THE BUTTERFLY DRAGON ("SHATÍ'ELIÁS")

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY
HABITAT/BEHAVIOUR - DIET - MATING - MYTH/LORE - RESEARCHERS

The Shatí'eliás (Styrásh for "Tiny Healer"), Shessthyah or the Butterfly Dragon, is believed to be the smallest dragon in Caelereth, having a wingspan of about fifteen nailsbreadths and a body twenty-five nailsbreadths long in dragon form. Yet, despite their minute size, they are considered to be one of the most powerful dragons to exist. These creatures, having a range of both healing and destructive abilities, are unpredictable and seem to know more than one may believe. The Shatí'eliás make their home in the Thaelon Forest with the Astyrhim and are said to have close relations with these mystical elves. People have even said these creatures are the elves, simply in yet another embodiment they can change into. It is said that their souls are eternal and after their time in physical form has come to an end, they transform into a small ball of light. Once this transformation has been completed, it is believed they will live with the Astyrhim in the Sálen'seiá.

Appearance. The Butterfly Dragon is considered to be the smallest recorded dragon in Caelereth. From tip of their nose to the tip of their tail, the dragon can reach an average of twenty-five nailsbreadths at full length. Tiny but hard platinum scales adorn the small creature, and these scales do not differ from one point of the body to another, keeping the same smooth texture overall with the only exception of the wings. These scales also seem to emit their own light as the Shatí'eliás flies through the darkness of the Thaelon Forest, often causing confusion for those who may think of them as wisps if seen. The Shatí'eliás' scales shed from time to time, crumbling into dust after several days once detached from their source. Why these hard scales disintegrate so quickly, leaves researchers baffled. This adds to the dragon's elusive and mysterious nature, as it makes it difficult to prove their existence when nothing is left behind.

Four legs are short but strong, helping to support them when they climb trees or attempt to walk on the ground. Their claws are long and sharp, as they are used to to cling to tree trunks or supportive branches. Even though they are small, they are heavier than they appear, being an estimated four to five ods. Silver eyes glow in the darkness as they fly through the trees, having the same luminescent nature as their scales. When they fly, they look like large orbs of light, darting from one place to another, but their cloak of invisibility will douse this light. The Shatí'eliás, as it reaches the point in its life it no longer feels the need to keep their physical form, will appear to extract its soul from its body and leave it behind to live on as a spiritual essence. This essence looks to be like that of a wisp, but of a yellowish hue.

Two oval wings on each side of their back overlap each other slightly, resembling that of a butterfly's wings. Each wing is covered in very small platinum scales, adding to their iridescent nature. The wings shimmer in a myriad of colours when any form of light is reflected off of them, as though the colours were merely covered by a thin transparent layer of platinum scales. These unique extensions span a width of fifteen
nailsbreadths, but even though it is small in comparison to others, the additional two wings make up for the lack of size. Because of these additional wings, the Butterfly Dragon is an expert flyer, and can use the wings almost individually to help them maneuver through the thick trees with an amazing precision and speed. When in flight, these wings move in a flutter-like motion, fluctuating so quickly that they create a quiet buzzing sound. It is almost like a hum, with each dragon having a different tone. When many of them are together, it sounds like a choir of voices, humming in harmony with each other. Return to the top

Special Abilities. It is believed these creatures have the power to heal any wound or ailment. Many have attempted to seek them out for their healing abilities, but not everyone is chosen to receive such a miracle. The dragon is particular on the person it interacts with, as they know their healing will give something more to those who experience their power. The Butterfly Dragon has the ability to extend the life the one it heals, even granting immortality to a worthy recipient. It has been observed that some who have gone to visit the dragons have returned stronger and more resilient than they used to be, never becoming ill and healing wounds at a great pace.This gift is sought after by many, but it is not simply given away as it can be a great gift or a tragic curse. When they choose to heal someone, it is usually not because it was asked of them, but because they believed the person was of a pure heart and wouldn't abuse the power given. The older the Shatí'eliás becomes, the exertion it takes to heal becomes less, as it has been perfected upon for centuries. Though, the time it takes for younger dragons to recover can be up to nearly a century, while older dragons will be as low as twenty-five years.

Just as the Butterfly Dragons are believed to have the ability to heal, they are also believed to be able to end life at a whim if they feel it would be for the good of others. The Shatí'eliás has also been known to decrease the lifespan of those who try to take advantage of the dragon. These people have also been known to age faster than they would normally, if they were not killed where they stood. Yet, this isn't confined to humanoid creatures, but also those of their own kind. If they feel the need or threatened, they will lash out in a frighteningly destructive manner. This ability often leaves them very weak, and it takes nearly fifty years for them to fully recover from such an exertion of power. Much like their aptitude to heal, the younger Shatí'eliás find the recovery time for applying such power to be nearly a century, if not longer.

The Shatí'eliás can also turn invisible as it so chooses, revealing itself only when it deems necessary or when the moment seems to be right. Young dragons spend most of their lives invisible to everything and everyone, as they are more vulnerable than their older counterparts. It is theorized that there are two levels of invisibility for these creatures: partial and full. When exhibiting partial invisibility, they can be seen by others of their kind, but no one else. When initiating full invisibility, no one and nothing can see them, not even other dragons.

The Shatí'eliás also is fluent with all the major languages known in Caelereth, even if the need to speak most never arises. Before the spread of the races, the dragon claims its home was not just limited to the Thaelon Forest, and they had more freedom to roam the world and glean information about those who shared the world with them. The Shatí'eliás interacted on a personal level with those who they felt could help to enhance their current knowledge and those who they could help encourage on a path of enlightenment. Yet, this interaction no longer exists in the same manner it once did. Even those who seek after these dragons to learn from them, are turned away or never find what they were after. Anger has filled the hearts of many Shatí'eliás and it has not calmed over the course of many millennia. 'A dragon never forgets' holds true with these creatures. They remember watching the people of Caelereth wage wars against one another, finding it despicable. Wanting nothing to do with such wars and the squabbling over selfish issues, the Butterfly Dragon disappeared from the world, retreating into the confines of the Thaelon forest and limiting its contact with others dramatically.

It is also greatly believed the dragons can read thoughts and sense emotions, and this is a strong reason why they are rarely visited. People do not trust them, and are fearful to approach them in case there would be something the dragons would find displeasing. There are races they find more distrustful than others, but the Shatí'eliás try to give all the benefit of the doubt. Yet, any preconceived notions they may have about other races does not exist for elves, and why can only be speculated.
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Territory. It has been said these creatures live in both the Ó'phyría and the Sálen'seiá parts of the
Thaelon Forest, mingling with the Astyrhim since the beginning of time. Though their existence in the Ó'phyría has been confirmed, their association with the Light Elves in Sálen'seiá has not. This is association is something Kalína would like to explore further if given the opportunity, but none has arisen thus far. Return to the top

Habitat/Behaviour. Being quite at home in the
Thaelon Forest, they are adapted to the climate changes that it may experience on a daily or seasonal basis. The dragons make nests, made out of shade grass and various mosses, high in the mahood-euwen trees. Even though little sunlight reaches through these trees, the dragons have found little need of such illumination as they provide their own light to navigate through the forest. They live in relative peace, being bothered rarely by outsiders, as much about them has been left for speculation and myth. But, on the occasion that someone finds their way to the dragons and attempts to ask for their assistance, the Shatí'eliás almost always refuses, wishing to be left alone to live as they please.

The Shatí'eliás are generally not aggressive creatures and they tend to approach interruptions to their daily lives with a calm demeanour, despite their great displeasure in them. The dragons look to help keep the balance of life and death, be it to one's advantage or disadvantage, it does not matter to them as long as the balance is kept. Many who have come to the Shatí'eliás have never returned home, as their souls were not deemed worthwhile of life by the dragons. This aspect makes them very unpredictable as their reactions are based on one's thoughts and intentions.

They are closely knit creatures, finding comfort and solace in the each other's presence, especially as mates. Because of this, they are fiercely protective of each other and will rise to the defense of their own. It also attributes to the fact that one dragon will have multiple mates over the course of time, and it doesn't seem strange to them.

The Shatí'eliás is feared and awed by many for their abilities, and they are quite aware of this. Knowing they are something to be feared has hurt them even though they do not trust outsiders, they feel the loss of a companionship that they once had so many centuries ago. This translates to a level of lachrymose by some of the older dragons, and little can be done to bring them out of such a depression. After living in sadness for so many years, these dragons will slowly waste away, dying as they still live as the sadness overwhelms them and they fade away to their ultimate physical death. When the dragon dies, their bodies turn to dust while their soul lives on. An orb of a purplish hue emerges from the crumbling remains and it travels to Sálen'seiá, the supposed realm of the Light Elves. Death is always a time of great mourning for the Shatí'eliás, as it is rare for these creatures to die, as they live for an untold millennia.

"The Shatí'eliás present themselves with a haughty air, as they know what they are capable of and why these abilities were given to them. Believed to be one of the first dragons created, they use their abilities in belief they are to help keep the balance of good and evil within the world, even with having retreated into the Thaelon Forest. Even though they are small creatures, do not be fooled and make the mistake of assuming they are harmless, as your life will hang in the balance when you approach them with a request. These amazing creatures have the power over life and death, and having seen it come to pass only heightens my respect for these dragons. I want to learn as much as they will allow me, but I am finding they are often tight-lipped. Much of what I have been able to glean[/color] has been from true observation. Yet, my experiences have gone far beyond mere observations, and I must say I am truly blessed to have been acquainted with such amazing creatures.

My personal experience with these dragons has been nothing but spectacular. My injuries from years of travelling have been healed, and I have never felt better. Whether the rumors are true about the gift which is given through healing is true, I have not yet been able to prove, but I have a suspicion this aspect is not exaggerated. Only time will tell, and much shall have to be documented on future experiences. There is so much I am eager to learn from them, and I am hopeful of their willingness to teach and share."

-- As documented by Kalína
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Diet. The diet of the Shatí'eliás is something most would find unexpected for a dragon, as they are strictly herbivores. They will munch on just about anything green that they deem tasty enough to eat, but they have a particular fondness for wizardleaf and zifel. Whether these particular plants have anything to do with the dragon's abilities or lifespan is quite undetermined and is denied by the dragons, but one cannot completely put out of their mind that the plants may have some affect on the dragon's attributes. Shade grass is also a popular form of nourishment for these creatures, as it is easy to come across with its ability to thrive anywhere in the Thaelon Forest. Return to the top

Mating. Watching the Shatí'eliás perform their mating ritual is something very few have ever gotten to experience. The dragons come together only once a millennia, so being able to observe these creatures is exceptionally rare. There is no telling when this joining will occur each millennium as they are quite unpredictable creatures. When the female is ready to mate, the natural glow she emits will become twice as bright. Together, the female and male will fly intricately through the air at a surprising speed, becoming a stream of light as they join together as one. When they dance, one can almost feel the love between the two dragons. Even though they do not limit themselves to one mate, it does not diminish the emotions felt by the two who are joined in the mating ritual.

Even with all the couples mating once a millennia, these creatures will only lay three eggs throughout the community. The three eggs will be laid into a small nest where the females will take turns watching over the precious treasures. Two eggs will eventually hatch from these three and reach adulthood. It is a joyous occasion when the new life hatches and a celebration is often held for the hatchlings. When the eggs are laid, they will only appear to be small balls of light, which will slowly fade to a dull gray over the following days. The egg itself is only five nailsbreadths in diameter, so the creature within is quite vulnerable to outsiders. The females will watch over the eggs for several months, keeping it warm and protecting it with their lives. The Shatí'eliás' know the fate of their species relies on the eggs the females are protecting, so in consequence, they are willing to forfeit their lives to protect the unborn dragons.

When they hatch, the babies are invisible to everyone but other dragons. This invisibility is something they do not have any control over but will learn to gain control as they grow older and learn from their guardians. When they are about two hundred and fifty years old, they will have reached a size which is half of their full size. Yet, they will have learned to take control of their invisibility and have the option to make themselves known to outsiders, if they so choose. It is then they can be observed fully as they grow into adults. It is not until they have reached the age of one thousand, are they considered adults. This is because they have reached their full size and have been taught to control their abilities.

The baby dragons, though invisible for their protection, are quite curious creatures, and like to investigate the world around them. Even though they cannot be directly seen, if one watches closely, you can see them bouncing around the nest and even learning to fly as they bump into various foliage around their home. Their adventures will appear to be like a breeze blowing through, but with the lack of wind. The females are particularly protective of these little dragons, and will often chase after the curious creatures and return them to the nest in their mouths. Even though hatchlings may be invisible, their voices are not. If one listens closely, you can hear their cries of resistance as they are brought back to the nest.
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Myth/Lore. There is a story which is told by the citizens of Voldar of a young boy who had visited the Thaelon Forest and managed to live to tell his remarkable story. His existence has been labelled as a legend, something which happens one in a hundred of lifetimes.

Elijah's Tale. Elijah, a young boy who lived with his father in the city of Voldar, as his mother passed away several years ago, was often the recipient of his father's wrath. The man was an angry drunkard, funding his addiction with his son's pickpocketing and spending all that money on drink rather than food. His father was a sorry excuse for a man, much less a father, something he cursed about every day.

One day, after having been nearly beaten to death by his father, who was in one of his drunken furies, that he escaped as far as he was able into the depths of the Thaelon Forest, collapsing unconscious from his injuries and exhaustion after a day's journey. The dragons found the young boy shortly after and took pity on him, bringing him deeper into the forest to tend to his wounds.

When he awoke the next day, the boy found himself in the midst of several dragons who had been watching over him with a careful eye. Shocked, he found his voice didn't want to respond. He had heard stories of these creatures and their rule over life and death, and he could feel his fear rising quickly as he recalled the tales. But he tried to calm himself, as he figured they would've killed him by now if they wanted to. He also noticed his wounds had been healed, so perhaps their intentions towards him were not malicious.

"Where am I? Who are you?" the boy asked.

The dragons looked at each other, sensing the innocence of the child and his fear, they wished to put his mind at ease as best they could with a direct answer.

"We are the Shatí'eliás, the dragons of the Thaelon Forest," one replied.

The young boy blinked, unable to believe what he was seeing or hearing. He thought he was dreaming. In the midst of legends, his excitement began to overtake his fear.

"You were badly injured," they explained. "But we would encourage more rest, as you have had a trying ordeal."

The boy nodded, laying back and drifting off to sleep with the encouragement of the dragons. They had taken pity on the boy, but to what consequence? Yet, as their nature, they knew what they had done and felt no remorse, feeling their gift would be accepted well by the child over time.

It is said Elijah went on to live a good many years, sharing his experience and doing what he could to help those who needed encouragement. He knew he had been chosen for a purpose, found worthy of heart by the dragons for their great gift to be bestowed upon him, and he didn't want to make them feel as if their time and gift had been wasted. Elijah spent his life travelling the world, trying to make it a better place with the time he had been given, but his intentions were not often well received and it soon caught up with him. Despite his ability to live, he was not protected from the physical evils of men. He was beheaded about 1000 years after his encounter with the dragons for heresy, and his death is believed to have been felt by the creatures, causing them great pain. Many heard a wailing from the Forest, and it was presumed it was the dragons weeping at the loss of the boy.

The story of Elijah's father and his fate is often retold with a more melancholy remembrance:

Thomas had spent the night in his favourite tavern, filling himself with ale and liquor. As the hours passed, he became rowdy and found himself kicked out onto the street, as was the nightly routine of his indulgence. Stumbling back home, he found his son missing and he was furious at this disappearance, knowing he had lost part of his income. After knocking on a few doors and bumping into random strangers on the street, asking about a young boy, he was directed to the Thaelon Forest. Determined to get his son back, he set off into the darkness of the trees, calling out the boy's name as he went.

The dragons overheard his booming and slurred voice, and went to investigate this disturbance of their forest. Invisible to the human eye, they found and followed the man as he stumbled through the trees. They observed him, reading him and his purpose for entering the forest. What they found angered them greatly. Not only had the man used his son to serve his own selfish purposes, he had persecuted the child for his own short comings. Not wanting this to continue any longer, they decided to take action and put an end to the child's fears and situation. They surrounded the man, revealing themselves before his drunken eyes.

The dragons then deemed him unworthy of his wretched life. They did not take pity on his soul, but found it worthless of the life that had been given to him, a judgement reached from their empathic study of him. A life that had been freely given could so easily be taken away because of his chosen path. They felt no remorse in their decision and quickly took the action he deserved. In but a moment's time, Thomas was reduced to nothing but dust on the ground and the dragons were satisfied in his destruction. No longer was he a threat to their new chosen one.
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Researchers. Following the tales and legends surrounding this mystical creatures, Kalína Dalá'isyrás spent a good many years in the Thaelon Forest, hoping to gather more insight and knowledge about these legendary dragons. The little she knew about them gave her a basis on how to approach them and hopefully gain their trust enough to observe them. With the belief that they have the ability to read thoughts and intentions, she found they approached her much sooner than she anticipated and she was more than thrilled with this aspect. Return to the top

 Date of last edit 23rd Rising Sun 1671 a.S.

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