Dragon Lore: III
A large tome dedicated to the intricacies of dragons, explaining everything from origin to physical differences and more. Sorted by subspecies and split into several volumes.
Noted are pages on dragons and their various species and families. The tome is professional, bound in hard leather and penned in a neat and tidy script. Some parts are oddly missing, protected by an ancient spell. Carved into the thick cover is simply 'Dragon Lore III'. It seems to be first sorted by dragon types by discovery, then dragon subspecies and other dragon cousins. This book follows the Original Dragons and Lost Dragons with the New Dragons, created via godly intervention and strict evolution, sometimes magical enhancement. These are the variants that most know of today, such as the cavewyrms and easterns. Explained below are their origins, as well as some recorded analysis of their traits and features.
Beginning as the dragons of Millirand began to explore other Realms, the amphithere originates from a group of wyverns and westerns that made their way to Lizzarkyth bearing exploring riders. This was when the lyzards claimed westerns as their gods – and though the westerns eventually left, the wyverns stayed behind.
Through long years of breeding and populating the more wild parts of this jungle-like paradise, wyverns began to lose their hind legs and grow smaller wings, until the double-wings disappeared entirely. Many scholars believe that this is due to many amphitheres needing to adapt to the confining jungles and forests, gaining smaller and thinner bodies, losing large ribcages and other limbs.They also gained plumage – hide, fur and feather alike – painted with incredible, bright patterns much like the more mundane animals they lived beside. Amphitheres may still be found there today, though many have explored the Realms further, living away from lyzard settlements in the deep tangles of the bush. They have evolved well past the feather-bound creatures that once filled the jungles of the lyzards, coming in all shapes and sizes.
The cavewyrm, or wyrm, is a snakelike dragon that originated from their runnerdrake and groundrake cousins. When some of these land-dwelling dragons settled in caverns and tunnels underground in Millirand's darkest corners, a few dove ever further, creating colonies that rarely set eyes upon the sun. For moving around in cramped tunnels and caves with little room, their legs began to recede until they vanished entirely, becoming more alike to a snake than a true dragon. They've since befriended dwarves, and are often found helping dwarven mining parties underneath the earth of many Realms, not just Millirand where they first came from.
Many hexadragons, or hexadrakes, are viewed as mutants by their greater cousins; it was indeed a mutation that brought about the first hexas from western couplings, born with an extra set of legs. They became common in the beginning of Felnova, after the Great Move, when the Five split from the Ten and the dragons all but abandoned Millirand. Hexadragons are somewhat uncommon, but many have progressed to the point where they have been able to breed many generations purely.
Another mutant of the common types of Original Dragon, coming into being as fused eggs in the womb, multiple hatchlings being born in one egg. Different from true twins developing in different bodies inside that egg, these all share the same body and soul, and are often a mixture of three or more heads. These no longer bear any ties to the similarmulti-headed dragons of today that are still born, as most individual hydras are found to share a single brain and have procreated on their own long enough to be called a distinct sub-variant.
All manner of sea-serpents and oceanic dragons, save for the god-gifted Yorijians that Zacyn created, were the result of multiple types of traditional dragons that took to the sea. Most of these originated in Felnova, though some can rarely be found in the waters of Millirand. This is not known whether they are from before the Five split from the Ten, or after; there is no records indicating either. Most sea-serpents are from couplings involving water-elemental dragons already showing aquatic features, dramatically changed through the generations so that they could become fully aquatic. Whether this is through magical enhancement or proper evolution is up for debate.
The lindwyrm, or lindworm, is an offshoot of the groundrakes who sheltered underground for prolonged periods of time, seeking escape from western dragon soldiers for unknown crimes. Unlike cavewyrms, who originated in Millirand and Felnova, these lindworms originate in the depths of Evylon. And unlike their other Evylonian cousins, who were changed by the Realm's aura, the lindworms allied themselves with the drow, seeking to evade the western dragons and wyverns who pursued them. None have evolved back into their four-legged, groundrake cousins, and they have avoided much of the magic that changed the westerns and wyverns who came over with them.
Lindworms do not like their western cousins, and as a result find themselves incredibly ill-tempered towards their brethren due to a long history of malcontent. They share a sort of kinship with dark elves as they are both shunned by their more powerful cousins. Many lindworms still populate the many ruins of dark elven kingdoms in Evylon left today, and are often hunted by the Heartwoodian dragons and elves alike for their destructive tendencies towards those who had hunted them in many days past. Anymore, they may be found in many other Realms.
As with western dragons, the eastern dragons that we know today got their name from historical events that changed them to their modern variant. It is known that eastern dragons originated from changed individuals who moved from Felnova to Kurai before and during the Bloodreign War to attempt and colonize the Realm. However, those that stayed behind – whether trapped or unwilling to let go of the land they had claimed – were changed from what they originally were to the basic eastern shape we know today.
The reason that eastern dragons so changed is thought to have been survival itself; westerns in general are bigger, bulkier, altogether stronger and more powerful. However, when it came to facing demons – especially demons of the highest caliber – many dragons found the need to avoid them to survive better than facing them down and fighting in potentially doomed combat.
Wings slowly shortened and became vestigial, later disappearing altogether. The ancestors of the eastern dabbled in magic to help their offspring better survive, and blended strong magic within their bones, gifting them the ability to fly unconventionally after years of experimentation. Longer and slimmer, able to fly without wings, these smaller easterns became masterful in magic and became elusive to all but the best dragon hunters, able to hide underwater, underground, or even high in the sky itself. As such, many easterns have a taste for lower-class demon meat. Though many easterns decided to leave Kurai, there still exists many there who hold out against the demons. A great many of them are found in a stronghold in the Famine Kingdom, allied with the Demon Lord residing there.
The knucker, or serpynt, originated from a group of dragons from Kurai that fled in the middle of their long transformation, a mixture of slender eastern and winged western. Though most have wings too small to fly, all have wings, and have become more and more like long-bodied lizards in stature and build. Lacking the western's strength and flight, and the eastern's magic and wisdom, many are of the opinion that the serpynt got the worst of both sides. They have become uncommon in recent years, hiding themselves away, due to the overall distaste other dragons treat them with.
The ouroboros came about originally as hybrids born of knucker and sea-serpent pairings. Over time, they became more numerous and similar individuals began to congregate together on beaches and on shorelines of various areas, until they had a sizable population themselves. They evolved to be very knucker-like in shape, but with very long tails, multiple frills, webbed talons, and bold colors. Unusually, they began the habit of holding onto the end of their tails while wrapped around something beneath the water to sleep - and across the years, ouroborai are never born with extreme ornamentation at the tips of their tails. Instead, they are found to be knobbly, perhaps due to being held from hatchlinghood to adulthood over the many years of their lives.