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The Dragon Lore of Lady Trent

To close out the month I decided to make a post documenting the lore surrounding the dragons in this series, going book by book. I will be cataloguing both the biology of the dragons as well as how they fit into the cultures of humans.

Note: I am treating every illustration in these books as canonically accurate to the dragons they represent. This will be used to add to the information found within the text.

A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS

BIOLOGY

Overview

  • Dragons seem to be classified in two different ways. There are True Dragons, which are accepted as dragons by everyone, and there are Lesser Dragonkind, creatures either related to dragons or which resemble them enough to make one think of a dragon.
  • Dragons seem to be reptilian creatures in appearance, possessing scales. How exactly they are classified isn’t stated.
  • At least three species of True Dragons are capable of having runt individuals, that is, individuals who mature partially to adulthood, gaining adult characteristics such as their crest or ruff but remaining small in size. Whether this applies to all species of True Dragons and Lesser Dragonkind is unknown.
  • All True Dragons breathe something in addition to their breath.
  • Wings are not like those of a bat; judging by the cover art and what it said inside the text, dragon wings have fingers positioned on the wing bone.
  • True Dragon bones decay after decay rapidly.
  • Dragon bones seem hollow and oddly light.

Lesser Dragonkind

Sparklings

  • Originally thought to be insects
  • According to illustration, they posses six legs
  • Multiple species and colors
  • Spit out sparks, hence the name
  • Can be preserved in vinegar
  • Fall to ash when they die, unless preserved

Wolf-Drake

  • Vestigial wings
  • Brown in color, crimson eyes
  • Prefers female prey

Wyverns

  • Exist

True Dragons

Akhian Desert Drake

  • Gold in color

Moulish Swamp-Wyrm

  • Muddy green in color
  • Extraordinary Breath: Noxious Fumes

Vyrstrani Rock-Wyrm

  • Grey in color; albinos do exist
  • Extraordinary Breath: Ice Crystals
  • Does not become male or female until maturity, Runt is a neuter
  • Carry their dead to a cave; Dragon’s Graveyard
  • Sulfuric Acid can preserve the bones
  • Wing is full of holes covered by scales; holes open on the upstroke and the scales close them on the down stroke (found in other species as well)
  • Measurements: Roughly 5m in length

CULTURE

Draconean

  • Worshiped Dragon-headed Gods
  • Firestone was important, found in many of their temples
  • Zhagrit Mat: Draconean King who was transformed into a dragon monster according to legend.

Other

  • Preserved dragon bone could be used to build
  • Balaur is the Vystrani word for dragon.
  • Locals see dragons as pest; eat livestock
  • Dragons can be kept in Menageries
  • A Natural History of Dragons by Sir Richard Edgeworth is an important texts

THE TROPIC OF SERPENTS

BIOLOGY

Overview

  • The method for preserving dragon bone works on Savannah Snakes, but needs to be modified slightly.
  • Preserved dragon bones can be used to create a sturdy and light glider.
  • Dragon flesh is foul, including the flesh of the Swamp Wyrm.

Lesser Dragonkind

Sea-snake

  • Large

Drakefly

  • Four wings, two legs
  • Feathered, almost birdlike
  • Dragon jaws
  • Bifurcated tail
  • Eats insects and eggs

Wyvern

  • Still exists

True Dragons

Six Characteristics

  1. Quadrupedalism
  2. Wings capable of flight
  3. A ruff or fan behind the skull
  4. Bones frangible post-mortem
  5. Egg laying
  6. Extraordinary breath

Moulish Swamp-Wyrm

  • Semi Aquatic
  • Crocodilian-like hide
  • Cannot fly, only short gliding actions
  • Juvenile Form: Fangfish
  • Queens live in the lake, males live in the swamp
  • Queens are much larger, at least ten meters in length
  • Egg conditions determine which are male and which are female
  • Lay many small eggs, about ten centimeters in diameter
  • Hunt by lunging out of the water, using their wings to help them glide up to their prey
  • Also hunt like crocodiles
  • Hunt by waiting under their prey until their noxious breath causes them to fall from the tree
  • Like other dragons, their flesh is foul.

Savannah Snake

  • Green in color in the wet season, dun in the dry
  • Wings are translucent ans shine gold in the sun
  • Long narrow wings, can’t fly yet can glide
  • Hunt by running after their prey, leaping up and gliding over the heard, then using their diving momentum to pull prey from the herd
  • Females are solitary, males form small groups
  • Deep chest, narrow waist; built for running
  • Extraordinary Breath: Corrosive Mist
  • Measurements: Heaviest weighed 98 kg

Arboreal Snake

  • Savannah Snakes in a different habitat

CULTURE

Draconean

  • Slight ruins are found above the lake that holds the queen dragons.
  • Ruins hold a stone with writing on it.

Other

  • Moulish worship dragons
  • Believe that the slaying of a dragon is why humans die, killing dragons is forbidden
  • The Pure (those who have never killed) tend to the Swamp-wyrm eggs, distributing them, creating queens, and shepherding males to the queens
  • Legambwa means dragon in Moulish
  • Legambwa bomu is a ritual dragon costume controlled by the children, destroys the camp when there is unrest

THE VOYAGE OF THE BASILISK

BIOLOGY

Overview

  • Dragon flesh is foul, including those of Sea Serpents.
  • Draconic lungs are more akin to avian lungs than mammalian lungs.
  • Draconic taxonomy is brought into question, given how the Six Characteristics may be less of a hard rule and ore a spectrum of traits, with some being absent or more important than others.
  • Lêng is the name given to the Yelang. Ti Lêng describe wingless, flightless dragons while Tien Lêng describe winged, flighted dragons.
    • Most are not winged, and most are water loving.
    • Most that are named are not described, so I will be guessing as to which are which.
  • Firestone is petrified dragon egg.
  • Dragon bones can be used to make caeligers.

Lesser Dragonkind

Sea Serpents

  • Blue-grey in color, with purple markings according to the cover.
  • Have front fins only, no hind fins or wings.
  • Are believed to migrate, though the details of these migratory paths are unknown.
  • Range from the tropics to the far north, with younger serpents being found in the tropics and older serpents being found up north.
  • Northern Serpents are larger than Tropical Serpents.
  • Mid Latitudes have Serpents all year round.
  • Tropical Serpents have tendrils above their eyes and on their snout, Northern Serpents lack these features.
  • Tropical Serpents can suck in vast amounts of water and then expel it, while Northern Serpents do not, instead constricting their prey.
    • Does not count as an Extraordinary Breath.
    • Difference is behavioral. Sucking in cold water would be detrimental to Northern Serpents.
  • Texts suggest the Northern Serpents are over fifteen meters in length, able to raise up fifteen meters out of the water. The cover suggests that they are longer than thirty meters.
  • Hunt sharks and other large prey, though they will eat meat of any size.
  • Have foul flesh, like land dragons.
  • Posses four fangs.
  • Females have an ovipositor.
  • Posses ctenoid scales, with some features of placoid scales.
  • Northern Serpents have thicker scales than Tropical Serpents.
    • Due to age
  • While traveling Isabella comes up with the hypothesis that Northern and Tropical Sea Serpents are two species diverging from a common ancestor. This hypothesis is proven false.
  • Eggs are laid in the water, half buried by sand. They are gelatinous to the touch, and translucent.

Wyvern

  • Live in the mountains of eastern Bulskevo and into Saiure.
  • Wings and only two legs.
  • Lack an extraordinary breath, but are venomous.

Quetzalcoatl

  • Feathered Serpents
  • Feathers are green in color, and it has a horned head.
  • At least five meters in length.
  • Sun themselves at midday.
  • Crepuscular
  • Males have a patch of red feathers beneath their throat.
  • Bones do not decay

Kulkulkan

  • A similar sort of dragon to the Quetzalcoatl, possibly a close relative.

Dragon Turtle

  • Heads resemble those of Dajin/Yelang dragons, hence the name.
  • Lêng Kuh
  • Considered a delicacy
  • Shell is two meters or more in length
  • Come ashore to lay eggs
  • Bones don’t decay

Ti Lêng

  • Hok Tsung Lêng; Subterranean.
  • Kau Lêng; Aquatic
  • Lêng Ma; Dragon Horse
  • Hung; Two Headed
    • It has a head-like club at the end of its tail
  • Pa Siah; Elephant Hunters
  • Tê Lêng
    • “Mountain Demon Dragons”
    • Grey to black in color, with stripes
    • Live in mountain rivers
    • Hornless, unusual for Dajin dragons.
    • Have the tendrils typical of their kind, as well as a fring beneath their jaws
    • Mate for life

Fire Lizard

  • Size of small cats.
  • Gregarious, with a flight containing a dozen or more members.
  • Feed on geckos, rats, insects, and birds.
  • Ground nesting.
  • Only predator is the eagle, which will only attack a Fire Lizard that it raiding a nest.
  • Range from yellow to red.
  • Breathe sparks of lightning, and can be seen flying and breathing sparks when volcanoes erupt.
  • Lack forelegs.

Komodos

  • Studies suggest that this is not a dragon at all, nor is it related to them. Rather, it is just a large lizard.
  • About three meters in length.
  • Posses either a venomous or infectious bite.

True Dragons

Moulish Swamp-Wyrm

  • Males are implied to be less than four meters in length
  • Transplanting eggs to the rivers rather than the swamps result in fewer hatching than normal, many runts, and the ones which grow fully to be large, serpentine, and possessing fine scales.
  • Become mature in a few years.

Tien Lêng

  • Bê Lêng; Winged
  • Yin Lêng
    • Note: This dragon is not described at all, rather a name is given. However, in the real world the Yinglong is a winged dragon, so I can make a guess that this is a reference to that dragon. After all, Tien Lêng is a reference to Tianlong, and Lêng Ma is a reference to Longma, and so on. However, Yinlong itself is a genus of primitive ceratopsians, so it’s possible the Yin Lêng is flightless.

CULTURE

Draconean

  • General:
    • Their language was a Syllabary
      • May have two hundred forty-one characters
    • Carved charms are found at their sites
  • Coyahuac:
    • Has many pyramid ruins from the ancient civilization.
    • Structures found here could suggest that they tamed dragons.
  • Akhia:
    • May have been the center of their civilization, with much to be found there.
  • Broken Sea
    • Numerous sunken ruins
    • Ruins on Rahuahane hold egg chambers where the Draconeans hatched dragon eggs of an unknown species.
  • Mouleen
    • The stone above the Queen Dragon Lake is bilingual, having Draconean on one half and Ngaru, a known language, on the other. Essentially, it is a Draconean Rosetta Stone.

Other

  • The fangs of a sea serpent are valued for carving.
  • The Yelangese have some success in breeding dragons in captivity.
  • The Yelangese have began hunting dragons for their bones.
  • The Puian of the Broken Sea have a concept called Ke’anaka’i. A Third Gender, these individuals exist outside of the Man/Woman binary. It is believed they are Dragon Spirited, with their spirit coming from the island of Rahuahane.
    • Naka’i or Nataki means anything from Sea Serpents to Lizards.
  • Keongans will ride Sea Serpents by grabbing their tendrils.
  • Some people keep Drakeflies in cages, like one would do with an exotic bird.

IN THE LABYRINTH OF DRAKES

BIOLOGY

Overview

  • Dragons rarely breed in captivity, with success mostly belonging to the smaller sorts.
  • A fossil claw, 30 centimeters around the curve from base to tip, would be the largest dragon claw discovered, if it belongs to a dragon.
  • Dragon eggs are sensitive to handling.

Lesser Dragonkind

Honeyseekers

  • Note: I am unsure if Honeyseekers count as Dragonkin. They seem to fulfill the required Characteristics, but the book never specifies. I have placed them here under the assumption their their spit foes not count as a true Breath.
  • Males incubate the eggs, displaying for the female until he is satisfied with the amount of eggs he has acquired. If eggs are removed from the nest, a pair can be encouraged to bred indefinitely.
  • Can eat insects when necessary, but their primary food is eucalyptus nectar.
  • Have bristled tongues for collecting nectar.
  • At most are fourteen centimeters in length.
  • Spit noxious saliva, with the toxins being derived from their diet.
  • Make their nests from saliva and leaves.
  • Females are a dull green; males are black and yellow, with blue crests.
  • If Honey Seeker eggs incubate in a nest of Tamarisk leaves instead of eucalyptus leaves, they will spit salty saliva instead of an irritating saliva.
  • When incubated at high temperatures, a female Honey Seeker which was bright orange hatched.

True Dragons

Akhian Desert Drake

  • Organ which generates their Breath can be cauterized, thus rendering them unable to breathe fire.
  • Cannot breathe fire until they are mature.
  • Mate once a year, near the end of the wet season, producing around ten eggs.
  • Take five years to reach sexual maturity, though don’t usually start breeding until they are seven.
  • Mishandled eggs can result in hatchlings whose bones are dense and heavy.
  • If a Desert Drake survives its first three years of life it can live to be forty.
  • Possess large ruffs.
  • Females are larger than males.
  • Have a unique way of hunting. They will kill a prey item then leave it as bait for scavengers. When scavengers come they kill these, eating the original bait and the new carcasses.
  • A heavily gorged Drake can go a week without food, though it also cannot fly, and must return to its lair to rest and digest its meal.
  • Females don’t lair within ten kilometers of males.
  • During the mating season a female will climb to a peak and breathe fire into the air just before dawn. This act attracts the males to her location. She will then attack whichever males she is not interested in with her fire, until only a few remain. At this point,  the female will begin her mating flight.
  • Smaller males can win a mating flight if they strike quickly, otherwise the flight becomes one of endurance.
  • Males will attack and injure one another during the flight.
  • When a male overtakes a female he will often mount her. The female must then glide with him on her back as they mate.
  • Females lay their eggs in shallow bowls of sand, returning regularly to rebury them.
  • Clutches can have six eggs.
  • Eggs have hard shells, and the inner membrane provides extra nutrients.
  • Young Desert Drakes are social, nesting together at night.
  • Desert Drakes, at least the juveniles, will hum or sing to each other.

CULTURE

Draconean

  • The Temple of Silence is found in The Labyrinth of Drakes.
  • The Labyrinth of Drakes hold many ruins, including The Watchers of Time. These are five sitting gods, which are positioned outside of a temple. The temple was hidden for thousands of years, and when rediscovered it showed signs of conflict, with the bodies of men being found within. A nest chamber is also found within, containing the footprints of long dead hatchlings.
  • The stone containing the Draconean Text becomes known as the Cataract Stone.

Other

  • Jinn are believed to be spirits born from the smokeless fire of Desert Drakes.
  • Most conflicts between humans and Drakes occur with juveniles.

WITHIN THE SANCTUARY OF WINGS

BIOLOGY

Overview

  • Developmental Lability has replaced the Six Characteristics as the main way to classify dragons.
    • This refers to how the incubation conditions can drastically affect what hatches from the egg.
  • That being said, the term True Dragon is still used to describe members with the Six Characteristics.
  • Dragon Bones rarely break.
  • There seems to be some commonality in Draconic Behavior, which allows Draconeans to tame and domesticate their wild kin.

Dragons

Mews

  • Cope with the cold by shedding their wing membrane in the spring before regrowing it.
  • Are pests, often raiding stores and diving at yaks.
  • The cause of this behavior of yak diving comes from the Draconeans, who domesticated the Mews to herd their own yaks.
  • Have no Breath, and therefore are not True Dragons.
  • Are named for their call, which sounds like a cat.

Ce Lêng

  • Based off the cover of the book, the Ci Lêng has a very complex life cycle. The juveniles begin life with six legs, and they lack the horns and tendrils of the adults. As they grow, their second set of forelimbs start to develop into wings, and they grow the horns and tendrils of the adults.
  • They are large enough to carry a man.
  • The Draconeans are able to train Ci Lêng to perform a sort of complex dance.
  • Are a relatively tame variety of dragons.

Draconeans

  • The species originated from dragon eggs incubating in human blood. However, once the species began they were able to interbreed to perpetuate it.
  • Two meters tall.
  • Females are more common than males, with there being three to five times as many females as males.
  • Can shut off the blood flow to their wings. This is an adaptation to their cold climates, where reducing the blood flow to their wings would be beneficial.
    • As a result, wing spreading is used as a dominance display.
  • Are omnivorous, which is also most likely an adaptation to their environment.
  • Firestone is the petrified remains of Draconean Eggs. The potion used to petrify them was lost to history. Whether or not this process would work on other species is unspecified.
  • Hibernate during the winter.
  • Are capable of gliding, but not full flight.

CULTURE

Draconean

  • The Draconean creation myth tells of four sisters. When they bathed, the waters from their mouths became the first brother, the water from their backs became dragons, and the water from their fronts became humans.
  • Modern Draconeans believe that Ancient Draconeans ruled over humans because they believe humans came from them.
  • Ancient Draconeans seemed to be aware of their species Blood origin.
  • Modern Draconeans live in sister groups, made up of two to five sisters, though three to four is most common.
  • In order to keep their herd tended to during the winter, one sister group is placed in charge of tending to the village. These groups do not keep watch back to back years.
  • Draconeans live in sister groups, usually made up of three to five females.
  • Since females are common and males are rare, the sexes have different jobs.
    • Females do most of the work, including tending to the herds, farming, and acting as guards and patrols.
    • Males serve as the religious leaders and artists, as well as raising and teaching the young.
  • Every female in a sister group is viewed as the mother of their child group.
  • The Draconeans see the number four as a lucky number.
  • The Draconean language can be learned and spoken by humans.
  • Their religion is focused heavily on the sky, and the deceased are left out for carrion birds to pick at and carry away.
  • “Anevrai” is used to refer to the Ancient Draconeans.
  • A single sister group, along with a male rule each village. The Draconeans as a whole are ruled by an Elder Group.

Other

  • Yelang see dragons as a good omen, with folklore saying that the first Emperor was crowned by dragons in human forms.
  • Many human legends suggest that the Draconeans were cruel tyrants.

FROM THE EDITORIAL PAGE OF THE FALCHESTER WEEKLY REVIEW

BIOLOGY

Overview

  • While species of dragons with feathers exist, there are no known species with both feathers and scales. Since the Drakefly was depicted with feet similar to those of birds, we can presume that the scutes of birds do not count as scales.

Lesser Dragonkind

Wyvern

  • Since the Cockatrice is actually a taxidermy Wyvern, we can infer that the Wyvern is a biped, and that it has at least three fingers. The first two fingers do not support the wing membrane.
  • Wyverns can be taxidermied, suggesting their skeletons do not decay after death. However, as this story takes place after the secret to preserving dragon bone has gotten out, their skeletons still may decay.
flickr

RIBBON REEFGOBY (30mm) por Sonja Ooms
Por Flickr:
This species is distinguished by the following characters: a fraenum; unbranched second dorsal-fin rays; second spine of first dorsal fin reaching beyond the caudal peduncle when extended (Ref. 9018); characterized further by reddish orange body color with dark scale margins forming network on side of body; head and upper back below first and second dorsal fins with dark-edged whitish bars, including bifurcate bar originating on nape and forms an inverted “Y”; longitudinal scale series 23-24; ctenoid body scales except cycloid on abdomen; nape, operculum, cheek and breast without scales; cheek without vertical rows of papillae; depth of body 3.7-4.0 in SL (Ref. 90102). Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Ctenoides ales has several hip nicknames, and not just because “Ctenoides ales” is goddamn impossible to pronounce. It’s the only bivalve known to have the ability to create a mesmerizing strobe light effect with its soft tissue, earning it monikers such as the disco clam, the electric flame scallop, and the electric clam, which sounds like something you’d order out of an adult catalog. We’re going to go ahead and give it a new one right now: the THOR CLAM.

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