Dream Dragonets lay eggs in clutches of 4 to 7 eggs at a time. Freshly laid they come in a range of grayscale from white all the way to black. After a few days the eggs dry, harden, and reveal a wide range of colors on their main surfaces and highlighted scales surrounding ridged protrusions.When first laid the protrusions are soft and flat against the egg’s surface and while they dry and harden the protrusions gain rigidity and raise up to the form most commonly seen. At the small end of the egg after a bout a week a calcification develops a shiny, gem like surface. This is kept after hatching and is presented to potential mates upon reaching maturity. The rigid protrusions are kept and chewed on and finally devoured for the nutrients within. Those that don’t do this often exhibit weaker bones and are prone to joint failure, especially in the wings. The entire gestation period from laying to hatching is approximately 3 months.
The colors exhibited on the eggs have significance as well. The main color of the egg generally will be the color of the dragonet’s skin and scales. The scales around the protrusions display the accent colors for eye ridges and any thing surrounding fins, spinal protrusions, claws and horns. The protrusions on the egg, generally of an ivory, black, or in rare cases a milky translucent color end up being the color of their horns, claws, and any other protrusions on the dragonet. Finally the egg gem. The egg gem normally ends up being the color of the dragonet’s eyes. Exceptions are known to occur from time to time but the reasons behind them are not known.
Dragonets calm their young via a mental bond, even before hatching, soothing irritable, fearful, or hostile tendencies. After hatching, if hand raised, the mental bond is formed with the person or people who are present at the time. Upon sensing the distress of those they bond to will press that same influence upon the sleeping individual causing their dreams to take a more calming tone, and gaining them their common name. Additionally, through this bond they can send and sense general emotions to and from the individual or individuals they are bonded with.
Dragonets generally live as long as a whatever being they are bonded to or as long as their mate if unbonded. Fully grown, dragonets reach a total nose to tail tip length of 36” - 46” and weigh up to 7 lbs.
The dragonets don’t reach maturity for 3 years. Once reaching maturity several things occur. The first being limited telepathic communication. While normally they limit this to those they are bonded with, they will occasionally speak with others if the need arises or they are asked to do so by one they are bonded with.
Next they begin to exhibit a couple of natural abilities, flame breathing and acid spittle. Normally meat is roasted by the parents until this point. Once they exhibit fire breath they tend to cook their own food. This can also be used as a defence mechanism. The acid spittle is normally used to help etch away wood and stone to make their small lairs and nests over time by weakening the material so they can claw out what is left. The spittle is also used in their preening practices. Generating a small amount in their mouth and using their tongues to lick it over scales and claws to smooth out larger imperfections.
Another thing that begins to happen is their mating cycle initiates a very intense drive to find a mate for a full month. This is repeated every 5 years for those that successfully pair. Those that do not find a life-mate will repeat the process the next year. They will tend to find sandy or similar areas with a grainy texture and roll about in it. This in effect will help polish their scales and remove any sort of dried skin or flake. They will also seek out shiny objects to stash away in various hidden locations, or what they believe to be hidden. Jewelry, gems, polished stones, silverware, cooking utensils, even small pots and pans have been known to “walk off” when Dragonets are about. During this time potential mates are presented egg gems. Should either reject the gem then they move on to the next potential life-mate.
Occasionally, if one accepts and the other rejects the exchange the accepting dragonet will fight the rejecting dragonet. Should the accepting win it is believed that some sort of strength test is fulfilled and the pairing is complete. Should the rejecting dragonet win there is a chance the other dragonet will perish in extreme cases. In these cases both the dragonet and their gem is left to die.
In the other cases where there is a mismatch, the accepting dragonet performs a sort of dance believed to display their scales, a sign of good health, and their physical prowess by a few maneuvers both on the ground and in the air. The actual maneuvers differ from dragonet to dragonet. During any point in this the other dragonet can leave with it’s own gem and then the process starts again with another.
In all of these instances once the pairing is completed an in tandem paring flight takes place. The two dragonets take to the air, soaring, sweeping, rolling, diving, and somersaulting in the air before the female dragonet tucks her wings going into a dive and the male dives after grappling the female and then gliding, bearing the weight of the both of them until they land. The longer the glide the more successful the mating process is. Should the male not be able to grapple the female, the female almost always recovers and lands. Should the female not successfully recover and impact the ground they almost always perish even if tended to by an expert. Usually within a week of this the male will also perish through “fading”.
Fading is the process by which a dragonet dies after losing a life-mate. They will refuse food, become lethargic, act irritably at first but soon that will transition to show melancholy. During this process while their scale color dims and fades to much more muted tones even draining of color completely. The process usually runs its course within a week’s time. This is also known to happen when a bonded person passes away as well. The only times observed where a dragonet recovers from the fading is when a dragonet has both a life-mate and one or more bonded people. Their life span varies due to this and it is unknown how long a dragonet can actually live. It is believed, that if left alone they would simply continue to live.
Some of the dream dragonets found solace in a druidic grove. The grove, permeated with natural magics and protected from being spoiled by the greater world by various guardians became a perfect place for the dragonets to roost and clutch. The density of magic had some unforeseen effects however. First and most apparent instead of the ridged protrusions the eggs developed soft antler like protrusions that hardened and calcified during the maturation of the eggs. Once hatched instead of the normal horns one might expect they indeed have tiny antlers which grow and fork with age. Color patterns developed to meld with the natural settings. Mossy patterns, blotches resembling mushroom patches, bright bursts of flowers, and even colors that would blend with trees and leaves both living and fallen on the forest floor.
Gargantuan Dragonet / Twinned Dragonets
Through some sort of strange mutation instead of multiple egg clutches only one egg is produced. But it is notably larger than the normal dragonet egg. These eggs can have one of two results upon hatching. The first is a larger dragonet. These will ultimately achieve a size of roughly double the average size. The second, and most rare, result would be two dragonet whelps emerging from the shell. These twinned creatures take extra time to mature and they often perish early on due to being slightly smaller than normal. Their final size isn't appreciably different from normal dragonets.