Dragons exist all around Alterra, but vary a lot from region to region. No one is certain how many different species of dragon's exist or have existed throughout time, but most scholars say that at their peak during the golden ages there were up to a hundred different species, each specialized to a certain region of a world. But because of the fact that they were adapted to specific areas, many of the species have since gone extinct and it is believed that the number of species now run in the dozens.
Here are some of the most prevalent dragon species:
The Cassidian Ridgeback:
Typically thought of as one of the most dangerous dragons in existence, the Cassidian Ridgeback lives at high altitudes mainly in the Ynthal mountains that make up the border between Cassida
and Tanacus. They can live to be up to 300 years old.
As one of the largest dragon species currently in existence, the Cassidian Ridgeback the average Ridgeback is around 30-40 meters long and 20 meters tall, but they can grow to be much larger as they grow their entire lives until they die, although the growth process becomes much slower when they reach around 10 years. A Cassidian Ridgeback can take a variety of colors, but will most often be seen sporting a bright dull red, blue or green color on the scales on top of their bodies, while the underbelly with most often be a light grey, white, yellow, blue or beige color as this allows them to keep a relative camouflage while they hunt their prey from above.
Other than their size, one can easily distinguish a Cassidian Ridgeback from other dragons by looking at the two large horns that adorn their forehead.
Cassidian Ridgebacks are not very magical compared to other dragons as this is a trait most commonly found in smaller species. Because of their size, the Cassidian Ridgeback has had no need to develop magic and instead spends it's energy on conserving itself. They are however able to breathe fire, something that makes them an absolutely lethal opponent.
Cassidian Ridgebacks live mainly in the Ynthal mountains and other mountain regions.
As is typical with large animals Cassidian Ridgebacks breed extremely slowly and therefore the natural balance of deaths and births can easily fall out of balance. This is what has happened with the Cassidian Ridgeback; because of their generousness it became a status symbol to have killed one of them and this led to a grandiose hunt of them, but because that they are so dangerous, many on purpouse targeted young dragons as they were easier to kill, but still had the same characteristic horns that brought fame and status to the dragon slayer. These young dragons had often not reached sexual maturity and therefore never had a chance to breed.
It has since become illegal to hunt down dragons, but Cassidian Ridgebacks live to be very old, and have a long memory, and it should therefore be noted that any human will be seen as a threat to a Cassidian should you come across one.
The Pygmy Dragon is one of the smallest and most magical dragons out there, and is seen in great regard in many cultures. No more than 50 cm long, it's tiny and it has therefore often been thought of as a symbol for travelers, merchants and criminals.
The Pygmy Dragon can have a large variety of colors, just like the Cassidian Ridgeback and look very much alike, the main difference being their size. Therefore there have been found many instances of fraud where a tradesman or a magi-zoologist have sold Pygmy Dragons telling their customers that they were baby Cassidians.
Unlike the Cassidian Ridgeback they cannot breathe fire, but they do however have other magical abilities. The power of these abilities vary from individual to individual, but here are some of the most common:
Invisibility & Camouflage:
One of the typical abilities of a Pygmy Dragon is invisibility, although the extent to which they are varies. Some dragons can become completely invisible, while others have more of a chameleon affect on the eye, blending into the background instead of becoming invisible, but to the untrained eye this looks nearly identical.
The fact that Pygmy Dragons can become invisible works to make them very popular pets and helpers among thieves and other criminals.
Pygmy Dragons will live just about anywhere, where they have enough water and food and are not very picky about landscape or habitat.
Because of their size and popularity as pets, Pygmy Dragons are comparatively common, but during the last years many restrictional decrees about who are allowed to have a Pygmy Dragon and there are also strict rules about having to inform the authorities about having a Pygmy Dragon pet. If one's Pygmy Dragon is not on the registration list, it can result in a fine (if it is simply as a pet) or prison (if the Pygmy is an accomplice in any sort of crime).