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Wyvern or Wivern
(pronounced wivan)

The name "wyvern" was derived from the anglo-Saxon word Wivere, which means serpent or worm. Old Saxon's related story's of fire monsters/worms falling from the sky to bury themselves deep in the ground never to come out again as they guarded their treasure, thought to be meteorites.

(thanks to Paul for the updated origin information)


Last Exit to Babylon by Darryl Sweet Wyverns Spur by Clyde Caldwell



Wyvern - Leonardo Da VinciWyverns, while close relatives of the Dragon, have been argued as being not of the same order. In England they have been referred to as 'dragonets' because their generally small in stature and basically appear to be adolescent dragons when in fact their body parts are fundamentally different. The Wyvern has a distinctive two legged stance and their wings are true wings (derived from the forelimbs) like those of bats or birds. Sometimes these wings are depicted as "hands", such that a Wyvern can clasp each other when the wings are folded in front of them.

The Wyvern has eagle-like talons, a beak-like jaw that is essential in carrying food as well as a deadly barbed stinger at the tip of their tail. They live in caverns or similar protected lairs commonly found in forests and woods. The lairs can be identified by the debris of bones and valuables. These they gather, because like dragons, they are attracted to shiny objects and baubles. 'Dragonets' are far less discerning and their 'hoards' will contain as much rubbish as gold.

They are aggressive by nature, and attack anything in sight that might make a tasty snack. Broody females should never be approached when they are watching over their young.



Denato Dragon Attack by Clyde Caldwell



Wyverns are far less timid then most dragons and were once known in Europe, especially in England, before weapons technology and the growth of human populations depleted their numbers. Leonardo da Vinci recorded an encounter he observed between a lion and a wyvern; although it seems unlikely that he observed it first hand.

In the bestiaries of the Middle Ages, the wyvern was used as an allegory of Satan, and was associated with war, pestilence and sin. It was especially said to spread plague, a heinous charge in a medieval Europe reeling from the horrors of the Black Death.

The Wyvern was given other meanings too. The medieval alchemists dressed their knowledge in obscure codes and allegories, and the wyvern was used to represent matter in its basest of state. The alchemist himself was depicted as the worthy knight overcoming the beast -- that is, transforming it into gold.

Wyverns survive today mainly as a heraldic emblem. Wyverns tend to represent war, envy, might and conquest -- and are a sign of strength to those who have born it through the ages on pennants, shields coat-of-arms and the like. While they must be considered virtually non-existent, the relatively undisturbed mountains and forests of Eastern Europe and Russia just may conceal a few surviving wyverns.





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