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Dracosvulfs : ‘The lost dragons’


Dracosvulfs appear to be somewhere between dragon, wolf and humanoid with a little demon thrown in for good measure.
They are bipedal like a human and have primate-like hands with four fingers, long claw-like nails and opposable thumbs. Their feet however appear almost reptilian with only three toes and big talons. Their bodies are covered in fairly short fur. Their head-hair is much longer and usually of a different colour to their main body fur. Males have manes of fur round their head and neck while females only have head-hair and no mane. Males also tend to have slightly longer underarm hair, which is the same colour as their head-hair.
They have long, leathery tails that appear reptilian, but are prehensile and quite dextrous.
All dracosvulfs have dragon-like membranous wings that are large and powerful enough to fly on. The leathery, furless skin over the wing structure is the same colour as their tails whilst the membrane, although the same base colour, can be either brighter or darker in hue. Some dracosvulfs have patterning of different hues of their base colour on the skin and fur. This only develops when they reach adolescence though.

Dracosvulfs are both an ancient, and a very new (on a geological timescale) species on Tymaera.

Originally they were a race that inhabited the world during the magical Age of Immortals. Myths and legends portray this time as a ‘golden age’ of magic and wonder where, at one point, even the gods walked the land and shared its bounty. In truth, this ‘golden age’ lasted about five minutes. War broke out and the Age of Immortals was a bloody time of the struggles between gods for mortal souls, using lesser beings for their armies. It culminated in the Fall of Ultharis: the end of the chaotic god. Then came the Age of Dust and Death came to Tymaera for until now, all races had been blessed with longevity.

Dracosvulfs fought on the armies of Kalganos the First Dragon however this original species was wiped out by chaos demon armies long before the Fall of Ultharis.

Now, for the first time in countless aeons, dracosvulfs have returned once more to Tymaera. Except for appearance however they are not the race they originally were.
Just before the coming of the Demon Incursion, the Demonqueen Shine, seeing dragons as the major possible threat to her plans to overrun and eventually consume Tymaera into her own dimension, found a magical means by which she thought she could eliminate this threat: by transforming the beasts into smaller, weaker creatures whose minds she could bend to her own will. She chose to use the form of the extinct dracosvulfs because the race had been ferocious fighters, attuned and receptive to using magic, and their forms had certain similarities to dragons, making the transformation more straightforward.

The first dragon she tried this on was Syrax Bloodbane. Dormant for over two hundred years, Shine’s forces found it relatively easy to infiltrate the sleeping dragon’s lair and cast her curse upon him. The dragon awoke before the spell was completed. Although it altered his form, the dragon’s mind was still unaffected and, even in this diminished incarnation, he still managed to kill most of the demons. However, the two remaining demons managed to complete enough of the curse for Shine’s magic to take away Syrax’s memories and identity and prevent him from accessing (or even remembering) his not inconsiderable magical powers. However, the new dracosvulf’s personality remained the same, and it took over a hundred years for Shine’s ‘expert’, the demoness known as Aster, to break him.

After this, Shine found she had created the perfect soldier and leader for her chaotic forces. However, she found that the whole process had taken too long, so she increased the power of her curse for its next use, making it take full effect the moment it was cast. In the remote lands south of the nigh-impassable mountain ranges that formed the Land’s Spine, her wizards roamed through the land, transforming any dragon, old or young they came across and adding them, minds already broken, to her forces.

However, it is a fundamental rule of magic that all enchantments and curses must have a way to be lifted. The first dracosvulf, who had by now earned himself the nomenclature ‘Blackjack’ after the cosh-like weapon of the same name (in demon armies you rise through the ranks by fighting and defeating your superiors in one-on-one combat with blunt weapons), somehow broke free of the hold Shine had on his mind and turned against her. In the end he was instumental in her defeat.

This left the dracosvulfs in the Ruined Lands of southern Caevalonia to their own devices as, without their ‘goddess’ to guide them, the demons fell into chaos and their bid to overrun Tymaera failed miserably. The curse on these ‘leftover’ dracosvulfs was so strong that, without guidance (that they would never get), they could never regain their original dragon identities or return to their true forms. Instead, they bred and produced viable offspring and over the centuries these increased in number to produce a whole new species.