This OC character was created to accompany the fan-species called the Sinistrous Woodreaper. Woodreapers are the creation of Chameishida on the SOD Forum Topic: "Introducing the Sinistrous Woodreaper - Customize bases".
Chasing a Myth
Jackdaw Hagismalr sat on the log and at least partially listened, which was more than what half the group of young Hooligans was doing. A senior Dragon Rider student stood in front of them with a Terrible Terror clinging to his shoulder. A few of the children had their Dragon Explorer journals out, but most of the others were distracted. Jackdaw had forgotten his, but was at least listening.
"... because most dragons eat fish," the teen teacher lifted the lip of the Terror, displaying the pointy little teeth. He took his hand away, and the Terror grinned a toothy smile and snapped at the air for good measure. "Now what other kinds of things do we feed dragons?" he questioned, trying to get them involved.
A zealously studious blonde girl immediately waved her hand around in the air. "Chicken! Dragons like Nadders really like chicken and it makes them go faster!"
"Yes that’s right," the teen said, looking around for more answers. The blonde girl instantly raised her hand again eagerly. the teacher carefully looked at the other side of the group.
"Eggs," a brown-haired boy said, half distracted.
"Yup, all kinds of eggs, like chicken eggs," the teen teacher said. The blonde girl frowned and glared at the boy, fuming that he took her answer.
"Yak jerky,” another boy piped up.
"Yeah! And what else?”
Jackdaw spoke up, too. “Sheep! Some of them really like sheep.”
The teacher nodded. "They will eat mutton jerky, and roast, and if you are feeling generous, some fermented mutton meringue."
"No, I mean yes, but they also like live sheep," Jackdaw clarified. The blonde girl turned around and eyed him speculatively.
This time the teacher shook his head side to side. “Our dragons won’t eat live livestock. They are well trained not to. If anything, they tend to be protective of our animals.”
"But," Jackdaw persisted, “Lycanwings like live sheep. One has been taking our sheep. It’s red. Probably Kessler 'cause he’s taking he family’s sheep.” A few of the other kids looked up from their distractions at him. “Well, it’s true,” he mumbled.
"The Lycanwing isn’t real," the blonde girl blurred out, eager to demonstrate her superior knowledge.
The teacher her gave her a quelling look and then addressed Jackdaw. “Sometimes we have a rogue or wild dragon grab up livestock. We’ll just have to catch it and train it. We aren’t sure what kind of dragon, but it’s not a Lycanwing.”
But ... it’s red like Kessler. My Uncle saw it ...,” he tried to tell them, but they weren’t listening. A few of the children snickered - they knew that one of his uncles, once removed or so, frequented the ale house.
"My Daddy says that Riggwelter has a head full of yak dung, so it probably isn't true!" the little blonde girl blurted out, not able to help herself correcting someone with her superior knowledge.
"He does not! He saw it himself the other night!" Jackdaw shot back.
"Enough!" The teacher raised his voice and his Terror screeched. "There IS a rogue dragon stealing sheep at night, and yes, it is red," he admitted. Jackdaw nodded to himself while the blonde girl frowned, with just a hint of worry crossing her brows. "But its not a Lycanwing. Its probably a Nightmare or a small Timberjack or something of the like. And we have Riders patrolling the island to find it."
The blonde girl's frown turned into a smug smile. Jackdaw ignored her expressions and thought about what his Uncle had told him.
"Its time to get some chores done anyway, so go home," the teacher dismissed, realizing that any attention he may have had from the children had vanished like a Changewing.
"So, lad, what's botherin' ya?" Uncle Riggwelter sat on a wide log at dusk, his four-fingered hand holding a stein of ale steady on a knobby knee. He had lost his ring finger on the left hand in a freak shearing accident.
Jackdaw squatted on the grass beside him quietly. Riggwelter wasn't really his Uncle, not exactly. He wasn't the brother to his mother or father, but rather one of those obliquely related individuals whose exact designation was too convoluted to think about. So he was just 'Uncle' to Jackdaw. "You really saw the Lycanwing, didn't you?" That so many people told him the family story wasn't real nagged at him all day. Surely it was though, since there were all kinds of dragons all around him.
Uncle Rigg leaned over closer to the boy as if confiding a secret to him. "Aye, I did. It was the other night. I was out checkin' that sheep ya know. The moon was full and 'ole Mani was winkin' his big glowin' eye at me. Then come a silent shadow slinkin' across tha' meadow, lookin' like tha' shape of a rock one minute and then a tree tha' next. I rubbed me eyes good an thought the shadow was a great horned stag too, carrying a lantern. But then I thought to ma-self 'What woulda stag be carryin' a lantern fer?'" He paused for effect and leaned even closer. "It was a dragon! A shifter it was. Walked right up to an ewe, and wouldn't ya know, he bleated at 'er! Spoke her language he did. He talked softly like any shepherd would to calm a nervous creature. Then he breathed on her - it was his mouth that was aglow - this green mist shined in the light. Then the ewe sank to the ground like she was takin' a nap, and the dragon scooped 'er up like a babe and flew away."
"Yes, but why was it a Lycanwing?" Jackdaw insisted.
Uncle Rigg straightened back up. "Dontcha know yer family's story, lad? The Kessler boy had the reddest of hair. Red as a maple leaf in autumn. He disappeared in these woods here and came back as a great red dragon, as red as his hair was. And he and his family were sheep farmers, just like you and I. This dragon I seen was as red as red as blood and knew howda handle a sheep. An besides, Kessler comes ta visit his family from time ta time, even though his Ma and Da are long in the ground.
This sounded quite reasonable to Jackdaw. Indeed he knew about the story of Kessler. "But why would Kessler need sheep? The Dragon Explorer teacher said dragons don't eat sheep. Is he making his own flock?"
"Awww, those dragon-ridin' youngins' don't know what they're talkin' about!" Riggwelter chided. "Kessler's a dragon now. He might remember a shepherd's ways, but he eats meat lad. Has a taste for mutton, he does. Dragons'll eat anythin' - they've even eatin' a Viking or two back in the day. They'll even eat each other sometimes. The dragons around here-" he waved his hand about to encompass the dragons of Berk, "- are too civilized if ya ask me. They're as meek as lambs anymore."
Jackdaw thought about this. He kind of liked not being eaten by a dragon and petting it instead. And since Kessler - the Lycanwing - knew the ways of sheep and of Vikings (having been one himself), he ought to be reasonable to talk to. Maybe he would understand that if he came out of the woods everyone else would believe he was real and even give him other things to eat instead of sheep. Especially since his family's dwindling flock was impacting their livelihood.
Jackdaw crept around the trunk, staring into the small clearing. At its center was the husk of an old enormous tree, perhaps an oak or elder. The ancient bark was blackened and full of shadowy crevices and crannies. Grey lichen spotted its base. It had been a tall and wide tree, but the elements had not been kind, and the trunk was snapped in two half way up, leaving jagged spears of grey wood twisting to the sky. It still had some branches though - spindly dark things that reached out nakedly into the air like a lop-sided crown of antlers.
The boy wasn't half as transfixed on the dead tree as he was at its ornamentation. Hanging from the leafless branches and on the ground around the base were many skins and skulls and bones. Several were that of sheep, almost perfectly skinned with their fluffy white wool still attached, laid out as if to dry. Some antlered stag skulls tangled in the branches, as did some tusked boar skulls, as if fighting off the tree. Jackdaw crept forward toward a discarded sheep hide nearby. The edges appeared to be muddied with dried blood. "Not very tidy is he?" Jack muttered to himself. Then, for a brief moment, the forest seemed to pause. Not a bird chirped nor did a leaf rustle. The hairs on the back of the boy's neck stood up on end and his heart seemed to tighten, though his young thinking mind did not yet understand what that might mean. Almost as a reflex, he crouched on the ground and covered himself with the sheepskin. The dead tree shivered. A tall thin slice of bark seemed to shimmer with shadow, then peel itself away from the trunk. The rogue wood slithered forward like a snake, then like a tottering miniature tree, then again like a branch with tattered cloth fluttering in a breeze. The shifting thing moved away from its haunt and paused in the small clearing. The fluttering rags rested and an antlered apex rose up. Two shiny black orbs rolled into sight. The pointed head swiveled languidly about, faintly whiffing the air.
Jack watched, fascinated. "This must be Kessler. The stolen sheep are here," he whispered to himself. The dragon's head whipped around, crackling like snapping twigs. The wind suddenly whistled through the trees, yet no leaves were stirring. Jack stayed low in deference and shuffled forward. Surely Kessler remembered his humanity; he visited his family's ancestor's farm from time to time after all. The dragon rotated his head to the side quizzically, as the sheep that had been eaten shuffled forward. It had a pale pugged face and a scraggly black cap of fur under a small horned helmet. It smelled very faintly of old death, but of something else, too. Perhaps it wasn't quite dead, and a bit delusional as it fumbled toward him. "Baaaaa," the dragon scrunched up and expanded its throat, mimicking the sheep's tongue. "Baaaaaa", he said gently. He huffed our a few whorls of green-tinted smoke.
"Baaaaa?" the sheep replied as it got closer. Then it stopped and stood up on its hind legs. "Oh I'm not a sheep," the human-sheep chimera said. The wool swept backward, away from the body that looked very much like a little human. "I'm Jackdaw, your cousin, actually. Well, some number times removed," he shrugged. The dragon jerked back in alarm, whistling like a screeching storm's wind. Jackdaw felt a shiver run down his spine. "It's okay," he placated. "I just wanted to find you. The others say you aren't real, but I knew you were." He smiled at the dragon.
The dragon sat still for a moment, puffing out his greenish smoke, as if chewing on an invisible cigar and contemplating the situation. Then he leaned forward slowly, black eyes affixed intently on Jack's. And suddenly, Jackdaw became stiff and ridged with fear.
And yet, he thought he didn’t feel that scared, not scared enough to freeze in place. And the Lycanwing had stopped moving, apparently fearfully stiff as well. Only, as Jackdaw stared in his face, he got the distinct impression of anger in those vacant white eyes. And then Jackdaw toppled over, falling to the ground, unable to moved his arms to catch himself. Like a statue. He heard the light crunch of fallen leaves, and some creature swam into his view. It wasn’t another dragon. It had long black hair hanging down from a flat-faced head. It had large, glassy orange eyes, and a wicked grin with perfectly straight teeth, like struts on a grill. Suddenly Jackdaw actually started to feel scared and a little panicky, unable to move away. The creature lifted humanoid hands to its head and peeled back its face.
The creature was, in actuality, something a little more terrifying - his much older angry sister, Eistla. She glared at him, while putting her Deathsong amber goggles and respirator mask on her belt. She then moved away silently, crunching on the leaves. Jackdaw could hear another dragon snuffling and grumbling, probably Eistla's Flightmare. Eistla crunched back and stuck a very old human skull in his face. It was so grey it almost looked like dead bark, and one side of it was caved in. Moss grew on the cranium like a strange top-knot.
"Don't mess with wild dragons. See what happened to this fellow?" Eistla snapped. Did the Lycanwing eat a Viking? The skull looked pretty old, while the frozen dragon looked kind of young. But if it was young, it couldn't be Kessler ...
Eistla had crunched off again out of his line of sight, then reappeared again. This time she dangled her personal copy of the Book of Dragons in front of his face. Every Rider made their own, as part of training.
"You thought this was a Lycanwing, didn't you? Lycanwings aren't real. This is what that dragon is." She was usually grumpy and didn't talk a whole lot, let alone explain things well. Jackdaw focused on the page the book was opened to. He couldn't read very well quite yet, but he did make out an "S" and then it looked like "Wood" something. There was a crude drawing of a dragon with antlers, a pointy face, and lots of tattered wing flaps. Below that was more writing he couldn't quite decipher, except for the word "DANGEROUS" in big letters.
Jackdaw rotated his eyes as far as they would go to look at the dragon. He was puffing green smoke from between his frozen jaws and grumbling deep within his throat. He might be a people-killer. A sheep killer for sure. Was he about to eat me?? Eistla watched as her littlest brother's face suddenly turned red from realization, then blanched white. She sighed and lifted him off the ground, then carried him awkwardly to her Flightmare. She strapped her silent brother to the saddle, then directed her dragon to shoot the Sinistrous Woodreaper with more of his paralyzing breath. She then pulled out dragon-proof chains and a muzzle and secured the rogue dragon as best she could. Eistla also took out a canister of her own Flightmare's breath and put it on her belt. "Take him home," she patted her dragon affectionately. "Get the others." She made a gesture to fly away, and the Flightmare sprang into the air and flew away from his Rider, and taking Jackdaw with him.
Jackdaw had remembered to bring his journal to the Dragon Explorers meeting this time. The same teen teacher was standing at the front of the benches, starting a discussion about dragon wings. His brown Terrible Terror was there again, fanning out his orange-speckled wings. Before he started talking, Jackdaw raised his hand quietly. The teacher saw his small hand go up and guessed the boy wanted to say something about his ordeal, which the entire island had heard about by now.
"Dragons can eat live sheep. They can, can eat people, too", he admitted.
The blonde girl turned around on her bench and scrunched up their face, "Nuh-uh. Dragons don't eat people!" She swiveled back around and sat up straight, waiting for the teacher to agree with her and correct the silly black-haired boy.
"Yes, you are right, dragons can eat people. Though we of course don't feed our dragons people," he stated. Then he added, "Although I've heard some parents threaten to feed their bad little children to them sometimes." The teacher snickered to himself. None of the children laughed. He moved on. "And yes, dragons can eat sheep and lots of other creatures. But we don't feed it to our trained dragons. We want to live in peace with dragons and sheep together."
The little blonde girl was murmuring, mostly to herself. "Dragons eat people?" She eyed the Terrible Terror with slight apprehension.
"Jackdaw almost got eaten," the brown-haired boy said, appearing to not be paying attention, but actually was listening.
Jackdaw looked down at the ground, feeling his cheeks get warm. He had been so sure ...
"Jackdaw helped us catch a rogue dragon who was stealing livestock," the teacher interjected. "But the dragon has been caught and moved to Eerie Isle where there aren't any people or sheep to eat." The teacher smoothed down his Terror's wings and sat him up on his shoulder. "Hey Jacksaw, why don't you tell us about the dragon you found?"
Jackdaw blinked for a moment, then opened his journal. Eistla had read her Dragon Journal to him, then helped make an entry in his journal about the rogue dragon. Nevermind she had grumped about it. He glanced at his page and his scribbly drawing. "It was a Sistru ... Sinnet ...," he paused and took a deep breath. "A Sinistrous Woodreaper. It was antlers on its head like a deer. It is kind of skinny, but can make itself look really big or really small. And it has a breath that makes you go to sleep. I didn't fall asleep though," he added.
"Is it Mystery Class?" the brown haired boy asked.
"Uh-huh," Jackdaw nodded. "And it can make all kinds of strange noises. The one I saw talked like a sheep!" Some of the children "ooo'ed" and "ahhh'ed". Jacksaw looked back down at his journal and read on. "It has plus four attack, plus 16 venom, plus 25 ...."
Dragon Name and Gender:
SheepSnatcher the Male Sinistrous Woodreaper
About the Sinistrous Woodreaper:
(The following is directly quoted from Chameishida's thread, "Introducing the Sinistrous Woodreaper - Customize bases" on the SOD Forums. Please visit the thread link for more graphics about the Sinistrous Woodreaper!)
- Class: Mystery
- Attack: 4
- Speed: 4
- Armor: 4
- Firepower: 0
- Shot Limit: ?
- Venom: 16
- Jaw Strength: 4
- Stealth: 25
Can be described as the much more sinister version of Timberjack and Changewing, Woodreapers are indeed, the grim reapers of the wood and are one of the reason why you should never get lost alone in there! Once you hear the 'song' of the woodreapers, it means they are upon you
Woodreapers have weak bodies like the armorless Boneknapper, however, instead of seeking armors, the woodreaper tends to use the different methods; their minds. It is said that the woodreapers are so smart that it can come up with many different ways of hunting, ones such as using phycological way to scared the preys until they fell into despair or weaken, or luring them by mimic things from other dragons to humans, or breath out the poisonious air that make the preys fell sleepier.They avoid the direct encounter and only attack headon when really desperated. They can be found both alone and in packs. They are also known for the sounds it makes,like the howling wind through the tiny holes, which scared vikings to this day.
Personality: Sinister, Cruel, Ravenous, patient and calculative, never trust these dragons
Fire Type: Sleeping gas
Hidden Abilities: Not only that Woodreapers' bodies made them easily blend into the woods, they are also very flexible. Woodreapers are the master of mimic, The true shapeshifter of the dragons, both with body and sound. They have the thin layer of skin that can flap as thin that their bodies can be seen like a thin long snake or can expand as wild that make their bodies look bigger than they actually are, They can flatten the wing or make it so that it looks like they're walking on the wings or have different shapes of tailfins which allow the dragons to mimic the silihoute of other dragons or even humasn in order to either scare the enemies off or trick the preys. As for sound, They can make different kind of noise, to the point that some believe it can mimic part of speeches. Their inner mouth can also illuminate in the dark, luring the preys off course.
- The Lycanwing is a mythical dragon species discussed in the Dragons: Race to the Edge episode "Bad Moon Rising". It is a folklore tale told by Gobber the Belch about a red-haired boy named Kessler who went into the woods and disappeared. He came back as a red-colored dragon who would steal a sheep from his family's farm once a year on his birthday.
- A Jackdaw is a species of crow common to most of Europe and Asia.
- Jackdaw's last name is cobbled together from the Norse word for 'field' or 'meadow' - hagi and the word for 'sheep' - smali.
- A "Riggwelter" is a sheep that has fallen over and can't get up due to the weight of its wool. The word may have Norse origins.
- Eerie Isle is a location mentioned in the game, "Dragons: Rise of Berk". There is not much said about it, but fitting name for a Woodreaper's new home!
- The Dragon Explorers is a group for children teaching knowledge about dragons, kind of like Girl or Boy Scouts. This was introduced into the Franchise in the Dragons: Race to the Edge" episode "Loyal Order of Ingerman".