As we begin our foray into the great serpent family shall start with the one for the beasts that are most well known. The Ego Draconis. The Dragon. One of the most fearsome beast to have ever walked the land of Prospero before disappearing into the north beyond the north. They were powerful creatures capable of decimating small armies to cities with relative ease. They like their bestial family would inform a great serpent like beast. They are a number of quadrupedal and scaled reptilians with a mix of serpentine and avian traits. Most of the species developed chiropteran style wings sprouting from their upper vertebra, a long, muscular prehensile tails, though this is only the majority; numerous exceptions existed among subspecies.
There are no records to show that a dragon has been seen in the world in the thousands of years post the end of the Darka Empire. This is mostly due to the fact these creatures were widely hunted due to the rebellion against the Darka Mages. Much of the species was brought down due to both spite and to reach their masters. This resulted in what is known as the sorrowful flight during the last days of year 31 Decay. A massive and sudden migration of their entire species. It is said more were seen in those days in the sky than the last several thousand years even under the Darka Empire. The last dragon passing into the North beyond the North on the first sun of year 32 Decay.
Nevertheless, I intend to record them for austerity's sake. If such creatures are to ever return, it is of utmost necessity that future generations are aware of them and what they truly are.
While the exact description and characteristics of of dragons often varied by the region of the world the they were in, they seemed to share many similar characteristics. They are large four legged, winged, reptilians with the innate abilities to fly and produce fire. While many showed animalistic intelligence, records show they might not be entirely bestial and could possibly be more intelligent than scholars, while they a weak temperament being a flaw. Records suggest that they were in some ways functionally immortal, not dying due to age. There are no records of one dying in such a way that is. Their bones are incredibly resilient, though light, and there scales able to resist extreme environmental factors. The men of Kyrios hold these treasures as beyond all others and it is their collections that has allow the world to study this missing species.
The origins of their distinct trait to produce fire was discovered by the physician Quilian Bertuch ages ago. The acidic stomach bile of dragons would refine itself over time into a highly flammable substance. While most of this would be used in the digestion of their food. An organ in the front of its chest would store excess. As it slowly evaporates and dissolves, it produces a refined sludge. Which the beasts could spray forth. It would react with the air producing a flame that could burn for several hours on merely the bile.
It was this power mixed with temper that made these creatures seen as little more than great destroyers, and while they do have such capacity, it was not the entirety of the matter. Beast of such ability rare cared about lesser species so long as it had food and was not bothered. It was even said that the imperial zoo of the Telusuna capital did infact have a dragon, it was a free beast that came and went, but rarely killed anyone so long as it was able to go hunter and did not feel threatened. A more accurate image of a dragon is a creature very much like a feline in its actions. Though most records show that when such beasts are roused from their slumber. Which more than earns their reputation.
It should be noted that when they did settle down and lazed in the world, there seems to be a very specific pattern. The creatures would often establish their territory in locations where the power of life welled up from Prospero. Sites of great arcane powers or the intersections ley lines. While at the same time they avoided locations where the veil between the void and the material was week. This often caused much of the conflicts between man and beast.
As places where the essence of life flows up from Prospero are often areas overall well suited for life, and bring a certain fortune with them. It allowed many cities or large farming communities spring up in the area, but as a dragon takes to the area though, they work to purge the area of anything it may have considered an annoyance. This also lead many crusades against the Ego Draconis in order to secure these tracts of land. It being a struggle much like any war for resource.
Dragons isolating themselves in places of life is likely why what rendered their species immortal. Whether they had a natural sensitivity to the flow of life or simply preferred the areas due to the abundance of wildlife to hunt and other resources. There is some theories though that suggest that these creatures cared more about the essence of life, that they were drawing on it themselves. The exact reason the would draw on this power is unknown. It would explain many stories of the body parts and blood having innately arcane properties.
Now many are confused by the scholastic category of dragons versus many of their other cousins and even species that are not bound to the great serpent family. The Wyvern is the living cousin that is most often mistaken for them. Wyverns show striking resemblance to certain species of smaller dragons, there are a few distinctions that separate them. These lesser cousins also did die of age and while it was much longer than most creatures they were not immune to it. These smaller creatures were also never able to breath fire like their erstwhile cousins. Dragons had much longer reproductive cycles due to their life spans and is likely the cause that they did not form the great hunts of the last days of Darka and first days of Decay. While though it is one of the least noted signifiers is that Dragon Magi, while gone with their beasts, they could never fully control Wyverns or most of the others in the great serpent families. At best strong Dragon Magi were able to only influence them emotional to a degree, but most could only be actually controlled by a magi connected to that species.
The void beast is an example of creature not even bound to the great serpent family, but seem to take the form of many creatures both still living and extinct, this has caused a few occurrences of them taking the form of the great serpent families. Which operate by unnatural characteristics due to their arcane origins and birth in the void.
The origin of the dragon is unknown, they have existed as long as mankind has, if not longer. The histories and traditional stories of numerous cultures provide a variety of possibilities. Though most are represented as destroyers or guardians of great things for gods to test men. They played strong roles in many the faiths and histories of nations and over these past ages their absence has been felt, in ways good and bad. Some cultures like Kyrios have flourished and others like the Qynuan whose traditions were based around the beasts has fallen into states of stagnation. It has allowed for many historically dangerous areas to be settled, but wars over areas previously none bothered to claim. While fellow scribes have better detailed the effects of the loss of dragons across the world, it is not my purview. I only view them in respect to the period and country being observed at the time.
It is unlikely that these creatures will ever return, true. It has not stopped many a brave explorer though from heading into the north beyond the north and looking for the last vestiges of the lost race. All that has ever been found from those few to return from the North Beyond the North have been remnants of the dead and a pair of eggs residing currently residing in the Sternlichet University of The Natural Sciences and Arcane Study and one in the royal family of Kyrios. Perhaps, one day these great beasts will walk our world again.
I just though to do a little bit about some of the worlds lore the other day, as one of the guys in my game asked about dragons, and I had to explain some things about the world. So I thought to write about them a bit. Plus need a bit time off from college work XD
Please check out my main story in this world: Trials of the Witch Hunter
Or a collection of short stories: Tales of Prospero