Taxonomy: Scalekin (Biast)
Description: Drakes are ferocious predatory creatures with powerful tracking abilities and the ability to exhale gouts of fire. They are perhaps most famous as domesticated beasts of the Amalj’aa. A biast, however, is a subspecies that exhales lightning instead of fire. They were here in the Vigil as followers of the Horde, as scalekin are easily dominated by dragons. The Ishgardians referred to these creatures as ‘outwalkers’ which is apparently a reference to their role as scouts and vanguards of the Horde.
Capabilities: The biasts in the longstop were capable of emitting the typical ‘levinshower’ lighting breaths.
Taxonomy: Scalekin (Dragonfly)
Description: Known for their resemblance to dragons, despite having no relation, dragonflies have nevertheless gained a name in reference to true dragons. Dragonflies are perhaps most famous for serving the Dravanian Horde in great numbers, particularly as vanguard and scout forces. The name given these creatures by the Ishgardians clearly implies the same role as the outwalkers.
Capabilities: These creatures, when encountered by the team’s guards, proved capable of emitting emissions of compressed wind aether as an assault, nicknamed ‘forebursts’ by the team thaumaturge.
Taxonomy: Spoken (Aevis)
Description: The aevis are figures of horror in Ishgardian folklore, individuals who consume the blood of a dragon and are twisted into freakish, powerful servants of the Horde whose very name means ‘devil who flies’. This is a truth, but further research has illuminated the matter further. When a child of Ishgard, descended from those who fed upon the aether of Ratatoskr’s eye, consumed dragon blood it interacts with the power latent in their lineage, turning them into an aevis.
Capabilities: These aevis were capable of marshalling grand gouts of lightning aether, nicknamed an ‘electric velitation’ by the Ishgardians who fought them in reference to the velitations, or skirmishes, in which the heretics face the forces of the city-state. They were also capable of completing fierce ‘lunges’ towards a foe with their sizeable jaws.
Etymology Notes: Aevis seems to be an altered form of aevum, a term used to label angels and saints, which may represent the dichotomy between the beliefs of the loyalist Ishgardians and the heretics.
Taxonomy: Scalekin/Spoken (Dragon)
Description: This is a lesser dragons, creatures that evolved from their youthful dragonet form to specialize in the ability to ambulate across the ground, sacrificing the vast majority of their ability in flight.
Capabilities: Chudo-Yudo was apparently capable of performing a mighty ‘rake’ with its huge claws. More worryingly, it was capable of a powerful strike or ‘swinge’ by expelling sizeable amounts of compressed wind aether, capable of robbing a foe’s lungs of their breath briefly, and thus silencing them and robbing them of their strength. Finally, it was reportedly able to loose great gouts of flame in a technique named the ‘lion’s breath’ for some reason, perhaps rooted in Ishgardian myth.
Etymology Notes: The Chudo-Yudo is a creature from Russian myth, seemingly the version of the hydra found there. It is an aquatic creature, and is a guardian figure of the waters of life and death. This may relate to it being here as a guardian of the Vigil.
Taxonomy: Scalekin (Ziz)
Description: Speedy creatures, the ziz is not capable of flight but can cover ground at a rapid pace with its powerful legs and sharp claws. They are also often capable of exhaling poison. The ones found within the Vigil by those who cleared it were referred to as ‘carrier ziz’ in Ishgardian records, possibly suggesting their role as messengers for the Horde. Somehow.
Capabilities: The ziz were reportedly capable of a number of rather impressive feats of battle, including bludgeoning its foes as if it had a ‘hammer beak’ and exuding a toxic ‘poison breath’.
Taxonomy: Elemental (Sprite)
Description: Essentially a mere conjoining of aether and ideal conditions, a sprite is of no relation to the powerful elementals of the Black Shroud, and are in fact as devoid of reason and sentience as the average weather pattern. Ice sprites are extremely common across Coerthas after the Seventh Umbral Calamity turned it into a frigid wasteland.
Taxonomy: Scalekin/Spoken (Dragon)
Description: Wyverns such as these are the inverse of lesser dragons, specializing in flight over movement on the ground. Their rear legs wither slightly, although are still substantial, and they lose their forelegs in exchange for much greater dexterity and speed with their wings.
Capabilities: Although lighter than the average dragon, Koshchei was nevertheless capable of marshalling its considerable weight in a ‘collapse’ on its foes, crushing them. The beast’s ‘spiked tail’ also apparently proved quite proficient in inflicting vicious wounds on the beast’s foes. As with many wyverns, this creature was proficient in the manipulation of wind aether in creating a ‘typhoon’ to unleash upon its foes, and it was also able to exhale fire in a terrible, ‘blazing trail’.
Etymology Notes: Koshchei is named after a non-dragon in real world myth, Koschei the Immortal. It is a recurrent antagonist in Russian folklore, typically playing the rival of the protagonist in love and using various magical methods to avoid death. Perhaps this wyvern earned such a name by dodging death at all turns, probably using its formidable speed and mastery of wind aether. Indeed, this wyvern is possibly the one who has been harassing us for the entire dungeon while avoiding even a single wound.
Taxonomy: Scalekin/Spoken (Dragon)
Description: A mainline, unspecialized dragon. These beings are immensely powerful, wise as the ages and capable of elemental aether manipulation, particularly through their breath attacks. The perception of the dragon differs from place-to-place, with most people regarding them as pseudo-mythical figures of legend and romanticized adventures, but with the inhabitants of Ishgard boasting a considerably more complex perception, due to their history with the Dravanian Horde. Isgebind is a member of the aforementioned Horde, participating in the attack on the Vigil and later being given command of the ruin. This was partially because of his masterful command of ice aether, enhanced by the icy surroundings. According to some hushed testimony, this being was corrupted by the vile will of an ascian when the adventurers arrived here to slay it, but it died regardless of such a dark blessing.
Capabilities: Isgebind’s mastery of ice aether was prodigious, and he was capable of creating a ‘rime wreath’ across the entire area he was fought in, wounding those who faced him. Alongside this, he was capable of the typical ‘frost breath’ of his kind, as well as spitting orbs that created a wide ‘sheet of ice’ and slamming his weight onto the floor in a grand ‘touchdown’ crushing those beneath him. Some said that the dragon’s ice was so frigid that it could even ‘cauterize’ wounds, albeit agonizingly and not without causing massive damage of its own.
Etymology Notes: The name Isgebind is likely a reference to the quote “yþe beleac isgebinde” or “winter locked them in icy fetters” from Beowulf. Beowulf was the cornerstone of JRR Tolkein’s inspiration for his dragons, and thus is one of the primary roots from which modern dragons in fiction draw. Besides this homage, Isgebind’s name is likely a reference to how his presence here has crippled or shackled the Ishgardian militaries defense, with a strong draconic presence so close to the holy city.