THE DRAGONS

APPEARANCE - CATEGORIZATION

Dragons are some the most powerful creatures you can find in the world of Caelereth. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, such as the Mythical Dragon the Adamant, or the greedy Great Drake - or simply "Dragon" - the Fire Dragon, the Lesser Drake Urzash, down to the tiny Dracoid Eingana Whelps.

The Dragon
View picture in full size Image description. A party battling a powerful dragon and its evil undead master. Picture drawn by Quellion.

Appearance. Though most Dragons resemble giant lizards or serpents, a few of them are warm-blooded, and some kinds even live in extreme arctic climates. In general Dragons can live with all elements: some prefer the air, others live near the water, on the ground only or also underground - depending on their species. Some Dragons even live on other planes, such as the Abyssal Dragon, which is one of the few creatures living in the Etherial Void. The Dragon is moderately uncommon, but can be found in all parts of Caelereth, though sentient Dragons can mainly be spotted only near the Dragon's Maw and the Tandala Highlands.

The Dragon is rarely seen, simply because of the fact that the natural hunting territories of such powerful creatures are shunned by the people. Certain kinds of Dragons also keep to themselves and "sit on their treasures, waiting for the next hero to pass by - only to have a very short company" (quoted from one of Master Tribell's typical fairy tales about dragonkind). However, at a very special historical occasion it is reported that masses of Dragons covered the skies in order to avenge the death of one of the legendary Adamant Dragons - at the famous Dragonstorm. The horrors this storm brought over Sarvonia are still recounted from generation to generation and will never be forgotten.

Most Dragons hunt by themselves, although some, who either favour large prey or are very small, hunt in packs. Most of the larger kinds have no natural enemies, and are at the top of the food chain of Caelereth, while the Lesser Drakes and Dracoids can be food for other beasts or even other Drakes. Many Dragons also have extremely powerful magic, equal to or even greater than the strongest powers of the lesser races (as Dragons interpret elves, humans, gnomes, orcs and the like).

Since there exists a vast variety of dragonkind, Dragons have extremely different habits and temperaments and are very unpredictable. Some Dragons will kill and devour members of the lesser races on sight, if given the chance, while others would try to befriend them. Still other Dragons may find it better to ignore them unless they are harrassed. Therefore a very important thing to be aware of in
Caelereth when encountering Dragons is to finding the right way to react. Many a sorcerer has been killed when a well-meaning Dragon has approached them, and they fought back. The Dragon was angered and easily killed his opponents. The most notable example of this situation is in the case of Dorgrim the Slightly Dim. Dorgrim was a powerful wizard with little intelligence, as the legends tell us (strange, but true). Dorgrim angered an Aurora Dragon and was known from then on to his acquaintances as Dorgrim the Very Dead...
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Categorization. Dragons/Drakes can be divided into four different groups. There are Mythical Dragons, the legendary Dragons of history and myth. There are Great Drakes, which are usually identified with the term "Dragons" and comprise the sentient or more powerful spectrum of Dragonkind living today. The next classification are the Lesser Drakes, sometimes called "Wyverns". The last and smallest group are those lizards or serpents which exhibit distinct Draconian qualities, but are very small or not quite Drakes in their own right, the Dracoids We summarize the different kinds of Dragons as follows:

I. LEGENDARY DRAGONS, THE
It is written in ancient passages and spoken of in legends, that there are Dragons of unimaginable power and knowledge, believed to have moulded and shaped the culture of their kin. Their deeds of good or evil are renowned throughout the races, yet the truth of their existence has been lost to the passing of time but not forgotten. Almost every mention of them, be it by word of mouth or written on ancient scrolls, portrays magic, wisdom, knowledge, and superiority over their kind, though this may not necessarily be true for all.
 

II. DRAGONS, THE
Dragons are magnificent and enigmatic creatures of ancient power and profound wisdom, deemed by many to belong to the most noble race in Caelereth. Their complex language and magical ascendancy baffles many who attempt to study them, as they have spent centuries building and perfecting their methodologies. They are respected by their lesser kin and all other races for their knowledge and abilities, having commanded armies of Drakes and other lesser races in past battles. The unity amongst the creatures is nearly unbreakable, despite the individual differences between many of them.

  • The Great Drakes
    Great Drakes are basically huge land beasts often living in mountains and are distinctive from drakes due to their seize and extraordinary abilities.

  • The Wyrms (Great Worms)
    Wyrms are usually serpent-like sea beasts, representing an equivalent to the Lesser Drake Worms. They are therefore also called Great Worms.

III. DRAKES, THE
Unlike their ancient cousins, Drakes are much more of a commonality in Santharia and are considered to be beasts in the Draconic family. They come in three varieties: Wyverns, Wyrms, or Drakes. Each retain some physical aspects their larger and more powerful counterparts have, but they lack the speech, literacy or power, which give the Dragons ultimate superiority. The kinship they feel with the Dragons is reflected in the willingness to do their bidding, rarely acting in defiance against their wishes.

  • The Wyverns
    Wyverns are drakes that live on land. They usually have a great amount of flying skill. The term "Wyvern" is also often used for denoting this type of drake solely, though this usage is not fully correct following the categorization principles of the Dragon researcher Homloth. Homloth lived in the second century b.S. and his works still serve as the main resource for Dragon descriptions.

  • The Worms (Serpents)
    Worms are more serpent-shaped than Drakes and usually prefer water. They have shorter limbs, though no lesser wingspan.

IV. DRACOIDS
Dracoids are creatures which have drake-like qualities, but do not have any true Draconic blood flowing in their veins. Despite this, many races still attribute them as being descendants of the greater beasts. There are many different varieties scattered throughout the world. People find them intriguing and often attempt to domesticate them in hopes of owning, what many seem to believe, a direct yet small cousin of the Dragons.
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V. NETHERDRAKES
Whispered legends speak of two varieties of drakes whose origins are believed to be within the Netherworld. The Netherwyrm is a creature whose very existence has long been a subject of debate. What is known of the Netherworld is little, but some dark elven myths claim that creatures the likes of a dragon can be summoned from the dark world of Cor, and likely the very nature of these netherwyrms is more akin to demonic than actual dragonkind. The dravilonia is another beast of the Netherworld, but smaller, and is said to have aided the dark folk during the Third Sarvonian War. These drakes were used as mounts for the dark armies and were summoned by powerful clerics of Cor. Like many other creatures said to call the Netherworld their home, the Netherdrakes are not defined by actual fact, but by myth, and their true existence is still debated by scholars.
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 Date of last edit 22nd Fallen Leaf 1667 a.S.

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