Saturday, March 11, 2023

Dragons, Part 3

 Here's Part 1 and Part 2

First, here are some things that people believe to be true about dragons.  

The Doctrine of Draconic Apocalypse

Dragons are the divinely sanctioned executioners of the world.  On the day of ordained apocalypse, the dragons will be empowered, and they will burn the world with fires that can never be extinguished but will only grow and spread.  Everything will burn.  In the end, even the dragons will burn (and this is why they are fire-resistant, not fire-proof).

Until that time, they are content to remain in their Desolations, where they serve as a divine instrument of instruction, teaching humility and fear.  The mightiest may challenge them, and steal some of their treasure, thus allowing the brave and the cunning to gain gold so that they may change the world.  In fact, many kings and great souls began their careers with a chest of stolen dragon gold–as the Authority intended.

Dragons may be challenged, but they can never be defeated.

The Theory of Aurocentrism

Dragons want gold because people want gold.  In places where people do not have the same desire for gold, neither do the dragons.  When people want things other than gold, so do the local dragons.  

People and dragons are local mirrors of each other.  But whose desires occurred first?  Why do we lust so much for gold?

All dragons want gold, therefore all humans want gold.  This extends even to animals, as it seems that all animals covet the rare metal.  Crows have been observed hoarding golden items in their nests.  Even cows enjoy having gold leaf on their horns, and have been observed resisting its removal.  Gold is universally valued, and this value is an extension of the dragon’s own.

The Theory of Wealth and Sin

Each elder wyrm represents a type of wealth, along with a type of sin.  Thus, people are poisoned by the emanations of these great wyrms, each of which inspires a great weakness of subhumanity.

Lagazotz, the Scornful Wyrm

        The desire to be free and unbounded.  Pride.

Beyoc, the Ancient Slug

        The desire to undo one’s mistakes.  Gluttony–since the great wyrm’s predilection for lightly spiced-and-oiled elephants is well known, he is the most likely to be “friendly”.

Tar Lath Lien, the Serpentine Surpreme

        The desire to be loved.  Lust–it is commonly said that Tar Lath Lien has become enraptured with something outside of the mortal sphere.

Grox, the Gravethrasher

        The desire to avoid pain.  Sloth.

Calaphon, the Many Splendored

        The desire to be someone else (dissatisfaction with one’s own body and role).  Envy.

The Theory of Decelestialization

Dragons are degenerate versions of the celestial serpents, or perhaps their children.

The Heresy of Primitive Celestialism

Primitive Celestialism maintains that Centerra was repopulated by the celestial serpents, which ended the Time of Fire and Madness and stabilized the incoherent world.  They arrived here from a distant location, beyond the outer stars.  They were not just beasts but vessels, and from their stomachs they disgorged the nine races of subhumans that populate Centerra today.

The celestial serpents then either birthed the elder wyrms or became them, and instructed the first temple-builders, establishing a peaceful world-wide religion that lasted until it was usurped by the heresies of the Prophetessa (may she live again).

Modern Celestialism is a branch of mainline Hesaya, and is (cautiously) sanctioned by the Church.

<sidebar> I started building Centerra in July of 2010.  Celestialism and the Serpents actually appear in August of 2010, among the earliest batch of entries I wrote when I was unemployed.</sidebar>

The Elven Theory of Dragons

Dragons are degenerate organic spaceships.  The fact that they appear reptilian is an anomaly, a type of essential corruption that they are susceptible to.  In their original forms, they were nothing like they are now.

The pre-dragon vehicular corpus was able to manipulate combustion, necessary for propulsion.  The fire breath of dragons is an atrophied corruption of this original ability.

The modern world has lost the methods to control these ancient tools (although rumors of dragon-controlling orbs do exist).  In the absence of any legitimate authority, the instincts of the predraconic vehicle-soul prepares for evacuation: collecting valuables, securing its area against threats, and remaining fueled at all times while awaiting a legitimate command.

The Theory of Auric Degeneration

Dragons are created by greed.  When a person accumulates enough gold, their greed grows proportionately, and so they gather more gold.

Gold is inherently magical–this is why so many spells require gold as a reagent.  And when enough of it is gathered in one place, it is capable of consuming the owner along with itself, turning them into a dragon.

This also explains why alchemists are able to convert dragon brains into gold (specifically, a subtype of gold called salangata).

A lot of Caliphon is inspired by Shin Godzilla (2016)
especially the unused ideas and ending (spoiler)

Caliphon (Elder Wyrm)

Cataphractus, The Many Splendored, The Ever Living, The Conflagration of Flesh

There have been more attempts to destroy Caliphon than any other of the elder wyrms.  Although Caliphon has been distracted and driven off, she has never been destroyed.  The nearest attempt was Lord Wreybellon’s Moonstone campaign, which successfully chained her to the ground.

To their surprise, the Many Splendored gave a great exhalation, then a shudder, then breathed no more.  Her eyes turned grey as they dried out.

Later on, they would move the great corpse, and then discover that that Caliphon had given birth while she had laid there chained.  Her offspring, seemingly serpentine in form, had burrowed away from the location with great rapidity.

Within days, a new dragon had returned to Caliphon’s desolation and had resumed her roles there.  The new dragon was slightly smaller, yes, but by all accounts it was not a child who had fled the chains, but Caliphon herself.

The great corpse was extremely light.  It was dismembered and moved to Bospero, where it was studied.  Trophies were made, and the great body was prepared for display.  During the victory feast, the bones and teeth of Caliphon cracked open, delivering draconic abominations to the festivities.  Among the dead were Lord Wraybellon and his wife, Cardinal Rontagel.  Their three children were carried off by the creatures.  Their fates are unknown, but most claim that they were carried back to Caliphon.

While all dragons are able to guide their growth and development, Caliphon seems to be able to control this process far more than her peers.  Her anatomy is fluid, and seems unbounded by any known limitation.  When decapitated, she grew two heads from the stump.  Afterwards, the two heads fought, and the larger consumed the smaller.  She has been observed to double in size in the space of a day, and even to birth smaller versions of herself to pursue prey into caverns too large for herself.

Her flame is the flame of mutation.  It does not burn, but it changes.  Its effects are the most potent on flesh, but all objects are affected.  Swords become twisted.  Stones become brittle.  Trees fall over and degenerate into cones of many-limbed “mushrooms”.

Nothing less should be expected from Caliphon, first-born and mightiest of the elder wyrms.

Caliphon’s Drakkencult

They sometimes guard Caliphon’s eggs.  These eggs hatch in times of need, always with an offspring perfectly suited for the drakkencult’s purpose.  The city of Caliphon's cult is said to be among the most beautiful of all.

Those that are favored somewhat, are given gifts of form.

Those that are favored most are eaten.  They live on inside her, and speak from her throat.

Chameleodrakes (Drakes)

Laterally flattened 800 lb predators with chameleon tongues.  So great is their camouflage that they function as if they were invisible.  Incredible climbers.


  1. nice how all the dragons are the oldest and strongest

  2. also dragons as spaceships if really awsome