THE DRAGONS OF THE WORLD OF DARKSHOM
At the beginning of our time the dragons were the only sentient life on the world. They flew the skies freely and learned how to manifest physical forms. Over time the spirits became trapped in the physical bodies for the love of the sensations they brought. This was of no consequence to them however, for they were happy. They perfected their physical form to enjoy soaring on the breezes and air currents. Some began to take to the vast oceans. They had no regrets save one.
Originally on other worlds the dragons were guardians. They were responsible for the well being of animals and sentient beings—as well as the spirits of the worlds. These smaller dragons—unlike Syrahn and Aria—helped nurture the great eggs that were the life-giving planets. They educated and sang to the hatchling inside the egg.
By this time they knew that Darkshom had suffered. There was no life inside. It had been diseased by Cohen. They felt loneliness and sadness for their egg suffered. They also were much like the dragons of this day and age. There was a bit of vanity. No sentients existed to admire the dragon’s great beauty.
So they set forth to create more life. Sadly the pickings were slim until they discovered a wild and unstable energy source that would grow into the DarkGate with careful manipulation. This was a natural anomaly of the planet. As the dragons gazed into the depths of the wild blue flame that appeared in random locations—they were able to see living creatures on other worlds. Humans interested them greatly. They used magics on the DarkGate so they could control it. From there they snatched humans from a couple of worlds. One source was from the sister world of Millia. The second was from the earliest humans of Earth.
The dragons experimented to form the humans into their own liking. Neither creature was beautiful enough, and so they began to intermingle with them to create what they desired.
First came the orcs. The legend remains to this day of the birth of the Brothers. Since magic had already begun to take hold on Darkshom, some of the humans had become affected by it. A few had become shape shifters—and the great Cheera was among them. The legend does hold true. A dragon had fallen in love with her and from her—the orcish people were born. She birthed them when she was in animal form, so they took on animal characteristics in their early years. Over generations mingling with humans and elves the species would change to what they are today.
Experiments led to two vastly different creatures. It was learned that if a male dragon mated with a human—a being similar to our elven kind was born of the union. They were lithe and beautiful. They gained an almost ethereal quality. These early elves are now known as the fae—and the modern elf is descended from them.
The second were known as the Hess. We do not know if they still exist. If the mother was dragon and the father human, the Hess came into being. They were equivalent to our modern half-dragons. Their appearance was more lizard than human. Human eyes were set in lizard-like skulls. Scales covered their bodies. They lacked any wings but were very dexterous with human type fingers ending in claws. They were intelligent and cunning. How they ended no one knows.
People’s developed. More came through the DarkGate by accident—ancient races from Earth’s Egypt, and Israel. An entire tribe had been grabbed by the wild magic from Israel and brought to our world. Despite the dragon’s careful work to control the DarkGate it took it’s own control back. This time due to their manipulations it was more powerful and could grab entire cities—such as the dwarven citadel of DarkGate.
By this time the dragons were satisfied. They had species to lord over and care for. Still, as the generations passed they still became more solid and unable to leave the world.
DEVELOPMENT OF DRAGON SOCIETY
They were able to manipulate the land with their magics and form vast cities anywhere they chose. Some were in high mountains, others were in the depths of the oceans. Another group went to Rohrn to examine the red sun.
Cohen was one who felt they had too much freedom. He employed some of the Hess and early shamans to begin corrupting and poisoning the lands the dragons chose. At times demons would come in disguise and mate with certain types of dragons.
Most clung on to their beautiful civilizations. Wars had begun to break out against Cohen’s forces. The sages of the dragon-kind studied various ways to stop the onslaught. However others took more direct action and began to fight in long bloody battles. The battles lasted for ages. The sages noticed that the fighting dragons seemed to enjoy what they did. So, they began a second breeding program. They would create warrior dragons to destroy Cohen.
This worked at first. Some of the dragons developed differing body styles. Wings became useless or turned into massive claws for raking a foe. Some lost their for-limbs and were able to shift or dive like falcons. Others that were in the oceans lost limbs completely. Then there were the dragons who took their homes in the Vortexes to trap unwitting combatants.
It worked so very well, but something strange was happening.
They noticed over time that the darker color the dragon was—the more mentally unstable they had become. In our time, the black dragon can be labeled as psychotic. They are brutal killers that enjoy what they do. Levels of mental defect vary as do the colors of dragons.
The purest soul and also the most studious is the white. They are devoid of any mental defect. Clearly they are the opposite end of the spectrum compared to the blacks. Before the dragons went into hiding in the last 500 years, the white dragons were the leaders and the scholars. The lighter colors remained in cities. Medium colors such as the golds or the tans would take to villages. Reds and blues—down to the blacks would often be solo. Lighter colors would often bond with elves for a number of years. In rare instances it would happen when a dragon hatched—and the pair that bonded at hatching would do so for life. The dragon would grant it’s apparent immortality to it’s human or elven partner. Bonding at hatching is considered a curse however, for if one partner dies the other one will. It is like half of their soul is ripped away from them. Even before the Great War such bonding was not a common practice. Some dragon cities even outlawed the practice entirely. Dragon villages were not as strict.
BASIC ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY
As stated above, wings are not available on every body type. Forelegs, and for some ocean dwellers, limbs are completely missing. Some things are quite common place—although very little is known of the giant vortex dragons.
THE FLYING DRAGON:
These vary naturally in size from those of the size of a fae dragon to ones as long as a single keep wall. All of these types have wings that are in comparison in length to raptors. One surface jungle dwelling dragon has brilliant feathers on it’s wings similar to a bird. The rest of the types have small scales lining where bones reinforce the wing which fade into the leathery sails (the thin tissue) between the fingers. Each wing is similar to that of a hand, but of course very elongated. The thumb will usually be a clawed appendage where the wing is at it’s peak. Depending on if this is a war type dragon or one of the civilized area—the size of this ‘claw’ can vary. On the war types this claw can be as long as an orc’s arm.
Bones of the flyers are all hollow, but excessively strong. The bones that support the wings have a clear fluid inside of them that turns into a mist and dissipates in a few minutes when exposed to the air. This fluid is even found in the bones of the shoulders. It’s been difficult to test, but so far from the information we have gathered this fluid is imbibed with magical properties. Our scholars are working on this. The rest of the bones are filled with dragon’s blood.
There are massive lungs that fill the entire rib cage except for the 2 hearts. These hearts are next to eachother. There is an extensive network of blood vessels and valves in between these hearts. One can assume that if one of the hearts is damaged the body can close it off and use the other one until the first is healed. The lungs have 3 lobes each. Below the lungs and above the muscle that controls breathing is a separate bladder with it’s own tubes that lead to the throat. Found inside this bladder are specific substances the dragons may chew on and swallow to trigger a dragon’s breath. For instance, sulfur is consumed by dragons residing in the volcanic regions in order for them to breathe fire. This practice is not adopted by non-combative dragons. However, in times of war it was known that all would consume the necessary materials in case they were called to battle.
Most dragons have 2 stomachs and up to miles of intestine depending on the dragon’s size.
The female does have a womb which is a massive organ that produces eggs. When they are ready for Flight she will have up to 30 small leathery eggs inside. The male dragon has organs similar to elves and humans for reproduction. We can assume these adaptations allow the dragon to mate in biped form or their natural form. A female can mate outside of her species and produce fertilized eggs, as can the male mate with a biped and create a child. When mating, the male with join with the female in a like fashion as us bipedal folk. The seed then coats the eggs inside. After a year’s time the female will grow heavy and lay these eggs in a nest of her choosing. She must be in dragon form to do this. The eggs will harden when exposed to air. When she is heavy she has only enough strength to build the nest—and often the male or other dragons will come and provide food.
Fighting dragons of the darker colors have adopted a philosophy of sorts, where they will prefer to mate in their natural form. These Sky Battles are bloody. One female will fly with up to 10 males at once. The males have to chase her down and capture her. This is not an easy task. Many males die in these battles for the females have become wicked in their ability to destroy a suitor. Witnesses below say the sky rains blood when a Sky Battle is in the works. Dragons have also fallen to the grounds below dead.
In brief conversations with Allendra the Red (when she is agreeable), she has stated that a female like her will only clutch about 10 eggs at the most. The lone female has to be able to provide for her own needs. She will gorge on meat and plants before clutching her brood.
Nesting grounds will vary depending on personal preference of the female.
All but the most insane will guard their eggs and hatchlings. Even in the white dragons this is a dangerous time to approach for instinct takes over and all females are exceedingly protective to the point of violence. If the dragon is from a mated pair, the male will help guard the clutch or provide food for the female. Nesting grounds vary by dragon color and type. One secret of the dragon kind is how they feed their young. These are always meat eaters—even among the most civilized dragons. The mother will regurgitate food for the young if she watches them. Black dragons are born with their killing instincts intact. Those young will not be guarded by parent and will learn quickly to find food for themselves.
The Great War has devastated many races. It would seem the dragons are no exception. The light colored dragons have vanished from the face of the world since Codus went on his 18 year rampage through the midworld and subsequently had slain the dragon king White Tiger. Reds, greens, blacks, and blues are still present—but not many survive a visit by one of those beasts. Those dragons are scattered throughout the surfaceworld, midworld, and Rohrn.
Captain of Cultural Research
City of Greenwich
Copyright November 2007, Christine H. Rietsch