Albion saw its first dragon, Sii Maou, a number of decades ago. The then-Zilmatillian ambassador raised it from an egg, and saw it baptised into the Church of England. Although both dragon and ambassador disappeared shortly after the outbreak of war in 1607, the ruling that dragons could be baptised—and hence have free will and a soul—stood.

Since then, dragons have been arriving steadily on the shores of Albion, requesting food and shelter. With them have also come a number of gryphons and sea serpents, on a similar basis. Most are looked after by the King’s Own Horticulturalists, although a few independent creatures exist.


Dragons are big, scaled creatures of varying colours (generally red and green, although yellow and blue specimens are also known to exist). They’re big, and they have large claws, capable of both very intricate and delicate actions, and of uprooting large trees with minimal effort. Dragons, as well as being quite big, are also able to breathe fire, although the strength and quantity of the fire depends on the health and hunger levels of the dragon in question. Due to their size, most dragons have a team of people to look after them—numerous people to organise food, to care for the dragons health, to communicate with it, and so on. Dragons are also rather large.

Dragons serve a number of purposes within Albion. The general population are fairly used to the occasional dragon flying around in the sky every so often, presumably scouting out the land for some purpose or other. Near the start of the flooding, dragons were also the primary source of labour used to move the Pennines around York to protect it from the floodwaters. There is, of course an obvious military capability as well, and although most fighters report having never seen them in action, the few rumours that do exist about dragons in battle are very impressive.

It is generally accepted that dragons have a soul and are intelligent beings. Certainly, there are a small number of dragons that have learnt Latin, however most insist on speaking Draconic. At present, no dragons are known to speak English, although it is not known whether they are unable, or simply unwilling to learn. As a result of having souls, dragons are subject to all laws that the human population are subject to, including the recusancy laws. In most cases, dragons are given leave from attending mass, and instead a priest will attend to them personally. According to popular rumour, most priests deliver their sermon to sleeping dragons, on the grounds that waking a dragon to preach to it may not be the best of ideas. Most dragons in Albion seem to worship gold and jewellery more than any human God.

There are supposedly a multiplicity of Dragons native to The Americas, particularly the Northern reaches. It is said that the Northwest Passage is made near-impassable in breeding season by these dangerous beings.

Sea serpents

Sea serpents are essentially water-bound dragons—they speak Draconic, are generally judged to have a soul, and are exceptionally large and strong. Similarly to dragons, sea serpents are expected to attend mass on a weekly basis, or at least be visited by a priest or Rabbi, although many priests report giving sermons to the open sea. Again, similarly to dragons, sea serpents seem far more interested in things that are shiny and valuable than any religious beliefs.

Estimates on the number of sea serpents in and around the Archipelago of Albion vary wildly from about a dozen to several hundred. Certainly fewer sea serpents than dragons have formed a bond with humans. Sea serpents do, however, tend to hunt in packs, and so forming a bond with one sea serpent has the potential to provide access to a number of them. On the flip side, trying to get one serpent to do something for you may require you to somehow convince the entire group of them that it’s worth their while.


Gryphons are somewhat bizarre creatures—about the size of a large horse, they have a lion’s body with the head and wings of an eagle. Unlike dragons and sea serpents, it is as yet undecided whether gryphons have a soul or not, although the general consensus is that they do not. Although they do seem rather intelligent, nobody has managed to teach a gryphon English or Latin, nor has anybody managed to decipher the gryphons own language, although dragons do seem able to communicate with them. As such, gryphons are generally seen as highly trainable pets.

Gryphons are most commonly used, at least in the present, relatively peaceful state of Albion, as message carriers. A letter taken by gryphon messenger will reach its destination considerably faster than one taken by any other non-magical means, including via the Guild of Navigators. On the other hand, it is considerably more expensive, and so is seen as a luxury used by nobles wishing to show off.

As with the other creatures, gryphons have considerable wartime application, as well: gryphons are commonly employed to harry enemy archers on a battlefield, or to ruin enemy ships’ sails. There are also some rumours of “Gryphon teams” consisting of pairs of highly trained gardeners and a gryphon, who attempt to get behind enemy lines to cause havoc.

creatures.txt · Last modified: 2007/10/04 11:15 by helen