Alongside humans, and arguable in a more dominant position on the planet, are fire-breathing dragons. None are sure if they are sapient as they do not speak, but they are unquestionably cunning and dangerous. Typically dragons don’t grow much larger than an elephant or small whale, but their magical powers of flight and fire mean they control large territories of the world, leaving meager lands left for people. Only a single species of dragon is small enough to be kept as pets, around the size of a hawk.
Despite, or perhaps because of the danger dragons present, people idolize the dragon in their heraldry, art, and architecture. Where in other nations lions, horses, or birds of prey stand as national symbols or subjects of decoration, the dragon has taken all of these roles. Dragons are particularly signs of the sovereign aristocracy, who lord over their slaving subjects like greedily guarded property and remind them of their place with constant imagery of the dragon watching from above.
Knights’ armor also is stylized into the form of the dragon. Helmets have subtle wing or horn crests, and the plates are fashioned to resemble hard reptile scutes or dragon scales (parade armor impractically so). All commoners know to part way and kneel in the presence of a knight in full dragon armor, wing-like cape flowing behind, for none dare challenge their draconic authority over each person’s life and death.
Of magic, the only known form of supernatural (besides the feared dragons themselves) is a so-called curse of flame. Those who are fire-cursed are superstitiously believed to have been favored by the dragons, for they possess the ability to create flames and are impervious to fire. Such individuals, when they do so, usually become uncontrollable and fierce, as if flying into a berseker rage.
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