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Worldbuilding

Dragons and Phoenixes

Posted Over 14 Years ago by Riven

[unparsed]Two common creatures in conworlds. For those of you who use any combination of the two of them, I was wondering what forms they take in your world?

Both appear in most of my conworlds, to a greater or lesser extent (and in the same form, no less). I'll post a bit more about them here after I work out some details.

There are 65 Replies


[unparsed]Neither one. Over-freakin-done.

Over 14 Years ago
Mr. Saturday
 

[unparsed]I haven't used phoenix's yet.

I do abuse the shit out of dragons though. They're just a great standby godlike race.

Over 14 Years ago
wheelerpm
 

[unparsed]Dragons. The remnants of the dinosaurs that didn't turn into birds. Because they were stuck in a giant cave system for 10-20 million years.

Over 14 Years ago
bloodb4roses
 

[unparsed]Hey, this poll is rigged!

Over 14 Years ago
Genogeh
 

[unparsed]Dragons. They are awesome beasts and I loved them since I read about them in Tolkien's writings. But in my conworld, Nahaiteru, they are rare and live in very distante places, such as the Arkpanm, an enormous mountain range in the South Sandlands. They live together with the Onyryd people, who are half-dragons, but sometimes fight with each other in a sacred ritual which takes place only 2 times a year.

Over 14 Years ago
Anarel
 

[unparsed]"Technically" Iryal doesn't have dragons. The Dragon was a "demonic" creature slain by Sol.

It does have drakes. :wink:
Drakes sprang from the drops of blood of The Dragon. I haven't worked them out 100%. I am thinking something like a cross between a pterosaur and "traditional" European dragons. The largest, after being thaumaturgically enhanced and controlled can hold a rider.

I have alternated back and forth over the Phoenix and don't think that I will include it.

Over 14 Years ago
dragar
 

[unparsed]Hey, if anyone's interested, there is a cool DVD out (since 2005 I believe) called "Dragon's World and it introduces ideas on how dragons could have evolved if they had been real. The way things are turning out right now, I probably wouldn't have dragons or any other form of flying reptile with scales on my conworld - if I did, chances are they would probably look more like gliding salamanders - but if anyone else is using dragons in their conworld, or something that resembles a dragon, check out the DVD.

Over 14 Years ago
Cerne
 

[unparsed]I saw that when it was on Discovery Channel I believe. 8)

Over 14 Years ago
bloodb4roses
 

[unparsed]Um... I have clans of spirits who sometimes appear as firebirds or dragons and sometimes as humanoid. I do not have rampaging dragons that roam the land and eat fair maidens.
They are two of the great spirit clans created by the Gods to guard their people after the Great Dual War.

Over 14 Years ago
Rin
 

[unparsed]Among other choices that should be available in the poll:

"I don't use either."
"I haven't decided yet."
"My dragons and my phoenixes are the same (or closely related) species."

I'd have all of those.
Dragons and phoenixes are going to be merely mythological creatures in Adpihi.
But the third major race of Reptigan -- after humans and "space centipedes" -- is going to have some features I think of as reptilian, though I haven't really designed them yet. They'll be a kind of reptile-dinosaur-human-dragon mix, phenotypically, if it all works out. (Of course they'll have had a completely separate evolution; they'll really have their own well-unified genome, not be chimeral mixtures of other species.)

Over 14 Years ago
chiarizio
 

[unparsed]The thing about dragons is, they're often used by people because they want to introduce animals that aren't present in the real world, but because they aren't very knowledgeable in the way of physiology or because they aren't particularly creative with that sort of thing they have to draw on old school mythology - I'd say that Tolkien did this, but he wasn't trying to create a fictional world with cultures that are separate from ours; Arda was ostensibly a forgotten era in Earth's past, and so he gets a pass.

Other creatures that are played out are Lovecraftian monsters that are just masses of tentacles and eyeballs on stalks and whatnot (and are therefore very easy to come up with) and spirits and energy beings. Star Trek pretty much beat the latter into the ground with its endless godlike races and characters which eventually culminated with Q, and Warhammer 40k buried it with its Warp denizens like the chaos gods. Nobody seems to be using these ideas in any new way, or at least a new way that doesn't suck (to be fair, I've only skimmed VS's stuff, so I can't say is this applies to her or not (probably does)).

It's not all hopeless, though. MrSaturday, for example, came up with gigantic island fish (derived in part from aspidochelone, a mythological beast that has languished in the shadows while lamers like the gryphon and phoenix hog the spotlight) that remain on the surface permanently, allowing unique ecosystems and islander cultures to develop. There's also Nemo Ramjet's Snaiad, which is fascinating (although it seems to be a ripoff of Wayne Barlowe's Darwin IV). Rhob is working on a bi-radial creature which is descended from a penta-radial (whatever the word is) animal.

Of course, maybe some of you dig the cliche. I myself have a fondness for lizard men. If so, that's your prerogative. Wouldn't it be neater, though, if you came up with truly original animals? There's plenty of inspiration (read: freak shows) in Earth's past, like the helicoprion, opabinia, tiktaalik, phorusrhacos, or this fucking thing. Really, you can get all the ideas you need at Wikipedia's list of extinct animals, or their list of cryptids if you're still kinda lazy.

Er, I think I kinda drifted there. Sorry.

Over 14 Years ago
Genogeh
 

[unparsed][quote:29dfc97b4b="Genogeh"]There's also Nemo Ramjet's Snaiad[/quote:29dfc97b4b]Aha! I found
http://www.nemoramjet.com/snaiadmap.htm#
which, if you click on the "fish" silhouettes in the waters, explains about four different kinds of "jetocetes".

BTW I really appreciate all the links in your last post or two.
I had never heard of the spiral-saw fish.
Before that my favorite was the terror-bird. Being from Texas I just like the fact that there was once a road-runner big enough that it killed a horse and tried to swallow it. (But it choked.)

[quote:29dfc97b4b="Cerne"]Hey, if anyone's interested, there is a cool DVD out (since 2005 I believe) called "Dragon's World and it introduces ideas on how dragons could have evolved if they had been real.[/quote:29dfc97b4b]I had been looking for that. Thanks.

Over 14 Years ago
eldin raigmore
 

[unparsed][quote:da97965f0f="Genogeh"]It's not all hopeless, though. MrSaturday, for example, came up with gigantic island fish (derived in part from aspidochelone, a mythological beast that has languished in the shadows while lamers like the gryphon and phoenix hog the spotlight) that remain on the surface permanently, allowing unique ecosystems and islander cultures to develop. [/quote:da97965f0f]

DAMN! I didn't realize there was a precedent here.

Over 14 Years ago
Mr. Saturday
 

[unparsed]The Ahool on the cryptid list sounds like a primitive relative of Danpyr. I'll note if I see others on either list that sound like stuff in my world.

Over 14 Years ago
bloodb4roses
 

[unparsed]The Xala are strongly inspired by draconic races. In some of my earlier ideas about Jed I was going to make them into smallm six-limbed dragon men -- but as things evolved, I gradually let them become something a little more of their own thing. And of course, my world has moved more into soft scifi than fantasy, so calling them dragons now can only be a purely figurative reference.

I had also come up with a serpent that would serve as a mount for the Kesatans, but I scrapped that and went with a large fish instead -- though I haven't worked out the design completely. Part of the issue behind that is that I don't want to have any large animals that lived only on land on Kesata (I'm not going to make many continents, and none will be too large) -- which means a reptilian serpent wouldn't really have a place to evolve from.

Also, to respond to Genogeh: energy races can be interesting. I think the key to working with them is focusing on their physical manifestations. It's easy for extraplanar beings to get lost in some netherworld where we can't possibly know anything about them -- but if they have physical limitations, or can manifest physical forms -- perhaps even forms that they had before they "ascended", if they are of that type of race -- then they can get interesting.

Over 14 Years ago
Fonori
 

[unparsed][quote:b54f23f639="Fonori"]I had also come up with a serpent that would serve as a mount for the Kesatans, but I scrapped that and went with a large fish instead -- though I haven't worked out the design completely. Part of the issue behind that is that I don't want to have any large animals that lived only on land on Kesata (I'm not going to make many continents, and none will be too large) -- which means a reptilian serpent wouldn't really have a place to evolve from.[/quote:b54f23f639]

What about a giant eel or sea serpent? I have plenty of those on my conworld. And some of them are the largest living things on the planet.

Over 14 Years ago
Cerne
 

[unparsed][quote:7e64703a3e="Cerne"][quote:7e64703a3e="Fonori"]I had also come up with a serpent that would serve as a mount for the Kesatans, but I scrapped that and went with a large fish instead -- though I haven't worked out the design completely. Part of the issue behind that is that I don't want to have any large animals that lived only on land on Kesata (I'm not going to make many continents, and none will be too large) -- which means a reptilian serpent wouldn't really have a place to evolve from.[/quote:7e64703a3e]

What about a giant eel or sea serpent? I have plenty of those on my conworld. And some of them are the largest living things on the planet.[/quote:7e64703a3e]

sea serpent = type of dragon

Note: I actually used the word "serpent" to describe my initial idea. The biggest issue with dragons in conworlds is that the category is broader than a lot of people think. The term "dragon" has been attached to a variety of mythological creatures with a range of shared traits. When you talk about "dragons" many Westerners may think of the six-limbed European variety, but there are also Eastern dragons that are wingless (but often can, in fact, fly) and have a clearly serpentine form, as well as Leviathan -- which was a sea serpent in Hebrew mythology -- as well as various other reptillian or serpentine creatures. I've even heard of Quetzalcoatl -- a feathered serpent -- described as a dragon.

Anyway, what I'm going for right now could be a giant eel. Either that or a very large, herbivorous shark. That depends largely on how I want it to look eventually. The biggest obstacle, I think, is making a realistic enough fish that can carry a Kesatan rider can be trained to surface at least periodically so that the rider can breathe. Perhaps I'll go more in the direction of an amphibian (Kesatans are themselves the equivalent of amphibians).

Over 14 Years ago
Fonori
 

[unparsed][quote:33acbf1ef9="Fonori"]I had also come up with a serpent that would serve as a mount for the Kesatans, but I scrapped that and went with a large fish instead -- though I haven't worked out the design completely. Part of the issue behind that is that I don't want to have any large animals that lived only on land on Kesata (I'm not going to make many continents, and none will be too large) -- which means a reptilian serpent wouldn't really have a place to evolve from.[/quote:33acbf1ef9]

Didn't you click any of my links, dude? Tiktaalik!

[quote:33acbf1ef9]Also, to respond to Genogeh: energy races can be interesting. I think the key to working with them is focusing on their physical manifestations. It's easy for extraplanar beings to get lost in some netherworld where we can't possibly know anything about them -- but if they have physical limitations, or can manifest physical forms -- perhaps even forms that they had before they "ascended", if they are of that type of race -- then they can get interesting.[/quote:33acbf1ef9]

You know w hat would be rad? Nonsentient "ethereal" creatures whose presence can only be detected by the effect they have on visible life: the "life force" or whatever of the grasses they subsist on brown and die, and their waste products make humans giddy, as if they were drunk. Or maybe they feel nauseous, who knows? Why do ghosties all have to be pseudo-people with culture and ethnic groups and everything?

[quote:33acbf1ef9="Mr. Saturday"]DAMN! I didn't realize there was a precedent here.[/quote:33acbf1ef9]

Pwned.

Over 14 Years ago
Genogeh
 

[unparsed][quote:0f02eb98ff="Genogeh"]Nonsentient "ethereal" creatures whose presence can only be detected by the effect they have on visible life:<snip>[/quote:0f02eb98ff]

Have those. (Well, not how you described them in your post but similar.) I don't write about them here cuz they don't figure into my stories much, if at all.

Over 14 Years ago
bloodb4roses
 

[unparsed]DnD players have been using them for decades too.

Over 14 Years ago
wheelerpm
 

[unparsed]I'm turning into MrSaturday. :cry:

Over 14 Years ago
Genogeh
 

[unparsed][quote:8c0561fe94="Genogeh"][quote:8c0561fe94="Fonori"]I had also come up with a serpent that would serve as a mount for the Kesatans, but I scrapped that and went with a large fish instead -- though I haven't worked out the design completely. Part of the issue behind that is that I don't want to have any large animals that lived only on land on Kesata (I'm not going to make many continents, and none will be too large) -- which means a reptilian serpent wouldn't really have a place to evolve from.[/quote:8c0561fe94]

Didn't you click any of my links, dude? Tiktaalik![/quote:8c0561fe94]

Hmm, didn't look at that very closely before. Could be my answer. Maybe some slightly more robust limbs (though really the proto-limb-forms work pretty well for my purposes -- Kesatans can't travel far inland without serious protective measures).

Thanks for that tip, I'll look into it.

[quote:8c0561fe94][quote:8c0561fe94]Also, to respond to Genogeh: energy races can be interesting. I think the key to working with them is focusing on their physical manifestations. It's easy for extraplanar beings to get lost in some netherworld where we can't possibly know anything about them -- but if they have physical limitations, or can manifest physical forms -- perhaps even forms that they had before they "ascended", if they are of that type of race -- then they can get interesting.[/quote:8c0561fe94]

You know w hat would be rad? Nonsentient "ethereal" creatures whose presence can only be detected by the effect they have on visible life: the "life force" or whatever of the grasses they subsist on brown and die, and their waste products make humans giddy, as if they were drunk. Or maybe they feel nauseous, who knows? Why do ghosties all have to be pseudo-people with culture and ethnic groups and everything?[/quote:8c0561fe94]

Probably because a lot of people think of such beings as being "above" humanity -- and extension of mythical gods or spirits. I take the more traditional angle with the Aeruyo, but I have a lot of things involving them that aren't fixed.

Side note: there are (apparently) non-sapient energy beings in Stargate, AIUI, but they're kind of played down against the Ascended Ancients. (Just came to mind, since the Ancients are my primary inspiration for the Aeruyo.)

Over 14 Years ago
Fonori
 

[unparsed][quote:4fc3e6beb2="Fonori"][quote:4fc3e6beb2="Cerne"][quote:4fc3e6beb2="Fonori"]I had also come up with a serpent that would serve as a mount for the Kesatans, but I scrapped that and went with a large fish instead -- though I haven't worked out the design completely. Part of the issue behind that is that I don't want to have any large animals that lived only on land on Kesata (I'm not going to make many continents, and none will be too large) -- which means a reptilian serpent wouldn't really have a place to evolve from.[/quote:4fc3e6beb2]

What about a giant eel or sea serpent? I have plenty of those on my conworld. And some of them are the largest living things on the planet.[/quote:4fc3e6beb2]

sea serpent = type of dragon

Note: I actually used the word "serpent" to describe my initial idea. The biggest issue with dragons in conworlds is that the category is broader than a lot of people think. The term "dragon" has been attached to a variety of mythological creatures with a range of shared traits. When you talk about "dragons" many Westerners may think of the six-limbed European variety, but there are also Eastern dragons that are wingless (but often can, in fact, fly) and have a clearly serpentine form, as well as Leviathan -- which was a sea serpent in Hebrew mythology -- as well as various other reptillian or serpentine creatures. I've even heard of Quetzalcoatl -- a feathered serpent -- described as a dragon.[/quote:4fc3e6beb2]

I don't think so. The Asian dragons all breathed fire regardless of whether they had wings or not. Leviathon breathed fire but it wasn't associated with being a dragon. Atleast nobody [i:4fc3e6beb2]called[/i:4fc3e6beb2] it that. And even if it was, the characteristic of breathing fire would still define dragons. Leviathon was first and foremost a giant serpent that lived in the sea. Then there is Jormungand of Scandinavian mythology which is always defined as a giant serpent but never a dragon (atleast not as far as I know). There are probably lots of other mythological creatures that are defined as serpents but not dragons. Just don't jump to conclusions until you find that it is actually [i:4fc3e6beb2]referred to[/i:4fc3e6beb2], or [i:4fc3e6beb2]called[/i:4fc3e6beb2], a dragon.

Really, I don't think it would be that hard to envision an aquatic serpent in a conworld. They are evolutionarily more credible than dragons are, and you don't even need to go very far to envision them evolving on any conworld that has a lot of water.

Over 14 Years ago
Cerne
 

[unparsed][quote:e2957938d7="Cerne"]I don't think so. The Asian dragons all breathed fire regardless of whether they had wings or not. Leviathon breathed fire but it wasn't associated with being a dragon. Atleast nobody [i:e2957938d7]called[/i:e2957938d7] it that. And even if it was, the characteristic of breathing fire would still define dragons. Leviathon was first and foremost a giant serpent that lived in the sea. Then there is Jormungand of Scandinavian mythology which is always defined as a giant serpent but never a dragon (atleast not as far as I know). There are probably lots of other mythological creatures that are defined as serpents but not dragons. Just don't jump to conclusions until you find that it is actually [i:e2957938d7]referred to[/i:e2957938d7], or [i:e2957938d7]called[/i:e2957938d7], a dragon.[/quote:e2957938d7]

I'm not so sure that Eastern dragons always breathed fire. AIUI, they were usually more associated with water than with fire (usually being the rulers of the sea or of a river). In any case, if you look up "dragon" in online sources, you'll find various references to serpents and sea monsters interspersed in the results. My main point here is that "dragon" can be a bit of an arbitrary designation -- it's used for various mythological creatures that may have some resemblance, but often can't be shown to have a common source. The term itself comes from the Greek term for "serpent".

And what's this about jumping to conclusions? It's not as if there really [i:e2957938d7]needs[/i:e2957938d7] to be a rigorous definition of what is and is not a dragon. If anything, knowing that dragons are such a heterogeneous group should encourage conworlders to keep making reptilian and serpentine creatures without worrying too much about whether they'll be thought of as "dragons" -- somebody will probably label them as such if they resemble some sort of giant serpent or lizard, but that doesn't mean that the creature is necessarily a clich.

[quote:e2957938d7]Really, I don't think it would be that hard to envision an aquatic serpent in a conworld. They are evolutionarily more credible than dragons are, and you don't even need to go very far to envision them evolving on any conworld that has a lot of water.[/quote:e2957938d7]

If by dragon you mean a six-limbed wyrm -- something like a serpent might be more plausible. But as I said, my reason for scrapping my serpent idea isn't that they're too close to dragons -- it's that I don't want there to be any large animals that live exclusively on land on Kesata. That means that, if there is no reason for tougher skin and eggs to evolve, there will be no reptilian creatures on the planet. My fish-like mount might superficially appear to be a serpent when seen from a distance, but I'm thinking something looking more like an eel or something else up close.

I may come back to a reptillian serpent idea as I go more into designing Kesata. I'm actually not quite certain that it's realistic for no large animals to have evolved to live exclusively on land. Mainly, I reasoned this as a way to make an amphibious intelligent race more plausible, which, in hindsight, is probably unnecessary, since technically no one branch of life can be thought of as more "advanced" than another, and all it takes is a sufficiently complex brain to get what I want for the Kesatans.

Over 14 Years ago
Fonori
 

[unparsed]Do not argue with Cerne about words.

You'll just get yourself dirty, and the pig is enjoying itself.

Over 14 Years ago
Mr. Saturday
 

[unparsed]Speaking of wyrms.
Phoenixes (or "the phoenix") appear to undergo a complete metamorphosis, like a butterfly and/or some other insects.
OTOH Asian dragons as seen in Lunar New Year's Day parades resemble caterpillars more than any kind of reptile.
Could Phoenixes and Dragons be the same species? And could they be some kind of insect instead of vertebrate?

Over 14 Years ago
eldin raigmore
 

[unparsed]That might be cool...

Hrm.

Over 14 Years ago
Mr. Saturday
 

[unparsed]I'd like to point out that in Chinese culture, snakes are the "caterpillar" of dragons. Although making them non-reptilian could be cool.

Over 14 Years ago
bloodb4roses
 

[unparsed]My dragons are somewhat cliched. My phoenixes (Phoenices? Phoenixen?), however, are not.

[b:50033c82a6]Dragons in Yardh[/b:50033c82a6]

There are three "races" of dragons in Yardh, the Jindi, the Viili, and the Cimdi. Each is ruled over and was born from archdragons; Jinde, Viil, and Cimde respectively. While Viil was simply a Jindi who rebelled, Jinde and Cimde were born the typical way of all Archdragons.

Archdragons are born in stars, much like planets are born in stars. They roam the cosmos for millions of years, until they find a new planet, one both supporting of life and not already inhabited by dragons. Once there they cultivate the planet, turning its lifeless rocks and chemicals into new life by the same process that they came from stars.

Archdragons have the power to form life from their thoughts alone. Their hopes, dreams, and ambitions become other dragons, each one's life bound to the archdragon's thought, not to its temporary body. These dragons may have lives of their own, but if their archdragon is threatened, they will all fight and die for him, permanently if need be.

All dragons can tap into something known as the Dragon Archives -- a mental construction of information stored in the very Fabric of Reality itself. It is from the Dragon Archives that they gain their immense powers of knowledge, of which they share very little of. But as much as they know, there is still more lurking in spacetime, enscribed eons ago by the Planetmakers.

There might be more to come (there's definetly more information), but that's the gist of it. Your typical godlike serpents. On the other hand:

[b:50033c82a6]Phoenixes of Yardh and Ljene[/b:50033c82a6]

Phoenixes look like parrots that have been set on fire. Except for the pain of having your feathers turned to ashes, that is. Their metabolism carefully regulated by the intake of Exaberries, they are able to maintain a constant flame (and more if they need to use it), albeit a very cool one (mostly illusion). They evolved from the Cardinal, an earlier telepathic bird with red plumage.

Phoenixes are immortal, unable to die from age or practically any attack on them. If they starve, their flames will disappear and they will simply shrivel into an Ashstone, which can be brought to an Archphoenix to bring them back to life. They are also capable of transferring their life force quickly to another, resurrecting and healing them, although becoming an Ashstone in the process.

The cells of phoenixes are kept together through short-range telepathic links. Any cuts will heal instantaneously, and even splitting one in half won't be enough to fully kill it. Virtually the only way to kill a phoenix is to disentigrate it. But phoenixes are unstable, and if threatened enough, they will simply explode, shedding an entire layer of muscle, skin, and flame, and escaping much as a lizard shedding its tail.

Phoenixes themselves have telepathic powers, although that range extends only about three miles or so. They can communicate with anything sentient within that range, although with a slight processing delay. With other phoenixes, however, the translation is instantaneous. The closer they are to the subject, the stronger and faster the telepathic link.

Phoenixes are naturally very intelligent and coordinated, and while in isolation they are friendly and even willing to give their life for strangers of other species, in their societies they are proud and vain. Because of the high concentration of telepathic links in a phoenix society, all of their intelligences supplement one another, and they give rise to an Archphoenix (in the exact opposite way as an archdragon gives birth to dragons, come to think of it). An archphoenix will take on a corporal form, but in reality it is the sum of all phoenixes (vain as they are) underneath it. Only an archphoenix can give its life force away (to, say, an ashstone) without losing energy. Archphoenixes are believed to be more powerful than even dragons themselves, and it is largely unknown what activities they conduct..

Over 14 Years ago
Riven
 

[unparsed][quote:d416cadd40="Fonori"][quote:d416cadd40="Cerne"]I don't think so. The Asian dragons all breathed fire regardless of whether they had wings or not. Leviathon breathed fire but it wasn't associated with being a dragon. Atleast nobody called it that. And even if it was, the characteristic of breathing fire would still define dragons. Leviathon was first and foremost a giant serpent that lived in the sea. Then there is Jormungand of Scandinavian mythology which is always defined as a giant serpent but never a dragon (atleast not as far as I know). There are probably lots of other mythological creatures that are defined as serpents but not dragons. Just don't jump to conclusions until you find that it is actually referred to, or called, a dragon.[/quote:d416cadd40]

I'm not so sure that Eastern dragons always breathed fire. AIUI, they were usually more associated with water than with fire (usually being the rulers of the sea or of a river). In any case, if you look up "dragon" in online sources, you'll find various references to serpents and sea monsters interspersed in the results. My main point here is that "dragon" can be a bit of an arbitrary designation -- it's used for various mythological creatures that may have some resemblance, but often can't be shown to have a common source. The term itself comes from the Greek term for "serpent".[/quote:d416cadd40]

Alright then, if they didn't breathe fire - I always thought they did, but anyway - maybe fire isn't a defining characteristic of dragons. But what about limbs? Is there really a creature that [i:d416cadd40]doesn't[/i:d416cadd40] breathe fire, [i:d416cadd40]doesn't[/i:d416cadd40] fly, and [i:d416cadd40]doesn't[/i:d416cadd40] have any appendages whatsoever? I mentioned Jarmungand, the Midgard serpent of Norse mythology. Is that a dragon? Because I've never heard of it being associated with one. It was always just a giant serpent - snake even - that had wrapped itself around the world and that would signify the beginning of [i:d416cadd40]Ragnarok[/i:d416cadd40]. Dragons sound more like a type of serpent rather than the other way around. Otherwise, just about anything you could call a serpent - a grass snake even - would also be a dragon. That is, assuming the prototypical dragon and serpent were different...but for the sake of arbitrariness, I suppose a dragon could be anything you wanted it to be...

[quote:d416cadd40="Fonori"]And what's this about jumping to conclusions? It's not as if there really [i:d416cadd40]needs[/i:d416cadd40] to be a rigorous definition of what is and is not a dragon. If anything, knowing that dragons are such a heterogeneous group should encourage conworlders to keep making reptilian and serpentine creatures without worrying too much about whether they'll be thought of as "dragons" -- somebody will probably label them as such if they resemble some sort of giant serpent or lizard, but that doesn't mean that the creature is necessarily a clich.[/quote:d416cadd40]

What I meant was that, if you are going to use [i:d416cadd40]dragon[/i:d416cadd40] as an arbitrary word, you should not expect it to be used for a certain creature unless it was already used in the mythology the creature came from. If you are going to invent a creature and call it a dragon for whatever reason, that's fine. Then it is a dragon. But mythological creatures that were never associated with dragons to begin with don't necessarily need to [i:d416cadd40]be[/i:d416cadd40] dragons, based on similarity alone, so I shouldn't be expected to dismiss sea serpents (or Leviathon for that matter) as dragons or dragon clichs. For the record You have not yet shown me that [i:d416cadd40]dragon[/i:d416cadd40] was ever used for Leviathon or Jarmungand. Unless you do, my point - that sea serpents are realistic evolutionary outcomes and are not dragons - still stands.

[quote:d416cadd40="Fonori"][quote:d416cadd40="Cerne"]Really, I don't think it would be that hard to envision an aquatic serpent in a conworld. They are evolutionarily more credible than dragons are, and you don't even need to go very far to envision them evolving on any conworld that has a lot of water.[/quote:d416cadd40]

If by dragon you mean a six-limbed wyrm -- something like a serpent might be more plausible. But as I said, my reason for scrapping my serpent idea isn't that they're too close to dragons -- it's that I don't want there to be any large animals that live exclusively on land on Kesata. That means that, if there is no reason for tougher skin and eggs to evolve, there will be no reptilian creatures on the planet. My fish-like mount might superficially appear to be a serpent when seen from a distance, but I'm thinking something looking more like an eel or something else up close.[/quote:d416cadd40]

By [i:d416cadd40]dragon[/i:d416cadd40] I meant a large reptillian creature that had four walking appendages and that breathed fire, but that will do. What about a legless amphibian? You wouldn't necessarily need to evolve limbs to become partially terrestrial - you would not need to move that far away from land - so I could envision a limbless fish becoming amphibious first and becoming fully aquatic later. This would allow it to evolve some herptile-like characteristics that would make it look more like a serpent than an eel.

Anyway, it is an idea. You obviously know that you are not forced to use it if you don't want to but it would be nice if you didn't feel you need to criticize it to make that assertion. Not assuming you would, but just in case...

Over 14 Years ago
Cerne
 

[unparsed][quote:dffa467eff="Cerne"][quote:dffa467eff="Fonori"][quote:dffa467eff="Cerne"]I don't think so. The Asian dragons all breathed fire regardless of whether they had wings or not. Leviathon breathed fire but it wasn't associated with being a dragon. Atleast nobody called it that. And even if it was, the characteristic of breathing fire would still define dragons. Leviathon was first and foremost a giant serpent that lived in the sea. Then there is Jormungand of Scandinavian mythology which is always defined as a giant serpent but never a dragon (atleast not as far as I know). There are probably lots of other mythological creatures that are defined as serpents but not dragons. Just don't jump to conclusions until you find that it is actually referred to, or called, a dragon.[/quote:dffa467eff]

I'm not so sure that Eastern dragons always breathed fire. AIUI, they were usually more associated with water than with fire (usually being the rulers of the sea or of a river). In any case, if you look up "dragon" in online sources, you'll find various references to serpents and sea monsters interspersed in the results. My main point here is that "dragon" can be a bit of an arbitrary designation -- it's used for various mythological creatures that may have some resemblance, but often can't be shown to have a common source. The term itself comes from the Greek term for "serpent".[/quote:dffa467eff]

Alright then, if they didn't breathe fire - I always thought they did, but anyway - maybe fire isn't a defining characteristic of dragons. But what about limbs? Is there really a creature that [i:dffa467eff]doesn't[/i:dffa467eff] breathe fire, [i:dffa467eff]doesn't[/i:dffa467eff] fly, and [i:dffa467eff]doesn't[/i:dffa467eff] have any appendages whatsoever? I mentioned Jarmungand, the Midgard serpent of Norse mythology. Is that a dragon? Because I've never heard of it being associated with one. It was always just a giant serpent - snake even - that had wrapped itself around the world and that would signify the beginning of [i:dffa467eff]Ragnarok[/i:dffa467eff]. Dragons sound more like a type of serpent rather than the other way around. Otherwise, just about anything you could call a serpent - a grass snake even - would also be a dragon. That is, assuming the prototypical dragon and serpent were different...but for the sake of arbitrariness, I suppose a dragon could be anything you wanted it to be...[/quote:dffa467eff]

Looking again, I think at least some Eastern dragons do in fact breathe fire, so you might have me there. And I don't mean for it to be a 100% arbitrary distinction. I just think it's a little fuzzy at the edges -- and for the record I don't think monstrous serpents are all that close to the edges.

[quote:dffa467eff][quote:dffa467eff="Fonori"]And what's this about jumping to conclusions? It's not as if there really [i:dffa467eff]needs[/i:dffa467eff] to be a rigorous definition of what is and is not a dragon. If anything, knowing that dragons are such a heterogeneous group should encourage conworlders to keep making reptilian and serpentine creatures without worrying too much about whether they'll be thought of as "dragons" -- somebody will probably label them as such if they resemble some sort of giant serpent or lizard, but that doesn't mean that the creature is necessarily a clich.[/quote:dffa467eff]

What I meant was that, if you are going to use [i:dffa467eff]dragon[/i:dffa467eff] as an arbitrary word, you should not expect it to be used for a certain creature unless it was already used in the mythology the creature came from. If you are going to invent a creature and call it a dragon for whatever reason, that's fine. Then it is a dragon. But mythological creatures that were never associated with dragons to begin with don't necessarily need to [i:dffa467eff]be[/i:dffa467eff] dragons, based on similarity alone, so I shouldn't be expected to dismiss sea serpents (or Leviathon for that matter) as dragons or dragon clichs. For the record You have not yet shown me that [i:dffa467eff]dragon[/i:dffa467eff] was ever used for Leviathon or Jarmungand. Unless you do, my point - that sea serpents are realistic evolutionary outcomes and are not dragons - still stands.[/quote:dffa467eff]

The issue there is that the term "dragon" was not technically applied to many of the creatures that are now considered dragons -- the Chinese [i:dffa467eff]lng[/i:dffa467eff], Quetzalcoatl, and others -- weren't given that name until later on, when they were classified as dragons by Europeans. The term itself is hard to pin down, and I'm not sure how you can exclude sea serpent, as it derives from a word meaning something like "monstrous serpent" and a number of modern uses (particularly Biblical uses) are translations of that word and probably could be taken to refer to that older meaning.

I will concede that Leviathan is a bad example. Leviathan is a rather broad term in itself and has been used for a wide variety of sea monsters, notably including whales (which I'd probably never call dragons).

As for evolutionary realism and such -- I never said I was avoiding the term "dragon" because dragons are inherently unrealistic. That would be ridiculous -- there are real creatures that are called dragons. Plus, it is possible to think of a way that even the six-limbed, fire-breathing dragons of Europe could exist naturally (though whether they are plausible as having evolved on Earth is a bit sketchy). Also, for the record, my Kesatan serpents were styled to look very much like Eastern dragons (serpentine body, four clawed limbs, massive armor scales, and even two barbels/whiskers/feelers) and I would readily go back to that design if I thought it were plausible. It just so happens that [i:dffa467eff]on the planet in question[/i:dffa467eff] such creatures are implausible [i:dffa467eff]for reasons other than the fact that they can be called "dragons".[/i:dffa467eff]

[quote:dffa467eff][quote:dffa467eff="Fonori"][quote:dffa467eff="Cerne"]Really, I don't think it would be that hard to envision an aquatic serpent in a conworld. They are evolutionarily more credible than dragons are, and you don't even need to go very far to envision them evolving on any conworld that has a lot of water.[/quote:dffa467eff]

If by dragon you mean a six-limbed wyrm -- something like a serpent might be more plausible. But as I said, my reason for scrapping my serpent idea isn't that they're too close to dragons -- it's that I don't want there to be any large animals that live exclusively on land on Kesata. That means that, if there is no reason for tougher skin and eggs to evolve, there will be no reptilian creatures on the planet. My fish-like mount might superficially appear to be a serpent when seen from a distance, but I'm thinking something looking more like an eel or something else up close.[/quote:dffa467eff]

By [i:dffa467eff]dragon[/i:dffa467eff] I meant a large reptillian creature that had four walking appendages and that breathed fire, but that will do. What about a legless amphibian? You wouldn't necessarily need to evolve limbs to become partially terrestrial - you would not need to move that far away from land - so I could envision a limbless fish becoming amphibious first and becoming fully aquatic later. This would allow it to evolve some herptile-like characteristics that would make it look more like a serpent than an eel.[/quote:dffa467eff]

This is actually similar to what I'm thinking about -- it has been suggested by others. I want some sort of legs -- or at least strong mud-hopping fins. It still won't have quite the resonance with dragons that my original design had, particularly since it will probably end up with a more fish-like face (even sea serpents are typically described as having horse-like or camel-like faces), and it probably won't have large scales. I'm not sure if I should keep the barbels or not (since it might be a little kitschy since the Kesatans have barbels themselves).

[quote:dffa467eff]Anyway, it is an idea. You obviously know that you are not forced to use it if you don't want to but it would be nice if you didn't feel you need to criticize it to make that assertion. Not assuming you would, but just in case...[/quote:dffa467eff]

I don't [i:dffa467eff]need[/i:dffa467eff] to openly criticize an idea to not use it. But isn't it useful for me to tell you why I'm not using your idea entirely? Perhaps it can lead you or others to other suggestions? Or at least just help you understand where I'm coming from? Why is it that you so often get so defensive about your suggestions and ideas? It's not a sin to actually take a good look at what people are saying and see if your own position could be modified.

Over 14 Years ago
Fonori
 

[unparsed]FUCK. Why does Cerne have to turn [i:b535b5d64d]everything[/i:b535b5d64d] into an argument?

Over 14 Years ago
Mr. Saturday
 

[unparsed][quote:7b1d6503a4="Fonori"][quote:7b1d6503a4][quote:7b1d6503a4="Fonori"]And what's this about jumping to conclusions? It's not as if there really needs to be a rigorous definition of what is and is not a dragon. If anything, knowing that dragons are such a heterogeneous group should encourage conworlders to keep making reptilian and serpentine creatures without worrying too much about whether they'll be thought of as "dragons" -- somebody will probably label them as such if they resemble some sort of giant serpent or lizard, but that doesn't mean that the creature is necessarily a clich.[/quote:7b1d6503a4]

What I meant was that, if you are going to use dragon as an arbitrary word, you should not expect it to be used for a certain creature unless it was already used in the mythology the creature came from. If you are going to invent a creature and call it a dragon for whatever reason, that's fine. Then it is a dragon. But mythological creatures that were never associated with dragons to begin with don't necessarily need to be dragons, based on similarity alone, so I shouldn't be expected to dismiss sea serpents (or Leviathon for that matter) as dragons or dragon clichs. For the record You have not yet shown me that dragon was ever used for Leviathon or Jarmungand. Unless you do, my point - that sea serpents are realistic evolutionary outcomes and are not dragons - still stands.[/quote:7b1d6503a4]

The issue there is that the term "dragon" was not technically applied to many of the creatures that are now considered dragons -- the Chinese lng, Quetzalcoatl, and others -- weren't given that name until later on, when they were classified as dragons by Europeans. The term itself is hard to pin down, and I'm not sure how you can exclude sea serpent, as it derives from a word meaning something like "monstrous serpent" and a number of modern uses (particularly Biblical uses) are translations of that word and probably could be taken to refer to that older meaning.[/quote:7b1d6503a4]

So it is more a matter of what you [i:7b1d6503a4]can[/i:7b1d6503a4] call a dragon rather than what actually [i:7b1d6503a4]is[/i:7b1d6503a4] a dragon...? That makes sense, in a wierd sort of way. Could you call a python or an anaconda a dragon? What about a basilisk? Or the Loch Ness monster? I'm still curious as to what you think of Jarmungand. If the Chinese Long does breathe fire and that trait becomes a characteristic of all dragons, I suppose Leviathon would qualify as a dragon too. But what about other sea serpents? They could be more fish or eel than reptile. And even if they were reptiles, they may be so far removed from anything else qualifying a dragon that "serpentine reptile" could be the only thing that could associate them with dragons. In which case there are those examples I mentioned above that would also need to qualify.

[quote:7b1d6503a4="Fonori"][quote:7b1d6503a4]Anyway, it is an idea. You obviously know that you are not forced to use it if you don't want to but it would be nice if you didn't feel you need to criticize it to make that assertion. Not assuming you would, but just in case...[/quote:7b1d6503a4]

I don't [i:7b1d6503a4]need[/i:7b1d6503a4] to openly criticize an idea to not use it. But isn't it useful for me to tell you why I'm not using your idea entirely? Perhaps it can lead you or others to other suggestions? Or at least just help you understand where I'm coming from? Why is it that you so often get so defensive about your suggestions and ideas? It's not a sin to actually take a good look at what people are saying and see if your own position could be modified.[/quote:7b1d6503a4]

That...probably had more to do with what Saturday said earlier, though I maybe shouldn't have assumed that you agreed with him. I also thought my idea would provoke another argument. I probably should have phrased that line differently.

UPDATE: Took out the rest of this part for the sake of avoiding topic drift.

[quote:7b1d6503a4="Mr. Saturday"]FUCK. Why does Cerne have to turn [i:7b1d6503a4]everything[/i:7b1d6503a4] into an argument?[/quote:7b1d6503a4]

What do you expect when just about the only posts you tune into [i:7b1d6503a4]are[/i:7b1d6503a4] arguments? :P

Over 14 Years ago
Cerne
 

[unparsed]...I demand proof.

I often turn conversation [i:b5c0edbd0e]into[/i:b5c0edbd0e] arguments, but I tend to leave m be after that.

Over 14 Years ago
Mr. Saturday
 

[unparsed][quote:a3858c1466="Mr. Saturday"]...I demand proof.

I often turn conversation [i:a3858c1466]into[/i:a3858c1466] arguments, but I tend to leave m be after that.[/quote:a3858c1466]

LOL...that's T-U-N-E, not T-U-R-N. And there is plenty proof in this thread already. Need I go on? :wink:

Over 14 Years ago
Cerne
 

[unparsed]...That's not grammatical.

"Tune conversations into arguments"? C'mon, try harder.

Also shut the fuck up less you have something of use to say that isn't arguing about some little thing noone cares about except you.

"Decimate" pfah.

Over 14 Years ago
Mr. Saturday
 

[unparsed][quote:eb3dce3cb8="Mr. Saturday"]Also shut the fuck up less you have something of use to say that isn't arguing about some little thing noone cares about except you.[/quote:eb3dce3cb8]

All that life is is arguing little things that only matter to you.

Over 14 Years ago
bloodb4roses
 

[unparsed][quote:ee11d32638="bloodb4roses"]I'd like to point out that in Chinese culture, snakes are the "caterpillar" of dragons.[/quote:ee11d32638]I did not know that! Do they have a complete metamorphosis -- egg, larva (=snake), pupa, adult (=dragon)?

The classical Phoenix myth -- or at least one of them -- has a complete metamorphosis for the Phoenix. (Thought the terms used by the Greek authors were not those of modern entomologists, of course. Nor do I expect the terms used by the Chinese about the dragons were the same as those of modern entomologists.)

In the myth (or at least in one of them) there are only two Phoenixes at any given time, the male and the female. When their child matures the adult of the same sex immolates himself/herself.

Over 14 Years ago
eldin raigmore
 

[unparsed]Well, my Kigatsi are dragon-shaped, in that they are reptiloid but with four legs and two wings, but I don't think they count as dragons. They aren't ancient (individually or as a species), they don't hoard gold, they have little skill at manipulating humans, they aren't solitary and they are very un-magical. (Any apparent magic is physics less outrageous than that found in, say, [i:99f7fc1b5c]Star Trek[/i:99f7fc1b5c].)

In some non-canon situations, they have created more "traditional" western dragons, as an experiment in biological nuclear reactors. (Which I think quite nicely unifies the heat, poisonousness, surrounding wasteland, and ability of long hibernation.) That was a bad idea.

[quote:99f7fc1b5c="Anarel"]the Onyryd people, who are half-dragons[/quote:99f7fc1b5c]
I can understand how half-elves, half-demons, and even half-wolves (wince) might occur (with magical rather than Earth-like genetics), but half-[i:99f7fc1b5c]dragons[/i:99f7fc1b5c]?

Over 14 Years ago
simon.clarkstone
 

[unparsed][quote:33e6edc2c6="simon.clarkstone"]Well, my Kigatsi are dragon-shaped, in that they are reptiloid but with four legs and two wings, but I don't think they count as dragons. They aren't ancient (individually or as a species), they don't hoard gold, they have little skill at manipulating humans, they aren't solitary and they are very un-magical. (Any apparent magic is physics less outrageous than that found in, say, [i:33e6edc2c6]Star Trek[/i:33e6edc2c6].)

In some non-canon situations, they have created more "traditional" western dragons, as an experiment in biological nuclear reactors. (Which I think quite nicely unifies the heat, poisonousness, surrounding wasteland, and ability of long hibernation.) That was a bad idea.[/quote:33e6edc2c6]

In other words, your Kigdatsi are superficially like dragons, but don't have quite the same makeup as mythological dragons.

As far as mystical powers, the most common powers I know of are fire-breath and language-capable intelligence. The first is easy enough to get through biology (you don't even need a nuclear reactor, just some sort of internal fuel and a way to ignite it -- maybe a flame-resistant mouth would help, too). For langauge, well, the Kigdatsi are fully capable of that -- not that it's really an essential part of a dragon (it's more just a standard anthropomorphic trait if you ask me

[quote:33e6edc2c6][quote:33e6edc2c6="Anarel"]the Onyryd people, who are half-dragons[/quote:33e6edc2c6]
I can understand how half-elves, half-demons, and even half-wolves (wince) might occur (with magical rather than Earth-like genetics), but half-[i:33e6edc2c6]dragons[/i:33e6edc2c6]?[/quote:33e6edc2c6]

There are many myths that involve dragons reproducing with humans, either by changing to human form or by other means. (ISTR a Chinese myth that involves a cloud of dragon sperm flowing from a box.) Also, I understand that the Japanese emperor is believed to be descended from dragons.

Over 14 Years ago
Fonori
 

[unparsed][quote:4121ffc09b="Fonori"]In other words, your Kigdatsi are superficially like dragons, but don't have quite the same makeup as mythological dragons.[/quote:4121ffc09b]
Yup. I forgot to mention the non-fire-breathing too, though their body temperature is high (47C) simply to make stuff go faster.

[quote:4121ffc09b="Fonori"]As far as mystical powers, the most common powers I know of are fire-breath and language-capable intelligence. The first is easy enough to get through biology (you don't even need a nuclear reactor, just some sort of internal fuel and a way to ignite it -- maybe a flame-resistant mouth would help, too).[/quote:4121ffc09b]

[quote:4121ffc09b="Fonori"]For langauge, well, the Kigdatsi are fully capable of that -- not that it's really an essential part of a dragon (it's more just a standard anthropomorphic trait if you ask me[/quote:4121ffc09b]
Well, they can't pronounce human languages properly with their mouths. They compensate with artificial voice synthesis, lip-syncing optional. And as [i:4121ffc09b]The Impossible Planet[/i:4121ffc09b] showed, synthesised voices can give a good creepy effect in the right circumstances.

Over 14 Years ago
simon.clarkstone
 

[unparsed][quote:ec508bb41c="Fonori"]Also, I understand that the Japanese emperor is believed to be descended from dragons.[/quote:ec508bb41c]

Chinese emperor is descended from dragons. (And the Chinese people in general.)

Japanese emperor is descended from the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu. The Japanese people are descended from various Kami.

:P

Over 14 Years ago
bloodb4roses
 

[unparsed][quote:6b32fc3171="bloodb4roses"][quote:6b32fc3171="Fonori"]Also, I understand that the Japanese emperor is believed to be descended from dragons.[/quote:6b32fc3171]

Chinese emperor is descended from dragons. (And the Chinese people in general.)

Japanese emperor is descended from the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu. The Japanese people are descended from various Kami.

:P[/quote:6b32fc3171]

I stand corrected. I should have known that.

That really isn't so fun, since there's no longer a Chinese emperor and human-form deities are lame :P

Over 14 Years ago
Fonori
 

[unparsed]Well, there's still an emperor of China.

He's just emperor of sweeping streets now.

Over 14 Years ago
Genogeh
 

[unparsed][quote:c9baa71b08="Fonori"]That really isn't so fun, since there's no longer a Chinese emperor and human-form deities are lame :P[/quote:c9baa71b08]

Well, like I said, some myths have all of China descended from dragons. And in Shintoism, things can have multiple forms (physical, spiritual, etc). Just because they were depicted in human forms doesn't mean that's their only forms. Mt Fuji is considered a deity itself, not the home of one. I plan to go on a pilgrimage to Fujisan when I go to Japan, as well as visit a few otheer shrines.

Over 14 Years ago
bloodb4roses
 

[unparsed]s/Fujisan/Mt. Fuji/

gb2/weeaboo/

Over 14 Years ago
Mr. Saturday
 

[unparsed][quote:9b1d031201="Mr. Saturday"]s/Fujisan/Mt. Fuji/

gb2/weeaboo/[/quote:9b1d031201]

s/Mr. Saturday/fucktard/

Moving on... :roll:

Over 14 Years ago
bloodb4roses
 

[unparsed]Baka gaijin desu.

Over 14 Years ago
Mr. Saturday
 

[unparsed][quote:e00e3d3cec="Mr. Saturday"]Baka gaijin desu.[/quote:e00e3d3cec]

... Yes, you are.

Over 14 Years ago
bloodb4roses
 

[unparsed]Avaron has dragons and it doesn't have them.

The first sentient race (idhilli) of whom the Avari developed later on weren't bound in any physical shape (it's presumed that they had had some kind of physical form, but they didn't need them anymore when they ascended), but they could take any physical form if they wanted to. Well, apparently, a group of them committed some crime and the Elder Gods cursed them and bound the rebellious idhilli to some physical form, each one more cruesome than the other. Some were turned into giant lizards and sea monsters, some into dragons and some into something unimaginable form. Many of them fled underground and to distant and dark places because they were ashamed of their appearance, but in time some them became accustomed to their habitus and went back to world again, including those who had been cursed into dragons, but they still were reclusive and decided to live in the wilds.

The idhilli were probably the most advanced (both is spiritual and technological sense) race ever to walk the surface of Avaron and thus they viewed all the other races inferior to them and scorned them. After the Curse some idhillis were never seen again, but those who were either took a hostile stance against other race and wanted to see them destroyed or them made the inferior race to worship them and thus they became gods, including the Dark Lords of the Depths (six sea monsters who live in some deep in the Western Ocean) and the Ten Dragon Gods.

Over 14 Years ago
Avaronald
 

[unparsed]I haven't yet and I have no plans to do so in the foreseeable future. This doesn't mean I never will; I have no "doctrinal" objection to using them, I just haven't felt the urge and don't know whether I ever will.

Over 14 Years ago
eldin raigmore
 

[unparsed][color=darkblue:e7de92e619]In the Faerie Realms, dragons come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from fire-breathing monsters who are little more than beasts to demigods who serve the Lords of Faerie. One particular dragon encountered by Sam Smith and his companions is the Dragon of Hollow Mountain, who is featured in the story, "Dead God's Hand."
Sam and his friends are forced to recover the Dead God's Hand from the heart of Hollow Mountain and trade it for their friend, Penny Farthing, who has been kidnapped and held prisoner by Lord Blacktalon. Unfortunately, while attempting to sneak into the dragon's hoard and steal the lost relic, they discover that the dragon is not only awake and alert, but is one of the most ancient and powerful monsters in Faerie. Sam manages to convince the dragon that they are on a quest to save a friend from a fate worse than death, and much to their surprise are allowed to retrieve the relic under the condition that they never bother the dragon again...
[/color:e7de92e619]
[color=darkred:e7de92e619]"You may have the accursed thing," the Dragon rumbles, "for of late it has disturbed my slumbers. Take it to the necromancer and trade it for the life of your friend--and may it cause him nothing but grief. Go, and never trouble my sleep again."[/color:e7de92e619]

Over 13 Years ago
Rune081624
 

[unparsed]in my setting, the dragons are basically modeled on antisemitic stereotypes of Jews. one of these relates to the days where their control of the world was assured through Cherubic favoritism (conspiracy theories of Jewish-run world government). the others are variations on other modern antisemitic mythology, like the Dragon Scale- draconic attempts to collapse world economies through alchemy, leading to a world war (part "backstabbing myth", part "Jewish world bank")

Over 13 Years ago
Fetus Commander
 

[unparsed]Conspiracy theories do make excellent fodder for conworlding by interpreting them as true- doing so forces one to conworld, even, by imagining a world in which they could possibly be true.

Over 13 Years ago
Blake
 

[unparsed]the Cherubics who built melkrin would agree, since many of their plans for the world were drawn up at times when there was actual antisemitic intent in the construction of the world, and/or by people who held antisemitic beliefs from earth :twisted:

Over 13 Years ago
Fetus Commander
 

[unparsed]Might as well kick mine in here since the thread was brought back up.

In Veghinix, Dragons are the physical embodiment of magical energy spawned from the Ley Lines created by the final spiritual motes of Creation and Flux (according to the legends associated with the most widely believed in pantheon, mind you). They were guided to the landmass that became Dracien in order to protect the rest of the world (again, by the legends of the Ulor/Iath/Xandren contingents), as they possessed the same sort of power as the extraplanar creatures had shown, in addition to physical capabilities magnitudes beyond the others. In the process, they've effectively conquered the continent and subjugated its people through physical predation, magical manipulation, and social subversion via creating their own mythology.

In truth, the primary myths are pretty close to accurate given what most in the setting know. Some of the greater forms are extremely gifted in terms of arcane power, namely the Wyrms (Nagas, in south-eastern Dracien) and the True Dragons. The lesser forms are more like evolutionary throwbacks that are all physical and somewhat lacking mentally, but still relatively above animal-level sentience. All breeds are linked by common genetic traits, but none are cross-fertile, making them distinctly separate species.

What confounds mortals the most, however, is the virtual immortality that the Dragons hold through their connection to magic itself. When one dies, its spiritual resonance simply hooks into the nearest Ley Line and gets returned to a place of significance (for most of the higher forms, this means the Endless Ring, a body of water surrounding a mountain range in central Dracien; drakes and wyverns tend to simply hatch from their own eggs in their nests) where their body is reformed and restored to life, usually with a grudge against whatever managed to kill it. It's not always immediate or pleasant, but it is inevitable and there's nothing known to mortal society that can prevent it (even things that prevent resurrection, such as the assassins' training around Sealing the Cauls won't work).

Of course, simply clawing or burning people to death isn't really enough for the True Dragons. Instead, they try to walk in the forms of mortals for many reasons. First, it's more efficient to feed a human-size body and a human-like metabolism than it is to feed a massive draconic form more than 100-ft. in length. Second, it lets them manipulate mortals far more easily and far less overtly, particularly when it comes to the people of Dracien, where the practice has led to a full scale religion being built around dragonkind as a whole in an attempt to deify the eldest of the known Dragons, a council of 15 ancients known as the Draciarchs whose power already approaches that which is believed to be held by the gods.

... which is where they really take root in the history of the world in general. A few centuries in the past (from where most of my writing takes place, at least), the Draciarchs set into a ritual that altered the way that magic was worked in what is known as the Draconic Reclamation. Before their intervention, magic could do the impossible with a mere thought, up to and including creating alternate realities (such as Ephemera, home of the Fey, and Materium, home of the Primevals) if a powerful enough mind even pondered such things close enough to a Ley Line. Afterward, magic has become far more limited and difficult for mortals to manipulate, and has added quite a bit of stability to the world in general.

Over 13 Years ago
Tharivious
 

[unparsed]I have fire spirits that can take on a vaguely serpentine, dragonish form shaped from flame. No wings, but they can sort of swim through air like snakes in water. They're called Balaure. Currently.
No phoenix.
Yet.

Also, nonsapient energy beings. They eat your moods. Yom.

Over 12 Years ago
lryda mbazha
 

[unparsed]Yeah; no dragons, no phoenixes; all originality.

Over 12 Years ago
Avjunza
 

[unparsed]For all that it is worth, I'd just like to point out that Jrmungandr was a dragon [i:dc55a3a414]and[/i:dc55a3a414] a serpent. Dragons looked like, and practically were serpents to the norse before the days of Christianity. Most other dragons were later "retconned" into more conventional forms, like Nhggr.
It's a bit weird to hear that Jrmungandr's mother was a giantess. That would make Jrmungandr half-dragon, half-giant. That's an interesting hybrid! :D

And, no. I do not use dragons. I find them awfully boring and mundane creatures due to them existing exactly everywhere. There are dinosaurs, of course. Winged reptiles, naturally. But they're not a bit "draconic", not even sapient. I follow a strict "Never Say Dragon"-policy, but might try to subvert the entire species. Something in the spirit of the swamp dragons imagined by Terry Pratchett, perhaps....

Phoenixes aren't seen that awfully often, or I just don't recognize them. While I do not have burning birds, I populate my conworld with highly flammable bats, moths and flies. [i:dc55a3a414]Fireflies[/i:dc55a3a414]. Oh, and fire-rain too. Not to mention the clouds from where the rain comes from...

The phoenixes theme, it's selling argument, would be its weird reincarnation-in-action. Many of my more ascended creatures goes from death of high age, to a pupa-like stasis, to a completely reborn person. This is some kind of excuse for the creature in question to get away with not having any family whatsoever.

Over 12 Years ago
Ht. Taraxa
 

[unparsed]Both dragons and phoenixes in my conworld. However, they both differ somewhat from the standard magical beast found in mythology and such.

Phoenixes are big red-and-yellow birds that are very intelligent and live for a very long time (for a bird). Perhaps the egg must be in a fire (or really hot place) to hatch, but I'm not entirely sure. The Empire that has its capital at Kitānya has the symbol of a phoenix.

Dragons come in two types:
[list:3627a9fa6d][*:3627a9fa6d]The first type is about 2-3 meters long. They can be very aggressive and territorial. They are very powerful, with lots of brute strength, but they aren't extremely intelligent. The can be found in mountains and plains.
[*:3627a9fa6d]The second type is about one meter long. They are very intelligent, and some have been tamed and trained. They hunt (perhaps in packs) as well as scavenge. Their bite delivers a potent venom. Often found in forests, although they are common in other environments.[/list:u:3627a9fa6d]Both types of dragons are related. Both have two wings and two legs. Neither can breath fire. Neither has any magical capabilities. Neither is suitable as a mount.

Over 12 Years ago
Velkas
 

[unparsed]Dragons and phoenixes are Great . . .. when done well, and when it makes sense. My first fantasy novel (which i think is probably one of the single largest sinks of overused fantasy tropes ever created) had way too many dragons in it. WAY TOO MANY, I tell you. They were everywhere. People were riding them, communicating with them telepathically, and all kinds of stupid, gratuitous dragon-related acrivities that I have never even dreamed of writing about again scince. Why? Because I thought they were cool. somehow, the fact that they were so overused that they had all but surpassed "The Dark Lord" and "The Chosen One" in terms of pure unadulterated banality had escaped me.

Gods, that book was overpopulated with the things. Hell, I even had a (once sizeable) population of people that could turn into dragons for no logical reason--and who didn't do anything really helpful/useful/relavent/plot related with that ability. They just had it because I thought it looked cool.

That was easily the worst thing I've ever written. The only redeeming details are that it was technically a novel (albeit a lame-ass peice of shit novel), and I wrote it in 4th and 5th grade.

Over 12 Years ago
Elyador
 

[unparsed]And I thought two in human form was bad.

Over 12 Years ago
bloodb4roses
 

[unparsed][quote:c192e63c80="Velkas"]... birds that are very intelligent and live for a very long time (for a bird).[/quote:c192e63c80]

Birds aren't less intelligent than other vertebrates with a similar brain-weight, brain-to-body-ratio, and brain-to-spinal-chord ratio, are they?

As for lifespan: In general and on the average, a flying species's lifespan, once the individual can fly, is about three times as long as a similarly-sized non-flyer that's in other ways as similar as possible (for instance, both warm-blooded or both cold-blooded, or something). In particular, flying birds live about three times as long as similarly-sized flightless mammals or flightless birds.

Lifespan is usually proportional to pulse rate (among vertebrates, at least); a given animal probably lives on the order of about two billion heartbeats if nothing kills it. (Of course this isn't exact. Exercise makes you live longer even though it makes your heart beat faster. And various factors not including predation, disease, injury, etc. can vary the lifespan by a factor of six, or even of fifteen, IIRC.)

Usually, all other things being equal, the bigger an animal is, the slower its heart-rate and the longer it lives. Of course all other things aren't always equal; that's why some tortoises live longer than most humans. And even if everybody's equally warm-blooded, still, elephants and whales just don't get the health-care people get.

Classical phoenixes are usually thought of as big birds. That could help your phoenixes live longer. OTOH the bigger a bird is the less likely it is to have retained the ability to fly; that could make their lives shorter.

[quote:c192e63c80="Velkas"]Perhaps the egg must be in a fire (or really hot place) to hatch, but I'm not entirely sure.[/quote:c192e63c80]

Birds "ant"; that is, they like to rub stimulating substances (e.g. fragrant woods, or ants for that matter) along the skin on their wings. Birds will "ant" around a fire if it's small and well-contained.

Classical phoenixes were supposed to build their nests out of aromatic woods like camphor and cedar and so on, (and possibly spicy or fragrant grasses, leaves, flowers, or what-have-you, as well -- I don't remember exactly).

Also, the classical phoenix's growth and development was a "complete metamorphosis" like a moth's or a butterfly's, rather than like a bird's. (A smaller egg, then a worm or serpent, then a larger "egg" (a chrysalis or pupa, I'm thinking), then an adult phoenix.) Neverrtheless it was called a bird, sacred to Venus, and the totem of Phoenicia.

There were always two phoenixes, a male and a female. When the offspring "hatched", the parent of the same sex would burn itself in suicide. The ashes would be the foundation of the nest for the next generation. So phoenixes were always the offspring of either mother-son incest or father-daughter incest, not that the concept of "incest" even applies to wild brute beasts.

Over 12 Years ago
chiarizio
 

[unparsed]Last time I saw this thread and it’s poll, I hadn’t thought of a fantasy conworlds.
Now I’ve thought of a dwarves + elves + humans + mer-centaurs conworld.
It will have dragons 🐉, but they’ll be artifacts built by smiths (which will mostly be dwarves). They’ll probably be intelligent 🤓 artifacts, or at least the interesting ones probably will be.
Not sure 🤔 about phoenixes.

Over 2 Years ago
chiarizio
 

@chiarizio:
Don’t forget this!

2 Months ago
chiarizio
 

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