|Common Nicknames||Snow Dragon, Dragonling, Lesser Drake|
The Wyvern is a mysterious creature once thought endemic to Ellador alone, but has been shown to be present in both The Far East and The Far West. These winged animals, ridden by the Isldar, Sihai and Maquixtl, have proven dangerous in combat against wild animals and other sentient Races who have tangled with the Isldar, while the Sihai make use of them for support in defense of the Jade Wall. Their uses beyond an elite mount among the Maquixtl is unknown. Given the recent conflict in Ellador, some Velheim nations fear the day that great snowstorms will come bearing these creatures hiding inside them for more than just a scouting visit, while others worry of a time when the might of the distant Maquixtl turns toward Aloria.
The conventional history of the Wyvern has been rewritten in recent years as greater contact with the fringes of the world has produced new evidence of a far greater reach, and history, than previously known. Conventional wisdom held that Wyverns were creations of the Violet Creation Dragons, who endlessly meshed animals together in their sites of creation scattered throughout the lands of the Allorn Empire. The Cult of Drogon who worshiped and protected them had Wyverns at their side, and ultimately rode the creatures in the defense of their gods when the Allorn, and after an exodus to Ellador, the Dwarves, sought their extinction. The Dragon Wars of Ellador saw many Wyverns fall with the Dwarves actively targeting them due to the threat they posed, until they were few in number. However, the total defeat of the Dwarves after the Battle of Udillin’s Foot saved the Wyverns of Ellador, enabling them to persist as they do now among the Isldar. But knowledge shined into Aloria from The Far East and The Far West has put this original belief, of the creations being formed by the Violet Creation Dragons alone into question. Wyverns are now known to exist both among the Sihai of Zhong, and the Maquixtl of Guldar, and to exist in a wider range of colors. There are even rumors that Sendras holds, or once held, Wyverns before being killed off by the Void-worshiping Allar endemic to the area. Sihai myth states they were animals born by the will of the Loong Dragons, so key to the lands of The Far East, while the Maquixtl are silent on the origins of their own affinity for Wyverns, though some rumors suggest the animals were part of the natural wildlife of the continent when the Maquixtl arrived. Ultimately, more and more scholars who care about such details believe that the Wyverns are instead creations of the Dragons, rather than one species, made to serve as helpers or messengers who gradually drift away or fall under the sway of groups who hold themselves close to the Dragons. Regardless of origin, the Wyvern is a formidable draconic creature that will likely endure for many years.
Wyverns appear, at first glance, to be small-sized Dragons. They stand ten feet in height with a body ranging from twelve to fifteen feet in length. Their heads are regular-sized, with a foot-long muzzle containing a tight-sealing mouth, two solid toned eyes, small nostrils, and curving horns with a prominent ridge that point back to the rest of their body. These horns are also joined by a short frill of bones or spines at the back of the dragon’s head. The head is connected by a long neck up to three feet long to the rest of their bodies which is a slim build standing on a pair of powerful rear legs which each possess clawed feet made for walking on rocky terrain as well as snatching up prey. Where there would be front legs on the creature, there are instead thin membranous wings that reach a wingspan of twenty feet that aid the creature in gliding on high altitude winds. They do not use these wings as feet, instead balancing on their two hind feet using their tails. These tails both originate from the same place, a short space after the back spines end, but immediately forks, and narrows into pointed tips that are almost like a lash. Their entire body is covered in smooth scales of various shades described more below, with a secondary color often highlighting their face, back, and wing membranes.
Wyverns lack gender dimorphism, and there is some confusion if Wyverns even have conventional genders as mating practices are extraordinarily private. They are still often assigned genders through pet names by their riders though, and while Wyverns are intelligent creatures, they are not intelligent enough to understand the true meaning of such names. The real differences between Wyverns comes into play when examining their colorations. While once only assumed to be the variety seen among the Isldar, across Ellador, other sorts have come into the picture, and are described below. However, it is important to note that all of these traits are general, as rare or uncommon colorations appearing on a Wyvern is not unknown, and there also appears to be some scant migrations between these creatures, further adding to some level of variety.
- Frost Wyvern: Also called the Northern Wyvern, the Frost Wyvern has a color scheme of whites, blues, pale purples, and grays, suitable for blending into the cold-weather climate that dominates Ellador. Their horns and other protrusions are often the sharpest and well kept of any subspecies, due to the extensive integration into Isldar society. Very few are wild, and almost all Frost Wyverns will heed the needs of the Isldar.
- Sky Wyvern: The Sky Wyvern, sometimes also called the Sky Serpent or Sihai Wyvern, is the subspecies native to distant Zhong and Sheng. Its color scheme is very broad, featuring whites, blacks, yellows, reds and pale blues. While it is revered by the Sihai as a servant of the Loong, its domesticated population is far smaller, with many bemoaning that most Wyvern riders were on Sheng before their mysterious modern isolation.
- Western Wyvern: Also called the Zancipac among the Maquixtl, the Western Wyvern is the most enigmatic. Their color schemes are dark reds, greens, and browns, though some are known to have a reflective sheen on their scales to the point of appearing like Bronze or Copper.
Life Span and Development
Many assume that Wyverns are born from eggs and raised into adulthood with their parents and caretakers from Aloria’s Races. However, this is unknown as mating rituals, and nesting practices, are kept extremely private, Wyverns possess an unknown growth cycle, but they are known to live for at least 50 years due to three sightings of a single Wyvern dubbed “Jään-Kuolema by Dwarves that occurred between 183 AC and 233 AC.
The mentality of the Wyvern is best described as temperamental, but intelligent. While most would claim they are only savage beasts, beholden to the overwhelming will of Dragons and their riders, alongside primitive instincts, this is not how the Sihai, Isldar and Maquixtl know them. They are not so enamored with these draconic creatures to ignore their ferocious, savage side, but find it to be tempered by a caring and tactical mind that knows when to strike, to hold back, and not impart undue suffering. Ultimately, they are a mount that demands respect, but will protect those they are attached to, be that family or rider. The intellect of a Wyvern often comes out in their engagements with their rider, but also the maneuvers they are capable of performing in the air even when not domesticated. Graceful and able to understand weather patterns and geography, it is said the Frost Wyverns have perfected the art of hiding upwind from any large predator or Urlan, while those of The Far East are said to be precise in their sense of approaching thunderstorms, going to ground for the worst of them and those of The Far West can perfectly mask themselves in the toxic clouds native to the land of Guldar. The only Race that Wyverns have a negative reaction to are the various subgroups of Altalar, perhaps some shard of old enmity imparted from their Dragon creators.
Territory and Groupings
Wyverns are found in groups called packs that number from six to sixteen in the wild, though these are more common in Zhong and Guldar. Domesticated groups of Wyverns are most common to Ellador meanwhile, where the Isldar have their main power base, and fly them in coordinated military operations. When domesticated, Wyverns roost in structures unique to each group that tends to them.
- Jään-Kuolema was identified by the prominent gash caused by a Dwarven weapon cutting into his face and neck. The wound left a large, silver-colored scar that led to ease of identification, even from a distance.
- Some say that the Frost Wyvern has the ability to breathe out an icy snow breath to aid the Isldar in forming their enshrouding snowstorms, while the Sky Wyvern can shoot lightning and the Western Wyvern can jet poisonous gasses. These are all just fanciful beliefs in the end though.
- Some believe the southern variety of Wyvern fled to distant Guldar with the rise of the Void-inclined Allar.
- A less respected Isldar and Altalar-born theory suggests that the range of Wyverns across Aloria is a result of the original exodus of the Cult of Drogon. Scattered into flight, not all Wyverns fled north into Ellador with the Violet Creation Dragons, and came to develop the stocks of the east and west. This theory entirely ignores centuries of Wyvern-Sihai interactions in Zhong and Sheng.