In the New World the second week in October is a complicated time for holidays. In the United States, many people celebrate Columbus Day. It is more of a bank holiday and (yet another) excuse for sales, but it’s on the calendar, nonetheless. This understandably rubs millions of indigenous New World peoples (and other species), north and south, the wrong way. How can you discover lands already home to thriving civilizations and cities – some, like Tikal and Chaco Canyon Pueblos were major cultural centres when London and Paris were little more than mud-and-wattle villages?
How can you lay claim to land where ‘ownership’ is an alien concept? Muddy social, cultural and political waters, to be sure.
Here at MotD we try to set politics aside – when we can. This is a time to celebrate New World Dragons, after all. In the past we have largely focused on the Feathered Dragons of the New World tropics and rain forests, the brilliant, rainbow gems of the Dragon world.
They are rare and flighty and, for those blessed to have the experience, a wonder to behold.
But further to the north there is another group of Dragons, nearly as shy and reclusive, who are often overlooked: Frost Dragons.
Frost Dragons – also known as Polar Snows – are, as one might imagine, creatures of the arctic wastes, where snows whip across tundra and floe and Dragonfire adds a golden hue to the Aurora Borealis.
The hostile nature of the northern climes meant only the hardiest of humans settled there and so Frost Dragons were virtually unknown until the end of the Dark Times and the advent of what is known in Dragon Studies as the Trans-Atlantic Transmigration.
The TAT was an exodus of a passel of adventurous European Dragons who were fed up with the rampant anti-Dragon sentiments coursing through Britain and Northern Europe. Shortly after the Saxon invasion of the British Isles, they heeded the call to “Go west, young Dragons!” and crossed the Atlantic. In the New World they made their way amongst the enchantments of North America. In short, they merged rather than conquered, lending new Dragon blood to the New World!
The rugged topography and hospitable climate of the northern part of the New World were delightfully inviting to these exiles, and in a short time Weyrs were established from Greenland south to the Appalachians and west to the shores of Lake Superior. Crypto-archaeological evidence shows that, in time, alliances were established and the indigenous Dragons—as well as the indigenous peoples—accepted the immigrants as an integral part of their world. One can imagine Leif Ericson spying an enchantment of Nordic Snow Dragons cavorting with New World Frosties playing in the icy shallows off Vinland. He and his crew, in their Dragon-prowed ship, must have felt right at home.
Like all of their kin, New World Dragons are plagued by the incroachments of humans on their once pristine habitats. Feathered Dragons are retreating deeper and deeper into the Amazon and the Central American uplands, adapting to more arid realms as best they can. Frosties are facing a different set of challenges: as with polar bears, global warming is literally melting their world out from under them. Fortunately for Dragons, their ability to fly gives them far greater feeding latitude than the bears. But that does not address the rising temperatures and their devastating effects on breeding habits and clutch size. For those who keep insisting climate change is a hoax, if the rapid decline of polar bear populations don’t convince, an open minded look at the recent census of New World Frost Dragons just might. Our ever-increasing carbon footprint is pushing these great creatures to the very brink.
As go the Frost Dragons, so goes the whole world.
Frost Dragon by Pixel Charlie