The Tca'ier Dragon
The tca'ier dragon, or simply called tca'ier, is a cousin of the traditional dragon most closely related to Cosmics and Celestials. They are known to travel in the space inside of a Realm sphere and high above in the stars, and were created by the god Gaz'in, being seekers of knowledge.
Name:: Tca'ier dragon
Average Lifespan:: Immortal
Average Height:: N/A
Average Weight:: N/A
Location Found:: Abroad, often in many Realm spheres' space.
*all statistics based on averages; extremes in any direction, or found in odd locations, are always allowed.
Reproduction and Lifestyle Not much is known about the early stages of tca'ier reproduction - or if they really have a need for male assistance at all. The only stage that has been observed in detail is when a female pops into the air above a Realm to deposit her eggs. Usually this is the same world where she herself grew up. Usually provided that it is inhabited by a native, sapient species that aren't thoroughly hostile to dragons or their kind. If she has any sisters, or if there's other females who have hatched in the Realm, all of them will usually come there at the same time. Every few centuries, give or take.
All of them will then move as close to the ground as they can, although that usually means that they're still rather high up in the air. Producing one to four very thick-scaled eggs, that are then taken by the Realm world's gravity. Except for in rare circumstances, the egg and contents will survive the passage through the atmosphere, and the following impact. In fact, that rather rough introduction may be needed for the dragonet to hatch; something that usually happens within three or four days after the eggs introduction to the world.
Diet Hatchlings, and youngling tca'iers still living entirely in a Realm, eat anything from meat, to vegetables, to minerals. With age though, they can live for a while even off the energy of any sort of star. Once leaving their place of birth behind, it's uncertain if they need to eat at all. Though, they can and do if they feel like it.
Species info credited to Grey and Blazeh/Verridith.
Appearance Upon hatching, a young tca'ier is usually quite large compared to traditional dragon hatchlings. Most tend to be fairly tall at the shoulder, and their legs are long, slender and almost stilt-like. Proportions may change even more for the first years as they grow, and a juvenile can sometimes appear rather awkward in build.
A tca'ier is usually born white and gains its adult coloration in their adolescent and adult stages. For young dragons, the wing membranes are nearly transparent, making sometimes very complex patterning of the wings somewhat subtle. With age, ten years or so, the young dragon's scales go from white and mottled grey to its adult color, the wings becomes less see-through and the pattern more noticeable.
Through the two centuries needed to reach young adulthood, the young dragon grow slowly, until it reaches a length of between 200-300 feet. Upon which they reach the next stage of their life-cycle, and rely on Realms much less. As older adults, they can be up to 1000 feet long if choosing to show their full size.
The body of most adult tca'ier are long and slender. A tca'ier have two pairs of wings, the hindmost pair being slightly smaller; set slightly further down the back than the main pair. Each wing is generally long, narrow and allows them to fly with good speed and even greater agility. Set at the end of a long neck, a tca'ier's head is long and elegant of build. The eyes are forward-set and are usually large and expressive. About two-thirds down the long tail, it branches out. Often this appear as 'side growths' to the main structure, but in some dragons, they might almost look more blade-like in appearance. The front legs sport 'hands', with six digits and a thumb, all equipped with claws. The hind-feet are somewhat heavier of construction, with five long, clawed toes.
Most tca'ier dragons are found in every shade under the sun, save for shades of blue, and silver, the color of their subtypes. The body of a tca'ier is covered with scales whose edges are razor-sharp, although they might grow a bit less so with age. A special set of muscles allows each scale to be raised and lowered individually, or in sequence - something that may be used as part of body language, along with other kinds of communication among dragons. Their language is a rather complex and multi-layered one. They may, however, enjoy to use the effect to confuse others, moving their scales in a ripple effect, with the ability to produce a rustling/chiming sound. Those same scales will also make touching a tca'ier who has raised scales somewhat dangerous, as they are sharp to the touch.
Culture Tca'ier are always hatched female by default. A tca'ier can by will decide to become the species equivalent of a male or genderless if there's a need for it, because of preferences, or some other reason. Due to their ability to travel off the solid ground of the Realms, tca'ier share some ties with Celestial and Cosmic dragons, sometime in the distant past - even if in the present day, those ties have faded. The tca'ier species, unlike their interstellar cousins, managed to survive in somewhat larger numbers, while Celestial and Cosmic dragons grew all the more rare.
Any society tca'ier have seems to be relatively loose, based on what seen of the juvenile or younger ones. The proper adults do not often take kindly to sharing information on that with the curious-minded, or in more official interviews by species not of their own. Juveniles seem to spend at least half their time with their siblings, if they have any; not unusually acting like any youngling critters at times certainly (but with some more dignity). Many young tca'ier enjoy throwing themselves into information gathering when they notice there's something new to learn. Rarely in the 'ask a hundred questions a minute' way, but they might watch over your shoulder, read, and listen.
While disagreement happens, and a tca'ier can choose to stay out of the company of another, aggression between them is mostly unheard of. They don't solve things with violence between their own kind, most often; ignoring, not communicating at all with one another, seems their way to deal with someone they really dislike. However, such an anti-violence policy may not always extend to other races, not in the same degree.
Autonomous they may be most of the time, but tca'ier will always follow the word of the god that created them, if he asks or directs something, and are stout followers of Gaz'in in all that he does. They interact more or less freely with other, though less so with shorter-lived races. Mostly though, they seem to view the internal business of any other race as a private matter of that race.
Hatchlings are born rather smart, even if it takes time for them to learn to communicate using anything but emotion, images and the like. They also have a pretty strong instinct knowing what they are, and a drive to learn and seek. Other than that however, they're expected to fend for themselves, and interact with the local sapient species for good and bad. In some Realms they might be met with reverence, on others they have to compete harshly with the locals. Generally, it's somewhere in between.
Tca'ier siblings will tend to stick together, or at least stay in touch by thought, but they'll also be drawn towards socializing with and learning from the native sapients where possible, as well as other juvenile tca'ier in the Realm, if they exist. If not killed, or dying through some accident, they'll learn everything they can, and grow. If the local, native species are friendly enough, it's not unusual for the younglings to grow quite close to native individuals or families, learning from them, and acting as teachers in return, too. When they've grown old and knowledgeable enough to have anything useful to share at least. Therefore, when the time comes for the young adult to leave, they'll give the person, or people, she was closest to, any wish they choose that's within her abilities to grant.
Abilities Tca'ier dragons are born with little else than their natural defenses; primarily their size and ability to fly, along with teeth, claws, and scales. Early in their lives, they will gain a highly toxic bite that may help both defend them against predators and help take down prey, its effects and strength varying by individual. Their brains and ability to reason too, though for their first few years, they still have a lot to learn. All tca'ier know with some instinctive ability of who they are (not being a human, for example), and what they'll become.
Slowly, over the span of years, or a few centuries, they'll learn and acquire knowledge, and very gradually grow into a great talent for magic starting with smaller things and advancing into medium, until they might very, very slightly start to sniff at a level of magic that can affect larger areas as a whole. That doesn't happen until shortly before they're ready to leave the birth-Realm, if they reach adulthood at all.
That ability for magic may continue to grow even after they've grown into adults and range freely throughout the Realms. They are one of the few known species to be able to travel unhindered through the space of the Realm-sphere, amid the stars, inside of the Veil. In the upper reaches of adulthood, a tca'ier may spend much of their time off the world's surface and in the atmosphere or in space, and many older tca'ier dragons may be able to alter the physical state of which they may manifest as.
In the early days of Millirand, as the dragons continued to spread and prosper in their new home, Gaz’in watched them, lamenting how much knowledge had been lost with the First Realm. In secret, far from Death’s malicious gaze, he’d been gathering an extensive library, but it had been lost with the First Realm's demise. But, even as he lamented, he began to make a plan for how to avoid such a loss of knowledge in the future.
To that end, he selected two scholarly dragons, a celestial and a cosmic, one male, and one female, and sent them into a deep hibernation. As they slept, their forms dissolved into pure energy, and their souls became one. Around this soul he built a new body from the essences of the old ones, giving them a much larger, though much more slender, body. To this dragon, the first of the tca’ier, he gave golden scales the color of the sun, with blue, silver, and black highlights on various parts of her body.
She would be the only one of her kind to bear such highlights, for he had specific tasks in mind for tca’ier hatched with scales of blue, silver, or black. He filled her soul with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and awakened her, taking her as his personal student for a time. Even as he shared his knowledge with her, he crafted others of her kind, all female, though at certain times in their lives they would be able to become male, or lose their gender entirely, before returning to female, dictated by a life cycle, and reproductive cycle, understood only by themselves and Gaz’in.
Lastly, he bestowed upon the tca’ier the ability to nourish themselves with pure cosmic energy from suns, moons, and stars, once they’d reached maturity, and the ability to travel freely within a Realm Sphere, high above the Realm itself, and even out into the Void for brief periods of time. After she left Gaz’in’s side, the first tca’ier began traveling far and wide, seeking out new things to learn, at times traveling with some of her sisters, at other times traveling alone. Legend has it she wanders still, far beyond the bounds of any Realm.
This Ancient First was a tca’ier of deep gold, with highlights of blue, silver, and black painted by Gaz’in himself. Driven by an insatiable curiosity, she was tutored first by her creator before being sent out into the universe, gifted with the ability to travel where others could not. Hungry for understanding, she made no place her home, and, in her restlessness, became driven by the need to craft the Narrative of creation. This sacred Narrative is nowhere to be found, and neither, mysteriously, is she.
Classification: Blue-scaled tca'ier. Location: Abroad.
Rarely, a tca'ier will be hatched of a different type than their sisters; blessed by Gaz'in, these strange hatchlings are called the Bluescales. These tca'ier are infertile. The Bluescales are blue tca'iers, whose scales usually come in the darker shades of the color. Blues are the most knowledgeable of all tca'iers, archivists and keepers of history, particularly of their kind and the species they have closer contact with. But they'll keep attention to a great lot of things, and seem to be in possession of a bottomless photographic memory. They may travel far and wide occasionally, and they're more welcome than their silver cousins. Bluescales are often known to report to Gaz'in directly.
Classification: Black-scaled tca'ier. Location: Abroad.
Rarely, a tca'ier will be hatched of a different type than their sisters; blessed by Gaz'in, these strange hatchlings are called the Shadows. These tca'ier are infertile. Shadow tca'ier are malleable creatures who hold great possession over the element of darkness. Having a unnerving way of going from just about invisible, to a near solid, tca'ier-shaped mass of deep black they have too. Their only hint of color, if you look closely, is their eyes. Rarely seen, at least unless they pretend to be something else, but when they're so hard to spot... Thought to be gatherers of information, in more tactical ways than the blues. They are covert watchers, and those who go sneaking in when subtlety is needed.
Classification: Silver-scaled tca'ier. Location: Abroad.
Rarely, a tca'ier will be hatched of a different type than their sisters; blessed by Gaz'in, these strange hatchlings are called the Silverscales. These tca'ier are infertile. Of these, Silver tca'ier are the strongest type of tca'ier, and are used as law enforcement by tca'ier society; they are only sent in when they're really needed, whether it's to deal with a greater threat or to be there to discourage an enemy before that threat becomes reality. They are rarely hatched and rarely appear, as the entity they serve may not be one to use threats often. But they're widely considered a member of the tca'ier species one rather not see.