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When one thinks of dragons, they are more likely to imagine a creature that is so massive that a single flap of their wings can level almost every structure in a town or city. Their hides lined with scales so strong that hardly any weapons can penetrate them. Some being so intelligent that it is impossible to trick them into giving information. They were once creatures that people feared to come across. But over time have become increasingly rare. So much so that some people may think that they no longer exist. But alas... there are some still roaming.

Here is what travelers must know about dragons... just in case they have the unfortunate luck of coming across one.

Dragon History

When one wonders why the dragons and human race do not get along. They have to look back into the past for the answers. To when both first started inhabiting the lands. The first thing that a person should note is that no one knows the true origins of dragons. Some say that they naturally evolved outside of the Myst. Others think that they are creatures that somehow escaped the Mysts' clutches. Whatever the origins are people and dragons have not always been enemies.

When dragons first appeared on the lands there was no people of any race. There was no competition for food or other resources, nothing to cause the dragons to worry besides the occasional fight over territory. Then at some point during the first century people, elves and other races began to appear one by one. But relations were peaceful as there was still plenty of resources to go around. There are even tale of dragons living close by to the settlements offering the people knowledge of the land in regards to where to find resources like food and shelter.

As much will remain the same until have way through the second century when the population of the people began to grow and forget that dragons are a source of knowledge and companionship. As the population of the humans and other races began to grow, the dragons were forced to search for new areas to live that was big enough to sustain themselves. While dragons rarely fought each other, they witnessed the humans fight amongst themselves and each other. Making the dragons wonder how intelligent beings can inflict such pain on each other. As if that was not enough to worry about with resources dwindling and the races fighting each other, their attention was turned towards the dragons as well. Starting with their precious, vulnerable eggs. As the shells are made of not only something that can be fashioned into jewelry but also to toughen armor. Yes, the people will have to get past the defensive parents guarding the eggs and it would cost the lives of both parties in most cases, but in many instances the people succeeded in taking the precious eggs. In retaliation the dragons started burning down entire towns every time the people killed a dragon or stole eggs from nests. This would cause a type of war between the dragons and the various human races that will go on for years to come.

Due to the combination of fighting each other, and the targeting of dragon eggs by the start of the current century. The dragon population is so low that people rarely them except for quick glimpses that are easily passed off as a flash of imagination. Due to dragons scattering to areas where humans and the other races have either not settled yet or are able to travel to, a dragon has not been seen alive for so long that they are passed off as legends, monsters from a violent and dangerous past.

The Lifecycle

Like every reptile the life of a dragon begins as an egg. The egg is often sought after for it's pearl like appearance to be made into jewelry. But for one to even see an egg they will have to get past the father who is often patrolling the territory from above. If they can get past his hawk like vision of the ground.. Well they better hope that they are not spotted by the mother as she defends the nest. Both parents will closely guard the nest for six to eight months, very rarely sleeping or eating during this time. The eggs are kept in a simple but carefully structured nest. The bottom of the nest is laid with a very specific type of granite then on top various plant materials that will cover the eggs to keep them warm during incubation. Sometimes the mother will have stones stacked like a wall to prevent humans from getting to her precious eggs so easily. Every now and then during this period the mother and father will switch roles so that one can patrol while getting food and the other can rest. Some pairs have it where the mother strictly stays with the nest and her mate brings her back food regularly to keep up her strength.

When the eggs hatch the dragons are fragile, helpless little creatures that need help to keep warm and to get food. During this time the mother will never leave the nest and the father will bring food to the nest for both her and the hatchlings. Though the majority of the food will go to the hatchlings. To keep the hatchlings warm the mother will regularly breath fire onto the granite stones to keep them warm. The heat of the flames will also fuse the shell of the eggs to the youngsters, toughening their hides steadily. But only so much. It will take years for the hatchlings hide to become as strong as his or her parents.

It takes twenty years for a dragon hatchling to reach the age to leave the nest of his or her parents. This is around the time they are considered adolescents. Around this age is when a person or town will have an encounter with a dragon as it sets out to find an area to claim a territory of its own. These young dragons are not as wise as older dragons, thinking before acting, but they are just as deadly as any adult dragon. Weapons are able to penetrate their hide as it has not quite gotten to the same hardness as a fully grown dragon. They are still learning around this time too, but they are fast learners. Adolescent dragons are also very curious creatures so it will not be uncommon to see these dragons exploring things or approaching people. If one wants to befriend a dragon, this is the best age to do so. Just as easily though they can learn how to show hostility towards people if they have a bad encounter.

Sometimes teenage dragons will leave their parents' territory in packs or establish packs with other dragons around his or her age to increase the chances of them surviving to adulthood. Though these packs are not permanent as some members will leave when a fight breaks out or if they become big enough and old enough to establish their own territories. During the adolescent years possibly only two to four dragons will survive to adulthood.

When a dragon is between forty and one hundred years old they are considered full grown adults. If a dragon has managed to survive to adulthood; their hides will have toughened out so much that it will be very difficult for weapons to penetrate. Through their encounters with people or other challenges their intelligence too has grown. By this time he or she may have an established territory and with it a mate for life. It is during this period in their lives a dragon pair will have their own young every fifteen to twenty years. Some dragon pairs may produce young for sometime after they reach that one hundred year mark. But that is only if both adults are still alive. If one of the two dies at some point the dragon still alive may refuse to look for another mate.

When a dragon reaches 150 to 200 years old they are considered to be senior dragons. By this age they are considered to be incredibly intelligent with a encyclopedia like knowledge of the history of the land and other information a person may wish to know. By this age they may have slowed down considerably and like people may be plagued with ailments like arthritis. Though their mind will remain very sharp. Though one should still be careful about angering a dragon even when they are in this age group. There is currently only one dragon alive that is in this age group.

While it is not clear how long dragons can live for. There are two dragons that are listed as elders. They are dragons who are around 300 to 400 years old. Their wisdom and intelligence are unmatched, and their hides completely impenetrable. Nothing can penetrate their hides. If one wants knowledge it is these two ancient dragons they should seek out.

No one knows how long a dragon's lifespan is. Nor is it known what happens when one is on the verge of death. Some speculate when a dragon naturally reaches the end of his or her life that they bury themselves in their lair by causing it to collapse just before they die. Others think that there is a massive burial ground somewhere. Neither of these theories have been proven.

Dragon Personalities

For some who have never encountered a true dragon. It will be hard to tell the difference between a Magi who uses a spell to transform into one (Dragon Shifters) and a real dragon. While a Magi will maintain his true personality even while in his dragon form (unless they come down with what is called the Drake Sickness) a dragon has a few traits that are easy to distinguish from a Magi transforming into one.

First off dragons are very xenophobic towards humans and other races. They have absolutely no trust in these races at all due to how they treat each other as well as dragons. All dragons have this trait, very rarely will a person come across a dragon that is friendly when approached though it is possible if the dragon is young enough to not know or remember how their kind was treated. However older dragons will be impossible to convince to change their views.

While their xenophobic view of people is something that can be handled. The one thing that a person should never do, ever, is to make a dragon angry. Not only because of their aggression and willingness to go on the attack when driven to that point. But because there is no telling what a dragon will do when angered. Some will go on a rampage that results in entire towns or cities being destroyed while others may spit angry words or focus their anger on the person who dared to challenge them. The destruction an angered dragon will unleash is unmatched even the biggest armies can't match the destruction of a raging dragon. Once a dragon goes on a rampage it is impossible to stop it. While there are dragons who are just a stone throw away from going on some level of a rampage or easily angered. There are others that take a more passive approach by choosing to talk through the conflict instead of resolving it by going on the attack.

Another thing that people will find when around a dragon is that they are incredibly intelligent creatures with a very extensive knowledge of the land and history of each nation. That of course depends on the age of the dragon. While any Magi can pick up a history book to build up their knowledge. Only a real dragon will have small facts that didn't make it into history books or have been forgotten entirely. That is the one way that a person can test a dragon to see if it is a shifter or a real dragon.

Dragons are very curious, inquisitive creatures. They will explore anything and everything that catches the dragon's interest. This is something that is common in all age groups though more likely to lead to an encounter with people in younger dragons than the adults. If it is a young dragon it is more likely to teach a dragon to either trust or hate people depending on the type of encounter.

Dragons take a lot of pride in everything about themselves. From their appearance, size, strength and their knowledge. If one angers a dragon the quickest way to please them is by complimenting them about something in regards to the dragon. Though this may not always work.

The oldest of the dragons have a lot of wisdom on top of the knowledge they have. These dragons are generally passive and the least likely to go on the attack of all the dragons. If one can convince the elder dragon to allow the human to hang around in the dragon's lair to talk that person will be gaining a lot of information. Possibly knowledge that is not gained from a book or scroll. It will be impossible for a Magi to challenge the knowledge of senior or elder dragons.

The one other thing that people will notice when they encounter a dragon is that dragons want nothing to do with people at all. Preferring to be left alone and live their lives in peace. Very rarely will a dragon seek out a person or allow people to be around them.

The Four Dragon Types

Mountain Drakes: One of the two types of dragons people think of when they are told the word dragon. These are the biggest of the dragons that inhabit the land. As their name implies they are only found in the mountain chains that dot the lands. They build an elaborate cave as their lair or nest site. Sometimes building multiple caverns so that people have a harder time finding the nest. They have four legs and one pair of wings. Their nest sizes are two to six eggs. The eggs are pearly with a bluish tinge to the eggs. These dragons mostly breath fire, though there are some that breath lightning.

Wyvern: Considerably smaller than Mountain Drakes, Wyverns are still considerably big compared to a person. They are found in all sorts of habitats from the tropics to the tundra. They have two legs and one pair of wings. They tend to be more aggressive than Mountain Drakes. Their nest sizes are smaller with only two to three eggs in a nest. The eggs are a pearly with a green tinge to them. These dragons inherit a variety of abilities depending on where they come from. Wyverns from the mountains will most likely unleash fire or lightning. Those in the desert and tropical areas spit venom. Those in the tundra ice or very cold water. It is said that those that are found in the plains have no abilities but that has not been proven. This species is the most aggressive out of the four.

Lizard: These dragons have no wings and are very lizard like in appearance. They are found only in the desert regions. They hide during the day and venture out at night to hunt. They are the smallest of the four dragon types. They are also the least aggressive and the least likely to attack unprovoked. But they will fight back with the full aggression of any dragon when attacked or cornered. These dragons breath fire. Their nest is typically two eggs that are pearly white.

Serpent: This class of dragons are serpent like in appearance with long bodies and a dragon like head. They are found in all sorts of water systems including rivers and lakes (The ones that inhabit the rivers and lakes have an appearance similar to Mountain Drakes). The biggest of these dragons are only found in the ocean, though encountering one of these is extremely rare. These are the dragons that spark tales of sea monsters from sailors. They do not breath fire or anything but they can sink vessels with ease and when big enough cause monstrous waves. Like the Lizard Dragons, they are more on the docile side. Only becoming hostile when provoked. While not proven to be true. Serpent eggs are said to be pearly like other dragon eggs but have a gold tinge to the eggs.

Notable Dragons
1. Xaindrot: An aggressive, massive Wyvern. His lair is located somewhere within the borders of the Empire. Every inch of the Empire's borders is his territory. He has zero tolerance of people no one is allowed in his lair. So one better have a very good excuse for entering and be prepared to be attacked.

2. Ozai Located somewhere within the borders of the Cathwa Nation. While he is aggressive towards people he does have some tolerance and will allow a person to explain why him or her entered the lair. If he is treated with respect he will do like wise.

3. Aezil Her lair is located somewhere within the frozen north. Unlike the other two dragons she is a very passive dragon. While yes if provoked she will go on the attack like any dragon. But she prefers to talk things through instead of resolving to violence. She has an incredible amount of knowledge out of all the elder dragons.

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