Magic in Moisehén, but I haven't yet dedicated a post to this mythological beast, who plays a role of great importance in the history and traditions of Eolyn's world.
For the Mages and Magas of Moisehén, Dragon is not a biological and physical creature, but rather a spiritual entity. It has appeared in its true form -- as a winged serpent -- only a handful of times in the history of Eolyn's people.
Sent by the Gods, Dragon first appeared to the legendary figures Aithne and Caradoc, and taught them the ways of High Magic. (To learn more about the story of Dragon's appearance to Aithne and Caradoc, listen to the audio recording The Origin of Magic.) Many generations after appearing to Aithne and Caradoc, Dragon returend to teach the first mage warrior Caedmon how to use magic in warfare, and in that same era the winged serpent granted the warrior chief Vortingen the crown of Moisehén, following his victory against the People of Thunder.
Although Dragon has appeared in its true form only a few times, it can take on the shape of any living creature that inhabits the earth. As such, it has walked the earth on countless occasions, and appeared to every Initiate of High Magic since the time of Aithne and Caradoc. In Chapter 12 of the novel, when Eolyn makes her pilgrimage into the forest to petition for a staff of High Magic, her tutor Ghemena advises her to be prepared for all possibilities when waiting for Dragon:
The Initiate must open her mind to the greatness of all beings, lest she fail to hear Messenger’s voice in the sinuous movement of a millipede’s legs or in the fearsome roar of an angry bear.
It is Dragon who reveals to the Initiate what elements are to be incorporated in his or her staff. Under the traditions of the Old Orders, it was widely taught that Dragon appeared as a male to Mage Initiates and as a female to Maga Initiates, although there were of course exceptions to this rule. If Dragon does not appear during the pilgrimage of the Initiate, it is understood that the petition has been denied, that the Gods for whatever reason have judged the petitioner unworthy or unready to practice High Magic.
Dragon is often referred to in Moisehén as the Silver Serpent. The very few who have seen it in its true form know its scales are, in fact, iridescent and highly reflective, and can take on a variety of colors. Nonetheless, artwork in Moisehén portrays Dragon only in silver. The sigil of the House of Vortingen, for example, is a silver dragon against a purple night. Mage Corey wears a clasp on his cloak in the form of a silver Dragon. In Chapter 11, Akmael gives Eolyn a silver bracelet with images of the many forms in which Dragon has been known to appear:
On the etched surface of winding silver she recognized multiple forms of Dragon: winged serpent, snake, lion, butterfly, river otter, fish and many others. Each figure blended into the next, creating a single creature as fantastic as imagination itself.
Dragon, then, is the guardian of the people of Moisehén and the patron of all its Mages and Magas. Its spirit can be present in any living creature, but it has appeared in its true form during important moments in the history of Moisehén.
Will Dragon appear in its true form in EOLYN? You'll just have to read the book to find out. . .