|“||Dragons are amongst some of the oldest creatures of yore, and although they've been teetering on the brink of extinction for centuries, their longevity is a testament to their great inner strength.||”|
—Excerpt from "Myths and Legends as told by the Adventures of Alfred Hollins"
As a sentient magical creature possessing tremendous intelligence, it was widely regarded as the most feared and respected of all the mythical beasts in Esria, and countless legends and stories came to be told about dragons of all shapes and sizes. According to myths and legends, the typical dragon protected a cavern or castle filled with gold and treasure. An evil one was often associated with a great hero who tried to slay it, and a good one was said to give incredibly wise advice.
Dragons were one of the oldest and most venerable species of magical beast ever seen upon Esria, and were believed to be as old as the world itself. Little was known of their early history, but the very first dragons encountered by mortals in the barren blacklands of Asevia were vicious, untameable beasts that had a fierce bloodlust and a territorial instinct that led to a fearsome reputation.
It was believed that Asevia was the birthplace of all dragons, and that they had wiped out the indigenous human population so thoroughly that the ground had become little more than blackened, ashen rock, and the sand of the once beautiful deserts had turned to glass. Over time, different species began to develop and spread across the world. Many matured greatly during this time, leading to a diverse population of well-meaning species such as mordant and argent dragons.
By the later years of the Common Era, dragons had become largely, if not wholly extinct. The last was seen during the battles that took place in Leoben during the Long Night, when the argent dragon Miravir stood alongside the Angel Juriel on the battlefield.
There were three recognised types of dragon that became accepted in studies and texts across the world, first proposed by Elven scholars of the Alvyri Vandryl. Although translations changed through centuries, their writings continued to be reproduced and taught in colleges long into the Blessed Era and beyond.
They made a clear distinction between baleful (amyr golama) and benevolent (amyr blauthama) species, noting the tendency for more kindly dragons to distance themselves from their violent history. Many human scholars during the early years of the Common Era disagreed with these classifications, however, on the basis that many benevolent dragons would prove stubborn, independent and unwilling to aid mortal beings in times of need.
As such, a third classification of neutral dragons (amyr malvama) was proposed and ultimately popularised by colleges across Western Astria, later being adopted by modern Elven institutions.
Argent dragons were one of the first types of dragon to roam Esria, and were one of the first of their kin to encounter the other mortal races, although in many cases this did not end well for both sides. Historically, the Argent kin inhabited the southern mountains and northern glacial regions of Ostia. Over time their numbers heavily dwindled, and since the Common Era the extent of their diaspora became altogether unknown.
Known as guardians of life, Argent dragons were known to be one of, if not the purest of all benevolent dragons. There were no records of their feats, but on many occasions Argent dragons worked closely with their Mordant kin to stop the machinations of their Baleful cousins from reaching the kingdoms of the lesser mortals. Naturally, Argent dragons were extremely strong, and capable of amazing feats. They were known to be capable of intercontinental flight in a matter of days. Although many Argent dragons once considered themselves apex predators, the near total destruction of their kind put an end to such thoughts.
Their lifespan was measured to be around nine-hundred years.
Mordant dragons were a specific breed of dragon who came into the world sometime during the Arcane Era. Many of the great events of the world were involved in some way or another with the Mordant kin, and as such their extremely rare appearances were often heralded with both caution and awe.
They were masters of fire, but lacked the fiery personality and anger of their lesser Baleful kin, the red dragons. They were curious by nature. This meant that they were extremely naïve and trusting as wyrmlings, but also extremely knowledgable at later ages. They had the will and capacity to take in knowledge greater than any other of their close cousins, save the Brass dragons, and were kind, eager and ready to help the world, although sometimes their best intentions were not met with enthusiasm by the many cultures and nations they interacted with over the years.
Their lifespan was measured to be around one-thousand years.
Auric Dragons were a mythic breed of dragon. They were the first of all Dragons to appear on Esria, and were the first to leave it. They were the boldest and bravest of all their kin, and were known as the greatest of leaders and mediators during the Era of Discord between the awakening mortal races of Esria. They were the first to note the arrival of the Elves into the world, although they did not make their presence known until centuries later, when they were forced to confront the ever expanding domain of the Elves of the Alvyri Vandryl. Acting as mediators between some of the enraged Emerald Dragons and the increasingly greedy Elves.
They were the strongest of the benevolent Dragons, and were capable of almost anything when their sharp minds were put together. They were pragmatic, but set strictly in doctrine surrounding the protection of Esria and its mortal inhabitants. Auric Dragons often saw themselves as paladins of justice, and paragons of the true strength of the mortal soul. Although they rarely appeared outside of isolated cases, their impact was substantial at numerous points of ancient history, and they are credited with safeguarding Esria during its formative years, when the power of the Archangels was still convalescing from the World.
Their lifespan was immeasurable, and the few Auric dragons that were known by name were said to be immortal, although they were all destroyed before recorded history. The exact cause is unknown, but has been widely speculated as the result of a kin strife that lasted centuries.The names of the Auric dragons came to be lost with the turning of the pages of history, becoming little more than dying whispers carried on the winds of time. However, the consequences of their noble deeds remained.
Brass Dragons were a rare breed of dragon who rarely appeared in the sagas and legends of Esria, although they certainly reveled in collecting and archiving such tales. They were uncharacteristically placid, preferring quiet lifestyles in sleepy places where their works and collections of culture could be considered and marvelled at. They were described as being the most human-like dragons, and rightfully so, as many brass dragons preferred to walk amongst civilisation in their human forms, interacting with everyone and anyone. They often found employment as bards, curators and archaeologists, but often shook off such trivial pursuits when they had learnt enough about their topic of study.
They were not physically strong, nor were they weak. They were extremely dangerous much like other dragons, but especially so when creating spells, strategies or puzzles as their minds held vast centuries of information. Every brass dragon was blessed with the power of eiditic memory, and could often read scriptures and books within hours, if not minutes. They found eating intelligent creatures to be displeasing, and often went out of their way to consider those around them, instead placing their lairs deep underground or in far off crags, when not sleeping in human conditions.
Their lifespan was measured to be around seven-hundred and fifty years.
There was no great dragon associated with the Brass dragons, for all of them were of small stock, and were far too busy digging their heads into books to concern themselves with being categorised. The smartest of them all could not be categorised either, for they were all infinitely smarter than any other mortals on Esria.
It was not known how long ago it was when black dragons came into existence, but the first recorded instance of one appearing dated back to the Alvyri Vandryl, though their small numbers suggested they came from another land altogether. They were characteristic by their pungent smell of smoke and sulphur, and revelled in wreaking destruction and havoc on almost anything that moved. They regarded themselves as the highest lifeforms in Esria, and often grew to sizes that dwarfed entire villages.
They were arrogant, self-assured and extremely confident. These traits combined with their tendency to fight solidified the reputation of black dragons as being unparalleled in aerial combat in their dragon form, and hand-to-hand combat in their human form, although it was in actuality possible for a seasoned warrior to beat them. They were magic resistant, and boasted three sets of sensory equipment, allowing them to hunt with greater efficiency than any other kind of Baleful dragon. Their kind rarely lived in groups, and not for long when they did. The nature of black dragons always dictated that they would betray anyone and each other to gain personal power. It was not unheard of for black dragons to kill their spawn out of irrational bouts of anger, or for grown dragons to seek out and kill their parents.
Their lifespan was measured to be around five-hundred years.
The greatest of them was Glimmerscale, one of the Great Dragons of Esria. He terrorised the lands of Calavyr during the Arcane Era in a period of time known as the Years of Blood. However, as the start of a trend that would come to repeat itself centuries after, his reign lasted not long, as he was slain by an Elven knight known as the Weeping Knight, who had celestial origins. Since that time, sightings of black dragons were extremely rare, and none were confirmed save for the appearance of Aemavirr the Black, a young black dragon who made his lair in Calavyr in the Common Era. After the awakened Amras Vorosaer filled the dragon with carmine energy, Aemavirr grew to gargantuan size, even larger than the Cathedral of Powyd in Yndria. Although many considered him to be the largest, he was second only to Avok Vos, a red dragon who would come to ravage the world at a later date.
Knowledge of the Red dragons was few and far between. It was said that their kind was only known to their benevolent kin, the Bronze dragons. Red dragons were an extremely rare type of dragon, feared by every mortal race not only due to their size, but their apathy. Throughout history they were known to destroy entire towns without knowledge or understanding, simply considering the lives of the world beneath them to be like ants, or bacteria.
Their lifespan was never measured. Some Red dragons, such as Aklaron, lived for thousands of years.
Of the lesser mortals such as Humans and Elves, very few were given the chance to see Red dragons, and fewer still survived the experience. Native to the lands of Asevia, Red dragons were not known to reproduce. In fact, the nature of their birth was unknown, except to the Bronze dragons, who considered the knowledge too dangerous to spread. Capable of growing to the size of mountains, there were only two reds throughout the entirety of Esrian history that the mortals managed to observe. In both cases, the Red dragons heralded apocalypse.
Although Aklaron the Red was considered to be the greatest of his kin, he was most certainly not the largest. That accolade would be attained by the dragon known as Avok Vos, or the Mountain Tyrant. Active during the Blessed Era, Avok Vos was not only the largest Red dragon but also the largest dragon ever to have existed on Esria. Larger than entire cities, the creature was considered by his benevolent cousins to be one of the greatest threats to the mortal races since the time of creation.
The Great Dragons of Esria
- Mordant Dragons: Terminth, soulbound to Amras the Betrayer in the Arcane Era and ultimately unbound by Emryn Ashbury during the Long Night, 1381 C.E.
- Black Dragons: Glimmerscale, slain by the Weeping Knight during the Arcane Era, 207 A.E.
- Argent Dragons: Exegon, whose soul was taken by the Archangel Netheriel during the Heartstone Crisis, 1371 C.E.
- Red Dragons: Aklaron the Red, slain by the Ajdarah Order of El Deya in 452 A.E.
- Auric Dragons: None known.
- Brass Dragons: None known, and certainly none would approve of being called "great".