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Author Topic: Lightning Drake (For Seeker)  (Read 23464 times)
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Rayne (Alýr)
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« on: 30 October 2009, 12:25:57 »

A little elf appears in the forum once again, and, breaking all the rules (a behavior to which this particular elf seems especially inclined), pulls out a parchment describing a species of dragon drake and, in a crack of lightning, the beast emerges. Still a very rough draft, he shifts uncertainly in geography, mythology, research background, and a host of other fields.

Perhaps others will aid in the construction of such an entry--in particular, the little elf hopes, Seeker himself.


Lightning Drakes

A drake of the mountains, lightning drakes are known for their ability to produce lightning currents. While they are usually contained to their personal territories during fair weather, they become fiercely active in lightning storms. During these storms, they replenish their lightning capacities and engage in violent battles in dominance for mating rights. While they are technically classified as a drake, many refer to the creature as a lightning dragon.

Description:
The lightning drake, 10 to 12 peds from snout to tail (with females being slightly larger than males), is a fierce creature, menacing and ruthless, and this shows in their cold, reptilian eyes. Just behind these piercing eyes, horns protrude straight back in a slight curve, shimmering frighteningly. The rounded jaw leads to a lean snout filled with sharp teeth and aceedic saliva that burns through the flesh of its prey, beginning the digestive process before its food even enters its stomach. Tendrils protruding from the jaw shimmer like lightning.

From the top of the head, a jagged crest follows down the drake’s elongated neck, leading to its muscular body and continues to the tip of the tail, which makes up almost half of the drake’s length. A being mainly of the air and not of the earth, the lightning drake depends first on its wings for motion, and the muscles in its back contribute to the strength of these enormous wings. With the shape of a bat’s, the wings are punctuated with horns at the joints and are sharply defined in cold angles. The drake’s back legs give it upward-climbing ability, and here, too, the drake has significant musculature.

The front legs of the drake are small and rarely used, as the drake generally sits on its enormous hind legs when at rest. However, the drake’s legs, both hind-legs and fore-legs, form into sharp claws, which it uses to grasp the crags of its mountainous habitat, as well as to hunt for food and defend itself.

Illuminated by current, the lightning drake glows in frightening hues ranging from a striking silver to an electrifying purple, each scale imbued with its own haunting light. When at rest, the drake turns a dull grayish brown, blending in to its rocky environment. Its eyes are often an icy blue.

Special Abilities:
The lightning drake, as its name suggests, can produce lightning current. Where this power arises from, none knows, but the power seems to come from deep inside, manifested at will. When sleeping or at rest, the drake becomes more neutral in colour, its scales lack-luster, but when defending its nest or territory, its body becomes illuminated by lightning.

Contrary to popular belief, the lightning drake cannot “throw” lightning or toss lightning “bolts” at enemies. However, those who come in contact with the drake suffer the shocks from lightning emanating sporadically from its form. By touch (and sometimes proximity), lightning surges flow through any being with whom the drake comes in contact with. This, however, happens only when the drake taps its lightning abilities.

The ‘lightning’ capabilities of the drake are mediated through lightning exposure. Only through occasional exposure can a lightning drake maintain its lightning abilities. For this reason and others, these drakes are most active during lightning storms, where they take to flight into violent skies. Because of the limits of the ability, drakes generally only use it when necessary. They depend a great deal on their claws and small, razor teeth.

Territory:
The lightning drake resides primarily in the Mountains of Nirmenith, in a range including the Lands of Pain and Rahaz-Dath Desert's Norong Sorno area. These drakes thrive on the western side of the mountain range where lightning storms are a frequent result of high winds and warm climate. Despite sharing territory with other dragon-kin, the lightning drake does not often clash with others in the area. They can be found in steady numbers in the Lands of Pain, and are often sighted lightning drakes on the outskirts of the Aj'Nuvic grounds, seeking out game.

Habitat/Behavior:
The lightning drakes are solitary creatures. Occupying themselves to hunting and stalking about their own cliffs and crags, they feast upon the fauna of the area, which they will often dive upon and mutilate with their sharp claws and teeth. While they are vicious and violent creatures, they are relatively harmless to humans who leave them to their isolation.

They generally hunt during the day, and lie in rest in caves and under over-hangings where they blend in well with the rocky surroundings. Relatively mundane, the drakes seem safely contained in fair weather. When a lightning storm moves in, though, the drakes become wildly active and violent. They roar with a high-pitched screech as a way of calling out their presence. Sensing the storm, drakes travel, sometimes leagues, to where a storm is raging, and there will often engage in fights with other drakes of the same sex. These fights are often terrifyingly fantastic to behold—giant beasts aglow with lightning current, battling in the stormy darkness.

Diet:
The lightning drake is not a picky eater, and will consume most any creature that wonders into its mountainous abode. However, the drake is particularly fond of larger game, such as mountain goats, though they will also eat sand mice, rabbits, snakes like the Rahaz’Norong (commonly know as the "Thalambath Snake"), and birds. The drakes also journey closer to the foothills to feed on deer, such as the ar'bez, the g'nu and the aka'pi, and will feast on any oryx, brown á'neayh, or ellez'ga that enter their habitat. Despite living near the aj'nuvics, lightning drakes are rarely able to catch these clever creatures.

The lightning drake can go days, even weeks, without eating as it waits for migratory game to enter its habitat. Not opposed to scavenging, they will take what food they can get. While the drakes don’t appear to be fond of consuming humanoid races, attacks are not unknown, and the wise traveller will avoid lightning drake territory, or at least pass through with caution.

Mating:
While mating behaviour may occur in other situations, the only documented observations have been during the fall and spring, when storms are more likely. Many scholars attribute the violent behaviour of lightning drakes during storms to the fact that these beasts generally engage in intercourse during this time. Aggression between drakes is generally interpreted as displays of power and strength. Females that prove their superiority over other females get to choose their males more selectively—and they will often choose males who have proven themselves superior over other males. The female is usually the initiator of intercourse.

Intercourse is a semi-violent affair, but brief. A few months later, females will lay 2 to 4 eggs in a mountain nest constructed of pebbles, gravel, and often the skins of prey. Females fiercely defend their nests until their young hatch in the three to four months following. When the little drakes emerge, they are a fraction of the size of their parents, about the size of a hobbit or small child. However, they grow quickly. Nest mates compete for food and space, and rarely does more than one survive. Some of the young drakes will starve, unable to compete for food. However, more often, the stronger will shove the weaker out of the nest, causing them to meet their death on the mountain.

The few young that do survive leave the nest less than two months after hatching. From here, they generally become transients, searching the mountains for a place of their own and feasting upon rabbits, rats, and other small animals until they are able to tackle larger game. It takes approximately a year after they leave the nest for these drakes to reproduce. However, once they are sexually active, they will generally mate at least once a year.

It is generally assumed that, like most dragon-kin, the lightning drake has a sizable lifespan. However, because of frequent deaths during lightning storm fights, the true lifespan remains hard to approximate.

Myth/Origin:
They prayed to Avhan to stop the endless storm, but as the storm arose from their sins, Avhan would not eliminate it entirely from the sky. However, hearing their cries, he chose to take mercy, and decided to give the storm a more corporeal form, turning it into hundreds of drakes that fled to the nearby volcanoes, and there they have dwelled ever since.  When the storms again come to the area, the people of Thalambath say these dragons are to remind them of their sins, and the dragons flit through the storm as a demonstration to those beneath of Avhan's power, as well as his mercy.

Researchers:
While few researchers have sought out the lightning drake as serious study, many other researchers peregrinating through the drake's habitat have written extensively on rare and dangerous encounters with the beast. One of the few observations of the drake's ferocious lightning-storm battles was recorded by volcano-researcher Bertius Felgrad, a dwarf of the Nirmenith clan, on the 8th day of the Passing Clouds in 1443.:

We had travelled many leagues, up the rocky crags and cliffs that crumbled underfoot and threatened with every step to send us reeling, tumbling down the merciless mountain face. Asebell, who has thus far guided us through the more dangerous mountain passes, near met her end when a stone slipped beneath her feet, and it was only through Gladoph's quick reaction she survived, grabbed and hoisted to safety. It is a frightening sign that even the most experienced climbers among us could meet death on this mountain.

I, for my part, lingered near the back of the party, and traced the safe footings of those ahead. Just after Sunblaze on our third day travailing the perilous paths of this forsaken mountain, the sky began to grow dark and ominous. I, a mere researcher, cursed the possibility of a storm, but the situation appeared much more dire to Asebell and Gladoph. "Quick! We must find cover!" called Asebell, and we sought out the shelter of an overhanging. The five of us, Asebell, Gladoph, Rosina, Belgrouf, and myself, curled into the small space, and huddled together. The clouds above grew angry and dark, and piercing through the shadow sky came a call so frightening I felt every bone in my body go cold.

"What was that?" Belgrouf shrilled.

"Sh!" insisted Gladoph.

"We must be quiet," said Asebell, and the party became as silent as a grave.

We all peered out into the sky. Another call echoed out over the high mountains, but I could not see from whence it came. What monster or beast could make such a sound? A bright, cold flash of light! Lightning!--my heart jumped. The rumble of it stirred our very cores. Then another--and another! "This isn't good," whispered Asebell. "The storm is forming right above of us."

"What's going on--" Rosina began, and then a sight hushed her question--it hushed all of us, our thoughts, our breaths, our heartbeats: in the distance, a beast appeared in our sight, nearly 12 peds long, with merciless eyes and jagged crest. Its wings spread out as though to enclose the earth. It called out--a sound that pierced me, filled me with a terror I had never known. On a mountaintop not far off, it landed, and the stones and rocks crumbled under its massive claws. It lifted its head and long neck into the air and roared again. For many moments I stared at it, caught by the fear of it seeing me, but unable to move, frozen by the sight.

Then, all at once, the rocks clattered in front of us as another dragon passed right above our heads. So surprised were we that we hardly noticed that the lightning strikes were becoming more frequent. The sky roared, and the ground rumbled beneath us. All at once, the dragon atop the yonder mountain exploded into lightning-like illumination, tentacles of light emanating from its scaled, reptilian body. It roared at the oncoming dragon, hissing dreadfully. All at once, the other dragon went aglow with current. They clashed!--an explosion of hideous light! They struck and clamoured, their tails whipping and teeth bared. Lightning struck them--a sizzling and a crash!--they glowed ever brighter in bestial battle!

For a long while we watched in horror as the two dragons fought. The minutes slid by like hours, and while enraptured at the ferocity and beauty of the conflict before us, we feared every moment we might be spotted. In a sudden flash of lightning, accompanied by a screeching cry, one of the dragons shuttered and fell. It's body, once blazing with lightning, fell dull and defeated to the ground. The victor roared out, and her voice echoed through the tumultuous skies. She took to flight again, and vanished from our sight.

For a long while, none of us spoke. Beyond the overhanging under which we held closely together, the sky was still churning. By Lastflame, the clouds had dissipated. We moved with caution out from our hidden enclave and sought out a safe place for rest. As the night deepened, we spoke very little, all of us haunted by the image of dragons.
« Last Edit: 25 January 2010, 06:03:11 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 #1 on: 30 October 2009, 21:26:21 »

 clap2 clap2 clap2

Thank you thank you.  You have made a travel weary mage very happy. 
Aura Boost +1

will do a thourough read in a little while.  For now I need to get to work.  ;)
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« Reply #2 on: 31 October 2009, 09:17:21 »

Alright I have read through a few times.  And let me tell you how excited I am to finish my dragon pic using this wonderful description.  Thank you so much. 

As you mentioned there are few things missing that you will need help for.  For example if I am going to go search out this dragon so I can finish my picture, I need to know where I am travelling to.  WE NEED a PLACE TO PUT THIS DRAGON.  That is a clarion call to the other developers that may know of a good location for a lightening dragon.   Once I arrive at the dragons location I will most likely search around the area for other things to illustrate as well.  ;)  I don't like to waste trips you see.

Another thing I better mention.  It is my understanding that Santharians do not have a common understanding of electricity.  So you probably should not mention  "electricity"  but describe it in the way a Santharian would understand lightening and it effects.  I think Art suggested to another developer facing a similar situation to explain it in terms of magic. 

Finally we need a good researcher story.  Details will depend on where this beast is located, so we will have to wait a bit.  However may I suggest that these creatures may be mistaken for comets or shooting stars as they fly through the sky all lit up.   Also when they hunt I am sure they leave charred earth in their wake and probably start fires every once in a while just like lightening storms do.   Perhaps their roar is like thiunder.  just some ideas for you to chew on. Hopefully some other folks have ideas as well.
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« Reply #3 on: 31 October 2009, 09:45:28 »

For the sake of it simplicity I'll go ahead and quote the "Dragons" entry on the site for my vote.

Quote
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.

Place them in the Dragon's Maw, just for the sake of the region's name if nothing else. I'd wager it's not a bad place to find storms near the coast either.
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« Reply #4 on: 31 October 2009, 09:54:38 »

I think that entry may require something of an amendment if that is the ONLY area that sentient dragons could be made.

Besides, there are enough dragons there already.

Someone with Lightning would be ideal, right?

EDIT:

Doing a quick search on 'where the most lightning is' revealed that volcanoes are strongly associated with lightning storms. As such I would advise the Norong'Sorno volcano is the Rahaz-Dath or if you wanted somewhere further afield the Flaming Mountains of the Germon Doilth. Or if you liked, both!
« Last Edit: 31 October 2009, 09:59:46 by Decipher Ziron » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: 31 October 2009, 09:56:52 »

"Hydraloth uses electricity bolts to feign attackers." The Artapherana (The Elemental Trees)

"Lightning Magic consists of anything having to do with lightning, shocks, and electricity. It also deals with the electricity of the mind, so mind control, telekinesis, and all other types of mind magic also fall under this category." The Seven Brownie Schools of Magic

"The success of the spell also depends on how good the target can conduct electricity." Spells of the Element of Water: Call Lightning (Level XI)

"To enhance the spell, one can have sand between the hands when casting; optionally, water leads electricity quite well, thus if the target is wet the bolt will have a much greater impact." Wind Spells: Static Bolt (Level V)

"Thunder storms are common and electric, lightning forks cutting around the mountain tops."  The Warnaka Mountains
« Last Edit: 31 October 2009, 10:01:31 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 #6 on: 31 October 2009, 10:09:16 »

hmm well it seems we are using "electricity"  quite a bit.   *Seeker scratches his head trying to remember when and where this topic came up before.*   I give up, can't remember.  Since it doesn't personally bother me, leave it in.   

I also agree with Deci, there seems to be an update of the Dragon overview in order.  I think the reference to the Tandal Highlands must be old as we have too many varieties of dragons to be bunched in one mountain range.  I would prefer to see this dragon in an area more like what he is suggesting (the Rahaz Dath or Flaming Mountains. 

What do you think Rayne?
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« Reply #7 on: 01 November 2009, 03:10:59 »

The little elf poofs back into a thread--returning to the scene of her crime as it were--and smiles gleefully at all the wonderful suggestions. She gives an appreciative wink at Decipher, then pulls out her copy of the Compendium from a pocket in her robes.

She opens the book, waves her hand, and shimmering threads of information begin to fill in the shifting parts of this dragon. The geography stabilizes, placing the lightning dragon in the mountainous terrain in the Rahaz-Dath Desert. Specifics tumble like little stars into the diet, and a new section emerges on researchers.

She closes the book, and tucks it back into her little pocket, then scrutinizes the dragon. After a few moments, she nods with approval. Hopefully Talia, Shendar scholar, might come to offer her opinions, but for now, the little elf seems quite content with the content of this entry (giggling at her polyptoton).

With a hop, skip, and a poof!, she vanishes again.
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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 #8 on: 01 November 2009, 03:47:05 »

Yay dragons!

Hmm, there are drakes in the Norong'Sorno area, so it might fit here. It'd have to be small numbers though, as we already have the Fire Drake, so there can't be too many large animals in that region due to the lack of food. However, I like it here as it certainly fits with how I've been visualizing the Thalambath area, particularly near the coast, as being storm and wind-prone.


Quote
snakes like the Rahaz’Norong ("Thalambath Snake")

Thalambath Snake isn't the actual translation, more of a common nickname. I'm not sure what the actual translation is though, as neither Norong nor Sorno are in the Styrash dictionary. Talia may know.


Also, you may want to make this Lightning Dragon the 'bigger cousin' to Talia's Falserock Lizard, with her approval. The Falserock changes its skin colour, just like your Lightning Dragon, and that entry already mentions its larger cousin in its entry (known as the Norrak). While the Norrak seems to be a single specific dragon, the Lightning Drake could be frequently mistaken for it, considering that it's the biggest dragon in the region. Perhaps the Norrak is a particularly large Lightning Dragon--so this is a myth you could put in the entry. :)


Considering the presence of the Fire Drakes in the Norong'Sorno area, you may want to mention that the two dragons fight each other (instead of just others of their own kind) for dominance in the region. Perhaps they even hunt each other when food is scarce.

By the way, you mention that it shares its territory with the sand dragon. We don't have a sand dragon, but you should mention the Fire Drake, and maybe the Desert Drake (though I think the Desert is more in the eastern dunes, rather than the Norong/Lands of Pain/Nirmenith area).

« Last Edit: 01 November 2009, 03:55:31 by Fox » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: 01 November 2009, 04:02:52 »

While the term "electricity" is used in some entries (especially older ones) it doesn't necessarily mean that it's a good thing. Substituting it with a term that is more fantasy-like would definitely be recommendable where possible.
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« Reply #10 on: 01 November 2009, 04:27:57 »

The North has many areas for dragons. The Stonefields of Peat maybe would be a good place. Or the Caaehl mountains in you-know-where.  grin Neither region has dragons. If nothing else, I like Fox's suggestion.
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« Reply #11 on: 01 November 2009, 05:20:50 »

By the way, you mention that it shares its territory with the sand dragon. We don't have a sand dragon...

merciless sun
endlessly spanning sky
sand dragons flying

-- Taila Sturmwind, Rahaz-Dath Haikus
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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 #12 on: 01 November 2009, 05:28:10 »

Learn something new every day. buck It doesn't come up in the site search, oddly.  shocked

I suppose that still fits then :). But the other comment remains that it also shares its territory with the Fire Drake and maybe the Desert. Would have to ask Talia though if the Sand Dragon lives in that area, she may have intended it for the dune areas and not the mountains.
« Last Edit: 01 November 2009, 05:37:51 by Fox » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: 01 November 2009, 07:11:20 »

In a burst of electricity lightning, the elf appears once more. Sighing with a hint of exasperation (which indicates she still occasionally acts like a little elfling, even after all these years), she changes all mentions of electricity, and hopes this doesn't lead to too much repetition. Then, she adds in a bit about fire drakes, careful not to burn herself in the process, and nods appreciatively at Fox.

With a little bit of magic, the indigo-eyed elf conjures two large butterfly wings at her back, hoping Talia is still wandering the boards somewhere with a larger butterfly catcher, and that this poor disguise might attract the shendar scholar.
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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 #14 on: 01 November 2009, 07:39:05 »

How could I miss these interesting changes!   grin

Thanks for putting your dragon into 'my' area, Rayne!  :)  (Maybe I should now say 'our', with fox at my side).

I need to read that entry more thoroughly, but a few comments to clear some things up.

Electricity: You quote fairly old entries, Rayne. Electricity is something which was not understood in mediaval time. But you as a mage can surely come up with some explanation, some "force". Maybe you could even link it to our Caelerethian magnetism, the Alsetism, it isn't important, if it works like this! But that is entirely up to you!

Dragons/drakes:


Fire Dragon: I had forgotten totally about this dragon (6-8-peds long). Lives in the volcano (in the caldera??)

Norrak (Norsidian Drake= Norrak): Not a single dragon, but a species which lives on the slopes of the Norong'Sorno , a smaller drake, as sentient as a bright cat, or a bit more. Mischievous, entirely black, hunts at night, loves water. Max 4 peds.

Sanddragon: No idea, possibly it was just fitting in the Haiku.  But if we have it, I would say, it lives in the sanddunes, is max 2 peds long and a common pest. A drake, nothing special, more a big lizard. More very annoying than dangerous. There could of course be a myth of a real majestic dragon who did something wrong and was punished etc...

Norong and Sorno have no meaning yet. Actually the 'godfathers' were the Osorno in Chile and something else.

Territory Lightning Dragon:

I 'd like to propose following:

We reduce the number of fire drakes in the firedrake entry. Or define what "many" are. If they live IN the crater, there can't be many. It is  relative, what many is. So they will not interfere with the Norrak nor the huge black bat I have in mind. (Need to update my entries!)

Rayne, I would propose to put the resting places in the Nirmenith Mountains (including the Aj'Nuvic Grounds), there they can hunt, there is enough prey for these huge animals. Let's talk about that later. A cool place would be the Nirmenith oasis, but I have to tell you first, how it looks like. To upload their charges (or what ever they do), they fly in great heights over to the volcano.

Or, but I have to investigate that further, to other places where lightning storms could occur. I have something in the back of my head, that they occur under  special circumstances in desert areas also. If not, I will invent something! I want to have them flying all over the Rahaz'Dath!


To the researcher: I think it would be better to not take dwarves. These dwarves are not even approved to exist. Why do you not just take the researchers of the Falserock Lizard? Look here (And rewrite your little episode/observation at the end)

If you wish, you can of course link your dragon in a way, and be it mythical, to the Falserock Lizard.

Hope that is enough for now :)

Butterfly catcher??

« Last Edit: 01 November 2009, 07:42:37 by Talia Sturmwind » Logged

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