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Stratos Dragons were released on March 22, 2020, alongside Crystalline Dragons. Stratoses have four different colorations that display depending on the time of day (dawn, day, dusk, and night).


Official descriptions[]

Egg[]

This egg is very large, but light for its size.

Hatchling[]

Aww... It’s a cute baby dragon. It looks like it would be a good swimmer, but it doesn’t like being placed in water.

Mature hatchling[]

Aww... It’s a cute baby dragon. It looks like it would be a good swimmer, but it doesn’t like being placed in water.

And look! It has grown larger and started to fly! It must be close to maturing.

Adult[]

Stratos Dragons resemble sea dragons, but these massive creatures are far too buoyant to swim in the water. Instead, Stratos Dragons use air mana accumulated in their scales to live high up in the skies from the moment they mature enough to leave the ground, only ever returning to the ground in open spaces or very high elevations to lay their eggs. The underside of a Stratos is covered in reflective scales that slowly shift colors throughout the day to mirror the sky and the clouds above, serving as camouflage. Young Stratos consume anything that will fit in their mouths, and are especially drawn to air mana, but adult Stratos are difficult to observe and not much is known about what they eat or where they continue to gain mana. Corpses of grown Stratos dragons have been found with an incredible amount of crystallized light and air mana embedded in their backs, and it is thought that they fly so high up as they would otherwise be a delicacy to many of the more mana-hungry dragon breeds.

Sprite artists[]

Sprites[]

Series Egg Hatchling Mature hatchling Adult
Dawn form

3:00 AM - 8:59 AM

Stratos egg Stratos hatchling Stratos mature hatchling Stratos adult dawn
Day form

9:00 AM - 2:59 PM

Stratos adult day
Dusk form

3:00 PM - 8:59 PM

Stratos adult dusk
Night form

9:00 PM - 2:59 AM

Stratos adult night

Egg sequence[]

Stage 0 Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Dead
Stratos egg Stratos crack 1 Stratos crack 2 Stratos crack 3 Stratos crack 4 Stratos crack 5 Stratos dead egg

Retired sprites[]

Temporary event sprites
Series Egg Hatchling Mature hatchling Adult
April Fools' Day 2020
Dawn form
Stratos adult dawn AF 2020
April Fools' Day 2020
Day form
Stratos adult day AF 2020
April Fools' Day 2020
Dusk form
Stratos adult dusk AF 2020
April Fools' Day 2020
Night form
Stratos adult night AF 2020
April Fools' Day 2022
Dawn form
Stratos adult dawn AF 2022
April Fools' Day 2022
Day form
Stratos adult day AF 2022
April Fools' Day 2022
Dusk form
Stratos adult dusk AF 2022
April Fools' Day 2022
Night form
Stratos adult night AF 2022

Encyclopedia entry[]

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Appearance/Basic Anatomy

  • Resemble sea serpents, but fly using air mana.
  • Body scales are fine, reflective gray, and studded with crystallized mana as they age.
  • Underbelly scutes are smooth, extremely tough, and shift color throughout the day to match the sky.
  • Living adults are extremely hard to observe, as they spend their entire life after reaching maturity in the air, only returning to the earth to lay eggs and die.
  • Dead Stratos are a feast for scavengers of all sorts, as they are massive and laden with mana.
  • Crystallized mana is mostly air and light, but magi and time mana crystals have also been found in deceased dragons.
  • The belly scales continue to change color after the dragon’s death, and are prized as decorative material.

Hatchling Behavior

  • Dislike water, as they are too buoyant to sink and simply bob around on the surface where they’re vulnerable from above and below.
  • Ravenous feeders that will consume plants, meat, mana, and even smaller dragons if they can catch them.
  • Adults make no attempt to raise their offspring, only burying the eggs or nudging them into crevices before returning to the safety of the sky.
  • Wary of other creatures, but become more sociable as they begin to gain flight abilities.
  • Once they have stable flight and a stockpile of air mana, they take to the sky and never return.
  • Hatchlings that are not allowed to eat their own eggshell after hatching are much heavier and never gain flight.
  • The same occurs if the eggshell is thoroughly washed clean before the egg hatches.
  • Flightless hatchlings will swim instead, and are rather adept at moving in the water, but usually fail to thrive.

Adult Behavior

  • Young adults can occasionally be spotted playfully chasing each other through clouds.
  • Other breeds that can climb to extreme heights in the sky have been known to take down Stratos as prey.
  • Very large adults fly where there is very little oxygen, at the extremes of the livable atmosphere.
  • While large groups of Stratos have been observed, as have lone individuals, most sightings are of 2‒5 dragons.
  • Stratos behavior is not well-studied due to their extreme habitat, but rare encounters have generally been peaceful.
  • Unlike the juveniles, adults have not been seen attempting to consume animals that approach them, and show timid curiosity.
  • They communicate at a distance with whistling, flutelike calls that can be mistaken for loud winds.

Habitat

  • Eggs and young hatchlings are typically found in open areas or at high altitudes.
  • Adults can be sighted in the sky just about anywhere, but are hard to spot due to their camouflage and distance from the ground.
  • They seem to prefer flying above cloud cover.
  • Large thunderstorms ward them away, however.
  • Sightings are more common when the days are longer. It is suspected that they migrate to the opposite hemisphere to follow the sunlight.

Diet

  • Adult Stratos are never sighted descending to the earth to feed.
  • Hatchlings are ravenous feeders that will consume plants, meat, mana, and even smaller dragons if they can catch them.
  • Hatchlings consume their eggshell immediately after breaking free from the egg.
  • There are theories about what these dragons eat. Some suggest that there are small floating plants or animals that they filter out of the air.
  • Alternative theories suggest that these dragons produce their own mana and energy by absorbing sunlight somehow. The truth remains unknown.

Additional Information[]

  • These dragons are a redo of an old "sky whale" concept in public requests under the same name of Stratos.[1]
Stratos concept art original
The original iteration was sketched by a now-inactive in-cave artist. As you can see, it was much more... whale-ey? It also didn't have dusk/dawn forms yet.
Stratos concept art
This, meanwhile, was the first sketch of the current iteration! I hadn't settled on whether I wanted to make the back teal or gray like the original's belly yet, but as you can see I eventually landed on gray. The color tints for the different time-of-day lighting was Doha's idea! I also ended up adjusting the timeframes so each color was visible for similar times, and scrapped the stars on the night coloration.
TCA (Forum Post)

References[]

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