"The River Dragon, in my opinion, the most majestic of all of Haven's brilliant creatures. In comparison to any other lifeforms in their native habitats, they are almost like a God, as not a single being can contend with them in terms of speed and power. But despite this, they possess a calm and caring nature, never over stepping and only feeding when it requires sustenance. They are so wise, I sometimes I wonder if I discovered a race more intelligent then I. Maybe next time I see one, I'll hand see if it can bestow some of its wisdom upon me."-William Tancard's: Guide to Haven's Glorious Creatures.
The River Dragon are an extremely rare aquatic Lindwurm Draco species native exclusively in fresh water rivers. They are one of the rarest creatures in all of Haven, with only one hundred River Dragons known to exist across the entire planet. They are also one of the largest, being the second largest animal to exist in Haven's freshwater bodies. Their name, unsurprisingly, is derived from their native environment, as they are only found in select fresh water rivers across the planet.
The few that are known to exist live solitary lives, often living hundreds of kilometers apart from each other. It remains unknown as to why River Dragons only exist in fresh water rivers, as they should be able to live within any body of fresh water. Thanks to their native environment, they are unmatched by any other fresh-water dwelling creature, meaning they have no competition.
The River Dragon is one of the most intimidating creatures of Haven, as their physical appearance is almost an exact mirror image to that of many depictions of dragons across human mythologies. They have two front facing eyes, and a large slanted snout. Along with their appearance, River Dragons are absolutely massive, with an average length of one hundred and twenty-eight feet (38 meters), and an average weight of around sixty-eight thousand pounds (30,844 kilograms). Male River Dragons will typically be smaller then their female counterparts and have to horns on the sides of their respective heads. The height of these horns and the number of branch horns vary depending on each male River Dragon in question, with the largest known being seventy-seven feet long.
Despite their large size, the River Dragon is able to move across their native river at incredible speeds, reaching up wards of sixty kilometers an hour, making them an unstoppable force to any who is unfortunate to be in the way. They are also able to maneuver extremely quickly as well, being able to turn on a moment's notice, making it nearly impossible to out swim them. They are able to contort themselves in almost any pattern as well,
Their abilities of sight are fairly impressive, with them being able to see about three kilometers in a distance, very similar to humans. These eyes glow with a distinctive piercing orange color through a process of bioluminescence, which is used to lure small prey into its grasp. This glow can be seen above the water, creating a dazzling display for those viewing it.
Strangely, the River Dragons seem to be deaf, as they lack any form of traditional ears. Instead, they rely on the large fin-like organisms on the sides of their heads, which function as a sort of sonar, much alike your typical bat species. The "hearing" range of these fins is almost unreal, uniformly stretching the entire length of their native river. This allows the individual River Dragon to have a complete picture of each and every organism in its home river, almost akin to a limited form of omniscience.
An adult River Dragon's mouth holds sixteen extremely sharp and durable teeth, with a biting force of around fifty thousand pounds per square inch, allowing an individual River Dragon to break through durable metals such as steel with relative ease. These teeth are extremely sharp thanks to the keratin that makes up their being, much alike the Ambrosia Alliance member species, the Ko'rr, though the River Dragon is much more powerful.
The scales that make up their body is very durable, taking around one hundred thousand pounds per square inch to begin to break through it, making it on level with that of steel. Thanks to this, the River Dragon's are neigh indestructible to any other fresh-water dwelling animal. The only thing that could in theory damage them is another River Dragon, but as they so rarely interact, no known conflicts have ever been recorded.
Like most aquatic Draco species, located deep within the River Dragon's body lies a specialized organ attuned to the very water the creature inhabits. Using said organ, the River Dragon is able to shoot a large jet of fresh water from their mouth, with enough force to split steel and devastate forests. This ability is more potent when used underwater as when the jet shoots, the entire river itself reacts, with the waters folding and flooding into the disturbance caused by the stream of liquid. While it posses this very powerful ability, the River Dragon only very rarely employs, usually only when they are engaged in combat with other River Dragons, and due to how sparsely located and sparsely populate they are, these encounters are extremely rare.
The River Dragon's behavior is one of the most nuance examples in all of Haven. Each of the hundred known River Dragons seem to exhibit distinctive personalities, reacting to things in a way that is unique to them alone. Thanks to this, the River Dragon has been labeled as the fifth most intelligent fauna of Haven. Despite the variety in personality however, a handful of behavioral commonalities is known.
First and foremost, all River Dragons seem to share the want to live a a solitary life style. Individual River Dragons almost never interact with each other, instead remaining in their own respective rivers. Each River Dragon seems to only mate twice in their entire lifetimes, through a vast time frame of fifteen thousand standard years years, with a pregnant female River Dragon only laying one egg at a time. Unfortunately, River Dragon's seem to have a high mortality rate during their hatching, as more then thirty percent of all River Dragon eggs never hatch, leading to the minuscule population the species currently has.
River Dragon's also seem to have an innate understanding of the fragile balance of their native river's ecosystem. If one wanted to, they could consume the entire native population of a medium-sized river almost instantaneously, but due to their intelligence, they understand that they require a constant source of food to survive, letting other smaller species thrive all around them, only feeding to the point of near starvation. And when they do partake in food, they have the absolute minimal amount to survive. In rare cases, it has been observed that when a species in a river begins to overtake another, to the point of driving them away, the respective River Dragon will intervene, leveling out the rival species' population.
The strangest trait River Dragon's have been known to exhibit is an odd curiosity to creatures that dwell on land. Often times, if an animal or person walks towards the shoreline of a River Dragon's home river, then the dragon will pop its head out of the water and closely investigate them, often nudging them gently with its nose, however once said creature enters the river, it will no longer be interested, and begin to submerge back underneath the water. It remains unclear as to why it does this.