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Wyvern

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Why Wyvens are the most dangerous mythical beasts to men? Where do they come from? What are the different abilities they have and how do they make use of them in what scenarios? All this and some more info can be found here.

Type of Wyverns

General Information

The Wyvern Is a huge winged reptile of the dragon family. However, they present notable differences with these, which makes them a bit more inferior beings. To begin with, a wyvern has only hind legs, they are creatures of quite low intelligence and their flight is not as agile as that of a dragon, in fact, a wyvern can not fly with a creature of considerable weight.

Wyvern Origins and Myth

The Wyvern’s origin is in European folklore, where it is treated like a creature inferior to a dragon, but dangerously related to snakes and basilisks. On the other hand, in Fantasy literature, the Wyvern is on an evolutionary step between an indeterminate reptilian species and dragons. Being considered in many fantasy worlds the servants of the dragons when they go out to fight.

Often, but not always, the vision of a Wyvern can be seen as an omen that a cold climate or frost is approaching.

Although the first representation of a Wyvern has been lost in history, it is clear from the bestiaries and alchemical texts that these small dragons were known throughout Europe as early as the medieval period, in the 5th century AD.

Dark wyvern dragon

Some scholars have speculated that the Wyvern may have emerged from Roman war flags, which would have been seen by the first Europeans when the conquering forces of Rome began to spread northward. This idea is supported by the fact that the etymology of the word “wyvern” goes back, through the French, to the Latin word “vipera”, which would have been used by the Romans.

It is believed that wyverns appeared on English war banners as early as the 8th century, when Wales was represented by a “red dragon” and Wessex by a “golden dragon”. In the 16th century, the popularity of this small dragon as a symbol of courage and strength had earned it a place on the coat of arms of many prominent families in Wales and Wessex. In the 19th century, English companies across the country had begun to use the dragonet as their logo, and today, it can be found as a logo or mascot all over the world.

Morphology

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Physically they are reptiles, with sharp teeth and a greyish brown colour. Most of them are more than 10 meters long and have huge bat wings (there are rare Wyverns that are even bigger than the normal ones). Their tail has a stinger very similar to that of a scorpion. They are also well known for having intense red eyes.

Taking a more “realistic” approach, Wyverns were theropods that evolved parallel to the birds and pterosaurs with which they competed to occupy the ecological niche (or an alternative course if pterosaurs had never evolved).
Aerial sacs, hollow bones and feathers have been present since the ancestors of dinosaurs and pterosaurs, predisposing their evolution.
Its branch was divided from the known theropods at the end of the Triassic. Its common ancestor was limited to planning from tree to tree to hunt insects and lizards. Thanks to bipedism, their wings developed independently of their legs, which consequently kept them separate from the patagio. Their first finger was kept to hold the branches if needed while the second and third fingers were used to hold the patagio. The third finger lengthened more due to its greater number of phalanges to hold the wing. And like the Yi qi, it developed a styliform element, possibly formed from the fourth metacarpus.

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Hunting and Fighting

As hunters they are truly clever. When they find a possible victim, they watch over it stealthily, preventing its shadow from falling on the prey. Finally they dive in, in complete silence, so that their victim has no chance, they most likely hunt like felines would. When food is scarce, wyverns often form small groups to hunt.

They are fearless fighters, even more than their calculating cousins, who usually only fight when the odds are in their favor. The Wyverns will throw themselves into battle against any enemy, no matter how powerful it may seem.

If there is a confrontation with considerable enemies, the wyvern makes use of its sting with considerable skill. Some wyverns have in their tails a posion substance. This stinger injects that poison that few victims manage to survive.

Abilities

Wyverns share many of the same skills as dragons. They are excellent flyers only when they don’t have to carry much weight, and can often be seen circling in the sky as they search for treasures to loot. When they get their hands on a new trinket, they take it to their dens, where they hide their “treasure”. Their hordes, however, are not as impressive as the true hordes of dragons, who are known to make men sick with greed and envy.

They are attracted to shiny objects, even if it is nothing more than a cheap spoon. They are fearless fighters, even more than their calculating cousins, who usually only fight when the odds are in their favor. The Wyverns will throw themselves into battle against any enemy, no matter how powerful it may seem.

Whether or not the little snakes can breathe fire is the subject of heated debate. Certainly, they don’t contain an inexhaustible source of fire, as does the mighty dragon, but some texts describe Wyverns throwing small balls of fire at their enemies or at a thatched roof. In some medieval bestiaries they have even been nicknamed “fire gulps”.

The deadliest weapon of all Wyverns is their breath. Even if they can’t breathe fire, they can breathe something much more dangerous: pestilence. They spread contagious diseases wherever they go, and during the dark ages of Europe, they were blamed for spreading the Black Death, a grotesque disease that claimed millions of lives.

Wyvern by dominik kasprzyck

Habitat

In general, wyverns are solitary beings and live only with their partner and their offspring. They form their dens in the mountains, from where they dominate the nearby forests. Sometimes they collaborate with other dragons of their same size.

Since they are territorial creatures, after having collaborated with other dragons to occupy a place or territory, they try to get rid of the animal that helped them.