What are dragons?
Dragons do not carry the same context in Lands of Exile as they carry in other fantasy media. Before their arrival in the Age of Fire, no creature similar had existed - there were no myths or legends that predated their appearance, except perhaps the tales of great serpents from the northern seas. It is rumored that Dragons first appeared at the Fjall Volcano, the large volcano formation on the southernmost end of the Suldai’im Desert that is also visible from Holdfast.
Dragons are alien, erratic, and aggressive. One of the few known qualities of dragons, besides the threat they pose, is their highly territorial nature - no two dragons have ever been seen in the same region for more than a few hours. They are beyond enormous - their wings blot out the sky and their feet crush houses like dry leaves. The scales of a dragon are as thick as castle walls and twice as strong, defying all the weaponry and magic or mortals. A dragon’s breath can turn castles into molten lakes and forests to fields of ash. A dragon has never been injured- much less killed- but stories of heroic sacrifices made to delay them have cropped up.
If someone dies by dragonfire, they cannot be resurrected by any means, no matter how much lifeforce (out of game: "soul shards") that they had. They go on to the afterlife as is typical upon true death, and can be ghosts or come back at the Thinnest Veil. Injuries from dragons are not able to be healed by magic, but can heal through natural means.
"A whisp of dragonfire is the kiss of Noktal."
Dragons' appearance differs greatly between accounts - their coloration, the way that they move on land, and physical attributes are commonly argued. The only things agreed upon in physical aspects are:
They always have at least two wings.
They always have at least two legs.
They always have at least one head.
They always have armored forms, typically with scales but sometimes with leathery skin alone. Both are totally impenetrable.
Many dragons were given names by those who survived or witnessed their destruction, but only a handful have become legends in their own right. The most well-known of them are described here, having ended countless lives and destroyed unimaginable swathes of civilization.
The Gargayelle (Gar-guh-yel) of Lek’Nath
A Dragon massive by even Dragon standards, the Gargayelle’s full height has never been accurately recorded, but it stood well above the greatest buildings of Lek’Nath, making it easily more than two hundred meters in height. Some accounts even claim it would destroy hamlets with a single footstep. This Dragon tends to stick to the areas around Lek’Nath, but has been sighted on other eastern areas of the continent. It wanders through the countryside, almost bored by the destruction it wreaks, ignoring small groups of mortals in favor of greater bloodshed. The Gargayelle is scaleless, with smooth, veined skin patterned like dark marble and burning red eyes. For these traits, it was named for the Veyvinan Gargayelle, a mythological creature animated from stone. The Gargeyelle of Lek’Nath was one of the first Dragons spotted.
The Thorned Knenost (pronounced “nost”)
The Knenost is one of the most vicious and thoroughly deadly dragons to ravage the continent. Few of its attacks left witnesses, fewer still left them in a state to recount the beast itself. The word “Knenost” comes from a Halfling legend about a creature made of thorny vines that lies in wait for someone to pluck a flower from it, after which it devous the offender whole. The Knenost has been spotted across the continent, following large groups of people and chasing refugee caravans once the cities ran dry of its prey. It is assumed to have a keen sense of smell, as it would track its victims effortlessly through the night but seemed to lose them in heavy rain. There are many tragic tales of desperate people splitting up their groups so that the Knenost would only slaughter some of them. The Knenost seemed to favor hunting in the Dwarvish cities and Ryggan caves, where large groups of mortals held out thinking that their stone fortresses would keep them safe. To the Knenost, however, the stone provided no sanctuary. It dug through earth and stone alike, burning homes and filling tunnels with flowing lava from its breath. The Knenost is believed to be flightless despite the long wings on its gold-hued back, and reaches terrifying speeds over land on its eight legs.
Tairsay the Tyrant (pronounced "Tar-zay")
Tairsay was first spotted in the deep woods of Wyldlands. A horrible rumble broke the silence of the Archeronian Forest and could be heard for up to 20 miles in all directions - a sound that would become known for Tairsay sucking the air out of the vicinity around itself before unleashing a thick, almost liquid fire that was so hot it appeared blue. Tairsay is described as being a moving mountain of flesh that resembles an overgrown spiked toad in its movements. Those that survived the first days of its rampage spoke of the hope they had for outmaneuvering the hulking beast - assuming that a creature of that lumbering size would not be able to move with quickness. What they quickly learned was that not only could it move with unexpected speed - it had giant wings combined with its massive forelegs that allowed it to leap and fly. Tairsay made its way throughout the swamps and forests, and eventually to an unsuspecting Archeron. The most horrifying imagery burned into survivors memories is Tairsay rolling across the city like a puppy rolls in mud, crushing the entire city to an ashen wasteland in mere moments.
Contributors: Emil Zickafoose, Eden Parker, Noah Alderman