Hochian Blackfires are a domesticated subspecies of dragon known for their extremely hot flames and temperamental natures. They are used in smelteries and forges throughout Azora, although they are far more common in their endemic range of the Hochian Mountains. Their shape and coloring are said to give them a regal appearance, which contrasts greatly with their moodiness.
The genus name of dragons — Draconis — comes from Latin for "dragon". The species name — artus — comes from the Latin for "joint", in reference to dragons having more joints than any other species in the Draconis genus. The subspecies name for Hochian Blackfires — igni — comes from the Latin word for "fire".
Hochian Blackfires have jet black scales with a crimson underbelly and throat. Their wing membranes are also crimson in color, although the wing supports remain black. They have a slender silhouette with large wings and a long, tapering tail. Their necks are long, although not nearly as much as a Waterspitter's. Their large ribcages provide a stark contrast to their small bellies. The Blackfire's shoulders, sockets (base wing joints), and hips are well-muscled if provided adequate exercise.
Hochian Blackfires have no horns. Instead, the base of their skulls are adorned with a "fringe" of large, flexible scales. When one of these dragons becomes frightened, they will raise these scales in an attempt to appear even larger to their foe.
These dragons are in no way small in size, being roughly as tall as a human at the shoulder, and well over 20 feet long.
The Hochian Blackfire has much variation in personality, but a common denominator throughout most of the domesticated population is their "moodiness". Blackfires are prone to mood swings, and are generally quick to anger. Handlers of these dragons must take special care to avoid the beast's ire, as their flames have been known to melt skin and scorch flesh with only seconds of contact. Most handlers will wear long dragonskin gloves and aprons when dealing with these dragons as a safety precaution, but these are not enough to save one from a determined Hochian Blackfire.
Thankfully, older Hochian Blackfires are known to become far more controlled in their emotions. Although they still should not be trusted around children alone, they are generally calm, if curmudgeony.
Despite the dangers of working with these dragons, they have proven themselves to be quite useful. These dragons are capable of melting even tungsten within minutes. They have been known to take pride in their work, becoming smug when praised. They are thought to be some of the more intelligent dragons thanks to this reaction.
My Harold is great! He even heats up my bathwater for me if I give him some chicken as payment. He does love his chicken. One time though, I didn't give him as much chicken as usual and he boiled the bathwater!
After a Blackfire's flames can no longer reach 2,552°F (1,400°C), they are retired. Generally, these dragons go on to farms in the countryside, where they work heating homes and barns for the owners. On occasion, the dragons are employed by coffee roasters to roast their coffee beans. The bean-roasting dragons are generally those with more sour tempers, as they are not trusted to retire to the farms.