Dragons at their personal worst are greedy, ravenous, covetous, and destructive beasts known to be able to take wing and cause ruin with their foul breaths but this is just a portion of the dreadful menace that is dragon kind. The dragons of The Draonwrack presnt a host of challenges in their multitudinous forms.
Mankind (and allies) had long known of dragons in legend, myth, and even the rare unique contact but was unaware of the true scope and range of the threat. Mankind recoiled in horror when the greta dragons poured like worms from their sleeping chambers deep with in the earth, armies were lost, cities razed, and flocks consumed by the creatures who were even seen to feed upon the foliage of the forest and dive the depths in search of food. For years the dragons ravaged the landside but after the pressure of a generation of heroes they retreated and were slowly ferreted out or so it seemed. The second outpouring of dragons was unexpected and far worse as great hosts of the beasts swarmed forth from their great breeding pits fattened by the years of rapine feasting that mankind had thought at an end to burn forest to ash, topple nations, and consume entire species of lesser beasts. Were it not for the warring nature of the different chromatic strains of dragon kind mankind would not have survived long enough to tell each other tales of the last great age of man and the rise of The Dragonwrack.
Dragons often described as reptilian while in possession of limbs far in excess of the four or less limbs normally found on reptiles and related animals. Dragons are an order of life unique unto their own. The most common dragons are hexapods where it is not uncommon at all to see the forelimbs developed as wings. The standard model of a four-legged winged dragon is familiar but not the limit of the range of forms one may find among dragons.
A dragons shape has much to do with the role it serves to the species and it’s dragon nest (also known as a hive-nest). Dragons from the same nest are prone to cooperate with each other much as do communal insects and their shapes will serve their roles as collectors of food, defenders of the nest, or mother of the nest.
The classical dragon is actually two different castes of dragon that of the male drake and female queen. Drakes may be keep tot the area near the nest to service the queen but are also prone to wander far in wide in search of food and present to impress their queen and gain privileged mating access. While capable of flight (as the drakes are)the queen spends much of her time resting between bouts of egg-laying. Her eggs are kept with her until they hatch and the larval dragons are no longer her direct charge following a brief inspection and are left to care for themselves until they mature or are tended by nursemaids and nectar kine depending upon the development and maturity of a nest.
The vast majority of dragons will develop into a general selection of caste-types but some will be shaped by intervention of their mother or other members of the hive-nest. The most common castes among all the strains of chromatic dragons are:
Harvester- small un-winged six legged dragons able to assume a centauriod posture to carry loads if need be.
Warden- modestly sized centauroids charged with maintaining and protecting the nest, they will assist and direct other dragons in their duties.
Myrmidon- a more aggressive variant of the warden able to use mannish devices and lead less intelligent dragons in their war against everything not of the nest.
Gorgonne- large aggressive wingless dragons covered in spikes that serve the hives as shock force.
Gargant- large wingless armor plated dragons that use their ponderous size to smash and crush all that would oppose their hive-nest. Often too dim to motivate themselves to do much of anything they will be very loyal and obedient in the presence of a Warden or Myrmidon and will follow their commands as well as those of Queen or Drake without hesitation,
Low Ripper- small darting dragons that rend their foes with fearsome claws, they will often cripple foes to be finished or simply collected by other dragons to feed the nest.
Gladiator- mid sized dragons with tough plating and wicked forelimbs designed to hack apart foes of the nest.
Shrike- quickly flying man-sized dragons covered in a host of spikes which uses the long claws on it forelegs to imaple foes after a deep dive.
Drake- Classical dragons with wings, a semi-serpentine body and four legs. They primary purpose is to aid the queen in reproduction but they serve well in striking ferro in lesser beings.
Nurse- long many-limbed serpentine dragons that clean the nest and raise the young of a nest.
Nectar-Kine- these odd limbless “cows” of the nest supply nectars needed by the larval forms of the dragons to sustain their rapid growth.
Queen- Huge four legged with a pair of wings of broader body than that of the males the queen is the mistress of a nest. It is rumored some dragons nests include a number of egg-laying sub queens that have had their wings trimmed by mistress of the nest. The Queen will inspect fresh larval dragons fro obvious deformity and weakness and will destroy those unfit to advance her designs.
Dragons of the Dragonwrack are found in the common chromatic colors of Black, Blue, Greed, Red, and White. Other colors are claimed to exist and all war with each other as they do all other creatures of the world.
An active hive-nest of a Huge Dragon Queen could produce hundreds (maybe thousands) of dragons among the common castes over the course of a century or two before falling into decline for decades while the queen mother takes a deep sleep and produces no eggs. Druign this period the lowest castes will generally stay and wither without guidance of the more clever and active castes that will wander out into the world sometimes developing into larger solitary dragons. These wanderers will sometime return to their birth nests but it is not unheard of one of them to go into a deep hibernation for decades (maybe centuries) and emerging as a queen or entirely new caste of dragon.
Stats and more to come.