De Draconibus, Part 2 – Notable Eastern Races and Ancient Progenitors

The following is an excerpt from an Appendix on Dragon Breeds and Races, Dracology Handbook Year One, Llambed Academy of Mystic Arts.

A LIST OF NOTABLE EASTERN RACES

Note: the Eastern Dragon lore is sketchy and unreliable. What we do know about the beasts of the Orient comes from a variety of sources, from ancient travelogues to spy reports. Since the recent war with the Qin Empire we have started improving our knowledge, but it’s a slow and difficult process.

Longs (Air Dragons)

  • Qin Long

All tame “Longs” are, to our knowledge, descended from the dragons of Qin. This ancient civilization has bred their mounts for millennia, starting from wild fresh-water races captured in the rivers of Annam.

The Qin Long are serpentine and wingless, relying only on their magic powers for flight. As such, their lifespan is shorter than that of the Western dragons, but they are better and stronger fliers.

  • Annam Rong

While the wild beasts of Annam are regarded as predecessors of the Long, the dragons currently employed by the Kingdom’s armies are descended from the Qin beasts, brought into Annam during the many invasions the Kingdom had suffered from its northern neighbour.

  • Chosun Yong

The remote and little known kingdom of Chosun reportedly breeds two major races: the flying Yong and the water-based Imugi. Judging by the name “Yong being an obvious corruption of the word “Long”, the flying dragons of Chosun must be similar to all other Oriental dragons.

  • “Ryu” or Winged Long

Vasconian and Bataavian reports tell us of a winged, shorter and more muscular breed of Long, coming from an island or a set of islands East of Qin. These reports remain unconfirmed.

  • Himalayan Druk

A thunder-spewing race of Eastern Dragons. Whether they are related to Qin Long (to which they are similar in form), or have been bred in parallel by the Shambhallans, is uncertain.

Nagas (Water Dragons)

The Nagas are primitive dragons, little more than giant water serpents. They are notoriously difficult to tame, and rarely used as mounts. Some breeds of the Naga are multi-headed.

  • Phaya Naga

The wild Naga of Annam. Small and weak, a few are bred in the royal stables for ceremonial purposes.

  • Arakan Naga

The Kingdom of Arakan is the most successful nation to utilize the Naga in warfare. Their dragons are fierce and well-trained, and had proven a match to the Western mounts several times. The Arakan Naga can have up to seven heads, although only one is fully functional.

  • Chosun Imugi

The Imugi are the second race of the Chosun dragons that we know of. From the reports, it seems they are closely related to the Nagas of Annam and Rattanakosin, although little is confirmed.

  • Antaboga

A race of giant, salt-water Nagas living in the area of Sri Vijaya kingdom. They have vestigial wings, which led some scholars to suggest that they are a failed product of the Qin breeding program.

  • Bakunawa

Similar in general physique to the Antaboga, but without the vestigial wings, the Bakunawa inhabit the waters around the Tagalog islands.

A LIST OF ANCIENT PROGENITORS

The following is a brief list of mostly extinct races which our scholars believe to be predecessors of the modern dragons.

  • Azi Dahaka

Semi-legendary race from the highlands of Pahlava and Durrani, presumed ancestor of all domestic dragons. Known only through oral tradition and some archaeological finds. Presumably amphibian.

Worshipped by the ancient Pahlavans.

  • Mushussu

First fully land-based dragon, discovered in Mesopotamia. Tall and straight-legged, could not yet fly or breathe fire but could spit sparks and smoke.

  • Iluyanka

Bred by the Hittites, the Iluyanka was a transitory form between the land and winged dragons. Like the modern Long, it could fly without wings.

  • Typhon, Typhoeus

First of what could be known as ‘modern’ Western breeds, the Typhon had fully functioning wings and could spew flame. Earliest known specimens come from Cilicia, presumably bred from the Hittite dragons. After Rome’s conquest of Hellas, the Typhons were bred into the Ladon and Echidna breeds, from which all other Western dragons supposedly come.

  • Dvaraka

Heavily armoured, crocodilian in form. Assumed by some to be a type of the Naga, it seemed, however, to be much more comfortable on land. Relation to the Azi Dahaka is unknown. Earliest specimens found in the ancient cities of the Indus Valley.

  • Vritra

First ‘modern’ Eastern breed. Created in the stables of ancient Bharata by crossing the Phaya Nagas with the Dvaraka. The dragon breeding program was later abandoned, to be continued only in Qin. The Vritra were slim and small, but could easily fly and spewed both steam and lightning.

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