called the Drake Sickness) a dragon has a few traits that are easy to distinguish from a Magi transforming into one.
First off dragons are very xenophobic towards humans and other races. They have absolutely no trust in these races at all due to how they treat each other as well as dragons. All dragons have this trait, very rarely will a person come across a dragon that is friendly when approached though it is possible if the dragon is young enough to not know or remember how their kind was treated. However older dragons will be impossible to convince to change their views.
While their xenophobic view of people is something that can be handled. The one thing that a person should never do, ever, is to make a dragon angry. Not only because of their aggression and willingness to go on the attack when driven to that point. But because there is no telling what a dragon will do when angered. Some will go on a rampage that results in entire towns or cities being destroyed while others may spit angry words or focus their anger on the person who dared to challenge them. The destruction an angered dragon will unleash is unmatched even the biggest armies can't match the destruction of a raging dragon. Once a dragon goes on a rampage it is impossible to stop it. While there are dragons who are just a stone throw away from going on some level of a rampage or easily angered. There are others that take a more passive approach by choosing to talk through the conflict instead of resolving it by going on the attack.
Another thing that people will find when around a dragon is that they are incredibly intelligent creatures with a very extensive knowledge of the land and history of each nation. That of course depends on the age of the dragon. While any Magi can pick up a history book to build up their knowledge. Only a real dragon will have small facts that didn't make it into history books or have been forgotten entirely. That is the one way that a person can test a dragon to see if it is a shifter or a real dragon.
Dragons are very curious, inquisitive creatures. They will explore anything and everything that catches the dragon's interest. This is something that is common in all age groups though more likely to lead to an encounter with people in younger dragons than the adults. If it is a young dragon it is more likely to teach a dragon to either trust or hate people depending on the type of encounter.
Dragons take a lot of pride in everything about themselves. From their appearance, size, strength and their knowledge. If one angers a dragon the quickest way to please them is by complimenting them about something in regards to the dragon. Though this may not always work.
The oldest of the dragons have a lot of wisdom on top of the knowledge they have. These dragons are generally passive and the least likely to go on the attack of all the dragons. If one can convince the elder dragon to allow the human to hang around in the dragon's lair to talk that person will be gaining a lot of information. Possibly knowledge that is not gained from a book or scroll. It will be impossible for a Magi to challenge the knowledge of senior or elder dragons.
The one other thing that people will notice when they encounter a dragon is that dragons want nothing to do with people at all. Preferring to be left alone and live their lives in peace. Very rarely will a dragon seek out a person or allow people to be around them.
The Six Dragon Types
One of the two dragon species that a person may think of when they hear the word Dragon. The Mountain Drake or Mountain Dragon is the largest of the five terrestrial dragons. The only thing that gets bigger is the Serpent. When at their full grown size Mountain Drakes can achieve between sixty to eighty feet in length with their wingspan being double the size of their length.
As their name implies they are only found in the mountains that dot or cut across the provinces. In these mountain chains the dragon or dragon pair will build an elaborate cavern with multiple entrances. But only one will lead to the main lair or nest. Some dragons may go lengths as placing traps in the false entrances. In the main lair the Drake may have trinkets or precious gemstones and gold stored away. Some may use their hoard as a bed to lay on. If it is a dragon pair they will usually have a nest made of a specific type of granite encasing their precious two to six pearly blue eggs. With this type of granite the eggs are kept warm longer without the dragons having to expend more energy to keep the eggs warm. Generally the granite keeps the eggs warm for an extended four to six hours in between warming periods.
While these dragons usually breath fire there are stories of some Mountain Drakes that can unleash lightning.
What people may notice though is that there are two much smaller dragons that have the appearance of a Mountain Drake. Both are specialized to specific environments and are classed as subspecies of Mountain Drake. They are called the Forest Dragon and the Cave Dragon.
One of the two smallest species of dragon found. The Forest Dragon or Phoenix Drake is only found in forests. Because of this they are smaller than the other dragon species. The only one smaller is the Cave Dragon. They are often referred to as the Phoenix Drake because of how the stabilizing scales on the tips of their tails resemble a bird. These dragons reach between two and four feet tall and roughly fifteen feet in length. Unlike the much larger dragons these dragons do not have any special abilities like breathing fire or lightning but they do possess great physical strength, however they do not engage in a fight unless they have to. They would rather use their green coloration to blend in with the environment to avoid contact with humans and predators.
Unlike the larger dragons, Forest Dragons are able to be tamed. It would not be surprising if some Lords have tamed Forest Drakes as part of their security and military. They are able to speak both dragon and the languages of Men and Elf.
Nests of these dragons are dug into the trunks of trees high up from the ground. They however pick a specific type of tree to build their nests in. The tree is called the Fortress Tree, named so because of the large barbs that grow from the trunk. Forest Dragons use these trees to protect their orange pearly eggs from predators and humans. Both parents guard the nest, taking turns on who guards the nest and who patrols their territory.
The Cave Dragon or Crystal Drake as they are referred to in Cathwa are the smallest dragons to ever exist. They only reach twelve inches in length. To Miners working in the mines they are referred to as guardians of the caves because they give out a specific yelp when a tunnel or pocket is about to collapse. These dragons are friendly and curious creatures often willingly, though cautiously approach people. Like the Forest Dragon it is able to be tamed and kept as a pet. In the Cathwa it is illegal to take one from the wild, the only way to obtain one is through a reputable breeders.
Like the Forest Dragon they have no special abilities but do have an exceptionally powerful bite when provoked. More likely though they will use their speed to get out of the way of danger than stand and fight. Some have forged a symbiotic relationship with Lizard Dragons where the Lizard provides protection and the Cave will pick any pests off their hide.
Nests of these dragons are incredibly tiny but well hidden to prevent the pearly pink eggs from being taken. They usually hide the eggs deep inside tiny burrows dug into cave walls or ledges that predators and humans can't get to. The mother typically guards the nest while the male patrols the territory and regularly brings the female food to keep her strength up.
Considerably smaller than the Mountain Drake, the largest ones reach between forty and fifty-five feet in length with their wingspan being double their length. These dragons make up for their smaller size with their aggression. They are more aggressive than the Mountain Drake, so angering one of these dragons is the last thing anyone would want to do.
They are the most widespread of the four dragon types. They can be found from one pole to the other and everywhere in between. There are supposedly some that have learned to live out in the ocean. Their abilities depends on where they are from. Those in the mountain regions are said to breath fire or lightning. Deserts can be venomous or breath fire. Those in the forests are said to contain the most potent venom ever to exist. Those in the tundra are rumored to freeze armies where they stand with their bitter cold ice breath. There are rumors that those in the plains have no abilities at all and are the most docile of the eco types. That is yet to be proven.
Construction of the nest itself varies from region to region. But all the same the dragons prefer cliff faces, caverns or anywhere that will keep pesky egg thieves away from their nests. The nest usually contains two to three pearly green eggs.
These dragons appear like overgrown lizards than dragons. But do not let their lizard appearance fool you. These are very much dragons.
These are perhaps one of the most environmentally restricted of the terrestrial dragons. They are only found in the desert regions of the world. That does not mean however that they are the most common of the six types they are still incredibly rare. Because of the environmental restriction the Lizard Drake is the smallest of the five large types of dragons average an individual may only get up to twenty five feet in length very rarely will one reach thirty feet or more. Unlike the other terrestrial dragons they do not have wings. But they are able to breath fire and are said to be the most cunning of the the four dragon types.
It is rumored that of the four dragon types that Lizards are the least aggressive. But that does not mean they will not retaliate with the full might of a dragon when provoked. It just means that if one happens to come across one there is a higher chance of walking away with your life. Perhaps eve to have a conversation with the dragon.
These dragons usually dig their own layers either in a stable sand dunes or in an exposed cliff face if one is lucky enough to find one. Due to the instability of sand these dragons only take the time and energy to build and maintain one lair entrance. The construction of their nests is not known. But it is known from past records that a nest contains two pearly white eggs.
There are two species of Serpent Dragon (The Serpent and the Water Drake) but as their name implies Serpent Drakes have long snake like bodies with a dragon head. Their wings and legs have evolved into six flippers giving these dragons excellent propulsion through the water. These dragons are the largest of the six types with some rumored to reach more than one hundred feet in length. That is a only a rumor though as none that large have ever been encountered. The largest ones encountered were around eighty feet to eighty five feet in length.
Encounters with these dragons are much rarer than the three other types as they are usually live deep in the depths of the oceans. Rumors have if that they have a relationship with sirens but that has not been proven. The only encounters that are encountered are violent ones with the Serpent spewing up monstrous waves with their massive bodies big enough to send ships and crew to a watery grave.
This type of dragon can be found in all aquatic environments including rivers and lakes. Those that are found in rivers and lakes are the youngsters that are not yet big enough to live in the ocean. They will not head out to the ocean until they reach at least ten feet in length (When hatched they are roughly three feet in length). No one knows how the hatchlings get into rivers in the first place. Some have said to have spotted the parents leading young to mouths of rivers, that has not been proven however. From time to time due to great storms the pearly gold eggs wash up onto beaches. These are the most prized eggs to find and will end with the one who finds one having a large sum of money being sent their way for one of these eggs.
The Water Drake has an appearance similar to the Mountain Drake in build but as with the Serpent the Drake's wings have evolved into flippers. But their paws have evolved webbing and so have retained the ability to come onto land if they so choose. They are not as long as the Serpent, only reaching forty to sixty feet in length.
Like the Serpent the Drake has some sort of relationship with Sirens. But encounters with humans are always going to be with hostility. These dragons have always been sought after for their showy scales to be used as decorations in palaces and castles. It is said because of the hunting that these dragons are extremely rare with a very low population.
Unlike the Serpent. The young of Water Drakes stay in the oceans, using reefs as a source of protection and food source. Which makes them more vulnerable to hunters; but unlike Serpents Water Drake parents are always close buy watching over their young. But it does not guarantee that all the young will survive for some can be killed during the attempt of the parents to fight off the humans or other races that are attacking the young. This earns these dragons as having the same level of aggression as that of the Wyverns.
1. Xaindrot: An aggressive, massive Wyvern. His lair is located somewhere within the borders of the Empire. Every inch of the Empire's borders is his territory. He has zero tolerance of people no one is allowed in his lair. So one better have a very good excuse for entering and be prepared to be attacked.
2. Ozai Located somewhere within the borders of the Cathwa Nation. While he is aggressive towards people he does have some tolerance and will allow a person to explain why him or her entered the lair. If he is treated with respect he will do like wise.
3. Aezil Her lair is located somewhere within the frozen north. Unlike the other two dragons she is a very passive dragon. While yes if provoked she will go on the attack like any dragon. But she prefers to talk things through instead of resolving to violence. She has an incredible amount of knowledge out of all the elder dragons.