Dragons of Yumihari #2 – Shiraian Dragons

A long time ago, dragons lived all throughout Yumihari, including in Seiryuu where Spirit of the Dragon and the rest of the Yokai Calling series takes place.

Dragons don’t live in Seiryuu anymore… and they haven’t for centuries. But why?

Well, I can’t tell you that, because that would be a huge spoiler, although Pool of Memories and Serpents gives you a pretty big hint about what happened. While I can’t spill the beans in this post (you’ll just have to be patient if you’re dying to know… the truth will be revealed in the Wyvern Wars Saga) I can tell you everything else about dragons!

The main type of dragon in Yumihari–the kind that is revered by those in Seiryuu and modelled after the Dragon Goddess–are otherwise known as “Shiraian” dragons.

Shiraian Dragons

Written with the characters 死 (death) and 雷 (thunder), these dragons are the children of the Dragon Goddess, Shirashi. Shiraian dragons were born from each of the scales Ozeki shore off of Shirashi’s body during the epic battle they fought upon the inception of the Yumihari World. As such, the dragons share in her power to varying degrees, with the dragons made from her oldest scales being the strongest dragons, and the youngest scales being the weakest, and so on.

Shiraian dragons control wind and rain like a human might a paintbrush; even their most disastrous hurricanes are works of art, shaping the Goddess’ will into a majestic physical force. They can be both benevolent and cruel, just like their mother, renewing life or destroying continents and civilizations as well as the humans who are their descendants. Humans worshipped (and in some places, still do) to earn dragon blessings and avoid their wrath.

Warlocks in the Yumihari World are the mortal descendants of dragons–be they human or one of the other fantastical races in the world–but the humans, in particular, were special to Shirashi. Under her name, and with dragons at their command, warlocks founded the Warlock Empire, a multi-continent empire ruled by the most powerful majyu in the world. Only recently in Yumihari history (within the last 50 years or so, in the timeline as of The Spirit Sorcerer) did the Warlock Empire fall, when all warlocks were suddenly eradicated from the face of the earth at the same time.

Similarly, Shiraian dragons disappeared from Seiryuu several hundred years ago and haven’t been seen since. Presumably they’re still out there somewhere… 😉

Now, without dragons or warlocks in Seiryuu, there exists a power vacuum in desperate need of filling. In the civil wars since, the nation has scrambled to re-identify itself in the aftermath of that destruction, but war can only be held off for so long before someone mad and hungry enough comes to take a bite.

Appearance

Shiraian dragons are long and serpentine, known for their towering antlers, furry manes, and their iridescent fishlike scales. Their scales form a unique pattern for each dragon, the intricate layouts almost seeming deliberate. The colours themselves vary wildly from whites and blues, to forest greens and almost every colour of the rainbow in dazzling arrangements.

The only exception is red—there are no full-blooded dragons that are pure red because of the colour’s connection to the Wyvern God and his kin, who are the prime enemies of all dragonkind.

Equipped with either a pair of front legs or two sets for their front and hindquarters, all dragons have razor-sharp claws used to eviscerate their foes. The first dragons, Shirashi’s oldest children, can also shapeshift into various humanoid forms, just like the Goddess herself.

Inspiration

My primary inspirations for Shiraian dragons are Japanese dragons and the myths surrounding these magnificent beasts. There are too many different stories to summarize here, but one of the largest inspirations from Japanese dragons, in particular, is Ryuujin, the dragon god of the sea.

For much of Japanese history, Japanese emperors were proclaimed as the ancestors of Ryuujin (more importantly, Ryuujin’s blood relation to the sun goddess Amaterasu). This lineage of dragon-blooded emperors ruled Japan for over 2500 years, since 660 BC, and until the end of World War 2.

This history, as well as the circumstances leading up to Emperor Shōwa renouncing the longstanding claim of his family’s mythological descendancy, were large inspirations for the hierarchy of dragons and the Warlock Empire in the Yumihari World.

***

Why don’t you tell me your theory about what happened to the Shiraian dragons? I’d love to hear your ideas!

For more dragons, read the entire Yokai Calling series today!

—Erynn

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Because they belong to someone else.

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