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Ra'ara Su'nai

The golden-voiced fox
So I've had an idea for a long time for a species of my own called Crystalline Astral Dragons (referred to simply as Astral Dragons from this point on). I've put a lot of thought into them, and though the lore behind them still needs some work, I believe I've got a solid base for a custom species that I might even considering opening up to the public. There's a lot that's gone into this, though I don't yet have any artwork for them as my own drawing skills are.....yeah, I have no drawing skills. So, let's get right into it!

Prepare for a HUGE wall of text

Astral dragons don't differ too much from other dragons in their base makeup. One of the characterizing features of astral dragons are their eyes. An astral dragon's eyes have no white, looking almost like a deep gem stone, cut into an absolutely perfect oval. The color of their eyes helps to define which subspecies of astral dragon they fall into. Red = Ruby. Blue = sapphire. Green = Emerald, and so on, their eyes able to be the color of any known gemstone, giving them their names. The most interesting aspect behind their eyes is that a baby can be hatched with any color eyes, regardless of their parentage. A Ruby-eyed mother and a sapphire-eyed father could produce an emerald-eyed hatchling.

Less notable than their eyes are their scales. The colors of their scales are less various, in most cases ranging from black to white in a certain degree of gray, though there are a good number of colored scales out there. The brightness and intensity of their scales, when converted to grayscale, determines the name of their tribe, and the tribes are named based on the stars. A dragon of pure white scales is named after Sirius, the brightest known star in the universe. Those who are off-white are named after Canopus, the second brightest star. This naming scheme continues the darker their scales get, until those with dark grey scales, borderline black, are named after Altair, the 12th brightest known star. Those with pure black scales are known as a Mintaka the 73rd brightest known star. Scale color is determined largely by parentage, but not as the be-all end-all. A Sirius and an Altair could have a Mintaka child, though that would be exceedingly rare. The resulting child would most likely be a Vega or Capella, the 5th and 6th brightest stars. I used a designer's template of shade of grey as a reference for the classification of the scale colors. Their scales can be any color, but as stated, it is that color in gray scale which determines the star. An easy way to determine what color it will be while keeping the same degree of darkness is to open this picture in GIMP 2 and use the paintbrush tool in Color (HSL). Pick your desired color (blue, red, green, whatever) and color over the shades with that color. It'll change to that color while retaining its current darkness. You can easily change the whole picture to that color simply by increasing the brush size to 150 or so and running it over the whole page.
Dropbox - Astral Dragon star reference.jpg - Simplify your life

Both eye color and scale color are used in giving the astral dragon's group its name, but note that this is not the dragon’s actually name. Think of it more as a title. First by their jewel, then star. For example, a mint-green eyed dragon with a smoky grey coloration would be called a Peridot Achernar dragon. The combinations are nearly endless.

All Astral dragons are anthropomorphic. No feral dragons here. Their average heights range from 5'11"-6'9" for females and 6'2"-8'0" for males (don't ask me to convert those to metric). These heights are from their feet to the tops of their heads, so it does not count their horns. The most common colors seen in astral dragon horns are smoky black and ivory white, but many other colors have been seen. None other than ivory white have bee reported to be an exceptionally bright color(no neon green horns), and their claws and horns always match in color(barring the use of cosmetics of course) Most astral dragons have short muzzles, at less than 3 inches, and their teeth do not show when their mouths are fully closed, like can happen with some other species of dragons. They have soft underbellies which can differ in scale color from the rest of their scales, but their belly scales are not taken into consideration when determining tribe. While many dragon have spikes or ridges along their neck and backs, Astral Dragons most commonly do not, unless another species of dragon exists in their breeding. Typically Astral Dragons have only two horns, though there have been many known cases of more, with the highest known number being 8 on one dragon. When their horns are more numerous, they are usually smaller, believed to be an adaptation to avoid their heads weighing too much. Astral dragons' hands have 3 fingers and a thumb each, with large retractable claws, and their feet have 3 toes each, but those claws are not retractable, and they have digitigrade legs. Astral dragons' tall heights come from their long, slender, yet muscular legs. Most often, an astral dragon's tail will be a few inches longer than their legs, dragging on the floor if they do not take care to lift it up.

The most defining feature of astral dragons are their wings. Their wingspans are incredible, with each wing being 6 inches longer than their body from feet to the tips of their horns when fully stretched out. When folded in against their backs, their wings still stretch from the tops of their heads to their ankles. When viewed from behind, their wings do not appear to have any special features to them. However, when seen from in front, the wings of a mature astral dragon have the appearance of gazing into a moonless, starry night sky. The part of the cosmos shown on their wings changes as they move, creating a mesmerizing and beautiful display. Their wings are very difficult to damage, and they take great care to protect them, but should one of their wings be damage, it will lose its starry glow until it heals. Their wings can heal from any injury, short of their wing being completely removed, though the more serious the injury, the longer it takes, as one would expect. Even if half their wing were to be cut off, it can be healed and restored.

Astral dragons are physically weak when compared to other species of dragons, but they can still easily outdo the strength of all but the absolute strongest of humans. Astral Dragons, like many other dragons, are usually born with an innate talent for magic. However, unlike most dragons, who can learn many different types of magic, Astral dragons can each only master one kind, and which type they have the greatest affinity for is something with which they are born. For example, a dragon who finds pyromancy easy and natural will not be able to control another element with any sort of skill. In trade off for being unable to master multiple types of magic, each dragon excels in the magic with which they are innately gifted. Astral dragons are more likely to have a talent for healing magic, and those that do are healers second only to the white-silver dragons spoken of in ancient legend. Their magic talent, however, is not their strongest ability. Their strongest ability makes use of their unique wings. Those starry wings are capable of putting others to sleep temporarily, and controlling their dreams, or causing them to see illusions, which one could call waking dreams. They lose power with distance, with those of greater mental fortitude having a greater chance to resist their sleep-inducing, illusion-weaving abilities. If they touch their target with their wing, there is no one short of another astral dragon who has the ability to resist. Additionally, if they are able to wrap their wings around someone, they can actually infiltrate their dream, able to see and interact with them there. While this sleep-inducing power can certainly serve nefarious purposes, Astral Dragons by and large are docile, and will not take action to harm someone. They primarily use their illusion and dream powers for self-defense or for the benefit of others. An example of the latter would be someone who is suffering some sort of terror or injury. An astral dragon can use their powers to bring them to a dream world of the dragon's design to help ease their tortured mind, or simply to give them peaceful rest to allow them to recover. Needless to say, as with every civilized group of beings, there are those among Astral Dragons with evil in their hearts, who would not think twice about putting someone to sleep and holding them hostage, or worse. Like humans, any Astral Dragon is born with the capacity for great good or great evil. It is up to them which they will choose(but the majority choose good)
 

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Ra'ara Su'nai

The golden-voiced fox
(Had to divide this into two posts because of character limits.)

A unique trait of Astral Dragons is their ability to have young with any other anthropomorphic species (including humans) of at least similar height and intellect. This can in certain situations result in the offspring having some features from the other parent, an example being an Astral Dragon and a wolf couple having a child who possesses a strong sense of smell and some fur to their body, such as around their tail, a few tufts on their wings, or even having wolf ears. The traits inherited from the non-dragon parents are usually not difficult to see, however these sorts of hybrid children are very rare, and in no situation will the dragon not bare the gemstone eyes and starry wings unique to their brood. In most situations, regardless of who their second parent is, the child will be born full astral dragon. There are rumors of one astral dragon whose furry father was so gifted, the resulting dragon was a completely furry astral dragon, with only the membranes of their wings being bare, though it cannot yet be confirmed if such a dragon truly does exist among the astral dragons.

The origins of astral dragons are unknown to most, having been lost to history. That's probably good, because who would believe it? The first astral dragons were born when a powerful dragon, one of the strongest to exist at the time, gave her life to stop a shooting star, a meteor, from wiping out a village of powerful mages who had a deep respect and reverence for the dragon. The meteor, in its millions of years traveling the cosmos, had picked up incredible magic energy, leaving only the magic resistant dragon as a protector to keep it away. The dragon's struggle was short-lived, but enough to break up the huge rock so that, though damaged, the village was not destroyed, and no lives lost save for the dragon who so nobly protected these people who looked up to her. In breaking apart the meteor, the magic within was released in a powerful blast, directed from the fracture in the rock to the dragon forcing it back. Little did the people of the village realize at the time they implored her for help that the dragon was heavy with a clutch of eggs, which absorbed the magic from the now destroyed space rock. Her final breaths she gave to ensure her eggs were laid, the people of the village honoring her sacrifice and memory by bringing back all 20 and ensuring they were protected and had the chance to hatch. Every egg hatched successfully, surprising the humans as they saw two-legged dragons for the first time, and the Astral Dragons were born.

Due to being raised by humans, the first Astral Dragons garnered a respect for them as well. The humans saw this as an opportunity. While most would think to try to control the dragons, the humans sought to bring the dragons in as part of their society, to have them live among them as equals, rather than as guardians. They did not wish to see these dragons, the spawn of their revered protector, putting their lives on the line the way their mother had. The humans strove to solve their own problems, accepting help from the dragons as they would any other human, and offering help in return. Their lives treated as equals led the Astral Dragons to be far less prideful than their greedy, powerful ancestors with their vast treasure hordes. As society advanced, and more anthropomorphic creatures' existences were learned of, the astral dragons advanced along with it, growing in number and living in peace. It is unknown exactly how the naming of astral dragon tribes came to be. Some speculate the names of the stars were given to their tribes by the humans who wanted to honor them for their mother's sacrifice, and could think only to allow them to share the names of the stars which the humans believed had gifted the dragon's their abilities by bestowing their celestial energies into the meteor. Other rumors say the dragons received the names of gems from humans who truly believed their eyes were gemstones, until one human was foolish enough to strike one of the dragons down to pull those eyes from its head, only to find they were no gemstones, and he had just incurred the wrath of the entire species for a fool's treasure. Whatever way the origins of their tribal names came about, the dragons accepted these, while giving their offspring names of their own as they observed humans doing, and weaving their own family names in the same fashion as humans, who at the time were so fond of using family names based on their professions. Family names meaning strength, peace, or life were very common in the early days of astral dragons, and many live on to the modern day.

While most dragons live on a carnivorous diet alone, Astral Dragons are omnivores, able to eat nearly anything. This has allowed them to continue to live in society as it advanced to every imaginable degree with the development of technology. Now they live as any other citizen, in a world where humans, dragons, and anthropomorphic creatures of all sort of shapes and sizes live together as one people.


Well, there it is! That's all the information I have on Crystalline Astral Dragons so far. If you can think of any questions, any big details that I missed, please ask. Your questions will help me to improve the species as a whole.
 
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Razrroth

Anxious Artist, Always Apologizing
Based on the lore of these creatures, the naming scheme is pretty interesting, although it was described in a pretty convoluted way. It took me a few times to realize you meant that while most dragons were mainly in the range of black-white, there are also colored dragons, but that the names were still based on the intensity/brightness of their color range when converted to grey-scale.
It's a bit complex, and I think most people would stumble over that if they were to make their own character. That said, I'm curious if the first hatchlings had this knowledge bestowed upon them from the meteor's magic, like some kind of vision, which gave them all their proper names? Or was it within the dying mother's breath that she gave that naming information to the villagers? Both ideas, of course, which you could certainly use! The chances seem pretty slim, but if two dragons end up with the same name, do they have an alternative they can use, like nicknames for the modern era? Are their proper names hidden/protected in any way? In kind of a classical sense, does knowing their proper name give you some kind of control over them?

As for the complexity of the species' names, I feel you'd probably be better off starting one of those closed species, where you "breed out" characters and such, so the names are properly done to your standard, and eventually open it to people when it's more understood. Sometimes that can help gather hype and you can control the species a bit better that way. But that's just one opinion, and some closed species don't hit it off well. *shrugs*

Other than that, I think they sound pretty cool.
Would love to see some concept art, especially with those shimmery wings, and maybe if you got some unique design elements for scale patterns, you could make some great species ref pages.
You could certainly sell a unique range of sleep-faring dragon ideas, some villainous lanky dark-scaled dragons who causes nightmares, lighter/angelic dragons who relax and enlighten others with dreams, etc.
Again, all ideas you're welcome to use as they came from your ideas in the first place. c:

Also, I'll admit, I was a bit worried that the gemstone eyes might be going in too much of a Steven Universe direction, especially with the Diamonds being so rare/important in both yours and the SU story. That being said, I might suggest editing that bit just to differentiate the two. Maybe go for some rare form of Opal, or maybe take it totally different, and get some Metals in there as some kind of stronger brawlers? Ohhh~Maybe glass-eyed dragons who are blind, but stronger connection to the astral/dream plane?

I hope this helps you further your creative endeavors! c:
 

Ra'ara Su'nai

The golden-voiced fox
Ah, thank you for pointing out about the names. I was slightly remiss. The jewel and star naming scheme is not the actual name of each dragon, but more like a title. They each have their own names. Example, my one dragon goes by the first name Valerio, given to him by his parents in the hopes he would have a strong heart. His family name is Massimo, given to them centuries prior to his birth when one of his ancestors was responsible for bringing down a corrupt human king who was intent on killing all non-humans, and using a deadly magic that infused the target with strength to rival a true dragon, but drained their life force. Basically he was forcing his subject to fight and burn out their lives or be killed on the spot, until Valerio’s ancestor took him down, one of the few known cases of an astral dragon taking a life for a reason other than food.

I’ve never seen Steven Universe. Only commercials and a couple clips shared with me by friends, so whatever significance the gemstones have there, I do not know. That said, I welcome suggestions on revisions so it doesn’t appear that I’m ripping them off. I’m not entirely sure what your suggestion entails, if you’re suggesting I drop the gemstone theme completely, which would mean the name Crystalline Astral Dragons no longer fits.

I will go back and edit the part about their scales to make it a bit more clear.

This is exactly why I asked for feedback, and I am thankful for it.
 
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Razrroth

Anxious Artist, Always Apologizing
I wouldn't say you have to drop the gemstone names completely if you don't know all the background lore of Steven Universe, especially if it's just for titles rather than personality differences.

The big thing with SU is that every "gem" character is supposed to be the same personality to the rest of their group (all Amethysts are tomboyish, Pearls follow rules/directions, etc) but the main characters are outcasts/oddballs, and have also learned to fuse together in pairs to make bigger stronger gem characters (Pearl + Amethyst make Opal) which is the equivalent of taboo relationships in their society.
There are four Diamond characters that are the biggest and strongest and they run the society of gems.
That's a very tiny description of the theme, but the main takeaway is that the characters go by their gem names Pearl, Amethyst, Garnet... And the gems are important to their personality type.

I was just trying to name some alternate ideas to keep other people from jumping to the same conclusion I did.
As long as they have normal names too, I think that's fine. I was mostly worried that having a dragon named simply "Amethyst" with purple gem eyes might bring the wrath of SU fans, while the show is still kind of popular/relevant.

Other than that, the metals and glass-eye ideas were just ideas that aren't tackled in the show and I figured that would push your dragons even further away from it, but you don't have to.

Obviously gems have been around for forever, but you know how people are.
It's like showing off a unicorn oc while MLP is relevant and everyone asks if you're into it. Ugh.
~
I am a bit worried about the lack of variety in usage of their magic skills, however, for the long-term species' popularity.
It sounds like they're primarily pretty weak, but the wings are important/magical, which makes them unique compared to other dragon characters...
but besides the couple of ideas I listed around dream-states, I can't think of much else to do with them that you couldn't do with other dragon characters.

If anything, it sounds like a hard-mode for character creators. They're limited in their design to some degree (simple horns, simple claws, no back scales, etc), and they can't be very powerful, so it's more about personality and backstory at that point. That's cool for stories if you're making a society of dragons and want them all to be kind of "normal" without being overpowered, but less so if you're trying to hype them up for people to design around (maybe there should be something besides the eyes that set them apart?).
Hmm. I'm honestly not sure.
I keep flip-flopping on how cool the idea is, but how limiting it is too. It's a great creative project to keep the mind thinking, that's for darn sure!
Super cool regardless. I hope it gains more interest, especially if you get some art together for it. Heck, if I weren't so damn busy with commissions, I may be interested in making one myself.
 

Ra'ara Su'nai

The golden-voiced fox
You raise many good points there, and I thank you for it. I’ll give it some more thought. I’m sure I can come up with something.
 

Ra'ara Su'nai

The golden-voiced fox
All right, I gave it some thought, and I think I can make some good revisions to this.

Version 1.2
Appearance: The eyes and starry wings are unchanged, as these are kind of the things that make them what they are. Updated horns to allow for a greater number of horns, with the trade off being the more horns present, the smaller they are(they aren't all that strong physically. Too many large horns, they won't be able to hold their head up properly) as well as allowing a more diverse selection of colors for the horns, and by extension, colors for their claws which match their horns. Update to the presence of back spikes, now allowing spikes if a parent is another species of dragon with said spikes. Added the ability for Astral Dragons to breed with any sentient anthropomorphic creature(including humans) that is at least of similar size. Added the ability for astral dragons to have certain hybrid features based on their parentage (example giving in the edited original post being an Astra Dragon and a wolf producing a child with a very strong sense of smell and fuzzy wolf ears next to their horns.

Naming: Updated the wording to be less confusing. The previous wording made it seem as though an Astral Dragon's name was its gem and its star. The gem and star combination make up a title for the dragon. Each dragon has their own given name and family name, independent of the title that comes as a result of their appearance. Rumors as to the background of the stars and gems in naming added(I like to keep an air of mystery ^_^) as well as how the dragons came to give their young names and take family names.

Abilities: Updated to allow Astral Dragons to each possess an innate gift for one particular type of magic, aside from the illusion magic of their wings. Each dragon is born with a talent for one type of magic(pyromancy, healing, lightning conjuring, etc) but lacks the talent for other types.

Other: Removed diamond eye dragons from the mix. Corrected the name for black-scaled dragons(I was mistyping it as Minkata before, when it is actually Mintaka. This mistake may also exist on the gray scale chart I provided, but I've not gone back to confirm this yet) Added clarification that while most astral dragons are docile, there are evil ones among them, though the same can be said for humans, can it not?
 

Sam Akuchin Wamm

Well-Known Member
well.

that just suicided my screen reader.
 
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