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Lore:Dragon

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Mulaamnir, a Dragon (ESO)

Dragons (also known as drakes, wyrms or worms, dov or dovah in their native language, drah-gkon or dov-rha to the ancient Nords, or Aka in Ehlnofex)[1][2][3][4] are a rarely-seen race of large reptilian beasts of Aedric nature.[5][6] They are rumored to be from Akavir (which literally means "Dragon Land"),[7] though there are ancient tales of Dragons also coming from Atmora.[5][6][3] They are large, scaled creatures, easily several times larger than a human or elf. They have long, slender extremities, with thin bat-like wings and ridges of spikes along their back. Dragons have three sharp talons and one vestigial digit known as a dewclaw on each of their feet, as evidenced by the way their alphabet is written.[8][UOL 1] They are regularly said to breathe fire, but more accurately, they speak it. They speak words in their language a certain way, known as a Thu'um or "Shout", to cause many effects, including elemental breaths such as fire or frost.[9]

Dragons are well-known for their affinity for magic.[6] It is unknown how they possess the ability to speak and fly despite their lack of lips or the fact that their wings are not naturally strong enough to support such heavy torsos.[10][11] There are several varieties of Dragon that come in a range of colors.[3] As the immortal children of Akatosh, they are specially attuned to the flow of time, and they feel an innate urge to dominate others that is near-impossible to overcome.[12] Some sources suggest both dragons and Dragonborn are fragments of Akatosh's soul.[13]

Although Dragons are immortal,[6] their physical form can be destroyed. Although they may appear to have been killed, Dragons defeated in such a manner are not truly dead and can rise again.[14] This is due to the unique properties of Dragon souls, which generally persist eternally due to the link between a Dragon's soul and its physical remains being far stronger than that of a mortal.[15] The main exception to this is if the soul is consumed by a fellow Dragon.[16] This grants the recipient a portion of the knowledge and life essence of their fallen opponent, but it also destroys the Dragon permanently, rendering it beyond the ability of any ritual to resurrect.[17][12] This ability also extends to the Dragonborn, mortals born with the soul of a Dragon, who can become the greatest Dragonslayers by absorbing the souls of their quarry and thereby stealing their power.[18][19] It is also possible to use powerful soul magic to sever the connection between a Dragon's soul and its physical remains, although the effects of this is the subject of fierce scholarly debate, with some speculating that a Dragon soul once severed may simply dissolve over time or return to join Father Akatosh.[15]

Mythic OriginsEdit

 
Alduin first born of Akatosh

The avatar of Akatosh is a flaming Dragon; he is said to be the father of Dragons, whom he made in his image.[5][20][21] According to Archmage Shalidor, dragons are in some manner kindred of the Time God, either his children, or lesser relations, or part of him that split off when time began.[22]

Dragons are said to be eternal, immortal, unchanging, and unyielding.[6] According to the writings of Archmage Shalidor, Dragons had existed since before the advent of sequential time in the Dawn Era,[23][24] but were initially as wild as anything else. It was Alduin, Firstborn of Akatosh, who created their civilization.[22] Nordic legend says that, in these early years, the Dragons were the only creatures who could harness the power of their voice for great feats of magic, though they only did so in times of "True Need".[25] Despite Dragons supposedly existing before time was a concept, some Dragons are described as being more ancient than others, with Alduin and Paarthurnax considered the oldest by other Dragons,[26] hence why not all of them are considered equal in power.[27][28]

Some cultures are known to have their own myths concerning the origin of dragons, though it ultimately remains a matter shrouded in ambiguity.

According to a Khajiiti myth, Akha embarked on a journey across the world, following his father Ahnurr's advice to seek love. He mated with beings from distant lands, including the Winged Serpent of the East, the Dune Queen of the West, and the Mother Mammoth of the North, resulting in numerous draconic offspring. After Akha disappeared in the South, Alkosh emerged in his place and took over the role and crown of the First Cat, assuming rule over Akha's children and the myriad kingdoms of Akha along the Many Paths. However, he was eventually overthrown, and his body was scattered on the West Wind. Khenarthi intervened to restore Alkosh, flying across the Many Paths and putting him back together, and the two now watch over the Many Paths and safeguard them from the wayward children of Akha.[29][nb 1]

According to the transcribed creation myth of the Adzi-Kostleel Argonian tribe, Atak the Great Root and Kota the Serpent fought each other for so long that they eventually forgot their fight and became one, forming the entity Atakota. Atakota severed its roots and shed its skin and said the word "Maybe", giving rise to its Shadow, formed of its hunger and shed skin. Atakota continued to roil in a cycle, devouring itself and shedding its skin to be reborn and begin anew, each scale a world that it devoured. From this process the world and spirits arose, with Atak and Kota not in conflict, things now had time to begin and end, and the Shadow too fell asleep. As Atakota slumbered, the spirits started making new things that shared in their aspect and loved them, and they started growing, until they too were as large as Atakota, and forgot it had come before them and had a sleeping Shadow. Soon the worlds and spirits became too big and there was no more room for new things, in desperation, the spirits fell upon the sleeping Atakota and bit into it to drink its blood. Eventually the peace of Atakota broke, Atak remembered growing and Kota remembered being nothing, and existence fell into chaos again. In that time of chaos some spirits drank deeply of Atakota's blood and sap, and they grew scales and fangs and wings, forgetting why they'd ever made anything other than to eat it. Kota's blood made new oceans and Atak's sap made new stones. Eventually the roots woke the shadow and asked for its help, and its intervention put an end to the chaos that was threatening to consume everything.[30]

Whatever the case, Dragons have been known to refer to the Time God as their "father", and have used both the name "Akatosh" and the name "Alkosh" to name their progenitor.[31][12][32][33]

HistoryEdit

Merethic EraEdit

Alduin's ReignEdit

 
Alduin Cast into Time

Alduin's leadership over the other Dragons would eventually extend to mankind in the Merethic Era. This Dragon Cult originated in Atmora but would eventually come south to Tamriel where the humans were lorded over with a much crueler hand.[5] beyond the more understood to history rule over Tamriel and Atmora, the Dragons at the height of their power were said to rule the whole world.[25][34] Though all dragons swore fealty to Alduin,[9] his younger brother, Paarthurnax served as his chief lieutenant and right hand.[35] Others, like Kaalgrontiid traveled further south, seeking to establish their own kingdoms outside of Alduin's direct supervision.[36] Under the dragons were certain humans who held a special connection with the dragons known as the Dragon Priests.[5] At the bottom of the rung lied the mortal servants who lived under the heel of these cruel masters.[5] The center of power in Skyrim of this Dragon empire is thought to have been Bromjunaar, where Dragon priests decided matters of their law.[37]

Nordic legend holds that Alduin led his brethren and their once-benevolent minions to terrorize and subjugate the mortal races, triggering a rebellion.[5][10] The Dragons began indiscriminately slaughtering them under the orders of Alduin, who had chosen to forsake his proper duties and conquer the land.[12][38]

During this Dragon War, mortals found ways to kill the Dragons, who were previously thought undefeatable.[5][6] Some people, notably priests of the Nine Divines, claim that Akatosh intervened against the Dragons to help end the war, and that some Dragons fought against their own kind.[5][39] Paarthurnax took pity on the Nords (purportedly at the request of Kyne), and instructed several in the ways of the thu'um so that they could channel the power of their own voices using the tongue of the Dragons.[12] These first Tongues (masters of the Voice) used their new power to turn the tide of the war, and they eventually "shout[ed] Alduin out of the world".[5] The remaining Dragons were hunted and killed until they were nearly extinct, clearing the way for the many empires which have risen and fallen since.[5][39]

Khunzar-ri and the DemonsEdit

 
Khunzar-ri depicted sealing the Dragons in the Halls of Colossus

In the Merethic Era,[40] when Elsweyr was composed of sixteen kingdoms, Kaalgrontiid and his rage of Dragons came to dominate the land, seeking to consume the Moons' lunar power. To stop them, the Khajiit hero Khunzar-ri recruited four companions, Nurarion the Perfect, Flinthild Demon-Hunter, Anequina Sharp-Tongue, and Sir Cadwell.[41] When fighting them proved to be futile, Cadwell suggested that it may be best to convince the Dragons that they were willing to aid them in their plans. In preparation, Anequina attuned to Shadow Dance Temple, making the moons align to form an eclipse, allowing the Moon Gate of Anequina to open a portal the Plane of Jode, where the object the Dragons desired, Jode's Core, rested. The Dragon's ambitions would be their undoing; when the Dragons accessed the Plane of Jode, Khunzar-ri convinced them to not simply absorb the power of the core like they originally intended, but instead store their energy within it in the guise that they would combine the lunar power with their own.[42][43] The gamble worked, and the Dragons were weakened enough for them to retreat back into the wilderness.[41] To finish the job, Khunzar-ri once again convinced the Dragons to play a part of his scheme. He managed to lure them into the Halls of Colossus, where he managed to seal them away. In the aftermath, Khunzar-ri wrote on the legendary Wrathstone in an ancient Ta'agra dialect, writings detailing the cartography of the location of the Demon Weapon. The Wrathstone itself is however much older than the Ta'agra writings.[44] The Dragons would be obscured as "demons" in legends, and become the fabled "Demon Weapon". Their power would be coveted by many people.[41]

First EraEdit

Declining InfluenceEdit

After the time of the Dragon Cult passed and their kind was no longer welcome in Tamriel, Dragons are thought to had begun to prefer remaining within solitary mountain lairs safe from thieves and aggressors.[1] Some Dragons even took up roost in occupied caverns, kicking out the local inhabitants in the process.[45] According to some claims, Dragons were unable to settle in Morrowind due to being overwhelmed by cliff racers,[UOL 2][UOL 3] or preyed upon by Skylamps.[UOL 4]

 
First Era painting of a maiden with a Red Dragon

In contrast, the fictionalized account of King Edward describes Dragons of the early First Era as openly living in and around isolated mountain villages. The villages were purportedly situated in areas that allowed flight free of obstructions as well as flats for raising cattle.[46] A painting of a maiden with a tame red Dragon was known to have been created during the 16th century of the First Era.[47] One obscure account mentions several Dragons being involved in the All Flags Navy's invasion of Thras.[UOL 5]

Hunters from the EastEdit

The Tsaesci of Akavir were known to hunt Dragons throughout their history. At some point prior to the Second Era, they sought to "eat" all of the Dragons. The Black Dragons managed to escape them into Po' Tun but they successfully enslaved the Red Dragons, and went on to use them as war mounts.[3][48][49] However, after a war with the tiger people, the Dragons of Akavir were almost entirely wiped out.[3] The Akaviri continued their crusade against the Dragons in Tamriel. After their invasion of Tamriel and surrendering to Reman in the late First Era, the Akaviri Dragonguard was formed, dedicated to hunting Dragons.[19] Additionally, Akaviri Dragon motifs and the practice of creating armor from Dragonscale would become common in Imperial culture. Their war mounts, the Red Dragons, would also come to symbolize the Empire itself.[48] Reman eventually stopped making sport of their kind, though certain hunters many years after his time sought out dragons to slay them, such as the group that found Thurvokun.[50]

The Demon from the EastEdit

 
Ja'darri and the Dragonguard confronting the Black Beast

Sometime in First Era after the formation of the Dragonguard, the Dragon threat re-emerged in Elsweyr. The hero Jadarri formed an alliance with Reman's Dragonguard and the red Dragon Nahfahlaar. She was tasked by Alkosh to use the Mask of Alkosh to extinguish a creature that threatened to unravel all of time: Laatvulon, a Black Dragon known as the Demon from the East.[51] Ja’darri petitioned Nahfahlaar to imbue the Mask of Alkosh with his power to help defeat his ancient foe Laatvulon.[52] In an act he would later regret, he refused, leaving the Dragonguard to fight Laatvulon with limited power.[52] They would ultimately succeed in imprisoning Laatvulon but it cost Ja'darri her life.[53][52] Upon death, she was said to join Alkosh in a realm beyond even the Sands Behind the Stars.

Ja'darri's grave has ancient tablets telling of four Khajiiti spirits stepping in to aid Elsweyr. It claims that Azurah saw the coming of Laatvulon, and responded by opening the Crimson Gate so that her children could make their stand. It additionally mentions Alkosh's interest in ridding Elsweyr of the Dragons, and that Lorkhaj returned and fought the darkness back and slayed many Dragons.[54]

Second EraEdit

A Rage of DragonsEdit

 
The Dragons unleashed from the Halls of Colossus

After the retrieval of the Wrathstone around 2E 582, the Imperial battlemage Abnur Tharn inadvertently unleashed the Dragons from their containment from the Halls of Colossus, thus causing them to continue in their quest for the Moon's Lunar Power. The Dragons allied themselves with the forces of the Queen of Rimmen, Euraxia Tharn, who were led to believe that the Dragons were willing to be used as tools. The Dragons were quick to cross Euraxia when she was no longer a use to them, and was left without their aid against the forces of Elsweyr Defense Force as well as the Vestige. The turn of events resulted in her death and the return of Rimmen to Khajiit control. Euraxia's forces now without a leader, allied with the Dragons to avoid their wrath. The Dragons were put to a halt when the Vestige stepped into the Plane of Jode and defeated Kaalgrontiid and his kin, preventing the lunar power from being completely absorbed.

Dragon sightings became more frequent, with many coming out of hiding after learning of Kaalgrontiid's return.[55] The Dragons Nahviintaas, Yolnahkriin, Lokkestiiz took residence within Sunspire, claiming to be the gods Alkosh, Jone, and Jode, and converted the majority of the shrine's devotees to their cause. In an attempt to correct the mortal mistake, Nahviintaas plotted to rip the time wound left behind from the battle between Alkosh and Pelinal long ago. The Undaunted learned of this, and fought through the hordes of cultists, and killed each of the false gods.[56] The Dragon Maarselok nested near the mountains within the Tenmar Valley, near the Valenwood and Elsweyr border. There, he emitted the dreadful Azureblight from his body, a dangerous blight intended to create an "azure world", where all life would be twisted to his will. Without the aid of the Undaunted and the changeling Selene, the corruption would have spread to the Elden Tree.[57]

 
Nahfahlaar, Abnur Tharn, and the Dragonguard putting an end to the Rage of Dragons

The Dragon Laatvulon sought to continue his master Kaalgrontiid's plan of bringing on the Dark Aeon, intending for Kaalgrontiid to become Akatosh's equal. To this end, Laatvulon created a Khajiiti Dragon cult, the New Moon Cult, whose ranks were bolstered by many of the vulnerable Khajiit from the region, such as those who were affected by the Knahaten Flu.

The red Dragon Nahfahlaar, who was Laatvulon's ancient rival, dueled Laatvulon near the city of Senchal in southern Elsweyr, but was overpowered due to Laatvulon's newfound power. Afterwards, taking refuge in Tideholm, Nahfahlaar was encountered by the Dragonguard, which been recently reformed by the Redguard Blademaster Sai Sahan. Seeing that Nahfahlaar meant no harm, an alliance was forged once again with former foes/allies, one in which Nahfahlaar served as a valuable asset. This alliance led to victory, and Laatvulon, the Demon from the East, was slain.[52]

Nahfahlaar subsequently aided the Dragonguard in defeating Kaalgrontiid and the remnants of the New Moon Cult. Kaalgrontiid returned and planned to siphon the energy he collected from Jode's Core and become empowered by a giant cluster of Aeonstone. To prevent anyone from disrupting his plans, he utilized the energy of the Aeonstone to create an aegis, a massive and impenetrable ward, around the ancient fortress of Dragonhold. Through the combined efforts of Nahfahlaar, the Dragonguard, and Queen Khamira's forces, Kaalgrontiid was slain. However, the Dark Aeon became unstable as a result of Kaalgrontiid's machinations and threatened to destroy the entire continent of Tamriel. It required the combined power of Abnur Tharn and Nahfahlaar to prevent the Aeonstone from affecting the area outside of Dragonhold. Nahfahlaar and Abnur were successful, but only at the cost of Abnur's life. After putting a stop to the rage of Dragons, Nahfahlaar sought out another place to wait until his intervention became necessary once again.[52]

The Disappearance (and Persistence) of the DragonsEdit

 
Nafaalilargus, a loyal servant of Tiber Septim

Dragons continually became more elusive after losing their grip on power back in the Merethic Era.[58] Their numbers dwindled over the years due to many causes: much of their population in Akavir was wiped out or enslaved by the Tsaesci, who also brought their onslaught to Tamriel.[3] The Akaviri Dragonguard and its successor, the Blades, along with other heroes, hunted Dragons and their followers throughout the eras until Dragons were nearly extinct.[1][39][19] Tiber Septim offered those who remained protection and spoils in return for their fealty.[6][UOL 3] Among the Dragons who served him was Nahfahlaar, now known as Nafaalilargus. Circa 2E 864, during the reign of Tiber's Empire, Dragons were said to circle overhead of the Imperial City, with River Dragons rusting their hides in its surrounding waters.[48]

Despite Tiber's pledge, almost all known wild Dragons were killed or driven off, disappearing from sight in Tamriel.[39][6] Some sources claim that all Dragons disappeared at once, being devoured by a Dragon king or absorbed by Tiber Septim when he ascended to godhood.[6] Many held the belief that the Dragons were extinct.[27] This was not true, as many live Dragons continued to exist in obscurity throughout the Third and early Fourth Era.

Many tales tell of Dragons making deals with other races to protect themselves.[39][59] Among known examples, some remained in service to the Empire. One Dragon served as the companion of an Imperial Battlemage,[60] while others apparently acted as mounts for the Imperial Guard.[UOL 3] The Akatosh Chantry held Dragons as their holy symbol, and kept tamed Dragons in their "sacred grove".[61][38] Skakmat is a Dragon who served as the familiar of the Dowager Queen Nulfaga.[62] Quite notably, Paarthurnax was able to remain in seclusion atop the Throat of the World, guarded by the Greybeards of High Hrothgar.[12][16]

Nomads in the Alik'r Desert frequently spoke of "Great Wyrms" inhabiting its vast wastes, although these claims were never independently confirmed.[63]

Fourth EraEdit

Prelude to ReturnEdit

Accounts of surviving Dragons continue into the early Fourth Era. According to Brarilu Theran, at least one Dragon is known to have laired in the smoking ruins of Vvardenfell after the Red Year.[59] Several Dragons were encountered by the Warrior circa 4E 180.[64] Among these was one named Shulkunaak who assisted the Warrior with information that was essential to defeating the Ayleid lich Celemaril the Undying.[65]

The World-Eater WakesEdit

 
Alduin

In 4E 201, Alduin reappeared at the Throat of the World, cast forth from the Time-Wound created when he had been banished thousands of years before. Perched here was his brother, Paarthurnax, who awaited his return at the summit of the Throat of the World ever since his banishment.[12] However, Paarthurnax was unable to contain Alduin, and the World-Eater descended upon the region. In the midst of all of this, several members of the Stormcloak rebellion were being executed by Imperial Legionnaires in Helgen, including the rebel leader Ulfric Stormcloak.[66] Accidentally caught up in this string of executions was a prisoner who was detained for crossing the border.[66]

Before this prisoner or Ulfric Stormcloak could be executed, Alduin descended upon Helgen and quickly reduced the settlement to rubble. Several parties were able to narrowly escape the destruction including Ulfric and the prisoner.[66] Ulfric Stormcloak's resulting escape prolonged the civil war in Skyrim and secured a steady flow of souls for Alduin to consume in Sovngarde.[67] Alduin began to resurrect his fallen brethren, using a powerful thu'um (seemingly known only to him) to undo their deaths and restore flesh to their bones.[68] Dragon Priests and draugr began to stir in ancient ruins as well, setting the revitalization of Alduin's army and the Dragon Cult in motion. The mysterious prisoner was eventually revealed to be the Last Dragonborn, hero of prophecy.[69]

As a Dragonborn, the hero was able to wield the thu'um with preternatural ease, learning several powerful shouts that allowed them to slay Alduin's dragon allies and absorb their souls, increasing the hero's strength and ensuring Alduin could not revive them again. With the aid of an Elder Scroll, the Last Dragonborn learned the forgotten thu'um known as Dragonrend that served as a great weapon against Dragon kind, forcing understanding of mortality into their immortal minds.[70] With this new magic, Paarthurnax and the hero confronted Alduin on the Throat of the World, where the two sides fought to a stalemate. Given his unique nature, it was seemingly impossible to slay Alduin on Mundus.[70]

Eventually, the Dragonborn gained access to Sovngarde, where Alduin had fled to regain strength.[71] Shor gave council for the heroes of Sovngarde to stand down, allowing the Last Dragonborn to face Alduin as foretold with the help of the three ancient Nord heroes who banished Alduin in the first place.[72] With that, the quartet finally vanquished the World-Eater.[71] Alduin's soul was not absorbed by the Dragonborn, and he may not have been completely destroyed:[71] it is possible that he will one day return to fulfill his role as the World-Eater.[16]

The surviving dragons had varying reactions to Alduin's vanquishing. Paarthurnax lamented the death of his brother but intended to teach the surviving dragons the philosophy he had come to adopt, the Way of the Voice.[12] Some dragons viewed this attempt at new leadership by Paarthurnax as tyranny, instead bowing to the superiority of the Last Dragonborn, who, as the slayer of Alduin, they felt was the rightful heir to his lordship.[26] Even realms beyond the Mundus felt ripples from the World-Eater's destruction. A dragon in the Soul Cairn by the name of Durnehviir learned of the event and proclaimed the Last Dragonborn a true Dovah for the deed.[73]

The remaining Dragons would continue to be found throughout Skyrim and Morrowind,[74] though their ultimate fates are unknown.

Behavior and CultureEdit

 
A Dragons's Treasure Hoard (ESO)

Blessed with remarkable intelligence, Dragons are nonetheless susceptible to feelings of pride and melancholy. Dragons possess an innate urge to dominate others that is near-impossible to overcome. As such, they are distrustful creatures, even of each other. Despite this, they are also somewhat social, and can be driven mad by captivity and isolation.[12] In the mind of a Dragon, being powerful and being right are the same, thus they make no distinction between speaking and fighting; battles between them are actually deadly verbal debates.[27][16] Dragons are known for their custom of sosmir, the blood allegiance, a mystically binding pact and an unbreakable bond, stronger than any vow uttered by a mortal, which causes the dragon bound by it to pay their debt by the ancient magic.[52]

Though they value strength and feel an urge to dominate those around them, Draconic culture also values caution and cunning, and a number of their sayings emphasize that one should focus on such things over might and directness depending on the situation. These sayings urge Dragons to be well aware of their strengths and weaknesses so as not to fall prey to them, to be wary of being betrayed but inversely not hesitate to betray should it benefit them, to not narrowly focus on their own goals but remain aware of surrounding circumstances, to always secure their resources before acting, and to always look deeper into the true cause of things and not content themselves with a surface explanation. Despite this culture of caution, dragons are also urged to persevere and seek glory when faced with challenges, soar higher to the sky rather than returning to the safety of the ground.[75]

Dragons are known to hunt for food, while they are primarily carnivorous, some have been observed grazing on vegetation. Dragons seem to have a preference for hunting intelligent prey, as they enjoy the extra challenge it provides.[76] Dragons are known to prefer inhabiting mountains.[12] Some stories tell of a Dragon named Akatosh co-mingling with and organizing groups of Dragons in isolated mountain villages, although this representation may be entirely fictional.[46] There is some indication that Dragons are capable of practicing smithing.[77]

Dragons are known to collect hoards of treasure.[78][79]

CharacteristicsEdit

As beings known of their high magical affinity, Dragons are sensitive to and can sense arcane phenomena. They are known to be able to sense the accumulation of magic even across large distances, and can even sense specific characteristics about the source of the magic itself. Traits such as the power belonging to another Dragon and that Dragon's disposition, the age of the one the magic comes from, and even whether they are suffering from some illness, are all things a Dragon's senses can perceive.[6][52] As children of Akatosh, Dragons are especially attuned to the flow of time, and possess the ability to sense events which disrupt or break its flow.[12]

Dragons possess the ability to devour things beyond the physical, and have been known to eat things such as souls, lifeforce, and even the lunar energies of Jode's Core in order to increase their power. This arcane feeding process can sometimes cause the Dragon's size to increase and its very form to change.[32][52][26][80][81] The lifeforce of Dragons themselves can also be channeled into other things, whether willingly or unwillingly, though only specific things which have it in their nature to fully devour Dragons can absorb it fully.[41][42][43]

A Dragon's presence can have an effect on the conditions of the surrounding area. The long imprisonment of the Dragon Laatvulon within Doomstone Keep caused the fort to become infused with his "icy malice", making frost cover large sections of the structure and the corpses within rise as ice imbued undead, even after his stay there ended. At Sunspire, the Dragon Yolnahkriin resided in the caldera, where his presence is said to have "stoked the sleeping mountain's fire".[52][82][83]

A text by a Khajiit Moon-Priest, transcribed by a scholar of the Mages Guild suggests that Dragons, Clan Mothers of the Pride of Alkosh, and Pridehome exist in some sense outside the tapestry of time and of linear progression, and so have always existed and will always exist, irrespective of what has occured from the perspective of those bound by linear time. Consequently, the "Doom to Come" the time when Dragons return to bring imbalance to the world, will also always exist. The text mentions this now also applies to Abnur Tharn due to the circumstances surrounding his disappearance.[84]

Variants and MimicryEdit

 
A Red Dragon (ESO)

Dragons individual appearances can vary wildly, possessing variations in head-shapes, horns, spikes, tails, and other attributes.[85] A Dragon's color is often indicative of how powerful it is.[27] Brown-skinned Dragons and green-skinned Blood Dragons are generally weaker than the white-skinned Frost Dragons or bronze-skinned Elder and Ancient Dragons.[27][86] Two particularly distinct types of Dragon, are Red Dragons, some of which are "Fire Dragons", and Black Dragons, some of which are "Storm Dragons".[3][76][85] Originally from Akavir,[3][48] these Dragons do not seem to take part in the hierarchies of other Dragons.[76] Many Red Dragons throughout history have served with or under mortals.[48][26][52][47]

Serpentine Dragons, found on Solstheim are named for their distinct, snake-like heads. Revered Dragons have strange flat heads and some are known to have semi-aquatic behavior. Legendary Dragons are known to possess strange compound eyes.[86] River Dragons were said to reside in Cyrodiil during Tiber's reign, they are known to rust their hides in bodies of water.[48]

Living Dragons can rarely become undead, as in the case of Durnehviir, a Dragon necromancer who became trapped in the Soul Cairn for so many centuries that his soul became bound to that plane, dooming him to an eternity of undeath.[73] Even without a Dragon soul, the mortal remains of a Dragon can prove to be a dangerous opponent. Bone Dragons are highly prized by necromancers for use as undead minions.[87] Although there have been no sightings of vampiric Dragons, Illusion imps have been known to take on the form of small vampiric Dragons to scare away potential foes.[88]

 
A Dragonling (Daggerfall)

So-called "Dragonlings" found around the Iliac Bay area are sometimes believed to be young dragons,[89][90] however Fourth Era scholars claim they are merely oversized lizards, with no relation to true dragons.[6] They however seem quite intelligent in their own right. They are capable of casting spells, speak Dragonish, and are said to be very wise.[63] Tiny Dragons have been seen in the Shivering Isles, but given the nature of the Isles it is unclear if these are real Dragons.[91] There is a variant of Dragon called the Fairy Dragon, but the nature of these creatures is unknown, or how they relate to the Faeries. Their scales were in circulation across the Iliac Bay circa 3E 405.[92]

There are several creatures of dubious existence said to be linked to Dragons. Jills are mythical beings, said to fix the world during Dragon Breaks.[93][nb 2] Some sources describe them as female Dragons.[UOL 6][UOL 7] Female Dragons are also mentioned in the historical-fiction, King Edward.[46] Wyverns are fire-breathing creatures of doubtful existence.[94] The spell "Wyvern's Sting" is named after them.[95] According to a fib from Alchemy, a member of the House of Reveries, those born to a Dragon and a mortal can turn into a wyvern during a full moon.[94] Due to the joking nature of her statement, this description of wyverns is highly unlikely.

Clockwork Dragons are constructs created by Sotha Sil.[96] Their exact origins are unknown.[UOL 8] They should not be confused with Clockwork Titans,[97] as apart from some shared design elements found in Sotha Sil's creations, there is no other known connection between them.[UOL 8]

It is rumored that Tosh Raka, leader of the Tiger people of Ka Po' Tun in Akavir, has succeeded in transforming himself into a Dragon.[3] One of the Luminaries, immortal beings of pure magic capable of choosing their own shapes, took the form of a dragon, having chosen the shape for its majesty.[98][99] Peryite also takes the form of a Dragon, but this may only be as some primordial jest to Akatosh.[UOL 9] Daedric Titans were first created by Molag Bal in imitation of the Dragons.[100]

In 2E 582, the significance of a number of Dragons that followed Kaalgrontiid allowed them to be documented within the Infinite Archive in Apocrypha. There, copies of various entities were subsequently created as maligraphies, creatures composed of vivified ink manifested by stories from books, serving as mindless extensions of the Daedric Lord Tho'at Replicanum. Maligraphic copies of the Dragons Mulaamnir, Laatvulon, and Yolnahkriin were formed, and were confronted by an adventurer or two who were aided by augmentations directly from Hermaeus Mora. In addition, Tho'at Replicanum replicated herself throughout the Archive, with the form of a Glass Dragon being one of the shapes her copies took.[101][102][103] During that same year, a number of Daedra in the form of Glass Dragons were observed flying around the prison of the Daedric Prince Ithelia, the Prince who Tho'at Replicanum is associated with.[UOL 10][104]

UsesEdit

 
A Dragonbone Crossbow (Skyrim)
 
Dragonbone Equipment (ESO)

Dragonscale and Dragonbone have seen use in the creation of arms and armor since the Merethic Era.[105] There is considerable evidence that orthodox Dragon Priests had their armor crafted from genuine remains of the great creatures.[106]

The practice of creating armor from Dragonscale was a common practice in Akaviri culture, and would become common in Imperial culture following their invasion in the First Era.[48] Members of the Dragonguard were also known fashion armor from the bones of the Dragons they slew.[107] Imperial Dragonscale armor would still see use into the Third Era, after the majority of Dragons had died off or gone into hiding,[108] and the Imperial Legion was known to be in possession of stockpiles of Dragonbone well into the Fourth Era.[107] Dragoneye helmets were known to exist in the late Third Era.[109]

Dragonscale and Dragonbone were known to have become very rare materials as early as the Second Era,[106] with them remaining that way into the early Fourth Era.[110] Despite their rarity, they still saw occasional use in mundane life during this time. Various trinkets in the Second Era were known to be crafted out of the materials.[111][112] Amulets of Talos are still traditionally crafted with Dragonbone and scales.[113] The materials became easier to obtain after the return of the Dragons circa 4E 201.[114]

Dragon's scales,[115] as well as their claws,[116] blood, and bile, all have alchemical applications.[117] Imbibing a Dragon's blood can grant the drinker increased power, and strengthen their talent in the use of the Thu'um, but it is a brief benefit, as the blood also causes the body to start burning from the inside, dooming the drinker to a slow death.[118][119][120] Dragons are known to be vulnerable to weapons tipped with their own Dragonfire,[79] and Dragon Knights were known to ride upon large flaming wolves, which some speculated had been imbued with Dragonfire.[121]

ArtifactsEdit

There are a number of artifacts that are associated with Dragons, whether created by them or out of them.

 
Anequina Dragonhorn

DragonhornsEdit

Dragonhorns are legendary artifacts crafted primarily by the Dragonguard, used as weapons against the Dragons. They are magical warhorns carved out of the horns of dragons, inscribed with various arcane runes, and are capable of producing a tonal sound that incapacitates dragons. They however will have no effect if used against the dragon the horn originated from. Widely manufactured in the late First Era by the Dragonguard, dragonhorns were gifted to key locations for their protection and are rare to find. They are considerably fragile, and can break instantaneously and crumble to dust after just a few uses. Lunar energy can be diverted into dragonhorns to charge them up with the arcane power capable of hindering dragons. The portable mouthpiece portion of a dragonhorn is called a Combat Dragonhorn.

 
Dragon Priest Masks

Dragon Priest MasksEdit

The masks of the Dragon Priests are strange artifacts created by the dragons in the Merethic Era. The highest ranking priests of the Dragon Cult were granted magical masks that defy the laws of time and possess powerful, mysterious enchantments. The individual masks are made of varying materials, and each bears the same name as the Dragon Priest that possessed it. The names are in the dragon language, and can be translated. The number of masks in existence is unknown, and some are apparently older than others. The masks were buried with their owners, until in 4E 201 the return of the dragons caused many of the undead Dragon Priests to awake from their slumber.

 
Dragonbone Mail

Dragonbone MailEdit

The Dragonbone Mail, or the Dragonbone Cuirass, is thought to be one of the greatest artifacts any collector or hero could own. While many fine pieces of armor have been constructed with real dragon bone, the Dragonbone Mail was enchanted by the first Imperial Battlemage of Tiber Septim, Zurin Arctus, in the early years of the Third Era. It's described as a truly exquisite piece of work, and many have sought to possess it.

The properties of the cuirass allow the wearer to resist fire, and to damage an enemy with a blast of fire. Little is known about the involvement of Zurin Arctus with the enchantment of the cuirass, but an old tale speaks of a debt that he owed to a traveling warrior. Like the warrior, the Dragonbone Mail never stays put for long.

 
Goldbrand

GoldbrandEdit

The Goldbrand is an ancient artifact created by the dragons of the North which takes the form of a golden katana. According to legends, they first bestowed the blade upon the Nordic warrior Sivdur, (ancestor to the modern Battle-Born clan) who was sworn to protect them. It contains the power of the Daedric Prince Boethiah, and burns those that it strikes.

 
Mask of Alkosh

Mask of AlkoshEdit

The Mask of Alkosh is a holy relic of the Dragon-Cat Alkosh, his light willing it into existence to help mend the tapestry of time, and is worn by the champions of the Pride of Alkosh. It was first worn by the Ja'darri the Endless, the first champion of Alkosh and the founder of the Pride of Alkosh. A Dragon must awaken the dormant power within the mask before it can be used. When the mask is empowered, it imbues its wielder, known as a Mask-Bearer, with extraordinary power.

 
Ward of Akavir

Ward of AkavirEdit

The Ward of Akavir is a priceless artifact treasured by the Imperial Legion. It is a tower shield with an Imperial Dragonscale design, made from the actual skin of a dragon. It bears a powerful enchantment which makes the wielder far luckier. Its origins are unknown, but its name implies that the artifact is related to the continent of Akavir in some way.

The shield was originally possessed by the Imperial Legion. It was stored within Fort Firemoth, an Imperial outpost located in the Inner Sea of Morrowind. Some time in the Third Era, an undead skeleton army led by the lich Grurn marched out of the sea and overran the fort, leaving few survivors. To the Legion's shame, the Ward of Akavir was lost. Grurn claimed it for himself and took it deep underground, to a Velothi tomb located below the fort.

Notable DragonsEdit

GalleryEdit

DragonsEdit

Notable DragonsEdit

Artistic DepictionsEdit

OtherEdit

NotesEdit

  • The use of "Dragon" in the nomenclature of northern Hammerfell is very common. From the smallest to the largest scale, there is the village of Dragon Gate,[124] the cities of Dragonstar[125] and Dragontail,[126] the region known as Dragon Fields,[125] and the mountain ranges known as Dragontail[126] and Dragon's Teeth.[127]
  • In the Fourth Era, there was some form of dance known as "Baby Drake".[128]
  • 1.  The Wandering Spirits recounts the tale of Akha, who fathered offspring with the Winged Serpent, Mother Mammoth, and Dune Queen. Upon Akha's vanishing in the South, Alkosh appeared in his place. Alkosh took over the role and crown of the First Cat, "was granted rule over the myriad kingdoms of Akha along the Many Paths", and would watch over Akha's children. However, they rebelled against Alkosh, only for Khenarthi to fly across the Paths and restore him afterward. Together, they now oversee them.[29] The term "wayward children of Alkosh" was used by Clan Mother Tadali, a leader of a temple dedicated to Khenarthi, to describe dragons.[129] Moreover, the Dragon Nahfahlaar referred to Alkosh as his father.[31]
  • 2.  The Nine Coruscations, a religious text of Ayleid origins describes linear time being layered upon infinite possibility in connection to what happened to Aka in the south, how he learned why his insanity is all that is and could be, and by that lesson Ada-Mantia was established as a stable spire fixed by a stone of nothing-possible. This account might be a description of the disappearance of Akha in the south and the return of Alkosh in his place from a different cultural perspective.[130]
  • 3.  An early idea for Skyrim would have had Jills as a group of Black Dragons serving Alduin.[UOL 12]
  • 4.  The events of Akha disappearing to be replaced by Alkosh, and Alkosh subsequently being torn apart by his children only to be put back together by Khenarthi, bear some resemblance to the accounts of Atakota being torn into and being broken by the spirits it had made, throwing the world into chaos until the Shadow put an end to it. A deity being overthrown, leading to chaos until the intervention of an external agent restores order. These accounts might be referring to similar events under different cultural perspectives.[29][30]


See AlsoEdit

BooksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Olaf and the DragonAdonato Leotelli
  2. ^ The Story of LyrisiusBresne Smythe
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Mysterious Akavir
  4. ^ Artorius Ponticus Answers Your QuestionsBishop Artorius Ponticus
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k The Dragon WarTorhal Bjorik
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k There Be DragonsTorhal Bjorik
  7. ^ Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition: Other LandsImperial Geographical Society, 3E 432
  8. ^ Word Walls in Skyrim
  9. ^ a b Arngeir's dialogue in Skyrim
  10. ^ a b Dragon Language: Myth no MoreHela Thrice-Versed
  11. ^ a b c King Edward, Part XII — Anonymous
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Paarthurnax's dialogue in Skyrim
  13. ^ Vonos's Journal
  14. ^ A Blade in the Dark quest in Skyrim
  15. ^ a b Loremaster's Archive - Dragons in the Second EraCamilla Calsivius
  16. ^ a b c d Arngeir's dialogue in Skyrim
  17. ^ Balgruuf the Greater's dialogue
  18. ^ Esbern's dialogue in Skyrim
  19. ^ a b c The Book of the Dragonborn — Prior Emelene Madrine
  20. ^ Events during the Oblivion Crisis.
  21. ^ Varieties of Faith...Brother Mikhael Karkuxor of the Imperial College
  22. ^ a b Shalidor's InsightsShalidor
  23. ^ Dread Their Return and Prepare
  24. ^ A Matter of Voice and Brass: Dragon Bones Interview
  25. ^ a b The Etched Tablets of High Hrothgar.
  26. ^ a b c d Odahviing's dialogue in Skyrim
  27. ^ a b c d e Loadings screens in Skyrim.
  28. ^ Nahviintaas' dialogue in ESO
  29. ^ a b c The Wandering SpiritsAmun-dro, the Silent Priest
  30. ^ a b Children of the RootSolis Aduro
  31. ^ a b Nahfahlaar's dialogue in ESO: Dragonhold
  32. ^ a b Alduin's's dialogue in Skyrim
  33. ^ Kaalgrontiid's dialogue in ESO
  34. ^ The Guardian and the TraitorLucius Gallus
  35. ^ Esbern's dialogue in Skyrim
  36. ^ Loremaster's Archive - Dragons in the Second EraCamilla Calsivius
  37. ^ A Minor Maze
  38. ^ a b The Alduin/Akatosh DichotomyAlexandre Simon, High Priest of the Akatosh Chantry, Wayrest
  39. ^ a b c d e Atlas of DragonsBrother Mathnan
  40. ^ Abnur Tharn's dialogue in ESO
  41. ^ a b c d Khunzar-ri and the Demons
  42. ^ a b Cadwell's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
  43. ^ a b Khamira's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
  44. ^ Tharayya's dialogue in ESO: Wrathstone
  45. ^ Dialogue with Yisareh in Fang Lair
  46. ^ a b c King Edward
  47. ^ a b Dragon Painting description in Castles
  48. ^ a b c d e f g Pocket Guide to the Empire, 1st Edition: CyrodiilImperial Geographical Society, 2E 864
  49. ^ Kiseravi's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
  50. ^ Ulfnor's dialogue in ESO
  51. ^ Ja'darri's dialogue during The Dragonguard in ESO
  52. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Nahfahlaar's dialogue in ESO: Dragonhold
  53. ^ Moon-Priest Nuziwa's dialogue in ESO: Dragonhold
  54. ^ Terror from the East
  55. ^ Dragon Sightings during the ESO: Dragon Rise Event
  56. ^ Events of ESO: Elsweyr
  57. ^ Events of ESO: Scalebreaker
  58. ^ Annals of the DragonguardBrother Annulus
  59. ^ a b Twin SecretsBrarilu Theran
  60. ^ Starlover's LogSamar Starlover
  61. ^ Avenge the Dragons quest in Daggerfall
  62. ^ a b Daggerfall's Glory Road - The Complete Walkthrough, The Daggerfall ChroniclesRonald Wartow
  63. ^ a b Daggerfall User's Guide
  64. ^ Dragons in Blades
  65. ^ Events of Facing the Dragon in Blades
  66. ^ a b c Events of Unbound in Skyrim
  67. ^ Events of Civil War questline in Skyrim
  68. ^ Events of A Blade in the Dark in Skyrim
  69. ^ Events of Dragon Rising in Skyrim
  70. ^ a b Events of Alduin's Bane in Skyrim
  71. ^ a b c Events of Dragonslayer in Skyrim
  72. ^ Ysgramor's dialogue in Skyrim
  73. ^ a b Durnehviir's dialogue in Skyrim
  74. ^ Redoran Guard dialogue in Skyrim
  75. ^ Wisdom of the Flying GodsMagnius Calussa
  76. ^ a b c Varieties of Dragons: An Initial ExplorationAxulsha of Black Marsh
  77. ^ Famed Artifacts of TamrielYagrum Bagarn
  78. ^ Dragon's Treasure Trove and Ruby Dragon Skull item descriptions in ESO
  79. ^ a b Dreekius' dialogue in Redguard
  80. ^ Events of Jode's Core in ESO: Elsweyr
  81. ^ Mulaamnir's dialogue in Legends
  82. ^ Events of The Dragonguard in ESO: Elsweyr
  83. ^ Mojha's dialogue in ESO: Elsweyr
  84. ^ Pridehome: A Place Outside Time?Kaalaleth of the Mages Guild
  85. ^ a b Dragons in ESO
  86. ^ a b Dragons in Skyrim
  87. ^ Casting the Bones quest in ESO
  88. ^ Vampiric Dragon Imp in ESO
  89. ^ The Dragonslayer quest in Daggerfall
  90. ^ Player Background History in Daggerfall
  91. ^ Tiny Dragon card in Legends
  92. ^ Fairy Dragon's scales ingredient in Daggerfall
  93. ^ A French translation of A Child's Tamriel Bestiary
  94. ^ a b Alchemy's dialogue in ESO: Summerset
  95. ^ Wyvern's Sting spell in Arena
  96. ^ Clockwork Dragon in Legends
  97. ^ Saint Olms the Just in ESO
  98. ^ The Crow's dialogue in ESO
  99. ^ The Dragon's dialogue in ESO
  100. ^ Daedra Dossier: The TitansDenogorath the Dread Archivist
  101. ^ Loremaster's Archive - Infinite ArchiveMaster Malkhest
  102. ^ Master Malkhest's dialogue in ESO: Necrom
  103. ^ Dragon enemies in the Infinite Archive in ESO
  104. ^ Events of Prisoner of Fate in ESO
  105. ^ Gauntlets of the Companions item description in Blades
  106. ^ a b Crafting Motif 59: Scalecaller StyleJorvuld Davaux, Dragon Priest Historian
  107. ^ a b Bjormund's Diary
  108. ^ Imperial Dragonscale Armor in Morrowind
  109. ^ Dragoneye Helmets being present in Stormhold and Dawnstar
  110. ^ Dragon item descriptions in Blades
  111. ^ Dragon-Scale Kitchen Knife and Dragonscale Purse item descriptions in ESO
  112. ^ Dragonbone Comb and Dragonbone Fang Caps item descriptions in ESO
  113. ^ The Crimson Dirks, v2 — Gathers-the-Coin
  114. ^ Dragon Items in Skyrim
  115. ^ Dragon's scales in Daggerfall
  116. ^ Dragon Claws in Blades
  117. ^ Dragon's Blood and Dragon's Bile in ESO
  118. ^ Chevalier Renald's dialogue in ESO
  119. ^ Grundwulf's dialogue in ESO
  120. ^ Sahrotnax's dialogue in ESO
  121. ^ Dragonfire Wolf mount description in ESO
  122. ^ The Knights of the NineKaroline of Solitude
  123. ^ The Prophet's dialogue
  124. ^ Dragon Gate in Arena
  125. ^ a b Map of High Rock, Hammerfell, Skyrim Border – The Elder Scrolls Travels: Shadowkey
  126. ^ a b Dragontail Mountains in Daggerfall
  127. ^ Arkngthamz-PhngNeramo
  128. ^ Baby Drake emote in Blades
  129. ^ Clan Mother Tadali's dialogue in ESO: Dragonhold
  130. ^ The Nine CoruscationsStar-Queen Varalias

Note: The following references are considered to be unofficial sources. They are included to round off this article and may not be authoritative or conclusive.