Tien-lung

It sounds funny, but part of the reason why I wrote this creature was because Radakan needed a bit more “epicness” to it, much like the way dragons end up being central creatures of immense power no matter what fantasy universe they’re placed in. I got the idea for the name at a brilliant website called Draconian.com, as the chinese name for the “celestial dragon” (guardian of the gods) fit in with my original concept perfectly.

Art made by Arthur “erebusnight” Wang.

The tien-lung are proud and majestic creatures. They are quite rare, and usually travel alone or in pairs. They name has been given to them because of their purpose, as it means god’s guardian. Some misinterpret its meaning though, thinking that these creatures serves as the gods’ personal bodyguards. The name is made by people who have seen, maybe even interacted with them; people who have been in search of great artifact and ancient secrets. It is in places like these that you might encounter a tien-lung, waiting for a worthy receiver of the treasure it holds.

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Tien-lung sketches by Arthur Wang

Tien-lungs are of only one sex, because they don’t produce offsprings by mating. An average tien-lung will lay only one egg in its entire life, although some also lay two eggs during their long lifecycle, while others none at all. There are no known incidents of two eggs laid together, thus making twins.

The tien-lung can be quite aggressive creatures, especially during time of pregnancy. Unfortunately, their pregnancy lasts 5 years. During the last year, they usually already have some form of nest or a cave in which they lie in a state of hibernation until they finally lay the egg. They immediately take off as soon as the egg is laid, without the slightest sign of care for the descendant.

The mysterious thing about the egg is that it can hatch at any time. It can hatch within days, within years, or even after centuries have passed. Even though a tien-lung egg is usually exceedingly hard to find, it is also heavily protected by the near unbreakable shell. What causes the egg to hatch when it does is utterly unknown and remains a curiosity across the lands. Some say it is an act of the gods, others say it has more biological reasons like temperature and light.

After hatching, the youngling grows up very quickly. At first it feeds on whatever can be eaten: vermins, birds, insects, even vegetation. Eventually it grows strong and quick enough to hunt more effectively, and starts going for bigger prey. Soon after this phase they learn to fly.

Some few tien-lungs can turn aggressive for no apparent reason, and they have been known to lay small villages and outposts in ruins. Many people flee without a fight because they can’t risk injuring a sacred being.

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