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Deus Otiosus
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PostSubject: Never really safe...   Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:44 am


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By the way, this is back from the time when I still wrote dragon biology!

Bull dragon (Draco Tauris) is an aggressive, but fairly weak species of dragon. The name “bull dragon” comes as from their aggression as it does from the horn shape, which is the most apparent sign of the species, together with a black line across the side of the body. These great flyers are used as reconnaissance creatures in warlock war campaigns – the very fact why warlocks are generally inclined to excellent scouting capabilities.

This dragon is very practical because of its low food consumption and the ability to store large amounts of fat in its tail, body and neck. It eats any larger mammal, bird or lizard and does it whether hungry or not – mostly to store energy for possible situation of food shortage, which is why in captivity it must under no condition be overfed. Cannibalism occurs regularly, which is expectable for such an aggressive species.

The bull dragon is mostly found in kras terrain due to its nesting habits (it is found in different environments, but generally ones surrounding or surrounded by kras), the most notable characteristic of which is usage of sinkholes as nests (in non-kras areas the mother will dig a hole for its nest). The female dragon will, upon impregnation, eat extreme amounts of food, then find a sinkhole (also deepen it additionally if it does not meet the requirement of the dragon’s size), and lie in it without laying the eggs. It will cover the hole with its wings and die afterwards, which leaves the body decomposing and heating the eggs remaining in the body – 20-40 eggs in general. These will hatch in 5-10 years, which is approximately when the last part of the deceased mother, her wings, decomposes.

This specific species is one of those several in which lifespan differs between male and female specimen – male dragons live for up to 100 years, while female’s lifespan is, due to reproduction, only as much as 30 years, but achieve up to 150 years in captivity or by sterilization.

They first fly at one year of age, but their flying ability evolves completely at around 5 years of age. After 10 years, the whelp will reach adolescence and in 5 more years, sexual maturity at females, male specimen at the age of 20 or more. Adulthood is reached at female dragons by 20, while male ones will require 10 years more than that. Differing from the previous three dragons we have learned about, these dragons do not have the life-stage of the elder dragon, although the nesting is similar to hibernation to an uninformed spectator.

Mating is not as special as nesting with the bull dragon, although still an interesting subject, since the female mates only once – similar to many fish, not similar to many lizards. Once each year, in spring or early summer, the male will cry monstrous mating cries, which are loud enough to be heard deep in the kras cave systems. Upon meeting, two dragons will perform a mating dance, which consists of different air and ground stunts.

Taming this dragon is simple, even though it is not a social specie. They will follow the command of a powerful enough magic user, if they are properly trained from hatching. Taming one at a later age is far more difficult, but also more proving of a tamer’s skill.
Even though The wings of a male are very large compared to many other species, female wings are far larger, which is an evolutionary characteristic they have gained not because of the need to cover their nests, but to support the greater weight brought by hardening of the wings, which is a consequence of their form of nesting. Female dragons have shorter and more forward-facing horns than males, darker colours (scales as well as wing membrane), and are noticeably larger than males.

This species is an average fire-breather in regards to temperature and intensity; they use a very common flame agent, but have a relatively low amount of it, which is compensated by the horns, which are, in combination with the sharp tail fins, its main hunting weapons. The claws are only used as a secondary weapon or to tear food.

Whelps hatch at 3 studs (1 meter) of length and fly first at the approximate length of 7.5 studs (2.5 meters) , reaching adolescence the lengths start varying between genders – Interesting enough, though – life stages and lengths are still equal in average, but regarding age, female bull dragon grows much faster. This way the length of a barely adolescent bull dragon is 15 studs (5 meters), adulthood means generally over 24 studs (8 meters), a fully grown beast will reach 30-42 studs (10-14 meters) as a male, while females grow even to 60 studs (20 meters) when nesting. A sterile or captive female may grow to 51 studs (17 meters), as it grows in length in addition to creating nutrient reserves.
Reanimating bull dragon is not hard compared to more intelligent species of dragons, and corpses are reliable, since breeding these dragons also makes easily reanimated skeletons – this is why one may see some reanimated bull dragons even in warlock armies, even though only recommended for heroes proving bravery in hard battles or ones with at least basic leadership skills. An additional advantage of reanimating bull dragons is their natural adaption to low quantities of firevenom – the horns and tail fins give a wyvern-like usage upon skeletal reanimation.

That will be all about this interesting specie of dragon, all I want to do now is to thank a book that has helped me greatly with biological literature writing style - Somatology With Comparative Anatomy by Ivan Krečič from 1966. My favourite book. Ever.
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