Crystal Dragons of Sogth VII
The crystal dragons of Sogth VII are strange and sinuous beasts, be they stalking across the land on their four legs, and swimming through the ammonia seas.
Born on the frigid methane / ammonia world of Sogth VII, the crystal dragons strike a strange chord within the hearts of men, one of both awe, fear, and love, ringing in the soul with ancient legends.
Newly hatched, a young crystal dragon is greatly similar to the wyverns of human lore, bearing the winged lizard frame of the ancient legend, save for its brilliantly colored scales, a rainbow of a thousand different colors of crystal. While not capable of true flight, the young dragonet is able to glide for short distances upon its wings, helping it to capture the light prey that it feeds upon instinctually in its youth.
As it ages, however, the crystal dragon rapidly increases in volume, its wings quickly becoming useless as gliding things, instead metamorphosing over time into crude grasping appendages, their supporting shoulder bone actually rolling over to allow for the easiest use grasping from the ground, while its body becomes longer, and more sinuous with every day, reaching its full growth around five years of age, nearly four meters tall at the second shoulder, where it stands upon its front 'feet', a full three meters around and nearly twenty long, from mouth to the tip of tail. In this form, now, it greatly resembles the wyrm from legends related to the wyvern, or perhaps the eastern dragon, yet its dracoform is none the less undeniable, despite the absence of wings.
While the crystal dragon is a nearly obligate carnivore as an infant, as it grows, its appetite becomes far more immense than it can possibly find from the smaller creatures that dominate Sogth VII. Instead, as it grows, new and more versatile teeth grow in, along with a more multipurpose digestive tract. At its fifth year of life, the crystal dragon is fully grown, and has associated itself with a loose pack structure that roams the lands, eating animal, vegetable, and mineral almost indiscriminately. Although a preference for meat is preferred, mostly because of its high energy density, refined, light metals are a special treat to them, and it can be used as part of the process of training them.
The local tribesmen, with their half-evolved intelligence, have learned to separate the youths from the loose packs, and with some care, are able to bond the dragon to the tribe as if they were its pack members. While it is possible to train them to attack, this is rare, for the dragon is preferably used as a beast of burden - Their relatively tremendous size means that little is able to threaten them, but when they do, their rudimentary pack tactics and bulk coupled with teeth and claws able to rend stone find little challenge in most meat. When used to hunt, they are generally used to drive other creatures towards the seemingly less threatening tribesmen, for few creatures will volunteer to cross the path of the dragon.
Unfortunately for them, from time to time, an offworlder with more money than sense will try to rise to the challenge of domesticating one of the crystal dragons themselves, lured by their exotic beauty and their raw potential as a fighting beast. With size, a slew of natural weapons, and thick scales laced with corundum, it is tempting indeed, especially for the gambling man.
Rarely does this go well - the refrigeration alone required to sustain the creature is difficult to sustain, especially when it shows a certain knack for eating its way out of confinement. While the methane it breathes in is not particularly poisonous to humans, the ammonia it drinks and the byproducts of its breath most certainly are - more than one hopeful dragon rider has been slain by the potent blend of formaldehyde and cyanide that the beast exhales. Smuggler and buyer beware!
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? Responses (4)-4
Talk about stepping outside of the box and setting it on fire, and throwing away the ashes.
Wow - I am nearly speechless. Agree with Scras's comment here.
An excellent submisson to Scras's challenge! Well done!
Not an easy beast to look after.
Not bad at all! I like the sci-fish take on the green beast. And if they derive sustenance from metals, they must have some pretty strange metabolism indeed!
Good work, Siren.