Dragons are the most renowned of the ruling creature-kinds of Valadae. Intelligent learners, fierce fighters, and unsurpassed in the wielding of raw manna, they are a force many have come to fear and respect, and few would dare to reckon with.
Though not native inhabitants of Valadae, dragons show intense dedication to the preservation and prosperity of the lands, and are known universally as the Guardians of Valadae.
Dragons are quadrupeds (moving about on four paws), with two pliant but strong, leathery wings. Each wing has four 'fingers' which the wing membrane connects to, and a clawed, opposable thumb. As with Valadilian canines, dragons have five-toed paws on their front legs, and four-toed paws on each hind. The toes are large, and the claws are partially retractable.
In ratio to their large size, dragons are surprisingly light. Their bones are netted and pliant and full of air pockets, and they have the largest set of lungs of any Valadilian creature-kind; ideal and necessary anatomy for a creature designed for flight.
Dragon scales are incredibly strong, impenetrable to water and flame, and so hard that only the claws and fangs of other dragons can severely damage them. At birth, most dragon hatchlings are a pale, opalescent hue, though within hours their scales harden and darken to the shades they will keep for life. Dragons scales come in a wide array of colours including blue, green, red, gold, silver, and purple. The rarest colour is opalescent itself, where the hatchling scales harden but do not change colour. In dragon culture, it is not considered a blemish, though opalescent dragons are considered more vulnerable to physical injury.
Though the average size of an adult dragon is between 8-9 feet (from the shoulders), they have been known to reach over twice that size (the royal bloodlines in particular).
Velhonoandrius, the dragon king, is believed to stand an imposing 19 feet tall (from the shoulders)!
The dragons' most famous architectural achievement is the construction of the seven towers of Klonnoth Aire. Wrought from the stone found only in the deepest recesses of the under-realms, and infused with magics so powerful as to alter the currents of natural manna, the towers were built as a means to deflect the corrupted manna that spread from the Black Mountains (also named Beruun Terrolaghn). Additionally, any creatures tainted by that corruption would also be repelled, unable to pass through the towers' impenetrable magical barriers
According to documented history, Klonnoth Aire took 680 cycles to complete. During that long and arduous time, the Black Mountains' corruptive forces remained an ever-constant threat. As well as the momentous task of Klonnoth Aire, the dragons stood guard over the northern plains, and with the aid of the inhabitants of the northern kingdoms—including the morwulves, duards and hemlans—defended Valadae's borders from the continued assaults of hobgoblins and other blighted enemies, embittered by their defeat in the War of Shores.
1:89 of the Age of Undoing, the usal season, sometime during the fulon of Krayton, sightings and communications from the dragons abruptly ceased.
Delegates and Inquisitors from kingdoms right across Valadae, travelled to investigate, with fruitless results. The dragons were nowhere to be found. Speculations and theories spread rife across the lands. For a time, efforts to seek answers were co-ordinated, but by the fulon of Meloss and the nearing of the cycle's end, investigations dwindled as the majority of Valadilians came to the conclusion the dragons simply up and left, and returned to their homeland, Ayrelan.
Others are not so sure. The sudden, and uncharacteristic, abandonment of Klonnoth Aire goes against what many have come to understand of the dragon's creed. And, more unsettling, is the noticeable waning of Klonnoth Aire's magic.
Without the protective barriers, the corruption within the Black Mountains will once again become a great and terrible threat.
Valadilian Trivia: Dragons scales are one of the strongest materials in Valadae. They can only be severely damaged by the claws and fangs of other dragons (or specially enchanted weapons). The reason? The flow of energy in dragon scales flows in direct opposition to the energy of their claws and fangs (both being unique flows of which only the energy flow in the fangs and claws has been successfully replicated in enchantments).
Valadilian Trivia: A dragon's roar is incredibly sonorous, and can be heard up to thirteen miles away. They can also make infrasonic sounds which can carry up to thirty miles.
Real World Trivia: The anatomy design of the Valadilian dragon was inspired by large, muscular horse and dog breeds, such as the Shire and the Mastiff.