Red Desert Dragon
|Red Desert Dragon|
|Official Name||Red Desert Dragon|
|Current Status||Assumed Extinct|
The Red Desert Dragon, not to be confused with the Red Fire Dragon, was a species of dragon originally from Farah'deen that was last recorded migrating to Solangeria. Baffling to most scholars, its disappearance happened within the same timespan as the other desert dragons, a fact that complements many Dregodarian conspiracy theories. With scales not quite as bright or brilliant as the Red Fire Dragons, the Red Desert Dragon was one of the less-spoken of dragons. This is a result of almost no recorded interactions with it; only some quantities of Qadir had even seen one before the Red Hunt. That being said, the Sariyd Empire clearly believed it to be as much a threat as the other Desert Dragons, otherwise, it would not have bothered killing any of it in their march through the desert.
Unlike the other dragon species of the desert, the Red Desert Dragons were incredibly docile and even cowardly when viewed from a certain perspective. There was no recorded discovery of the dragon - Qadir merely accepted the beast as part of ordinary life, an oddity to be seen from time to time despite qualms with other dragons in the region. The dragon soared across the sky majestically after hunts. The Red Desert Dragon frequently camped at oases and other waterholes, where it was able to find abundant food and water to survive the harsh desert climate. It was at these points that the few recorded encounters by the Qadir occurred; the dragon was seen in the sky or on the ground refreshing itself with cool drinks of water, but never any other time. What they lack in early history, however, they make up for in later history.
The Red Hunt, so-called for the spilling of blood rather than the color of the dragon's scales, was initiated by the Sariyd Empire after they had had enough of the Black Desert Dragon's antics. The Black Desert Dragon, which had antagonized the Empire for years simply because of its destructive and malicious nature, was the main target of the Hunt, though was not the only species caught in the crossfire. The Qadir, desperate for any kind of victory, expanded their interests to the other Desert Dragons; the Sun Desert Dragon, the Brown Desert Dragon, the Red Desert Dragon, and the Rock Desert Dragon. With the Red Desert Dragons being the more docile of the group, naturally, the Qadir turned their focus onto them in hopes of an easy victory. A few years after the Qadir waged all-out war against the dragons, the Great Storm took place; a ground shaking event of massive proportions that razed the Sariyd Empire to the ground. Prior to this, however, the Red Desert Dragons abandoned Farah'deen in favor of the jungle island of Solangeria. Their flight to Solangeria was the last recorded instance of the Red Desert Dragons altogether, and many Songaskia and Qadir scholars or historians claim that the species was eradicated by the effects the Great Storm had on the Ocean.
With teeth blunted to chew through rough desert vegetation and scales that reflected the harsh rays of the desert sun, the Red Desert Dragon was a natural survivalist. It was no hunter, no predator, nor was it specifically prey. It simply was. It existed, and that was all that mattered to the dragon. Its pacifist and keep-to-itself nature was likely what degraded its combative skill to the point where it had to run from the Qadir, something the Red Fire Dragon or even the Nightdrake never would have done.
The appearance of the dragon was nothing of note either; it sported golden, slitted eyes with gray sclera. They possessed dark red - almost maroon scales, ashy gray teeth, and dull, black claws. Its size extended upwards of twenty-five feet in length, with a similarly scaled wingspan. Like other dragons, a leathery membrane stretched between the bones of the wings and was pale red in coloration. The face had softer edges, causing the species to be friendlier looking than other dragons. This lead some to speculate that it could have been domesticated had it survived longer. Strangely enough, the teeth were those of an herbivore; flat and broad rather than sharp. This further lent to the idea that the dragons could have been tamed if given the proper motivation. However, the flighty nature of the beasts prevented most scholars from being able to successfully approach a Red Desert Dragon to test this theory. Finally, and most remarkably, the Red Desert Dragon possessed an almost mystical control over the sand of its home region. Accounts of the dragon manipulating the sand of the desert to its whim were often met with skepticism, but it was believed that they could force the sands to shift and part, or even grow into even larger dunes.
Although rather limited in scope, it was believed that males and females were distributed rather evenly, with no one gender specifically overshadowing the other. That being said, the only time two dragons of different genders met was to procreate for the survival of the species. If two Red Desert Dragons somehow met by coincidence, they would fly in the exact opposite direction of the other, so as not to deplete the other’s food or water supply by grazing and hunting the already limited food supplies in the same area.
Life Span and Development
The beginning of life for the Red Desert Dragon is a peculiar and a rarely seen spectacle. The mother lays two eggs in the sand, then uses her ability to manipulate the sand around the eggs, essentially burying them deep in the desert to keep them incubated. About two weeks later, the eggs hatch at precisely the same time, give or take a few minutes. In the rare case that one egg did not hatch, the brother or sister would wait at the surface for the remaining sibling to emerge for up to a week or more. Once both of them have hatched from their eggs and made it to the surface, they fly and hunt together until they have reached their young adult stage of life (they age incredibly fast in the first few months of life, so it only takes two months for the Red Desert Dragon to reach this stage) and can hunt on their own. After this has happened, the two dragons fly in opposite directions and likely never see each other again. While it’s not specifically known how long a Red Desert Dragon can live, aging dragons have been seen. Once a dragon has reached the last days of its life, it either loses the ability to fly or chooses not to. It even foregoes searching for food or eating until it starves to death, or on the rare occasion, waits for another Red Desert Dragon to find it and put it out of its misery.
As aforementioned, the Red Desert Dragon was exceedingly docile and likely tameable, but the world may never know due to its extinction. Its exodus to Solangeria at the first sign of trouble from the Qadir also shows off its nature, as it decided to flee rather than to stay and help its brothers fight off the Red Hunt. It almost seemed scared of its Black Dragon cousins whenever it came across one, though as with its own kind, it never stayed with one dragon for long before launching off into the desert wind once more.
Territory and Groupings
The Red Desert Dragon can be referred to as the lone wolf of the desert dragons, always traveling by itself and never staying in one place for long. It was very nomadic; if their homeplace was threatened by an outside force, it would merely get up and leave to find another.
- Most dragons are carnivorous, while this one is omnivorous.
- Some historians claim that one Red Desert Dragon actually was tamed by a young Qadir girl, but no evidence has yet been presented.
- The Red Desert Dragon is one of the only dragons without horns.