Dragon Nations




On the shores of the Greater Saimaa Lake in eastern Finland is one of the world's most northern Dragon habitats, Lohikäärme Weyr. Here the Dragons nest in the sheer cliffs rising above the water - reminders of the last Ice Age when they shared the land with great mammoths and woolly rhinos. Now they cavort with the inland seals during long summer days and spin wild tales during the deep winter nights. The Weyr's banner is a study in blue and black with a frosty Finnish Dragon at the centre of a radiant sable sun.


It is said if you travel north from Duncansby Head across Pentland Firth into the Orkney Islands that you come to a place where the air practically crackles with Dragon! Amongst the mystical stone circles and raging seas, the Dragons feel right at home. Wyre Weyr - sometimes known as Wyre Wyvern Weyr to the silver-tongued set - is on the isle of Wyre in the midst of the Outer Islands. Austere - even bleak - by some standards, its Dragons are quick to point out that, when it looked like magic had fled from the world, they could always find it at Wyre. The Weyr's standard is a classic in black, white and grey, suitable for all occasions. Two muscular Wyverns face off across a black ascending diagonal adorned with a pair of argent roses.


The virtually unpopulated expanse of Canada's Southampton Island is the perfect home to nesting Lesser Snow Geese and Canadian Frost Dragons. Frost Dragons are New World relatives of the Nordic Snow Dragons who came to the Americas following the Second Migration. A little smaller than their European kin, they are ideally suited to the environment of Southampton Island and Hudson Bay. They are also very protective of the many birds who use the isle as refuge and breeding grounds. The Weyr is named for the indigenous people of the area who, though now extinct, welcomed the Dragons in centuries past. The Weyr's flag shows an argent Dragon on a sable harpoon with six falling ermine/snowflakes, all set on a field of evening purple.


Near the shores of Lough Corrib lies the last great Irish Weyr, Lonrach Ben - Shining Mountain. Its Dragons boast of their history with the Druids and their bardic expertise. Both of these are evidenced in their ensign - the Druids in the acorns, seeds of the sacred oak; the harp is self-explanatory. Though the fla's hues are muted, the Irish Dragons are quick to point out that this is not a reflection on them or their natures. "Just ask us to your next ceilidh, you'll see how colourful we can be!"

kogotiholmii KOGOTI HOLMII

Northeast of Kostroma, on the fringe of the Golden Ring, is the largest of Russia's official Weyrs, Kogoti Holmii, a k a Talon Hills. Since the 13th century, when Vassily the Drunkard assumed human sovereignty over the region, the Dragons of Talon Hills have roamed with equanimity from Gorki to Arkhangelsk. They even kept an eye on Napoleon's retreat after his ill-conceived invasion of Russia in 1812. But never ask them about the politics of the region - they are watchers, not actors in that all too-human play. Strictly neutral. A white star and a heraldic Russian Dragon are the charges on the forest-green flag of Kogoti Holmii. They are separated by two narrow ascending diagonals in the bright hue of the Golden Ring.


In the remnants of the once-vast rain forests of Madagascar, between the Mania River and the Parc National de Isalo, lies Mahatahotra Anjely: the Weyr of the Terrible Angels. Until recently little was known about the Malagasy Dragons. They were only occasionally glimpsed above the canopy, or playing with lemurs at dusk, and otherwise kept to themselves. When deforestation threatened the indigenous fauna of the island, the Dragons rose to the occasion and started buzzing the lumbermen and generally throwing Draconian spanners into the works. It has helped some, though not enough. The green on the Weyr's banner is in remembrance of forests lost, and in hopes of forests yet to be restored. The orange and red are shades of the evening sky when the sun sets over the Mozambique Channel.


If you travel to the crown of Lake Superior then turn north into the wild interior of Ontario, keep your eyes peeled for flocks of Welsh Dragons in the air. During the Second Migration a small group of Cymric Reds settled in the Canadian wilderness and flourished. Today, their descendents can be found round the shores of Llyn Tegid, known as Stone Lake to non-Dracophiles. Llyn Tegid Dragons are big on competition and delight in playing host to the Pan-American Dragon Games every sixth year. The laurel wreath on their flag is a salute to this tradition. The triad of Cymric Reds honors the founders of the Weyr; the listing sable arrow is there because, as they say, "it adds dash."


The Dragons of Persian have a distinctive history dating back to the days of Sumerian Creation, when the great Dragon Kur consorted with gods and goddesses, notably, the goddess Inanna. Contrary to popular myth, Inanna did not slay Kur - the two got along quite well. Mehrdad - Gift of the Sun - Weyr has tried to keep the spirit of that relationship alive through the millennia. Located in the foothills of the Zagros Mountains, the Weyr is all but invisible to any but the most experienced eye. The Dragons prefer it that way, being greatly distressed by the inanely wasteful violence which has plagued the area in modern times. The Weyr's banner is a green field graced by a magical blue septagram and Kur, black and sinuous.

saranggua SARANG-GUA

One of the distinctive things about Borneo is the vast network of caves running through/under the island. It is little wonder, then, that it is home to the only (known) Weyr of cave-dwelling Dragons. Nest-Cave Weyr, or Sarang-Gua, is located deep in Borneo's lush jungles. The Dragons are noted for their phosphorescent scales and excellent vision in the infra-red range. Both are assets for lives led largely underground. They are a retiring lot, seldom seen above ground before moonrise. Sarang-Gua's flag shows a pair of luminous turquoise Dragons surrounded by stone-grey and semi-ellipses of Spice Island cinnamon.

pasasihawa PASASI HAWA

Long ago, when the Miwok people of California's Sierras settled in the lands southwest of Yosemite, they paused in the midst of their acorn harvest and gazed out across Shaver Lake. There, on the far shore, a great white Dragon, looking rather like a large boulder, was napping in the autumn sun. When he woke and stretched his wings, the Miwok were properly surprised. And he was not the only Dragon living at Shaver Lake. It was said that at night the Dragons of Pasasi Hawa, or White Rock Weyr, filled the sky like shooting stars. And, despite centuries of missionaries, prospectors, and expansionists of every stripe, they still do. The standard of Pasasi Hawa displays that notorious white Dragon on a quartet of colorful rays.

mentorsmound MENTOR'S MOUND

The Dragons of Mentor's Mound in Ithaca are a proud and forbidding lot, citing noble bloodlines back to Ladon and Python. They insist their ancestors gave counsel to Odysseus, taught Socrates to think and Aeschylus to rhyme. All of this may well be as they say; one can only take their word. They also have a rarified sense of humour which, no doubt, accounts for their use of the disquieting Hydra on the canton of their banner. Truthfully, no Hydras have been seen around the Ionian Sea since Constantine was shuffling his empire about in the 4th century C.E.

kuychaphuru K'UYCHA PHURU WEYR

East of Cuzco, on the edge of the Inca's Sacred Valley, lies K'uycha Phuru, Rainbow Feather Weyr. Its denizens are a playful lot, fond of riding the temperate valley winds north to Macchu Pichu or west to the Nazca Lines. Most of the time, though, they can be found on the plateau, conversing with vicuna and playing Shadow Stones with the local viscachas. The Weyr's fanion is an arresting geometric study in blue, green, and black, with a dragon duo frolicking on the green canton. It has been remarked that the pattern is akin to the more abstract of the Nazca lines, which some even believe were Dragon-made. Of course, the Dragons are mum on the subject when asked, choosing rather to snort cryptically and return to their games.


The Dragons of San Long - or Three Dragon - Weyr in central China are as close to urbanites as any in the modern world. Given the population of China, this is not exactly a surprise. Located on the outskirts of the historic city of Shashi in Hubei Province, the Weyr dates back to the splendour of the Tang Dynasty. The Dragons are very conscious of their heritage; they’ve been known to lord it over younger Weyrs to great effect. Red, white, and black, the flag displays the three Dragons in the Weyr's name, two curvaceous creatures on the red side panels, and, in the centre pale on a sable roundel, the pictograph for Dragon.

airaerie AÏR AERIE

The Dragons of the Aïr Aerie in the Aïr Mountains of Africa are a hardy lot. Given the climate and terrain, they have to be. The arid outcroppings which they call home bake beneath the Saharan sun, vegetation is minimal, and food sources lacking in variety. The Dragons have adapted remarkably well to the challenges of their environment. They are smaller than some of their kin and can go up to six months without food or water - though they prefer not to. They also have heavy brow ridges over their eyes which serve as sun shades, and they exude a protective oil when moulting which prevents sunburn. It is not surprising that the sun figures prominently in the Aerie's standard, bright yellow on a pale blue sky. The flag also honours the brown and white sands beneath their paws and the hope for greener years to come.


The Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York has been home to Dragons since before the glaciers even carved the lakes into the landscape. Interlaken Weyr sits conveniently between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes, providing ample swimming and fishing for all concerned. With its ties to nearby Cornell University's Para-zoology and Metaphysics Departments, the Dragons of Interlaken like to consider themselves the Academic Weyr, a title frequently contested by Dragons from across the Pond. Still, it explains the book emblazoned on a fret-marked red escutcheon. The rest of their flag consists of a field of lake blue crossed by a sable diagonal, with two golden dragons in the open corners.






© 2014 Shawn MacKENZIE