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Samø

Bestiary Terrennica: Wyrms

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Wyrmsong



"-- He'll blacken the sky on wings, so high,
Bite and burn, he'll chop and slice
Drag you back to a pile of gold,
And eat you up whole."

'- Wyrmsong, ancient folk-poem'

“... And though the beasts do have undeniably imprinted themselves upon our culture throughout the ages. Even their name, ‘dragon’ means ‘child of the sun’ in the old tongue.”
“It doesn’t. It means death. Fire and death.”

‘Excerpt from Draconids, An Insight; conversation between two Knights-Errant’

"I do not loathe these beasts, no more than I loathe the evils of the world. It is a pitiful existence, to be bound by your most base instincts, coveting wealth and dominion without falter. But make no mistake, these beasts deserve no pity - they are ruthless and cunning without peer, and their continued existence to this day is proof of their enduring nature."
'A Dragonslayer's Memoirs, penned by Taendall Swiftwing, retired Dragon-Slayer.'

 


Table of Contents

  • I  - The Innate
  • II - The Biological
  • III - The Nature
  • IV - The Arcane

5479b2f23e2ed8501a1b5ebfdf3f30be.jpg

'O, Dreaded Moloch.' Famous painting of Moloch The End-Wyrm, Beast of the Witch-King Zengi devastating the Blue Hills - 557 BG'

 

I. As taken from the Bestiary Terrennica:

Wrym. Fire-Made-Flesh. 

Dragon.

Theirs is a presence that has been felt and told of, the earliest of their stories recorded by Terrans dabbed onto ancient walls of stone in caves millennia past. Beings before the enlightenment of Gaia, watched as Zengi carved a bloody swathe through Terrenus and beyond. Woven, elaborate tapestries depicting Knights in Rhodium-gelded armour doing battle with the monsters to win the hand of a maiden fair are a cultural icon in certain regions of Terrenus, even now. 

Be it a song or a canvas whose strokes render the gargantuan, scaled form of the beasts - all share the universal sense that the beasts inspire in the hearts and minds of those they cross; dread.

Such beings of immense, unimaginable power were heralded as gods in the earliest days of Terran civilization, then to monsters deserving of nothing but fear and destruction and to that of mythical beasts; aspects of the Loci made flesh.

They are the push and pull of nature’s intent; the rise and fall of a kingdom, the death and destruction of a race. Elemental, unfettered wrath made manifest. Heralds of the changing tide; bringers of the beginning and end.
 


II. More of Fire than Blood

A towering mass of lamellar-like scale, interlocking plates like tenfold rows of a phalanx. Claws like spears and teeth like swords. Such creatures are the stuff of nightmares. Unkillable titans whose path carves a bloody trail of destruction and carnage. A thousand men have claimed a thousand different quirks and descriptions of the beasts, all of them true in their own way. Some would believe that Dragons have a spot under their throat, just short enough for a gallant warrior to ram his sword through and pierce their heart. Others may say that the beasts possess gills, or that they are hermaphrodites, or immortal.

The most agreed upon definition of a Dragon is a scaled, element-breathing beast possessing gargantuan size and strength, with an innate control over the magical.

At their core, Dragons uphold the biological laws of nature. They are not reptiles; they possess warm blood whose heat they can regulate at will. Should some manner of enchanted or bewitched blade rend through their hide, from the wound a deluge of molten, bubbling ichor will flood from it, melting all it makes contact with. What wounds are made by the creatures quickly knit themselves shut. Shattered bones fold in on themselves, mending and becoming whole again. This process is not instantaneous; and often takes months or even years of rest if the damage sustained is significant. Even still, without their regenerative abilities, Dragons are extremely difficult to fell; half in part to their scales and to their powerful constitutions.

Though their forebears did not possess the wings they have now, ‘modern’ Dragons are six-limbed creatures capable of sustained flight. Leathery, giant wings are their signature, beyond their breath weapon and capricious nature. When a dragon flies, it is said that their shadow cast itself over entire cities, such is the length of their wingspan. A common mistake made about their ilk is the nature of both their colour, and their breath weapon. The iridescent, beautiful hue of their scales is not a representation of the beast’s environment, nor its nature - it is more a ‘heraldry’. Dragons are exceptionally proud and boastful of their colouration, holding it like a pedigree or a family name. Some even claim that from this, the original knights of Terrenus created the concept of Heraldic Coats of Arms.

Dragons have spectacular low-light vision and other senses. They can pick out a droplet of blood or a sheen of sweat against skin for miles. 

Their capacity to slumber for decades, even centuries, is legendary. There are testaments of Wyrms sleeping through entire eras; this topor grows longer and longer the older a Dragon becomes. A wyrmling might sleep for only thirty to fifty years, whilst an ancient would be content in a lethargy of centuries, biding their time and sleeping away the ages.

IIb. Dragonfire

Living fire. Crawling incalescence; that which spews from the gaping maw of a Wyrm in glowing plumes of enchanting, smoldering of fire is feared throughout the realm. Nothing burns like Dragonfire, as many a physicist and bar-patron will be happy to explain. It lives. They'll say - it walks and lives and breathes unlike any other flame that exists. Seeking out fuel, stone and flesh and melting it away without difficulty. Only time or a lack of kindling will properly snuff out a flame belched from one of their gullets for good. A Dragon's flames will only truly die when all around it has as well. Such things are myth, of course.

Fire is their signature, yet depending on the creatures lineage, they may spew acid, smoke or a even a paralytic haze of poison. Others, lightning or ice. The source of this power is magical, owing to the Loci and its primary concept. A Veluryiam Dragon for instance, would spew a corrosive bile, owing to the territory it inhabits exuding a dominant biogenic influence. Though subsumed Loci may persist within the form of the Dragon's breath. There have been instances of Wryms from Taen unleashing elements beyond that of acid. 


III. Capricious, hateful and dominating

To call a Dragon a slave is a sure way to invite death to onself and everyone they care for. Theirs is an existence of vanity and pride, to control and dominate. It is said that a Dragon rules all that they set their eyes upon, and they believe it. Yet, one would hardly be wrong in calling them enslaved. Enslaved to their natures, their instincts. Where entire armies have been rendered to naught but ash and cinders in a moment by a wronged Wyrm, countless more have been saved by the silvered, flattering words of a smart diplomat. Hackled scales prick themselves high when their titles and deeds are recounted for all to hear. To tell them how much they are feared and adored - a Dragon will insist on hearing it for hours and days and longer, until their flatterer dies of exhaustion, or poorly placed words. Intelligent, beyond even the most learned of academics, certainly, but they are defined by their core traits, and may be manipulated, or slighted as such.

Greed. They covet all that they see, hear and taste. Rhodium, Platinum and Gold, the holy metals of their culture, their beliefs. The more of it one has, the greater they are. But it goes beyond a simple social obligation to reave and take. They are drawn to it. Using their blessed intellects to recount and memorize every coin, every jewel and ornament they sleep upon. Woe to the fool who thinks even a single pinched coin from a Dragon's hoard will go unremembered, unmourned and unavenged. It isn't unheard of for Dragons to become mercenaries, seeking out fortune in exchange for their services. Such a nature is how they came to ally themselves with countless tyrants and dictators - and how they quickly destroyed them when a greater bid was placed on their employ.

Power. What is to be admired, beyond power? Dragons see little else of worth in an individual beyond their influence, their strength. A desire to control and dominate coarses through their veins. A want to destroy and burn. Flying iconoclasts, the ruins of Kings and their Gods is the greatest sport that their kind partake in. 


IV. Wyldspawn

Dragons are beings woven by magic; aspects of the elements and creatures who shift the skein of the arcane to their will. Theirs is a primal control over the skein of reality - where other magics seek to weave and shape the Loci to its will, Dragons rip and tear out portions of it, forcing it to become what they desire. In a way, their magics reflect their cruel, selfish natures; Rather than give their own force away, they take from the very world around them - drawing energy from the air, the sun, the earth, and in the most extreme cases, other living beings. 

Their presence in the Arcanosphere is a great, turbulent change, where the waxing and waning eddies, weak and strong, bend inwards to themselves. Such energy is not consumed, but merely shaped, moulded by their own will, and primal languages so old that not even men existed when they were first uttered. It is through this dominion of the world around them that they invoke magic, simple spells that lack the flair and complexity of man’s own creations, but none of the raw potency. 

VIb. Their Laws

Though their control over the skein of the Loci is much more primal and brutal than that of others, Dragons uphold two of the schools of Magic within Terrenus, that of Method and Exchange. 

Their understanding of method is remarkably simple, yet potent. A faint flicking of a wrist and a rasping whisper from a ember-spewing mouth will bring about a storm of fire cascading down upon an 'irritant'. The method's technique is however not innately known by the beasts and must be passed on, from Ancient to Wyrmling. As such, certain Dragons might specialize in certain elemental schools of magic. Its said that their kind even taught this method of magic to the earliest Terrans, as well as the Witch-King. Exchange, however, is difficult for their kind. What do Dragons value, beyond their hoard? The sacrifice of gemstones and precious metals to gain primordial, eldritch power is something to give even a Dragon pause. To diminish one's treasures is madness, yet the power gained is immense, even by their standards.

VIc. Polymorphism

Their youth see the ability to meld and mould one’s form to whatever apparition they desire as pointless. Why would they lower themselves, degrade their perfected forms to the likeness of the lesser races?

An everpresent, eroding venom sets. The predator unseen cannot have his designs meddled with.

Ancient Dragons utilize this ability with a horrific effiecency. For as long as Terrenus and her people have sought to maintain some level of control through politics and infastructure, they have sank their fangs and claws in. Pulling strings and manipulating for their own gain. Others have genuinely benefitted from their 'rule' and 'interference', whilst others swear they are nothing more than a cancer that eats away at cities and towns and people, leaving them as nothing more than ruined husks. When a Wyrmling does decide to transmute their form into that of one of the mortal races, the most common appearance they take on is that of a feline. The two creatures share similar natures and outlooks, and many a young Dragon has enjoyed exploiting the charity a coat of fluff and a derisivive, disinterested demeanor can bring in the lesser races.


Spoiler

Art belongs to Jordy Lakiere. I claim no ownership of it and will remove it upon the owner's request.

@Zink Had a really, really big part in writing this. They're as much responsible for it as moi! And a big thankie to @supernal for helping out with lore n' stuff.

Edited by Samø

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