” ‘Dragonslayer’; What a ridiculous concept. Humans could not slay a dragon anymore than they could slay a tempest or kill a hurricane. These were creatures more of geography than biology; mountains and ocean and the sky itself rose up against each other. Ten thousand warriors could not draw a single spot of blood from them. If they are myth they must remain that way, for if they are not…”
-Matana, Luxi Priest
Also Known as: Dragons, Long, Omens, Titans
Hazard Level: Apex
These massive creations of the celestials are said to be the first weapons of the Ayr. Entities of celestial will and lesser celestials in their own right, Dragons were Omens, embodiment’s of the decisions and attitudes of the Ayr, crafted to serve their purposes. Some lore suggests they were early creations, preceding humanity by eons, but others propose they were the final weapons of the celestial war, crafted as the true soldiers of the Ayr in their rebellion against the One.
Dragons are an ancient species spoken of primarily in epics, legends, songs, and religious texts. According to the myths these staggeringly enormous entities were creations of the Ayr; vast implements of their will loosed upon Aeldos like natural disasters. While each Dragon was a unique creation there were a few key elements shared among them.
- Size: Each Dragon was enormous, measured in kilometers and hundreds of tonnes.
- Limbs: Each Dragon had at least six limbs or more.
Celestial: Each Dragon possessed immense power, rivaling even that of the Ayr themselves.
Beyond these features the nature and specifics of a Dragon was highly dependent on its sub-type; Draga or Yaga (alt Dragaiyr/Yagaiyr)
Draga were truly monstrous creations of the One. World shaking titans built for torment and ruin. According to legend the first Draga, Ophion, had six limbs, tall and wide as watchtowers, six black eyes the size of caravan carts, flesh clad in scales as thick as castle walls and hard as granite, and a breath capable of melting steel. This bestial engine of war was obedient to the One and proved its cruel worth by spreading ruin across the land, and so the One made a dozen more, all to be his servants. Ophion’s Progeny, each unique in their terrible form, were the bane of the age, and feasted on the primitive humans who stood no chance against their might. A few of the Draga named in myth include:
- Scultone the Terrible: An immense Draga that possessed the ability to paralyze enemies with its gaze.
- Garmungand the Vast: A titanic water Draga that supposedly encircled the entire continent of Aeldos.
- Rahab the Hurricane: An oceanic Draga said to slumber in the depths, rising only to devour navies.
- Tarak the Mountain: A monstrous mountain Draga of vast proportions whose spine is said to have formed the spine of the world.
- Exaviyr the Hungry: A rapacious Draga blamed for the extinction of whole genera of species and captured by Oxo to create the first Yaga.
Legends claim that Oxo the Caretaker was the first Ayr to capture a Draga. The Draga in question, Exaviyr, attracted Oxo’s attention by being responsible for the ruination of many of the Ayrs creations. Disgusted by its viciousness and wanton destruction Oxo subdued the beast and purged it of darkness, and with the help of Omo reforged it into a Yaga, to act as a champion and guardian of Aeldos. This first Yaga, renamed Exargiyr became the first dragon hunter, released upon its rampaging brethren. Granted a greater intellect and a portion of the Shifting lingua by its adoptive parent, Exargiyr hunted carefully, stalking its prey for weeks and only attacking when opportunity and form best favoured it. Seeing the cunning and skill of the Yaga, other Ayr crafted guardians of their own, each in their own image. Other Yaga created by the Ayr include:
- Ichneumon the Tracker: A shape shifting Yaga created by Oxo and Oto and known to take whatever form best suited its hunt.
- Druk the Thunder: A Yaga created by Ivi with an affinity for storms and thunder which it used to deafen or destroy enemies.
- Apalala the Gentle: A powerful but peaceful Yaga crafted by Oxo to mend, heal, and grow.
Perikaliyr the Beautiful: A radiant and beauteous Yaga crafted by Aia to defend it’s favoured landscapes and creatures.
The level of intelligence displayed by Dragons varied significantly. The Draga in particular are said to have simple intellects, driven by a few key bestial imperatives; consumption, ruination, and obedience to the One. The Yaga on the other hand were elevated, granted intellect, foresight and creativity by the Ayr to better serve as guardians and guides. Some stories even suggest that the Yaga were intelligent enough to utilize the Lingua Arcana, changing their shapes to walk the mortal world.
As largely unique creatures Dragon behaviour was highly variable. The Draga, weapons of the One were entirely destructive creatures, focused on wreaking chaos and ruin on all mortal life and obedient only to their masters cruel whims. As the One, the Draga delighted in the pain and sorrow of others.
Conversely, the Yaga ranged from benevolent Demi-Ayr, intent on the nurturing and protection of the mortal world, to merciless hunters, bent on the destruction of the Draga.
A Dragons size and natural armament made them nearly invincible to all but other dragons and celestials like the Ayr. With a roar that could level a forest, talons that could cleave mountains, and bodies that could displace lakes, by all accounts any given Dragon could destroy a city without noticing, let alone by intent.
Dragons were not natural parts of any ecosystem and seemed capable of surviving in virtually any environment or condition, and even without food in the traditional sense. Legends claim that Dragons were in fact not biological creatures in the traditional sense, instead possessing more exotic fuel. Tales of powerful artefacts forged from their remains are no doubt an expression of this.
Lesser Dragons: While the Draga lacked any creative capacity, including reproductive, Oxo is said to have imbued the Yaga with this ability. Yaga offspring were apparently much smaller than their parents, only growing to a fraction of their size and power. Stories of “Lesser Dragons” suggest that most grew to a maximum of fourty meters in length and lacked the impenetrable defenses and sheer destructive capacity of their elders. These creatures did possess higher intellects and complex motivations and behaviours more akin to biological life than their celestial counterparts. Surprising to some, despite being born of the generally benevolent Yaga, these creatures were as apt to fall to darkness as any mortal and stories of rapacious and cruel lesser dragons can be found throughout the pre-imperial era. Modern folktales often speak of these Lesser Dragons as if they are still a threat, but evidence of their existence remains elusive, and verified encounters are entirely missing.
- Rahab’s Fang: A legendary great sword said to have been carved from the smallest of Rahab’s teeth, the Fang is a mythic weapon, sought after for its ability to instill terror in one’s foes and pierce any material. Stories of the Fang are a fanciful pastime of bards, skalds, and minstrels across the continent.