Dragon (Euthora)

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The Euthoran dragon (Drakine drák or dráki, plural drákiu) is a race of sapient, primarily carnivorous reptiles descended from Skyking Shyr and native to Euthora. A group of Euthoran dragons is known as a flight, with a few species-specific exceptions. More poetically, however, during the Radiant Era they may be known as a court, and after the Dissonant Era during the Drei Timeline might rarely be called a revolution. A newborn dragon is known as a hatchling and adolescents may be referred to as fledglings; aside from this, males and females only have specific terms when nesting or rearing young, when they are known as sires and dames respectively. They have no relation to dragons of other worlds, with the possible exception of dragons from Deveron. Scientific names vary between species, families, and even infraorders, but all Euthoran dragons are members of the suborder Drakontes, in the order Squamata (scaled reptiles).

Due to how Euthora categorizes its wildlife, dragons are considered to be either a Monster, a race, or both depending on location on Euthora (although standardized definitions would merely classify them as paraorganisms). In general, Sulsian dragons are seen as both, though in the Dissonant Era are considered more of a Monster than a race due to racial tension and the Fyreborne War in Durasken. Acaranian dragons are viewed as elusive and powerful Monsters to be avoided, though there are rare exceptions, as Skyking Shyr is known to take residence on Aravolta Darz in Carisitai. Farixya is still ruled by Skyking Ausurath well into the Harmonic Era, and his kin is treated accordingly. Due to the nature of Ethanol and its inhabitants, dragons there are invariably seen as dangerous Monsters- and rightfully so, as the harsh conditions of the continent have driven the inhabitants (including dragons and Shapeshifters) to feral, territorial extremes.

During the Reformative Era, this Monster-race split is still present, but dependent on species rather than location. Voidwalkers are the dominant species, and are unrelated to the other dragons in the era due to their natures- the Phasma is undead and all other species are created independently and not descended from Shyr. These other dragons are nonsapient, leaving the Voidwalker the last remaining sapient dragon species on Euthora.

Appearance

Dragons come in varying builds and sizes depending on one of eight classifications. Some species are man-sized, while others are veritably massive creatures, with many species occupying the space between. While most dragons have four non-wing limbs, several (both types of Wyvern, as well as Gliders) only have two, and the Cave Lurker is the only species to have six. In addition to these limbs, dragons typically have two wings, but the entire Lurker classification and both Serpentine classifications are wingless, and Gliders have their hind legs re-purposed into smaller auxiliary wings. All dragons are at least slightly elongated in stature, with flexible necks, narrow heads, and whiplike tails. All limbs are tetradactylous and end in four digits, typically three toes and a dewclaw (often opposable on the forelegs of Saurians and Gliders) on non-wing limbs, and three "wing fingers" and a clawed thumb on wings. However, all Greater Wyverns instead have three-clawed hands on their wings, with the fourth digit being the sole support for the wing.

Dragons are coated in hard, metallic scales made from keratin, Mythril, and trace amounts of other metals. Larger species may develop thicker, almost armor-like scales along the spine, which are not true plates but rather deposits of excess metal in the scales. This can be irritating to the dragon when they first develop, similar to the wisdom teeth of a human, but are ultimately beneficial as they help protect the dragon against attacks from above or behind. To this end, Saurians and Greater Wyverns develop prominent, leathery scutes along the ventral side of their bodies, which protect the throat, neck, and abdomen from less forceful attacks, such as a human's weapons or a glancing blow from another dragon.

The head of a dragon always carries a pointed crown and horns regardless of species, but the form of said crown does vary- Firedrakes have prominent eight- or nine-point crowns and at least two horns (which grow in pairs as the dragon grows older, usually stopping at four or six), while Ancestral dragons carry at least ten points on their crowns, with more points growing in as the dragon ages. The more subtle crown of a Voidwalker is six-pointed and consists of relatively short, stocky spikes which resemble horns or crests at the primary pair. Dragons with prominent crowns often have spiked jawlines and nostrils.

Dragon eye sockets are narrow and angular, creating a sharp profile for the skull. Despite appearing to be situated on the sides of the head, all dragons do have forward-facing eyes to grant binocular vision for flying and hunting. The most notable example of this false appearance is the almost alien look of the Voidwalker, which has angular eyes on either side of its smooth head. Even in this case, however, the pupils of the eyes orient themselves forward, and the overall appearance of these eyes is thought to be in order to fool stealthy adversaries that the Voidwalker can see their approach, as the dragon's pupils are all but invisible under most conditions. Most dragons have narrow but rounded pupils, but several have slitted pupils, and certain species such as the Voidwalker have wider pupils.

It is common for dragons to have decorative features along the spine, joints, and tail, often manifesting as spikes, membranous fins, and occasionally fur. Prominent decoration at the tail tip that does not consist of fur or fin is commonly referred to as a spade due to general shape, but some species- Firedrakes particularly- grow wicked blades instead.

A dragon's skull varies by species, but naturally contains rows of serrated, needle-sharp fangs. Most dragons have roughly-pointed molars to crunch metal and bone, but the majority of space in their mouth consists of wicked canine teeth. Dragon teeth regrow quickly upon being knocked loose, and older dragons will usually appear snaggletoothed due to years of hunting and fighting. Certain dragons have spiked upper jaws and hooked, almost beak-like snouts, used to grip prey more firmly with less damage to the teeth. This is seen primarily in Saurians and Wyverns, which tend to be more fierce predators.

Dragon horns are typically tusk-like, curving smoothly and seamlessly aside from the occasional ridge or indentation running along the horn. However, certain species of Saurian and Wyvern may develop a sort of jaggedness near the tips of the horns, similar to a half-formed barb. It is also not uncommon for very old dragons to develop branching horns, whether it be a simple spike near the base or fully-fledged antler-like horns. Greater Wyverns also grow their horns in segments.

Physiology

Euthoran dragons are homeothermic (warm-blooded) reptiles. This allows them to live in harsh tundra climates (depending on species) and high mountain peaks, as well as granting a defense from cold and strong wind at high altitudes. Despite their ability to regulate their own body temperature, certain species still have a very low tolerance for cold and prefer warmer conditions.

Dragons commonly consume metal and gemstones to improve or maintain the luster and strength of their scales. Dragon scales are primarily made from keratin, with metal coatings. The metal varies by species, but always partly consists of Mythril as Euthoran dragons naturally synthesize it. Bright pigments are secreted from the roots of the scales, which gives dragons their distinctive vibrant, metallic coloration. Dull scales are signs of ill health and undernourishment. The oil-based pigments along with the tight, interlocking nature of the scales makes dragon scales nearly waterproof, a property which has been subjected to attempted replication in scale-based armor by humans with mixed results.

Once metal and hard minerals are consumed by a dragon, they are dissolved by special enzymes in the dragon's digestive tract before being absorbed into the bloodstream. From here the dissolution is moved to the roots of the scales, where it is secreted gradually along with the oily pigments that color the scales as they grow. The metal dissolution mixes with the pigments and hardens over time, creating the signature vibrant and metallic sheen of dragonscale. When a dragon does not have enough metal in its diet, the edge of the scales lose their metal and pigmentation, exposing the brittle white keratin underneath. This is known as scale corrosion. Dragon scales always corrode from the edge inward.

Underneath a dragon's scales is thick, leathery hide. This hide is flexible despite its thickness and is usually a duller version of the scale color, as the pigments of the scales do reach the hide but are not given the luster that metal gives scales. Dragonhide scars relatively easily despite its thickness, but is usually protected by the dragon's scales. Thinner scales cover the dorsal side of a dragon's wing, which protect from aerial attacks, but a wing can still be damaged and torn from the ventral side. Torn wing membranes do regrow, but it can take anywhere from days to months depending on the extent of the damage.

The bones of a Euthoran dragon are strong and sturdy, but hollow in most species (excepting Greater Wyverns and Heavy Saurians, whose bones are dense and solid) to allow the creature to fly. Dragons with denser bones are either flightless or make up for their weight with powerful wing muscles and broad wings. Dragons that can fly do so through completely physical means, utilizing aerodynamics to balance their weight and streamlined shapes. Similarly to birds, their wings move in a way that moves air underneath them, thereby creating lift and forward thrust. The act of flapping forces air into a dragon's lungs and in order to roar, speak, or breathe fire they must momentarily stop flapping and settle into a glide. If a dragon must remain in a hover for an extended period of time, they do so by entering a nearly vertical position, only partially downstroking their wings, and moving their tails in a manner counter to their wingbeats in order to maintain their rough positions.

A dragon's bite strength generally varies from 1000 psi in Lesser Wyverns (enough to very easily snap bone) to nearly 4000 psi in Greater Wyverns and Heavy Saurians (enough to bite through and gnaw solid steel). The only exception to this is the Voidwalker, with a bite strength of merely 350 psi- still several times stronger than that of a human.

Dragon eyes have very dense retinas, allowing them excellent visual clarity even from long distances and small details. Their vision during the day exceeds that of birds of prey, and nocturnal dragons have evolved reflective eyes, allowing them to make the most of what little light there is when the sun is down. The eyes of most dragons automatically develop a sort of protective film when exposed to water, which rapidly dries when the dragon surfaces. This allows them to see clearly under water without having to blink excessively when drying, aside from mild irritation to the eyes for dragons who are not used to swimming.

Their lungs are very large and their blood naturally carries a lot of oxygen. This allows the dragons to breathe properly at high altitudes, such as mountain peaks, where humans would not be able to breathe.

Dragon eggs are composed of dense calcium carbonate with a high metal content. When dragons hatch, they are often encouraged to consume the remains of their eggshells to give their scales a healthy start in growing. Newborn dragons are usually strong enough to break out of their eggs without help, but sometimes a parent is required to gently bite the egg to help crack it. Rarely, newly hatched dragons of the Firedrake or Pyrespine species may fall upon unhatched eggs in the nest and "ambush" their siblings by helping them hatch before immediately attacking them.

Abilities

Ancestral Memory

Euthoran dragons posses an ancestral memory they know as Drákinokai (lit. Dragon's True Memory) via almagenetics. This allows dragon hatchlings to be born knowing and "remembering" events from their ancestors' lives, maintaining their culture and language. It is for this reason that dragons have an instinctive desire to rule, remembering the Skykings, and are able to speak coherently in Drakine at only a few months old. While most of these memories are then reinforced by the hatchling's parents, dragons raised away from their own kind will still remember fragments in the form of behaviors rooted in what would outwardly appear to be instinct.

Most dragons will remember such events as the creation of their species and the rule of Skyking Súndávr even without reinforcement from their parents. Many will also remember particularly violent or noteworthy deaths in their family line, particularly the more recent they are. If a dragon's parent is killed before the egg hatches, the hatchling will most likely be able to recall that parent's death. Most specific memories are remembered via dreams, rather than intrinsic knowledge like language.

Breath Weapons

A dragon's fire-breathing abilities has its mechanics dependent on species. Lesser Wyverns spit a flammable venom, which ignites in the air as part of a Manalistic magical reaction, which is controlled by the dragon. Most Saurians and Greater Wyverns breathe fire through an expulsion of Hydrogen which is also ignited by magical reaction. Firedrakes and Pyrespines, however, use primarily Mana to create their flame. As the scales of these dragons are primarily Mythril-based, the metal absorbs Mana easily and the dragon then fireshifts it. The dragon can then either store the fireshifted Mana indefinitely or "breathe" out a spurt of it, which then ignites the air around the attack to create true fire.

Other classifications of dragon do not actually breathe fire- other Fire-Aligned dragons spark a purely magical reaction to create fire, rather than have the process rooted at least partially in biology. The Ashstrider uses Mana to cause the air around it to catch fire, resulting in a "mist" of fire that spreads in a wide radius of the air itself seeming to burn. This uncontrolled, destructive method of attack is later used by the Scythewing Glider in the Reformative Era.

The Carikuu is notably the only Light Saurian that has freezing breath instead of fire. This particular species has a specialized organ connected by a valve to its windpipe which takes in air just as the lungs do. It then, upon the dragon sparking a magical reaction, cools the Nitrogen inside the organ to the point of the gas becoming a liquid. As the Carikuu readies itself to expel its freezing breath, it inhales before temporarily closing off its trachea to prevent the Nitrogen from backfiring into its lungs. As the dragon breathes out again, the heat of its body causes the liquid Nitrogen to rapidly turn into a gas again, the pressure of which forces the Nitrogen to shoot out of the dragon's mouth in a thick, freezing cloud. This can only be used in short bursts, as the Nitrogen quickly runs out and the dragon is unable to breathe during this process until its lungs reopen.

Burst Mode

Burst Mode, also known as Hypos or Chameshimi Khazutámi in Drakine, is a combat "technique" of sorts inherent in Euthoran dragons. It is commonly referred to as a form change, as the dragon nearly always goes through drastic physical changes that can vary wildly between individuals. It is chiefly characterized by a sharp increase in fighting capability, whether it be augmented strength, speed, or powers and abilities.

Burst Mode is triggered by a surge of Excess through the dragon's system, usually when pressed hard in battle, and tends to be "unlocked" after the dragon is at least a century old. After initial access to Burst Mode, it tends to be easier to trigger, with long periods of needing to "recharge" between triggers. Burst Mode lasts up to several hours, depending on how long the dragon in question needs it, and it can take up to two days for the dragon to regain the energy spent, depending on how long the dragon was in Burst Mode.

In Cult of Ustream canon, dragons may have access to a form called Advanced Formation if they are given a Stone of Advancing, a stone-like shed scale from the Golden Firedrake Draco Maxima Irizutákor. This is not true Burst Mode, but rather a "medium" between a dragon's normal form and its Burst Mode. It requires less energy to trigger (seeing as the Stone of Advancing is providing much of the Excess needed) and requires less of a cooldown time, at about three hours. It can be considered as something to condition the dragon to the changes involved and often will result in the dragon unlocking Burst Mode early.

It is theorized that the physical changes seen in Advanced Formation and Burst Mode are physical representations of the dragon's soul and indicative of the individual's true, core nature.

Behavior

Dragons are proud, arrogant, yet extremely loyal creatures by nature, and tend to show it when dealing with humans or other races. Ever holding to the belief that they are superior and the perfect form of life on Euthora, a dragon's pride can easily be wounded, causing swift and brutal retaliation. This is especially apparent in wild Sulsian dragons, though dragons bound to a dracoimperist- whether as a Familiar or not- may still display this belief. In general, a dragon under the influence of dracoimpery has had its pride battered down by the servitude, but in the cases of Familiars, the voluntary nature of the bond will often result in the dragon only viewing its master as an equal, still seeing other creatures as inferior.

Dragons are either highly social or highly solitary, and nearly all are territorial. Some smaller dragons, such as Lesser Wyverns and Aquatic Serpentines, may travel in packs, while Voidwalkers tend to travel alone or in pairs, but with few exceptions, most dragons live alone. Generally dragons will not tolerate the presence of other dragons in their territory, though Golden Firedrakes are usually more willing, and Voidwalkers do not have a true territory.

In general, dragons are highly expressive with their body language, bristling scales and flaring wings when annoyed, making distinct facial expressions, and shifting their wings and tail when unnerved. In speaking, dragons will frequently snap their jaws together or snort to punctuate statements, especially when angered, and will tilt their heads when confused or wave their claws in human-like gestures when making a point. While dragons typically carry themselves with a proud bearing, this can quickly change depending on how the dragon is conveying emotion. Overall, the most expressive parts of dragons are their faces, wings, and tails- even one unfamiliar with dragons should be able to recognize a dragon's overall body language.

Draconic vocalizations are usually restricted to Drakine words and animalistic noises such as growls and roars. However, they have been proven to quickly and easily pick up the mannerisms of other creatures, particularly humans, and may often unconsciously vocalize sighs, laughter, and similar human-like sounds for use as social tools. Like humans, dragons make these vocalizations purely to manipulate interactions- laughing to appease or intimidate, sighing to signify impatience, and even adapting their tones of voice to display sarcasm, a concept which dragons only understand through interaction with humans.

A dragon's eyes openly convey emotion and are perhaps the easiest way to tell a dragon's mood if one is experienced with dragons. The shape and size of the pupils can often change, especially through changes in emotional state- round or large pupils signify neutrality at worst, while anger, fear, and surprise are marked by narrow, slit-like pupils. The irises, while not luminous in most species (Firedrakes, Pyrespines, and Voidwalkers excepted), can oddly seem to dim or brighten in color depending on both mood and energy level. This results in even healthy dragons at rest seeming to have a faint glow about the eye, but in reality this appears to be an illusion caused by the apparent brightness of the iris.

In a hostile interaction, dragons display "standoffish" behavior, in an effort to make themselves appear larger and force their enemy to back down. This includes flaring wings (if the dragon has any), unsheathing talons, bristling scales, and lowering the head to protect the throat. Dragons with bladed tails may raise them threateningly, while others will lash them at the ground. Voidwalkers, Shadowsongs, Darkwing Firedrakes, and Plated Firedrakes will flare any membranous fins they may have. Growling or roaring a challenge is common.

Dragons are naturally attracted to lustrous and metallic objects. This is because in order to maintain their metal-based scales, most dragons will consume metals, minerals, and gemstones. Their favored resource for this is anything that is easy to swallow- coins and cut gems especially- but will scrape ore out of a vein with their back claws when more appealing metal is not available, as most dragons have powerful jaws and sturdy molars to break apart rock. This will often lead to dragons attacking caravans in order to steal and hoard gold and gems, so that its own stock will not run low. While they may consume the metal off weapons if desperate, care must be taken with sharp objects and many see broken swords and such to not be worth the trouble. It is for this reason that they also do not consume the scales of other dragons.

Most dragons are hypercarnivorous and generally predatory. Though they eat primarily meat and metal, several species will consume fruits (particularly berries) and have an inherent fondness for sweet wines. They may also consume tree nuts, and larger species may actively eat bones, though most dragons will gnaw on them to get to the marrow. Firedrakes in particular are known to hunt Phoenixes, in order to acquire and assimilate the Mana found in the elemental's core.

When trying to attract other dragons to an established territory- such as for mating or wishing to communicate with a neighbor- dragons will often seek out high perches and place reflective objects on them. This is actively exploiting the dragons' natural attraction to metallic objects in order to draw them closer. It may be actual metal- often large, nearly inedible things like weapons unless an effort to attract a mate- or simply be a reflective but nonmetallic substance such as glass. Cannibalistic species such as Stormcloud Firedrakes are known to use this tactic to attract other dragons as prey.

Culture

Euthoran dragons believe themselves to be the rightful rulers over "lesser" creatures and the planet itself, second only to the members of the pantheon. Accordingly, much of their culture revolves around their perceived lordship and leads to their proud bearing. This aspect of their behavior seems to go beyond cultural teachings, and is in fact wired into their instincts via ancestral memory. Despite, or perhaps because of, this instinctual desire to rule, dragons are incredibly loyal and fiercely protective of their allies, even if the dragon sees itself as superior to said allies.

The desire of dragons to rule over Euthora is inherently wired into their psyche and is an intrinsic part of their instinct and culture. While some dragons may have pushed that instinct aside and instead focus on living apart from or harmoniously alongside humans, they will still constantly and unconsciously feel the pull of this instinct to dominate. As such, many old dragons that attempt to refuse this part of their very beings live in solitude, far from human society.

Dragons are natural leaders and show a significant personality shift when the opportunity to lead arises. No matter what the dragon's personality normally manifests as, they are decisive and analytical when leading others, and during the Radiant Era Skykings would direct armies with the intelligence and forward thinking of a chessmaster. In a similar vein, dragons also dislike being followers and tend to disobey the leader of a group. Organized groups of dragons tend not to last long unless dracoimpery is involved.

Dragons enjoy games of wit, such as riddles, and usually accept any opportunity to put their strategically-oriented minds to good use, such as logic puzzles and hypothetical scenarios.

Music

Dragons have a notable love of music, and suitors will often sing to their potential mates when courting. This love of song marks itself in their manner of speaking, which equates several concepts and terms to those of music and song. When nesting, dragons may sing what equates to nursery stories to their hatchlings, usually to teach them the mythology of Euthora or to impress certain lessons.

Though dragons enjoy listening to music, they much prefer singing. Their songs are often energetic and loud, filled with pride and strength. Unlike songs in some other languages, Drakine songs don't always rhyme, though occasionally dragons pick up this habit from humans. A group of dragons singing can be deafening at close range, as dragons prefer to roar out their songs to convey the inherent power they give their music. Dragons are known to sing lamentations and soft hatchling nursery rhymes, but these are rare.

It is rare for a dragon to teach other dragons a song it has created, keeping it hidden almost covetously. It is believed that dragons pour the whole of their being into music, making a dragon's song almost as personally valuable as its name.

Customs

Many older dragons will rise at dawn, extending their heads and wings (if any) skyward, silently paying their respects to the Divine Spirits. Nocturnal dragons will do the same at dusk.

Language

Main Article: Drakine


Naming Customs

A dragon's name is of incredible significance to it, said to be indicative of the dragon's very being. In dragon culture, a nameless dragon is nothing, an entity without identity. Dragons will not change their names lightly, and even titles are given heavy consideration before being adopted by the dragon. In a similar vein, a dragon's surname- the title of one of its ancestors- represents the dragon's entire heritage, even before the generation of the dragon given the title. Dragons treat their names- both given names and surnames- with reverent respect, and slandering the name of a dragon will almost invariably bring the unbridled and indignant fury of the dragon upon the offender.

Draconic surnames are rare, and result from a dragon gaining a "title" through deed or significant events. These titles are added to the dragon's name via a hyphen, and are passed down to offspring, who inherit the title as a separate word in their name. The surname is passed down through the generations until a dragon renounces its lineage for whatever reason, whether it be estrangement, disgrace, or the desire to make one's own lineage.

Most dragons are named in Drakine or Acaranian depending on the area. These names typically consist of multiple Drakine roots or words, creating specific meaning that represents the dragon's identity. Dragons raised by humans or Shapeshifters in human society tend to be given names that are human words, which may or may not be translatable into Drakine. When older, most dragons named thusly will attempt to hide the fact by using the Drakine equivalent, but those who do not, or have names that do not translate properly, are easily singled out by other dragons. This typically only results in the odd comment, but those dragons that are proud to be separate from human society may take the comments further into mocking.

In rare cases, a dragon's name can be forcibly changed or even removed by those around it or, in the most serious of cases, Shyr himself. Due to the loss of identity attributed to being nameless, dragons subject to this will often be so desperate for a name that they will accept whatever name is offered to them. Dragon names given and accepted through this method will, to other dragons at least, plainly spell out the punishment in-name and often contain roots such as us, or "dishonor". The most famous example of this is that of Skyking Krthonius, who was stripped of his name by his father for his ambitious attempt to rule over his brother's protectorate.

In some cases, dragons who have lost their name will have had the very memory of the name wiped via magic. A curse is often placed on the name in these cases so that if the name is used in reference to the dragon in question, it will instantly be forgotten again.

Religious Beliefs

Dragons follow Euthora's pantheon and see Shyr as a divine creature, a god in his own right.

Dragons typically revere one of the four Spirits above all, with a second Spirit being a lesser influence on them. This is dictated primarily by the dragon's natural elemental alignment- Kuu for water, Myyr for fire, Zyel for earth, and Taelos for wind. The secondary influence is decided by the season in which the dragon was born, with Kuu for spring, Myyr for autumn, Zyel for winter, and Taelos for summer.

Draconic culture reveres both Cor and Rae equally, unlike other sapient species which tend to revere Cor more than his counterpart.

Skykings

Main Article: Skyking (Title)

During the Radiant Era, the title of Skyking was given to dragons who presided over areas of land known as protectorates. These Skykings, known to the dragons as Tiirenkáriu, were old or powerful dragons, most of whom were given the title as a sign of honor and gratitude by the population of the protectorate, though some were "sold" the title in a deal, and a select few took reign by way of blood and fire.

The title is derived from Skyking Shyr and his offspring. Dragons granted the honor of this title attach it to their names as a surname, sometimes without a hyphen as most Drakine titles, and are not passed to offspring.

A Skyking's duties were theoretically to defend and aid the people of the protectorate, either through battling threats or ensuring there was enough food and water. In return, the people would bring offerings of special foods or wines or precious metals, subservience to the reigning Skyking, and the opportunity for the dragon to occasionally preside over ceremonies, festivals, and meetings of war. Dragons themselves revere the title, and tend to flock to Skykings in the hopes of getting in on the benefits. The position of Skyking is one of utmost power and authority, and it was only by a code of honor that the dragon did not abuse it.

Of course, this code of honor has been broken many times, but the most prominent cases have been those of Skyking Krthonius, who battled with his brother Skyking Ausurath for claim over the latter's land and was defeated, then chased to an Acaranian protectorate which he ruled with flame and fear; and Skyking Súndávr, who fell to his and his master's desire to rule more than a simple plot of land and was later sealed away by Shyr himself. This latter case eventually led to the assassination of nearly all Skykings for fear it would happen again, the war between dragons and humans in Durasken, and the onset of the Dissonant Era.

During Standard Canon Time, the last known remaining Skykings are Ausurath and Shyr.

Familial Relations

Several species of dragon forge powerful bonds with immediate family, with the possible exception of rival siblings. Rivalries between males in the nest are prevalent among species of Firedrake and the Pyrespine, though males will still form bonds with their parents and sisters as hatchlings. Species where the males of a nest fight for dominance may also see the sons competing with the father out of instinct, seeing other males as potential rivals.

Despite tension between males in the family as the nest grows older, dragons recognize the significance of family and it is not uncommon for a brother and sister pair to remain in close contact through adulthood.

While most dragons travel alone or in pairs, certain species may develop large family groups, similar to wolf packs without the strict hierarchy. This is seen primarily in Water-aligned species, but may occur with Wind-aligned Lesser Wyverns.

When rearing young or tending a nest, dragons are fiercely protective of their offspring. Humans who have stolen from a nest will often be hunted down by one of the parents until one or the other is killed. This has further strained relations between humans and dragons, as both see the other as pests to be controlled. Because of this, dragon eggs are valuable but highly dangerous on the black market.

Courtship and Nesting

Most species of dragon mate for life, with three exceptions (noted below), although dragons who have lost a mate may after a time seek out a new one. Courtship varies between species- Firedrakes will ascend and lock talons before free-falling, most wyverns flare out their wings to display to love interests, Shadowsong males expand their head and tail fans to display to females, and other species may present gems, metals, and in rare cases human-made wines to a potential mate. It is generally the male to approach the female, and two suitors may fight over the same mate. These fights also vary, but typically include posturing and locking horns in tests of strength. Fights in these situations are rarely fatal, and the candidates do not often sustain damage beyond a few loose teeth or scales.

Despite their fierce and often aggressive demeanor, dragons make truly devoted mates and loving parents. The three exceptions to this general rule are the Hydra, Stormcloud Firedrake (both of which have one parent chase away the other, and leave the young as the nest begins to hatch), and Phasma (which is undead and thus cannot breed). While nesting, the female generally watches over the nest while the male hunts, resulting in the two only rarely seeing each other when the father returns with food. As this progresses, the mother develops an instinctual wariness and defensiveness towards any who approach the nest, including the father, who in turn develops a placating demeanor in order to be granted access to the nest. Though dragons are aware of this slight personality shift, it often manifests as irritability and tranquility respectively, and is such second nature that it often cannot be helped. This slowly vanishes after the nest hatches.

Dragons are oviparous and, like birds, tend to their young until the hatchlings become adolescents and are able to fend for themselves. A dragon nest is more commonly called a clutch and usually consists of three to six eggs, not all of which live long enough to hatch. Clutches tend to lean more heavily towards males, appearing to be an evolutionary counter to the higher likelihood of a male being killed in battle, as males are typically more aggressive than females (when not nesting) no matter the species. Dragon eggs typically incubate for a period of time ranging from six months to several years depending on species, with most species nesting in one particular season and having eggs hatch nine to eighteen months later.

Interspecies Relations

Being the proud creatures that they are, dragons view other sapient life as inferior. Humans particularly are a target of this, as the memory of Skykings seems almost burned into their instincts, and if left to its own devices a dragon living near nonhostile human settlements may eventually lay claim to the area as a protectorate, unless a Skyking is already present. If this is the case, the dragon will usually submit to the reigning Skyking but may rarely issue a challenge for the right to rule.

Dragons and Shapeshifters are historically on friendly terms, as the two races are distantly related and view each other as cousins. Shapeshifters will often express that "[they] like dragons" if asked, and while dragons will rarely vocalize reciprocation, they tend to feel the same way.

The Lupynn is one of few races that dragons actively see as threats and rivals, due to competition for food and their places as apex predators in the areas in which they hunt. As Lupynn are quite small in comparison to most dragons, the threat usually comes from the Lupynns' higher affinity for magic and their sharp cunning and wisdom, as opposed to the sheer force and power of the dragons.

Evolution

All Euthoran dragons are descended from Skyking Shyr, their species adapted descendants of the original Ancestral Dragon, Draco Primaethereus. The individual dragon classifications, detailed below, are general groupings of dragons based on Bloodline and physical characteristics.

It is worth noting that Euthoran dragons and Shapeshifters are distantly related. After the original eight offspring of Shyr- known as the Bloodlines to Sulsians, the Khafé Chiinou ("Nobly-Created Lineage") to dragons, and Pieces of Eight to Acaranians- were born, the siblings and their father were still the only dragons on the planet, and being related, could not breed with each other. However, Shapeshifters quickly picked up the draconic form, fulfilling their role as creators and balancers of life and nature, and to this day dragon forms are the easiest Euthoran paraorganism forms for Shapeshifters to gain.

Because of their shared ancestry and the vestigial remnants of Shapeshifter DNA in their systems, most Euthoran dragons are genetically compatible with one another and it is common to see hybrids of two species. Generally, however, each species prefers to mate within itself.

Classifications

Glider

Descended from Skyqueen Vinari the Silver, Gliders are long and serpentine dragons that rarely land except to raise their young. Often referred to as Amphithera as a nod to their Acaranian names or Arala-Siisa Drákiu (lit. High-Wing Dragons) by dragons, this classification of dragon includes the Coralwing and Icestorm Gliders. They are defined by their four wings and slender forms. Attached to their shoulders, above their only two forelegs, are vast and kite-like primary wings, with the usual tetradactylous anatomy of a typical dragon wing. Attached to their pelvis are smaller auxiliary wings morphed from simple hind legs; all bones of the paw are fused into the single digit used to support the wing. In true flight, the primary wings are used for most of the flying while the auxiliary wings and tail are used to steer. However, these dragons gain their name from their ability to glide for days by outstretching all four wings, generating the massive surface area needed to sustain altitude even while sleeping.

Lurker

Descended from Skyking Krthonius the Black, Lurkers are lithe, wingless dragons possessing four (or six in the case of one species) legs. They are referred to as Ketra in Acaranian, and Sii-Kev Drákiu (lit. Claw-Runner Dragons) in Drakine. Included in the Lurker classification are Voidwalkers, Cave Lurkers, and Ashstriders. The paws of a Lurker lack talons and are built for quietly stalking prey on land. In general, Lurkers have slender bodies and walk on all limbs, with smooth heads that taper into a blunt point and large, somewhat alien eyes. They have subtle crowns made of short crests resembling horns, but unlike horns these crests are scaled and carry blood. Lurkers commonly have tail fins and dorsal membranes, making them strong swimmers and aerodynamic runners.

Saurian

Heavy

Descended from Skyqueen Nálnés the Green, Heavy Saurians (known as [...] in Acaranian and [...] in Drakine) are bulky, heavily-built quadrupedal dragons with two wings emerging from their shoulders. Included in this classification are Hydras and Pyrespines. A Heavy Saurian's body is typically thick, sturdy, and muscular, particularly around the neck and hind legs. Compared to their lighter cousins, Heavy Saurians are usually either flightless or slow fliers, but have more muscle mass at the shoulders to replace speed with strength. Their snouts are often box-like with a slight beak-like hook, as opposed to the sleek, narrow, sharp jaws of lighter dragons. With dense bones, powerful muscles, and a bite strength of nearly 4000 psi, most dragons that are not Heavy Saurians or Greater Wyverns would be crushed by the sheer force of a Heavy Saurian's bite.

Light

Descended from Skyking Ausurath the Red, Light Saurians are known as [...] in Acaranian and [...] in Drakine. This classification includes most varieties of Firedrake, Carikuu, and Stormfire. Like Heavy Saurians, they are six-limbed, being quadrupedal with two wings. They are characterized by sleek, sharp, slender frames with long, narrow wings, and nearly unrivaled speed and agility in the air. While Heavy Saurians reach great size in bulk, Light Saurians reach equal size in length, becoming almost entirely neck, tail, and wing as adults. Light Saurians are notably clever creatures, utilizing their inherent cunning as a hunting tool or to manipulate other sapient creatures. True to their name, Light Saurians are very lightweight due to their hollow bones and thin wings.

Serpentine

Aquatic

Descended from Skyqueen Sahiri the Blue,

Terrestrial

Descended from Skyking Tesakhar the Bronze,

Wyvern

Greater

Descended from Skyqueen Éxúzhira the Copper, Greater Wyverns are called [...] in Acaranian and [...] in Drakine. Like Heavy Saurians, they are massive dragons, with bone-crushing jaws and incredible strength. Armored Wyverns, Oceanic Wyverns, and Ancestral Dragons are among the species in this classification. Like Lesser Wyverns, they are four-limbed with two legs and two wings, but instead of being bipedal and using its tail for balance, the Greater Wyvern takes a quadrupedal gait and uses its wings as forelegs. Uniquely, though a Greater Wyvern's wings are tetradacylous, they have only a single digit supporting the wing with the other three digits forming a claw at the "wrist" of the wing. Greater Wyverns are slow both on land and in the air.

Lesser

Descended from Skyking Etçchakul the Gold, Lesser Wyverns are often called [...] in Acaranian, and Miseli-Sedi Drákiu (lit. Quick-Fly Dragons) in Drakine. They are small- often man-sized- bipedal dragons with a lean, usually undecorated frame. With only four limbs- two legs and two wings- these dragons balance by leaning forward and using their tails as a counter-weight when walking. While they may straighten up if pausing, they find the most comfort in having their bodies and tails almost parallel to the ground. Lesser Wyverns are quick, agile fliers and have a venomous bite. This venom is usually applied to light their fire by spitting or spraying it out of their fangs, but can be lethally toxic if injected into prey or rivals. Most Lesser Wyverns (Stellar, Dustrunner, and Illusionary) are Wind-Aligned, but the Acidulous Firedrake is Fire-Aligned due to how it evolved.

Genuses

A chart showing the evolutionary path of each genus of dragon.

Draco

  • Classification: Greater Wyvern

Megawyvernus

  • Classification: Greater Wyvern

Hydrodrakon

  • Classification: Greater Wyvern

Megasaurus

  • Classification: Heavy Saurian

Magnacornibus

  • Classification: Heavy Saurian

Daemon

  • Classification: Heavy Saurian (extraterrestrial)

Vulcus

  • Classifications: Variable; Heavy Saurian, Light Saurian, Lesser Wyvern

Nebula

  • Classification: Light Saurian

Erebus

  • Classification: Light Saurian

Cocytus

  • Classification: Light Saurian

Quatuoptera

  • Classification: Light Saurian

Fixovolans

  • Classification: Glider

Fluvius

  • Classification: Aquatic Serpentine

Serpens

  • Classification: Terrestrial Serpentine

Stella

  • Classification: Lesser Wyvern

Cursor

  • Classification: Lesser Wyvern

Calcabis

  • Classification: Lurker

Vacuum

  • Classification: Lurker

Mania

  • Classification: Variable

Species Chart

Common Name Scientific Name Classification Alignment Era of Creation Era of Extinction
Ancestral Draco Primaethereus Greater Wyvern None Radiant Reformative
Armored Megawyvernus Protegens Greater Wyvern Earth Radiant Dissonant
Ashstrider Calcabis Cinis Lurker Fire Radiant Harmonic
Aura Guardian Fluvius Magnanimata Aquatic Serpentine Water Radiant Radiant
Carikuu Nebula Aetheria Light Saurian Water Radiant Dissonant
Cave Lurker Vacuum Caecum Lurker Earth Dissonant Dissonant
Coralwing Fixovolans Corallianus Glider Water Radiant Radiant
Dustrunner Cursor Taelosus Lesser Wyvern Earth Radiant Harmonic
Firedrake (True) Vulcus Ignifer Light Saurian Fire Radiant Dissonant
Firedrake (Acidulous) Vulcus Vulcus Acidofer Lesser Wyvern Fire Dissonant Harmonic
Firedrake (Adamantine/Silver) Vulcus Vulcus Argentiolus Heavy Saurian Fire Dissonant Dissonant
Firedrake (Barbed) Vulcus Vulcus Cuspidatus Light Saurian Fire Dissonant Dissonant
Firedrake (Darkwing/Nightpyre) Vulcus Vulcus Obscurus Heavy Saurian Fire Dissonant Harmonic
Firedrake (Golden) Vulcus Vulcus Aurarius Light Saurian Fire Dissonant Harmonic
Firedrake (Plated) Vulcus Vulcus Loricatus Light Saurian Fire Dissonant Harmonic
Firedrake (Stormcloud) Vulcus Vulcus Fulminifer Light Saurian Fire Radiant Dissonant
Funnel Beast Serpens Lutum Terrestrial Serpentine Earth Radiant Dissonant
Hoarfrost Quatuoptera Glacies Light Saurian Wind Radiant Harmonic
Hydra Megasaurus Ferox Heavy Saurian Earth Radiant Dissonant
Iceraze Fluvius Glacialis Aquatic Serpentine Water Radiant Radiant
Icestorm Fixovolans Glacialis Glider Water Radiant Dissonant
Illusionary Cursor Praestrigia Lesser Wyvern Wind Radiant Harmonic
Javelin Serpent Serpens Cuspidatus Terrestrial Serpentine Fire Radiant Harmonic
Lava Worm Fluvius Fusilia Aquatic Serpentine Fire Dissonant Harmonic
Melusine Calcabis Fluvius Lurker Water Radiant Radiant
Oceanic Hydrodrakon Oceanicum Greater Wyvern Water Radiant Radiant
Painted Fixovolans Pingerum Glider Wind Radiant Radiant
Phasma Mania Aeruginosa Variable Variable Radiant Reformative
Plumed Stella Crista Lesser Wyvern Wind Radiant Dissonant
Pyrespine Vulcus Cuspidus Heavy Saurian Fire Radiant Dissonant
Runic Drake Erebus Custos Light Saurian None Radiant* Dissonant*
Shadow Drake Cocytus Pyrophilis Light Saurian None Dissonant* Dissonant*
Shadowsong Cocytus Oxygous Light Saurian Wind Radiant Dissonant
Soulfire Quatuoptera Incendium Light Saurian Fire Radiant Radiant
Stellar Stella Aetheria Lesser Wyvern Wind Radiant Harmonic
Stormfire Nebula Nimbificans Light Saurian Wind Radiant Dissonant
Thorntail Megawyvernus Vesanus Greater Wyvern Fire Radiant Radiant
Tiirenkrain Magnacornibus Aurea Heavy Saurian Earth Radiant Radiant
Trihorn Serpens Tricornutus Terrestrial Serpentine Water Radiant Radiant
Voidwalker Vacuum Geniale Lurker Water Radiant Reformative
Winterwing Magnacornibus Pruina Heavy Saurian Earth Radiant Radiant
  • Note: The Eras of Creation and Extinction assume the Prime Timeline, with the exception of the Shadow Drake, for reasons noted below.
  • Note: The Shadow Drake only exists in Cult of Ustream canon, which takes place in the Dissonant Era.

Reformative Era Dragons

With the exception of the Phasma and Voidwalker, Reformative Era dragons are unrelated to Shyr and the Bloodlines.

Common Name Scientific Name Classification Alignment
Hellfire Drake Neovulcus Ignis Light Saurian Fire
Obsidian Neowyvernus Furvus Greater Wyvern Wind
Phasma Mania Aeruginosa Variable Variable
Rift Crawler Neocalcabis Discidium Lurker Earth
Scythewing Neovolans Ferox Glider Fire
Thélduen Neoserpens Viridis Terrestrial Serpentine Earth
Voidwalker Vacuum Geniale Lurker Water

The Pieces of Eight

Deveron Dragons

Firedrake Subspecies

Voidwalkers

Lore

Euthoran dragons are commonly associated with the concepts of power, leadership, and destruction. Seen as symbols of nearly divine power and sometimes wrath, across all eras they are respected and feared by humans.

In Euthoran heraldry, the Dragon is most often used to represent powerful, tyrannical, or influential leaders.

The Euthoran constellation Pyrros the Dragon is the most prominent of the constellations observed by the planet, the Dragon's eye being the north star and the jaws being in line with the visible part of the galaxy, making it seem as if the Dragon is breathing fire.

Alignments

Dragons are finely tuned to their Elemental Alignment, moreso than other creatures on the planet. This stems from the nature of their creation and the spiritual closeness they have with the Divine Spirits. This leads to consistent traits between each element, which are prominent enough to usually be able to tell what Alignment each given dragon species is of. Alignments are generally species-based, but may change depending on the dragon's connection to a member of the pantheon.

  • Water-Aligned dragons are slick and highly magical creatures, able to grasp the finer workings of Mana with relative ease. They are often mild in demeanor, neither ever-patient nor uncontrollably ferocious. Although often semi-aquatic, these features are not as indicative of a Water-Aligned dragon as their mastery of magic and aether can be. Most do, however, have small and rounded scales which provide a nearly waterproof barrier when they do take to the water. The most prominent example of a Water-Aligned dragon is the Voidwalker.
  • Earth-Aligned dragons are sturdily-built walls of metallic scale and powerful muscle. They are usually very large dragons with high endurance, achieving longevity by virtue of patience and resilience rather than by slaughtering everything around them. While slow and often flightless, these dragons have amazing brute strength that could snap the bones of an unwary dragon of any other Alignment. Armored Wyverns and Hydras fall into this Alignment.
  • Fire-Aligned dragons are aggressive and sharply-built, often with spikes or spines and prominent, hooked snouts. They are highly destructive creatures that prefer to attack and kill rather than converse. Though not as intelligent as Wind-Aligned dragons, they are still cunning beasts that punish a lowered guard. Behind their ferocity is a quick, if rebellious, mind that fights against anything that would dare to hold these dragons back. Of the dragons that fall into this Alignment, the Firedrake is the most notable.
  • Wind-Aligned dragons are sleek, fast, and often small species that are unrivaled in the sky. They often have either streamlined forms or are powerful fliers, though the trend leans toward swift and small creatures. They are also often highly intelligent, as their patron spirit represents wisdom and cleverness. Most Lesser Wyverns fall into this Alignment.
  • Dark- or Light-Aligned dragons are rare and share a connection with one of the planet's two gods. This Alignment is not species-based, being purely based on the individual in question. Only a handful of dragons in Euthora's history have ever been of one of these two Alignments.

Dracoimperists

Main Article: Dracoimpery


Dragon Poaching

Euthoran dragons are commonly hunted and killed by humans in order to obtain various body parts, particularly during the Dissonant Era.

Certain countries, namely Durasken, use dragon meat and cook it as a delicacy, eaten by the more wealthy. Dragon meat is described as a lean red meat, very tough if not cooked properly. The exact flavor varies greatly between species, with certain species favored over others. Smaller, coastal species often have a taste vaguely reminiscent of mild fish, while Firedrakes have a distinct smoky flavor, and so on.

Dragon eggs are commonly stolen from nests for various reasons. The eggshells have a high Mythril content, and can also be hollowed and lit from within to serve as ornamental hanging lanterns. Developing dragon embryos serve no profitable purpose, but the eggs are sometimes allowed to hatch in order to raise the hatchling in captivity and slaughter it when it has grown. Egg theft is a very dangerous practice, however, as most dragon species are highly devoted parents and are willing to incinerate entire cities to find their offspring.

Dragon blood is a common reagent in alchemic processes and ritualistic magic, due to the known divine ancestry of dragonkind and the belief that using their blood in magic and alchemy will grant several godlike properties, such as great wisdom, power, and longevity. These beliefs have yet to be proven as of SCT.

As the bones, teeth, and horns of dragons are very sturdy despite their light weight, bone may be carved into weaponry, jewelry, and decoration. Most commonly, horn is used to create bows, while bone is cut into arrowheads (teeth are also used for this purpose) and weapon grips, and may rarely be used as blade edging in place of metal. Bone is also a common material for sword sheathes. Lighter, thinner bones are used for rings, pendants, small decorative items, and other small objects such as flutes.

Commonly referred to as Dragon Leather, a dragon's hide underneath the scales is flexible and thick, difficult to cut and work, but makes efficient lightweight armor. It is often used in shields, armor, bandoliers and quivers to protect the wearer or the objects inside from heat and shallow-cutting attacks. Dragon leather is proe to superficial scrapes that can be buffed out without damaging the material.

By far, the most famously coveted materials from dragons involve their scales. Left intact, dragonscale is common as decoration for the wealthy, can be made into jewelry, and can be sewn into clothing and decorative armor as a sign of status. As they are lightweight and easily attachable to cloth via the scale roots, it is common to see wealthy citizens of cities such as Tarik, Durasken wearing dragonscale in dresses, hats, and casual military apparel. Scales may also be used as an alternate form of currency due to their precious metal content- while the exchange rate fluctuates, it is noted as a single scale to 100 Gold at SCT.

More often, however, the scales are destroyed in the process of extracting the Mythril for use in blacksmithing and coining. The Mythril in these cases usually retains the color caused by the pigments secreted by dragons, and when two different colors are worked together can create vibrant, vivid patterns in armor and weapons that would be made out of this metal. This is informally known as Dragonscale Mythril due to its distinct colors marking its origins.

Rarely, the oils that make up the pigments of dragonscale can be extracted magically, leaving the Mythril with its natural silver-blue coloration. The resulting oil is known typically as Dragonscale Oil or simply Dragon Oil and is often mixed with paint to create vibrant colors. Using the Mythril of the scales gives the paint a distinct metallic luster, but this is rare compared to other uses for the Mythril. Additionally, dragon scales are often ground down, superheated, and mixed with water or oil to create a high-quality resin known as Fyreglaze, with water-based Fyreglaze being the lowest quality and blood- or oil-based being the highest. While Fyreglaze leaves no pigmentation by itself (the oils in the scale evaporate during the heating process), the pigments of scales themselves may be used as an expensive oil base to give weapons and armor a distinctively colored tint.

Trivia

  • Dragons are usually considered adults at 30 to 40 years old, depending on the species. They mature mentally at a much younger age than humans- at a few months old, a hatchling will often be speaking in complete, coherent sentences, and it takes less than a decade for the typical adolescent dragon to be considered mentally and emotionally mature by human standards.