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Wyvern
Wyvern
Europemap
Background
Type Dragon or Dragonoids
First Sighting The Middle Ages
Last Sighting Unknown
Country Various
Habitat Europe (even occasionally Africa)
Possible Population Unknown
The Wyvern (meaning serpent or worm) is a dragon-like being first originating in European folklore. The Wyvern is the typical, greedy, fire-breathing dragon. This legendary creature is usually defined as a sub-species of dragon, or at least dragon's close kin. The dragon and the wyvern share many similarities in appearance.

Description

Like the dragon, the wyvern is rendered as a winged reptilian creature. It is distinguished by its possession of only two legs and a single pair of wings. Occasionally, a variant such as the sea-wyvern will possess a fish-like tail. More frequently, however, the wyvern's tail is drawn with a barb or a spade at the tip, which is sometimes considered poisonous. The wyvern may also be illustrated as having the claws of eagles. Wyverns are also smaller than dragons, the largest on record being approximately 18 foot (5.4m).

Behavior

Wyverns will protect their gold at all costs, even if it means he will die or kill another. Wyverns are very greedy, they will even steal gold from other wyverns. Wyverns have particularly aggressive natures with no timidness and will basically seek out and attack anything in sight that it perceives to be a threat or a tasty morsel. In fact they have fox like characteristics in that they often slaughter just for the sake of it, and not out of necessity. Hunting tactics differ from dragons, All prey is 'snatched' and carried off to the lair alive, then killed and devoured. They will, like dragons, spot prey from a high airborne position but will also stalk and attack from the ground. They have similar 'magpie' tendencies as Dragons, attracted to shiny and unusual objects which they collect to adorn their lairs, but where as Dragons tend to hoard jewels and precious metals of which they have great knowledge, Wyverns will take just about anything, which tends to be just rubbish and so the lair are basically tips and undesirable stinking places to happen across. 

European legends

Maudandthewyvern
Maud and the Wyvern has been told in many different ways, here's one of the versions: The one mentioned in the story, on the wall of the church, says the dragon was slain by a Garstone, a member of the local nobility, but more stories tell of its slaying by a convicted criminal.  

The stories had been passed down through word of mouth and were not written down, apart from on the church wall, until the 1790’s when first a Samuel Ireland visited Mordiford and was told that the dragon was slain by criminal hidden in a cider hogshead. Then in 1799, George Lipscombe was writing a travel book and  saw the dragon painting on the church wall. On asking about it, he was told about the dragon that had terrorized the village, eating livestock and people and whose favourite drinking spot was the point where the rivers Lugg and Wye joined. No one dared to fight the dragon until a condemned criminal offered to try, if his reward would be a pardon. 

From there the details vary; some stories say that he hid in a cider barrel, close to the dragon’s drinking place, and shot him through the bunghole of the barrel, or fought the wyvern and won – but then died himself when the dragon breathed fire at the barrel with its dying breath. Others tell that he covered the barrel with hooks and knives and when the wyvern went to crush it with the man inside, it died from the wounds caused by the spikes. Unfortunately, the man was caught in the poisonous fumes of the dying creature and died beside it. 

Gallery

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