The mountain dragon of Atlantis is arguably the most well-known dragon of all, given its use by the Atlantean mounted police force.
A mountain dragon is somewhat larger than a horse, but not so large as an elephant, with scales in varying shades, with green, sky blue, and dark grey being particularly common. Other known colours include yellow, orange, and red.
A mountain dragon has a longer neck than most dragons, and lacks horns altogether. Its body is sturdy, well-suited to holding a human upon its back. Like other dragons, it possesses sharp claws and teeth which can be used for hunting or fighting.
A mountain dragon’s wings are huge; taken together, they consist of roughly half their apparent size when spread, with a wingspan of more than two metres.
Mountain dragons lay eggs in clutches of eight to twelve leathery eggs, each of which is about the size of a canteloupe. They take approximately six months to mature and hatch, growing somewhat larger in that time. The mother remains with them for the entire time, refusing to abandon them for a single moment.
After hatching, the young mature rapidly, growing as large as a Great Dane in just four months. At this point, the mother takes them out to teach them to hunt. They take another two years to reach full size and maturity.
Mountain dragons favour small livestock animals such as goats, rabbits, or swine. On occasion, wild ones have even been known to prey on an unwary juvenile protoceratops. Unlike the other smaller dragons, the mountain dragon shuns plant matter, sometimes even to the point of starvation.
Like other dragons, the mountain dragon can breath fire. Its fire is quite powerful, easily causing second-degree burns on humans, and sometimes even worse.
Mountain dragons also have another ability that is unique among dragonkind - they possess a natural telepathic ability. Possibly as a result of this, they rarely produce vocalizations at all.
Society and Culture
Wild mountain dragons form extended family groups in high mountain caves, from which they send out hunting expeditions as needed. They are known to use their fiery breath to dry meat for storing through the winter months, when hunting can be harder (though lowland Atlantis does not get snow, it can get quite cold in the mountains). When not hunting, much of their time appears to be devoted to difficult-to-understand games.
Domesticated mountain dragons live in one of the several dedicated hatcheries in the Atlantean foothills, where they are trained for their duties. Typically, each hatchery has only one (or occasionally two) egg-laying females, with frequent contests to see which of the males gets to mate with her. She is referred to as the “queen” by the humans. When the hatching occurs, newly-trained humans are ushered into the hatching chamber so that they can stand a chance of telepathically imprinting on the infant dragons.
The domestication of mountain dragons dates all the way back to the founding of Atlantis, but it was only after the fall of the old capital that the dragonriders were organized into a formal police force. Since then, the dragonriders of Atlantis have become one of the most iconic features of the island nation, second only to the dolphin.