Ixthos

Let's talk about dragons [Discuss]

25 posts in this topic

First off I am still planning on posting more in the series of world building posts for the science fantasy setting I'm planning on calling “Choice of Worlds”, the next one to outline what I've constructed so far, along with other possible settings that the poll could have demonstrated, etc.

 

For now though, lets talk about dragons!

 

Dragons. We like them as fantasy creatures, and even in science fiction. As powerful spirits, or beings of flesh. As dangerous and cunning monsters, as simple beasts, as intelligent friends. As mounts, as allies, and as beings made of magic or metal. Controlling fire or magic, western or eastern, they are fascinating creatures.

 

So, in your writing, what do you present them as?

 

In my own, I present dragons – not aliens evolving into beings like dragons, but dragons themselves – as alien and powerful spirits, older than many universes, and part of a family of other mythical beings which likewise are spirits. There are several types and subtypes of dragons, representing different things, and as a consequence their bodies and powers are affected and can vary greatly between different types of dragons, and even between different subtypes of the same main type. Individual dragons of the same subtype typically look fairly similar, at least when compared to other types and subtypes of spirit, though they vary just as people do. The properties they normally possess are as follows:

 

  • Dragons and other such beings can form bodies out of the physical matter around the area they wish to manifest, the bodies then taking on properties based on the spirit's nature. The shape these bodies takes is partially based on the spirit's properties, but also on the beliefs of the people it interacts with. I am still working out how much back and forth there is in this regard, such that for example if a dragon were to appear to aliens, would the aliens have a different belief about what a being that represents the spirit's property would look like, or would the spirit's nature mean that the alien's beliefs would naturally be more in line with a universal morphology – so the dragon would look slightly differently to the aliens as it would to humans, or even to humans of a different culture, but would still be recognisable to all that see it as a representative of that property.

    • (That does raise questions of if a dragon left a planet and went to another one in the same body if the body would change, or even if the body itself remains a general shape and the dragon's power would cause anyone who sees it to see a being with a body that matches their beliefs, while those next to them saw something else.)

    • (I'm still working out some properties spirits have, including spirit's relations.)

  • Because the body is not the spirit, but rather matter shaped and controlled by it, if someone were to try to harm the dragon it would be very difficult to do so. A dragon's body responds to its nature and the spirit's will, and so attempts to change or damage them run up against the power of the spirit. Thus, while it is extremely draining and difficult for a dragon to change its shape to something outside the nature of its spirit, damage can be fixed as easily as if the dragon were constructing its body. Now, admittedly a dragon can find it tiring to continually fix damage, and eventually harm will wear its body down, but that probably will not solve the problem of the being attacking – assuming, of course, the attacker is simply using physical weapons – because …

  • A dragon's body, when destroyed by physical means, will still have a core that is under the spirit's control. Such a core would be a body that is smaller than the body it originally came from, but would also be more concentrated, and more alien. A dragon with a spirit for metal, for example, would have a core that is more molten, a head that would look mostly like its original head, but instead of legs it would be more like tentacles of almost molten metal, its wings likewise replaced with tentacle legs, and any claws it had would still be attached to the ends of its tentacles, only now longer, sharper. One for ice would be likewise affected, its wings now more like snowflakes, and a cloud of snowflakes would follow it's skin. Each subsequent attack would likewise reveal a more and more alien core than the previous, until eventually all that is left is a virtually indescribable alien mass of the concept the dragon's spirit represents. Destroying that would eventually banish the dragon, but only for a time.

  • While some matter is more easily damaged than other – so metal would be tougher than ice – all dragons' bodies are much tougher than the material they are made of would suggest, though once destroyed and the spirit leaves that matter regains its usual properties

    • (I am still deciding if they turn any nearby matter into their appropriate material, only the same type of matter as their spirit's properties, or a mixture.)

  • The spirits can get tired, but could eventually form a new body again, or even dismiss the old one and reform elsewhere, though certain factors can slow this down or prevent them from doing this for a while. They cannot be destroyed, only tired out for a time or banished. Thus it is usually more effective to use certain magic or technologies to fight them if you want to fight them.

  • They are intelligent and powerful, but also alien, and a consequence is that they have many of the same powers that the alien empires that rule universes have, but are much stronger than those aliens. They also – as concepts – control the properties related to their spirit, and understand them in ways few other beings can match, and thus are also experts at technology.

    • (This also means they can breath fire, but only for dragons with fire, while an ice dragon would breath ice – not not just breath fire or ice, but also control it, master it, weave it. Others are more exotic.)

  • Some of them are at war with one another, including those of the same type, because they joined with (spoiler), the Enemy. Those are dangerous, but like all spirits they are bound by rules they CANNOT break, but they are very intelligent and know ways around some of these.

  • They have a very special relation to certain properties of the setting, but those are spoilers.

  • They are not the most powerful beings in the setting.

 

So dragons are spirits of certain properties, but not all spirits are dragons, and not all dragons are alike. At places special to them they can gain bodies, and destroying that body reveals something alien, and even if that were destroyed, the spirit wouldn't be harmed. They are smart, powerful, hard to destroy, and alien. Some are friendly, some are not, but all think in ways people normally don't. There are other mythical creatures as strong as dragons, and there are aliens that slowly became things like dragons but which are not nearly as powerful – some of which are animals – but dragon's themselves are spirits that can form bodies.

 

What are the dragons you write like? :-)

Edited by Ixthos
spoiler in square brackets put the text in a spoiler, so changed brackets
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My dragons are physical creatures there are specific sub-species of dragons in each realm, and several breeds per sub species.

That's all you get for now.

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25 minutes ago, Frustration said:

My dragons are physical creatures there are specific sub-species of dragons in each realm, and several breeds per sub species.

That's all you get for now.

Fair enough. I know the feeling of keeping information close to the chest, so I won't press you on any details you don't want to share. If I may ask though, how intelligent are they? Do they have civilisations, or live alone?

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19 minutes ago, Ixthos said:

Fair enough. I know the feeling of keeping information close to the chest, so I won't press you on any details you don't want to share. If I may ask though, how intelligent are they? Do they have civilisations, or live alone?

Which book? There are so many I'll try to remember my dragon focused one.

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19 minutes ago, Somebody from Sel said:

Which book? There are so many I'll try to remember my dragon focused one.

Any works and you also can talk about different versions :-P

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Just now, Ixthos said:

Any works and you also can talk about different versions :-P

You're in for it now

 Behemoths: Behemoths are the largest dragons and are extremely few in number. They are big enough to crush a castle, they have no near for fire or flight not that they could fly anyways as the wings needed to lift them would have to be incredibly big.

Scarks: Scarks a generally considered to be on a similar level to vermin but are actually roughly as tall as the average human.

Drakons: Drakons are probably the most common of the flying dragons and therefore are the most depicted in legend (think Western dragons).

Da-Gons: Da-Gons are serpentine in shape but are still technically flighted dragons (think Eastern dragons).

Quetzalcoatl: Quetzalcoatl are also serpentine in shape but are feathered similar to birds.

Pixies: Pixies are the smallest of known dragons and often have white scales.

There are more that I didn't care to or didn't bother to list.

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1 hour ago, Ixthos said:

Fair enough. I know the feeling of keeping information close to the chest, so I won't press you on any details you don't want to share. If I may ask though, how intelligent are they? Do they have civilisations, or live alone?

Depends on the sub-species and breed, most are human to superhuman levels of intelligence, but there are some that are little more than animals. On civilization, they are usually solitary, only gathering during mating season, the mother will take care of the welps for a year before leaving them.

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34 minutes ago, Somebody from Sel said:

You're in for it now

 Behemoths: Behemoths are the largest dragons and are extremely few in number. They are big enough to crush a castle, they have no near for fire or flight not that they could fly anyways as the wings needed to lift them would have to be incredibly big.

Scarks: Scarks a generally considered to be on a similar level to vermin but are actually roughly as tall as the average human.

Drakons: Drakons are probably the most common of the flying dragons and therefore are the most depicted in legend (think Western dragons).

Da-Gons: Da-Gons are serpentine in shape but are still technically flighted dragons (think Eastern dragons).

Quetzalcoatl: Quetzalcoatl are also serpentine in shape but are feathered similar to birds.

Pixies: Pixies are the smallest of known dragons and often have white scales.

There are more that I didn't care to or didn't bother to list.

Nice selection :-) are they a natural series of species, or magical?

 

5 minutes ago, Frustration said:

Depends on the sub-species and breed, most are human to superhuman levels of intelligence, but there are some that are little more than animals. On civilization, they are usually solitary, only gathering during mating season, the mother will take care of the welps for a year before leaving them.

Cool :-) are they all related to one another, so descended from an original dragon species with some becoming more intelligent and some animals?

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Just now, Ixthos said:

Nice selection :-) are they a natural series of species, or magical?

Mostly natural this world has a lot of natural magic but basically no magic users. The magic isn't really applicable to anything but just being there. Humans are weird in this world too, their generally smarter father stronger and overall better because of the magic.

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6 minutes ago, Ixthos said:

Cool :-) are they all related to one another, so descended from an original dragon species with some becoming more intelligent and some animals?

They all should be intellegent but due to differing levels of magic between realms, some of their minds and bodies have degraded, and have become lesser.

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One, you copied me, foolish mortal, I made a thread similar to this, how dare ye! And two, I am actually making a fantasy series with dragons where I try to make them more realistic, so they have incredibly large wingspans to carry their weight, they're basically really evolved lizards, highly intelligent for animals, and just a tad bit of magic.

... I also have a dragon god that can break the rules of physics and be your typical dragon and more, because DRAGONS ARE AWESOME!

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Just now, Aspiring Writer said:

One, you copied me, foolish mortal, I made a thread similar to this, how dare ye! And two, I am actually making a fantasy series with dragons where I try to make them more realistic, so they have incredibly large wingspans to carry their weight, they're basically really evolved lizards, highly intelligent for animals, and just a tad bit of magic.

... I also have a dragon god that can break the rules of physics and be your typical dragon and more, because DRAGONS ARE AWESOME!

WHAT ABOUT DRAGONS!?!?

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Just now, Somebody from Sel said:

WHAT ABOUT DRAGONS!?!?

You watch the great Shad the Conqerour?

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Just now, Aspiring Writer said:

You watch the great Shad the Conqerour?

Of course, any respectable swordsman does (I'm only decent). I actually channel hopped from Skallagrim.

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Just now, Somebody from Sel said:

Of course, any respectable swordsman does (I'm only decent). I actually channel hopped from Skallagrim.

Haven't watched much of Skallagrim yet, I plan to when I dive into my fantasy series. But this calls for something.

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8 minutes ago, Aspiring Writer said:

Haven't watched much of Skallagrim yet, I plan to when I dive into my fantasy series. But this calls for something.

Uh oh I just got the notif:o

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1 minute ago, Somebody from Sel said:

Uh oh I just got the notif:o

*Cackles while watching Shad insult Halloween in favor of Christmas.

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20 hours ago, Somebody from Sel said:

Mostly natural this world has a lot of natural magic but basically no magic users. The magic isn't really applicable to anything but just being there. Humans are weird in this world too, their generally smarter father stronger and overall better because of the magic.

So is magic a background phenomena, something no-one has been able to access to direct but in theory could do so?

 

19 hours ago, Frustration said:

They all should be intellegent but due to differing levels of magic between realms, some of their minds and bodies have degraded, and have become lesser.

Interesting. Do you feel that intelligent dragons and unintelligent dragons together in a story - and that the unintelligent ones should be intelligent - opens up storytelling possibilities?

 

7 hours ago, Aspiring Writer said:

One, you copied me, foolish mortal, I made a thread similar to this, how dare ye! And two, I am actually making a fantasy series with dragons where I try to make them more realistic, so they have incredibly large wingspans to carry their weight, they're basically really evolved lizards, highly intelligent for animals, and just a tad bit of magic.

... I also have a dragon god that can break the rules of physics and be your typical dragon and more, because DRAGONS ARE AWESOME!

Okay first, how DARE you accuse me of being a mortal? I will have you know I ... I mean, yes, mortal, right. Carry on ... :-P

I'm guessing you mean the dragon wingspan topic in the science section? You are welcome to bring that part of the topic into the discussion if you like. I suppose a limiting factor on the wingspan would also be the weight of the dragon, and if you start talking about dragon bones and organs being made of some type of organically grown carbon nanotubes ...

This dragon deity, is it the source of dragons in the setting, or it once was a dragon?

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2 hours ago, Ixthos said:

Interesting. Do you feel that intelligent dragons and unintelligent dragons together in a story - and that the unintelligent ones should be intelligent - opens up storytelling possibilities?

Everything opens up storytelling possibilities, but if you mean real world allegory then no that is not it's purpose.

Also:

What about Dragons?

 

Edited by Frustration
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1 hour ago, Frustration said:

Everything opens up storytelling possibilities, but if you mean real world allegory then no that is not it's purpose.

I agree everything opens up storytelling possibilities, but I mean for your stories in particular - is that tension something that drives part of your writing?

I don't know what you mean by real world allegory for that though. Could you clarify what you mean by that?

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4 hours ago, Ixthos said:

So is magic a background phenomena, something no-one has been able to access to direct but in theory could do so?

 

Interesting. Do you feel that intelligent dragons and unintelligent dragons together in a story - and that the unintelligent ones should be intelligent - opens up storytelling possibilities?

 

Okay first, how DARE you accuse me of being a mortal? I will have you know I ... I mean, yes, mortal, right. Carry on ... :-P

I'm guessing you mean the dragon wingspan topic in the science section? You are welcome to bring that part of the topic into the discussion if you like. I suppose a limiting factor on the wingspan would also be the weight of the dragon, and if you start talking about dragon bones and organs being made of some type of organically grown carbon nanotubes ...

This dragon deity, is it the source of dragons in the setting, or it once was a dragon?

Just once was a dragon and then given god powers because the gods of my universe liked dragons and wanted to make one into a god for kicks.

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4 minutes ago, Aspiring Writer said:

Just once was a dragon and then given god powers because the gods of my universe liked dragons and wanted to make one into a god for kicks.

I can definitely see that as a reason :-) I hope they were prepared! 

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Dragons! I like dragons. My dragons are a lot like the ones from Wings of Fire.

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1 hour ago, Ixthos said:

I agree everything opens up storytelling possibilities, but I mean for your stories in particular - is that tension something that drives part of your writing?

I don't know what you mean by real world allegory for that though. Could you clarify what you mean by that?

Was I reading too much into what you said?

Probably, just forget about it.

Uhm, no that was not planned to be a point of conflict, but maybe a few books down the line I'll bring it in.

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5 minutes ago, Frustration said:

Was I reading too much into what you said?

Probably, just forget about it.

Uhm, no that was not planned to be a point of conflict, but maybe a few books down the line I'll bring it in.

I'm afraid you've piqued my interest now. If you don't want to talk about it that's okay, but I am curious as to what you meant :-) no pressure to discuss it.

Fair enough :-) there always is something new to discover when plotting a book, that is for sure!

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