Dragon Nations



kahunpeche KA HUN P'E CHE'

Ka Hun P'e Che'. World of the One Tree. The very name of this Yucatan Weyr resonates with ancient power. Or perhaps it's just Dragons being Dragons. There are no craggy peaks in the Yucatan, no forbidding natural barriers to keep unwanted humans at bay. Still the Dragons of the Weyr seem perfectly content in the dense forests between Etzna and Uxmal, hanging with jaguars and howlers and coati. And for those feeling the need for a vertical challenge, there are plenty of cenotes around to dive into and fly out of. It doesn't hurt that, through the ages, the people of the area have always regarded the Dragons with the utmost respect. Nor that the peppers in the Yucatan are among the hottest on earth. The Weyr's flag takes Mexican green and white and warms it up with bands of fiery orange and cantons of solar yellow. The cantons hold a feathered serpent (Dragon) and an ancient step pyramid.

mountainsofthemoon MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON

Within sight of the fading snows on Mount Kilimanjaro one finds the Weyr known as the Mountains of the Moon. Somewhat isolated by virtue of their location, the Dragons are, none the less, quite a gregarious bunch. Though staying away from the human problems in the region, they have been known to assist in anti-poaching efforts. It has been suggested that, if Dian Fossey had asked for their help with the gorillas, things might not have turned out as badly as they did. The Mountains of the Moon Weyr celebrates one of the much-maligned pseudo-Dragons, the morose Bi-Polar Equator Jumper, who would certainly have gone extinct were it not for the Weyr's efforts. A B-PEJ is on the pale of jungle green and a compass to help him on his travels is placed front and centre on the tri-colour fesses beside him.

negykissarkany NÉGY KIS SÁRKÁNY

Situated in the deeply forested eastern Carpathians, in the land of lycanthropes and leshii, is the Weyr of the Four Little Dragons, or, in the language of the Magyars who used to rule the region, Négy Kis Sárkány. No one is sure who the Four Little Dragons were, though they are the subject of many a Dragonish fancy. Most common is the story of the quartet of svelte Sumerian Dragons who accompanied Magor, son of Nimrod the Hunter, out of Asia Minor and into eastern Europe. It's an elegant heritage which makes for fine tale-telling and much Draconian speculation. The Dragons in residence tend to be wary of people - too many wars in the past, too many vampyr-seeking tourists in the present. But, if you are alert, you can still catch sight of them bobbing in and out of the woods or skirting the craggy hill-lines. The Weyr's flag is surprisingly bright. Geometrics of purple, red, blue and umber are charged with a purple Dragon aloft and three purple arrows below.


East of the Yenisey River, on the edge of the Central Siberian Uplands, is Gora Polkan, a mountain of modest aspect but just the spot for the long-tailed, short-legged Dragons of the Steppes to make their home. Dragons have lived there through the centuries. They ran and flew with the ancient Scythians and the unsung Amazons of the land. They bore witness to the Mongol Hordes and the passing Unicorn Exodus. Today the Dragons of Gora Polkan spend much of their time trying very hard not to give in to their more primitive instincts and get drawn into games of buzzing the local herds. To this end, they are frequent guests of the Himalayan Weyrs, seeking a modicum of transcendental calm to take back to Polkan. The standard of the Weyr is marked by Russian red, white and blue, wheaten gold, and mountain grey. A rambunctious Steppes Dragon completes the picture.

asilosoledad ASILO SOLEDAD

The Dragons of the central Sierra Madre "don’t need no stinking badges," but they do enjoy their privacy. To this end, the Weyr is located in the near-inaccessible outcroppings near Sierra de los Organos, a k a the aptly named Ridge of the Giants. In the past, the ancestors of these magnificent beings were frequently seen around the ceremonial settlement of Alta Vista. They would lend a little extra gravitas to the seasonal rites of the Chalchihuite people and, in return, be left to their own devices the rest of the year. Not a bad arrangement.
The banner of the Asilo - or Sanctuary - shows a fiery Dragon basking beneath the bright Zacatecas sun. The field of green references the variable vegetation of the past, from grasslands and fields to sparse, yet nutritious, cacti.


Dragons are frequently driven to distraction by the foolish ways of humans, and none more so than the Enchantments of Depsang Weyr. Situated high in India's Depsang Plains, the Weyr overlooks the oft-bloodied mountains of Kashmir. From the days of bandits assaulting caravans on the Saser-La road to the sanguinary exchanges of more recent years, they have watched and waited for the indigenous peoples to come to their senses. Unfortunately, things have only gotten worse over time. Still they wait. It is an advantage of Draconian longevity, being able to outlast much of our human stupidity. This patience is evident in the Depsang Weyr standard. A centred Dragon sits, waiting, beneath a mountain sun blazing across a tri-colour field. It is of note that the Karakalpak people of Uzbekistan use the same tri-colour field on their flag - a link to a shared history, perhaps, along the trade routes of yore.

altynsirk ALTYN SIRK

Romans and Dragons haven't mixed since the time of Julius Caesar. It makes perfect sense, then, that, when the Legions moved in on the land of the Pharaohs, the Dragons of Egypt did the sage thing and relocated. Many of them traveled north, settling around the shores of the Caspian Sea. Waters teeming with sturgeon and people relatively Dragon-friendly - it was a good move. In the southwest lowlands of Turkmenistan, Altyn Sirk - Golden Circus - is a 21st-century remnant of that diaspora. The Altyn Sirk flag is a symbolic mix of old lives and new. On mirrored worlds of Dragon green, Nile/Caspian blue, and fertile red-brown, two Dragons fly, separated only by the sable path of their migration. They are linked through time and distance by a green Ankh of eternal life.


From the heights of Gandari Mountain in central Pakistan, a keen-eyed Dragon - and they are all keen-eyed - can see across the Indus River Valley to the far edge of India's Thar Desert. A world of climatic and geographical variation all within a Dragon's leap! Oddly, the Dragons of Gandari Mountain do little more than look these days. Where other Weyrs are eager to travel the globe, the Gandari Enchantments are content to remain at home. They turn down invitations right and left and issue scant few of their own. This has given them a reputation of being rather provincial, even myopic, by Draconian standards. The flag of Gandari is a white field emblazoned with a cinnamon roundel crossed by an arrow of white, turquoise, and cinnamon. A surly turquoise Dragon rumbles at its centre.


In the northern latitudes of Eastern Russia, not more than an afternoon's Dragon flight from the Arctic Circle, the Penzhina River flows through Siberia into the Sea of Okhotsk. There, at the river's mouth on the mainland side of the Kamchatka Peninsula, is Penzhina Weyr. The Dragons of Penzhina like to think of themselves as hybrid beings: a lot of European Ice Dragon mingled with a little Oriental Sky Dragon. Though there is a lack of empirical evidence for their claim, the Dragons do display rather whimsical inter-species temperaments. They guard their neighbour bears and Unicorns and make snow Dragons well into May. These capricious Dragons are represented by a black standard burning with two suns - one large and bright with Dragon fire, and one smaller, balanced by the yin/yang of the World Tree.

cuestadelostimidodragones CUESTA DE LOS TÍMIDO DRAGÓNES

Of the known South American Weyrs, the northernmost is found in the western foothills of the Columbian Andes, Cuesta de los Tímido Dragónes - Hill of the Shy Dragons. With soil enriched by the activities of the Ring of Fire, the Weyr's environs are rain-forest lush and home to a wide variety of cohabitants, everyone from humans, bears, and monkeys, to serpents, hummingbirds, and colourful little frogs. The Dragons feel quite at home. Why then "Shy Dragons?" This epithet comes from the habit the Weyr Dragons have of flocking together - a most impressive sight. Safety in numbers, taunt those who know no better. "As you wish," the Dragons reply unoffended. The truth is, they are just a very social lot, and find that flocking like the other winged creatures is the best way not to spook the whole neighbourhood. The Weyr's bandera shows a gaggle of seven small Dragons crossing a white field. A blue sky Dragon dancing on purple-on-blue stars urges them into the sky.


In the Ogilvie Mountains of the Yukon Territory, close by the Alaskan border, the Porcupine River flows. ("Why do you humans have such an obsession with borders?" Dragons wonder. "We certainly don't.") Bear and caribou and fox live along her banks, as do the Dragons of Porcupine River Weyr. They are asturdy bunch, the Weyr's founders coming from fine old Brecon Blue stock. When the Yukon was awash with gold diggers, the Dragons kept them clear with a snort and a little fierce fire. Now they are doing the same with the 21st-century prospectors, geologists looking deep for fossil fuels and rare ores. "It was easier in the 1800s, eh?" A ferocious blue Dragon is the fitting emblem of the Weyr at Porcupine River. Wild and striding across a geometric field of silver and gold, he will take on all foes with glee.


Where the Babian Jiang leaves China's Yunnan Province and flows into the mountains of Vietnam becoming the Song Da, there you will find the genial Dragons of Song Da Weyr. Like the Thai people who live in the mountains between Vietnam's Black and Red Rivers - Song Da and Song Hong - the Dragons are resourceful and welcoming. With the offer of fine cuisine and excellent entertainment, their Weyr frequently serves as a way stop for Dragons and their Keepers taking the Grand Asian Tour. The Song Da flag is a delightful arrangement done in the natural dyes of the region: purple, blue, brown and red. And two joyful Dragons are at its heart.

iyoypeusor IYOYPE USOR

Long before the Japanese moved north from Honshu, long even before the Ainu moved south from Sakhalin, the snow macaques and cranes and foxes of Hokkaido shared their home with the Dragons of Iyoype Usor - Treasure Lagoon. The Weyr is not on a true lagoon, more of a great geothermal pool in the mountains north of Sapporo, and the only treasure about are the Dragons themselves. Still, a name is what it is. Though associating freely with the island’s indigenous creatures, the Dragons are cool, some might even say aloof, when it comes to interacting with people. The Olympics encroaching on their space in 1972 didn't help matters: too much modern brouhaha disturbing their hot-spring mediations. The Usor banner begins with a field of warm, earthen brown. A blue and white Dragon, all coolness and long-life, prances between two blue stars, reminders that, as the Weyr inhabitants say, "We are all star stuff."


There have been Dragons on and around Table Mountain since primordial times. They saw Pangea splinter and the elements wear the Mountain flat. During the Cretaceous, they travelled from their cloud-shrouded base all across Africa and back again. As recently as the late 1700s, Dragons were seen descending through the clouds to fish the waters off the Cape of Good Hope. One such Dragon was known simply as the Great Green. She was the last old Table Mountain matriarch. With the influx of Europeans and the violence they brought to the region, she gathered her kin and moved the Weyr inland to the dry regions on the western edge of the Kalahari. Out of affection for their old digs, the Dragons kept Table Mountain as the name of their new - and present - Weyr. They say the Dragon on their flag is the Great Green, herself.


If you are fond of adventure and climbing, you can do far worse than venturing into the Kunlun Mountains of west central China, following the valleys to the source of the Black Jade River and, from there, to the Weyr of Xi Wang Mu - the Spirit Mother of the West. Here in Lao Tzu's paradise, the spirit Dragons of China have lived for millennia. Though few humans in the Common Era can attest to having seen the Dragons of Xi Wang Mu, WAFDE assures us that they are still there and that this is their fanion: two golden Dragons dancing upon a fire-red field crossed by bands of green and gold.






© 2014 Shawn MacKENZIE