I’ve been reading Terry Prachett’s “Guards! Guards!” and it prompted me to write this post on the only actual dragons living (mostly) on the planet Dramoth Gilead. As I explained before, dragons are extra-planar beings, who only visited the planet in its infancy to teach and talk and learn from the inhabitants. The majority of these great beasts left the planet behind, but a few of them remained, some due to enjoying the area, others because they were asked to stay by the tallis. There are eight of these dragons, each of them representing a different element, as each of them also embodies one of the eight types of draconic being.
Kasius, Elder Dragon of Fire – Red Gilded Dragon
The first of the dragons I’ll talk about is Kasius, the fire dragon. He resides in the high peaks near Kordera with his mate Teressa (who I’ll talk about in a minute.) Kasius is an example of the gilded dragons, a species of dragon whose bodies are coated with both regular scales and harder, golden colored ones. Kasius is one of the largest of the dragon elders, thirty feet in length, with a huge, powerful body and an enormous wingspan. He is very wise, his cave – instead of being filled with treasure – is filled with artifacts, books, instruments of science, and other tools. He often takes a human form, using his magic to do so – and the form is a young man with blond hair.
Kasius was one of three dragons to fall during the Hunt – a period of time where a brutal dictator (under command of Destruction) sought to slay the Elder Dragons, despite their docile nature. The original Elder Dragon of Life and Verosh, Elder Dragon of Death, were both killed, but Kasius managed to barely hold onto life. A young woman named Teressa found him, struggling to move and struggling to stay to life. Teressa stayed by the dragon, feeding him, caring for his wounds. Over time she grew to love him, and when the men tried to attack Kasius, she put herself between him and them. Her love for the dragon (and also his human form) was enough that she managed to keep the king’s men from killing him.
The king, however, struck the woman down, stabbed her to death. Kasius, enraged, fought and killed the evil man. As Teressa was on the brink of death, Kasius cried aloud to the elements to help. His compassion and his heartbreak resulted in a brilliant burst of energy, and Teressa’s body became that of the Elder Dragon of Life.
Teressa, Elder Dragon of Life – Celestial Dragon
While all true dragons are extra-planar beings, there’s a special place reserved for the celestials. These beautiful dragons are covered in white and silver scales, with tiny pin points of light showing through the gaps between the scales. They don’t have leathery wings, instead they have feathered wings. Teressa is shorter than her mate, and lives happily in the caves with him. Her curious nature works well with Kasius’s intelligence, and the two of them together spend a lot of their time learning and traveleing. She, like her mate, takes on human form often, looking like her original appearance despite the long time she’s been alive.
Teressa was the daughter of a wealthy landowner. She was a kind, beautiful, and full of compassion for all things. It was no surprise that she saw to aid the near death dragon, Kasius, when he needed her help. It was his nature that drew her to him, and somehow, despite the species gap, she felt love for the dragon. When he needed her to rescue him, she put herself between the mob and her love. Her compassion got her killed, but instead of going to the deep sleep of death, she was reborn into the lost body of the Elder Dragon of Life.
Now inhabiting a much more powerful form, she’s had to reconcile her new life with her old. Her family accepted her – though they’re long gone – and in the years since, she’s grown to be a wise, powerful example of dragonhood.
Hydros, Elder Dragon of Water – Whale Dragon
The whale dragon is an unusual species of dragon. These creatures live the majority of their lives in or around the sea. They have four limbs, but the rest of their bodies are designed for swimming. They have powerful muscles, finned limbs, and a sleek tail with a fin on the end. Hydros is not very big, and is a somewhat youthful dragon. Instead of scales, his body is covered in a blue, rubbery skin. He is only around fifteen feet in length.
Hydros is the youngest of the dragon elders, even younger than Teressa, although he is still quite older than the majority of those living on the planet. He came to the planet Dramoth Gilead not too long before the Cataclysm. He was not involved in the Hunt, but came to the planet near the tallis home in Sedurka. The tallis chose to build the great temple to house him, but he has never actually done much besides hold court there.
His life has been easier than the others, never having to run or hide. He spends his days swimming through the open sea, sometimes rescuing those who’ve fallen into the water. He is a heroic, strong-willed dragon, and a friend to all who do him no harm.
Verosh, Elder Dragon of Death – Dracolich
Verosh was one of the three dragons who were felled during the Hunt. Although Kasius was nursed back to health and Teressa was reborn as the new Elder Dragon of Life, Verosh had other plans. He is a dracolich, a magical construct of bone and energy. His spirit held fast within the decayed remains of his former self. The phylactery he wears around his neck serves as his source of life, and those who have sought to take or destroy it have died. He lives in the mountains near the Wild Haunt, yet another reason travelers avoid that deadly swamp.
Verosh, in life, was always a bit on the crazy side. He never truly felt kin to his dragon brothers and sisters, and always looked for power where he could find it. An old book he found talked about a way to preserve one’s spirit at the time of death, trapping their bodies in an eternal form with magic beyond understanding. His power hungry nature prompted him to attempt this magic, and also to seek a way to die.
When he heard about the Hunt, he made his way to the realm of the dictator. He used his vile acidic breath to kill and terrorize, and when the king slew him, his spirit was trapped in the magical amulet he’d fashioned out of bone and gems. Now as a dracolich, he escaped to the Wild Haunt and he lives there now, devising ways to get as much power as he can. All who fall in the swamp are under his command, a great army of undead beasts which slowly grows in power as he grows madder and madder.
Four left, tomorrow.