Snow Dragons, also called Snow Monsters, belong to the Big type of the Dragon Birds. They're bigger, more robust, larger and have more powerful bites than their small cousins to the South of Teria. They live in the coldest regions of the continent, from the lands of the Nords in the north to the realm of the Snow Elves to the south. In fact, the latter were the first to encounter them and called them by that name.
The true king of the northSnow dragons are the most powerful non- magical creature in the cold regions of Teria. Their main predator rivals are theIce Lions and wolves (both of them outmatched by the sheer weight, height and force bite of these giants) and it the northernmost regions they compete with polar bears. Snow dragons need a lot of meat to keep their energy and its weight, so in contrast with their southern little relatives, they tend to hunt bigger prays. Their main "meal" are cows, aurochs, and most of the times, bisons. Usually, after many thousands of years of encounters, snow dragons tend to avoid humans and elves. Because they have sometimes, in desperate situations when they are really hungry, attacked flocks of sheep or cows, many have been hunted by humans. But this doesn't mean that they are afraid of humans and elves, perhaps they don’t usually see them as food, but if they come close to them, they will attack. One bite from these creatures can cut you in half, so better to be careful with them.
DescriptionLike the rest of the Dragon Birds Snow Dragons are bipedal carnivores. They have tiny arms compared to their body size ( a main difference between small and big dragon birds!) with two fingers. But don't get confused, they are quite powerful arms despite their size! Their heads are pretty big with their snouts usually having a grey, brown or black colour. They teeth are quite large, capable of smashing bones and flesh. Witness to their power have stated that they can kill a bison with a single bite, although some believe this to be an exaggeration. They also have birdlike eyes and legs that reminds a lot of those of a chicken but bigger and more powerful, something very useful because Snow Dragons don't ambush their preys, they pursue them.
Snow dragons are completely covered in feathers that resemble those of little chicken or either mammals hair. Usually, these feathers are coloured white to blend in with the snow, but they can also have a more brown colour.Snow Dragons unlike the legends don't roar like lions or bears. Young specimens do acute sounds to communicate between them and with their parents, but adult specimens mostly emit infrasound to communicate, but sometimes when they can emit a certain roar, more like the kind of roar crocodiles do. This infrasound is also similar to the one used by some birds across Yeia. It’s because of these acute sounds of the younglings and the infrasound they use that their hear is excellent.
HabitatThese powerful and feared creatures live in the coldest regions of the continent of Teria. In the are east and north of the Albine Mountains and east of the Hand of the Gods up to the gulf of Annakyr, near the Sea of Porthos. You can find them most of the time in the dense forests of these regions and also in the vast snowy plains of the northernmost regions of the continent, where half of the year is day and the other half night.
Social BehavioursSnow Dragons, like most dragon birds live and hunt in packs of up to 5 individuals. Contrary to small dragon birds, when they reach adulthood and find a partner they separate from their parents and form their own families, and occasionally they might encounter their parents again and hunt together, but it’s quite rare. It seems that both sexes have the same roles, they hunt together and they protect their nests in turns of several days, so when the mother goes to hunt the father takes care of the eggs, and vice versa. They have a hierarchy inside the group where the parents eat first (usually the one that got the kill starts first) and then the younglings have their turn, if they don't respect this, they learn it the hard way, with a couple of bites from mum or dad... They are very territorial creatures and it’s not rare to find a Snow dragon with scars on their faces due to fights with other snow dragons for food, territory, protecting their families or competing for females. And these fights for territory not only include other snow dragons, but also polar bears and ice lions. The first might stand a chance if they strike first with their claws but the latter are the most dangerous for Snow Dragons since a bite from them can cause the disease called "Frozen bite" and kill them. They are very careful with their offspring, providing them with food, teaching them how to hunt and protect them from other predators and other snow dragons. This affection and love survive through the rest of their lives even when they haven't seen for years, they somehow recognize each other as parents and son. They also display some kind of affection to their "grandchildren". They also care for their wounded or sick, bringing them food and also seem to mourn the death of their loved ones.
- So, grandpa, did you encounter a Snow dragon? Did its roar scared you to death as the stories say?
- Oooh hehehe, the truth, my dear, is that they don't roar the way you imagine, you see... the young ones do noises that resemble those of crows while the adults...its quite strange, their roars sometimes are like the sounds whales do, but louder, you cannot only hear it, you can feel it across your spine, its the most terrifying noise you can imagine, it paralyzes you, it really frightens you to death
Average Intelligence And Sensory CapabilitiesLike any other dragon bird, they are very smart and social creatures. They have a really good sense of smell, very useful because they can detect preys that are located miles away from them. They eye sight is really good two, they are able to spot other creatures from very far away, so if you ever have the unfortunate chance of meet one of them, just don't stay still and just pray that he or she is only curious about seeing a human for the first time or if you are lucky enough you can use magic against them.
Reproduction and growthThe way Snow Dragons reproduce is similar to other Dragon Birds and "common" birds. Although because of their bigger size their growth rates and early life are different from the rest of dragon birds. For example, the new-borns remain in their nests more time that small dragon birds. Also, their growth rate is very different, they began as small "babies" about the size of a dog, and as teenager they are as tall as a human but having 5 times more weight. And finally, when they reach adulthood they weight about almost a ton, and can run faster than any human or elf. Snow Dragons reach sexual maturity however when they are 20 to 25 years old, so quite late in their lives.
DomesticationTalking about magic, as dragon birds they are, they are not immune to magic. In fact, one can "domesticate" one of these creatures by casting a "domestication" spell upon them, something not a lot of people can do. There were cases of domesticated Snow dragons that were domesticated by the Snow elves. One example was Ilifenume ("Friendly Dragon" in classical elvish) an Snow dragon that was domesticated by king Arethen of Nythras and that helped the local elves of the city carrying their goods, transporting sick and wounded people, even taking care of children!, sadly he died aged 32, a very old age for such creature and today its skeleton is displayed in the centre of Nythras as a tribute to "Nythra's "greatest" citizen". But aside from examples like this one, no further attempts to domesticate Snow Dragons by the elves were attempted, partially because Snow elves considered mass domestication of Snow Dragons as "unethical".
Between 2 and 3 meters
between 500kgs and 900kgs
Curiosisties about Snow Dragons:
- Any type of spell can save you from a Snow dragon, "Domestication", "Temporary Blinding", "thunder spell" but spells that make you dissapear are useless because even if they don't see you, they can smell you.
- When domesticated by magic, these creatures are very friendly toward their owners and they can also befriend other humans.
- Nords believe these creatures were created by Adarfyr the god of winter, and that his Winter Palace was protected by hundreds of this creatures
- Snow Dragons also place an important part in Elven and Davidovian people's mythology. For these two groups Snow Dragons were created by the goddess of the moon, Sek, and they are under her protection. So in case they have to kill one in self defense or for protect your animals you then have to pray or make a sacrifice to Sek.
- Some people describe the sounds they make as rocks falling or as an earthquake.
- Sun elf biologists believe that some species of Dragon Birds that live in Unhellion are somehow related to this branch of dragon birds, but with less feathers.