A Dragon

Dragons

Country: Rune, Verdaheim, El Quattor, Rep +
Life-span: 500+ Years
Est. Population: 80 - 100~
Proficiency: Hoarding, Magic, Guardianship

Rare, mythical creatures that are famed for fire-breath and treasure hoarding, dragons are something of legend. They are well known to be magical and fiercely protective of their own (or things they consider their own), and often times in stories they are likened to guardians because of it. Once upon a time the World may have flourished with such intelligent, magical beasts… But the dragon population on Aurora in modern times has dwindled significantly.

An incredibly resilient species, dragons are able to thrive in harsh and inhospitable environments - even when prey is scarce. They resist heat; legends state that a full grown dragon can bathe in magma to purify his scales! Even the newest adventurer knows that a dragon’s scales are rumored to be as tough as any armor, and supposedly impenetrable by blade. They are apex predators with very few natural threats in the wild - other predators, like gryphons, prove to be an inconvenience but not quite a danger.

Dragon Hunters are the first and foremost reason that dragons are considered endangered. Creatures of magic as they are, it’s said that their components can take one’s craft from mundane to fantastical - from alchemy to armorcraft and beyond, each part of a dragon is a boon. And thus, despite dragon hunting being illegal on most of Aurora, there is a massive market for such pieces.

Tales have always told of ancient, powerful beasts that could speak, but the majority of Aurora knows real dragons as beasts - wildly intelligent, crafty, and magical, but animals regardless. However! Unknown to most outside of Runian lands, and unknown to many even within Rune, is the existence of Sentient Dragons. They are as territorial, protective and even as aggressive as their non-sentient kin, but they are gifted with speech, logic and reasoning…

Appearance

Reference Chart Averaging from 7’ to 10’ at the shoulders (and sometimes beyond), dragons tower most other species. Build varies greatly from one dragon to the next, and they come in a myriad of colours and markings. Scales are the most common dragon trait, but they’ve been seen with thick hides, fur, and even feathers! Horns, spikes or ridges often crown their heads and spines, and some dragons have been reported to adorn jewelry to further accent their unique features… Whether that is simply because of their love of treasure, to attract a mate, or to intimidate others in their species is unknown.

Their jaws, teeth and claws are as powerful looking as the rest of them, and pack quite the punch. Dragons are able to shred and eat most materials, even rock, and their features reflect this raw strength.

Study has shown that there are two common types of dragon (although the everyday adventurer might not be aware): Flighted and non-flighted. They’re obvious to their namesake; flighted dragons possess wings, while non-flighted do not! A dragon’s wings are massive, and they have to be to carry such a large creature. The length of a singular wing measures the same distance from a dragon’s shoulder to tail tip and oftentimes can be even larger. Dragons are generally quadrupedal, but there are a scarce few that seem to prefer a bipedal stature.

Flightless dragons are no less a sight to behold despite a lack of (or sometimes miniature) wings. They make up for their lack of flight with a terrifying speed in the underbrush, and make for incredibly deadly hunters in densely wooded or vegetated areas. They thrive in spots that their winged kin may have more difficulty traversing.

While often cited as dragons (or their cousins), and while similar in appearance, the long serpentine-like beasts of Ba Jin are not actually dragons! They are in fact an unrelated species entirely - Youkai. In this same vein, the two-legged and two-winged Wyverns of El Quattor are also largely unrelated, though there is evidence that they may share a common ancient ancestor.

There are rumors, as well, of other sorts of dragons beyond these - aquatic living, snow faring, abyss-dwelling, though none have been documented in the wild as of yet.

Culture

Dragons are largely social creatures within their own species, living in communal groups that have come to be called Prides. They are fiercely territorial, protective and loyal to that Pride - enough so that their guardian-orientated traits intensify by a shocking amount when Pride members or territories are involved. Dragon Prides are generally made up of family, though they have been known to adopt lone-dragons and entire other packs (when they were more prolific) from time to time.

Strength is a valued trait among sentient and non-sentient dragons alike; the strong are well respected and often younger, weaker members of Prides can be observed bringing their older and stronger kin gifts of various value. To the casual observer it may look like a Pride is in constant contest with itself, busy with inner strife - but competition is a vital part of dragon socialization, although it can get out of hand. Despite this and their various shows of strength with and against one another, their sense of loyalty is absolute. This tends to only go as far as their own, however! A strong or wise non-dragon may be respected, but likely never with the same level (or same kind) of respect.

Dragon-kind are terribly fond of treasure; things that shine, sparkle, or feel rich in mana tend to catch their eyes, and dragons are known to hoard such commodities. They’re usually very proud of their amassed wealth as well, especially unpaired young-adults. Gold in particular is rumored to be a special part of the dragon courting ritual - but cases of this are not yet well documented. Dragons have been observed to pair for life, practicing alloparental roles within the Pride. This allows even the parents of a fresh clutch to contribute to Pride life via hunting, gathering, or watching the hatchlings.

Fine details of social interaction and culture are still largely a mystery to the common eye, and even more so when it comes to the few sentient dragons Aurora has to offer.

Cities

Verdaheim and The Mjolnir Range are two of the more well known dragon territories. Verdaheim is a vast floating island in the sky, situated high above one of the many lakes that dot the mountain range itself. Said to have been brought about by strange magics and a fantastical ritual, dragons have been seen frequenting this isle and the mountains below it for some time. This is where the majority of the Pride of Rune resides!

The Mjolnir Mountains were originally considered a dragon sanctuary, albeit only a very small amount of this territory was dedicated to that cause - political maneuvering has allowed for the majority of the mountain range (unfriendly as it is in areas) to be considered dragon territory. Merchant paths and caravan roads still wind through these mountains, as do many an adventurer - the risks posed are similar to any other wild terrain.

Abyss Lake, situated in Schwartzvald, used to be considered dragon territory. Poaching and the black market, however, drove most of them away to seek shelter in Rune. After the Rune-Republic war a small fraction of the population, estimated at a handful, has begun to return. The surrounding environment is a treacherous place, Schwartzvald wilderness being unkind and harsher than most.

Government

As sentient dragons are considered a newly recognized race, and still widely unheard of, they do not have an incredibly sophisticated structure of government. They share yet another trait with their non-sentient kin in that a Pride tends to have one king - The Dragon Lord. They then follow a hierarchy of role, respect, and strength.

Rune’s Pride is largely made up of these sentient dragons, and as such they have a small amount of human-formed representatives known as the Dragon Druids. These ‘Druids’ are well respected members of their Pride and rank just below the Lord in hierarchy. The Druids also act as ambassadors for all dragon kind, including whatever fragments or groups that remain scattered throughout Aurora.

Main Art © Caeciss

world_setting/races/dragons.txt · Last modified: 2018/06/30 04:33 by nexxus