A few notes about the dragons of *Kemen.
In the upper altitudes of Kemen's high mountains, live a telepathic race of flying, fire-breathing dragons. The young are hatched from eggs that range from 30 to 60 cm in length. Hatchlings uncurl to nearly a meter in length . They hatch hungry and are fed and cared for during their first year by adolescent dragons. Thereafter, they must learn to hunt. If all goes well , one may add a meter length per year well into their 40s although they may live to be 2-300 years old. Secondary sex characteristics: beards (for both male & females) are signs of the ability to flame, and wings for flight do not appear until adolescence (from late teens to mid-thirties) Because dragons are telepathic, they have a highly developed etiquette about what is public speech and what is private. In addition, it is impossible for dragons to lie and nearly impossible to inflict pain on a fellow dragon because they really DO feel another's pain. Mating does not occur until physical maturity at nearly 40. Prior to that, some clans impose rites of passage that thin out the population . For further details about the life cycle and social customs of Kemen Dragons, see the Journals of Jerrud of Getchina.
Formal names are attributed at hatching, or soon after, by the opposite sex parent. It can be honorific, praising of same sex parent, an attribute of dragon lineage, or a passing event in the sky during hatching. Rarely is this name spoken. Humans have only begun to grok the meanings.
Nicknames are acquired from one's social group. It is always a verband is the common understanding of the dragon's character. Nicknames will change over time and when relating to different social groups.
Dragons from Kemen
The known record of Kemen is recorded in The Dreamweaver¹s Apprentice by Grace K. Von Tobel. During the 1980s in Augusta, Maine, a human dreamweaver and a baby dragon were mysteriously flung through a door between Kemen and Earth. The dragon was forever changed by the trip and became a ³sport² or runt who, contrary to dragon physiology, did not grow to enormous size. He remained approximately the size of a basketball and nearly as round after a successful hunt.
Kresh (for that was his name) possessed the ability to flame and sprouted wings while still a dragonet. Normally, these attributes do not show up until adolescence. Unfortunately, Kresh was unable to control his flames and was frequently the cause of serendipitous conflagrations.
One incident was so traumatic, Kresh teleported back to his homeworld of Kemen [another inappropriate behavior normally found only in mature dragons]. But this began to open travel between the two worlds.
Naming is terribly important to dragons. The images of dragons here displayed are accompanied by human approximations of true names. Human physiology is not adequate to pronounce dragon names. Since dragon nicknames are easily tossed about telepathically, these have also been included.
The dragons of Kemen hope that you will enjoy their images and thereby come to hear them call your name.
Meet Grace's friends. . .
The Dragons of Kemen
[This name is pronounced with 2 flame puffs and concludes with nostril smoke]
Nickname: Bosses her betters
Elegant with painted toenails, she doesn't deign to hunt, but expects her clutch-mates to share the choicest carcasses with her. Due to her charismatic ways, several clutches vie for her favors. It is feared that when she is old enough to mate, there will be war in dragondom. She invites all that is feminine and alluring to join her in beautifying the world.
[This name is pronounced with sputtering flames doused by spit]
Nickname: Spits farther than any
This one lacked the maturity of flame-breathing for so many years that she learned to fling spit instead of fire. Unfortunately this did little to help her pull down prey during the hunt.
However, the skill serves her well in various games such as: Spot-the-beetle (where premature flame annihilates the prey--beetles are a delicacy among young dragons), Douse-the-cinder, or Spit-over-boulder.
Her father named her in praise of her mother's glorious green eyes and prolific flames. It is yet to be determined if she will live up to her mother's beauty.
[This name is pronounced with a loud background of stomach-rumble and concludes with a shower of sparks.]
Nickname: Talks with humans
This one appears to be an ordinary dragonet. Too young for wings or flames, but hearty in appetite and reasonably skilled in hunting small prey. Because dragons are primarily telepathic, it was shocking to discover that she had developed a bond with a human. More shocking was the discovery that the human had developed telepathic ability. Previously, her clutch considered humans to be prey, temporarily beyond their hunting skill. When they outweighed an animal, it then became prey. But it would be inconceivable to hunt anything that could talk!
[Pronounced with nostril smoke throughout]
Nickname: Swims with whales
He is not the hottest flame in the nostril. But everyone likes this one. He is a good hunter and shares meat readily. He tells true tales. And this is a wonderful gift. But his clutch refused to believe him when he talked about swimming and meeting the whales. It was only after he took them down to the shore and got their heads in the water to hear whale-song that they accepted his tale as true. He may one day become one of the great tale-tellers of his tribe, if he doesn't drown first.
[Pronounced lock-jawed--as if toothless]
Nickname: Eats no bones
He is a diplomat with enormous skill in getting alien species to communicate civilly. Once his hunt-skills declined with advanced age, Eats-no-bones became curious about the lives of prey (any species smaller than himself). He wondered if they might actually think and talk. Initially, his conversations were merely attempts to slow down his prey sufficiently to execute a kill. But once he understood the outrage of a rhino, he began to pursue further communication. He now numbers representatives of 16 species among his non-dragon cronies.
[Pronounced nasal-toned until the last two syllables which are fricatives with fangs]
Nickname: Finagles her way to greatness
Finagle sports tiny wings and abundant beard even though she is far too small for these signs of maturity. Dragons gauge age by size. Since this one is barely 6 meters long, she clearly is too young to fly, and her beard in no way indicates an ability to flame. Yet, she has been seen to make short flights and sputter a flame or two but never with the focus of a mature dragon.
This one discovered early in life that by dissembling one may deceive thus avoiding an outright lie.
It remains to be seen if greatness will be accorded once she attains physical maturity.
[This name is pronounced with full-throated laughter punctuated by flame-gas expulsion on the "toot"]
Nickname: Makes jokes that pull big laughs
This one is favored by all his clutchmates for bringing laughter when tempers have risen. He is gifted in lightening the countenance of angry elders and is much sought after for myth-making and story-telling .
Even though this one is nearly 10 meters long, he has yet to show any signs of maturation: i.e.: remains beardless and no sign of wing buds yet. Perhaps his skill at humor is related to his relentless efforts to be accepted among his peers, sans beard and wings.
Gazenklootz (now living in NJ with the Dolly Doctor)
[Due to his diminutive size and short name, this is pronounced with a humorous spark expelled during the last syllable.]
Nickname: Grass eater
This one-eared runt has been battling his way into leadership. He lost his ear in a fight when he was barely more than a hatchling. He has never had the size to dominate his clutch, but he found he could connive his way into things that bigger dragons haven't the smarts for. His nickname arose from this inability to get enough to eat after the hunt. In spite of the shame involved, he relied on grass eating to avoid starvation.
* Kemen being a small planet in the constellation of Aquarius.