Friday, October 28, 2011

The QQQE Creature Compendium Volume V: Dragonkind

I'm not actually here. I mean I am somewhere, but I'm not here, at my desk at work, desperately refreshing my inbox hoping for your comments to pop up.

I'm kidding. I don't do that. Well, at least not all the time.

I'm in San Diego, at the World Fantasy Convention, with my CP Simon C. Larter, and awesome blogger friends like Carolina Miller, Sara McClung, and Stephanie Loree.

We're probably wasted right now. Or at least I am. Anyway, enough about me and the convention, this is the final Creature Compendium post I have for you guys, so I figured I'd make it a good one.

Dragons are the all time most awesome monster ever dreamed up, and even if you don't like to think of them as monsters (I get it, I do) it's still fun to discuss the different types, and even some other creatures that are similar to Dragons.

Red Dragon: The largest, most fearsome, and angriest of all Dragons, the Red Dragon is a terrible beast to behold. It is also probably the most famous of any type of Dragon, epitomized by Wyrms the likes of Smaug, Ember, and Thorn. Red Dragons have massive heads, gaping maws, and the most enormous wingspan of any creature that ever graced the skies. Their breath weapon is pure flame, and their lairs reek of smoke and sulfur.

Blue Dragon: Blue Dragons are the second most powerful chromatic Dragons. They are more agile in flight than any other Dragon, and they combine this skill with their lightning breath attack to dominate in aerial battles. They tend to dig their lairs into cliff-sides bordering on deserts or badlands, and their caves smell of sand, or ozone. They prefer to feed on beasts of burden like camels, oxen, or horses, but they will eat humans, and even desert plants if the need arises. They are infamous for using their powers of hallucination to trick travelers into drinking sand or losing themselves in the endless wastes of their homelands.

Green Dragon: The Green Dragon is the most cunning, and unpredictable kind of Dragon. They live in forested hills and cliffs, and are especially fond of hording magical weapons, armor, and jeweled crowns. They are long and slim, and can fly like all Dragons, but prefer to trick their prey into entering their lair for combat. Their breath is a cloud of poisonous Chlorine gas, a most dangerous weapon because it can seep around corners, and in through cracks in armor.

Black Dragon: Black Dragons are generally smaller than their more colorful counterparts, and make their homes in bogs and swamps, preferably among the broken stones of ancient ruins. They are the cruelest of all Dragons and enjoy taunting and torturing their prey. They like to attack from underwater, taking any travelers unfortunate enough to be nearby unawares. Their breath weapon is a cone of acid that can eat through even the sturdiest plate mail. The most famous Black Wyrm of all time was most likely Ancalagon The Black, from the First Age of Middle Earth.

White Dragon: The smallest and weakest of the colored Dragons, White Dragons make their homes in arctic mountain ranges, in caves with walls of ice. They are less intelligent, and more feral than their cousins. Their breath attack is a line of frost or shards of ice, and they will not eat any prey unless it is already frozen.

Metallic Dragon: In Dungeons & Dragons, and in worlds like Krynn, from Dragonlance, colorful Dragons are considered evil. Monsters who will almost always attack on sight. Their counterparts, good Dragons, who will aid good men in their quests for peace and justice, are said to be Dragons with metallic colored scales. They can be silver, gold, bronze, brass, copper, or even platinum. They are highly intelligent, adept in magic, and can speak in many tongues. Their breath weapons vary by their color, but they are known for being able to spit more than one type of magical exhalation from their mouths.

NOTE: Dungeons & Dragons and many related fictional worlds have always considered colored Dragons evil, and metallic Dragons good. That doesn't mean we must do the same in our own fiction. I see no reason why a blue or red Dragon could not be just as wise and benevolent as any other, it simply depends on the rules of the world you build around your story.

Asian Dragon: Asian Dragons are long, serpentine wingless creatures, and yet they can fly nonetheless. Unlike European legends, Asian folklore considers the Dragon to be an auspicious symbol, and a creature of great wisdom. Asian Dragons can be green, or red, or even yellow, and are often pictured with majestic beards, mustaches, and whiskers. Whether or not they breathe fire varies from culture to culture, but the Dragon is celebrated throughout Asia as a beast of great good, fortune and luck.

Wyvern: A Wyvern is a vaguely Dragon-esque, reptilian winged creature that unlike a Dragon has only two hind legs. They can fly, but are much smaller than Dragons, and do not have the ability to breathe fire, or any other breath attack. They have jointed, barbed, and poisonous tails, very similar to what is found on a scorpion. They are notorious for being vicious, as well as unintelligent.

Basilisk: Not really technically a Dragon, the Basilisk is a gargantuan reptilian creature of legend that is worthy of mention in any discussion breaking down Dragons. Basilisks do not have wings, but can vary from being giant legless snake-like wyrms to enormous, eight-legged lizard like creatures. The one feature that has never been disputed is their ability to kill with but a glance of their deadly gaze. In folklore the nature of this death is not always specified, but in D&D a Basilisk's stare will turn you to stone. Basilisks were feared and famous long before Harry Potter, but the Chamber of Secrets is certainly a great portrayal of their deadly power.

Hydra: The original Hydra, the Lernaean Hydra from Greek Mythology, was a sea serpent like creature from the mortal plane, with reptilian traits, and many heads. In Dungeons & Dragons a Hydra is typically said to simply be a Dragon with many heads. They are most often depicted with five heads (sometimes of varying color, like Takhisis, a goddess in the world of Dragonlance) but the important thing is that however many heads they start with, if one is severed, two will quickly grow back in its place.

If you read the newest Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manuals you will find more types of dragons than you could ever keep track of. Every thing from Chromatic Dragons (the colors listed above), to metallic, gem, ferrous, Lung, Planar, and even Undead Dragons. Dragons are probably the coolest creature ever invented in the memory of human legend, and considering that DRAGONS ARE REAL, I suppose this exhaustive list is necessary, but we just don't have time for it here.

That's it for the Creature Compendium! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

NOTE: My bookshelf, along with photographic evidence of how awesome it is, is being featured at Amy's blog today. You can see it here.

40 comments:

salarsenッ said...

Wow! Have a blast at the WFC!! Take pictures. So excited for you all.

Love the dragon post!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great post to end the series. Have fun at the WFC. I know you will.

Jemi Fraser said...

I love dragons!! McCaffrey's Pern series is my favourite :)

Enjoy the conference!!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I just saw that Shannon Messenger is at the WFC. Have fun!!!

I didn't know there were so may different dragons. Great list.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I doubt anyone can drink Simon under the table. Have an awesome time!

Christina Lee said...

Listing by color is so cool!! Black reminds me of Toothless in How To Train Your Dragon. *pets*

Hope you're having a BLAST!!!!!!!!

Jessica Bell said...

So jealous you get to meet all those wonderful people! :( I hope you have a really fantastic time!

Anne Gallagher said...

I am bookmarking this post jsut in case I need a dragon. Who knows, I may venture into the realm of Middle Grade someday.

Have fun at the convention!

Carrie said...

Awesome list of dragon. Hope you are having fun at the conference.

Joe said...

Have a great time at the con. I bet you see/hear something about The Hobbit being filmed/finished in NZ.

These posts have been terriffic blasts from the past, but also really great resource material for stories. My son loves dragons too - the book Dragonology was a big heal in this direction!

I can't believe I got to your post before 30 others did! Man it's early in the morning. Enjoy.

Old Kitty said...

I think I should invent a Pink Dragon! I do like Mrs Dragon Donkey in Shrek!

Take care
x

Michael G-G said...

Bravo! Encore!! I know so much more about fantastical creatures after reading these posts.

And thank you for your bookshelf.(If I sent A.B. a pic of any of mine--I have 5--I'd send her screaming into the night. Think Messy!)

Hope you're having the time of your life at WFC!!

Nicole Zoltack said...

In my latest WIP, there's an Enchanted Jungle which is home to a lot of mythical creatures (some of which I'm creating). I'm thinking I might include a wyvern but I might change it so that only adults can breath fire. I loved this series!

Emily White said...

Have fun at the convention!

LTM said...

ahh... dragons. I didn't know all the different colors were significant! But hey, enough about that! Look at you at the fantasy convention! Have a ball! Tell everyone hello for me~ :o) <3

Joshua said...

Love this post. But you forgot about the Nightfury.

Bryan Russell said...

I think wyverns would make great pets.

M.J. Fifield said...

Awesome post! I love dragons. I'd have one if my association allowed them...

Enjoy being wasted at the WFC. =)

Elana Johnson said...

Oh, now see dragons are awesome.

And I'm so jealous you're at WFC! I so should be there! Maybe one day I'll be able to hit every conference in every city. But that day is not today.

Have fun!

Angela Brown said...

Dragons are so magnificent. Thanks for this post on this.

Awesome stuff.

Carol Riggs said...

I love dragons! Thanks for the post--I didn't know there were so many different kinds and colors and personalities. :) ENJOY your conference, woo!

Heaven. said...

So cool!

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

Dragon Ball has convinced me that Asian dragons are my favorite.

Kristen Pelfrey said...

This is important information. I had no idea. So which dragon is it if you are born in the Year of the Dragon? Do you get to pick?
WFC! May a great time be had by all!

Michael Offutt said...

I wish I could say something politically correct here about colors, the association of evil, and how white people historically have treated those of other races...but methinks that there is a correlation between this and the colors of those dragons that you point out. Yes, it could be coincidence...but why does it always have to be the "black" dragon that is bad and lives in the swamp?

Chris Phillips said...

The convention sounds like fun, just for the people you get to hang with alone. I know Simon is more wasted than anyone. Buy him a shot for me.

The Golden Eagle said...

Hope you have fun at the convention! :)

Asian dragons are my favorite of these.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Dragons are a breed of fantasy creature that are so versatile. My favorites are the telepathic dragons from Pern.

Have fun at the conference. I hope you're taking lots of pictures. And be sure to have a designated driver ... or walker if you're staying close.

Theresa Milstein said...

I hope you're having a boozing good time. If you see Neil Gaiman, give him a hug from me. (I'm sure it won't be awkward at all.)

maine character said...

Thanks for the tips on what dragon to get my nephew for Christmas, and I hope you're enjoying yourself - and everyone around you - immensely.

Andrew Leon said...

You can tell that dragons are real because there are legends about them from every culture.

Orang3 said...

I love the art, as always.

Ted Cross said...

You and Simon hanging out together without me? What a crime!

Hey, my black dragons weren't anything like you describe. Mine were huge. I guess you only saw it dead, except for the baby one.

Carolyn Abiad said...

I'm waiting for the green dragon of Inheritance. You? (I totally knew it would be a green dragon, btw.)

Wine and Words said...

Hey, while you're in San Diego, say Hi to my kid for me, will ya? I miss him something awful. Tell him I know he's practically a grown man, but he was my first baby and well...ya know, a mom is always a mom.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

This is pretty apropos, since i'm re-reading all the Dragons of Pern books. Of course, those dragons are a lot different than D&D dragons

Just Another Day in Paradise said...

Enjoyed the CC. Dragons are my favorite monsters. Especially Hydra. But then, I never met a mythological creature I didn't like.

World Fantasy Convention, in San Diego, no less. I hope you ate at Joe's Crab Shack and went to Old Town. I only got to go to the Dominican Republic this weekend. Plenty of Fantasy there.

Rusty Webb said...

I appreciate the monsters 101 course. Dragons are a bit hard for me to figure out. I mean, there are so many. Everything I know about them I learned from Dragonheart and that movie with Christian Bale.

Andrew Leon said...

@Rusty: oh, man... and both of those were such horrible movies!

C D Meetens said...

There's something about dragons that fascinates me, and yet, as I've just discovered, I obviously know hardly anything about them. Thanks for the information :).