Folkloric Fridays, Part IX: Dragons

Dragons are often referred to as the “most mysterious creatures on Éras.”  Their origin is uncertain, although their presence within the Human cultures of Éras dates back to the very beginnings of the Dark Days, in artwork, sculpture, songs, and tales.  Some people claim that dragons taught Humans to speak, but this theory is as yet unsubstantiated, and the dragons themselves are encountered so rarely that it seems scholars will never receive an irrefutable answer on the subject.

Sir Reginald Noxire of Blacknall was the first individual to provide a physical record of a dragon sighting, in the year 211.  According to the journal he kept while following a fabled golden-colored dragon into the depths of the Paranomos Mountains north of Blacknall, Sir Reginald appears to have slain the dragon with the help of Dragonreaver before dying of exposure.  Since that time, however, several people have claimed to have glimpsed a golden-colored dragon, and so the authenticity of the knight’s words have been called into question.  Some scholars have gone so far as to allege that Sir Reginald’s journal is a hoax, or the confused hallucinations of a dying man’s mind.  Today it is widely believed that the golden dragon still lives.

Within the different cultures of Éras, dragons have traditionally symbolized potent and auspicious powers, as well as strength, benevolence, and good luck.  They are most commonly associated with the gods, due to their coloration; white-, black-, violet-, golden-, and silver-colored dragons have all been reported over the centuries.  The noticeable lack of a brown-colored dragon, however, has puzzled those who focus their studies on dragon lore, and there is a somewhat large contingency of scholars who dismiss the color-based association as mere coincidence.  Whatever the case, dragons are revered as “old spirits” of great wisdom by peoples across Éras, and it is widely considered taboo to deface a depiction of a dragon.

Human and dragon interaction has been extremely limited over the years, but recorded encounters thus far have indicated harmless or even benevolent relations, with the dragons in question deigning to engage in conversation and possibly even granting a boon to the lucky mortals.  One historical recounting of such a meeting describes the white-colored dragon as a “graceful and gentle creature despite its enormous stature and intimidating visage.”

Dragons are said to be able to shape-shift, thus opening up the possibility for interbreeding between Humans and dragons.  Dragon-children, more commonly known as “dragon-blooded,” are rumored to exist, although very infrequently; only thirteen people have ever been officially confirmed as dragon-blooded, as the ritual required to prove such lineage is both expensive and complex.  Despite extensive study of the dragon-blooded, the scope of these individuals’ abilities has varied so much that scholars remain unable to describe them with any true accuracy.