|Common Nicknames||Black Scale Dragon, Mountain Dragon, Shadow Prowler|
|Current Status||Assumed Extinct|
As mysterious as its scales are dark, the Nightdrake brought terror and fear to the hearts of Alorians for years until its eventual extinction in 211 BC. The scales, strangely enough, proved to be non-biodegradable, and as such is the only dragon from which Dragon Scale Armor can be made. Its bones, like its scales, are very valuable to dragon worshippers-- especially Dragon Priests-- and produce an oddly savage fragrance when burned. As a result, some Dragon Dogma followers use the bones as a form of incense in their worship rites. Earlier in Alorian history, Elves and Ailor alike were afraid to venture into the mountains of Aloria, out of fear for the dragons that lived within.
Like all dragons, the Nightdrake doesn’t have a specific date when it was officially discovered, but rather seemed to always be around- that is, until their extinction. Fortune would have it, though, that there are a few Elven scholars still alive that actually witnessed a Nightdrake in person. As such, there is in fact extended amounts of information available on the dragon’s history and its appearance. Most mountain dwelling societies have records or depictions of Nightdrakes being present, even among the Dragoncrown Peaks of Anglia where the Feathered Dragons resided. Strangely enough, no conflicts were ever noted between the two species.
Keeping largely to itself for centuries, the Nightdrake was one of the more benign, yet terrifying of the dragons. Lost adventurers and explorers often ran into these beasts, but were not attacked or killed unless they threatened the dragon or their young or unhatched. The Elves, funnily enough, were more tolerant of these dragons than they were to the Green Forest Dragon, likely because of the Nightdrake’s passive nature. Of course, they did try to enslave the dragon at one point, but they failed catastrophically once they discovered the hidden strength of the Nightdrake.
During the Great Hunt, the Elves expanded their scope from only the Green Dragons to the Nightdrakes as well, spurred on by both their victories against the Green Dragons and the widespread conversion of Elves to Dragon Dogma. By that time, there were ten identified Nightdrakes still alive in Aloria. Three were killed in Daen, with another six killed over the Three Skags shortly after. The last Nightdrake, Sharpwing, aided the Dregodar in their escape from Daen to Ellador as both Dragon and Dragon worshipper had a similar objective. Narrowly escaping the Imperial forces and hastily forming shelters in Ellador, the Dregodar was allowed a short breath of calm as the Empire decided upon its next course of action. From the Elven Empire's perspective, they had the Dregodar cornered; there was nowhere to run from Ellador. They solicited an alliance from the Dwarves and marched on the Dregodar, wherein a final battle between Dregodar, Dragon, Altalar, and Dwarf took place. The battle would have surely been won by the Elven-Dwarven Coalition, if not for an ancient, forgotten ritual of magic pursued by the Dregodar. In the final moments of the battle, an explosion of frost with Sharpwing as the epicenter took place. Thus marked the extinction of the Nightdrakes and the birth of Frostweaver, the first and only Great Frost Dragon. All Dwarves, Elves, and assumedly Dregodar were killed in the explosion.
The Nightdrake was large by Alorian standards, with a wingspan of up to one hundred feet long. On its head were large, black horns that pointed straight up at the sky, along with similar structures traveling down its spine and tail. The face of the dragon almost appeared to be covered in little thorn-like horns protruding from the dragon’s skull. Its entire body was covered with a hard, near impenetrable scale suit that never deviated from an extremely dark shade of black. Perhaps the only lightly colored part of the dragon was the sclera of its eye, a brilliant white contrasted by a dark pupil. The membrane in its wings was tattered, giving the dragon the look of a specter or even a ghost. Finally, the Nightdrake had a deafening roar and an innate natural ability that could be used manipulate stone, sometimes creating rocky prisons around any would-be attackers.
Within the weapons arsenal of the Nightdrake lay a few means to end a life that is both horrifying and fascinating. Firstly, it has extremely sharp and long claws on each of its four feet, claws that are sharp enough to cut down a tree if enough effort is put into it. The teeth of the Nightdrake is just as sharp as its claws, able to rip its prey to shreds at a moment’s notice. The sheer weight of the dragon can kill a full grown Ailor or any other civilized species for that matter. As a result of these obvious weapons and dangers, Alorians typically tried to put as much distance between them and any possible Nightdrake dens as they could.
There were only ever ten Nightdrakes at one point in time, but these ten were replaced by children of the original dragons. At the time of their extinction, the ten Nightdrakes were:
- Little One
- The Bard
Life Span and Development
In stark contrast to dragons like the Red Fire Dragon or the Feathered Dragon, the Nightdrake procreated only once in its life and guarded its eggs and young with its life. Black Dragon eggs did not have a set timespan in which they would hatch, nor did they need to be incubated. They were nigh on indestructible, and when brought to Regalian scholars, were deemed to be almost made of stone. Since the eggs could theoretically remain intact and functional for literal centuries, museums and other such businesses often claim to own “the last Nightdrake egg” in the hopes of attracting more customers.
The Nightdrake is exceedingly docile unless it is threatened by an outside force. If a life form conveys itself as friendly, the Nightdrake will take no actions to stop it and may actually help it with whatever problems it may have. Nightdrakes are, however, extremely protective of their young, which means that even touching a Nightdrake dragonling could lead to the mother or father tearing the offender to literal shreds.
Territory and Groupings
Nightdrakes, also called Black Dragons or Mountain Dragons, primarily reside in the various mountain ranges of Aloria, despite the climate. This makes them some of the most widespread dragons that have ever lived, even more so than the Red Fire Dragons. However, if the climate has an extreme temperature, the dragon will often dig a deep cave in the mountain to protect their eggs from the temperature.
- It is believed that the Nightdrake is the reason why many mountainous regions were not settled due to territorial concerns and fears by local populi.
- Many feared the Nightdrake simply because of its appearance, which is ironic because the Nightdrake was one of the most passive dragons that ever existed.
- Nightdrake Scale Armor is the only viable form of dragon-derived armor for humans, but it is incredibly rare.