Wyvern Species in Altaros | World Anvil
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"It's a bird! It's a dragon! AAAAAH RUN, RUN!!"

Wyverns are often mixed up with dragons, especially by townsfolk who has never seen neither. These ferocious, aggressive beasts are incorporated in many legends and stories, earning their rightful place in many family crests and coats of arms.

Basic Information


The Wyverns are not real dragons, even when common folk might so think. The most important anatomical difference between the two species is that a dragon has four legs, whereas a wyvern only has its hind legs. This means that on the ground a wyvern is usually less agile than in the air, but, to the horror of many deceased adventurers, much faster than it looks like. It can make short spurts on the ground and easily catch a galloping horse, but a wyvern usually prefers flying over walking.

Their tail is long and flexible but also a dangerous weapon. A wyvern often shows displeasure by whipping their tail in the air, making a cracking sound. People are known to be killed by a tailstrike. The wild wyverns have a poison stinger in the end of their tails, but that is a trait that has been selectively bred out of most breeds of tamed wyverns. Instead, tamed wyverns tend to have spikes in the end of their tales, which is an especially favored trait in those of heavy line wyverns. Sometimes tamed wyverns might inherit the trait, but it is a rare occurrence. Easiest way to tell a wild wyvern from a tamed one is indeed the stinger or the absence of it: Tamed ones do not usually have a stinger, but the wild ones always have it. Therefore, It's better to run in case one encounters a wyvern with a stinger, just to be sure that you don't end up on today's menu.

The tamed wyverns lack a stinger, but selective breeding has granted them something else instead: a breath weapon, something akin to what true dragons have. Poison and acid are most common types, but this also varies a lot. Fire breathing is especially sought after for its effectiveness in warfare.

Biological Traits

There are other ways to tell a tamed wyvern apart from a wild one than just the absence of stinger: coloration and size. Wild ones tend to have muted color scheme compared to the tamed ones. Usually the color of the scales of the wild ones range from browns and greens to grey. Some more metallic shades like reddish copper have also been observed in certain wild populations. The often have stripes, splotches or diamond-shaped patterns which help them to blend to their surroundings, but the patterns are not usually bright, just complementing the original base color. Wild wyverns also tend to be on the smaller side, on average on somewhere between medium and small lines of the tamed ones.
  The coloration of the tamed wyverns varies much more, all the way from original grey, purple and blue, to bright emerald, yellow, even red. Very pale greys and blues have been bred, but real whites are rare and those tend to be leukistic or completely albino. Such color is not preferred in breeding as it may cause many health problems in the long run, for example with the eyesight and longevity. The tamed wyverns of the lightweight line tend to be lighter colored than their heavy line counterparts. This is probably due to the nature of the different usage of the lines: small ones would benefit more from lighter, muted colors so they would blend in with the sky and clouds as they are used in scouting duty, whereas the heavy line ones would look even bigger when they are flying if they are darker colored and easier to spot, striking fear into the hearts of their enemies.

With tamed wyverns, horns, spikes, and hardened scale patterns are not unheard of. Certain horn types are even preferred over others.

Genetics and Reproduction

Wyverns produce eggs; from one to four at time. In wild, The female looks after them and keeps them warm until they are hatched. The hatchlings stay with their mother -in rare cases with the father or other caretaking wyvern, if the mother is absent- until they are old enough, usually from 4 to 8 years old, to handle it alone.

Growth Rate & Stages

When a hatchling has hatched, there is a short imprinting time. During that period of couple of its first days, the little wyvern usually imprints on the adult wyvern -or sometimes a person- who is taking care of it. Imprinting can also, if very rarely, happen with adolescent wyvern too, if they haven't found someone who is worthy of them. In training of The Royal Wyvernriders, this imprinting process is used for their gain. Sometimes it happens that the hatchling won't imprint on anyone, which means it is difficult to handle when there is no authority over it. Those who have been trained to become wyvernriders might sometimes need to wait for years to get their own steed, because sometimes the wyverns just won't like the person first appointed to them. The older a wyvern gets, the harder it becomes for it to bond with a rider. Those 'failed' wyverns are only used in breeding to broaden the gene pool. When a wyvern bonds with a humanoid, they usually stay faithful to them until the death separates them.

Ecology and Habitats

Wyverns prefer hills and mountainous area. Wild wyverns live in periphery and they usually avoid human settlements, but if they are hungry or just 'out of their mind', they won't think twice to attack a human.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Wyverns are mainly carnivores. Individuals have their own preferences, for example some prefer fish over red meat or poultry over game. When facing starvation, wyverns can resort to eating berries, fruits or insects, but they will not survive on such diet for very long.

Additional Information

Social Structure

The wild wyverns are solitary creatures, but the tamed ones have shown more social behavior and form proper flocks with strict hierarchy: there is a leading male and female which often -but not always- are a pair.


Wild wyvern is a dangerous beast which is hard to tame. Only by obtaining an egg, hatching it and raising it from a hatchling, can one acquire a somewhat tame wyvern. Still, even directly tamed wild wyverns retain most of their beast-like qualities; they are unpredictable and ill-tempered, equipped with a poison stinger. 
 Despite the difficulties of domestication some people have achieved the unfathomable: The most famous example of successful domestication and breeding of wyverns is The Royal Wyvernriders of Duchy of Marela. Through centuries of diligent planning and trial and error, they have been able to produce a tamed wyvern, which can be used as steed. These tamed wyverns have been bred to the use of Army of Marela, thus there exist three different lines of tamed wyverns: lightweight, used for scouting as they are the fastest and smallest, medium which is all-around good choice and excellent long-distance flyer, and heavy, which is the biggest and slowest of the tamed wyverns, but also has thickest scales, improving its natural armor tremendously.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Wyverns have been hunted for centuries for their thick hide, but basically everything in a wyvern can be used in potionmaking and arcane crafting. Non-magical uses include making the strong-tasting meat palatable for human consumption. Smoking and dry curing are the most common ways to prepare a meal with wyvern meat; wyvern jerky is considered a local delicacy in the northernmost parts of Aberronia.

Tamed wyverns are mostly used in warfare, but sometimes also in transportation and beasts of burden in remote, mountainous areas.

Average Intelligence

An unexpected side-effect of the domestication and selective breeding of the wyverns has made the tamed ones clearly smarter than their wild cousins. The wild ones are often driven solely by their instincts and they rarely have time -or need- to stop and think on their next plan. They are wild beasts, even if slightly smarter than your average wolf. The tamed ones -this also varies greatly between individuals- are smarter, as they've also adapted to live with their human masters. They do not have a language of their own, but on some primitive level they understand Draconic, and even when they are not able to form words due to the structure of their vocal system, they are smart and can tell people and things apart, easily forming long and intricate logical chains of thought. They are also more in tune with the feelings of their caretakers. The tamed ones are slightly smarter than smartest dogs, akin to a human child of 4 to 6 years of age.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Wyverns are visual predators. They have excellent eyesight and are generally very perceptive creatures. They can also see well in the dark.
Average Weight
900 kg in average, the heavy ones can be much more, the lightweight ones a little less, but rarely under 400 kg.   The wild ones are usually slightly smaller than their tamed cousins.
Average Length
from 5 to 15 meters. The tamed heavy ones can be double or even triple that and easily be bigger than adolescent dragons. The tail is usually about half of the length of their body, but the tamed lightweight ones have longer tails which help them to maneuver with precision when flying.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Wild ones: brown, grey, green, reddish tan, muted metallic colors. Accent colors compliment the base color.
Tamed ones: as above, but also black, blue, purple, red, green, yellow, very light colors allowed but not white. Markings can be bright.


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