Among the things I enjoy doing in my story worlds, blogging is not on the list, but detailing and profiling individual groups or characters is. (Weird, huh?) Fantasy is really an awesome genre because I get to make something up entirely without adhering to the confines of accuracy. (Also could mean I’m lazy but who cares?) I can make up whatever I want and make it sound plausible if I can. If I can’t, I can play it off really well.
DIETARY AND PHYSICAL FORMATION
The mountain dragon can eat both meat and vegetation; however, since few plants are large and substantial enough to satisfy the massive appetite of a dragon, they suffice with meat. Big game like deer, bears, mountain sheep and other predators, are not quite plentiful enough to fill a dragon’s stomach, so they also depend largely on ocean fish. Fortunately, they only have to eat once every year.
Dragons’ bodies are thick, though aerodynamic and covered with reptilian skin. To allow them to fly, they need a massive wing system which is supported by large, finger-like tendons. The size of the wing structure needed to support a dragon in air makes the dragon appear awkward and excessively overbalanced. Their wings are placed near their mid shoulder, leaning toward the lower end, but are extremely flexible, being able to bend forward, backward and to each side in equal measure. When on the ground, mountain dragons can fold their wings against their bodies in such a way that they almost appear to not have any; rather, they look like rubbery, spiny lizards. Their long tails can be barbed, serving as a weapon as well as for balance. The bone structure is hollow to make the creature lighter and their legs are jointed in multiple ways to allow them to fold against their tails as well as to use for walking. Their body armor is light but is extremely durable with rocklike scales to keep them warm, cool, and protected from other dragons. Mountain dragons can change color and blend in with whatever backdrop they have. The color changes are not drastic but subtle and more extreme the longer the dragon is at rest. Their heads are aerodynamic and relatively small to keep from becoming a difficulty when flying. Their necks can be either long or short depending on genetics. Their eyesight is exceptional allowing them to see through certain substances. A dragon can see at least twenty times deeper into the ocean than a human and can see a lateral distance that would astonish the mind. A dragon is equipped with small, fast-moving lungs, which allows room for a sort of furnace which can generate short bursts of hot breath. This furnace can be triggered at will and cause an explosive plume of fire to launch out the dragon’s mouth. Their scaly mouths protect them from being burnt and their teeth are tempered by these explosions, thus becoming stronger every time they spew fire. Many men and elves who slew dragons would take their teeth to be used as weapons because of their great strength.
The most dangerous part of a Mountain Dragon is its volatile nature. It is a dumb animal, unable to predict its impulse or control it. This leads it to appear deadly even when it is not. When they are attacked, they assume the worst and begin destroying their enemy. Because of their long life spans, they remember being attacked by humans and then retaliate for the rest of their lives. Some dragons nurture their young to be no less than killers. They will attack anything that looks like it might be food. Mountain Dragons must survive for themselves quite young. Once they are hatched from their eggs, they must fend for themselves or risk being eaten by their own forbearers.
Dragons hibernate in the winter, burying themselves in earth to appear like a mountain ridge. When spring comes, they break out of their hardened shell and begin to satisfy their ravenous appetites. Spring is the time when most dragon attacks on civilizations occur, but dragons have little to do when their feeding time is over, so they occupy themselves by quarreling with one another. They will fly to other islands and attack whatever dragons might be present there, or they will scan the ocean until an Sea Dragon appears. If none of these efforts avail a suitable fight, they will then turn toward the dragons on their own islands and give up traveling for a fight. Dragons generally look for a fight with their own kind. The lazier sort will seek out weaker animals to toy with, but by and large they actively seek each other out for a fight. When fall comes around, there are few dragons unbattered and ordinarily they go directly from healing into either another fight, attacking a village, or into hibernation.
Dragons usually acquire most of their treasure from their predecessors. They contribute in their lifetime and die off, leaving their work for yet another dragon. The hoards consist of anything that shines: a pane of glass, a rock of obsidian, rings, trinkets, chain mail, blades, and jewels. A great many dragons only have an interest in a specific thing and collect all they can of that one thing. It is made easier to find a hoard by looking for items a dragon might have discarded in their perusal of their treasure after a raid. They are remarkably gentle with anything which interests them and primarily hoard any delicate object such as jewelry and glassware. Mountain dragons will often hide their hoards in caves, covered by sand or boulders. They will hide specific pieces they fancy in individual places, never to be found by another dragon, or human for that matter. No sensible dragon leaves all its treasure in one place. Instead, they carve out caves for themselves to place them and scatter them all over the territory they dominate. Most dragon fights occur over the raiding of another dragon’s hoard, which is not an uncommon occurrence.
DIETARY AND PHYSICAL FORMATION
Sea dragons are much larger than mountain dragons and can live underwater as well as on land. As would be expected of a water creature, their clawed appendages are webbed to provide traction in water. Their wings are mounted more on their upper shoulders than lower and are not particularly flexible. In essence, they can fly very quickly but not with any particular agility. Fins on their tails and backs provide them with the means to swim effectively and they can plunge to the bottom of the ocean at speed. Their teeth are not quite as strong as mountain dragons, but they grow back if damaged or lost. Their teeth are more like spines than broad, razor sharp, teeth and they consume much of their food without chewing it. Their teeth are primarily for defense and filtering debris from entering their fish-like lungs when they are under water. They cannot produce a great deal of fire, just a spurt every few minutes, because it is an impractical weapon when one lives in the water; however, their breath is hot and they can boil a pool of water in just seconds, being unscathed themselves in the scalding liquid. Their armor is not the rock-like substance of their mountain counterparts, but it is very strong none-the-less and extremely durable. With a good long blade you can slice through the armor of a sea dragon, but you would be a fool to try as it will take a well-aimed blow and you may not get the chance of a second.
Sea dragons are more intelligent than one might expect and they can speak if they choose. In any event, they understand speech and react to it much the same way as humans. No doubt they have their own language, but no one has yet been able to speak dragon. They are not wanton killers unless provoked, and when they are, they waste no time in dispatching the perpetrator. They are virtually silent without the ostentatious roaring of mountain dragons when in battle. They are territorial in the ocean, but once on land they are content to live in peace with other creatures. Shipping routes are often unsafe because a dragon will determine the surface of the water to be within his large realm, though he, himself, lives quite deep in the ocean where the biggest fish are.
Sea dragons do not have the fancy for shining objects their land bound kin do, which is not to say that they don’t keep a small treasure trove for themselves. But it is rarely expanded much within their lives and is immediately passed to their strongest offspring upon their death. They do not quarrel with their young, but they do push them out of the nest as soon as they can catch their own fish.