With the end drawing near on the first draft of the novel I have been calling Ill’ln, I have had my mind on it a great deal. Sometimes I am able to write very little in a week. Other times I am able to feel satisfied with the progress. It is likely the last time I will be doing the first draft by hand. As much as I like the way the slower pace of hand writing forces me to focus on the words and quality of what I have to say, it also means a very plodding pace.
Worse of course is then going back and adding it into the computer. Again, it has an up side of allowing me to do some editing as I go, but the cost in time is too great. Still, there is a great deal of information that isn’t even going to make it into this book. I compiled a great deal of ideas before I started on it. Some will appear in later books if it becomes a series, but some may never appear at all outside of perhaps here.
So it is that I have decided to offer up another taste of the world. What follows is a small taste of an extensive bestiary I created for use as reference material in writing this book lest I make some foolish mistake. I am only including the overview description of each creature and only for those who are Dragon-kin. There is much I leave out, lest it ruin things for those who read the novels set in this world. I trust you will enjoy this early taste of the creatures who have or do populate the setting.
True Dragons – As far as anyone can tell, the true dragons passed from the world when magic waned. The accepted theory is that their bodies relied too heavily on magic to survive without it. It is said that just before the magic faded away, many dragons were seen migrating out across the open oceans. Some believe they could sense the magic fading and were evading where it had already grown thin. Whatever the case, those few that remained and terrorized the land soon fell ill as magic seemed to leave the world. It wasn’t long before they died entirely and even with the return of magic, all that seems to remain are relics of their existence.
Apsuru – Loosely related to dragons, these great beasts are land bound. Unlike their flying cousins, they seem to have little magic involved in their bodily processes. While they are still quite large, they tend to be far more docile than their flying kin are said to have been. Their ability to consume just about anything leads them to only hunt living prey for variety. They rarely feel a need to bother other creatures unless provoked. Scholars have recognized an interesting correlation between the diet of an Apsuru and the appearance of its scales and horns. One Apsuru can look dramatically different from another solely based on it’s favored food. Unlike true dragons, they do not seem to bear intelligence beyond what one would expect of a large reptile.
Apsu Hounds – Giant lizards with a mass similar to a large dog are not actual kin to the Apsuru, but named after them due to similarities in basic form. They are sometimes trained for climbing walls with ropes as siege weapons. Interestingly, they are no longer found in the wild, but solely raised for the purpose of war in a few kingdoms. Wild Apsu Hounds have been hunted to extinction for the danger they pose to livestock. Even the domesticated variety is not often used in the present age and have become something of a rare curiosity. Raising and training them is seen as a proud and noble art more than a practical craft.
Serpent, Sea – Little more than a glorified snake, the sea serpent is a tremendous reptile easily spanning in upwards of thirty feet long. They are a distant cousin to the Apsuru. Each scale is hard and smooth and it’s mouth is lined with sharp inward curving teeth. Their flat tails propel them swiftly through water in search of prey. The Sea Serpent is often only seen when it surfaces to fill it’s air bladders, or when drawn by the struggles of persons thrashing after falling from a boat. In the latter case, it will often see the human as wounded prey. Some say they are another ancient form of dragon, but scholars dismiss this as fancy since they bear almost nothing in common with the recorded traits of true dragons.