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Age of Western Dragons
Largest of all the serpents and all the beasts of the earth, the dragon uncoiled at the beginning of time and has multiplied in names and shapes ever since. Known by all the peoples of the world, it is the greatest of all beasts. In the West, the dragon is the drakon (“sharp-sighted”, “watchful”) of the Greeks. The Romans called it drako, and the British know it as “drake”-as in “firedrake”- and “worm.”
The natural historian Edward Topsell says that some dragons have no feet. Dragons differ from other serpents in having crest upon their head and a beard under their chin. Their bright eyes see all things. All have teeth. Many have horns of even antlers. Some are black with green bellies, some are red, some yellow, and some the colour of ash. Many eat poisonous herbs, and their breath infects the air. Many jealously guard treasure deep in the earth.
The best-known kinds of dragons have either two or four legs. Those with four legs are like the Dragon of Wales. A Dragon with two legs is called a Wyvern. Both of these have scaly bodies that shake the earth when they move. They have broad spiny wings, a barbed tail, and claws and teeth as sharp as blades. They breathe smoke and fire, and their roar alone is enough to make people die of fright. These have battled gods, saints, and knights to the death.
In the head of a Dagon is the Draconce, or Dragon-stone, a brilliant red gem with curative powers. The blood of a dragon is a marvelous elixir that heals grievous wounds and enables the conqueror of the beast to understand the speech of birds and other living things. When mixed with honey and oil, the fat of the Dragon restores sight.
On old maps, “Here be Dragons” marks unexplored regions on the rims of the world. The dominant monster in heraldry, the Dragon has pointed ears, a bared tongue, the teeth and scaly stomach of a crocodile, the talons of an eagle, the ribbed wings of a bat, and a barbed, serpentine tail. The beast can be seen nightly as the constellation Draco, which winds across the skies of the northern hemisphere.
Western European DragonsThe Western dragon tends to be quite huge and heavy with sharp-claws and bat-like wings. They are typically with reptile features but may also have fur or feathers. Sometimes dark colored but always shinny. Some have forked tongues, others crests, fringes, or some other adornment. It always has the ability to belch forth blazing fire and fumes.
In the West, dragons are either live in caves or mountain dwellers and predators. Cave dweller dragons stay most of the time in the coldness of the dark. The caves, filled with fire and water, are easily guarded and located close to towns, where food is convenient. Mountain predators live in cave-riddled mountains that provide an invincible edifice, a sort of protection.
In the west, the dragon is an evil beast. There are many myths and legends of dragon slayers such as Hercules and Seguird (See also: Hydra).
Many people gained sainthood after slaying a dragon, famous names include St. Michael, St. George, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret. The places where the dragons were killed or slain could be found all over England named as "Dragon Hill."
Western Dragons like to feed upon human flesh and prefers young people and those who are weak. They also hunt large game animals such as deer, elk, and sometimes livestock. In folklore, it is depicted that they typically take a flight at night to terrorize the villagers and cause pestilence over the land. However, there are also many accounts of dragons giving assistance to weary travelers or acting as guardians or protectors over sacred forests or treasures.
Western dragons were also very intelligent, and in many cases capable of speech. Legend has it that Western dragons held secrets, knowledge or power that may only be claimed when the dragon is slain. The one who killed the dragon must drink its blood and eat its flesh in order to have these secrets revealed.
King Artek Mythical Beasts
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