A reference point for the dragons of Iayla ShatteredContents
-Physiology and Behavior
-Color and Size Guide
Kitti Ping designed the dragons to gradually increase in size with each generation until they reached pre-programmed final dimensions. The dragons of the first Hatchings were not much bigger than horses. By the Sixth Pass (1500 years later) they had reached their programmed size and remained at that size until a single isolated dragon population suffered severe inbreeding, resulting in much larger beasts.
In Iayla's history dragon have been the subject of cruel northern experiments to eliminate certain traits such as passivity. Their experimentation has led to more territorial dragons who are more independent than previous generations. These damaged genes have also lead to strange new color ranks.Physiology and BehaviorPhysiology
Dragons are described as carnivorous, oviparous, warm-blooded creatures. Like all of Pern's native large fauna, they have six limbs - four feet and two wings. Their blood, referred to as ichor, is copper-based and green in color. Their head and general body type is described by McCaffrey as being similar in shape to those of horses. On their heads they have small headknobs, similar to those of giraffes, and no visible ears. They have multifaceted eyes that change color depending on the dragon's mood. Unlike the dragons of Terran legend, they have a smooth hide rather than scales; the texture of their skin is described as being reminiscent of suede with a spicy, sweet scent when clean. They are described as having forked tail ends with a defecation opening between the forks; however, most artistic renderings depict their tails as having spade-shaped tips. The dragons usually get from one place to another by going through a teleportation process known as 'going between'.
Dragons, like their fire-lizard ancestors, can breathe fire by chewing a phosphine-bearing rock, called "firestone" in the novels, which reacts with an acid in a special "second stomach" organ. This forms a volatile gas that can be exhaled at will and ignites upon contact with air. The flame is used to burn Thread from the sky before it reaches the ground. However, the chewed firestone must be expelled from the body after it is used up, for the dragons cannot digest it.
Newly hatched dragons are the size of very large dogs or small ponies, and reach their full size after eighteen months. Because young dragons grow so fast, their riders must regularly apply oil to their hides to prevent the skin from cracking or drying out.Eye Colors
Red - Anger, hunger
Orange - Uncertainty, suspicion
Yellow - Fear, worry.
Green - Excited
Blue - Content, calm
Purple - Lust
Grey - Mourning
White - shock, painAbilities
In creating dragons, Kitti Ping intensified the creatures' telepathy, greatly increased their intelligence, and gave them a strong instinctive drive to Impress to a human. Upon hatching, each dragonet chooses one of the humans present (usually) and Impresses to that person; from that moment on, the pair are in a constant state of telepathic contact for as long as they both live. Dragons also use telepathy to communicate with each other and with fire-lizards. They are capable of speaking telepathically to humans besides their own riders, but not all of them will do so except under unusual circumstances.
Dragons and fire-lizards can also teleport. They do this by briefly entering a hyperspace dimension known as between. Both humans and dragons experience between as an extremely cold, sensory-deprived, black void. After spending no more than eight seconds in between, the dragon or fire-lizard can re-emerge anywhere on Pern, along with any passengers or cargo they carried. This ability is explained as having evolved in fire-lizards as a defense against Thread; not only does it allow them to quickly escape from Threadfall, but the intense cold of between kills any Thread that has already burrowed into them. If a dragon attempts to teleport without a clear mental image of the place where they intend to reappear, they may simply fail to emerge from between and thus, be gone forever.
Telekineses and Timing are not permitted here at Iayla.Behavior
Dragons are fully sapient. They communicate fluently in human language (although only telepathically), and have personalities and opinions distinct from those of their riders. However, their intelligence does seem to be somewhat lower than that of the average human.
Dragons' telepathic communication is usually limited to contact with their rider and with other dragons, however a dragon sometimes communicates well with a person with whom their rider has close emotional ties. They do understand spoken human language and occasionally reply telepathically to people whom they choose to speak.
As a safeguard against the possible damage that could be caused by such powerful creatures, Ping engineered dragons to be profoundly psychologically dependent on their riders. Any dragonet that fails to Impress to a human shortly after hatching will die. If a dragon's rider dies, the dragon immediately suicides by going between without a destination. The only exception is when the rider of a queen dragon dies while the queen is gravid; the dragon waits just long enough to lay her eggs and see them hatch before disappearing between. (Humans who lose their dragons typically commit suicide as well. However, some do survive, although the experience leaves profound psychological trauma.)
Dragons are generally docile and calm creatures their behavior within the weyr has not changed much at all. However the cruel experimentation has led to some significant changes in their overall behavior. They have become much more territorial and aggressive toward others. They can and will attack other dragons if necessary or if commanded (ony by the senior queen or bronze). In battles they will use physical force to injure, maim, and even kill the enemy, but they will never ever flame one another. The only time they will fight without their rider is during flightlust and they will not fight without a very good reason (personal quarrels are not good reasons, protecting the weyr from the north is a good reason). Mating
When a female comes into estrus, interested males compete to catch her in a mating flight. Usually, the female chooses the male who impresses her the most with his skill in the flight, although inexperienced females may be caught before making their choice. The pair actually mate in midair; thus, the higher they get during the flight, the longer their mating can last. The Pernese commonly believe that longer matings result in larger clutches. For this reason, queenriders are strongly encouraged to restrain their dragons from eating heavily just before a flight, instructing them to drink blood instead for a quick burst of energy.Dragon Healing Manual
A highly recommended site for further information:http://romany.silvertree.org/dragonhealing/anatomy.htmlInformation from wikipedia This post has been edited by Daz on Apr 30 2011, 12:34 PM