As exploration of the southern continent continued, and the occasional foray into the Western Continent was chartered, the true variety of Pernese fauna and flora began to be revealed. And, while most creatures around Pern were variants of familiar species, changed in size or patterns, but little else, there was one family of species that became renowned in the South. Creatures that were relatives of the dragons, but as wild as unbonded firelizards. Some were as large as Brown dragons, other's smaller than the smallest white flitter. Whether they are some failed prototype of the modern dragon, or a wild evolution is unknown, but they are nonetheless capable of cross breeding successfully with all three major categories of dragonkin: whers, firelizards and dragons, constrained only by relative size.
These are the Wyverns of the South.
While there are many variations of Wyvern, each in different sizes and silhouettes, one characteristic common to all breeds is the long, flexible body. Whether or not they have legs, their bodies all bear an elogated, serpentine appearance, and their acrobatics are unrivalled.
Wyverns are all capable of bonding to a human rider or master, though some species had never yet done so, finding nothing they want among humankind. They are more than capable of surviving without a bond, and have been known to bond much later in their lives than most varieties of dragonkin, much like Whers can bond to a second or third handler after their first handler dies. The strength of their bond varies from wyvern to wyvern and breed to breed, with pet breeds similar to firelizards, and riding breeds varying form weak wher-strength to as strong as a dragon.
The larger species of Wyvern are capable of mindspeech, but must be taught the language rather than instincitively understanding it upon impression, as dragons do. The fluency of wyverns varies individually, but seems to roughly parallel bond strength. Some species of wyvern are capable of mimicing human phonetics as well, and are able to speak aloud. However, their forked tongues do create a notable lisp in those that learn this technique.
Coloration seems to follow guidelines outside of the understanding of current research, and while gender differences are relatively well defined, they are not always easily noticed. Mating habits vary between breeds and individuals, but there is a noted tendency to mate for life among Wyverns. There are several varieties of Wyvern, which will each be discussed in greater detail below. Unless otherwise noted, most species of Wyvern are incapable of flaming, though they may have other useful capabilities.
Lesser Wyverns (Pet Varieties):
- Jade Wing: .3 to 1 meter (1-3 Feet)
- Fire Wyvern: .6 to 1.5 meters (2-5 Feet)
- Lesser Seraphim: 1 to 2 meters (3-6 Feet)
- Red Spiral: 2 to 3.5 meters (6-12 Feet)
Greater Wyverns (Riding Varieties):
- Western Desert Wyverns: 3-6 Meters (10-20 feet)
- Greater Seraphim: 4-5 Meters (13-17 feet)
- Western Black Mountain Climbers: 15-20 Meters (50-65 feet)
- White Lake: 20-25 Meters (65-85 feet)
- Fisher Wyverns: .3-50 Meters (1 - 165 feet)