Dragons can live for up to 3,000,000 years though when they are born, one would not think they would become fearsome creatures. Dragons are uncommon to rare creatures to be seen in Xaythea, often making their homes in the mountains of the planet and collecting hoards of gold and silver coins, gems and books which they will guard with their lives. They are intelligent creatures and capable of human speech though some will attack humans for food as well as their livestock. Not all dragons have external ears, land dragons and aquatic dragons may have ear holes though dragons may have horns and soft spikes on their backs that can be raised or lowered and spikes are attached to ligaments in the spine. Fins on the back and tail help stabilize the dragon in flight and when swimming though some may also have fins on their heads and necks. Aquatic dragons may have external ears or fin ears. A dragon’s ears, if external, are always twitching and moving, which allows them to track sound.
A dragon is divided into three different types:
- Land Dragons-Dragons that have no wings and are confined to land
- Sky Dragons-Dragons that have wings and can fly
- Aquatic Dragons-Dragons that have short wings or no wings which don’t enable them to fly. They can either have legs which allow them to come on land or fins which render them to the water.
They can also be hybrids of the following:
- Land Dragon x Sky Dragon
- Sky Dragon x Aquatic Dragon
- Aquatic Dragon x Land Dragon
Dragons have four elements they can inherit, each dragon may only have one breath weapon, even those of hybrids, and these are the elements they can manipulate:
- Fire-Control, shape, create and manipulate fire/heat
- Water/Ice-Control, shape, create and manipulate water (including ice) and cold
- Lightning-Causes them to glow, can manipulate and create electricity and weather
- Acid-Have toxic blood and venom that drips from their fangs/claws, can create, shape and manipulate poison
Fire is weak to Water/Ice
Water/Ice is weak to Lightning
Lightning is weak to Acid
Acid is weak to Fire
Mating and Reproduction
When a female dragon is ready to mate she will sound a resonating “mating-call” to all the mature males around the area. She will then fly as fast, and as high as she possibly can. The female can easily out-fly any male, due to her weight, and wingspan. Only the strongest and fastest of the males will catch her.
Females will change to a brighter shade of their regular color during the mating season due to this change. The males will notice this change and get riled up so much as to fight with other males that are ready to mate as well. These fights are never fatal, but sometimes do cause some serious damage to the males, especially the wing membrane, which is the most vulnerable part of a dragon’s body. The fights usually consist of dragons diving towards each other and butting heads, and swiping with claws on the tough scales of the chest. When the male dragons hear the female’s mating call, the dragons at once take to the skies to find her, and the chase is on!
When a male dragon finally catches the female at the climax of their flight, they will literally hang for a second in mid-air with the male wrapping his tail and wings tightly around the female’s, and grasp her with all four claws. The female will follow suit as they begin a free-fall which is the mating session. Falling fast, the mating only lasts a few seconds, and both dragons will break off just before crashing into the ground, and glide together to the female dragon’s cave to prepare their nest.
Both male and female dragons become fertile roughly halfway through the young stage of life and remain so until well into their ancient years. Young dragons can mate and might do so out of sheer biological urge—or even, at times, for love—but they are rarely prepared to rear young. They might abandon clutches of eggs wherever the eggs will have a decent chance of survival. Few eggs left in this way survive—and dragons that hatch from them might not learn to fend for themselves well enough before becoming prey.
One clutch contains between six to ten eggs.
The nest building begins the same day as the mating takes place. Both the male and female dragon add to building their nest. The nest materials can consist of woven tree branches, and fresh leaves intertwined with gold and jewels. The floor of the nest consists of flat coins that are melted into a bowl by the dragons breathing fire and melting them into the woven branches. Dragons apparently like a very beautiful nesting area. The nest will be built upon part of the two dragon’s combined treasures. It is theorized when the dragons sit upon the nest, the body heat will warm the gold and keep the nest warm even when the dragon is not directly on the eggs. Building the nest will be slow, it takes roughly a year and a half, human years to build it.
The average dragon egg is about the size of a small rain barrel. Eggs normally have the same color as the dragon variety, though somewhat duller in hue. They are roughly ovoid and have a texture somewhere between dragon scale and stone. When first laid, a dragon egg has resistance to the damage type produced by the parents’ breath weapon. As the egg nears hatching, the shell grows harder but more brittle, and that resistance diminishes. By the time the hatchling is ready to hatch, the egg has no resistance at all.
The young grow within their mother for eighteen months where they are then laid in the nest. After 2 months of nesting, the baby dragons emerge from their eggs. Each baby dragon has an egg-tooth, which is a sharp, pointed bone at the front of their snout. This is used to break out of the shell.
When a hatchling is ready to hatch, it begins feeding on the inside of the egg’s shell, absorbing the remaining nutrients. This activity strengthens the young dragon and weakens the shell. The hatchling then breaks free by clawing at the sides, pressing against and cracking the shell with brute strength, and blasting the shell occasionally with its own already developed breath weapon.
When the first dragon starts to emerge and cry, it urges the other baby dragons to hatch. Dragons hatch ferociously hungry, and if are not fed immediately after hatching, they will eat the yolk and albumen (white part of an egg). If not fed immediately after this, they will go after their siblings. It is very important for the parents to know when the dragons are ready to hatch so they can have fresh meat to satisfy their sons and daughters. This first feeding bonds the newly hatched dragons to their parents. After the hatching, both adult dragons fiercely guard their hatchlings. One dragon will always be awake to keep watch over the nest, until the hatchlings can defend themselves.
The Awakening is a coming of age ceremony, that takes place once a Dragon reaches full maturity as an adult. The first part of the Awakening, the trigger as it were, is to attempt to burn the individual alive and for them to make their first kill which makes the individual a Dragon in full.
Heightened Senses: Dragons can see, smell and hear far better than any other race on Xaythea. Sight and smell are five times as strong as the average human, being able to see up to 50m and smell some subtle aromas on others up to 10m. Night vision also increased, being able to see in darkness up to 20m relatively clearly.
Scaly Hide: The thick scales provide a great deal of durability, resisting most weapon types and reducing damage done by half. Scaly hide and thick muscle allows for five times the durability of an average human.
Physical Strength: Ten times as strong as an average human, being able to lift a large, filled hay cart or uproot a large tree. Honeycombed bones allow for flight while supporting thick, heavy mass.
Flight (only sky dragons or hybrid sky dragons): With wings, they can fly up to and maintain a maximum of 70m (roughly above the tree-tops or to rock perches on cliff edges). They can fly at speed roughly 3x as fast as that of a human’s average run. If fit, healthy and well rested, great distances can be covered before a full-form dragon will tire.
Knowledge and Memory: Dragons have a natural ability to learn and remember information better than most races.
Claws, Jaws and Tail: Besides the breath weapon, these are the primary weapons of the form. The claws and teeth can tear into most creatures, including vulnerable areas of dragons, such as wings but not other dragon scaled areas, while the tail can knock an average human into a nearby wall with applied/purposeful force.
All dragons have accelerated healing/regenerative abilities.
Minor Wounds take a few hours to heal.
Major or many minor wounds take a few hours to 1-2 days, depending on severity/amount.
Limbs may be regenerated over the course of 3-5 days.
When dragons first hatch their size is vastly different compared to their size later on. They are the size of a cat.
When they reach the age of three months they become the size of a wolf.
As they reach fledgling age, they become the size of a horse.
As they reach the size of an adolescent, they become the size of a camel.
Upon reaching adulthood, they are the size of an African elephant.
Dragons never stop growing. By the time they die, they may be the size of small hills or mountains. However with their larger size comes a desire to sleep and not move, thus there are quite a few dragons that go into hibernation upon reaching their ancient years.
Sensitive Senses: Due to heightened senses, powerful stimuli such as pungent odors and bright lights can overwhelm the creature, causing disorientation, pain, and possibly nausea, lightheadedness, and fatigue. The closer or more direct the stimuli, the more disorienting, overwhelming, and/or painful the stimuli can be. Sensitivity to light is increased further when using night vision.
Dragonbane: This blue-leafed, red puffy-headed, flower-like plant causes a myriad of problems: the natural aroma – even at a distance – can cause gradual loss of voice, extreme coughing, extreme vertigo, and temporary blind-rage; when burned, the smoke causes extreme coughing, instant loss of voice, and extreme labored breathing. When touched to the skin, it creates a severe, painful rash with partial paralysis; if it enters an open wound, it will paralyze the connected limb or torso (and in severe cases, cause cardiac arrest). If ingested, it will induce seizures, unimaginable pain, and potentially death. Contact with dragonsbane *requires* medical attention.
Pure Metal Poison: Pure metals are toxic to dragons. The greater the rarity of the metal in question, the more toxic. Pure iron or copper would be merely irritating, while pure gold or platinum would be potentially lethal if it entered their bloodstream. Blades made of rare pure metals can slice through their skin, hide, and scales like a hot knife through butter.
Rage: Some dragons suffer from sporadic bouts of rage, whereupon they become aggressively defensive, and prone to violence over the smallest of offenses, lashing out at even close friends without hesitation. The adrenaline running through their bodies grants them greater strength and a spike in pain tolerance, but they lose all reason until it fades.
Painful Shifting: As bones, muscles, and mass are physically changing, shifting between the true form and bi-pedal form is excruciating. Side effects of shifting include pain, breaking bones, nausea, hunger, lightheadedness, soreness, and fatigue. As the true form is the natural state, it recovers somewhat more quickly from side effects, but is still affected.
Piercing Weapons: Piercing weapons (i.e., arrows, spears, and the points of blades) and weapons with piercing enchantments may overcome the scaly hide. These cause 1.5x to 3x greater damage than an average attack to the form, with greater damage caused if one spot his hit repeatedly, thereby going through the scale.
Underbelly, joints and wing membrane: Wings in both forms, areas under joints, and the scaled underbelly are vulnerable areas that will take 1.5x to 2x as much damage as the rest of the body.
Honeycomb Bones: While more lightweight than hollow bones, the bones in the wings are susceptible to blunt weapons (i.e., hammers and maces) at an average degree of damage. Other bones, especially forelimbs, are susceptible to increasing damage with direct blows, with 4-5 direct blows to one area causing bone breaks.
Hoarding: They are prone to collecting and obsessing over gold, jewels, and other treasure. This tends to drive a dragon to be unreasonable in trade/commerce, aggressive when defending what is theirs, and foolhardy when trying to gain more.
Iron: Iron, like gold to werecats and silver to werewolves, burn dragons. It can leave fatal scarring if not careful.
Dragons must consume two to three times as much food as an average human in order to maintain enough energy. Dragons, due to their large size, maneuver on ground half as well as an average human, being clumsy and inflexible. Dragons also run half as fast as an average human and cannot sustain it long.