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Rayne (Alýr)
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« on: 25 October 2009, 13:53:44 »

With a 'poof!" a familiar elf finds herself in the Bestiary. After wandering through the halls, looking at beasts being sculpted from threads of imagination, she pulls out a rather large book of notes and begins flipping through it. Pages flutter out between the leafs, taking on the shapes of animals. A paper frog hops from the book into her pocket, while a paper bird flutters up to nest in her dark hair, which falls softly across her indigo eyes.

After flipping for a while, she pulls out a dusty parchment yellowed by time. The date written in its corner says that it is almost three years old. She glances over it briefly, then leaves it in the air for a moment as she puts her notebook away--the other entries are for another time. The floating parchment shivers with excitement, and she smiles. She takes in a deep breath, then blows the parchment into a Drakelet, which chirps joyfully in its new found existence.

With a croak from her pocket and a warble from her hair, the little elf disappears with a 'poof!'


Drakelets (Draeklets), featherdrakes, whelplings, hatchlings

Drakelets are small, drake-like creatures approximately the size of a cat or small fox: about the length of a human male's arm at full length, not including a tail of about the length of a forearm. Because of their size, they are often confused for young drakes, hence the name “whelplings” or “hatchlings.” They are reptilian creatures, yet their scales are arranged in succession down the plethora of bones located in the wing, giving their wings a feathery appearance, thus lending them the name “featherdrakes.”

The size and behaviour of Drakelets has led many drake researchers to dismiss the common assumption that these creature belong in the drake family, despite the few features they have in common with the Feathered Wyvern. They are completely unmagical creatures of an unacceptably small size. In addition, they do not have nearly the intelligence of drakes, nor the strength and prowess common to this reptile class. Some adamant scholars have even proposed that Drakelets are more closely related to Dragonfly lizards, though few have accepted the theory. Although scholars have continually tried to find a more acceptable name for this beast, the term “Drakelet” continues to be widely used.

Appearance: The Drakelet looks like a small drake, with scales the size and shape of fingernails covering it completely, to the tip of its feather-like wings. Its pointed head ends in a slight curve, giving it a kind of elongated beak that can deliver a painful bite. The eyes are always a flat black, and constantly give it a clueless expression—as though an orc could be standing over it yelling with mace in hand, ready to clobber it, and it wouldn’t take the slightest notice. It has small protrusions at the back of its head, as though its structure feebly attempted horns, which not only are small (only a nailsbreadth at most in length) but are hopelessly blunt, like small nubs.

The Drakelet has a moderately slender neck leading to its rounded body, which has the appearance of being bloated. It has four short legs, each ending in four sharp claws, with a fifth claw protruding from the back of each leg. Its claws have the potential for being fairly dangerous, but are rarely used. Its tail extends from its body about the length of a elven woman's forearm, and tapers to a point. Two large wings extend from just below the shoulder blades of its front legs—wings which can spread across to a the length of a human male's leg. From the main bone of the wing protrudes a copious amount of longer bones, giving the wing its shape. Along each of the branching bones are layers of fingernail-shaped scales, slightly larger than many of the other scales that cover the drake’s back and head. The drake has only a bit of skin connecting one branching bone to another, though the scales cover it well and, in doing so, give the wing the appearance of being feathery. The broadest scales on the drake run from the base of the neck to the base of the tail, along the belly; however, though larger, these scales are no where as tough as those on its back, and have a leathery quality.

Drakelets come in several different colours depending on location. The Drakelets that dwell in the foothills of Ximax tend to be more green or green-brown, blending in with the trees that grow under the mountains. Those that dwell near the coast tend to appear more teal or dark turquoise, sometimes a dark sea-green. Those living in the more mountainous regions tend to have a bronze colour, sometimes with flecks of silver or red. Drakelets are fairly adaptive with colour, and if their environment changes, they have the capacity to change colours. However, his mechanism for changing colour only comes about if the Drakelet has difficulty finding food. Some Ximax students, having taken the creatures as pets, use this to turn their Drakelets more exotic colours, though these variations are less common and tend to take a lot of care to attain. Drakelets also shed their scales once a year in late fall, at which point their scales, regardless of colour, turn dull and unappealing, and flake as they become brittle as autumn leaves.

Special Abilities: Drakelets’ only interesting ability is that which allows them to change the colour of their scales. They have neither the agility nor the intelligence of their larger cousins, being rather clumsy and awkward, and cannot perform magic, breathe fire, shapeshift, or any of the other talents befitting dragon and dragon kin. Some people joke that the Drakelets must be magic, because only through magic could they have survived as long as they have. Their small heads make for small brains, and it shows. They have very poor sight, and while it is assumed that they can distinguish colours, they commonly get things mixed up. Observers tell a myriad of stories about how a female Drakelet, mistaking the eggs of a bird for her own after leaving the nest to hunt, hatched them and even then mothered them for a short time before realizing her mistake, somehow unable to tell the difference. Though they can easily be domesticated and trained to follow their master, they often get confused and will begin following the wrong person.

Territory: Drakelets live almost exclusively in Xaramon, specifically in and around Ximax Academy, and are rarely found in other locations. They have found suitable places in the forests, in the mountains, and down around the coasts. Some believe that their sole location in Ximax is due to their attraction to the magic generated there, even if they can’t use it themselves.

Habitat/Behaviour: Drakelets tend to live, for the most part, in peace, without a sense of territory (or really, a sense of anything). The only skirmishes among them are over food. They tend to drift in and out of different locations aimlessly looking for food. All Drakelets can fly, giving them a necessary advantage over prey that would otherwise be more nimble and clever. Drakelets living in the foothills of Ximax tend to keep to the trees, blending in to the canopy and keeping their beady eyes out for motion on the ground. Those in the mountains are similar, tending to reside on higher parts of the mountains looking down the hill for movement, while those near the coast patrol the surroundings from cliffs and wave-worn crags. When they see a mouse or lizard or crab, or anything appearing the least bit edible, they dive. Though they have sharp beaks, most tend to use their weight (which averages 2 hebs) to crush the creature with its round body before quickly swallowing it down. Sea Drakelets, will at times use their beaks to try to spear fish, but typically crabs make up the majority of their diet.

Drakelets shed their scales once a year in late fall, at which point their scales turn dull and flake off, leaving them bony-winged and leathery. During winter, they hibernate in groups anywhere they can find, including barns and chicken coops. During this time, their scales re-grow and they emerge in spring with new, bright scales and a hungry appetite.

Although Drakelets have no natural predators, they tend to be timid of creatures larger or even equal to their size. This includes humanoids, dogs, and even some cats. Though dim-witted, they can be trained to follow a master around, and can be domesticated to some degree. While technically not allowed in the towers, the younger students of the Ximax Academy will sometimes take the creatures as pets, thrilled by the thought of owning a dragon-like creature, though many soon discover within a couple months how frustrating the creatures can be: not only are they difficult to train (to relieve themselves outside, for example), but once a year they shed all their scales, leaving a mess wherever they can find to scratch their scales off. Typically, within a year of the student acquiring their Drakelet, they try to pawn the creature off to someone else.

Drakelet stupidity is famous around Ximax. The Ximax rats are infamous for playing a variety of tricks on them as the dumb reptiles try in vain to catch one as a snack. They are easily confused, and have little or no sense of direction. Their antics have generated insults such as “Dumb as a Drakelet” or “Drakelet brain,” even “feather-brained as a featherdrake!” Students also generate insults derived from their clumsiness: “You waddle like a Drakelet;” “Graceful as a Drakelet.”

Diet: Drakelets eat almost anything smaller than themselves: from rodents (including mice, rats, and young rabbits) in the forests, to lizards and insects in the mountains, to crabs and sometimes fish near the coast. They will even eat birds, if they can catch them, and eggs. While it would seem chickens would be good game for these creatures, they tend to stay away from these birds, easily confused and surprised by the screech and mass of feathery bodies that tend to result from an attempted raid of the chicken coop.

Domestic Drakelets will eat most anything, even fruits and vegetables, though all Drakelets require meat in their diet. They can be fed any meat, from chicken or turkey to cow to sheep. Though they seem to prefer it raw, they will also eat it cooked. Because their scales change without adequate food supply (an adaptive mechanism for ensuring survival no matter their location), some students purposely cut back the food to make their drakes change. This is a long process, sometimes taking months or, at most, a year. However, if kept in an environment of the desired colour and denied food, a Drakelet will eventually, and most certainly, change to the colour they see around them.

Mating: Drakelets mate once a year in late summer or early autumn, attracting each other through warbling and chirping noises. When two Drakelets find each other, they will mate, and then typically separate to seek out other mates. This behavior continues for several weeks, sometimes as long as a month. The gestation period for females lasts until early spring, soon after waking from hibernation. They build nests out of whatever is nearby: sometimes rocks, sometimes leaves, sometimes seaweed, and lay usually 6 or 7 eggs. The leathery eggs are large enough to carry one, but not two, in your hand. Gray in colour, these eggs don’t require any type of incubation, though the mother will typically watch over them, protecting them from any potential predator.

Young Drakelets hatch in early summer, and though the mother will usually stay with them for several weeks while they learn to catch food, they are essentially independent from the time they break through their shells. Leathery and without scales when born, they develop quickly and are fully scaled within a few weeks after hatching. They typically begin mating after one year. The average lifespan for Drakelets is often difficult to determine, but most agree that they live between 7 and 10 years if no acts of stupidity cut their lives short.

Myth/Lore/Origin: The specificity of the Drakelets’ territory has generated many myths concerning its creation, all relating back to the magic of Ximax. Some believe that the Ximax Orb somehow created the creature, though this has often been criticized for not explaining why the Drakelet has no power. Others say it was merely some sort of magical accident—a lizard and a bird being melted into each other by one of the huge explosions which occurred early in Ximaxian history. Still others have offered that it was the work of a great mage who tried to create a good pet, but seeing the result of is meddling, abandoned the creature to the wilds.

Usages: The Drakelets provide companionship for any willing to withstand its stupidity and clumsiness. Drakelets have all the potential, it would seem, of being loyal pets, but their small brains make them easily confused and always in need of being cleaned up after. Their scaly skin, which seems as though it would be useful to make armour or protective gear, turns dull and brittle soon after the creature dies. The meat of the Drakelet is edible, but stringy and often bitter.



Code:
Drakelets (Draeklets), featherdrakes, whelplings, hatchlings

<p>Drakelets are small, drake-like creatures approximately the size of a cat or small fox: a little less than two fores <a name="(1)Return" href="#[1]">[1]</a> at full length, not including a tail of about two palmspans to one fore <a name="(2)Return" href="#[2]">[2]</a> long. Because of their size, they are often confused for young drakes, hence the name “whelplings” or “hatchlings.” They are reptilian creatures, yet their scales are arranged in succession down the plethora of bones located in the wing, giving their wings a feathery appearance, thus lending them the name “featherdrakes.”

<p>The size and behaviour of Drakelets has led many drake researchers to dismiss the common assumption that these creature belong in the drake family, despite the few features they have in common with the Feathered Wyvern. They are completely unmagical creatures of an unacceptably small size. In addition, they do not have nearly the intelligence of drakes, nor the strength and prowess common to this reptile class. Some adamant scholars have even proposed that Drakelets are more closely related to Dragonfly lizards, though few have accepted the theory. Although scholars have continually tried to find a more acceptable name for this beast, the term “Drakelet” continues to be widely used.

<p><u><a name="Appearance">Appearance</a></u>.The Drakelet looks like a small drake, with scales the size and shape of fingernails covering it completely, to the tip of its feather-like wings. Its pointed head ends in a slight curve, giving it a kind of elongated beak that can deliver a painful bite. The eyes are always a flat black, and constantly give it a clueless expression—as though an orc could be standing over it yelling with mace in hand, ready to clobber it, and it wouldn’t take the slightest notice. It has small protrusions at the back of its head, as though its structure feebly attempted horns, which not only are small (only a nailsbreadth at most in length) but are hopelessly blunt, like small nubs.

<p>The Drakelet has a moderately slender neck leading to its rounded body, which has the appearance of being bloated. It has four short legs, each ending in four sharp claws, with a fifth claw protruding from the back of each leg. Its claws have the potential for being fairly dangerous, but are rarely used. Its tail extends from its body about two palmspans to one fore <a name="(3)Return" href="#[3]">[3]</a>, tapering to a point. Two large wings extend from just below the shoulder blades of its front legs—wings which can spread to nearly two and a half fores <a href="#[4]" name="(4)Return">[4]</a> across. From the main bone of the wing protrudes a copious amount of longer bones, giving the wing its shape. Along each of the branching bones are layers of fingernail-shaped scales, slightly larger than many of the other scales that cover the drake’s back and head. The drake has only a bit of skin connecting one branching bone to another, though the scales cover it well and, in doing so, give the wing the appearance of being feathery. The broadest scales on the drake run from the base of the neck to the base of the tail, along the belly; however, though larger, these scales are no where as tough as those on its back, and have a leathery quality.

<p>Drakelets come in several different colours depending on location. The Drakelets that dwell in the foothills of Ximax tend to be more green or green-brown, blending in with the trees that grow under the mountains. Those that dwell near the coast tend to appear more teal or dark turquoise, sometimes a dark sea-green. Those living in the more mountainous regions tend to have a bronze colour, sometimes with flecks of silver or red. Drakelets are fairly adaptive with colour, and if their environment changes, they have the capacity to change colours. However, his mechanism for changing colour only comes about if the Drakelet has difficulty finding food. Some Ximax students, having taken the creatures as pets, use this to turn their Drakelets more exotic colours, though these variations are less common and tend to take a lot of care to attain. Drakelets also shed their scales once a year in late fall, at which point their scales, regardless of colour, turn dull and unappealing, and flake as they become brittle as autumn leaves.

<p><u><a name="Special Abilities">Special Abilities</a></u>. Drakelets’ only interesting ability is that which allows them to change the colour of their scales. They have neither the agility nor the intelligence of their larger cousins, being rather clumsy and awkward, and cannot perform magic, breathe fire, shapeshift, or any of the other talents befitting dragon and dragon kin. Some people joke that the Drakelets must be magic, because only through magic could they have survived as long as they have. Their small heads make for small brains, and it shows. They have very poor sight, and while it is assumed that they can distinguish colours, they commonly get things mixed up. Observers tell a myriad of stories about how a female Drakelet, mistaking the eggs of a bird for her own after leaving the nest to hunt, hatched them and even then mothered them for a short time before realizing her mistake, somehow unable to tell the difference. Though they can easily be domesticated and trained to follow their master, they often get confused and will begin following the wrong person.

<p><u><a name="Territory">Territory</a></u>. Drakelets live almost exclusively in Xaramon, specifically in and around Ximax Academy, and are rarely found in other locations. They have found suitable places in the forests, in the mountains, and down around the coasts. Some believe that their sole location in Ximax is due to their attraction to the magic generated there, even if they can’t use it themselves.

<p><u><a name="Habitat/Behavior">Habitat/Behaviour</a></u>. Drakelets tend to live, for the most part, in peace, without a sense of territory (or really, a sense of anything). The only skirmishes among them are over food. They tend to drift in and out of different locations aimlessly looking for food. All Drakelets can fly, giving them a necessary advantage over prey that would otherwise be more nimble and clever. Drakelets living in the foothills of Ximax tend to keep to the trees, blending in to the canopy and keeping their beady eyes out for motion on the ground. Those in the mountains are similar, tending to reside on higher parts of the mountains looking down the hill for movement, while those near the coast patrol the surroundings from cliffs and wave-worn crags. When they see a mouse or lizard or crab, or anything appearing the least bit edible, they dive. Though they have sharp beaks, most tend to use their weight (which averages 2 hebs) to crush the creature with its round body before quickly swallowing it down. Sea Drakelets, will at times use their beaks to try to spear fish, but typically crabs make up the majority of their diet.

<p>Drakelets shed their scales once a year in late fall, at which point their scales turn dull and flake off, leaving them bony-winged and leathery. During winter, they hibernate in groups anywhere they can find, including barns and chicken coops. During this time, their scales re-grow and they emerge in spring with new, bright scales and a hungry appetite.

<p>Although Drakelets have no natural predators, they tend to be timid of creatures larger or even equal to their size. This includes humanoids, dogs, and even some cats. Though dim-witted, they can be trained to follow a master around, and can be domesticated to some degree. While technically not allowed in the towers, the younger students of the Ximax Academy will sometimes take the creatures as pets, thrilled by the thought of owning a dragon-like creature, though many soon discover within a couple months how frustrating the creatures can be: not only are they difficult to train (to relieve themselves outside, for example), but once a year they shed all their scales, leaving a mess wherever they can find to scratch their scales off. Typically, within a year of the student acquiring their Drakelet, they try to pawn the creature off to someone else.

<p>Drakelet stupidity is famous around Ximax. The Ximax rats are infamous for playing a variety of tricks on them as the dumb reptiles try in vain to catch one as a snack. They are easily confused, and have little or no sense of direction. Their antics have generated insults such as “Dumb as a Drakelet” or “Drakelet brain,” even “feather-brained as a featherdrake!” Students also generate insults derived from their clumsiness: “You waddle like a Drakelet;” “Graceful as a Drakelet.”

<p><u><a name="Diet">Diet</a></u>. Drakelets eat almost anything smaller than themselves: from rodents (including mice, rats, and young rabbits) in the forests, to lizards and insects in the mountains, to crabs and sometimes fish near the coast. They will even eat birds, if they can catch them, and eggs. While it would seem chickens would be good game for these creatures, they tend to stay away from these birds, easily confused and surprised by the screech and mass of feathery bodies that tend to result from an attempted raid of the chicken coop.

<p>Domestic Drakelets will eat most anything, even fruits and vegetables, though all Drakelets require meat in their diet. They can be fed any meat, from chicken or turkey to cow to sheep. Though they seem to prefer it raw, they will also eat it cooked. Because their scales change without adequate food supply (an adaptive mechanism for ensuring survival no matter their location), some students purposely cut back the food to make their drakes change. This is a long process, sometimes taking months or, at most, a year. However, if kept in an environment of the desired colour and denied food, a Drakelet will eventually, and most certainly, change to the colour they see around them.

<p><u><a name="Mating">Mating</a></u>. Drakelets mate once a year in late summer or early autumn, attracting each other through warbling and chirping noises. When two Drakelets find each other, they will mate, and then typically separate to seek out other mates. This behavior continues for several weeks, sometimes as long as a month. The gestation period for females lasts until early spring, soon after waking from hibernation. They build nests out of whatever is nearby: sometimes rocks, sometimes leaves, sometimes seaweed, and lay usually 6 or 7 eggs. The leathery eggs, almost a full palmspan <a name="(5)Return" href="#[5]">[5]</a> long and gray, don’t require any type of incubation, though the mother will typically watch over them, protecting them from any potential predator.

<p>Young Drakelets hatch in early summer, and though the mother will usually stay with them for several weeks while they learn to catch food, they are essentially independent from the time they break through their shells. Leathery and without scales when born, they develop quickly and are fully scaled within a few weeks after hatching. They typically begin mating after one year. The average lifespan for Drakelets is often difficult to determine, but most agree that they live between 7 and 10 years if no acts of stupidity cut their lives short.

<p><u><a name="Myth/Lore">Myth/Lore/Origin</a></u>. The specificity of the Drakelets’ territory has generated many myths concerning its creation, all relating back to the magic of Ximax. Some believe that the Ximax Orb somehow created the creature, though this has often been criticized for not explaining why the Drakelet has no power. Others say it was merely some sort of magical accident—a lizard and a bird being melted into each other by one of the huge explosions which occurred early in Ximaxian history. Still others have offered that it was the work of a great mage who tried to create a good pet, but seeing the result of is meddling, abandoned the creature to the wilds.

<p><u><a name="Uages">Usages</a></u>. The Drakelets provide companionship for any willing to withstand its stupidity and clumsiness. Drakelets have all the potential, it would seem, of being loyal pets, but their small brains make them easily confused and always in need of being cleaned up after. Their scaly skin, which seems as though it would be useful to make armour or protective gear, turns dull and brittle soon after the creature dies. The meat of the Drakelet is edible, but stringy and often bitter.

<p>
<a name="[1]">[1]</a>1.7 fores <a href="#(1)Return">[Return]</a>
<br><a name="[2]">[2]</a>.7-1 fore <a href="#(2)Return">[Return]</a>
<br><a name="[3]">[3]</a>.7 to 1 fore <a href="#(3)Return">[Return]</a>
<br><a name="[4]">[4]</a>2.5 fores <a href="#(4)Return">[Return]</a>
<br><a name="[5]">[5]</a> About .7 or .8 palmspans<a href="#(5)Return">[Return]</a>
« Last Edit: 24 January 2010, 02:50:47 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #1 on: 26 October 2009, 15:20:46 »

Yay! So cute! pet


Not much I can see to comment on for this, it covers everything in a wonderful fashion. I suppose the only thing I have questions about would be their claws--if not used for anything, then they wouldn't have them. Perhaps you can mention that they use them for clinging to their nests in trees and slippery rocks and cliff faces?

Otherwise, I love this entry. It adds in a certain magical feel, but keeps it certifiably mundane. I'd certainly consider getting one as a pet, their flighty nature just adds to their charm.  buck



The first image I had when I was reading this was of the whelpings from WoW. Yay for cute confused baby dragon-like things. heart



« Last Edit: 26 October 2009, 15:25:59 by Fox » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: 26 October 2009, 19:06:49 »

Cute!

I have one as well, just some feathers are missing!

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« Reply #3 on: 12 November 2009, 05:39:02 »

Shameless bump...  :P

Any chance a mod could look this over? I really like these drakelets! I'm terrible at bestiary entries, but it looks great from what I can tell.
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« Reply #4 on: 12 November 2009, 06:50:46 »

Just give it a try, Azhira!

The ideas are coming as soon as you start commenting.

You only want to have one for your mage on the RPG side!  buck
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« Reply #5 on: 17 November 2009, 00:09:41 »

Well, my only issue is that I think the following paragraph should go into a separate one, perhaps Researchers or Myth/Lore. It seems out of place in the Overview:

Quote
The size and behavior of Drakelets has led many drake researchers to dismiss the common assumption that these creature belong in the drake family, despite the few features they have in common with the Feathered Wyvern. They are completely unmagical creatures of an unacceptably small size. In additional, they do not have nearly the intelligence of drakes, nor the strength and prowess common to this reptile class. Some adamant scholars have even proposed that Drakelets are more closely related to Dragonfly lizards, though few have accepted the theory. Although scholars have continually tried to find a more acceptable name for this beast, the term “Drakelet” continues to be widely used.

And, maybe a small myth/lore about why some would believe the drakelet is attracted to the magic in and around Ximax. That lends some more truth to the story that the creature was an accidental experiment by a mage of some sort maybe.

Otherwise, its a cute and nice entry. And yes, I want one for my mage!  cool
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« Reply #6 on: 24 November 2009, 03:40:49 »

I have a quick nitpick. The decimals bother me, especially since we have so many levels of measurements available, it would make sense to make use of them in this type of entry.

I absolutely love these little guys, and would love to have one for Kalina on the RPG board when I rewrite her.

Good to see some Rayne entries again!

Toodles!
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« Reply #7 on: 24 November 2009, 08:22:05 »

Grettings, Lady Avalotus. Whilst I am no expert and only recently an apprentice, I am here to assist you with your newest creatures. I comment in this fanciful color.

Drakelets are small, drake-like creatures approximately the size of a cat or small fox: about 1.7 (I believe we no longer use decimals. Just an FYI that in your absence things have quite changed.) fores at full length, not including a tail of about .7-1 (See above, please.) fore. Because (Would you be so kind as to reword this sentence? One of my beliefs is the worst sin in English is starting a sentence with "and" "but" or "because".) of their size, they are often confused for young drakes, hence the name “whelplings” or “hatchlings.” They are reptilian creatures, yet their scales are arranged in succession down the plethora of bones located in the wing, giving their wings a feathery appearance, thus lending (Maybe just me being a nitpicky English major, but this sentence seems a bit long-winded.) them the name “featherdrakes.”

The size and behaviour (We use the ancient texts for Dev entries. I know you are quite seasoned at these and may have forgotten in your absence.) of Drakelets has led many drake researchers to dismiss the common assumption that these creatures belong in the drake family, despite the few features they have in common with the Feathered Wyvern. They are completely unmagical creatures of an unacceptably small size. In addition, they do not have nearly the intelligence of drakes, nor the strength and prowess common to this reptile class. Some adamant scholars have even proposed that Drakelets are more closely related to Dragonfly lizards, though few have accepted the theory. Although scholars have continually tried to find a more acceptable name for this beast, the term “Drakelet” continues to be widely used.

Appearance: The Drakelet looks like a small drake, with scales the size and shape of fingernails that cover it completely, to the tip of its feather-like wings. Its pointed head ends in a slight curve, giving it a kind of elongated beak that can deliver a painful bite. The eyes are always a flat black, and constantly give it a clueless expression—as though an orc could be standing over it yelling with mace in hand, ready to clobber it, and it wouldn’t take the slightest notice. It has small protrusions at the back of its head, as though its structure feebly attempted horns, which not only are small (only a nailsbreadth at most in length) but are hopelessly blunt, like small nubs. (This last sentence is very difficult and confusing to me. How about: This creature has small protrusions on the back of its head, most likely feebly attempted horns. They are not only small, measuring just a nailsbreadth, but are hopelessly blunt.)

The Drakelet has a moderately slender neck leading to its rounded body, which has the appearance of being bloated. It has four short legs each ending in four sharp claws, with a fifth claw protruding from the back of its (each, maybe?) leg. Its claws have the potential for being fairly dangerous, but are rarely used. Its tail extends from its body about .7 (Just a reminder that we don't use decimals.) to 1 fore, tapering to a point. Two large wings extend from just below the shoulder blades of its front legs—wings which can spread to nearly 2.5 fores across. From the main bone of the wing protrudes a copious amount of longer bones, giving the wing its shape. Along each of the branching bones are layers of fingernail-shaped scales, slightly larger than many of the other scales that cover the dragon’s back and head. The dragon has only a bit of skin connecting one branching bone to another, though the scales cover it well and, in doing so, give the wing the appearance of being feathery. The broadest scales on the dragon run from the base of the neck to the base of the tail, along the belly; however, though larger, these scales are no where as tough as those on its back, and have a leathery quality.

Drakelets come in several different colors depending on location. The Drakelets that dwell in the foothills of Ximax tend to be more green or green-brown, blending in with the trees that grow under the mountains. Those that dwell near the coast tend to appear more teal or dark turquoise, sometimes a dark sea-green. Those living in the more mountainous regions tend to have a bronze color, sometimes with flecks of silver or red. Drakelets are fairly adaptive with color, and if their environment changes, they have the capacity to change colors. This mechanism for changing color only comes about, though, if the Drakelet has difficulty finding food. Some Ximax students who take the creatures as pets use this to turn their Drakelets more exotic colors, though these variations are less common and tend to take a lot of care to attain. Drakelets also shed their scales once a year in late fall, at which point their scales, regardless of color, turn dull and unappealing, and flake as they become brittle as autumn leaves.

Special Abilities: Drakelets’ only moderately interesting ability is that which allows them to change the color of their scales. They have neither the agility nor the intelligence of their larger cousins; being rather clumsy and awkward, and cannot perform magic, breathe fire, shapeshift, or any of the other talents befitting dragon and dragon kin. Some people joke that the Drakelets must be magic, because only through magic could they have survived as long as they have. Their small heads make for small brains (Sorry for the nitpick, however, I believe a comma shouldn't be used before and if it can be helped.) and it shows. They have very poor sight, and while it is assumed that can tell color, they commonly get things mixed up. Observers tell a myriad of stories about how a female Drakelet, mistaking the eggs of a bird for her own after leaving the nest to hunt, hatched them and even then mothered them for a short time before realizing her mistake, somehow unable to tell the difference. Though they can easily be domesticated and trained to follow their master, they often get confused often will begin following the wrong person.

Territory: Drakelets live almost exclusively in Ximax, and are rarely found in other locations. They have found suitable places both in the forests, in the mountains, and down around the coasts. (Both? I see more that two places listed here. lol I suggest simply removing both.) Some believe that their sole location in Ximax is due to their attraction to the magic generated there, even if they can’t use it themselves.

Habitat/Behavior: Drakelets tend to live, for the most part, in peace, without a sense of territory (or really, a sense of anything). The only skirmishes among them are over food. They tend to drift in and out of different locations aimlessly looking for food. All Drakelets can fly, giving them a necessary advantage over prey that would otherwise be more nimble and clever. Drakelets living in the foothills of Ximax tend to keep to the trees, blending in to the canopy and keeping their beady eyes out for motion on the ground. Those in the mountains are similar, tending to reside on higher parts of the mountains looking down the hill for movement, while those near the coast patrol the surroundings from cliffs and wave-worn crags. When they see a mouse or lizard or crab, or anything looking in the least bit edible, they dive. Though they have sharp beaks, most tend to use their weight (How much does the average Drakelet weigh?) to crush the creature with its round body before quickly swallowing it down. Sea Drakelets, will at times use their beaks to try to spear fish, but typically crabs make up the majority of their diet.

Drakelets shed their scales once a year in late fall, at which point their scales turn dull and flake off, leaving them bony-winged and leathery. During winter, they hibernate in groups anywhere they can find, including barns and chicken coops. During this time, their scales re-grow and they emerge in spring with new, bright scales and a hungry appetite. (Quick question. How can one adopt a creature that sleeps a quarter of the year away? Just me being curious.)

Although Drakelets have no natural predators, they tend to be timid of creatures larger or even equal to their size. This includes humanoids, dogs, and even some cats. Though dim-witted, they can be trained to follow a master around, and can be domesticated to some degree. While technically not allowed in the towers, the younger students of Ximax Academy will sometimes take the creatures as pets, thrilled by the thought of owning a dragon-like creature, though many soon discover within a couple months how frustrating the creatures can be: not only are they difficult to train (to relieve themselves outside, for example), but once a year they shed all their scales, leaving a mess wherever they can find to scratch their scales off. (Me being a nitpicky English major again. Roughly half, maybe more of this paragraph reads as one run-on sentence. If you broke it down, it'd be great and contain a lot of facts. Sorry, but I have no suggestions for how this may be accomplished. If I do come up with one, I'll make a seperate post.) Typically, within a year of the student acquiring their Drakelet, they try to pawn the creature off to someone else.

Drakelet stupidity is famous around Ximax. The Ximax rats are infamous for playing a variety of tricks on them as the dumb reptiles try in vain to catch one as a snack. They are easily confused, and have little or no sense of direction. Their antics have generated insults such as “Dumb as a Drakelet” or “Drakelet brain,” even “feather-brained as a featherdrake!” Students also generate insults derived from their clumsiness: “You waddle like a Drakelet;” “Graceful as a Drakelet.” (Very well developed idea. Kudos.)

Diet: Drakelets eat almost anything smaller than themselves; from rodents to lizards and insects in the mountains and crabs and sometimes fish near the coast. They will even eat birds, if they can catch them, and eggs. While it would seem chickens would be good game for these creatures, they tend to stay away from these birds, easily confused and surprised by the screech and mass of feathery bodies that tend to result from an attempted raid of the chicken coop.

Domestic Drakelets will eat most anything, even fruits and vegetables, though all Drakelets require meat in their diet. They can be fed any meat, from chicken or turkey to cow to sheep. Though they seem to prefer it raw, they will also eat it cooked. Because (Again, my opinion it is the worst sin in our beloved language to start a sentence with "and" "but" or "because".) their scales change without adequate food supply (an adaptive mechanism for ensuring survival no matter their location), some students purposely cut back the food to make their drakes change. This is a long process, sometimes taking months or, at most, a year. However, if kept in an environment of the desired color and denied food, a Drake will eventually, and most certainly, change to the color they see around them.

Mating: Drakelets mate once a year in late summer or early autumn, attracting each other though warbling and chirping noises. When two Drakelets find each other, they will mate, and then typically separate to seek out other mates. This behavior continues for several weeks, sometimes as long as a month. The gestation period for females lasts until early spring, soon after waking from hibernation. They build nests our of whatever is around, sometimes rocks, sometimes leaves, sometimes seaweed, and lay usually 6 or 7 eggs. The leathery eggs, about .7 or (How about you word it that they measure "Almost a full palmspan"?) .8 palmspans long and gray, don’t require any type of incubation, though the mother will typically watch them, protecting them from any potential predator.

Young Drakelets hatch in early summer, and though the mother will usually stay with them for several weeks while they learn to catch food, they are essentially independent from the time they break through their shells. Leathery and without scales when born, they develop quickly and are fully scaled within a few weeks after hatching. They typically mate after one year. The average lifespan for Drakelets is often difficult to determine, but most agree that they live between 7 and 10 years if no acts of stupidity cut their lives short.

Myth/Lore/Origin: The specificity of the Drakelets’ territory has generated many myths concerning its creation, all relating back to the magic of Ximax. Some believe that the Ximax Orb somehow created the creature, though this has often been criticized for not explaining why the Drakelet has no power. Others say it was merely some sort of magical accident—a lizard and a bird being melted into each other by one of the huge explosions which occurred early in Ximaxian history. Still others have offered that it was the work of a great mage who tried to create a good pet, but seeing the result of is meddling, abandoned the creature to the wilds.

Usages: The Drakelets provide companionship for any willing to withstand stupidity and clumsiness. Drakelets have all the potential, it would seem, of being loyal pets, but their small brains make them easily confused and always in need of being cleaned up after. Their scaly skin, which seems as though it would be useful to make armor or protective gear, turns dull and brittle soon after the creature dies. The meat of the Drakelet is edible, but stringy and often bitter.

Lovely read, Rayne! A few errors aside, this is a great idea and wonderful read. I wish you all the best, fellow Dreamer.

Sincerely,

Lorek Sarnif
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« Reply #8 on: 24 November 2009, 09:55:26 »

Rayne appears in the thread in little flickers of flame.  She sighs, slightly exasperated at the 'English major' employing nomenclature unfitting to the referent: particularly the use of "run-on sentence." This term, after all, cannot be haphazardly assigned to any long sentence. A run-on sentence is one in which two independent clauses are thrown together (sometimes joined by a comma, hence the term "comma-splice") instead of being connected. In order to demonstrate WHY the sentence mentioned above is NOT a run-on sentence, she diagrams it:

While technically not allowed in the towers, [Dependent clause: "while" is a subordinating conjunction, making this a subordinate clause]

the younger students of Ximax Academy will sometimes take the creatures as pets, [Independent clause]

thrilled by the thought of owning a dragon-like creature, [Dependent clause, specifically what is termed a "free modifier"]

though many soon discover within a couple months how frustrating the creatures can be [Dependent clause: "though" is a subordinating conjunction, making this a subordinate clause]

: [colon, used to indicate an illustration or elaboration of the last clause, and CAN be used to link two independent clauses. In fact, it usually is.]

not only are they difficult to train (to relieve themselves outside, for example), [Independent clause]

but once a year they shed all their scales, [Independent clause joined to the last by the conjunction "but"]

leaving a mess wherever they can find to scratch their scales off. [Dependent clause, specifically a "free modifier"]

It is also pertinent to note that the use of "because," or any other conjunction, to begin a sentence is NOT incorrect, nor does it defile the beauty of the English language; it is used (very frequently) in the highest literature English-writing authors and poets have ever created. The myth about not beginning a sentence with a conjunction stems from occasional misuse by inexperienced writers, who do not use them properly and end up with fragmented sentences. This is not the case in this entry.

The little elf glances at the time--and without another minute left to spare, takes her leave---but might caution Lorek: be careful using your status as an "English major" to justifying your terminology and nitpicking, as you never knows when you may end up using them incorrectly to comment on an entry by an English masters student.

With a smile and a little bow, the little elf vanishes once more.
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #9 on: 24 November 2009, 10:15:21 »

Not to put to fine a point on it, she just Rayned on your parade Lorek.  :P
And I believe the point about the decimals still stands.
« Last Edit: 24 November 2009, 10:26:27 by Valan Nonesuch » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: 24 November 2009, 10:48:46 »

Quote from: Valan Nonesuch link=topic=13933.msg174993#msg174993
And I believe the point about the decimals still stands.


They are rarely larger than 2.5 peds or shorter than 1.5 peds.
http://www.santharia.com/bestiary/mephguour.htm
 --Entry by Artimidor and T'olar

The wall is about 1.5 fore thick.
http://www.santharia.com/magic/water_spells/3_frost_shield.htm
--Entry by Fox

Level 5: 1.5 peds
Level 6: 2.5 (peds)
Level 7: 4.5 peds

http://www.santharia.com/magic/water_spells/4_area_of_frost.htm
--Entry by Silfer Darkflare

They become 3 peds tall with their shoulders 1.5 peds wide, the same as their chest which tapers to 1 ped at the waist.
http://www.santharia.com/people/true_vision.htm
--Entry by Tarquet Galbar

To further represent this, the Pillar is wider at the base (1.5 peds in diameter) than the top (0.5 peds).
http://www.santharia.com/places/pest_pillar_nyermersys.htm
--Entry by Viresse

Being one of the smallest human tribes, the Eyelians are only about 1.5 peds, thought not quite as small as dwarves.
http://www.santharia.com/tribes/humans/eyelians.htm
--Entry by Capher and Lady Tiaa

The diameter of a Sunflower head is 0.2 peds across wild.
It has smaller, thinner leaves and a slightly smaller growing habit, reaching no more that 1.6 peds in height.

http://www.santharia.com/herbarium/sunflower.htm
--Entry by Wren

Erron Ratdweller was thin in build and short of stature, standing about 1.6 peds in height.
http://www.santharia.com/people/erron_ratdweller.htm
--Entry by Azhira El'rosse

The Doimo are quite short, around 1.6 peds tall, slender shoulders and with long limbs compared to their bodies.
http://www.santharia.com/tribes/humans/doimo.htm
--Entry by The Akorn

Most of them don't exceed the height of 1.6 peds and 1.8 peds is already considered extremely tall.
http://www.santharia.com/tribes/orcs/rhom-oc.htm
--Entry by Koldar Mondrakken

Xarl Bluestride was approximately 1.8 peds tall, and weighed an unknown amount
http://www.santharia.com/people/xarl_bluestride.htm
--Entry by Xarl

Their height is average (1.8 peds) in human standard for the male, while the female are about 0.15 peds shorter.

http://www.santharia.com/tribes/humans/ice_tribes.htm
--Entry by Curgan

The common Kanapans average 1.8 ped in height and are slender in build.
http://www.santharia.com/tribes/humans/kanapans.htm
--Entry by Drogo


NOTE: The writers mentioned above are or have been some of the most prolific and influential writers that have ever written for Santharia. They are mentioned, not to shed a light on their "misuse" of decimals, but to illuminate a standard in entry description that seems to have been overlooked by proscriptionists.

This is an extremely condensed list.
« Last Edit: 24 November 2009, 10:52:19 by Rayne Avalotus » Logged

"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #11 on: 24 November 2009, 11:11:48 »

Once again, not to put too fine a point on it.  half of those entries are what could be termed "older than sin". I don't deny the fine writing skills of these folks, but standards change. Otherwise we'd likely still be counting out bits of gold,

We could likely argue this all day though, so I imagine waiting for a response from on high would be the best thing to resolve it.
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« Reply #12 on: 24 November 2009, 11:35:35 »

The little elf winces to hear some of the best-loved and most respected entries on the website spoken of as "older than sin." But then again, the elf is a lover of classics. Aristotle wrote thousands of years ago, and yet his philosophies are still referenced as the basis of rhetorical theory and thought, and his terms still employed in scholarly literature. Many of these entries are old, yes, but they are certainly not out-dated.

So here's the bargain: convince the elf that a system of "one ped, two fores, one palmspan, four nailsbreadth" is a better, cleaner, clearer, more efficient way of communicating dimensions than saying "1.8 peds," and she will gladly change the entry.
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #13 on: 24 November 2009, 12:26:43 »

I think this might have gone in a slightly different direction from what I intended. I'm not for the endless stream of smaller units that wind up looking like some convoluted set of nested dolls. I prefer to avoid preciseness to be perfectly clear about.

I'm honestly more of a "roughly" and "approximately" person myself, for precisely the reason that things don't fit neatly into 1 ped 2 palmspans and 67 grains. "On average" is a nice turn of phrase as well. A hard figure makes it look like there's not a chance for variation, be it a decimal or an unending stream of smaller units. Approximations. Runts and giants alike need them.
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« Reply #14 on: 24 November 2009, 13:38:45 »

Although I vastly prefer decimals, I believe it's been authoritatively decided that they haven't been invented in Santharia yet. (those older entries were just written before that decision was made)

"Honestly, down to one decimal place is quite an acceptable level of accuracy, considering Santharia has yet to invent the decimal..." - Bard Judith

Decimals thread


I personally think it's extremely annoying, but sadly that's the way it is. :(
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