Dragon Nations



tonrarpass TONRAR PASS

The glaciers and mountains of Alaska are a northern Dragon's delight. Tonrar Pass Weyr is situated in the mountains southwest of Denali National Park. Like the land around it, it is one of the most expansive Weyrs in the world, embracing mountains, lakes, acres and acres of sub-arctic scrub, and woodlands. Sheltered from the bitterest of Alaska's weather, it is home not only to Dragons, but also bears, caribou, marmots, wolves, and a variety of birds, nesting or simply passing through. Until the advent of WAFDE and UNECESCO, the Dragons of Tonrar Pass spent much of their time keeping mineral hounds and oilmen at bay. Now they are protected, as is the wilderness around them, and they can devote their time to other pursuits - like stargazing. Their flag is purple and white charged with a nonet of stars and a fiery sable Dragon.


The Nyenchen Tanglha mountains of Tibet look down upon the heavy salt waters of Namtso and the Dragons wading along her shores. It is said that, long ago, the Dragons followed the ley lines and the lamas followed the Dragons and they all wound up at Namtso. Pilgrim traffic has diminished since China appropriated Tibet, but the Dragons remain. The flag of the Weyr shows a white dragon on a blue field. The sun and rays are in respect to pre-1951 Tibet and the Dalai Lama.


Dragons were in the sandstone hills around Petra long before the Edomites had their kingdom or the Nabateans carved their great city. They were there when the waters still flowed and the valleys were green. The Weyr there today - Ean-na Galzu Bar-gun-gun-nu or Sanctuary of Sagacious Chameleons to the ancients of the region - consists of just over a hundred Dragons. Since Hollywood invaded their territory to make "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," they have kept a very low profile, preferring quiet desert living to the flashy existence of their more conspicuous kindred. But if you are in the region and have the patience of Job, you might just catch sight of them. Their banner is a bright yellow field quartered by blue and silver, a radiant sable sun blazing from the intersection. Two Ancient Dragons stand boldly in the corners.


The temperate climate of British Columbia's central lake district is a boon to humans and Dragons alike. Warm Chinook winds blow down through the lakes and the Okanagan Highlands creating a veritable North American Shangri-la. Dragons have lived in the valley forever (by human standards) - they know a good thing when they find it. What the original name of the Weyr was is anyone's guess, though it is believed that the current moniker was inspired by a Chekhov-loving Dragon who spent much time in the Okanagan fruit basin. The Weyr's flag is a mystery in terms of symbolism, but a treat, nonetheless. Lake blue stars and argent arrows splash across a field of rich umber. A demure Dragon overlooks the whole. Delightful - and don't forget to taste the cherries.


Many a pilgrim on El Camino de Santiago has been known to look into the skies of Navarre and see a Dragon or three on the wing zigzagging through the western Pyrenees. Though Dragons have roamed Iberia since the dawn of time, Su Baso Weyr - Fire Forest in Basque - dates from the age of Charlemagne and his Paladins. It is said that the sound many took for Roland's horn was really a Dragon in the hills above Roncesvalles lamenting the bellicose waste she saw before her. They have not changed in their assessment of our warring ways. "You humans! Your 20th century was enough to break a Dragon's heart," they say. On a standard of forest green and fiery red, a Su Baso Dragon stands upon a golden Navarre sun.

cuevasdelfuego CUEVAS DEL FUEGO

The plains of Patagonia have known their share of giants. Ground sloths, beautiful armadillos, rheas, smilodons - even the people of that strange land were said to be giants. (OK, so that was an exaggeration.) It is little wonder that Dragons have always felt in their element there. Situated in the southern Chubut province of Argentina, the Cuevas del Fuego - or Caves of Fire - have been populated by Dragons since the Pleistocene. They are known throughout the Americas for their linguistic skills and their fondness for telling tales. Bold stripes of blue and yellow make up the field of the Weyr's flag. Two long-tailed Dragons face off over a red roundel with crossed quills - a nod to their story-telling abilities - topped by a crown, indicating the Dragons' position in the hierarchy of the region, as well as their kinship with the Dragons of Console dos Dragones Real in Brazil.


If you follow the Appalachian Trail to its northernmost point in Maine, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the Dragons of Katahdin Weyr. Dragons from the Second Migration settled throughout the northern Atlantic coast, consorting with the Micmac and Abenaki and the indigenous lesser Dragons of the area. When the French and English moved in, the coastal Dragons headed to the highland forests. Fortunately for all of us, some remain there to this day. The Katahdin standard marks the Old World Celtic blood of the Dragons with bands of knots on the right rust-coloured pane. On the left, two gold and silver suns blaze. And, in the centre argent panel, a bold European Dragon stands in a golden roundel.

ularbergerak ULAR BERGERAK

The forests of Irian Jaya are full of rare trees and even rarer beings, not least of which are the Dragons of Ular Bergerak - Serpent's Rock. Descendents of Raja Naga, the King of the Malay Sea Serpents, the Dragons of Irian Jaya left the warm seas almost 50,000 years ago, developing land-worthy legs and flight-worthy wings. They can be found conversing with the tree roos and spotted cuscus and surfing the cloudline above the canopy. A fiery red band crosses the blue banner of Serpent's Rock; a dancing - curiously wing-less - Irian Jaya Dragon does a handstand on a golden star.

vientosemplumados VIENTOS EMPLUMADOS

No one knows how this quiet Weyr on the southern edge of the Atacama Desert got its name, Vientos Emplumados, or Feathered Winds, especially since its Dragons are far from feathered. Still, you have only to look at the land, where the desert blends into the Andes, to know that it cries out for Dragons in residence. The standard of the Weyr is as enigmatic as its Dragons. A fierce silver Dragon rises on a black and gold arrow set off by a laurel wreath. There is speculation that the wreath indicates that some of the original Dragons came from Greece, but it's a guess at best. The two black and gold wheels represent the wheels of the seasons and the sun. Or so it is believed.


Deep in the rain forest of Brazil, where Boto dolphins swim with river otters and macaws light up the skies by the hundreds, the Japura flows into the Amazon. It branches through the underbrush forming what amounts to an inland island Weyr: Consoles dos Dragones Real - the Island of the Royal Dragons. Descendents of members of the Second Migration, the Royal Dragons adapted quickly to their dense forest environment. They became smaller, leaner, more agile. They shed their heavy scales in favor of lighter, more leathern integuments. Even their diet changed to include more vegetation and nuts. In short, they turned into perfect rainforest denizens, able to move about through underbrush or canopy, not bothered by the steamy climate of their new home. Now they are busy making sure humans do not destroy that home. The standard of Consoles dos Dragones Real is deep forest green with diagonals of river blue. At its centre, a crown tops a Dragon head erased on an ebon roundel.

dumfrieskeep DUMFRIES KEEP

North of the A702, between the Rivers Nith and Doon in Scotland’s Southern Uplands, is the Weyr of Dumfries Keep. Dragons have been reported in this rolling part of the world since the House of Alpin united the Picts and the Island Scots under one crown and held the land against invaders. Some say the Dragons of Dumfries Keep were instrumental to that defense, though exactly what happened remains a matter of oral history and, as such, prone to a certain amount of Draconian exaggeration. That said, keys prominently displayed on the Weyr's standard symbolize the Dragons' sure sense of dominion in the area. The other images include a blue Dragon sejant in the lower right and a Druid's oak blazing with Dragon fire on St. Andrew's saltire in the upper left. All this on a field of Dragon gold with sable and silver highlights.


Long ago, when the earth was young, wombats and roos the size of rhinos grazed the Australian plains and Dragons were found from tropics to desert and back again. Long ago, when the earth was young, the spirits of the land - or the Great Cosmic Dragon, depending on who you ask - kicked up the rich red sand of the central desert and formed Uluru and Kata Tjuta to guard the continent. The Dragons left Uluru to the people - they seemed so attached to it - but claimed the hills to the north, in Kata Tjuta, for themselves. Though the outlying Weyrs have vanished in the wake of geographic shifts and colonization, to this day the Australian Dragons retain their residence rights at Kata Tjuta. The flag of these outback Dragons is dominated by a green-gold Dragon passant upon a brilliant desert sun. A green field with a band of inverted ermine – reminders of greener days in greener climes, perhaps - complete the picture.

wenjiao WEN JIAO

The high plains and snow-capped peaks of northwestern China shelter the Dragons of Wen Jiao - Cloud Rocks - Weyr. These are a colourful group of Dragons with long memories and wild, artistic natures. They tell stories of a time when wild horses and great deer roamed the land; when snow leopards came out of the mountains to play with the goral and Yeti sightings were not unknown. It is even rumoured that the Dragons were instrumental in the creation of the massive rock paintings found in the region, providing everything from inspiration to rides up the sheer cliffsides.
"Ancient times," they sigh. "Who is to say?"
Their fanion is marked by an intense bi-coloured cross on an ember-orange field. At its centre, a sinuous black Dragon rises through the clouds.

isbreavfyre ISBRE AV FYRE

When the ice receded after the last glaciation, there were numerous Dragons who chose to go with the floes. The Dragons of the Scandinavian Peninsula have long been the stuff of legend and lore. They're powerful beings with reputations for being loyal and courageous to a fault. Indeed, their sometimes reckless bravado wound up greatly diminishing their numbers during the Draconian purge of the High Middle Ages. But the less said about that, the better. Now, at the Isbre av Fyre - Glacier of Fire - in Sor-Trondelag, Norway, the last of the truly wild Norse Dragons make their home. The banner of Isbre av Fyre is a stalwart black Dragon atop a blue Scandinavian cross on a field of Draconian green.


There is a tale from the annals of Dragon lore about an Island in the middle of the Sacred Sea. On this island grows the Cosmic Tree; 'round the tree dwell six Dragon guardians, one from each corner of the Dragon world. When a Dragon has reached her end of days, she will come to the Island and the Cosmic Tree. With fire and fang and the roar of a thousand-thousand wings, the Guardians honour her and send her on her way, up through the Silver Boughs to the Kingdom of the Cosmic Dragon who smiles on us all. Set in the crystal waters of Lake Baikal is the island of Olkhon. On the island grows an ancient tree. 'Round the tree dwell the six Enchantments of the Weyr of the Cosmic Dragon. There is always truth in Dragon lore. Olkhon's colours are dramatic argent on sable; six Dragons below, the Great Cosmic Dragon above. It is the recognized flag of mourning - or, as Dragons put it, "celebrating passions lived" - throughout the Draconian world.






© 2014 Shawn MacKENZIE