Black Desert Dragon
|Black Desert Dragon|
|Official Name||Black Desert Dragon|
|Common Nicknames||Twilight Dragon, Tunin-Alzilu|
|Current Status||Assumed Extinct|
The Black Desert Dragon was a formidable force of nature that lived in Farah’deen for over a thousand years. They were violent tyrants with a complex relationship with other dragons and a xenophobic nature that caused them to hate all other forms of life. They are most remembered for possessing two sets of pitch-black wings which they used with brutal efficiency in stirring up air into powerful and destructive cyclones. In 113 AC, the Sariyd Empire finally had enough of them and unleashed a terrible weapon against the dragons: the Red Hunt. By 121 AC, the dragon was assumed extinct, but that same year, the Great Storm came and annihilated the Qadir’s vast empire. No Black Desert Dragon has been seen since, and it is assumed the Storm had killed off any that were left to begin with, as with the other desert dragons.
The Black Desert Dragon was a creature once demonized as the spawn of evil in the many dozens of Sariyd religions. The creature existed for centuries alongside the Qadir but kept out of the way of their major population centers. Instead, the creatures clung to deserts and arid mountains, though young and prideful dragons sometimes strayed away from their natural homes to prove themselves or to wreak havoc. Over time, the sheer power and scale of the Sariyd Empire forced the dragons to deal with the Qadir on more peaceful terms. However, the Cataclysm changed all of that; the dragons saw weakness in the Empire as it was shaken by this event, and had forsaken their vows to not harm Qadir cities. Angered, the Sariyd Empire turned inward to seek a final solutionto kill all dragons and rid the state of the draconic menace. What was produced from this was a weapon so terrible in its scope, that none speak its true name today. Referred to simply as the Dragonkiller, the machine’s deployment across Farah’deen began the Qadir’s own version of the Dragon Hunt. Called the Red Hunt due to the gore and blood the Dragonkiller caused, the Dragons of Farah’deen responded in kind. They banded together to withstand the horrifying Dragonkiller and turn back the tide to save their species.
It took eight years, but eventually, the Black Desert Dragons were declared extinct along with multiple other Farah’deenic Dragons. To this day, the events during the following months are unclear due to a limited outside and even inside knowledge as to what occurred. Some rare texts say that the Dragons did not go extinct but instead fled to the Dakn Desert in the interior of Farah’deen to hide, an isolated location away from most major Sariyd cities. Others say they fled across the sea in a pack, the last Great Mother of the Black Desert Dragons giving her life to save them as they fled. What happened next is certain, however, as the Great Storm descended upon the continent. The huge sandstorm annihilated the Sariyd Empire and paved the road for its conquest by the emerging Songaskians. Many assume that any Black Desert Dragons still lingering after the Red Hunt died in this storm, as did numerous other lifeforms on Farah’deen. Today, any texts that speak of the Black Desert Dragons are either Elven or lost, but some scholars believe that a few key documents are kept private by the Songaskian Masaya.
The Black Desert Dragon had one of an unique body types of all dragons. It had a heavy build with a lot of the weight toward the front end of the animal, like that of a bison. They grew in length between 70 to 80 feet, with the majority of the length being taken up by their tail. They had a frontward facing head, a medium length snout compared to other wyrm species, and several prominent teeth visible sticking out of the mouth along both the top and bottom jaws. A crown of three white horns emerged straight out of the back of the species’ skull and then curved forward to point downwards towards the snout. Other unique features of the face included four small nostril slits clustered just above the top jaw which could seal to prevent sand from entering and two large, slitted eyes with a black sclera around a yellow iris. A thin, snake-like neck attached the head to the equally bulky body which itself had four thick legs with four thick claws each which they used to walk on. Finally, the body was defended by a thick armor like a coat of scales, and twin rows of jagged spines that ran along the length of the winged behemoths.
The true feature that separated the Black Desert Dragon from other Fara’deenic dragons were their unique, twin pairs of wings, one set beginning shortly after the head while the second set emerged from the body eight to nine feet away somewhere between the front and rear legs. The first set of wings was always larger than the second set, but their lengths always varied between 30 to 40 feet. The remainder of the body tapers off into a tail which itself is covered in several sets of flaps facing horizontally and vertically. Each Black Desert Dragon had flaps of different forms and sizes depending on their individual air-channeling abilities. As a mechanism to help them in their nighttime hunting, the Black Desert Dragon possessed unique colorations. Every part that faced down towards the earth was covered in black and silver speckled scales while all the back side of the beasts were solid black.
The Black Desert Dragons had a matriarchal society as determined by the rarity of females. One in every ten eggs was a female dragon which created a society reliant on Great Mothers to control a nest. Any females born became next in line to take over the position of Great Mother while males were made to do all other tasks. Female Black Desert Dragons were most easily distinguished from their male counterparts for both their often larger size, as well as what can be considered jowls or rolls of neck fat which the males did not possess.
Life Span and Development
The Black Desert Dragon hatched from a clutch of one to three eggs. The Great Mother and her successors oversaw the incubation of the eggs, and once they were hatched, the animals went to their respective gender assignments. Born with softer skin and one set of wings, the Black Desert Dragon physically matured over a period of ten years before simply growing larger for the rest of its life. As they grew, they would continue to grow mentally as well, with elders of the species gaining knowledge over the long lifespan of the species. Young dragons of both gender, however, were cared for most often by the smaller Brown Desert Dragons, who were subservient to their larger brothers and sisters. Black Desert Dragons could mate beginning at the age of 50, yet due to the control females had over the lives of males, they were highly selective and often forced those interested into performing a variety of tasks; from presenting them with their favorite food to “singing” them to sleep. The oldest Black Desert Dragon was said to be the Great Mother Almak-Qamar who lived to the age of 211, which created an assumption that all Black Desert Dragons are able to live to slightly over 200 years old.
The Black Desert Dragon was possibly the cruelest dragon to ever live, barring, of course, the Red Fire Dragon. They had no regard for life, animal or sentient, and saw them as little more than meat to feed upon. In the ancient Sariyd Empire, these creatures often descended on towns during the night, slaughtering villagers and forcing the remaining survivors to serve them as slaves. They were also vengeful, hating tricksters and those that wronged them. While rare to see, they sometimes personally waited outside of hiding place for weeks on end to find those who sought to trick or hurt them. The dragon was additionally noted for how their nests resembled a crude feudal society. The Great Mother was always untouchable, whereas the males were often just playthings for the females who led them. Females often plotted against other females to get a step closer to becoming the Great Mother whenever she died. The Brown Desert Dragons were in turn comparable to peasants and serfs, constantly serving their cousins.
The Black Desert Dragon was also unique for their hunting habits. A nocturnal animal, they would suddenly descend during the night to prey, using their wings and tails to manipulate a sudden cyclone of air before striking down at confused prey. Because of their nocturnal nature, they commonly buried themselves in the sand or in rocks during the daytime to camouflage like a black stone.
Territory and Groupings
The Black Desert Dragon had clans based around the concept of the Great Mothers reigning over all other dragons in her nest. She was untouchable and supreme in her command of the nest, which could number as much as several hundred. These nests were centralized in a certain swath of territory that could go on miles. The borders of this territory eventually touched that of other Black Desert Dragons but an unspoken divide between nests kept a relative peace between nests. Only careless Black and Brown Desert Dragons or emergency situations called for crossing these thresholds. Some isolated nests could control miles and miles of terrain before meeting with the boundary of another group of dragons.
- Some say the Black Desert Dragon was named as such because of its metaphorical black heart. Unknown to anyone, the dragon did have a near-black heart, appearing as such due to a large amount of blood it continuously pumped throughout its body.
- Black Desert Dragon bones are very rare to find as any that do exist have been worn away with time as a result of the desert winds.
- No one knows what the Dragonkillers were exactly beyond their horrific results. Most Qadir of today assumes they were some form of siege weapon that shredded a dragon’s wings but the Songaskian Masaya has absolutely forbidden any exploration into this topic beyond speculation.