The 8th World
DRAGONS OF THE 8TH WORLD
|Known Great Dragons||Drakes|
For as long as any race can remember, dragons have existed. Every culture in has stories about dragons, many of them millennia old. Some scholars of the ancient races teach that dragons were the first of the world’s living creatures, though little support exists for this theory. The dragons, who know the truth, generally decline to answer questions about their past.
All dragons are dangerous. Few tolerate other races meddling in their affairs, unless the dragon initiates the contact. Though some, such as the great dragon Icewing, have established a protocol by which the races may talk to them, most dragons prefer to be left alone.
One of the quickest ways to die is to call a common dragon by that name. Like most dragon kind, common dragons take fierce pride in their heritage and accomplishments. Boastful, deceitful, sly, often gifted with a malicious sense of humor, these dragons fortunately take little interest in the world’s affairs.
The name “common dragon” is a misnomer. Though the people use this term because nearly all the dragons they know of have the size, shape, and general appearance described below, these beasts are not common. In fact, few people have ever seen a dragon. The common dragon’s body is 65 feet long, with a tail that adds another 55 feet to the dragon’s total length. The dragon’s massive wings span 100 feet. Horns protrude from its forehead, and it has teeth sharper than newly whetted steel. Common dragons are usually one color with a lighter shade of the same coloration on their bellies; their scales have a dull gleam, like a cloudy lacquer. Though common dragons of almost every conceivable shade exist in stories,most common dragons are green, blue, and dull yellow.
Too covetous to let anyone close to their hoards, common dragons rarely meet with characters in their lairs. If common dragons design to interact with what they call the “two-legs”, they usually do so at a place at least two hours’ flight from their lair. At a flat-out flight speed of nearly 125 miles per hour, two hours covers a lot of ground.
Legend says that great dragons, the mightiest of their kind, are immortal. These shrewd, highly intelligent creatures spend their endless lives hatching and nurturing their plans for the world. Great dragons often interact with the world around them, but usually work through a web of contacts and agents rather than acting directly. Believing that the world holds powerful enemies, these great creatures apparently prefer to use discretion in their dealings.
Not a true subspecies of dragon, Great Dragons are larger, more powerful specimens of the other types of dragons known to inhabit the world. Even more physically imposing than their common brethren, Great Dragons move with a grace and speed that defies their immense physical size and shape. Though lacking proof, scholars have theorized that dragons use magical means to enhance their physical might.
Some legends, allegedly told by Cathay dragons and recorded by sages, claim that these dragons descended from the stars. A Cathay dragon’s head and body measure 50 feet long, and its tail adds another 50 feet to the dragon’s total length. The legs end in dexterous paws, each with four fingers. The broad head is half again as wide as the dragon’s body. Horns rise behind the deep and mysterious eyes that seem to contain the wisdom learned over centuries. Cathay dragons tend toward iridescent green or yellow, their base shades often augmented with streaks or splashes of other colors. Though wingless, Cathay dragons can fly by tucking their legs into their sides and “swimming” through the air as an eel swims through water.
The most sociable breed of dragon, Cathay dragons occasionally hire servants and keep slaves.They sometimes invite travelers to dine with them, to tell tales of other places and exciting times. Though sufficiently
skilled entreaties can entice them to show off their treasures, Cathay dragons allow no one to touch or take any of their truly valuable possessions.
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