Dragon scales are one of the most durable materials in existence and have a variety of uses. They contain residual magic energy from the dragon they belong to and can be used to create anything from a more powerful magic focus to armor.
A typical adult scale ranges in size from a 1/2 inch to two feet in diameter. It is harder than Crystal and opaque, matching the color of the element of the dragon's Magic. A baby dragon's scales are smaller and more pliable.
Physical & Chemical Properties
Scales are often warm to the touch and glow softly when charged with Magic. They are incredibly durable and cannot be crafted without magic and specialized tools.
Geology & Geography
Dragon scales are nearly exclusively found in the Southern Lands, although enough Dragons travel across Casimira that scales can be found throughout the continent.
History & Usage
As long as Dragons have existed alongside other races, there have been those who coveted their scales. It took hundreds of years for scholars and mages to find a way to craft the scales into shapes to fit their needs. Some say that dragon scales were the precursor to crystals as Magic foci, since they were easier to tap into. But with the security of the Southern Lands border and the shortage of scales to be found in the rest of the continent, mages sought other means of magical power. Despite crystals being much more plentiful and powerful, there is still a demand for scales all over the continent. In combination, a Crystal with a scale can create much greater feats of magic, although they are best suited for defensive forms.
The first person to discover that Magic could be performed using these scales is shrouded in mystery. In fact, little magical history is known prior to The Great Calamity and the discovery of Crystal magic.
The two most common uses of dragon scales are for magical foci and armor. With the proper tools, a scale can enclose a Crystal and sustain its life, making it much more valuable to the mage who uses it. Armor is primarily made from a baby dragon's scales and provides resistance to that element and its associated Magic.
Cultural Significance and Usage
Dragon scales have great significance to the Dragon Riders, as they are used both to shield a rider when going into battle with their dragon partner, and to create the centerpiece of yearly tradition that is The Gifts of the Wheel.
Trade & Market
Dragon scales are often traded almost as a form of currency thanks to their rarity. In fact, the black market of Ismena is the only place to find the scales of rarer Dragons outside of the Southern Lands.
Law & Regulation
While anyone in the Southern Lands can use scales they find in the wild, the Dragon Riders have specific laws around the use of scales. They are expected to save their partner's shed scales while both are in training to create armor for the rider. When the dragon reaches maturity, the scales are traded each year as part of The Gifts of the Wheel.
Similar to items found in the dragon's hoard
Lighning crackling on the tongue
Varies based on the dragon's element
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i love that scales can make Crystal more powerful and also sustain their life-cycle. this is very fascinating, i really enjoy this idea :D
I'm happy to see a material article, and happy to see a fantasy classic like dragon scales. I'm curious, are the products usually made entirely from scales, or are they embedded more like how a gemstone might be?