Dragons in the world

Spirits move as Dragons of wind, water, fire and earth. You may see the spirit moving in a river, lake or the ocean. You might see it sliding across a field- bending the plants as it goes. Long bodied, like serpents but with legs, claws and wings in material form. Dragons are mighty physical creatures and are reflected by the greater elemental and terrain spirits that take a dragon image to show their power. Like all such powerful spirits they are crafty and try to deceive humans, sowing confusion to prevent being confined by ties of magic.
Physical Dragons wield considerable magic to rival many Mages and other practitioners of the Magical arts. They can not be bound like spirits. In this way we know the spirits lie. Necromancers can not do more than bind the body ghost of Dragons, and the body ghosts do not like necromancy any better than the living Dragon.
Mages, sages and lore Masters have studied Dragons for centuries. We have learned the use of the body parts for great magics, because the dragon is imbued with magic from it's outer scales to the very blood and bones. We know they are cunning and clever- even learning human speech or the tongues of centaur or elf. Though none have revealed how they learned it or who the teachers are. Perhaps it is another secret of dragon magic.
Dragons practice the Dragon Line style of Magic ( sometimes called Ascendant) in both Light and Dark forms. They have been seen to combine 4, possibly even 5 colors. For the uninitiated - most mages can only manage 2 or 3 colors.

Historical Basis

Dragons are large intelligent and magic capable reptilian form creatures. They are more active and agile than reptiles and are not necessarily affected by cold, wet or heat.  They are  six limbed - 2 fore and 2 hind legs and wings.  Heads have horns and spiked scales.  They spit out raw elemental material related to the breed - such as Fire in the Red Fire Drakes.
The Wyrms have no wings and no ability to fly.  It is reported that the void beyond the edge of the world is inhabited by many fearsome monsters- including a Void Dragon which flies without wings.  Wyrms are also not intelligent enough to speak, though quite cunning.
The feathered serpents range from animal to speaking intelligence.  They are similar to dragons in body - except feathered and lacking legs.  They have magic and may spit poison.
The wyverns have wings and hind legs and only bestial intelligence.  Their tails may have spines, a poison stinger or serrated long blades of bone and scale.  They share the reptilian appearance of dragons.

Cultural Reception

The Eseret see Dragons as spirit patrons of House, Clan and individual ( The Ryujin dragon is the personal Dragon spirit that collects information and stories, always seeking better stories which it shares to higher ranked Spirits. The Ryujin seeks to make interesting stories of the individual's life - acting as a patron, helper and trouble maker - doubtless as minions of the Godess Cheyarxi of The Order of Heaven ). The Eserti assign colors and terrains and weather/ elements to their Dragons based on the physical dragon types. They do not fully differentiate the species, color and terrain/ weather spirit types and resist the insights of Golam and Torga scholars, preferring the pride of their backwards traditions.
Of old the Esereti pagans worshipped the Dragons as principle Spirits of the weather, terrain and elements. The Empire corrected their primitive beliefs and showed the Gods ruled above the Esereti Dragon spirits - just as the Gods ruled over the Olian Totems. The Great Clans are White ( the Ice Dragon), Green ( The Land Dragon), Red (the Fire Drake), Blue (Sky Drake) and the Black ( Night Hunter). The Lesser Clans are the Metalic colors.
Olian tradition fears dragons and also respects them. Seeing a Dragon (and living) is considered good luck and the location the dragon is seen in is believed to bear gems, ore or arcane crystal. The first year of a mine should be small should the Dragon return to take their share. Finding a dragon's nest and hoard is great luck- but it might take a whole village to defeat it. Likewise a dragon might take on a village as a threat, a feast or a source of hoard.
The Golam people engaged in the worst pagan worship, making sacrifices to their underworld Elder Gods . The light and faith of the Order of Heaven was brought with Imperial rule and the pagan Elder God worship was exterminated in the civilized provinces. It still lives in remote Frontier areas and amongst the monsterous Beastmen barbarians and their Skinchangers masters. The Golam believed their dark Elder Gods communicated with Dragons and so too the Skinchangers. The Elder Gods supposedly protected them from raids by dragons - but dragon attacks have not increased with Imperial rule. In fact dragon hunts in the Western provinces are popular with Torga, Golam and even Olien nobles who set out with a small troop and seasoned adventurers to gain treasure and an impressive trophy. Esereti with their strange sensibilities find it "disrespectful" to their ancestors and house patron spirits.
Dragons possess magic - and some are spirits with great magical powers. The Esereti people of the east worshiped Dragons and took them as their clan and family patrons in the Pagan days, and now have spirit Dragon totems (Ryujin) in manner like the Olia of the north with their animal totems.
"The Book of Ancients" by the Mad Monk Lazra of Uxrighia claims that dragons cycle between living and spirit forms and that their hoarded treasures have mystical significance. They do certainly become enraged if even a single coin or gem is removed or displaced. Most agree this likely has more to do with Draconic greed than some magical significance. He wrote that Dragons were originally a race of spirits that accepted material form, while other branches refused - one set falling to Corruption and another repenting the choice and seeking merger with living bodies and seeking ascension. He doesn't explain why we have elemental spirit dragons and Dragon spirits of the land but the bodies do not follow, nor why they change from spirits to living things. Nor if the spirits of dead dragons take on the other aspects or if they are pre-life forms. His book says that he spent many days in conversation with a Dragon over several years. That he should not be devoured at once is amazing enough, but to claim lengthy converse with these monsters? This he claims as the source of his lore, rather than the works of wiser scribes and scholars. Lazra says that Dragons take on and shed physical forms like we change garments.
Yet it is well known that Dragons can be slain by great warriors, wizards or armies. Few scholars put much confidence in much of Lazra's nonsense, though mystics and occultists seek copies of his works.
Hoomans crazy. Past is ghost. Future is wish shaped by what do now. Octnon feel Elemental or Dragon in heart. No matter if Octnon from Dragon or Elemental! Only now. Only what do important.
Ool, LizardKing sage.
  The LizardKings ( in their own crude tongue Octnon ) have many stories of their origin - that they are children of Dragons and Elementals, that they and Dragons are cousins. That the LizardKings become Dragons in their afterlife. Many have elemental type magics and show draconic features or powers. It seems that each of their breeds or clans has a different belief. They do not have any special affinity or alliance with Dragons and don't seem to show any special bond with them.
The Taurien (Centaurs and Minotaurs) see Dragons as powerful beings possessed of spiritual knowledge. They are also archaic and arcane. Centaur lore says the Dragon did not take the Laws and Pillars of the Taurien, nor the Allied oaths of the Fae. Dragons chose to be wholly part of the world and the magic. Centaur sages talk of True Dragons and Chimeric Dragons or Dream Dragons. The True Dragon is what a Dragon is. The Dream Dragon is a creature made of the imaginings of dragons or of dragons or by dragons or dragons as seen by others. This is clearly primitive superstition. Things are. They are not what we imagine them to be. 
Perhaps it is some creation of Dwarf Etherium magic? No. They fear and respect the Dragons too, since Dragons do seem fond of Dwarven treasure. The Fae say they know what the Centaurs are talking about and assure that the Dream Dragon is real but a denizen of the Mists and the Dreaming Realm. They say the Dragon in your dream might be a Chimeric Dragon or a Real one. They say "Try to fight it and see if you live or die. Then you know which you have encountered."

Cover image: https://azgaar.github.io/Fantasy-Map-Generator/ by mutterwolf


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11 Dec, 2020 15:08

I love the opening paragraph - very evocative.   I also really like the different cultural reactions to dragons and the fact not everyone views them the same.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Rafael Martin
11 Dec, 2020 21:02

Definitely enjoy the fact that dragons aren't the same for every race in the world but portrayed differently by individual cultures. A side-note: I also like the way how the text is saying "we", like the reader is a citizen of the world and is reading a book! That's pretty cool :D

12 Dec, 2020 10:04

Yes, I am making the entries as "in world". Since they are public it is player level views or what the lore looks like. Some may give a perspective wider than players generally know.

Rafael Martin
12 Dec, 2020 16:54

That sounds like a great middle way! :)

14 Dec, 2020 01:14

Great post! I love the idea of dragons as spirits who chose to take physical form.

Choose your poison:   Phasmatum: An Afro-Solar-Fantasy world created for my epic novels.
Adazuri: A shonen-inspired magitech fantasy world home-brewed for 5e.
14 Dec, 2020 01:38

The idea is in-tune with your creation. :). Thanks.