Dragon (Erudite Tales)
Mordraut, one of the first Protogenoi Dragons
Dragons are an incredibly varied and ancient race born from a union of magic and nature. They are the creations of Ouroboros and most sub-races are descended from rebellious Protogenoi Dragons who chose to help mortals during the Shattering. Though secluded, Dragons are not above attacking or helping mortals and the like depending on their morality.
Countless sub-races of Dragon exist, and because of this, Dragons can be found in almost any climate. The most ancient sub-race is the Protogenoi Dragon, as their kind have existed since the creation of the United Plane. All other Dragons descend from them.
Though some Dragons are nearly god-like in power, many are closer to the mortal races in power. In fact, some Dragons chose to become like these mortal races, and they became the Dragonmen. That being said, many Dragons are far beyond mortals in power and influence and consider themselves above other races.
All species appear to be generally reptilian or serpentine in their natural form. Except for the youngest dragons, they tend to be quite large—usually at least as big as a horse, and often much larger. Most species depicted have wings and are able to fly, and nearly all are quadrupedal. Almost all species of dragon are highly intelligent (at least as intelligent as a human being) and are able to speak. Essentially all species of dragon are said to be magical in nature, and in most species this nature is expressed as an affinity for some type of elemental power; some dragon species are even able to cast magical spells as well. Most dragons have the ability to breathe or expel fire or some other type of energy associated with their elemental affinity, as well as bearing some resistance to damage or injury from any other sources of such energy. Dragons are egg-layers, and most have sharp teeth, horns, and claws. A dragon is protected by its scaly hide, the color of which is determined by the dragon's species, and which also offers a visual clue to the specific elemental nature of each species of dragon. Each species of dragon has a general temperament associated with it, as well as a deeply rooted moral outlook derived from that temperament; these factors underlie the personality and behavior of each individual dragon. Typically, dragons do not vary widely in appearance or personality within a species, although exceptions are possible.
Dragons are able to eat most things, but each race have a preferred diet (some prefer flesh, others prefer to eat gems or rocks, and so forth). Dragons are inherently magical beings, and in no case should dragons be considered reptiles, despite obvious similarities such as a scaled epidermis and reproduction by laying eggs. In fact, Dragons are more akin to feline creatures than reptiles, particularly in regards to their posture and movements, as well as being inherently warm-blooded and an eye composition similar to felines, although far more complex. A good example of this is the placement of the legs: Reptiles have their legs placed on the sides of their body, while most mammals have them placed underneath their body; dragons also tend to place their rear foot where their front foot was previously, much like most stalking feline predators. The number of eggs laid each time depends on the race of the dragon, but is usually very low (between one and three). As far as senses, which varies slightly depending on species due to each one, they are superior in most ways to other creatures; like any predator, they have exceptionally acute senses, which only increase with age. Like avian creatures, they have excellent depth perception and comparingly good peripheral vision, able to see twice as well as a human in daylight; unlike avians, they have great night vision, and are able to see even when conditions have no light to offer, although in such conditions they cannot discern between colors. Their hearing is on par with human hearing, although their minds can filter what noise it hears. They are capable of "blindsense", the sense in which eyes, ears, and other senses are used to detect invisible persons or objects. Dragon taste is also refined, although they do not respond well to powerful flavors (especially when it is sweet), and most dragons do not discuss the matter as to why. Of all its senses, a dragon's sense of touch is the only one to decrease throughout age, thanks mostly to the development of thick, hard scales.
All dragons are intelligent beings, and most of them exceedingly so. Dragon personality varies from dragon to dragon, but dragons of the same subrace tend to have similar mindsets. This is not always true; several exceptions exist within the subraces.
Dragon subraces can encompass all parts of morality, going from the paladin-like metallic dragons to the cruel and very greedy chromatic dragons. All dragons share a common desire to collect treasure, be it precious, beautiful, magical or just shiny - indeed, the treasure in question needn't always be gold, and may sometimes be aesthetic in nature, ranging from popular artwork or sculptures or even rare books and tomes that might otherwise have an overwhelming monetary value. For evil dragons, this generally directs a greedy attitude to achieve such wealth by whatever means suit them. For good dragons this lust for treasure is tempered, although they are certainly not averse to earning such wealth, and still appreciate gifts (while being insulted if offered an obvious bribe).
Being stronger, faster, generally smarter, and possessing longer life than humans and most other races, dragons tend to consider themselves superior creatures. For good dragons, this may only mean they often consider humanoid races as children, trying to take care of them and educate them; for evil dragons, they consider humanoids as mere animals, or as toys to play with; at best, they are minions and slaves. The longevity of dragons is evident in their often lackadaisical attitudes. Good dragons, while concerned with defeating evil, are able to see a much broader scope of the world, and although certain crises arise that may seem extremely important to good humans, their dragon counterparts are able to see the event as an unimportant hiccup that will pass in mere centuries; even those that adventure with others tend show a sense of incredible patience, even in situations where all others feel they've not a second to lose. Similarly, evil dragons that are crossed by belligerent adventurers may plot for dozens of generations before exacting revenge on the trespasser’s line - it is not uncommon for those descended from the mentioned adventurer to find themselves the target of a dragon based simply on their lineage.
- Protogenoi Dragon: The first dragons, one of Ouroboros' oldest creations, are among the oldest life-forms in all of Erudite. They were made to guard the fabric of time and space and keep order in the universe. These highly sapient creatures decided amongst each other that they would not interfere with mortal affairs, even when the Demons and Moroitos went to war and the Great Old One threatened all creation. Many blame their neutrality for the destruction of the United Plane. A handful chose to rebel and protect the mortals who would've been destroyed by the Shattering, and these are the ancestors of all other Dragon sub-races. Technically, the Protogenoi Dragons no longer exist, since their descendants have evolved into a variety of different sub-species, and of the few original ones that survive, their forms have been altered to the point where they can no longer be considered Protogenoi, or even dragons.
- Common dragon - Common dragons are the most similar to mortals in terms of physiology and strength. They tend to be more comparable to the size of megafauna as opposed to the Titanic proportions of the more ancient dragon species.
- Morwrol Dragon: These aquatic Dragons roam shorelines to attack boats, they can be found in open seas near small cliff islands where they seem to be making their nests. They can submerge for prolonged periods of time.
- Wyrms: Wyrms are wingless limbless dragons, they resemble Eels and snakes.
- Spirit Dragon: A serpentine dragon with only two frontal arms. As they evolved to be more ethereal than physical, they rely mostly on levitation for transportation. Spirit Dragons are generally benevolent. Some theorize they are related to the Sentinels of Khyorgan.
- Temporal Dragon: Temporal dragons are regal, almost god-like figures, who are directly tied to the fabric of reality and the flow of time in a way that other beings cannot comprehend. They are believed to be direct descendants of Aladryn, leader of the Protogenoi who chose to assist the first mortal races.
- Wyvern - Wyverns are extremely similar to two-legged variants of common dragons, but their bodies are far more avian in appearance. Wyverns, which tend to be much smaller, fly in large flocks while dragons either solo or pack hunters. Some areas may contain hundreds of wyverns gathered all in the same area.