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.
The Butterfly Dragon is considered to be the smallest recorded
From tip of their nose to the tip of their tail, the
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.