A note from the head Librarian of Maribor- “When this tome was given to us, I read through it as was customary. Afterwards I sought out the author to make sure that everything written was factual, but when I reached what had been his residence it had suffered a great fire during the night. Since I can not verify the contents, everything written within this tome must be taken with a grain of salt.”
A Brief Overview
Dragons are massive creatures with an inherently magical nature. Seldom seen in their true forms, the tales of these beings speak of them as being the size of a large manor house or larger. Thick scales cover their bodies, capable of deflecting even the mightiest of blows. It is mentioned in quite a few tales that dragons possess magic that allows them to change their shape, and thus hide what they truly are.
The scales of a dragon are unique in that their coloration changes depending on the dragon’s current mood. Normally they are a deep blue, but when the dragon begins to anger they change shade to a brilliant red. This is the reason that many tales describe a dragon in battle as scarlet with rage. When a dragon is so enraged that it will stop at nothing to destroy its foe, the scales that protect turn black, and swathes of landscape end up destroyed in its rage.
Legends and tales are quick to speak of the intelligence, deadly teeth and claws, and intense fire breath. Only a few, however, mention that dragon’s all possess powerful magic, enough to rival any great mage. These same legends also tell that Dragons are seldom brought to battle by mortals, and when they are things usually end poorly for the mortals that dared to challenge such a creature.
Most tales and religions are oddly silent on the creation of dragons, but there is a story that they tell amongst themselves about their own creation. A story that they say has been passed down since the very first generation of dragons. The tale begins during the war of the First Men, when they challenged the Gods. As the battle went on, a small group of First Men prayed to the gods. They did not want to fight, they just wanted to live their lives, but knew that the God would punish their people, so they sought an answer.
Their prayers were answered by many of the Gods. Aranayan gifted them with a new form, one that would befit their wisdom in seeking answers from the Gods. Kannath gifted them with magic to enable them to retain a measure of their old forms. Belendor gifted them with fire in order to destroy those who threatened them. Lastly Feydor gave them a piece of his own rage, so that foes that angered them would do it but once. And thus, dragons were born from what had been First men.
Dragons reproduce extremely rarely, and suffer the effects of time unlike any other creature or race. Wyrmling dragons hatch from eggs that are laid in a clutch of two to three. When they emerge from the egg, they are the size of large housecat. The mother of the newly hatched dragon watches over the hatchling for the next decade as it grows to a size where it can defend itself. At this point it would be larger than a destrier.
Dragons do not reach true adulthood until thirty years after they have hatched. At this point they are in full command of their magic and abilities. However, dragons do not stop growing as they age. During their long life, dragons will take many mates, seldom do dragons mate for life, though few of these result in the laying of eggs.
As dragons age, they do not grow more infirm as most races and peoples do, instead they become prone to sleeping. At first for days and then for centuries, until they just sleep away time. The dragons believe that the first of their kind still sleep somewhere hidden in the world and will only awaken when certain conditions are met.
The Great Game
With lifespans greater than elves, and the ability to hide themselves amongst the mortal races with their magic, the dragons have devised what they call the Great Game. Dragons that take up this hobby spend the majority of their time in mortal guises. The purpose of the Great Game is to manipulate the kingdoms of mortals to achieve various goals that they have established amongst themselves. Dragons in their mortal form often pose as nobles or advisors to the rulers of the kingdom that they are manipulating.
However, most of their manipulation is done through catspaws that they use to enact their plans and push the kingdoms in the directions that they desire. Dragons can become incredibly obsessed with the Great Game. Those who interfere with a dragon in their pursuit of the Great Game often end up missing. Occasionally, two or more dragons will be attempting to manipulate the same kingdom. These contests rarely if ever spill over into physical confrontations, but they do often result in the kingdom having a civil war or coup.
Dragons that play the Great Game go to extreme lengths to protect their true identities. Oftentimes revealing themselves only to their most trusted of agents. Those who suspect that a noble or advisor may actually be a dragon participating in the Great Game are cautioned to be careful, as such knowledge could lead to their deaths.