Shenlong

In “Ice Phoenix” (my current novel project) , Shenlong is one of the Long (Divine Dragons) revered by the Draycyns.

In the real world…
Shenlong, also Shen-lung, (literally “god dragon” or “spirit dragon”) is a spiritual dragon from Chinese mythology who is the master of storms and also a bringer of rain. He is of equal significance to other creatures such as Tianlong, the celestial dragon.

The spiritual dragons are azure-scaled and govern the wind, clouds and rain, on which all agricultural life depends. Chinese people would take great care to avoid offending them, for if they grew angry or felt neglected, the result was bad weather, drought, flood or thunderstorms.

Despite that, Shenlong appears to signify a special ranking in the splendid robes and regalia of Chinese emperors. He was also five-clawed and therefore an imperial dragon.

~ Info courtesy of Wikipedia

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Kulshetra and the Drangue

In “Ice Phoenix” a Drangue warrior fights a kulshetra. In fact, that’s the battle I’m writing as we speak. So, I thought I’d share a bit of real-world info. Enjoy!

 

 

The Kulshetra (in Gheg), or Kuçedra (in Tosk), is widely considered to be a storm demon and is often depicted as a dragon in Albanian Folktales. It can appear as a dragon-like creature with a long tail, nine heads, spines down its back, and covered in red hair, or a female who is typically old with breasts that hang down to the ground. Both its milk and urine are poisonous. The Kulshedra is believed to cause drought and other water-related issues for humanity such as torrents, tempests, shortages, big storms, flooding, or other natural disasters. Often to placate it, a human sacrifice must be made. The Kulshedra is often depicted as a female in many Albanian beliefs. The male form, called Kulshedër, acts as a devil.

Dragùa, sometimes called Drangue or Drangoni, is the male conqueror of the female monster Kulshedra, whom he must fight to the death in collective beliefs. Their prime aim in life is to combat and slay Kulshedras. They thus spend much of their youth exercising and running around, so as to learn how to avoid the Kulshedra’s urine and milk. When they sense a Kulshedra approaching, dragùas go completely berserk and their souls depart from their bodies in preparation for the coming battle. When a human is attacked the dragùa will fly to their assistance and slay the Kulshedra by pelting it with cudgels, ploughs, yokes, lances and stones, and even with uprooted trees and houses. Such attacks are seen by humans as lightning. Heavy thunderstorms are thought to be the result of the battle.

Baby dragùas are particularly fearsome for a Kulshedra because they can protect themselves against the Kulshedra’s urine by hiding in their cradles. Indeed they will use their cradles as weapons. It is believed that babies who turned out to be dragùas were those whose ancestors had not committed adultery for three generations. The wings and arms of a Dragùa are thought to be the source of his power and if their bodies are dissected, a golden heart with a jewel in the middle of it will be found.

According to one source, in early writings, the Dragùa is represented as a monster, like the Roman and Balkan dragon or hydra. Some Albanians still believe a Dragùa can be born every day. These heroes may live unnoticed among humans and are thought to be invulnerable, untouchable, and undefeatable. They have supernatural powers which become apparent when they are still babies in their cradles. When thunder and lightning strike Dragùas assemble with their cradles at the Dragùa gathering place. In some beliefs, only the Dragùa is capable of saving humankind from the Kulshedra. Sometimes, so that she perishes forever, the Dragùa must drown the Kulshedra, otherwise, she might come back to life.

Info courtesy of wikipedia.com
All due credit to the unknown artist for the pic

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