When Lori Fitzgerald invited me to visit her blog during this tour, I knew at once that I wanted to write a post about Dragon. What could be a better fit, given the recent release of Lori’s romantic adventure, The Dragon’s Message?
Dragons are extraordinarily versatile, given the fact that the basic blue print of “fire-breathing flying serpent” rarely changes. We have Smaug of Tolkien fame, the epitome of the greedy, destructive beast ready to wreak havoc on the world. We find Smaug’s polar opposite in Draco from “Dragon’s Heart”, who represents all that is honorable and true in humankind. The wonderful Falcor, that fuzzy dragon from The Never Ending Story, is one of my personal favorites. Certainly, he’s the most huggable dragon on record.
In the novel ‘Eolyn’, Dragon is not a biological or physical creature, but rather a spiritual entity.
At the beginning of time, Dragon taught the legendary figures Aithne and Caradoc the ways of High Magic. Also called “Messenger”, Dragon was sent by the gods who supported Aithne and Caradoc’s search for cures and spells that could contribute to the welfare of their people.
Many generations after appearing to Aithne and Caradoc, Dragon returned in its true form to teach the first mage warrior Caedmon how to use magic during the brutal struggle against the People of Thunder. This was a crucial turning point in the history of Eolyn’s people. Until Dragon appeared to Caedmon, it was forbidden to use magic to cause physical harm to another. But through Dragon’s intervention, Caedmon brought magic to the battlefield, turning the tide of a war that would otherwise have ended in the annihilation of all practitioners.
In his campaign against the People of Thunder, Caedmon formed an alliance with the warrior chief Vortingen. Following their victory in that long and terrible war, Dragon appeared once more and granted Vortingen the crown of the Kingdom of Moisehén. Vortingen and all his descendants were charged with protecting the mages and magas, and through them the traditions of Aithne and Caradoc.
Although Dragon has appeared in its true form only a handful of times, as a spiritual entity it can take on the shape of any living creature. As a result, Dragon has walked the earth on countless occasions. When Eolyn makes her pilgrimage into the forest to petition for a staff of High Magic, her tutor Ghemena advises her to be prepared for all possibilities when receiving a visit from Dragon. Dragon can appear as something as innocuous as an ant, or as fearsome a bear.
No matter what form it chooses, Dragon reveals to the initiate what elements are to be incorporated in his or her staff. Under the traditions of the Old Orders, it was widely taught that Dragon appeared as a male to mage initiates and as a female to maga initiates, although there were of course exceptions to this rule. If Dragon does not appear during the pilgrimage of the initiate, it is understood that the Gods for whatever reason have judged High Magic to be an inappropriate burden for the petitioner.
Dragon is often referred to in Eolyn’s world as the Silver Serpent. In its true form, Dragon’s scales are iridescent and highly reflective; they can take on a variety of colors. Nonetheless, artwork in Moisehén portrays Dragon only in silver. The sigil of the ruling House of Vortingen, for example, is a silver dragon against a purple night. Eolyn’s ally Corey of East Selen wears a clasp on his cloak in the form of a silver Dragon. At a key moment in their relationship, Prince Akmael gives Eolyn a silver bracelet with images of the many forms in which Dragon has been known to appear: winged serpent, snake, lion, butterfly, river otter, fish and many others. Each figure on the bracelet blends into the next, creating a single creature as fantastic as imagination itself.
One of the most beloved and feared entities of Eolyn’s world, Dragon is the guardian of her people and the patron of all mages and magas. It is not a wild creature that razes villages, nor is it a companion that can be flown into battle. Rarely does Dragon appear in its true form, yet it constantly intervenes in the lives of Eolyn’s people, in intimate and complex ways. Every time a spell is invoked and the power of the gods is made manifest in Eolyn’s world, Dragon is at work.