Dragons have always been one of the most popular mythical creatures from Earth mythology. So naturally, when Sorreters began creating mythical creatures on The Land, many were eager to create dragons. However, it was decided it would be best to start small, and not create anything as large as dragons until they had a firm grasp of the magic as well as the science involved in genetic engineering. The first mythical creatures they made, lyrits, were created in LY 545, about six years after Mor first conceived of creating mythical creatures. A few other species were developed over the next five years, before the first dragons were finally created in 550. The first type of dragons created were based on European mythology; ten years later, Sorreters created a new species of dragons, based on Asian mythology.
Genetic material from several existing animals went into the design of the first dragons. The first ingredient in the mix came from oras, which on Earth are often called "Komodo dragons," Komodo being the name of the island where it originated. Of course, oras are smaller than the kind of mythical beasts the Sorreters were seeking to produce, so they added DNA from katoro, a species unique to The Land, which is known for having no limits to how large they can grow. That trait came in quite handy in allowing dragons to grow larger, though it required some extra manipulation to design a cutoff point. While the Sorreters wanted dragons to grow larger, they didn't want them to grow indefinitely, particularly considering they wanted their dragons to have a longer lifespan than katoro typically have. They also wanted the dragons to have scales, or more accurately scutes, and for that they used DNA from armavipers, another Landian species the name of which is derived from the fact that it is essentially a cross between Terran armadillos and vipers. The dragon's head is basically a mix of the ora and armaviper DNA, though the teeth are at least partially based on panther DNA. They were also given the ability to breath fire, using DNA from salamanders. Meanwhile, DNA from squirrelbats was used for the dragons' wings, though they were engineered to become stronger and larger than the wings of a squirrelbat, so that they might support the greater weight of dragons. Even so, once dragons grow large enough, as they get older, it becomes more difficult for them to fly great heights or distances. Finally, the feet and claws are a mix of ora and eagle DNA.
First created in 560, the tenth anniversary of the creation of European dragons. This species' body is based mainly on the armaviper, with no ora DNA. Of course, katoro DNA was also utilized to allow the dragons to grow larger, just as in the European variety. The Sorreters added some genetic material from koi, which provided brighter coloration than that of European dragons, as well as (mostly decorative) fins on their backs, and the ability to swim, though they cannot breathe underwater. Their heads are designed with a mix of DNA from armavipers and striders. Unlike European dragons, they have no wings and cannot fly; nor can they breathe fire. However, some DNA from eagles was still incorporated, in the design of their feet and claws.
In 575, a Sorreter named Tagg conceived the idea of incorporating a certain degree of human intelligence into mythical creatures, starting with dragons. And so for the first time since the creation of Asian dragons, Sorreters took an active role in producing a new species of dragons; or rather, two new subspecies. Intelligence was incorporated into both European and Asian dragons, though the existing dragons of both varieties which lacked intelligence continued to breed on their own without this new innovation. The intelligent subspecies were called "Intelligent Dragons," or "I-Dragons," for short. In addition to incorporating intelligence, the Sorreters also did some remodeling of the vocal chords, to allow a certain degree of speech by the I-dragons. It was not, however, possible to give them the full vocal range of humans. Subsequently, there would be a few other species of mythical creatures engineered into existence with intelligence, which eventually led to a debate about the classification of such creatures as either intelligent, non-intelligent, or semi-intelligent. This, however, didn't happen until 774, following the revelation of the existence of elves. I-dragons would then be classified as "semi-intelligent." But by that point, the Sorreters themselves had long since enacted a moratorium on designing any new species of mythical creatures with any degree of intelligence.
One might expect dragons to live in caves, based on the stories most people have heard or read. It is therefore surprising to many when they learn that Landian dragons, of all varieties, actually are more likely to live near forests than mountains. In fact, it is common for younger dragons to make nests for themselves, either on the forest floor or in the treetops (the latter type being called eyries). However, when they get older and larger, they tend to seek out caves in which to make their homes. If they can't find any, they will burrow and dig out their own caves (usually staying near the forests), either in the sides of hills or below ground. It is typically in these caves that the female dragons will lay their eggs and hatch them, and where the young dragons will live until they are big enough to venture out on their own, into the forests to make nests, thus starting the cycle over.
Beginning in 580, Sorreters began relocating various types of mythical creatures, including dragons, for various reasons. In some cases it had to do with creatures posing potential danger to humans; the most notable example of this were the kappa, which had been created the previous year. Unfortunately, that species was impossible to relocate, as Sorreters had lost all knowledge of their specific whereabouts after initially having released them into West Ocean. However, the main problem with dragons was that the I-dragons were uncomfortable being around members of their own species that were, unlike themselves, strictly animalistic. And so, while the Sorreters were relocating such creatures as manticores, harpies, gryphons, and unicorns, they suggested the I-dragons lead their unintelligent cousins on a migration, and once they'd been resettled, the I-dragons could return to the area outside Sorret, or else go wherever they so chose. The I-dragons ended up leading the unintelligent dragons to a peninsula on northeastern Near Land, which separated First Sea from Port Sea. The peninsula was almost entirely covered in a forest which came to be known as "Dragon Wood." The I-dragons then mostly returned to North Sorret Forest, and to this day continue to have some contact with the Sorreters there, though they mostly keep to themselves. There were also a few I-dragons who chose to leave, alone or with their immediate families, for parts unknown. It is not known whether any of them or their descendants survive today. However, while most I-dragons live near Sorret, there is a sizable group who live in Valley Forest, not far from First Village. The majority of these I-dragons are of the Asian variety, though there are also some European dragons there. There are also several rivers in the area in which the Asian dragons enjoy swimming.