Rock Desert Dragon
|Rock Desert Dragon|
|Official Name||Rock Desert Dragon|
|Common Nicknames||Runner, Draconic Terror|
|Current Status||Assumed Extinct|
Named for both its habitat of choice and its appearance, the Rock Desert Dragon is one of the more intriguing and unusual among the dragon species. Along with the Great Sea Dragon, the Rock Desert Dragon could not fly, but unlike the Sea Dragon, it also could not swim. The land was their domain, and while the Rock Desert Dragon may be considered handicapped because of the lack of wings, it was in no way helpless. On the contrary, it was one of the stronger dragon species, having more brute strength than the Nightdrake and the Black Desert Dragon. As one might assume, however, its magical capabilities were less than admirable; it merely sported a diluted or weaker version of the Nightdrake’s ability to manipulate stone. It, along with the other members of the desert dragon family, was assumed eradicated by the Qadir in the Red Hunt. Given the Rock Desert Dragon’s nigh indestructible coat of rocky scales, it’s a frightening thought to consider that the Dragonkiller, the Qadir’s terrifying machine used in the eight years of the Red Hunt, could penetrate the armor of the dragon.
Ancient Qadir art and history list the Rock Desert Dragon as constant monsters of the desert. Small villages have passed down tales of the dragon’s immense speed and strength, noting that it sometimes barreled through pure stone walls to reach the inside of a town or village. Like all of the desert dragons, however, the richest history comes from the years prior to the Red Hunt. The Red Hunt specifically was initiated by the Sariyd Empire to take down the Black Desert Dragons, who had essentially broken their agreement to leave the Qadir alone. The Rock Desert Dragons were priority target number two, followed closely by the Brown Desert Dragon and the Sun Desert Dragon, respectively.
Scholars have understood the reason that the Rock Desert Dragons were seen as high priority targets for the Qadir during the Red Hunt. Not only did they kill and eat Qadir villagers and townspeople for food, but they demolished buildings and entire districts of housing in the process. The only reason they were not considered the main threat to the Qadir was that they weren’t as naturally aggressive as the Black Desert Dragon and only hunted when they needed food. The destructive habits of toppling cities were only side effects of the dragon’s need to eat, instead of being directly targeted attacks against the Qadir. Their extinction at the end of the Red Hunt and the following Great Storm were different problems entirely. Some fanciful scholars claim that they were not killed and somehow morphed into the stone lizards known as the Dakkar, but this is preposterous, seeing as the Dakkar were around for centuries before the Red Hunt, and located on the complete other side of Aloria.
The Rock Desert Dragon sported craggy rock structures vaguely reminiscent of plate armor, colored a dark brown like dirt, across portions of its body in place of heavy scales. Its belly was of a softer nature, as it was the only part of the dragon covered by scales and not rocks or boulders. The belly was tan in coloration. Very harsh spikes protruded from the spine of the creature and ran all the way down to the end of the tail, but even more peculiar is the fact that they were composed entirely of Black Iron. On its head were curved horns, dark in color but of a different, more organic material than the spikes. Inside of its mouth pointed very sharp teeth and jaw muscles that could snap through bones and even, rumor has it, rock. The arms of the creature were somewhat smaller than the legs, causing it to lean forward when performing one of its infamous charges. The feet themselves had three toes with claws on each one of them, with a fourth toe facing backward that provided extra grip and traction as they ran.
Standing at an astonishing fifteen feet and weighing upwards of three tons, the Rock Desert Dragon was no small beast. It was typically twenty-five feet long or even longer in some cases. Finally, the Rock Desert Dragon had no wings, nor could it fly. It trampled the ground with each step of its muscular legs as it pursued its prey, stomping so intensely that the rock beneath its feet cracked when it walked or ran and tremors could be felt over a mile away. It could run at a speed of up to forty miles per hour, meaning that outrunning one was simply out of the question for any wary victims. The only surefire way of escaping a Rock Desert Dragon was by quickly turning corners, as the creature could not turn easily once it began running.
As far as is known, there were no genders within Rock Desert Dragon society, and as a result, they did not procreate whatsoever. This could be the result of it being almost impossible to kill a Rock Desert Dragon, and they seemingly did not age at all.
Life Span and Development
No eggs or remains of eggs have ever been found of the Rock Desert Dragon, which further supports the claim that they did not procreate or even have dimorphism. In fact, some of the Rock Desert Dragons have actually been recognized by families through oral storytelling; specific details were noted by ancient Qadir and were picked up on by their descendants.
While intelligent, the Rock Desert Dragon was most certainly a wild predator, and the Qadir of Farah’deen were its prey. To it, survival and proclaiming itself the alpha was the only thing on its mind, and all else that lay in its path were only meals to be eaten. This, of course, prompted a short rivalry between the Rock and Black Desert Dragons, but the Rock Desert Dragon soon learned its place in the Draconic hierarchy as the aerial advantage of the Black Desert Dragon easily out-maneuvered the landlocked Rock Dragon. After this, the Rock Desert Dragon considered itself subject to the Black Desert Dragon, but not to the point of servitude that the Brown Desert Dragons had reached. It still enjoyed large degrees of independence from its black scaled overlord.
Territory and Groupings
Like the Red Desert Dragon, the Rock Desert Dragon traveled alone and without comrades, but it seemed to enjoy the solitude. The only real amount of interaction the Rock Desert Dragon did was with its prey, and then again, most wouldn’t consider brutal murder a form of socialization. Unlike the Red Fire Dragon, the Rock Desert Dragon did not create dens, nor did it have a home. It lived wherever it was at any particular time, which was useful to it because since it had to hunt often, it did not have to bother finding its way back home.
- The bones of the dragon are hard to come by, as the rocky exterior of the dragon usually collapses in and crushes the bones some hours after its death.
- Due to its immense weight, the Rock Desert Dragon could not jump at all.
- There are rumors that the reason that Rock Desert Dragon eggs were never found was that they looked like normal rocks. This rumor is often followed by a fevered pitch by a merchant to sell you a large rock that they claim contains a dragon.