The strongest and most dangerous shapeshifter, dragons can take any animal form they please, including human form, merely by touch. Usually in human form, dragons have been known to have completely opaque eyes. Regardless of this extraordinary ability, the dragons always retains their horns, the sources of their power in any form they take; the average number of horns can range from 1 to 3, although four and even five horns can occur in rare cases. Horns also indicate the strength of a dragon; the more horns it has, the more powerful it is. When necessary, it sheds its current shape and shows its true form: a grotesque reptilian beast, with yellowish, noxious fluid that spews when it sheds whatever form it had prior. Their true voices, which they can use even in other shapes, also have a powerful bass quality, especially notable when dragons laugh or roar.
Dragons are utterly ruthless monarchs among shapeshifters. Among other species, however, it is a pitiless killer, viewing all the world as food. They also show great cunning, as well as extreme reluctance to be taken down without a fight. Among the downtrodden shapeshifter class, dragons appear as charismatic saviors, and many are willing to follow a dragon to the end.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Dragon Physiology (also known as Draconic Mimicry or Physiology, Dragon Mimicry, Ryū Mimicry or Physiology, Vritra Mimicry or Physiology, Wyrm Physiology or Mimicry): The power to use the abilities of Dragons. Variation of Mythical Bestiary and Reptilian Physiology. User with this ability either is or can transform into Dragon: a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that features in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and which is ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern mythologies, and the Chinese dragon, with counterparts in Japan, Korea and other East Asian countries. Broadly speaking, dragons can be divided into following groups: 1.) Western Dragons typically depicted as a huge fire-breathing, scaly and horned lizard-like creature, with leathery, bat-like wings, with four legs and a long muscular tail. It is sometimes shown with feathered wings, crests, fiery manes, ivory spikes running down its spine and various exotic colorations. Dragon's blood often has magical properties. The typical dragon protects a cavern or castle filled with gold and treasure and is often associated with a great hero who tries to slay it. Though a winged creature, the dragon is generally to be found in its underground lair, a cave that identifies it as an ancient creature of earth; 2.) Asian Dragons typically portrayed as long, scaled, serpentine creatures with four legs. Traditionally they symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, hurricane, and floods, and are also a symbols of power, strength, and good luck. They have also extended range of supernatural powers, changing size or form (most are able to take human shape), fly among the clouds or hide in water, form clouds, turn into water, change color as an ability to blend in with their surroundings as an effective form of camouflage or glow in the dark; 3.) Lesser Drakes is something of a catch-all category, including the lesser dragon-like beings, such as wyvern, worm/wyrm, lindworm, etc., which are generally smaller and more animal-like in mind and behavior.
- Unlimited Shapeshifting: stated as being the only "true shapeshifter[...]worthy of the name", dragons can take the form of any animal they choose, including a human being, although they must first touch the creature they wish to change into. In the case of the Drache family, the shapeshifting variation is highly restricted due to their blood being diluted down the centuries; members of this House can only choose an animal form once, after which they retain it for the rest of their lives.
- Telepathy and Mind Control: Dragons can reach out to the mind of any animal, human or otherwise, and control them to do their bidding; this ability can apparently be done to control mass amounts of animals or people. At times, in the case of humans, this experience can be traumatic, as the dark mind of the dragon can be sensed through the connection, despite the subject of the control being unable to stop it. Like their draconic ancestors, the Drache Family can also connect to and influence the minds of any animal, and are skilled in using pressure points to aid this particular ability.
- Call: Dragons have a signature Call, which they can use to lure people and other shapeshifters to them, either for aid or to devour them (in the case of humans or witches).
- Power: Dragons can use telepathic attacks, similar to a vampire's Power, though to a much more lethal extent, and with less effort due to their immense strength. It additionally has a homing factor, as it can follow a target like "a whip". Also similar to a vampire, the Power attack utilized by a dragon will have a specific color.
- Fire-Breathing: The ability to generate from within oneself fire and release them from the mouth. Sub-power of Fire Attacks. Variation of Elemental Breath and Energy Breath. The user is able to generate and manipulate fire within them in a way that allows them to shape the exhaling of the effect. These shapes can include bursts, streams, spheres, even a mist of it from the mouth. In their true forms, just as in stories, dragons can breathe a fiery blast at a given target. Usually, they will combine the fire with Power to completely obliterate what they desire.
- Vulcankinesis: According to Night World history, the dragons destroyed the First World by triggering mass volcanic eruptions. It is currently unknown whether this is another ability of the dragon species, or if it's just another manifestation of "Power".
Dragons are stated to have only one signature weakness:
- Horns: All dragons possess at least one horn, which serves as "the seat of its power". Regardless of the shape it assumes, a dragon will always have the horns present. Removing a horn will significantly injure a dragon, while removing them all will potentially kill it.
As shown with Poppy and Phillip North, dragons also have a weakness to strong psychic attacks, which have the potential to stun them. Dragons are also vulnerable when not in their true form; as shown when shapeshifter Keller attacked one, she was able to heavily injure it while it was in a human shape.
According to the short story Thicker Than Water, despite the number of horns being indicative of power, Sarah Strange states that as dragons age, they will lose horns naturally, though this process will not diminish their strength.
Dragons, along with their shapeshifter brethren, were the ruling class of the Night World when the world was still young. They enslaved humans, even raising them like cattle as a food supply. However, they found a dire enemy in the witches, who engaged in a war against them under Hecate Witch-Queen. The dragons were defeated by the witch clans but, rather than deal with this, decided to pool their powers and obliterate the world; if they could not have the world, no one would. Using their power, the dragons triggered mass volcanic eruptions around the world, seeking to destroy all life. Fortunately, the witches were able to stop them, placing them in a deathlike sleep to rid the earth of their presence. However, they allowed the youngest, the Dragon Princess, to remain awake, as it was felt she was too young to harm anyone. The princess was watched over and raised by the witches, ultimately having children of her own; her descendants became the First House of Shapeshifters, the Drache Family.
Sometime during the 20th century, beginning with the dragon Azhdeha, the dragons began to re-emerge, although it is unknown who had awakened them. Azhdeha tells Keller that the one who had begun reviving the dragons was "a witch who isn't a witch", and Keller knows that he could have only been resurrected and persuaded to join the Night World at a great price (likely the lives of others).
During the end times, more dragons are awakened from their slumber; some stage direct attacks on the world, while others seek to infiltrate Circle Daybreak as spies for the Night World.
In a possible future, in which the Wild Powers lose during the final battle, the dragons regain supremacy over the Earth, slaughtering millions of humans and witches. They allow a few vampires to live; the remaining vampires serve as overlords of "Houses"; special plantations for raising humans for food (for the dragons), entertainment and as courtesans (for the vampires). Any remaining witches are also kept in these Houses. The dragons also allow werewolves to live as guards, and naturally spare their natural shapeshifter subjects.
Houses will often hold Hunts, during which human slaves are subjected to a dragon's Call, which lures them to be devoured by the creature. Certain race-type hunts are also held, allowing some humans, usually courtesans called "Beauties" to have a chance at fleeing while a dragon hunts them down.
- The Dragon Princess (ancestress of the Drache Family)
- Azhdeha (a five-horn dragon destroyed by Keller, Galen Drache and Iliana Dominick-Harman)
- Whitcombe (a tri-horned dragon spy)
- The Drache Family/First House of Shapeshifters (descendants of the Dragon Princess; it is unknown if they can be counted as proper dragons due to their power limitations and lack of a reptilian form)
- It is possible, judging from her surname, that Maya Dragonslayer, while still a witch, fought and killed a dragon, if not more.
- Dragons have been indirectly referenced as early as Daughters of Darkness in the Night World series. Ash mentions that he will "fight dragons like any knight for [his] lady". Ironically, while Ash may have meant this figuratively, it becomes true when the dragons are awoken.
- In contrast with The Wild Powers' blue fire, dragons can "breathe" black fire or dark fire.
- In Huntress, Jez Redfern refers to the Old Powers as "sleeping like giant dragons for thousands of years". It is possible that the Old Powers are connected to the awakening of the actual dragon species; the mass disturbances occurring on Earth might have been a precursor to (or even caused by) the end of the dragons' slumber.
- As humans are derived by evolution from simians (the animal species that includes apes), dragons can shift into any human form as long as it has had physical contact with the respective human.</span>